What is the story on the LXD75?
Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:51 PM
I thought it was time to get a mount for my PST, Meade 6000 APO 80mm refractor (and soon Solar Max II and 130mm APO). Some of the items will go on my LX850 occasionally, but other times I want a quick, modern, light weight set-up for the road and of course for the solar viewing.
Well, I was looking at the iOptron ZEQ25. Seemed like a nice mount for the price - I came very close to pulling the trigger on it. Being out of the buying market for most of the past 10 years, I did not pay attention at all the lower end mounts until it became necessary. This mount seemed to meet my needs. However I kept reading of bugs and it does not work yet with SkyFi.
Then I saw all this chatter on the LXD75. It seemed like if you purchased it during a certain time period this was an excellent mount. I saw one used for sale fairly close by for only $400 in excellent condition, so I thought what the heck and made the purchase.
Playing with it indoors the mount seemed very easy to use, ran smoothly and looked well built and stable. BUT the weather has been horrible it seems every night this month. Then a window opened up in part of the sky LATE last night.
I grabbed the mount/80mm combo and went outside ASAP. I eyeballed north and then used my iPhone for further course North pointing since that area was mostly cloudy. I did the "easy" align - and in about 5 mins my gotos were nearly dead center! And it tracked well visually for the rest of the night.
I cannot speak for low end and wide field AP use yet, but for visual I am highly impressed with it. That I can be up and running so quickly and it tracks so well visually is impressive. WAY easier to set up than my ETX125. AND it works with my SkySafari setup (the ZEQ25 does not yet). It seems like a well built mount. And a mount that will be heavily used.
So now the question - why the heck did Meade slow down and then stop production of this mount? Why could they not improve and fine tune it? Why could this mount not live with the LX80? It looks like I can stick up to 45lbs for visual on it, and maybe 25 for AP (guessing). Almost all AP except wide field and solar will be done on my LX850, but this mount seems to cover everything else nicely.
Sorry for the rambling, but I am beyond baffled. It was so easy to use and setup. This seems like a really nice mount that will get LOTS of use! Meade seems to have ceded this end of the market regarding this mount.
Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:04 PM
Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:51 PM
Thanks for posting this! I am in the market for a mid-range mount myself and am only a couple of weeks away from making my purchasing decision. Thus far, I'm leaning pretty strongly to the Celestron AVX, but I have seen the LXD75 but have been scared away from it by some things I've read. I hope some people weigh on on this who have had good or bad experiences with it.
I am not an expert on the history of this mount, but I believe the first year (2004/2005?) there were some rough edges; and I think there were QC issues the last 1.5 years. Everything in between seems good to go overall.
Mine is the 3 year old model. So far it works very well. Certainly not bad for $400!
And I have noticed if a good condition LXD75 shows up used on the market they disappear quite quickly!
Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:30 PM
Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:58 PM
Andrew, I told you it was a good one!
It is an excellent mount! And you took very good care of it! It WILL get lots of use!
I was really taken how easy it is to set-up. After turning on, and doing a very approximately alignment dance, I was good to go in 5 minutes with accurate gotos. I guess after using my LX850 mount I wasn't expecting much, but this is a fun and very functional mount!
Also, great chatting with you in Santa Rosa!
Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:21 PM
Like you I bought a used LXD75 with the 6" refractor. Alone, the mount works great. Easy to set up, works well and tracks well. But, it's undersize for the refractor on top. Still works well enough for visual use, but you notice the "shakes" a little. Still a good used scope and mount - glad I bought it.
Yeah it does seem very heavy duty for my PST and 80mm APO, lol. No real shaking noticeable at all with the 80mm APO, 2" Diagonal and the 24mm UWA ep.
I have seen it quoted it can handle 47 lbs, which is likely, but I that may be the very limit. I think for the 130mm APO and 90mm SolarMax II at 25 and 23 lbs respectively with all the goodies the might should be able to handle it. I can see the LXD75 overwhelmed with a 6" refractor.
This is a very good mount - one that will get used on the road a lot.
Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:25 PM
I know this does not happen with the clutches engaged and I use the goto controls but some times I like to just point it with clutches not engaged for a quick look see, any help is welcome, thanks