Hi I need the dec motor plug-in socket that bolts to the arm of the scope where the coiled wires attach, mine only works when you wiggle it. Appears to be worn out. How/where can I get one? thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need a socket called an RJ45 (8P8C), which has 8 contacts. Many are available as telephone line (three phone line) extension connectors. This is also like an ethernet Cat5 or Cat6 (8 wire) computer network cable connector You can get these at Radio Shack or Staples or similar office supply. You can take apart the $5-9 connector and use half. Either that, or you will have to go shopping at an electronics store like Fry's or on line (Allied, Digitech or Mouser). But there you may have a minimum order charge.
But are you sure it is the socket and not the cable? Can you swap the cable end for end or buy a new one?
"Recently there have been complaints about declination drive intermittent electrical problems. Many do not realize that there is a second plug on the inside of the fork where the declination cable plugs in. This plug should also be worked from time to time as well and cleaned." from MAPUG
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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.
The main problems encountered with the mechanics of the telescope centre around
the mechanical swarf, grease compound, the liberal use of grease and the quality
of machining of the main DEC and RA gears.
1. Remove the motors from the telescope. Be careful when removing either
motor as there is a compression spring between the motor mounting frame and
the worm shaft assembly.
The RA motor is located under the telescope body, removing the 4 screws and
2 Allen bolts will allow the bottom cover to be removed, thereby allowing access
the the 2 Allen bolts holding the motor in place. Unplug the motor from the
main PCB before removal.
The DEC motor is in the the fork arm containing the clutch and fine DEC adjustment
control. (Never to be used with power applied to the scope). Remove the 3 small
Allen screws holding the plastic cover plate in place and the DEC clutch knob
to allow access to the motor. Remove the RJ45 connector located inside the telescope
fork arm. Then remove the motor by unscrewing the 2 Allen bolts holding the
motor in place.
2. Remove all grease from the motor worms, especially around the RA motor's
magnetic pulse detector and the permanent magnet built into the worm shaft.
3. Remove all grease from the main DEC and RA gears, making sure to clean into
the gear teeth.
4. Lightly re-grease with a Molybdenum Disulphide based grease (Castrol MS3
is great for this application if you can get it)
5. Assemble in reverse order. But before doing so, carry out the electrical
adjustment above then, (a) relocate the the RA and DEC control PCB's in the
vertical plane thereby gaining access to their respective backlash Allen screws.
Adjust for 20thou max clearance when in final position. Note:- the DEC adjustment
screw has to be replaced for a longer unit complete with a thin bolthead as
this adjustment has to be carried out with a spanner....there is no room for
an Allen key adjustment here.
6. A drop of Loctite must be applied after adjustment.
7. The final part of the process is to run in the gearing. Apply 12 volts to
the motor wires, either at their respective plugs or to the motor direct. Allow
to run for 2 to 3 hours in each direction by reversing the battery polarity
to bed the teeth engagement. Remember to release the clutches.
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.
Something else is wrong. The first thing to try is a new DEC cable and a new hand controller cable for the runaway slew, and hand controller issue.
If new cables do not fix the problem then contact Ron Sampson on the Yahoo LX200 group-- just post a message for him there. He can repair Meade electronics at a reasonable cost if you send him the boards.
He can also repair the hand controller including the internal ribbon cable and the LCD screen.
Try the new cables first- check this web site for a wiring diagram: http://www.mapug-astronomy.net/
or contact www.scopestuff.com they may have one already made-up.
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?
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).
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.