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AutostarII issues

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Just wondering if anyone else has issues with their Meade Autostar hand controllers on LX200 scopes. Mine is prone to locking up, random characters appearing. Also the buttons need massive firm pressure to work.

Is this common?

Best wishes,


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The contacts are lousy - When I had the Meade, I found you could get hold of this special contact paint which you would put on the keypad underside which touched the circuit board.

I will try & find out what it is called - was fairly expensive - you mixed a small amount of liquid (curing agent) with a gray-brown gunk in a small pot - this is then painted onto the inside of the keypad rubber. Next day, all re-assembled - worked VERY well for a couple of years before you would need to do it again..


EDIT: It's collectively known as a Rubber Keypad Repair Kit

Like this http://www.chemtronics.com/products/product.asp?id=127

or here for UK : http://parts.digikey.co.uk/1/1/121786-rubber-keypad-repair-kit-cw2605.html

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I had two LX200R handboxes replaced within a 15 month period.

It seems that a batch of handboxes, released arround the time that I bought the scope (Sep 2007), would die after a period of use.

Random characters, a blank display, then ultimatley a dead handbox.

There was a suggestion that they were susceptible to moisture in the air, especially if kept in an obsy, as mine were.

Although I'm assured that the latest handbox shouldn't suffer the same fate, I no longer leave it in the obsy.

The handox for my previous scope, an LX200GPS. lived in the obsy for five years. without problem.

The keypad pressure problem you have is quite commom with elastomeric keypads, that rely on carbon based pads to make the contact. With continued use, the particles in the pads compress, and then require more finger pressure. This in turn compresses the particles even more, thus requiring even greater pressure, and so on................

You can try rubbing a soft garphite pencil on the pads, but this will only be a temporary solution.

A far better solution, is to buy a keypad repair kit from RS Components. This comprises a smal pot of conductive paint, that you apply to the carbon pads. I did this to the keypad on the old scope, when it got to the stage that yours has, and it worked a treat.

Your random characters problem, may well be due to your keypad pressure problem, in that a poor contact is being made, and not related to the failure problem of the later handboxes.



Edited by centroid
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Many thanks to you both for your advice. Both my handsets were from 2007 so you may well be right about a bad batch. I have contacted Telescope House and they have given me a replacement no quibble, so well done to them.

I will remember the contact paint I had not heard of that before but a couple of people have suggested it.

My Old LX200 classic had a far better button action.

Many thanks and best wishes,


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