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Review of the Meade LS 8 ACF

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#1 Olivier Biot

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:34 PM

Review of the Meade LS 8 ACF

#2 RonBurgundy


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Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:10 AM

This was a really great review! Mr. Kramer sure seems to enjoy his new telescope. It's good to see Meade step up to the plate and develop a creative product.

#3 lemperti


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Posted 25 October 2010 - 01:37 PM

Thanks for the review. Do you think this telescope is good enough for astro photography?

#4 geminijk



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Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:53 PM

Sorry for the late response.

Sure, the LS is capable of limited AP. I say limited only because it alt-az, and no autoguider port. But some folks here, like rigel123, have done great shots with the smaller ls 6 and DLSR. I hope to try my hand a DLSR, but thinking first of DMK21 style camera for moon/planetary, maybe double stars or similar.


BTW...familiar with Santaluces high school? I graduated there in 89. I lived right off of hypoluxo and congress.

#5 cepheus42


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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:09 PM

Due to software problems I have been able to use my brand new LS 8 ACF twice in the 3 months since I purchased it. The problems are still not resolved and am beginning to wish I hadn't purchased it. This scope promised so much but so far has been a huge problem and full of frustration. I'm finding the support from Meade is non existent and am beginning to wonder if I have wasted my money. I have been asked to perform calibrations etc to which I can find little or no instructions. Its all very well when everything is going well, but there is no help when things are not going well.

#6 himsayugh


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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:52 PM

I understand any and all frustrations with Meade "customer support." The two words should never be paired with the company. As to the LS 8 I've had my share of problems with it, but here is what I've learned. First and foremost the software/firmware is very buggy. Even if you have a clean version loaded correctly it doesn't seem to last more than a few sessions and if you ever have an emergency or accidental shutdown it's probably wise to do a reboot. Having said that, I've also found this scope has to have open skies to work easily. Any obstructions when it's aligning itself where it may need to go to another set of stars will either freeze it up or firmware problems start.
The scope is being sold as the perfect scope for person who is new to telescopes and mounts and that's not the truth. It's a complicated and buggy piece of equipment. I'll try and help you if you can tell me what they have said to calibrate. I'm guessing either getting the camera centered and or training the drive. Neither are really that difficult once you get the hang of it.

#7 cepheus42


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Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:11 PM

Update - I have discovered what I believe to be the source of all the ills I have suffered above. It's actually quite simple. I will explain : I suddenly realised that each time I had suffered a start up problem there was one common factor. If you have an SD chip and it is sitting in the slot when you try to start up, the scope thinks you are trying to reboot the system. The last few times I have started up with out the card in the slot, it has performed perfectly. So I believe the problem is solved and I'm back to my former level of very happy.

#8 Highlander78


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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:05 PM

Hello and I just joined your forum in search of some simple questions and answers about how to use my LS8.  John gave a great review and I wholeheartedly agree with everything he said.  And I understand how liftoff came into having the problems he had.  Funny sometimes it's the excitement that blinds us to figuring out some of our problems.

John's assessment of Meade is also spot on. When I called them about the GPS unit that came loose in the scope when it was delivered, I got the feeling I was either talking to someone that neither cared nor understood that I just paid $2K for a scope that I had to return to the factory.  They made me feel like I was just returning my T-shirts to Walmart and it was no big deal.  Lift off nailed it, customer service and Meade should not be spoken in the same sentence!

Here are my questions that I hope someone can get me pointed in the right direction....


There are many slots on the LS-8 and not many cables were included with this huge purchase.  So

1. How do I update the firmware in the scope?  (Part of the Liftoff problem that I ran into leaving the mini SD in the port!)

2. What cables do I need to hook up my computer to use the scope?

3. Can the computer focus the scope?

4. How does the Autostar Suite fit in to the whole experience?

5. Is there anything on this website/forum with pics and small words (:-)) that can guide me to a better viewing experience?

6. Is there anyone still using 35 mm film to do astro photography and if so where do I find the adapters?


As you can see, I am new to the whole star gazing astromomy hobby and since I first viewed Saturn through a friend of mine's celestron, well I could not wait to have the money to start looking in my own back yard.


Any help provided here would be appreciated... Anything.


Thank You

#9 Highlander78


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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:07 PM


I am even newer still to forums... I referred to Liftoff in the discussion and I should have said..cepheus 42



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