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Re: smart drive won't work
Sorry for late response -- I just found your posting.
You did not say which Meade telescope you have -- however-
There should be a light somewhere on the telescope that lights up when the power is on-- if this is not glowing-- double check your batteries-- better yet use an outside 12 volt power pack and the proper Meade cigarette lighter style plug.
No power --- nothing will work-- Meade has a customer service phone number here-- on their web site-
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I have a similar telescope, and there is nothing that gets dislodged by nudging. HOWEVER a major problem is with the Declination drive gears. They are plastic and can loose a tooth really easy. If the is a problem, then you should hear 'skips' when the drive is moving the motor. Smart drive moves the telescope to read the feed-back position dist, and to see the 'home' position magnet. If the sensor is out of place then it will do as you see.
There are a couple of things you can try to get it working again. First double check the battery orientation so that they are in the right direction then pry out the battery terminal tabs slightly to get better contact.
If it still doesn't work, try connecting to an external battery or AC adapter if you have one. If it works that would eliminate the power switch as a problem and isolate it to a battery compartment problem.
I own a couple of the Nexstar telescopes and I only use the internal batteries for quick testing. I always go with either an external battery or power adapter when I'm using it outside for observing. It gives you more consistent and reliable power than using the small batteries. The external battery I use has a ******** it, so I droop it across my tripod. The added weight creates better stability.
Well, when I got the unit, indeed it would not power up at all. I could see no burning or signs of arcing.
I looked online for an internal picture of the drive and fitted the cables back in according to the image.
Tadahhhh, one working drive, only works on the 12v though, Batteries wont work although I have measured the voltage and they are all fully charged. Seems the previous owner had removed the looms and put them back incorrectly.
Check and define/ assign your com ports thru autostar and consistantly use the same port everytime you connect.
Also some usb to serial adapters are unsuitable ; dont ask me why but some work with autostar and some just dont, belkin adapters almost never work but the keyspan brand works reliably. I had the same problem and the kspan adapter plus comport set up sorted it.
Hope this helps