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Meade DSX-90AT not slewing

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#1 azhiking77



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Posted 31 May 2015 - 12:53 PM

Greetings -

I've been a reader of the forums, but have never posted before. I've just had a problem with one of mytelescopes, so I thought now might be a good time to see if someone else has had a similar problem or has some thoughts on what the solution may be...

It's a Meade DSX-90AT 3.5" Mak-Cass telescope. It has always slewed very well and has worked just fine. Yesterday, I attempted to align it when I found that it's not slewing at all. No noise is made, it just remains stationary. This occurs whether I use the arrow keys on the Autostar to manually slew, or use the "level & north" alignment procedure. It simply does not slew. I noticed that when I go into the "level north" alignment procedure where it automatically slews to the approximate direction of two bright stars and asks the user to center them, it does the following: It says, "Slewing to Capella" when the scope does not at all. When I press any of the four alt/az slewing arrows, it beeps and says "Slewing to Arcturus" just as if you hit the Mode key. Quite strange

The first thing I did was replace the batteries which has no effect. I should note that the power light comes on, and the Autostar hand control lights come on and I can navigate the menus just fine. I also verified that the 9v battery attachment thing on the 8 AA battery case was connected properly and it was. I'm unsure what else to try. Has anyone experienced this before on a similar scope? Any ideas on what to try? I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions on this. It would be a shame to have its use reduced to a clutch-based spotting scope.

#2 azhiking77



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Posted 31 May 2015 - 12:59 PM

I might have misplaced this topic. If it belongs in the "legacy telescopes" section, please feel free to move it there.

#3 MistrBadgr


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Posted 31 May 2015 - 02:40 PM



Welcome to "posting" on the forum! :)


My first guess is that the signal is not actually getting to the mount from the scope through the connections on the cord.  The contacts at that point may be a bit dirty somehow or corroded a bit over time, just enough to interfere with the signal.


First, look the cord over and see if you can see any defective spots in it, in case it got kinked and broke a wire inside.  The second thing to do is to clean up the little slit contacts.  The quick way is to just plug and unplug the cord several times.  If you have a handset with number buttons, there will be a plug on both ends of the cord that you need to do this with.


If that does not work, try some contact cleaner and then plug and unplug the cord several times more.  You might even try some sort of brush that can reach down to the contacts.


If you have another Meade scope with an AutoStar (not AutoStar II or III) handset of any sort (494, 495, 497, AudioStar) try using a different one with this scope and see if that makes any difference.


There are a number of mechanical ways for the mount to not move in a direction, but there is usually some sort of noise and normally only one of the two drives is affected.


Beyond cleaning contacts and mechanical things, the internal electronics is a bit of a mystery to me.  If the trouble is in the electrical part of the mount itself, the mount will most likely need to go in for repair or replacement.


Hope this helps,


Bill Steen

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

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