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Meade 12" LX200 GPS Problems

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Posted by Steve Simmons on June 21, 2005 19:00:58 UTC

I have recently purchased a new Meade 12" LX200 GPS and have never been able to use it because of problems. The first problem I ran into was that the PC software would not communicate with the scopes controller. It seemed that I was able to send info VIA serial port to move the scope but the PC could not see the controller. In other words, it seems to send data but not receive. I checked all setup and configuration setting and found nothing wrong according to the user manuals. I decided to call Meade tech support in the morning. That night was the first cloudless night since I received the scope so this was my first time at checking it out. I moved the scope from in from of slider doors to the deck just out side. When I started to scope and it did its setup I noticed a loud clacking sound whenever the scope moved north/south. I was never able to get the scope to point at alignment stars so automatic set up was never done correctly. The next day I listened closely while slewing north/south and determined the noise was coming from the fork enclosure that holds the drive motor. I removed the plastic cover and found that one of the two small plastic gears had about 4 teeth folded over and ever time this damaged part mated with the upper plastic gear there was a short pause in the scopes movement. This explained why I could not do a proper alignment. I called Meade tech support and asked to purchase a new gear. It seemed to be and easy job to replace it. Meade informed me that they could not get a replacement gear and that the whole drive assembly had to be replaced by them. I made arrangements to have the scope picked up which means I will be with out it for about a month.
I have told this long and boring story so I can see if any one out there has seen this problem before and if so what caused it. I some how feel I did it myself and would very much like to know what I did wrong so I won't do it again. I also would like to know if any one knows a way of buying just the gear if this should happen again.
I would also like any suggestions as to what the problem was with controlling the scope from Meade's PC software suite.

Thanks in advance
Steve Simmons

Email me if you wish.
ussms@comcast.net

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