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Meade LX80 Mount

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#1 TCW

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:29 PM

I am looking for a mid priced portable scope to use when I can't set up my big Newt. The Meade LX80 series looks attractive but there is a dearth of reviews for this mount. I am primarily looking at the 10" OTA and maybe mounting a Celestron Comet Catcher on the other end for visual use.

Any thoughts?

:question: :question:

#2 herrointment

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:56 PM

Hope you have a few hours to spare......happy reading!

LINK

#3 Mike X.

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:11 PM

43 pages!! :gramps:

#4 ur7x

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:14 PM

dearth of reviews for this mount


Dearth? Over here there is a plethora of reviews. A few positive, most considerably less so.

This mount had a brutally bad launch (almost a year late) out of the gate it had several software glitches, it is unable to hold OTAs anywhere near the weight limit originally specified by Meade, it had some hardware problems with tripod bases cracking and legs breaking off and no one has any success using it for AP.

Anything else? Oh yeah, we now have documented proof that Meade has stopped making this mount little more than a year after launching it and all of the tooling has been collected in China, boxed up and shipped back to California.

Let me save you reading 43 pages of posts. In short, this mount when it was announced looked to be too good to be true, when it actually was sold most could see that statement was very accurate. Most who are happy with this mount are using it to hold up small light refractors. It will prove very disappointing with a 10" newt.

There is no dearth of better mount options.

All that is left for this mount is a rumor that Meade will fix it and build a replacement mount that does meet the specs that Meade announced for the LX80. At the very least I would wait for that mount, if it ever comes.

#5 TCW

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:23 PM

Looks like I hit the jackpot! Thanks!

#6 ahan.tm

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:32 PM

ur7x hit the money. I was looking at the LX80 earlier, but all these bad reviews turned me off. I chose the Celestron CGEM with a C8. For a 10" newt, the CGEM DX may be better. . .

#7 StarryHost

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:14 PM

OK. I'm scared now. I have a couple of guys willing to sell me theirs for $650. Worth it? I want about 25 pounds on one side and 20 pounds on the other for visual only. Will I be disappointed?

What are my other options for that load??
Thanks,
Jack

#8 Mkofski

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:42 PM

OK. I'm scared now. I have a couple of guys willing to sell me theirs for $650. Worth it? I want about 25 pounds on one side and 20 pounds on the other for visual only. Will I be disappointed?

What are my other options for that load??
Thanks,
Jack


Jack,

Lots of bad reviews but I have one that I'm happy with for visual only. For 25 pounds + 20 pounds I think you would be pushing the actual limits of the mount. $650 would be good price and if the "upgrade" ever becomes available you could end up with a nice mount. I'd go for it but I'm a gambler!

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:48 PM

I dunno; you'd have to spend considerable time going through that thread to see how many actual reports appear. While it was going on, it felt like it was one report, reposted day after day for months. There might be a couple of others but I doubt that there are many. The situation probably isn't as bleak as a first glance may indicate. That said, Meade apparently no longer deals with the LX80 manufacturer so there won't be any more until and unless something new is worked out. $650 for a used one sounds pretty good to me.

#10 Mkofski

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:07 PM

I dunno; you'd have to spend considerable time going through that thread to see how many actual reports appear. While it was going on, it felt like it was one report, reposted day after day for months. There might be a couple of others but I doubt that there are many. The situation probably isn't as bleak as a first glance may indicate. That said, Meade apparently no longer deals with the LX80 manufacturer so there won't be any more until and unless something new is worked out. $650 for a used one sounds pretty good to me.


John,

You bring up a very good point. While the mount did not perform up to specs, there must be a lot more users out there that didn't have problems and the number of users here on CN reporting issues was fewer than a 45 page thread would indicate at first glance.

If the OP wants it for mounting 45 pounds of OTAs side by side, the cost of a proven mount is going to be a LOT more than $650. Worst case, Jack, if you buy it and don't like it and resell it for $500... your out $150 on the experiment.

Mike

#11 frolinmod

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:30 PM

Will I be disappointed?

Yes, I suspect you will be very disappointed. For that load you'll need a more substantial mount.

A CGEM, Atlas EQ-G, CGEM-DX or CGE with a side-by-side bar, "V" saddle and ADM Mini-MAX to keep things light weight would be better.

Something like the Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 GT or the Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G (which are the same mount in different colors) would be good if you want the AZ and dual AZ mode.

#12 rmollise

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:18 AM

OK. I'm scared now. I have a couple of guys willing to sell me theirs for $650. Worth it? I want about 25 pounds on one side and 20 pounds on the other for visual only. Will I be disappointed?

What are my other options for that load??
Thanks,
Jack


No it is not worth it. And no, it won't support these payloads. I had the opportunity to use one with only a C9.25 on it. Despite a strengthened tripod thanks to a machined, custom tripod head, that was too much for it. And, in EQ mode, the Autostar HC locked up at least once.

#13 ur7x

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 09:58 AM

While the mount did not perform up to specs, there must be a lot more users out there that didn't have problems and the number of users here on CN reporting issues was fewer than a 45 page thread would indicate at first glance.

Mike


You have steadfastly stuck to this believe in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary. You yourself when looking for this dark matter group of happy LX80 owners and in months of trying you only found 6 happy owners, none who had more than 25 pounds on the mount and zero who had any success taking a photo with it.

This mass of joyful LX80 owners just isn't there, and if it was, that doesn't explain why "new" (and old) Meade has long since canceled production of this mount.

And if it helps the OP, Poster Mike had one of the legs break off of his tripod, as he repositioned it on grass. Hands up who has seen that before... Poster Mike also bought the LX80 after being begged by several to reconsider his purchase and then he had to buy a second mount to do what he wanted the LX80 to do...

If you plan to support over 30 pounds on the LX80.. To quote an old friend...
This ain't the mount for you.

I had a Meade dealer talk me out of this mount, nicest thing that he did for me. Saving me that pain, he gets almost all of my business now. (of course he is a dealer for several other brands too)

#14 brokenwave

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:25 AM

I have an LX80 and when you get over 35lbs it takes 3-4 seconds to settle, at 20lbs it takes 1-2 seconds and under 15lbs it is pretty solid. For visual it's decent and the 2 scope option is a nice feature. At $650 it will surprise you visually as long as you keep it under 15-20lbs.

#15 Jmax

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:33 AM

Mine easily handles my 8" Newt on one side and my C9.25 on the other in dual mode. Others say it won't, but mine will. It is a little shaky when really windy, otherwise I love it for visual.

John

#16 Jmax

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:42 AM

When you say "none who had more than 25 pounds on the mount...," that is simply not true.

I use mine with around 40-45 lbs in dual mode and am completely happy. Damping time can be a little bit high, but for what it can do with two scopes, I see no other alternative out there even close in price range. I have used it now at three different star parties with my local club, and everyone who has seen it perform with my 200mm Newtonian on one side (for wide views) and my 9.25 on the other (for narrower fields) has been blown away by it. If the fix pans out, for those who wish to use it for photography, then it will be a sure winner!

John

#17 Mkofski

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:36 PM

Jack,

You asked about other options for a 45 pound load with OTAs mounted side by side. I don't think there is anything under $2000 that will carry 45 pounds.

The Losmandy G11 for about $3500, a CGEM DX for about $2000, an iOptron iEQ45 for about $2000, the Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G for $2000. I'm sure there are others but at higher prices. You didn't say what your budget was.

Mike

#18 Mkofski

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:40 PM

You said you wanted a portable setup. My biggest problem with the LX80 is that it is too heavy for me to move around without taking it apart. I'm an old man with a bad back so 70 to 80 pounds is a lot for me.

#19 ur7x

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:44 PM

If the fix pans out, for those who wish to use it for photography, then it will be a sure winner!

John


I completely agree, as I said in an earlier post. At the very least, wait for Meade to "restart" production on the revised or fixed version of this mount.

Some of us old timers here, who have suffered with mounts rated for 20 pounds attempting to hold up 30 pound OTA's that bounce a giggle like a Kardashian now know that the original Astronomy mantra of "Aperture Aperture Aperture"... "Buy the most aperture you can afford"... Should have been "Mount Mount Mount"... "Buy the largest, strongest and steadiest mount you can afford."

You have to agree that recommending that someone buy a mount that is no longer in production, that will be next to impossible to get parts for once it is off warranty is a bit of a stretch.

#20 Jmax

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:55 PM

This is ABSOLUTELY my biggest problem with the mount as well. It is very heavy.

#21 Jmax

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:58 PM

You have to agree that recommending that someone buy a mount that is no longer in production, that will be next to impossible to get parts for once it is off warranty is a bit of a stretch.


I do agree that I would not buy a new one now until we see what Meade does. If I were in the market, though, I would definitely consider a decent priced used one.

John

#22 WesC

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 01:55 PM

Don't do it, there are so many better options, and that have support. Just don't do it.

#23 StarryHost

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:02 PM

I LOVE the passion here and the honest feedback. My favorite quip was the 'dark matter' of happy users, but the info in each reply is invaluable to me.

My budget is $650 if I can sell a few more things. If I get a good price I might get $900 but that would be pretty iffy. I don't see more money on the horizon soon.

Now then, OPT has or had an lx80 Multi mount for under $900 but I can't swing that yet. Does the multi-mount fix things?

And for the gents who gave me the viable alternatives and price ranges that saved a ton of research for me.

I still waffle. A mount in the hand may be worth two in the bush. But I do have a little time.

Jack

#24 Falcon-

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:04 PM

Now then, OPT has or had an lx80 Multi mount for under $900 but I can't swing that yet. Does the multi-mount fix things?


That is just the full name of the mount - people just tend to use "LX80" shorthand because it is easier to type ;)

(so no, it does not fix things)

#25 Mkofski

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:37 PM

Jack,
What do you really need in a mount? You said you want to mount 20 pounds on one Sid and 25 on the other. You can spend between $600 and $900 (iffy) on a mount.

Do you need AltAz or an equitorial mount? Or both. If you can define what you must have in a mount, you can look at alternatives.

If you want/need a GEM and AltAz and it has to be under $900, I don't know of any alternative to the LX80. If you have to have 20 and 25 pounds mounted, that could eliminate the LX80. You mentioned a used LX80 you could buy for $650. Is it close enough to you to try it out?

The upgrade that Meade talked about before the company was bought out may or may not materialize. If it does and if it is offered at the price that was hinted at, you'd have another $300 or so in the mount someday. Again, that may NEVER materialize.

If you can get by with a single load of under 30 pounds, there are a lot of new and used options in the $600 to $900 price range. If you get a mount that is not designed to mount OTAs on both sides of the mount, you can do that with other mounts but the dovetail bars to do it are not cheep. You'll need to factor everything into the price of the mount.

Meade has stopped selling the LX80 at least for now but I don't think they have stopped support on it. Parts may be next to impossible to come up with in the future, but parts are hard to buy for Amy of Meade's products after the warrantee period ends.

Mike






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