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Easy / One Star / Two Star Alignment Problems


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#1 cyberruk

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:01 AM

When I first purchased my LX80 mount, it failed miserably within one week. Meade replaced the mount head and the replacement has never worked properly. This past weekend, I finally had a long enough period to actually test every possible permutation and combination to determine the point(s) or failure.

 

Set up, balanced, leveled the mount and double checked that the scopes (8" SCT and 80 mm ED APO) were correctly set. Turned scopes to face true north and ensured that they were absolutely level. Fired up the mount and provided date, time, location, etc. and selected EASY align. The mount started to slew to Arcturus and when it stopped it was 60 degrees E of the actual star. Turned off the mount, reset it and tried again. Same result.

 

I then did a factory reset and restarted the entire procedure from scratch. Same result. I previously purchased a second hand controller because I do so many public outreach events. Turned off the mount, changed hand controllers, reset to true north and fired up again. Slew to Arcturus and it stopped 60 degrees E of the star.

 

I next tried manually doing a two star alignment with other stars and in each instance the mount missed the target star by a wide margin. As a result, I have concluded that the mount PC board(s) is / are defective. 

 

So I have these questions to ask:

 

1.) Are their replacement boards available for the Meade LX80 mount?

 

2.) Are the LX850 boards size / replacement compatible with the LX80 mount?

 

Any help would be appreciated. Basically, as it stands right now, I have a $1000 paperweight.



#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 05:34 PM

Hi Cyberruk,

 

Welcome to the forum!  We really have not had much on this board for the LX 80 until really the last couple of weeks, then we have had quite a fiew posts.  I suggest that you contact Meade Customer Support.  Their number is 800-626-3233.

 

Best Regards,

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 Mark Sibole

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:44 AM

Have you trained and calibrated the drives?


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#4 d33d0gg

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 04:50 PM

If you actually centered it on the alignment star, the proceeded to the next (then center again) does the alignment work?


Daniel
--------
LX200GPS 12"

LX80
ETX90


#5 cyberruk

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:05 PM

Unfortunately, every time I do that - whether with Easy, One Star or Two Star alignment, I get the response Alignment Failed. And, yes, I have tried traini ng the drive. However, since a did a reset, will do it again.



#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:22 PM

I used to have a similar sounding problem with my DS 2000 mounts.  Even though there is a great difference in your mount and mine, I am going to go through what I ended up doing with mine to get it to make the first star and then a good alignment.  Set up the tripod with the mount, put a bubble level on it and get the mount as perfectly level as possible.  I normally used a flat spot on the mount base section to put the level.  I would then point the scope as straight geographic North as possible.  Put the bubble level on the tube and level it.  Then, turn on the scope and go through its paces.  I don't know if going through all of that really made a big difference, but it made me feel better about it and I did not seem to have as many troubles.

 

Possibly none of this applies to your mount, but I thought it might help you think of things to try.

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#7 cyberruk

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:05 PM

Well, I can give an update on my LX-80 mount. I completed the training (again) as suggested. Did a star night for a group of 120 people tonight - which was an abject failure.

 

I spent the better part of an hour ensuring: true north alignment of the mount and absolute leveling. Then trained both axes as recommended. Finally, it got dark enough to do a two star alignment. Missed by the normal 60 degrees as reported in my first post. Well, I basically aligned anyway and for the first time ever got the message "align successful". Wow, I though my lucky stars had aligned. I was too optimistic.

 

I selected Saturn and the mount slewed towards the planet - AND MISSED by 20 degrees. Every "go to" missed the target by at least 20 degrees. Meade says they will only repair the LX-80 mount in their facility. They will not send out the boards. OK - so I have a glorified US $1000 paperweight. 

 

I can state unequivocally here to this forum that I will never purchase another Meade product. I have invested over $10,000 between my Meade RCX400 12" plus all of its accessories, as well as a bunch of other stuff. The RCX is no longer support nor can you get parts, wiring diagrams, board schematics, or anything else useful out of the Meade corporation. I recognize that there is new ownership but after this latest fiasco, I cannot justify pouring more money into what I can only consider a black hole.

 

So, thank you to all of the people who responded to assist me with this mount. I am going to consign it to the scrap heap, save up and buy a different vendor's product.



#8 cyberruk

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:11 PM

Oh yes, I trained and calibrated the drive. No luck in Mudville, I am afraid. I arrived at my venue at 5 PM so I could do all of the necessary steps. Basically just under 4 hours to get the mount leveled, trained, calibrated and nothing solved the problems. Ans, just in case anyone wonders how long I have been in astronomy - I bought my first Celestron C8 in 1976. ANd have owned a number of scopes, mounts, and accessories - so I am not a newbie to this process. 






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