Question about Telescopes
I need a new Power Panel or some place I can get it fixed or repaired. Meade in Ca. won't help, they want ne to send the entire scope !!
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.
Posted on Aug 25, 2009
I'm assuming here we are talking about the LX200 "classic," not the LX200GPS. First are you sure it's the power panel? What are the symptoms your scope is exhibiting?
Meade will not sell you parts and the two outside shops that worked on the LX200 no longer are accepting work. At this point Meade may not have parts any longer.
At this point the last LX200 made is 9 years old and support for it is getting hard to find and expensive. For example, a used working mainboard will bring $250. When I buy or take a LX200 in on trade I break up the mount and sell the parts. The demand is so high that the mount is worth more dead than alive.
I'd suggest it's time to pull the optical tube from the mount and find a new mount. The most practical conversion is a to a German Equatorial mount. For the 10" optical tube the Losmandy GM-8 or G11, the Orion Sirius or Atlas, Celestron CGE and the Astro Physics Mach1GTO are all a good fit. With goto they range in price from $1150 to $6000 new. Used maybe 50-80% of new. You can recover some of this selling off the LX200 parts on eBay. HTH
Posted on Mar 01, 2008
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