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Meade LS-8 ACF

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#1 JeffBosworth


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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

First, let me say that this LS-8 is a great scope, the Light Switch works as advertised and the optics are excellent.

However, I recently sent an email to what I thought was an online retailer asking about equatorial wedges for the LS. I specified that I wanted the wedge so I could begin using the LS as an imager with the Atik Titan CCD. The response I got was from a Meade rep who proceeded to tell me that there was no wedge - nor will there ever be - for the LS as the LS is not designed to be anything but an Alt-Az scope. Thus, I'd have been better off buying a $99 webcam if I wanted to use the LS for limited imaging.

I responded to the rep that the Autostar III HBX shows a setup option for an equatorial mount. I also tested this option by selecting it and got no nasty message that it wasn't available as the rep seemed to think was the case.

The rep then proceeded to tell me I should have bought an LX-200 or LX-800 - like I have money coming out of my ears. I came away from the whole conversation pretty disappointed. Why would they cripple such a great OTA by disallowing equatorial mode?

BTW, The retailer from whom I bought the LS was the one I bought the Atik from after first asking if it was a good imager for the LS. When I told them what the Meade rep told me, they simply said that in this hobby we have to buy different scopes for different purposes and "one needs to do their research" to find the right scope. Probably true but how come they didn't stop me from buying the Atik when a cheap webcam would have been better for this scope? I challenge anyone to find a warning from Meade or in the retailer's boilerplate scope descriptions that the LS CANNOT be used in equatorial mode.

OK, my soapbox rant is over. Now, has anyone successfully used the LS in equatorial mode or tried long exposure AP?


#2 JeffBosworth


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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

BTW, I am having a heck of a time getting the Meade Autostar updater (ver. 5.9.3) to run on my Win XP Pro laptop. When I try to run it I get a "invalid argument at line xxx" and then it shuts down with a message from Windows that the app closed in an unusual way... At first I thought it was a .Net version issue but after making sure I had all of the current .Net updates it still won't run.

I installed the updater (and the suite) on my Win 7 Ultimate (64bit) desktop and no problems at all. But I want to use the laptop in the observatory I'm building.

Anyone else had this problem? Meade can't figure it out either.


#3 PatHolland



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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:21 AM

Jeff, if I were you, I would consider calling or e-mailing Bonney Astro works. 2 reasons...
1. Ask them if they have ever created a custom wedge by request for anyone with the LS scope.
2. If not, you can send them a sketch of the bottom plate from the mount and they will design the custom wedge for you at a very reasonable price.

Please let us know if you do that. I am sure others with an LS scope will be interested.

#4 Festus


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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

The only reference I've seen is in the user manual where it states that it is a future enhancement.

My concern would be the lateral forces on the one arm when mounted equatorially.

#5 rigel123


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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:34 PM

Hi Jeff, you can't do long exposure AP but using 30 sec subs you might be surprised at what you can get.

I bought the LS6 (when it was the ETX-LS6!) for AP not knowing any better that Alt/Az just isn't the best for long exposure AP. Of course I didn't know that so I went on my merry way doing what I could with it. Actually it's not a bad scope to learn capture, stacking, processing, etc, you just won't get quite as deep as with an EQ mount and you will have to learn to deal with field rotation.

You can see what I was able to get with the 6" on my Astrobin site below, just sort by equipment and look for the LS6 shots.

I would agree that putting this on a wedge would have it's issues due to the single arm and trying to balance it would be an interesting experiment in frustration.

#6 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:58 AM

Frustration my foot... more like my bar bill would exceed my income rather quickly ..

All single armed scopes are just plain impossible to balance on a wedge in all parts of the sky...it just can not be done...

Celestron no longer even offers a wedge for their 6 and 8 inch single armed scopes for that reason..

Bob G.

#7 JeffBosworth


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:52 AM

Thanks for the input, all... Rather than deal with the potential frustration with the LS-8, I've decided to relegate it to short exposure AP when I feel like it and casual visual use otherwise - seems a rather expensive compromise, unfortunately. To make up for this disappointment I went out and bought a new Sky Watcher Pro 120ED APO 4.72" refractor with a Celestron CGEM mount. Also got an Orion "Awesome Autoguider" combo of an Orion 80mm short tube and the StarShoot autoguider camera. I'll stick that on top of the 120mm. Wife was ticked, but she'll get over it. I bought her a new refrigerator to appease her... :o)

Really looking forward to setting this up (if Astronomics will ever get around to shipping it). Many moons ago I had a Meade 8" Newtonian with a clunky motor driven GEM. Scope was pretty good but the mount was awful - check that, it was HORRIBLE! I could never get it to balance right and the drive clutches would slip constantly no matter what I did to correct it. So getting a relatively state of the art CGEM is hopefully going to be a treat.


#8 JeffBosworth


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:56 AM

I looked at Bonney's wedge. WOW! Now that is a really nice piece of engineering! Too bad the single fork of the LS seems to be an issue that can't be cured by such a nice wedge as that.

TNX for the link...


#9 FishInPercolator


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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:23 AM

Maybe the LX90ACF is the way to go?

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