My Meade 10" LX200 that I had in storage for a couple of years keeps running when I turn it on. I plugged the power system in and when I turned the power on it keeps running. The tube wants to spin around and rotate and will go around and around until I turn the power off. I called Meade and they had no idea what was wrong and don't cary parts for that model any longer. Any ideas?
The older Lx200's go into tracking mode when turned on if they are not recieving a signal from the handbox. It does this on purpose so you can use the telescope without the handbox and still track sky objects. If it is still doing this with the handbox plugged in then you have a bad chip in the electronics and Meade is notorious for not having parts for their older telescopes. Don't send it in to them to repair. It will cost you a fortune to mail back and forth and they still can't repair most electronic problems with their older scopes(from my personal experience).
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This model LX200 classic has weak capacitors that blow out with age. Go to the Yahoo LX200 group-- post a message with the problem for "Ron Sampson" he can repair the board if it is broken. Also Dr. Clay and Andrew also post to this web site--- they know a lot about LX200 electronics.
You have a LARGE Meade telescope. This should be an easy fix if you can disassemble the fork arm and get inside.
First I would contact Meade customer service to see if they have a manual that shows disassemble instructions. If not I would join the Yahoo LX200 forum and look for help there with an owner of the 16 inch model.
Just search in Yahoo Groups for the LX200 forum.
On smaller scopes the DEC motor is held on by two spring loaded bolts, probably one has become loose?
You have a standard lx200 problem. If you transported your scope a lot with the drives "locked" it damages the RA and DEC drives. If you keep using it, the motors burn out and start drawing too much current. This sometimes blows the motor driver chips on the motherboard which are getting very rare.
The burned out tantalum caps can be replaced with better aluminum electrolytics very cheaply. If the ones in your Autostar burned out, they often burn up the ribbon cable. Also, they often take out U11, a 74LS14 chip on the motherboard. Also a cheap repair. You should take the Autostar apart. If they are burned up, it will be obvious. If your ribbon cable survived, you should replace the caps with aluminum electrolytics. I believe they are 6.8 uf.
So, if you can work an ohmmeter, measure the resistance of the two drive motors with the plugs unplugged. If it is about 14 ohms they are ok. If they are about 3 or 4 ohms, they are toast. Check the worm drives for end play. If there is just a little, you can adjust them. The battery jack on the control panel often breaks the solder joints on the board, causing one of the problems you describe. You can check that and replace/resolder as necessary. The on/off switch often fails and gets intermittent. These are also cheap and can be replaced. I don't repair these for a living but I repair a few of them for friends in the club. These are pretty common problems.