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Thread: Experience with Meade LS 8" & Reviews Part 2

  1. #11
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    Under the "if it aint broke ... " principle, I haven't even tried putting the SD card into the scope, so I can't comment.

    As to the Celestron Powertank, I absolutely love it. It's heavy, but has worked as advertised. I like having the extra capacity of the 17 aH model to allow the use of the red light (especially for outreach sessions) and my LG external display. I also expect to acquire a dewshield at some point, so that will run off it too. I have found the very bright LED white beam to be handy as a portable trouble light for some home repairs, too. My only complaints are that the AM radio barely works (FM works OK) and the DC 3, 6, 9V outputs only have a single polarity option.
    Scopes: Meade LS-8 ACF, Celestron C80ED on iOptron SmartEQ, Coronado PST, 70 mm Refractor, and 1970's-era Tasco 4.25" reflector. Eyepieces: WO Binoviewer, 40 mm TMB Paragon, 30 mm GSO Superview, 26 mm Meade Super Plossl, 14 mm, 10 mm, 6 mm, and 3 mm Televue Radians, Baader Mk II 8-24 Zoom, 10 mm and 25 mm Celestron SMA, Accessories: Meade Zero Image Shift Motor Focuser & 2" Dielectric Diagonal, 2x Barlow, Rigel Quikfinder, Orion 2" Variable Polarizing Filter, JMI case, LG 8" Portable DVD/media Player for Astronomer Inside, Green Laser Pointer, Celestron Power Tank 17aH. Primary software: Stellarium.

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  3. #12
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    Thanks for the info about the Powertank. I like the clean design and I assume the battery can be replaced. I have a battery here for my ham radio stuff that I am going to give a try and see how well it does.

    I was able to get the SD card to work. I had to do a reinstall of the update software and all was well after that. My LS-8 is now running under 1.6a.
    Bob
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    Scopes: Meade LS-8, Meade ETX-60, Meade ETX-90, Starmaster 7" Oak Classic
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  5. #13
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    Default Meade LS 8" GPS acquisition

    I'm a novice -have had Meade LS 8 fro a year-still can't get it to set using GPS is there an update that proves this?
    Also is there and auto-foucuser that works?
    Thanks

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  7. #14
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    When I had problems getting GPS,the dealer who I bought my Meade LS 8 off, sent me the softwear,free of charge.Every now and again,I get problems,I just down load it again and all works well.

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  9. #15
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    Default Meade LS-8...Love/Hate relationship

    I really need help with this one. I’ve tried everything I know to make my scope work properly, but my Meade LS 8 is not living up to its large price tag.

    After many weeks of research, I decided upon the Meade LS-8 ACF kit for Christmas, gritting my teeth at the price tag, but bit the bullet and purchased it anyway. I really want to pass along my love for astronomy to my kids.

    Accessories:
    1) Celestron Powertank 17 (large tank)--Power tank works great…definitely suggest one. I never worry about power. Forget the batteries! Multipurpose…even used it to power some car-care power tools today.

    2) JMI wheeled case--Definitely suggest this item, even at the extreme cost. Protection of this expensive “toy” was of utmost importance.

    3) Meade series 4000 filter/lens kit--Nice…no issues though I’m still learning which ones to use

    4) Meade LCD screen (free upgrade)--Cool free upgrade though I’ve noticed that it begins to flicker on and off when it gets cold at night. I wouldn’t purchase this, but a free upgrade is always cool.

    5) Meade vibration pads--I’m not sure I notice a difference out in my open, flat, desert backyard, but I’ve had them from the beginning and always use them.

    First night out of the box was at a friend’s house; everything worked perfectly. Jupiter and Andromeda were a sight to behold; no problems with alignment or GOTO functions.

    Then I brought the scope home and the problems started. Initial startup at the house resulted in the commonly experienced “flashread error….reload firmware.” I dealt with the error for a few days until the scope simply would not function with the error…nothing but a beep followed by blank screens and silence. After searching the internet for a rare mini-SD card and waiting days for shipping, the cards arrived (ordered multiples just in case…) and I accomplished the upload. I held my breath as nothing happened for a solid 45 seconds (seemed like an eternity) before the hand controller came to life. Though I haven’t experience the flashread error since, I have the mini-sd stored in the lens case as a backup.

    My main problem now is poor GOTO accuracy. The scope acquires a good position location (I guess), level, north, and alignment. From that point on, the scope is inaccurate for 99% of objects. Oddly, the Orion Nebula has been spot on consistently, but all other objects (Deep Space and Planetary) are off by many degrees. The objects selected are beyond the FOV of the 26mm, 32mm and 40mm lenses. Using the StarWalk app, it appears that the scope is pointing in the general area but is far enough off to leave me searching until I become frustrated and lose interest. Even obvious objects like Venus, Jupiter, the Moon, Rigel, Sirius, and Polaris are way off center.

    I have performed multiple drive calibrations (4 in the last 2 weeks) as well as finder center calibrations (6 total over the last few weeks) to no avail. Though I’m getting better at manually slewing to my desired objects…I didn’t drop over $2000 on a “Guided Tour” telescope just to flounder about on my own.
    Help please!
    Thanks!

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  11. #16
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    Someone else here or in the yahoo group had a similar problem, but not exact. His issue was an unseen Magnetic interference. If you're set up in the back yard, I'd suggest, just for S&G's, set up out front and see if the problem goes away. One thing you don't mention, is doing a Camera Dark and then camera Center calibration. Any or all of these may help.

    Under the firmware update menu I think, there's a "get rid of trash" (not sure of the wording right now) option that cleans up the "bits and bytes" left over from updating that I recall reading. Check the manual, it should say someting about that and it's worth a try. I don't have a mini-sd, I connect my LS-8 directly via that square USB. I had a cable on-hand from an older INKJET printer.....I wish I had an exact solution for you.


    wishing you luck and clear skies,
    Tom

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  13. #17
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    Sorry to hear about your problem. I purchase my telescope about the end of last November and received it in the first part of December. I basically had a similar problem, including a firmware read error, and ended up sending the scope back to Meade for warranty repair. I will be getting it back tomorrow, Monday 2/20/2012, via UPS and it is suppose to have a 'report' included on what they found and did to the scope. I will post the findings here for everyone's benefit and to increase the knowledge pool on the telescope.

    Prior to sending it back I also performed multiple finder centering calibrations and training of the drive. By the way training the drive is over rated (not a cure all) as it is designed to compensate for the gear train backlash that only occurs when changing movement direction of the scope (i.e. rotating clockwise and then rotating the drive counterclockwise). It has no affect if not changing directions.

    I did find a problem with the azimuth drive encoder by using the Landmark function of the telescope controller. By using the Landmark function I was taking out the affects of GPS, LNT (level-north-tilt) alignment feature of the scope and of course the CCD camera. Using a a light beacon at the top of a radio tower as the landmark point of reference I observed each axis operation. Using only the elevation motion, the telescope could be moved away from the landmark point and would return dead on when instructed. The azimuth motion on the other hand would overshoot the landmark point. This seemed to indicate that the encoder was not reading all of the counts.

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  15. #18
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    Tom and Danl,

    I appreciate the quick replies. I'm taking all of your suggestions and will hopefully post some good news in the near future (when the weather clears up). Now that you mention it, I do remember reading a post about the magnet in the powertank that may cause the interference problems. Next clear night...front yard with a displaced powertank.

    I haven't tested the collimation up to this point...would that make a difference in accuracy?

    Thanks,
    Matt

  16. #19
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    Default no joy

    I ran through multiple alignments in the front yard tonight (auto, 2 star, and 1 star), camera dark followed by finder center, with the power tank as far away as possible (15')...all with no success in pointing/GOTO accuracy. Oddly, the system will find the Orion Nebula quite well, but immediately fouled on Jupiter (~20 degrees off), then way off Sirius, couldn't find Andromeda, way off on Bellatrix and Rigel....Finally gave up with no further options.

    Calling Meade first thing on Tuesday, unless someone is around to answer the phone on President's Day.

    Any other ideas out there?

    Thanks, Matt

  17. #20
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    oh yeah....collimation checked good as well. No issue there.

 

 
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