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Re: Early 90's Meade 8" fork mount

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  • Thad Floryan
    ... It would help to first identify the model. Download Rod s (the owner/moderator of sct-user) Used SCT book:
    Message 1 of 11 , May 31, 2009
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      --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@...> wrote:
      >
      > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
      >
      > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not
      > sure as to model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be
      > brought into focus. I'm sure the scope has never been collimated,
      > but I'm not sure this can account for this sever a condition. The
      > secondary adjustment cover is attached with non-standard screws.
      > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?
      >
      > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the
      > OTA is broken.
      >
      > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand
      > controller is not standard to what is used today. The best I can
      > describe it, is like a large "S" video port.
      > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
      > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?

      It would help to first identify the model.

      Download Rod's (the owner/moderator of sct-user) Used SCT book:

      <http://skywatch.brainiac.com/used/used_sct.pdf>

      From your description, there seem to be several matches:

      page 26, LX5

      page 34, LX6

      page 37, control panel of something with the DIN handset connector.
    • tniebank
      After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3. Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this age?
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 1 12:44 PM
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        After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3.
        Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this age?


        --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "Thad Floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@> wrote:
        > >
        > > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
        > >
        > > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not
        > > sure as to model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be
        > > brought into focus. I'm sure the scope has never been collimated,
        > > but I'm not sure this can account for this sever a condition. The
        > > secondary adjustment cover is attached with non-standard screws.
        > > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?
        > >
        > > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the
        > > OTA is broken.
        > >
        > > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand
        > > controller is not standard to what is used today. The best I can
        > > describe it, is like a large "S" video port.
        > > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
        > > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?
        >
        > It would help to first identify the model.
        >
        > Download Rod's (the owner/moderator of sct-user) Used SCT book:
        >
        > <http://skywatch.brainiac.com/used/used_sct.pdf>
        >
        > From your description, there seem to be several matches:
        >
        > page 26, LX5
        >
        > page 34, LX6
        >
        > page 37, control panel of something with the DIN handset connector.
        >
      • tom_krajci
        ... I don t know of upgrade kits, but first I recommend you visit a nearby astronomy club, star party, etc....and find someone who s willing to put eyes and
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 1 1:34 PM
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          --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@...> wrote:
          >
          > After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3.
          > Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this age?
          >
          > > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
          > > >
          > > > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not
          > > > sure as to model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be
          > > > brought into focus. I'm sure the scope has never been collimated,
          > > > but I'm not sure this can account for this sever a condition. The
          > > > secondary adjustment cover is attached with non-standard screws.
          > > > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?
          > > >
          > > > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the
          > > > OTA is broken.
          > > >
          > > > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand
          > > > controller is not standard to what is used today. The best I can
          > > > describe it, is like a large "S" video port.
          > > > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
          > > > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?

          I don't know of upgrade kits, but first I recommend you visit a
          nearby astronomy club, star party, etc....and find someone who's
          willing to put eyes and hands on the scope to ascertain all its
          problems. (And can probably look at collimation and other optical
          issues.)

          If you want to keep troubleshooting here, it sure would be helpful to
          post photos of the problem items.

          Once you determine what's wrong with the scope, and identify the
          performance goals you want it to meet...then you have a good idea of
          what you have to do. Can you repair it yourself? Or do you need
          someone else to do the repairs?

          --
          -------------------------------------------
          Tom Krajci
          Cloudcroft, New Mexico
          http://picasaweb.google.com/tom.krajci

          Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA)
          http://cbastro.org/ CBA New Mexico

          American Association of Variable Star
          Observers (AAVSO): KTC http://www.aavso.org/
          -------------------------------------------
        • Rod Mollise
          What kind of upgrades do you have in mind? When collimated, it should perform well optically. Oh, BTW, if it s an LX3, it s from the mid-80s rather than the
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 1 1:43 PM
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            What kind of upgrades do you have in mind? When collimated, it should
            perform well optically. Oh, BTW, if it's an LX3, it's from the mid-80s
            rather than the early 90s most likely.


            Peace,
            Rod Mollise
            Rod's new book:
            _Choosing and Using a New CAT_
            Available Now!

            <http://skywatch.brainiac.com/astroland>



            -----Original Message-----
            From: sct-user@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sct-user@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            Of tniebank
            Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 2:44 PM
            To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [sct-user] Re: Early 90's Meade 8" fork mount

            After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3.
            Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this
            age?
          • Clifton Hipsher
            I second what Tom said.  Get thee to a star party/astronomy club meeting and have some one take a look at the scope. In the mean time, turn the focus knob and
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 1 1:47 PM
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              I second what Tom said.  Get thee to a star party/astronomy club meeting and have some one take a look at the scope.

              In the mean time, turn the focus knob and watch the primary mirror.  Does is move?

              "Non-standard" screws on the secondary?  The collimation screws should be either standard SAE hex head allen bolts, or "Bob's Knobs" style thumb screws.

              To help us clarify some of the other issues, how about uploading some pictures of the control panel, the secondary holder, and the hand controller 9if your buddy has one...).


               
              Cliff Hipsher
              ICC USN (Ret.)
              '03 883 XLH
              I.A.M.B.K.
              Safety is NO accident.
              I Ride.  Therefore I am....
               
               




              ________________________________
              From: tom_krajci <tom_krajci@...>
              To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Monday, June 1, 2009 4:34:18 PM
              Subject: [sct-user] Re: Early 90's Meade 8" fork mount





              --- In sct-user@yahoogroup s.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@.. .> wrote:
              >
              > After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3.
              > Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this age?
              >
              > > --- In sct-user@yahoogroup s.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
              > > >
              > > > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not
              > > > sure as to model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be
              > > > brought into focus. I'm sure the scope has never been collimated,
              > > > but I'm not sure this can account for this sever a condition. The
              > > > secondary adjustment cover is attached with non-standard screws.
              > > > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?
              > > >
              > > > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the
              > > > OTA is broken.
              > > >
              > > > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand
              > > > controller is not standard to what is used today. The best I can
              > > > describe it, is like a large "S" video port.
              > > > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
              > > > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?

              I don't know of upgrade kits, but first I recommend you visit a
              nearby astronomy club, star party, etc....and find someone who's
              willing to put eyes and hands on the scope to ascertain all its
              problems. (And can probably look at collimation and other optical
              issues.)

              If you want to keep troubleshooting here, it sure would be helpful to
              post photos of the problem items.

              Once you determine what's wrong with the scope, and identify the
              performance goals you want it to meet...then you have a good idea of
              what you have to do. Can you repair it yourself? Or do you need
              someone else to do the repairs?

              --
              ------------ --------- --------- --------- ----
              Tom Krajci
              Cloudcroft, New Mexico
              http://picasaweb. google.com/ tom.krajci

              Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA)
              http://cbastro. org/ CBA New Mexico

              American Association of Variable Star
              Observers (AAVSO): KTC http://www.aavso. org/
              ------------ --------- --------- --------- ----







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • tniebank
              After doing a little research, it seems the LX3 s had problems with the mirror coatings flaking off. He may be looking at opening up the tube and pulling the
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 1 8:11 PM
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                After doing a little research, it seems the LX3's had problems with the mirror coatings flaking off. He may be looking at opening up the tube and pulling the mirrors and getting them recoated.

                --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, Clifton Hipsher <red03sporty@...> wrote:
                >
                > I second what Tom said.  Get thee to a star party/astronomy club meeting and have some one take a look at the scope.
                >
                > In the mean time, turn the focus knob and watch the primary mirror.  Does is move?
                >
                > "Non-standard" screws on the secondary?  The collimation screws should be either standard SAE hex head allen bolts, or "Bob's Knobs" style thumb screws.
                >
                > To help us clarify some of the other issues, how about uploading some pictures of the control panel, the secondary holder, and the hand controller 9if your buddy has one...).
                >
                >
                >  
                > Cliff Hipsher
                > ICC USN (Ret.)
                > '03 883 XLH
                > I.A.M.B.K.
                > Safety is NO accident.
                > I Ride.  Therefore I am....
                >  
                >  
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: tom_krajci <tom_krajci@...>
                > To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Monday, June 1, 2009 4:34:18 PM
                > Subject: [sct-user] Re: Early 90's Meade 8" fork mount
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In sct-user@yahoogroup s.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@ .> wrote:
                > >
                > > After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3.
                > > Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this age?
                > >
                > > > --- In sct-user@yahoogroup s.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
                > > > >
                > > > > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not
                > > > > sure as to model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be
                > > > > brought into focus. I'm sure the scope has never been collimated,
                > > > > but I'm not sure this can account for this sever a condition. The
                > > > > secondary adjustment cover is attached with non-standard screws.
                > > > > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?
                > > > >
                > > > > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the
                > > > > OTA is broken.
                > > > >
                > > > > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand
                > > > > controller is not standard to what is used today. The best I can
                > > > > describe it, is like a large "S" video port.
                > > > > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
                > > > > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?
                >
                > I don't know of upgrade kits, but first I recommend you visit a
                > nearby astronomy club, star party, etc....and find someone who's
                > willing to put eyes and hands on the scope to ascertain all its
                > problems. (And can probably look at collimation and other optical
                > issues.)
                >
                > If you want to keep troubleshooting here, it sure would be helpful to
                > post photos of the problem items.
                >
                > Once you determine what's wrong with the scope, and identify the
                > performance goals you want it to meet...then you have a good idea of
                > what you have to do. Can you repair it yourself? Or do you need
                > someone else to do the repairs?
                >
                > --
                > ------------ --------- --------- --------- ----
                > Tom Krajci
                > Cloudcroft, New Mexico
                > http://picasaweb. google.com/ tom.krajci
                >
                > Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA)
                > http://cbastro. org/ CBA New Mexico
                >
                > American Association of Variable Star
                > Observers (AAVSO): KTC http://www.aavso. org/
                > ------------ --------- --------- --------- ----
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • John Mahony
                ... Er, there is no cover . I m guessing those non-standard screws may be Bob s Knobs collimation thumbscrews Whether they re
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 2 12:45 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  ----- Original Message ----

                  > From: tniebank <tniebank@...>
                  >
                  > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
                  >
                  > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not sure as to
                  > model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be brought into focus. I'm
                  > sure the scope has never been collimated, but I'm not sure this can account for
                  > this sever a condition. The secondary adjustment cover is attached with
                  > non-standard screws.
                  > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?

                  Er, there is no "cover". I'm guessing those "non-standard screws" may be "Bob's Knobs" collimation thumbscrews
                  <http://www.bobsknobs.com/>
                  Whether they're thumbscrews or allen head, or whatever, the three screws on the secondary holder are the collimation adjustment screws.

                  It's common for people (if they don't read the instructions) to severely mess up the collimation when installing Bob's knobs. It can be so bad that the image will be blurry at any focus. Try
                  <http://www.mira.org/ascc/pages/lectures/collim.htm>
                  as a way to see if the collimation is way off. This daytime method is not as accurate as the standard star-test collimation method, but the standard method can be hard to use when the collimation is way off. So this will get you close. Then finish with the standard method.


                  > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the OTA is broken.

                  I'm guessing you're talking about the dec lock. How is it "broken". Does it not lock the tube dec motion? Some of these are adjustable, but without knowing the model I'm not exactly sure.

                  -John


                  > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand controller is not
                  > standard to what is used today. The best I can describe it, is like a large "S"
                  > video port.
                  > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
                  > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?
                  >
                  > Suggestions welcome.
                  >
                  > Thanks
                  >
                  > Tony
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Visit the sct-user home page at:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > http://members.aol.com/RMOLLISE/index4.htmlYahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • John Mahony
                  ... Check out the LX5-LX6 group at That group also covers other older Meade SCTs, including the LX3. I have
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 2 1:05 AM
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                    ----- Original Message ----

                    > From: tniebank <tniebank@...>
                    >
                    > After looking at the book and talking to him again, its an LX3.
                    > Are there upgrade kits out there? What can be done with a scope of this age?

                    Check out the LX5-LX6 group at
                    <http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MEADE-LX5-LX6/>
                    That group also covers other older Meade SCTs, including the LX3.

                    I have an LX10 which is a newer scope, but designed like older Meade SCTs. You mentioned that "the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the OTA is broken". If your LX3 is like my LX10, I think that's the small lever that locks the tube to the dec fine-adjust mechanism. This can loosen over time, but it's adjustable. See
                    <http://www.meade.com/manuals/lx10/d.html#d4>
                    "Adjusting the Declination Lock"

                    -John


                    > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "Thad Floryan" wrote:
                    > >
                    > > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > To start, forgive my lack of details and improper terminology.
                    > > >
                    > > > A friend of mine has an 8" Meade SCT from the early to mid 90's, not
                    > > > sure as to model. Image is extreamly blurry, the scope cannot be
                    > > > brought into focus. I'm sure the scope has never been collimated,
                    > > > but I'm not sure this can account for this sever a condition. The
                    > > > secondary adjustment cover is attached with non-standard screws.
                    > > > Is there some special tool to remove the cover?
                    > > >
                    > > > In addition, the locking mechanism where the fork attaches to the
                    > > > OTA is broken.
                    > > >
                    > > > I looked at the control panel and noticed the port for a hand
                    > > > controller is not standard to what is used today. The best I can
                    > > > describe it, is like a large "S" video port.
                    > > > I have heard that Mead's customer service leave much to be desired.
                    > > > Does anyone know what can be done to return this scope to service?
                    > >
                    > > It would help to first identify the model.
                    > >
                    > > Download Rod's (the owner/moderator of sct-user) Used SCT book:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > From your description, there seem to be several matches:
                    > >
                    > > page 26, LX5
                    > >
                    > > page 34, LX6
                    > >
                    > > page 37, control panel of something with the DIN handset connector.
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Visit the sct-user home page at:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > http://members.aol.com/RMOLLISE/index4.htmlYahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • tom_krajci
                    ... Old, degraded, flaky coatings...can still give surprisingly sharp images in many cases. But you mentioned that this scope won t reach focus, and may need
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 2 6:21 AM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > After doing a little research, it seems the LX3's had problems with the mirror coatings flaking off. He may be looking at opening up the tube and pulling the mirrors and getting them recoated.
                      >
                      > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, Clifton Hipsher <red03sporty@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I second what Tom said.  Get thee to a star party/astronomy club meeting and have some one take a look at the scope.
                      > >

                      Old, degraded, flaky coatings...can still give surprisingly sharp
                      images in many cases.

                      But you mentioned that this scope won't reach focus, and may need
                      collimation.

                      It's tough to troubleshoot with limited information. Got any photos
                      to post?

                      It would really help to have someone with some experience look the
                      scope over. He may examine the coatings and say they are fine, and
                      that your trouble lies elsewhere. That would save the expense and
                      effort of recoating, and may get the scope in working order quickly.

                      --
                      -------------------------------------------
                      Tom Krajci
                      Cloudcroft, New Mexico
                      http://picasaweb.google.com/tom.krajci

                      Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA)
                      http://cbastro.org/ CBA New Mexico

                      American Association of Variable Star
                      Observers (AAVSO): KTC http://www.aavso.org/
                      -------------------------------------------
                    • Rod Mollise
                      The only problem scopes were those with MCSOG (silvered) optics, and that only involved the secondary. Peace, Rod Mollise Rod s new book: _Choosing and Using a
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 2 1:40 PM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        The only problem scopes were those with MCSOG (silvered) optics, and that
                        only involved the secondary.


                        Peace,
                        Rod Mollise
                        Rod's new book:
                        _Choosing and Using a New CAT_
                        Available Now!

                        <http://skywatch.brainiac.com/astroland>




                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: sct-user@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sct-user@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                        Of tom_krajci
                        Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 8:21 AM
                        To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [sct-user] Re: Early 90's Meade 8" fork mount

                        --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "tniebank" <tniebank@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > After doing a little research, it seems the LX3's had problems with the
                        mirror coatings flaking off. He may be looking at opening up the tube and
                        pulling the mirrors and getting them recoated.
                        >
                        > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, Clifton Hipsher <red03sporty@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > I second what Tom said.  Get thee to a star party/astronomy club meeting
                        and have some one take a look at the scope.
                        > >

                        Old, degraded, flaky coatings...can still give surprisingly sharp
                        images in many cases.

                        But you mentioned that this scope won't reach focus, and may need
                        collimation.

                        It's tough to troubleshoot with limited information. Got any photos
                        to post?

                        It would really help to have someone with some experience look the
                        scope over. He may examine the coatings and say they are fine, and
                        that your trouble lies elsewhere. That would save the expense and
                        effort of recoating, and may get the scope in working order quickly.

                        --
                        -------------------------------------------
                        Tom Krajci
                        Cloudcroft, New Mexico
                        http://picasaweb.google.com/tom.krajci

                        Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA)
                        http://cbastro.org/ CBA New Mexico

                        American Association of Variable Star
                        Observers (AAVSO): KTC http://www.aavso.org/
                        -------------------------------------------



                        ------------------------------------

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