Over the last several weeks I’ve spent some time giving my LXD-75 some much needed TLC. I disassembled the Dec and RA axes, cleaned them and examined the nylon bushings. I hadn’t looked at the bushings before but now I understand why kits are available with replacement teflon bushings. I could have cut better bushings from a piece of acetate with an Exacto knife. The edges were rough with several places where it was obvious the press used to stamp them out of sheet was worn far beyond acceptable. A quick run over them with some 120 grit to knock of the really rough stuff followed up by some 1,200 grit to smooth the edges made them more acceptable. Add some SuperLube to that and they’ll be serviceable until I finally replace them with those relatively expensive teflon bushings. If only Meade would be willing to spend just a small amount of time doing QA during assembly these mounts wouldn’t have the awful reputation they do.
Regardless I’ve got my mount as good as it can be with the sloppy gearing made by underpaid, over worked, sub-par Chinese labor. I don’t know about you but I’d be willing to pay twice as much for a US built mount with a little bit of reasonable QA done and slightly higher quality materials and craftsmanship. Meade really, really needs to have a mount on par with the Celestron CGEM. To match the price point they’d have to make it in China, just like Celestron, but if they could find a way to manufacture or at least assemble them in the US for a reasonable amount more, I’d be willing to pay for that.