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New Meade Products

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#1 frebie

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

Meade Instruments made a few significant announcements today. As you are probably aware, their LX800 scopes are currently under recall. In consideration of the many changes and improvements they have implemented on this product line, they are re-launching the LX800 as the LX850. Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines will be hitting shelves late January with their new ad for the LX850. The ad shows exactly what the LX850 is capable of, comparing a 12" LX850 photo by Jason Ware to the same object imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. It's an interesting comparison.

Additionally, Meade is rolling back the prices of the LX850 scopes to the original LX800 introductory prices in consideration of the delayed launch.

Also, they are now offering their f/8 Advanced Coma-Free optical tubes assemblies for separate sales and are discontinuing the f/10 versions. These will ship with a Losmandy-style dovetail bracket, 8x50 finder, Series 5000 2” Enhanced Star Diagonal, and 26mm HD-60 eyepiece.

We will have more details and images up on our website as soon as more information is available from Meade.

#2 meade4ever

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

Good news

#3 Bill Barlow

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

I wonder why they are discontinuing the f/10 versions? Just because it is easier to produce one version? The larger CO's on the f/8 models may sway some visual observers like me to buy Celestron HD scopes.

Bill

#4 Mark Costello

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:59 PM

"Also, they are now offering their f/8 Advanced Coma-Free optical tubes assemblies for separate sales and are discontinuing the f/10 versions. These will ship with a Losmandy-style dovetail bracket, 8x50 finder, Series 5000 2” Enhanced Star Diagonal, and 26mm HD-60 eyepiece"

In my opinion, discontinuing the ACF F10 is a mistake. My understanding is that the central obstruction on the F8 ACFs are really big (on the order of 50%). Maybe I'm being a little too uptight about this but as a strictly visual observer, I would not go for a SCT with a obstruction that big when regular garden variety Celestron SCTs and SCT-Edges with obstructions around 35% are available....

I'm not dumping on Meade and I've never owned a Meade or Celestron telescope of any kind. It's just an honest response and hopefully, Meade will rethink that....

#5 ahopp

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

Mark,

Obstructions are as follows:

10" 20.95%
12" 16.86%
14" 13.28%

These figures are based on area not diameter.

Tony

#6 David Pavlich

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Hey Mark...I can understand your concerns about the CO on the new f8s, but there's a lot of people that looked through the old Meade f8 RCXs that said they had some of the best viewing of any SCs they've seen. The optics were exceptional. Will the new f8s be as good? Hard to say, but with the new focuser and the tube baffled, it could just be that it will have very good visual optics.

David

#7 Bill Barlow

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

The new f/8 Meade 14" will then have about the same CO obstruction by diameter and area as the C9.25. The C9.25 seems to be an excellent visual scope. But the other two, the f/8 10" and 12", the CO diameter seems quite large for visual observing.

Bill

#8 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

Mark,

Obstructions are as follows:

10" 20.95%
12" 16.86%
14" 13.28%

These figures are based on area not diameter.

Tony


Tony,

For some reason that has never been clear to me, they figure the central obstruction by diameter, not area. Someone explained it to me once, but I've forgotten. Area seems more reasonable to me; but what do I know.

As far as I know, the only place a larger CO is going to hurt you is in the observing of fine, low-contrast (e.g. planetary) detail. A large-CO scope with good optics can give you a first-rate view of anything; but you'll lose a little of that detail.

#9 RAKing

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

Mark,

Obstructions are as follows:

10" 20.95%
12" 16.86%
14" 13.28%

These figures are based on area not diameter.

Tony


Tony,

For some reason that has never been clear to me, they figure the central obstruction by diameter, not area. Someone explained it to me once, but I've forgotten. Area seems more reasonable to me; but what do I know.


Unfortunately, light comes to us in waves and the diameter of the CO is what affects the wave transmission. Giving me the CO by area may work for some marketing folks, but doesn't help me figure out how well the scope will perform on light waves.

Sorry about that,

Ron

#10 ahopp

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

Ron,

So, a direct comparison between Celstron's Pro 1400HD and Meade's 14" ACF are as follows:

Meade by Area is 13.28%
Meade by Diameter is 35%
Celestron by Area is 10%
Celestron by Diameter is 32%

Is this that big a difference, if so, please explain. I am not sure myself and was only providing the data for comparison.

Tony

#11 Mark Costello

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

The area of a CO has some importance in that it is one factor that limits the light gathering power of a reflecting telescope like the SCT (including ACF), another being the light "throughput" of the optics, dominated by the reflectivity of the mirrors.... If a CO masks 45% of the diameter of an ACF telescope, the area masked is 20% (20.25%), making the telescope equivalent to a unmobstructed telescope with a little less than 90% (maybe 89.6%) of the diameter of the obstructed telescope (not accounting for impact of mirror reflectivity)....

#12 Mark Costello

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

Hey Mark...I can understand your concerns about the CO on the new f8s, but there's a lot of people that looked through the old Meade f8 RCXs that said they had some of the best viewing of any SCs they've seen. The optics were exceptional. Will the new f8s be as good? Hard to say, but with the new focuser and the tube baffled, it could just be that it will have very good visual optics.

David



Hi David. I'm a long way from being ready to get a reflector type telescope like these ACFs to complement my 5" refractor. So that means I'm in a good position to wait and see how the experience with these scopes for visual observation work out. :)


Take care,

#13 RAKing

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

Ron,

So, a direct comparison between Celstron's Pro 1400HD and Meade's 14" ACF are as follows:

Meade by Area is 13.28%
Meade by Diameter is 35%
Celestron by Area is 10%
Celestron by Diameter is 32%

Is this that big a difference, if so, please explain. I am not sure myself and was only providing the data for comparison.

Tony


The CO size affects contrast more than anything and the difference between a 32 percent CO and a 35 percent CO is so minor that I doubt if anyone could tell the difference.

Personally, I have used the 6 and 10 inch Astro-Tech Ritchey-Chretiens as visual scopes at a dark site and those things have humongous 40+ percent CO. But they worked fine as visual scopes and any differences weren't noticeable compared to a regular SCT on DSO. On a planet like Jupiter, you could tell the difference, but I was looking at DSO most of the time.

If you are concerned - or simply want to see what happens - just cut a few cardboard circles of the proper percentage size and temporarily stick them to your existing secondary holder (or something). If you have a refractor, have a friend hold the circle in front of it -- or simply stick their fist in front of it. :)

It takes a bit of effort, but what you should see is a softening of contrast. I notice it by the background sky turning grayer if I'm looking at DSO. On planets, the surface details might disappear.

Back to the topic at hand - if Meade does a good job on the mirrors of their new f/8 SCT, I think they will work very well. The original RCX400 series was super as long as the electronics stayed healthy, but that is another topic. Planetary folks might want to stick with their f/12 and f/15 Maks. The rest of us with our general purpose f/10 cats probably won't notice any difference.

Cheers,

Ron

#14 gatorengineer

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

Its a shame Meade never sold the 6" as an OTA only






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