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Thread: Is old Meade 2080 SCT w/LX Drive System capable of "StarFinder" or "AutoGuide" tech?

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    Default Is old Meade 2080 SCT w/LX Drive System capable of "StarFinder" or "AutoGuide" tech?



    Hello,

    I'm just getting back into astronomy after a long Hiatus, and finally got around to pulling out my old Meade 2080 8" SCT from the basement. Everything still seems to be in great shape, but I know there have been many advancements in the 8" SCT line since mine was made, and was wondering if any of the newer features can be added to my older model?

    The drive on mine has a label that says "LX Drive System", but there are no lights, switches, or ports of any kind on the drive unit. So I'm guessing my scope is the second version made in the Meade 2080 line, in between the original 2080, and the LX2 (Does the LX2 have "LX2" printed on it somewhere?). I did install the Meade Dec. Motor & Gear, and purchased the Meade Dual Axis Corrector Unit for helping in the guiding of my astrophotography attempts.

    Something I've noticed on all of the more modern scopes are "StarFinder" and "AutoGuider" systems. Does Meade make any of these systems that will work with the old LX drive system, or are there any after-market systems for the old LX drive? If not, are there any "do-it-yourself" projects for adding either of these two features?

    I'm thinking of moding either my LX drive unit, or the power supply for my dual axis controller, to accept connections for all my other powered gear (just so I don't have to run so many power cords, or have so many battery operated things). I'm not sure what it looks like inside the Meade LX drive unit, or if it's possible to screw something up taking it apart. So maybe the dual axis power controller would be the safest thing to tap from?

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting back into this great hobby, and was just wondering what additions, mods, or changes, you'd recommend for my old Meade 2080 8" SCT to bring it up to a more modern spec (if possible...and not to expensive lol)?

    Mark :0)

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    Default Re: Is old Meade 2080 SCT w/LX Drive System capable of "StarFinder" or "AutoGuide" te

    Hi Mark,

    I don't have an answer to your question but there is a pretty active Meade LX3-LX5-LX6 group with a pretty good file area in the Yahoo Groups area. I have the 2080/LX6 here and found alot of information and answers on their site also.


    MEADE-LX5-LX6 : Hey, check out the GROUP FILES section!!

    Welcome to the Meade LX3 - LX5 - LX6 Group


    A resource center for older Meade Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope owners.
    Share SCT experience, modifications, astro-photo's and related data.
    These Meade SCT's can offer " MANY MORE " years of wonderful service.
    You've just got to give them some T.L.C. !!!

    Models discussed : The 2080/2120 family of Meade OTA's.
    With the LX, LX3, LX5 and LX6 drives.
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    Gary - KB9VGD
    Burlington, WI. USA
    Bushnell NorthStar 78-8831
    Meade Quartz 2080/LX6

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    Default Re: Is old Meade 2080 SCT w/LX Drive System capable of "StarFinder" or "AutoGuide" te

    Thanks for sharing this information Gary!

    I just had the old scope outside yesterday, and everything seemed to be working exactly as it did almost 30 years when I bought it. Rough polar alignment took only seconds, the finder scope was still locked in with the main scope, and the drive still worked fine (I've read where some people have had their drives fail after storing for a long time). The only real change I had to make was in the focus...my eyes aren't quite what they use to be lol. I even took some photos with my Canon SX210 P&S camera held up to the eyepiece, Not great photos, but better than I expected from just holding a camera up to the lens for a 15 second exposure.

    Mark :0)

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    Default Re: Is old Meade 2080 SCT w/LX Drive System capable of "StarFinder" or "AutoGuide" te

    I have an LX3 8", in addition to an LX200 10" Classic. Even though the motors worked, the handcontrol was fine, it actually paid off for me to take the OTA off the forks, and I put it on an Cele CG5-GT goto GEM.

    The older LX2-3-5 arent capable of guiding, and the age of the electronics really hurt the scope, no goto's either.

    If all the motorized bits on the forks work well, and the handpaddle is good, consider what I did......FYI, the silver coatings on the mirrors tends to tarnish....I was able to locate a pristine secondary for mine!

    Andy
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    Default Re: Is old Meade 2080 SCT w/LX Drive System capable of "StarFinder" or "AutoGuide" te

    Mark, I had the 2180 the 10" version of yours. It had computerized system for tracking once polar aligned and had the dec motor as well. Then there were the setting circles.

    The performance of the OTA was great and as Andy indicated the OTA can be removed and put on quite a nice mount!

    Good luck.

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