I've had some Meade 8" LX-200 ACF scopes for a few years now, and I had never found their go-to feature particularly reliable, but I hadn't taken the time to systematically investigate the problem until last night. I'd been using them for public open houses at the observatory or for teaching beginner students, so the targets were usually ones you could see with naked eye and the go to feature wasn't critically necessary. But it was annoying, and I was always in the middle of something else and couldn't take the time to study it. Well, I finally did, and I'm baffled.
So, the telescope is on a vibration-isolated pier with an equatorial wedge. I took the time to carefully align the wedge to Polaris during the AutoStar set up, although I still need to do the drift checks. Then I did an "easy" one-star align, and it chose to go to Vega. I thought that was an odd choice, because it was *very* low in the East, but it was visible, so okay. This is about 9:30 pm EDT. It declared the alignment successful. Since it was over there already, I told it to go to M13. It put the cluster beautifully in the 26 mm eyepiece.
Next I thought, Mars is high in the West, let's go look at that. But the hand paddle tells me Mars won't rise until 9:30 am. So I try Procyon, high in the
I don't see how it knows where Vega and M13 are, but thinks Procyon rises in three hours, and then Mars nine hours after that. I checked the time and the site location, and they were all correct (time to within a half-minute and location to within a few miles). I did not check whether it had the right
I am at a bit of a loss. Has anyone run into this before, and were you able to solve it?
Thanks in advance for your help,
Guilford College Physics Department