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Perfect night - dead LX200 !@#$%^&*

Started by hakescl, 05/05/2008 06:13AM
Posted 05/05/2008 06:13AM Opening Post
Late last night when I was ready to go home, I was slewing to a park position and the Az (RA) motor just stopped working. Everything else appeared OK. Since it was late, I just turned it off and went home. Tonight when I try to boot the telescope it just gets to the point in the boot that says "MEADE". I am afraid something bad happened to the motor. Would that give me that message and lack of a boot? Has anyone seen anything like this? I will ask here and on the equipment forum.


Fort Lewis Observatory: (37.238, -108.052) ~2360m (7744 ft.) elevation.
Darkness - typically 6.5+
Scope - Meade 16" LX200; f6.3 focal reducer
Focus - JMI Smart focus
Camera - SBIG ST-10XE; (~.5"/pixel)
Guiding - AO-8 and/or Meade 5"/DSI/PHD
Posted 05/10/2008 12:05AM #1

The controller goes through a self test each time the scope is powered up. A normal start-up has the controller moving the RA motor a little. If the motor doesn't respond, the controller sits and waits, and waits. The failure could be as simple as a loose or broken connector, wire, or less likely, a component failure. A few capacitors are prone to failure in the LX200. Other weak spots are the IR emitters and sensors on each drive. Their "legs" break at their base where the leg enters the epoxy. The little wires that go to small boards on the motor/drives can break or can come loose from their connectors from repeated movement. I've had conflicting reports as to whether Meade will even repair these scopes anymore, but you could call.

Here's another place that says they will do electronic repairs on the LX200. You'll have to be brave and remove the electronics to send them in. One more thing to try, just for the heck of it.... With the power off (of course) unplug your hand controller and check the contacts on both the cord and the socket, then do the same for your dec cable - make sure they are clean. Holding the locking tab down, work the plug in and out of the socket a tiny bit to "scrub" the contacts, then click them into place and power up the scope. I doubt with will fix it, but its worth a try just DON'T do this with the power on!!

Good luck.

Clear, sunny skies.
Tom Masterson
Coronado-Lunt-Daystar Solar Filters forum Moderator