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MEADE LX50 RUNAWAY

Meade LX50

One night during a session of taking pictures my LX50 it went nuts! I would make a small adjustment while manually guiding a shot and zoom - off the scope went. It would not only slew on its own, but shift speeds also. I tried powering the scope down and back up but that did no good. After about 5 aborted shots of the Horse Head region of the Orion Constellation I called it quits.

I posed the question to the Meade Advanced Products User Group (MAPUG) and got a couple of different solutions. Some said call Meade and upgrade to the 6.1 drive chip but the problem was quickly diagnosed by a guy who had the same problem. The problem arises when using the same external battery to supply power to the scope and dew heaters. The controller (mine is a Kendrick Systems) runs the heaters with a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) system. This cycling was causing my problems. One person suggested that I put a 0.1 micro F capacitor across the RCA jacks and cigarette lighter plug. I decided not to go soldering capacitors into my brand new dew zapper but to buy a dedicated power supply for my dew zapper. Since doing so I have never experienced the problem again.