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LX850 Shipping! The next journey begins!

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#1 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:29 PM

It has been a journey! It started with a small, solid built spotting scope at 5 years old, Tasco 60mm at 10, Criterion RV-6 at 12 (A HUGE MOMENT IN MY LIFE), and as an adult Meade 8" Newtonian, 10" LX200 and ETX-125.

Now I am taking the next big step up. My 14" LX850 has been shipped! Woo hoo! Now like everyone else the thrill of tracking this puppy has kicked in!

I came close to getting the Celestron 14" CGE Pro, but Meade won me over based on the optics, the new mount, reviews, customer service (I have worked with Meade in the past and have been very pleased!), and Starlock and it's turnkey solution.

I am the class of user who is highly technical (I really am a rocket scientist and did not even stay at a Holiday Inn Express), likes to play around with technology, however I am so busy I don't have time to tinker with the guts and build my own solution. I want it to work out of the box, so to speak. My pleasure is in sharing the night sky, visual, video and AP - I don't want to spend time tinkering with the telescope to make it work nor use duct tape in a pinch.

So this big questions to be answered when it arrives:
* Is it really turnkey?
* I am NOT a pro with AP, but will the LX850 make it easier getting there (I do have a Canon 60Da).
* Quality? Workmanship?
* Will it consume all my time just maintaining this puppy? Or will it consume all my time because I am freaking observing all the time!?!?
* How portable is portable? Note - I do plan on putting this telescope in the soon to be release PodMax Dome.
* Will my wife be as excited as me? Or use this as an excuse to purchase another Horse, Horse Trailer, etc?

Yes, I know this potentially can become a religious discussion (Meade vs. Celestron, SCT vs. Refractor, etc), but hopefully this can become pleasant.

Also, Kudos to Woodland Hills Camera for their service and support!

I will likely write a review or do the blog thing if this gets too extensive. Also, curious as to other LX850 owner responses as they chime in. Needless to say I am very excited!

#2 Momerath

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:07 PM

Its a BIG scope. How you enjoy it!!! Post some pics when it arrives, and congrats

#3 WesC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

Congrats! I couldn't afford to go that big, I just got my shipping notification on my new CGEM 1100 HD. Yay new scopes!

#4 Bill Barlow

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:50 PM

Andrew, I share your excitement when a new scope is on the way. I hope you enjoy it very much. I own both a Meade 8" and 12" ACF OTA's and both are great visual scopes. Let us know your impressions on this mount and OTA.

Bill

#5 budman1961

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:43 PM

Congratulation! I'm eagerly awaiting you first light report!

Andy

#6 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:00 AM

I now have the tracking information...the telescope has traveled from San Diego to Chula Vista. Yeah not to far! Projected delivery date - 4/29/13. THE EXCITEMENT BUILDS.

And yes I will post all the unpacking photos and goodies!

Weather forecast for all next week - warm, sunny and CLEAR. Very low humidity. I will get to test this baby right out of the box!

I will be unable to sleep for the next few days.

#7 Qwickdraw

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:40 AM

Gratz Andrew !

Enjoy

#8 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

The telescope is in Albuquerque, just 5 miles from me, BUT...will be delivered on Monday. More sleepless nights!

Still, time to clean the garage. And the forecast for next week looks quite good!

#9 shawnhar

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:12 PM

Congrats! That is a MONSTER scope! I left the Astronomy magazine back page ad for that scope on my night stand for about 2 months, I would drool over it before I went to sleep each night. lol
I don't think I would call it "portable" though, the mount alone weighs 130 pounds!

#10 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:39 PM

Yeah, fully loaded it is at LEAST a +270 lb kit, yikes!

I will be recruiting helpers assembling and disassembling lol.

However by August it will be going into an observatory at my home.

#11 jrcrilly

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:39 PM

I don't think I would call it "portable" though, the mount alone weighs 130 pounds!


It isn't THAT heavy; maybe 50 pounds. Might get to 130 pounds if you include the tripod and counterweights.

#12 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:45 PM



OTA = 63 lbs
Starlock = 2.9 lbs
Tripod = 36 lbs
Mount = 60 lbs
Counterweight Shaft & Cap = 17.8 lbs
Counterweights = 78 lbs

Total weight...257.7 lbs, not including ep, cameras, other goodies..

Sounds rock solid. I will find out on Monday, yay!

#13 jrcrilly

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:49 PM

Anyone wanna see a quickie test image from an AT12RC on an LX850 mount?

Attached Files



#14 jrcrilly

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:57 PM

* Is it really turnkey?


It does pretty well on its own. For an initial test last night, I used the assisted polar alignment, then let it do an automatic guider setup, then let it do an auto PEC training and update, then let it guide. No real operator input required. Did OK.

#15 WadeH237

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

Very nice!

:jump: :jump: :jump:

#16 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:23 PM

THE LX850 is here! Epic unpacking and setting up has commenced!

#17 geminijk

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

Congrats Spacetravelerx!

John

#18 WesC

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:37 PM

Sweet! Have fun!

#19 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:59 PM

Folks I will have a more "detailed" review/comment later on, however I will say the LX850 is AMAZING.

Initial takes:
* MASSIVE. Pictures truly do not convey the size of this thing.
* Motors hum with POWER.
* ROCK SOLID!
* OTA is VERY well thought out.
* So far appears to be a complete solution!

Meade appears to be onto something with the LX850. My suspicion is Meade's new optics will put to shame the Celestron Edge HD system - at f/8 with a flat field, no coma and handles large CCD chips this will be very interesting. Plus they appear to have the mirror ship, flop all taken care of. Weather might cooperate tonight. Stay tuned!

#20 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

Meade appears to be onto something with the LX850. My suspicion is Meade's new optics will put to shame the Celestron Edge HD system


They are on to something.. Hopefully not bankruptcy.. :p

Do a search.. on ACF Vs. Edge. You will get a bunch of hits just here on CN about the ACF and Edge. Based on reviews, specification, etc The ACF (which is a few years old by the way.. not new at all) is no where near the quality of the Edge series.

Maybe for visual:

I own both a Meade 8" and 12" ACF OTA's and both are great visual scopes.


And this is how information is skewed:

at f/8 with a flat field, no coma and handles large CCD chips this will be very interesting.


Here, I'll help.

The ACF only corrects for coma.. The Edge corrects for coma and give a flat field to the edge..

Sorry to burst your bubble.. :rainbow:

You'll need a flatner for full frame ccd work..

Here's one from astronomics (Our wonderful host/sponser will even give you a discount!) to take you to f5 and flatten the field

f/5 reducer/field flattener for Meade LX600/800ACF f/8 catadioptrics

Quote
"As far as the HD vs ACF goes, the HD approach is better according to everything I have read. Apparently you have to have a corrector lens, as celestron used, to properly correct for the various aberrations in an SCT. Just reshaping the secondary is not enough." As the ACF does.

"The Meade ACF addresses coma but does not produce a flat field. It manages to do this with just the traditional two mirrors and a corrector. The Celestron EdgeHD produces both a coma free field and a very flat field--good enough for a 42mm imaging circle. It does this with the inclusion of a field lens in the baffle tube. "

Oh.. and the edge can go to f2 with a hyperstar.. :p

So break out the :gotpopcorn:

I know you are excited and all (as I would be) but Ge-Bus Let's keep the facts to facts and BS on the side of BS... It appears you are an engineer.. I think you can appreciate that.

Oh.. Congrats on the new scope! Have fun. DON'T LOOK AT THE SUN! and use the new satellite safari!

Signed.. The Mad Meade Hatter

#21 jrcrilly

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:56 PM

The ACF only corrects for coma.. The Edge corrects for coma and give a flat field to the edge..


I have no dog in this fight; it's been years since I owned an SCT (and when I did I probably had an equal number of C and M units) - but I like precision.

To be more precise: The ACF is a different optical configuration. It doesn't have significant inherent coma so there's nothing to correct. The Edge has an internal coma corrector that may or may not reduce it to ACF levels (Celestron makes no promises there). The Edge also has an internal flattener that Celestron describes as reducing the effect of curvature to 1/3 of normal. Whether one considers 1/3 or normal to be "flat to the edge" or "much improved" would be a matter of opinion. An external flattener can be added to the ACF to get the job done, and maybe to a greater extent - and in that configuration it is much easier to achieve precisely the required spacing for best performance.

Also - the optics being discussed in this thread are not the F/10 ACF optics that have been in general use for years. They are the F/8 optics set from the RCX that were never sold in quantity but which were very well received.

If I were in the market for an SCT variant today I'd want the F/8 ACF (and yes, I used them both visually and in the observatory a few years ago). A flattener is a flattener whether it's inside or outside but I'd rather have no coma than extra optics intended to reduce it - and I enjoy shooting at F/8.

There a great many posts here praising the Edge scopes over the LX850 scopes - but none of them are from folks who have tried the 850. It also seems that they all come from a very limited number of posters who like to repeat their comments. A count of actual number of boosters would surely reveal that things are more even than they appear at first glance.

#22 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:29 AM

You brought your poodle, your in the fight now :p

Both designs are "coma -free" like pepsi free.. still has caffeine, just less of it..

You can't just post a 1/3rd number. Well I guess you can but no one is going to take you seriously.. You got a link? :foreheadslap:

There a great many posts here praising the Edge scopes over the LX850 scopes - but none of them are from folks who have tried the 850. It also seems that they all come from a very limited number of posters who like to repeat their comments. A count of actual number of boosters would surely reveal that things are more even than they appear at first glance.


Your 1/3rd number and your above quote is just speculation and hearsay.. please provide some proof to backup your claims.. until then :question: :confused: confusion abound.

it's been years since I owned an SCT (and when I did I probably had an equal number of C and M units) - but I like precision.

If I were in the market for an SCT variant today I'd want the F/8 ACF (and yes, I used them both visually and in the observatory a few years ago).


Just wondering, if you did not hava an sct in years, how can you give a thorough opinion on the issue? You had none a few years ago then you had them both a few years ago. Visually and in "the" observatory?
Please make up your mind.. yes, no, maybe? the confusion is maddening! :question: :confused: I think you had a picture of the f8 meade acf and Celestron EdgeHD in your observatory? :help: Or you had none, then had some, but a few years ago you had none..then you had some a few years ago.. What the! So you had none, then some a few years ago? ARGH!! I think the space time continuum would explode and rip the fabric of space if you had none and then some at the same time a few years ago... humm....

Just for Jo0 (I come with handouts!)

Please read the Celestron WhitePaper about the Edge Optics and the "Other Coma-Free" design.. :roflmao: :lol:

Edge White Paper

Here's Meade's writeup.. or lack of.. Notice their coma free image on the right with a whole lotta coma.. :lol: :roflmao:

Meade ACF Coma Page

The Mad Meade Hatter

#23 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:07 AM

If you brought your dog, your in the fight now :p

Both designs are "coma -free" like pepsi free.. still has caffeine, just less of it..

You can't just post a 1/3rd number. Well I guess you can but no one is going to take you seriously.. You got a link? :foreheadslap:


EdgeHD optics produce a focal plane more than three-times flatter than a standard Schmidt Cassegrain telescope



source

That "more than" must be a recent addition; ads used to just say "three times".

Dunno about your confusion. I had lots of SCTs for lots of years. Then I switched to true Cass reflectors a few years ago and thus haven't owned an SCT for years. I'm sure photos exist of some of the SCTs (at various times they included a few C14s, a couple of C11s, a few C8s, a couple of M10s, a couple of M12s, an M14, a 12" RCX, others). Cass reflectors included a Classical Cass and a few RCs. Current long-focus scope is an RC. I feel that I can speak from experience. And I'm good at reading ads and seeing what they actually say.

#24 WesC

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:09 AM

Whoa guys... Let the guy enjoy his new rig. He will inform us if he finds it lives up to the claims or not. And as long as he is happy with his purchase who are we to judge?

#25 budman1961

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:29 AM

Really guys, can't you just let this guy enjoy his new rig? No wonder people are hesitant to post new equipment reports.......

Dave.....c'mon man!






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