I thought I might bring you up to speed on the long history of troubles Betty has had with her scope.
Betty's LS scope is AutoStar 3, which uses a dumb handset with all the brains in the scope. However, the point of a handset issue is well taken.
The problems she has had in the recent past is when the scope is going through all its activities before a person takes control with the handset.
My thoughts on internal things have ranged from the GPS going bad, to the programming getting garbaged somehow, to a bad chip somewhere in the scope.
She had troubles with her first LS, sent it back and I believe Meade replaced it. However, there could have been more moves back and forth. With this being her second scope with troubles, it causes me to think more along the lines of an external interference of some sort. However, if those issues are double-checked and eliminated, it will only leave something internally wrong with the scope itself or, as you have suggested, a bad handset or cable to the handset.
You know a whole lot more about computers in general than I do, so please speak up on anything you can think of that Betty could try. She has gone through a lot with her scope and I would personally like to see those troubles come to an end.
If all else fails, she can send the scope back to Meade for repairs on her money, where they can get it on the work bench and go through it with "a fine toothed comb." With that kind of repair, she gets another year's warranty, I believe.
Thanks for the help!