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Meade LS 6"

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#1 benklerk

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:19 PM

I have thought on going small first, just do visual work.
What do people think of the Meade LS. Looking at the 6" since it is small and easy to move around, depending on the weight might look at the 8".
What like to know if there are any issues or problems with the meade mount.
Also looking at doing short astrophotography work, moon and the Sun though a white light filter, and bright DSO objects.

So what are peoples thoughts for the LS is it a good invesment before going large.

#2 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:25 PM

I haven't heard too many complaints about the LS scopes, which is a good sign.

I haven't looked through one but I have looked inside one and the build looked very promising. Lots of stainless steel, brass and aluminum and very little plastic.

#3 rigel123

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:50 PM

I bought mine about 3 years ago when it was the ETX-LS. I still love to use it for visual and love the "Tonights Best" tour while I'm imaging with my other set up. You can do some short exposure AP with it. You will be limited to a max of about 30 second subs (like on all Alt/Az setups) but it has great optics and tracking is good.

If you look at my Astrobin site in my signature and select Gear you can see the images I took when I was first starting out in AP and I used the LS6.

The only negative is that it is strictly Alt/Az so it can't take you further in AP, but as an all round scope it is very nice. The construction is very solid. And it does spoil you when you flip the switch and it does all of the alignment for you!

#4 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

Until about a year ago these scopes (the Ls series) had tons of problems BUT Meade seems to now have all the bugs worked out...

I'd buy a new one without any concerns ... I'd most likely buy the LT series however... same optics but without the self aligning electronics etc which I personally do not need and would not pay extra for...

Bob G .

#5 JeffBosworth

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:49 AM

I have the LS-8 ACF. Optics are outstanding. At first light, it aligned itself despite multiple obstructions and a street light by finding and using 6 candidate stars. Got to look at Jupiter, Pleiades, M42 that were tracked well. Hate to tell you this but the LS are strictly alt-az. Meade informed me of this when I queried about an equatorial wedge. They do not support equatorial mode even though the Autostar menu says there is an equatorial mount function. It's disabled.

Thus, it is only good for short exposure photography. The built-in CCD imager is primarily for the alignment feature but you can take pictures with it that will ONLY save to an SD card. So you'll need an SD card reader to transfer the images to your PC. And you cannot use any other optics to magnify the image. I was quite disappointed in the scope's inability to be used equatorially. I bought an Atik Titan CCD imager to do short exposure work on this scope but I also have a 120mm APO ED SkyWatcher on a CGEM that I'll use for deep sky work.

The "Astronomer Within" can sometimes be annoying but you can turn him off...

As long as you're aware that the LS is best for quick setup/align visual work, you won't be disappointed.

Jeff

#6 astrogeoguy

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:16 PM

I've had my LS-8 for a year and really like it. I was at a huge star party last week and noted how much extra time it took for the other 8" scopes to be assembled and set up. It's light enough to (carefully) carry the scope and tripod up assembly and down my deck stairs.

The astronomer inside volume can be adjusted using the up and down keys while listening. The onboard camera does NOT look through the telescope.

Lately, I've mostly been using mine before full dark by manually aiming at a bright object and Syncing - a really fantastic alternative.

#7 stevezenof

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:54 PM

I ended up getting the 8" over the 6" because the difference in weight was negligible and I figured long term I might regret not getting the larger scope when I could. My scope works flawlessly. In fact last night it aligned itself in 5 minutes. Nuff said?

#8 benklerk

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:17 AM

Thanks for you inputs, I have order the LS 8" with a powertank. Should have it in a few weeks. I do know that I am limited to about 60sec exposure, still better to learn something which is simple to use and learn on before you spend big.

#9 gary-sue69

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:21 PM

if you have the money. i would go with the 8". i love mine. i love to turn it on a see it do its dance.

#10 REC

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:43 AM

There are some pretty good reviews of these scopes in the CN review section you can read up on. Had mine for two years ans works well. No you have to start the EP search, good luck with that.....LOL

#11 astrogeoguy

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:25 AM

Congratulations on the new scope. It's great fun!
Here are a few essentials you'll need for your new LS-8...

You can buy a nice heavy power cable (for the Powertank to the scope) for about $10 at Radio Shack. Get the one that's fused and has the little LED to show that power is flowing. The tip size is "N" - CENTER POSITIVE! (My scope dealer sold me a much too expensive, plainer cable.)

Get a 1 or 2GB (maximum) miniSD card that will be used to keep a copy of the firmware for reload. It has to be a miniSD, but a lot of folks put a microSD into a mini adapter. The reload takes about 30 minutes, but it's great to keep with the scope at all times.

You might want a USB cable to attache the scope to your PC. At the scope end, it's the square USB-B connection that you use.

You can run the audio out the jack to headphones or speakers, but you'll need an adapter from the mini stereo output jack to the standard headphone stereo (not expensive).

I made a makeshift dew shield by wrapping about 18" of black camping or yoga mat around the scope. Beware that the front end of the LS is interrupted by the mounting bracket, so I made my mat wide enough to clear everything.

A bit pricier (and less essential at the beginning) is a new 2" dielectric diagonal to replace the 1.25" one it comes with. They are readily available used. It will make your dim objects brighter.

Finally, if you didn't buy the optional video screen, you can use a car DVD player display as long as it takes the yellow RCA plug.

Enjoy!

Chris

#12 dbs

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:57 AM

guys...is the LS6 mount exactly the same as the LS8 mount? Or is the LS8 mount actually bigger?

#13 REC

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

Same mount. Get a Dew Shield, need it this time of year.

Have fun!

Bob

#14 MDavid

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:49 AM

According to John Kramer's review they are "the same exact mount".

Here's a link:
http://www.cloudynig...hp?item_id=2538

I've loved my LS8...optics are fantastic, tracking is spot on, and goto is smarter than me! (found Uranus for me) I recently purchased an artificial star for collimation (as I'm the second owner) and wow...just wow. I haven't tried the Sync feature for a quick alignment but I'm going to experiment with it.
Oh and I used a USB cable to connect to my PC for use with Meade's software. This is my first experience using my PC to control any scope's goto, but it sure was snazzy being able to point at the map on my PC and say goto and it worked!!

I'm considering the Baader 2" Clicklock Dielectric diagonal but worried about clearance since the 1 1/4" diagonal is awfully close. Anyone tried it?

#15 dbs

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

Thanks for the reply.

BTW, can the OTA be removed away from the mount? Or can other type of scope be attached to this LS mount?

#16 MDavid

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:16 AM

I don't know, but I wouldn't think so. The way the scope is attached looks proprietary, but I'm only guessing.

#17 REC

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

I have the Meade 2" diagonal and it just clears the base by about 1/4"....close but ok to use. There are others out there that screw directly into scope and saves a little space. I love using the big 2" low power EP's in it. Had the complete double star cluster in the FOV last night!

#18 astrogeoguy

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:51 PM

Hey, Dbs - what would you want to mount on it instead? The OTA optics are superb - and at star parties I always prefer my LS-8 views to other scopes. In addition, another OTA would lose the Eclips camera and therefore the auto aligning. Kinda works as a package.

#19 dbs

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:01 PM

Hey, Dbs - what would you want to mount on it instead? The OTA optics are superb - and at star parties I always prefer my LS-8 views to other scopes. In addition, another OTA would lose the Eclips camera and therefore the auto aligning. Kinda works as a package.


Well, I have another 8" OTA, so I thought if I purchase the LS-6, I can interchange the mount with the 8" OTA. But you are right, there is a need for the Eclips camera for aligning.

Now my dilemma. LS-6 or LS-8? It seems to me that the LS-8 is not very much bigger since they use the same mount. I have handle the LS-6 before....so I knew how big is the mount.

BTW, can the LS-8 uses a 2" diagonal and clear the base pointing at zenith? Also, anyone has successful done some simple astrophotography using DSLR on the LS-8?

Thanks

#20 astrogeoguy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:06 PM

The LS8 collects nearly twice the light of the LS6, in the same "footprint". Yes - the Meade 2" diagonal clears the fork at zenith, but not when you add the zero image shift focuser.

#21 bmwscopeguy

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:12 PM

Hi DBS

I have an LS-6 and I find it a good compromise between portability and capability.

In my optinion, the existing mount/tripod combination would not handle the extra weight of the 8" SCT very well.

My two cents worth.

Malcolm






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