Peterson Engineering Buck's Drive Tune-Up for standard drives used on 8", 10" and 12" Meade LX200 ACF and LX200R and newer 7", 8", 10" and 12" Meade and LX200GPS
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Buck's Tune-Up for standard drives
used on 8", 10" and 12" Meade LX200 ACF and LX200R
and newer 7", 8", 10" and 12" Meade and LX200GPS
DO NOT BUY THIS UPGRADE if you own a 7", 8", 10" or 12" Meade LX200GPS manufactured BEFORE August 2005 - Your scope has plastic gears and need the Buck's Gears kit.
This upgrade is intended for scopes manufactured after August 2005 when Meade started using precision brass transfer gears in the drive train. The upgrade is actually a Buck's Gears kit without the gears!
About 50% of the of the improvement associated with Buck's Gears is due to the precision gears themselves. And the newer scopes that Meade has been shipping with precision brass transfer gears (in place of plastic gears) have effected this same improvement. The remaining 50% of the Buck's Gears kit improvement is what you achieve with Buck's Drive Tune-Up.
This tune-up kit further increases the precision of your drives through a series of adjustments that Meade's assembly line did not take the time to optimize or simply cannot make. No one step will take your scope all the way to 1 or 2 arc-second tracking performance, but this tune-up is the largest single mechanical step that you can take in this direction.
Installation of this kit will:
1) improve the drive precision in both RA and DEC drives, reducing or eliminating transfer gear backlash.
2) correct other misaligned drive components, improving drive precision and eliminating the chance of incurring drive damage due to this misalignment.
3) If installed before the scope sees much use - allows you to detect conditions where extended use will seriously damage the scope, rendering the drive/drives inaccurate. We're always hearing back from folks who've discovered loose screws or stripped screws, extra pieces of metal floating around in the gear grease, gears that are only cogging (touching tip of tooth to tip of tooth) instead of meshing, drives that are misadjusted, etc.
The kit consists of detailed step-by-step photo illustrated instructions for the declination and the azimuth drives, plus special gear grease, wrenches and parts to correct those scopes where the gears do not mesh closely but are only touching tooth tip to tooth tip in a cogging kind of action.
The late Buck Harley developed the first precision metal transfer gears and worked out most of the development problems strictly on his own for the good of the astronomical community. He offered his gear design to PE Corp. with no compensation to himself simply because of our distribution ability and our experience with this type of a kit. This Drive Tune-Up kit encompasses the tune up knowledge that Buck and Peterson Engineering picked up while developing the gears.
Although the instructions provided are crystal clear, this tune-up is slightly more complex than the installation of the EZ Focus kit or the EZ Clutch kit. If you had trouble with either of our other kits, or if you consider yourself to be a klutz, please either do not buy this kit or arrange for someone else to perform the tune-up for you.
For a detailed independent analysis of Buck's Gears and other associated improvement
procedures see Geof Wingham's study:
Geof Wingham has documented a very comprehensive program to improve the tracking of his 12" GPS. His charts & comments documents the periodic error before and after the installation of Buck's Gears. Geof's comments are highlighted in red.
Red Line original PE Error of LX200GPS 12" when first placed on a wedge - once I had cleaned the crap and aluminum filings off the worm it started to show 3 distinct cycles as it should.
What do our customers say?
Yahoo LX200GPS user group message 103854: I have just installed Buck's Gears on my 12" LX200GPS. Going through the adjustment process with the installation and using PEMPro to set my backlash has worked wonders for my backlash problems. I believe that you can purchase just the adjustment instructions for the RA and DEC gears if you already have metal gears in your LX200R. I highly recommend CCDWare and PEMPro for tuning an LX200 (collimation, PEC, Backlash).
Yahoo LX200GPS user group message 104671: Pete, I recently purchased and installed the tune up kit on my 10" LX200R. While I was a bit nervous about the whole thing, the detailed instructions walked me right through it. The tune up, along with redoing the PEC training, has improved my scope's tracking significantly. I recently took a series of 19 four minute guided exposures and every one came out with nice round stars. Previously, I'd have to scrap about a third of my two minute exposures. I for one am interested in learning about any other tips for improving my scope's accuracy. If you--or any other group members-- have any additional tips, please post them! Thanks for your excellent products.
Yahoo LX200GPS user group message 105351: I had a severe retrograde backlash in my DEC gear of a 10" LX200 ACF
and I decided to pull the gears apart and perform a Buck's Tune-Up.... What I found wedged underneath the DEC worm gear (which pivots) was a extra screw from manufacturing. This screw would change position and become more wedged under the worm causing this effect since the worm gear and ring gear were changing contact points and added slop. I highly recommend Buck's Tune-Up - it is not hard to do just take your time and you will have the best meshing/greased gears possible for best mount performance capable of a LX200. I gave up on Meade's service so I took matters into my own hands and came out on top.
It was also a great experience...