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Meade LX3/2080 8-inch with LX Quartz Drive


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#1 steve.rosenow

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:19 AM

Hey folks, I have just become the new owner of an eight-inch Meade 2080 Schmidt-Cassegrain with the LX3 Quartz Drive 12V DC tracking system.

It's a beefy telescope setup. Picked it up off of Craigslist for $500 and it came with over $700 worth of eyepieces, an Off-Axis guider body, two illuminated reticles - one for the sight finderscope, the other for the main eyepiece port for when doing barn-door astrophotography - plus a slew of camera mount apparatus and at least $200 in filters (one being a SCT-mount sky glow filter directly to the back of the OTA, the other being an eyepiece filter). The guy had not used it in five years and it sat in his garage collecting dust.

It came with the heavy-duty field tripod and a stout equatorial wedge, plus the original footlocker carrying case (even with the original foam padding!). It also came with two power cords, one for the car cigarette lighter and the other being a 12V DC transformer block that plugs into a 110/120V wall socket.

I am noticing a bit of a tracking problem. The first night I set it up I did a quick polar alignment setup and within two hours I began to track the Andromeda galaxy. When I started taking photos (a series of 30-second photos at ISO1600) I noticed trails. When I looked through the eyepiece of the finderscope I discovered that Andromeda galaxy had drifted. Could this have been a problem with the drive (it seems to be makign very little noise and I think it may be tracking slowly), or an imprecise polar alignment?

I ask about the power because the power cords (both from the cigarette lighter adapter and the 110-120V AC-to-12V DC transformer block are about a good 50 feet long. I am suspecting voltage drop. If it's the cord, could beefing up the cords to a heavier gauge help? And has anyone ran these off of a car battery?

Also, the coatings on the correcting plate are in need of attention. Is there a way one could recoat the correcting plate?

-Steve

#2 gspie

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:42 PM

I would look at ta alignment first. The power cords for my Meade Telewscopes are all 50-feet long -- no significant power drop in that cord.
When you do the alignment on the wedge, you should do it several times -- 10 - 15 minutes apart. There is an alternate method of alignment that I forget right now that doesn't require the gap between alignment runs/

I usually do 3-4 alignment runs before I start any serious imaging. The first one gets you close, and the follow-on alignments get it closer.
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#3 steve.rosenow

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:13 PM

Thanks! I was able to finally figure out how to align and set it accurately using the magnetic compass and then again at night via the 8x50 viewfinder and the Polaris Location tool that Meade supplied with the telescope.

I have to say I am really rather impressed with it. I have been able to get it to track accurately without any drift at all!

Is there a place one could source the drive corrector handbox, as well as the DEC corrector drive motor?

I was cleaning the fork mounts to it the other night and noticed that it had at one time been equipped with the declination drive corrector motor but apparently it was removed at some time.

I am seriously pondering the thought of sending the OTA in to Meade to see if they can equip the corrector plate and primary mirror with the ACF optics. I love this telescope. Works like a charm and I've been getting fantastic images with it!

#4 steve.rosenow

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:38 PM

Here's some pix of my setup. I don't have the power cables hooked up but I was using it for an afternoon of solar observation using an 8-inch homemade solar filter.


Posted Image
Meade LX3 2080 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope by Loowit Imaging - Steve Rosenow, Photographer, on Flickr


Posted Image
Meade LX3 2080 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope by Loowit Imaging - Steve Rosenow, Photographer, on Flickr


Posted Image
Meade LX3 2080 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope by Loowit Imaging - Steve Rosenow, Photographer, on Flickr

Underneath that one counterbalance weight is a Schmidt-Cassegrain T-mount adatper and in the upper left corner of my "accessory case" (that came with the telescope when I bought it) are three boxes of 1.25" eyepiece filters and one SCT rear-cell O-III contrast filter. Not pictured are its power cords. There's also a Kellner 12.4mm 1.25" illuminated reticle for the SCT Off-Axis guider body (which is the black power cable at the upper right).


Posted Image
Meade LX3 2080 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope by Loowit Imaging - Steve Rosenow, Photographer, on Flickr

#5 SPQR

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:57 AM

I currently have the same telescope setup.

I'm curious if anyone knows how to replace / repair the Model 36 hand controller these days? Also I recall that there used to be a company that made a replacement for the hand controller / drive corrector but can't recall the name of the manufacturer.

#6 jeep

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:24 AM

I have just got the same Meade Quartz as a 10". It has no controller or cable hookups. Does anyone know where I can get the controller and electric hookups?
thanks warren

#7 steve.rosenow

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 12:59 AM

Seems I forgot about my account here! Oops!

At any rate, I have an update for this thread.

In September of last year I replaced the LX-3 base with an LX5 base that also had the CAT system as well as the Electronic Command Center handbox.

Since then, I have also sold the LX3 base and no longer have it. After several failed attempts at reproducing the circuit for the Model 36 drive corrector controller for the LX3, I decided that I no longer needed the base.




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