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Thread: LX200 Classic Base Check

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    E Sully's Avatar
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    Default LX200 Classic Base Check



    While I bring my scope in when not using it, some like to leave theirs exposed to weather and temps. A little occasional maintenance can keep it moving smoothly.
    It does not take much to separate the forks and base to check on the gears and bearings. All you need are a couple of hex wrenches. Remove the center cover plate from between the forks. Then remove the hex bolt and washer in the valley. After that it is just a matter of pulling the 2 apart. My 8" is easy to do alone. Larger scopes may need 2 people.
    To access the Declination gears, unscrew and remove the clutch knob and shaft. Then remove the plastic cover. The clutch plate can be easily removed to clean. If desired, the dec gear can also be removed to clean.
    Now you have access to both RA bearings, RA and Dec main and worm gears. It makes it easy to clean and lubricate as needed.
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    Peppy2, Jeff DElia, 10538 and 1 others like this.
    8" LX200 EMC Classic
    ETX-90EC

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    Thanks for sharing the information and the pictures!
    Ed
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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    Interesting. Our club has a 12" LX 200 classic that has some issues. Lots of slop in the azimuth. I was looking around at Buck gears, but I'm not sure they fit the classic.

    We also have a hand control that seems to be on the fritz.

    B
    Central Maine

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    bpm990d,
    Lets see if I can help. Bucks gears are for later GPS, so no use for Classics. The RA and Dec gear play can be adjusted. RA is doable by removing the control panel, but I find it helpful to also remove the base plate. Not bad on my 8", but you would need at least 2 people for a 12". Undo the 4 screws holding the control panel. Pull the panel forward a little bit, then use a small screwdriver to remove the connector on the ribbon cable to free the control panel. This is a good time to replace the button battery. If you decide to open the base also, remove the 4 phillips screws and 2 smallest hex screws. Do not loosen the other 2 hex screws next to them. They hold the heat sinks to the circuit board. Nothing bad will happen if you undo them, it just isn't necessary.

    Now looking inside, and you can see the small circuit board on the RA motor assembly. Naturally the small hex screw to adjust the worm gear play is under this board. Loosen the hex screw a little and rotate ccw till you can access the hole for the adjustment screw. You can remove the hex screw if you like, make sure the small insulating rubber under the circuit board stays in place. In my slightly blurry picture, you can see the hex wrench inserted into the adjustment screw. Meade specifies 1/16" of play. Turn the wrench till you get a small amount of play when pushing the worm gear away from the main ring gear. You do not want the gears to be snug against each other, too much friction will wear the gears and strain the motor. The last 2 pictures are the view with the bottom plate removed. Not necessary, but makes it a little easier.
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    8" LX200 EMC Classic
    ETX-90EC

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    Thanks for the insights about adjusting the play in the gears. I know way more about it now than I did! Those pictures are great.

    Does the board have a CMOS type battery? Do you know anyone that works on the hand controllers? I believe we had an issue with regards to voltage and some of the capacitors popped.

    B
    Central Maine

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    The battery is located on the back of the control panel. See photographs. Note when installing control panel, photo 2 shows back of panel reversed. Button battery will be on right and glass fuse top when connecting ribbon cable and installing panel.
    If you think your controller is bad due to a capacitor burning out, that can be a problem if it melted the internal ribbon cable. If you open up your controller you can get an idea if it is damaged.
    First remove the 4 phillips screws on the back of the control paddle. Inside you will see the back of the circuit board. Remove the 4 phillips screws I have highlighted. You can then partially separate the back circuit board, and you can see in my picture the replacement blue capacitor I installed in position C2. If the ribbon is not damaged, replacing C2 should be done. As you can see in my last picture, I put a piece of fiberglass between my replacement capacitor and ribbon for future protection.
    If the ribbon cable above is melted from the old capacitor burning out, repair can be a problem. I do not know of anyone with a replacement ribbon cable.
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    8" LX200 EMC Classic
    ETX-90EC

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    Wow that's super helpful. I didn't realize there was a fuse in the base of the mount either. Someone in the club is working on a pier, so I'll try and have a look inside of the guts and tighten things up. With any luck, we will be all ready for Mars opposition.

    I can solder, but don't know anything about capacitors or where to order them. Do you have any recommendations?

    Thanks,

    B
    Central Maine

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    Since Radio Shack closed, I don't know where to get electronics anymore. Maybe Ebay or other online sites.
    I might as well get into the Declination area now. No good reason not to include some pictures of it.
    If you want to remove the motor assembly, disconnect the wire harness in the fork arm. Not necessary to adjust gear play, but needed to replace capacitor on motor board. This is the one that burned out on my scope. No damage, but seeing a puff of smoke come out of you fork arm can be a little unsettling. You can see the replacement blue and black capacitor in the last picture.
    The declination motor is held in by 2 hex bolts. If you wish to remove it, undo the 2 bolts and disconnect the electrical connector inside the fork arm. Use caution not to damage the small wires or led's for the encoders. Also be aware of the spring inside the hinge. The declination clutch plate and main gear can be removed for cleaning if desired.
    After cleaning and greasing, adjust play between worm and main gear. To set the gap, put the clutch knob back in so the main gear is snug. It can be difficult to get the hex key into the adjusting screw. You may be able to modify a hex wrench to adjust with assembley in place, but I did it the hard way. I tweaked the screw with the motor assembly out, install, check clearance, and repeat till 1/16" gap was reached. Be careful not to lose the small tension spring. When you are close, it only takes small tweaks to get it set.
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    8" LX200 EMC Classic
    ETX-90EC

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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    I really appreciate the information and will feel a lot more at ease when we finally dig into the scope. Our poor LX200 was in storage for quite a while and we came across a skyshed pod someone was selling and we jumped on it. Now we'll have her permanently mounted and actually use it. Hate to see nice instruments collecting dust rather than photons.

    B
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    Default Re: LX200 Classic Base Check

    You can get replacement caps on-line at Digikey, Mouser, Jameco for three examples. You want "electrolytic capacitors", which come in various voltage ratings. You want ones rated at at least 35V, or even 50V. So you want 6.8 uF (microFarad), 35V electrolytic capacitors. They are "polarized" meaning the two pins are not the same, so if you can get someone to help that has experience with this it would be good.

    Here is a link (Digikey):https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...493-ND/2504582
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