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Meade DS-2130 ATE
Azimuth axis problem













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After experiencing the "Motor Unit Failure" error while trying to get the autostar #497 to work with the DS-2130 the problem was finaly tracked down to binding in the Az axit gear train, thanks to all the helpfull people on the Mead-DS yahoo group.




























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I was able to get through the alignment without any problems but after tracking for a short while the "Motor Unit Failure" error would show up.

The problem was eventualy found in the way the motor unit/gear train/worm gear is mounted. It is on a pivot with a spring to keep the worm gear in contact with the large gear in the base of the mount. There is an adjustable metal arm which is used to limit the lateral movement of the motor/worm gear unit. This arm had
dug into the plastic slightly and would cause the plastic housing to twist when pushed into the spring on assembly. I removed the arm, filed down the rough edge that rides along the motor unit, placed a smoth piece of plastic between the two during re-assembly to ease in the sliding action. Ran the easy alignment and started tracking....
after an hour without any problem I pulled everything apart again and the motor was running cooler than it had been before this problem was fixed. Re-assmbled the mount, place it on the tripod, attached the scope and let it track for over 4 hours indoors since it was too windy and cloudy outside to do any viewing.

So, I think its safe to say my problem is fixed and the Autostar 495/497 will work with the newer series of DS scopes. I am very dissapointed in Meade for saying that it WOULD NOT work when they could have just said that it would work if you entered the ratios manualy as the new models are not yet programmed into the firmware.

New problem: After a dozen or so uses the Az. clutch isn't as tight as when it was new. I believe this to be caused by excess grease working into the clutch assembly. Since it is not at the point where it slips on its own yet I have not re-opened the base to disassemble and clean the clutch.

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This picture was taken when I had the base open for the problem discussed above.
The excess grease on the gear should have been a warning of things to come as I have
heard that this has been a problem on ETX scopes.


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