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MEADE LXD-650

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#1 Don Allen

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 06:11 PM

Looking at the go-to version with field tripod to put my 4" F15 on. May need an extension for tripod. Any users with good or bad comments on this mount?

#2 DonBoy

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:19 PM

Don,

The LXD650 was designed for the Meade 5" refractors. The unit I had worked extremely well and very sturdy and had very long tripod extension. I'm sure you'll like it, much better mount than the LXD75.

Don

#3 Eddgie

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:01 AM

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my LXD-750. The 650 is the Mini-Me, so will be the same to operate.

That being said, I would not buy one.

The reason is that it is a ticking time bomb. There are no parts available for this mount. If ANYTHING goes wrong (handset, motors, etc), you have an expensive pile of junk.

Every time I set up my LX-750, I pray that it will turn on.

Had I thought about this before I got it, I probably would not have done the deal.

It might last for 100 years though, but my bet is that it won't.

So, unless soneone is selling it pretty cheap, I would go with a new mount like a CG5 ASGT or one of the new mid-weights. Costs more, but you can get service/parts if the need should arise.

#4 gillmj24

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:54 AM

You sure the OP would be happy with a CG5 for a 4" f/15? That's a pretty big step down from an LXD650.

#5 GShaffer

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 10:23 AM

Having used my 90mm F/16.66 on my CG5 ASGT I wouldnt recommend it.....Just not enough mount for the moment arm of a long focus refractor.

But I also wouldnt recommend the LXD650 for the reasons already mentioned....I have one that croaked on me.....parts are HARD to get.

#6 Eddgie

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:41 PM

I recommended a CG5 OR a new mid-size mount.

I think the CG5 would be ok for a 4" refractor if the OP went to a half pier. I have used a Vixen 140mm refractor on a CG5 before. It was a bit over the limit, but that was a much heavier scope than a 4" f/15 refractor.

But... I if it were me personally, I would go with one of the new Mid-size mounts in the Atlas class.

More mount is almost ALWAYS perferable to me than less mount. My 6" APO rides on an LXD-750, and one of the reasons I like the LXD-750 is that it is even more stable than the CGE.

The LXD-650 is probaby closer to the Atlas than the CG5 (and I think the Atlas itself shows a VERY strong design similarity to the LXD-650), so again, I agree, a mid-sized mount might be a better choice.

#7 Don Allen

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

Yep...someone is selling one for 1000. I thought it was much too high for a good but older and, no parts, no repair locations..etc..etc., mount. Now if the price dropped to 600 I might reconsider.

#8 Eddgie

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:26 PM

Well, if someone were selling one for $600, I might by it so I would have backup parts.

At that price, it would be worth it, but not for $1000.

In fact, I saw and LXD-650 for sale a year or so ago and the guy was asking $700 if I recall. Even at that price, I felt like it was too much for a backup parts mount.

But $600 and I would do it.

#9 CharlieB

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:10 AM

I have the LXD-650 and it's a great mount. I also have a spare controller, spare keypad membrane and one of the dongles that simulates the start-up sequence and just uses an ASCOM driver to steer the scope with any number of astro programs. It would easily handle a 4" f/15, but an extension or pier would likely be needed. I routinely mount a 6" f/8 refractor and it would hit the tripod legs if the software in the controller didn't beep the warning. As for repair, the Astronomy-Shoppe here in New Hampshire offers repairs on the LXD-650, 750 and other older Meade mounts.

#10 JayKSC

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:25 PM

I owned an LXD-650 for awhile - wow, what a beefy mount. The only issue I had was that the latitude tilt wouldn't stay fixed unless the hand-clamp was extremely tightened. Otherwise, it was a very heavy mount, but that'd be good for astro-imaging or handling a larger scope.

Whether or not it's worth getting one today is debatable. For one, the LXD650 and LXD750 mounts and Meade's late 90's era apochromat refractors were a bit notorious for having problems. My LXD650, purchased new directly from Meade as one of their last in production had problems when new. The fittings weren't that good in the RA motions, so the whole thing tended to jiggle badly. Meade did fix it at no cost since it was new, but if buying a used one you could end-up with some expensive repairs.

If I were on the market for a substantial mount, I'd personally go for a Losmandy unit, AP unit, or Takahashi, even if it meant saving money for awhile. An Atlas would be a good choice, to me, if living on a tighter budget depending on how much your f15 refractor weighs.

- Jay
South Florida

#11 CharlieB

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:41 PM

The latitude adjustment relied on the counterweight to hold it in place while the lat adjustment bolt worked against it. I thought mine had the same problem until the light came on one day. Then I found out from other owners that was indeed the design. These mounts are built like tanks and even if the electronics go south, I still have a great manual mount that will handle anything I have. As you can see from my icon, it handles two old Antares refractors with no strain.

#12 imjeffp

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:21 PM

Just to chime in on the parts issues, a lot of the LXD-650 is interchangeable with the LX200 Classic; motors, gearboxes, hand controllers.

ADM even has the dual saddle (Vixen & Losmandy) that will bolt on with an adapter. Much nicer than Ken's saddles.

#13 CharlieB

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:49 AM

That's good to know. I was aware the handboxes were the same, but not the motors. I was envisioning rewinding the motors at some point when (if) they go south. I have Ken's adapter, but I will look into the ADM.






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