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Any used models to avoid?

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#1 OneBigNerd

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:59 PM

Hello everyone

For the past decade I have used almost exclusively dobsonian mounted newtonians, but recently my wife and I welcomed to the world our first baby, a daughter :) I no longer have the automobile capacity or time to lug my truss dobs out of the city so I'm going to donate them and buy something more manageable.

My local shop has a number of used fork mounted Meade 8" SCTs and I'm looking to pick one up before spring. I know pretty much nothing about models outside the current range (and even then I'm pretty green) especially the used market so really I'm looking for advice on which models maybe to avoid, and what warning signs to look for when shopping.

I'm not doing any photography, just visual observing. I was thinking of an LX90 series from the past few years, but there are a number of other models with 'names' not in the current lineup and I have no idea where they sit quality wise.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Clear Skies!

Alex

#2 Pcolon1

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 08:22 PM

I purchased a used lx90 last year and I'm glad I did. I did, however, test it out and made sure it worked beforehand and got the contact info of the person I purchased it from with the expressed intent between us that if there was something wrong with it, he'd help me out. He even offered to teach me how to use it and gave me all relevant information and sky charts and such. So I guess my advice to you is:

The party you obtain a used scope from is just as important as the quality. It's definitely an indicator about how the scope was treated. I would guess that a shop that treats you well would do the same to the scope.

#3 budman1961

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:42 PM

Rod Mollise, pretty much the de facto guru of SCT's has written this book, and it has just been updated!

Uncle Rods Used Cat Buyers Guide

Andy

#4 Geo.

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:12 AM

Yes, the LX90 is fairly reliable. Some of the early GPS models had an issue with the Dec drive system. I've only seen two for repair. Both were victims of reverse polarity power supplies. The damage was limited to a vaporized trace on the power panel. I fused them to avoid a repetition.

With a 8" models trading around $700-800 it's real bargain IMO. The LX200GPS models are a step up in exchange for a heavier unit. Running about $950-1100 in the 8". Stay away from LX200s. They are running electronics designed in the '90s and are subject to component failure resulting in expensive repairs. The RCX models are a gamble too.

#5 fivestring

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:20 PM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?

#6 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?


NOT a stellar performer.

#7 Robert70

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:38 PM

I have a 2005 8in. LX90. I bought it new. No GPS. It really is a good performer. It is very reliable. Solid tripod and portable.

#8 fivestring

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

Thanks, Robert.

A friend of a friend is selling his 8" 2080 LX5 and the quartz drive mount for $600.

I was wondering if it would be worth it.

#9 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:34 PM

Thanks, Robert.

A friend of a friend is selling his 8" 2080 LX5 and the quartz drive mount for $600.

I was wondering if it would be worth it.


Maybe $300 to $400, depending on condition and accessories.

#10 SteveRosenow

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:25 PM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?


NOT a stellar performer.


Umm...?

I've had fairly decent luck with mine!

#11 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:35 PM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?


NOT a stellar performer.


Umm...?

I've had fairly decent luck with mine!


Just not as sharp and contrasty, as a rule, compared to newer models.

But there was also a fair-degree of variation in individual units back then so you could have certainly got a good one!

#12 Martin Hoyle

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 03:47 PM

Found the pdf book a fascinating read on SCTs :jump:

#13 BGeoghegan

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:39 PM

Congrats on your daughter. It was brought back into astronomy a few years ago at my wife's suggestion -- in part to share the hobby with our then 2 year old.

An LX50 has been my main scope since last summer. It has a steady mount, simple electronics and tracks well for many nights on 6 AA batteries. One caution on any SCT is to allow for some accessories in the budget. A dew shield may be enough but I needed a dew heater as well.
Bob G

#14 SteveRosenow

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:28 PM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?


NOT a stellar performer.


Umm...?

I've had fairly decent luck with mine!


Just not as sharp and contrasty, as a rule, compared to newer models.

But there was also a fair-degree of variation in individual units back then so you could have certainly got a good one!


In the interest of full disclosure, I also have one of the optical tubes that was from the dreaded "Multi-Coated Silvered Optics Group" and my secondary has quite a few tarnish spots.

Even still, it performs very well despite the flaws!

#15 jrcrilly

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:44 PM

An LX50 has been my main scope since last summer. It has a steady mount, simple electronics and tracks well for runs many nights on 6 AA batteries.


That would be my choice for a manual Meade for the reasons you state. The others seemed floppy to me.

#16 Geo.

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:29 AM

A 1989 S&T comparo found that the C8 was slighly sharper in spite of rougher optics, the 2080 wasn't far behind.

I have had several silvered secondarys (the primary is AlSiO2 coated) recoated by www.glasscoater.com. Fast and very reasonable.

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#17 SteveRosenow

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:18 AM

A 1989 S&T comparo found that the C8 was slighly sharper in spite of rougher optics, the 2080 wasn't far behind.

I have had several silvered secondarys (the primary is AlSiO2 coated) recoated by www.glasscoater.com. Fast and very reasonable.


The president of the local astronomy club to which I obtained my LX6 from, has gone through these guys:

http://www.opticwave.../mechanical.php

They'll recoat both mirrors, as well as polish the corrector.

I plan on sending the OTA of my 8-inch down as soon as I get some money to spend. lol

#18 wd8sbb

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 08:32 PM

George,
Your link to glasscoater is not working. Checking out coater links on CN, I may have some work needing done.

#19 DocFinance

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:43 AM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?


NOT a stellar performer.


Umm...?

I've had fairly decent luck with mine!


Me too. Still holding strong after all these years. The fast focal ratio makes for excellent DSOs too.

#20 SteveRosenow

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:20 AM


Me too. Still holding strong after all these years. The fast focal ratio makes for excellent DSOs too.


Yep!

My LX5/2080 is still a stellar performer DESPITE the fact that the OTA was originally mounted to an LX3 base when I got it. That means it has the Multi-Coated Silvered Optics Group secondary mirror. You know, the dreaded "secondary tarnish" issue?

Needless to say, it looks like someone dropped fresh cracked black pepper on my secondary. Black spots all over.

Despite all that, it still resolves Jupiter quite astoundingly clear as well as just about every DSO I've looked at.

#21 Geo.

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:47 PM

http://www.glasscoater.com/
Research Service Co.
12 BAY STREET
UNIT 105
WILMINGTON, MA 01887
email: COATERRSC@AOL.COM

#22 orion61

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:45 AM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?

I have yet to meet a Meade SCT before the LX3's "optically" that I like, and I wasted a LOT of time and money buying 4 of them before giving up.
I just liked the looks of them much better than Celestron and thought they were built better.
After the 2nd series LX-200's (the first series had under 2k objects) is when Meade really started getting their
stuff together optically.
Also carefully check MCOG and MCSOG corrector coatings for
degradation and thinning. The MCSOG secondary silver coatings are surely all bad by now but can easily be recoated.
I have an LX-3 2120 I like very much, optics are good but I have had a bit better, Coatings are thinning a bit on the corrector.
I like the fact you can set it up and use it and slew it around without a computer!

#23 orion61

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:52 AM

How about the older 2080 LX 8" and mounts?


NOT a stellar performer.


Umm...?

I've had fairly decent luck with mine!


Just not as sharp and contrasty, as a rule, compared to newer models.

But there was also a fair-degree of variation in individual units back then so you could have certainly got a good one!

I have to agree with Chris here, that doesn't mean there weren't some exceptions.
I also had an Astro club friend that swore by his, but it was the only SCT he had ever owned.
I finally gave up on Meade in 1985 and bought a "new" Super Polaris C8 It embarrassed his 8" 2080 so bad he wouldn't set up with me after that. lol

#24 LivingNDixie

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:41 PM

Any Celestron or Meade from the mid to late 1980s. I have had three Meades and one Celestron. The Meades have had excellent to good optics. My current one has good optics just a lot of mirror shift, but the images are good when collimated and cooled. The Celestron had great optics. Both Meade and Celestron are putting out good scopes.

#25 Dr. Woo

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:36 PM

A 1989 S&T comparo found that the C8 was slighly sharper in spite of rougher optics, the 2080 wasn't far behind.

I have had several silvered secondarys (the primary is AlSiO2 coated) recoated by www.glasscoater.com. Fast and very reasonable.


The president of the local astronomy club to which I obtained my LX6 from, has gone through these guys:

http://www.opticwave.../mechanical.php

They'll recoat both mirrors, as well as polish the corrector.

I plan on sending the OTA of my 8-inch down as soon as I get some money to spend. lol

I would think twice about using OWL based upon my bad experience with them last year. At least do a google search before sending them any hardware, for much more information. I am not the only one to have a less than optimal transaction with optic wave labs.

A word to the wise and do your own research as I will say no more






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