Meade LX6 Premiere 2120 - Complete teardown, overhaul, and rehabilitation!
Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:11 PM
The last few times I took the LX6 out for imaging and visual observation, I began noticing some tracking issues that just seemed off. The last time I shot Jupiter, I had to constantly re-center it on the camera's LiveView screen, as it would drift both to the west and to the east.
This had been a prevalent issue with it as far back as when I got it last December, but I never paid much attention to it and overcame it with the Electronic Command Center hand controller, but even correcting the drift with the hand controller method was starting to get a bit unnerving. This after I had achieved a perfect polar alignment.
So, last night, I started a 5-hour repair job that involved completely tearing the base down. What I found, was astounding. Needless to say, I'd like to find out who assembled it down in Costa Mesa, because they need whacked in the head with a ballpeen hammer!
Beginning the teardown - 20 minutes into the job I have de-forked the OTA and removed the fork arms. After removing the center hub and stepper motor, the entire hub assembly lifts up in one piece.
They had used WAY too much grease on this. I have found that "less is more" with these!
A close-up. Pictured here is the main worm gear ring and retaining hub. The grease was so heavily applied that it was all over the inside of the drive base in rather large clumps. It had been applied so heavily on both the main worm gear ring and the clutch/slow motion control ring, that it managed to work its way onto the main clutch pressure plate. This resulted in a severe loss of traction and slippage! No wonder I was having tracking issues!
All the components, post-cleaning. At this stage, I am packing the freshly-cleaned worm and clutch/slow-motion control rings with new grease.
The main clutch pressure plate. The RA lock lever on the base depresses this plate onto the clutch/slow-motion control ring, and locks the entire telescope for tracking. It had a thick coating of grease. A little cleaning and slight roughening/resurfacing of this means I should not have any further tracking issues!
Beginning to reassemble the base. The large round plate is the right ascension setting circle. In the lower left corner is the main worm gear drive ring.
The guts of the base, completely re-assembled. When I re-packed the new grease, I made sure not to leave any visible excess. Having done this before to an LX3/2080 and an LX5/2080, this method is actually far more desirable than how Meade did it at the factory.
The base, completely reassembled and the RA encoder belt hub in place. At this point, I removed the housing for the main boards in the base. You'll see why!
The right ascension tracking/stepper motor assembly. I did the same thing here. This was nothing but a large ball of grease. A little cleaning polished things up!
As with its corresponding worm gear ring, I repacked the grease so as to not have any excess.
Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:12 PM
...continued from above
The 7805 voltage regulator on the main drive base control board had dried thermal grease. This was also redone with a fresh dab.
Fresh thermal grease, and beginning the final stages of reassembly!
Reinstallation of the stepper motor/worm gear for the right ascension drive. After this, I did a brief power test to ensure functionality. Using the 8x slew speed control on the hand controller, I rotated the worm gear three times in both directions to fully coat the worm gear itself, applying small dabs of new grease every few seconds.
The tangent arm for the declination slow-motion control/declination drive corrector received the same treatment. A thorough cleaning, followed by several coats of grease mixed slightly with motor oil. I also re-aligned it and fixed a slight bend at the slow-motion control knob.
It now works smooth and effortlessly!
Four hours in - and this is where I'm at - reinstalling the fork arms and doing some minor adjustments. Also, power testing and a slight break to go observe Saturn with my LX5/2080 through a 'sucker hole' in the clouds!
Reinstalling the OTA. This was not an easy task doing this single-handedly with a 27lb OTA! As I was doing this, I also thoroughly cleaned up the entire works. Clean as I go!
Without a doubt - hands down - the finest power control panel for a telescope ever produced!
Next up - first light post-rehab!
- Ribo and BBQedIguana like this
Posted 16 February 2014 - 06:38 PM
- Ribo likes this
Posted 16 September 2015 - 03:00 PM
I just picked up a Meade 10" f/10 with the same fork system this past Saturday. My remote does not have the LED display - it is missing and does not have the encoders. The Declination motor does move only in the North direction (from the remote keypad) and I can't seem to get either East or West to move the RA ring. The RA motor does move under normal power mode, but the Dec motor does not seem to auto advance.
I am planning to do the same tear down you have shown here (BTW - this is very informative - thank you!!). Do you have any specific recommendation on the grease to use for the gears and/or any other tips based upon my observations above.
Posted 27 September 2015 - 04:46 PM
I have a 2080 LX3. I have power to the board but can not operate the ra or da drive. The ra drive did work when I got the scope but now does not . I think I might have messed up the clutch by turning it. The da motor never did work.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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