I bought a used LX200 GPS last week. When switched on, the display on the Autostar just shows "Initializing . . . Smart Drive" but nothing happens after that. On one occasion the scope turnd in RA for some time and then stopped but there was no change in the display.
I have kept the power on for more than half an hour with nothing happening and repeated it several times. I had switched on the scope inside the house to ensure that the initial setup etc., is ok. Later I moved it on to my roof top and tried to do the setup but the result was the same.
The person who sold me had told me that he had a problem when he had switched on inside the house and got it fixed with help fromMeade. I had tested it before buying and it seemed to be working alright.
Is there something wrong with the GPS or something else? The batteries are quite new and I think there is no problem with the power. It has 1.4g version. Can someone help? I am not in US and calling Meade is not really an option for me.
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I assume you mean by sheathing the cabling to the RA and DEC motors and by battery compartment the control panel. If the seller stated that the scope was working, indeed you got ripped off. If by ratings you mean ebay I would contact them about a return and refund. If you got a great price, all is not lost since there is an upgrade to an autostar which will get you back in working order (but you need the RA and DEC motors). Autostar upgrade is about $ 520 but you will still need a 12V power supply. George Dudash 760 383 2741 sells these kits and can probably get the other parts you need to get going. I'm guessing this may cost around $ 800 total from what you say. If you paid more than $ 1000 for that scope I'm afraid you were ripped.
This is a great scope. I have a much smaller version :)
1. Take it out on some dark night.
2. Let it auto-align
3. Select something to look at using the AutoStar II
4. Press Go.
Gander at the wonders of the universe.
In the AutoStar, there is a program called Sky Tour. This will pick some things out for you.
Start with a "wide" eyepiece - to see more of the sky. Work your way to high powers as you need or as sky conditions permit.
Goto a few local "star parties".
If the firmware in your Autostar crashes and you cannot access the
"DOWNLOAD" menu item on your handbox, you can use the "SAFE LOADER"
feature of your new Autostar software.
To get into the safe loader, follow these simple steps:
1. Make sure the Autostar and ETX are turned off.
2. Press and hold the "ENTER" key and the Scroll Down Key located to the right of the help key on the Autostar handbox.
3. While depressing both keys, turn on your Autostar power switch. This will require you using both hands.
You should see "FLASH LOAD READY" on your display. This indicates that
you can proceed to Update new software to your Autostar.
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.
Try doing either a garbage collect or a safe load-- and then reinstall the hand controller firmware--
Instructions-- depending on the type of controller
Autostar 495 or 497: You enter Safe Mode by holding the [enter] and [scroll down] keys pressed when you power up the telescope. The Autostar will say "Flash Load Ready"... now go start the ASU.
Autostar II: if you need to use Safe Mode to recover from a disaster, turn on the telescope, and key 999 before it says "Initializing" The Autostar will say "Flash Load Ready"... now go start the ASU.
LX200gps: BEFORE proceeding further, click on the OPTIONS item on the Top Bar. Now click on "Garbage Collect Hbx" ... this will perform data cleanup within the Autostar which will avoid potential mess-ups.
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.