Classic LX200 12" worth/questions
Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:57 PM
I just wanted to know what some of the mojor diffrences are between the older and newer models. He says he still uses it regularly and everything is fine with it.
Are there any specific questions I should ask? I am very interested in the scope as an upgrade to a bigger SCT, but I dont want to make a huge mistake in overlooking something to regret it later and hear the dreaded "I told you so" from the wife.
Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:19 PM
Most of all?
The electronics are becoming obsolete and parts to repair the circuit boards are becoming unavailable. It will become progressively harder to get the scope fixed _when_ it has problems.
Also, don't buy this scope if you intend to use it in portable fashion frequently. It and its tripod are just too large to make that practical.
Unless the price is a fraking steal, look at a Celestron C11--a NexStar 11 or CPC 1100. Or if you don't plan to move the scope around much, a Meade LX200GPS.
Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:32 PM
Meade does not support/ repair the classic series anymore so parts and repairs are going to be by third party ( Astronomy Shop and Ron Sampson) are two good sources of parts & repairs. Good news is that there are a lot of used drive parts showing up for sale as owners go to a gem mount.
The biggest thing that goes wrong is a few of the capacitors go bad ( and can damage the circuit boards when they go ( see Meade forums and blogs for info on how to replace them before a problem happens).
Why do the caps fail? one reason is the old 18v power supplies were not well regulated ( I measured up to 22 volts on some of them and the caps are only rated to 24volts). The newer power supplies that Meade supplied are much better regulated to 18 volts ( old ones are tall and square looking, newer ones are flatter and about 1.25" tall) also the Meade 1812 12 v to 18 v DC to DC converter is well regulated. I you buy a scope with the old power supply? I suggest getting one of the newer supplies to help prevent problems.
Other than possible problems with the caps, they are good performers and if the price is right? and you feel good dealing with independent repair venders? why not?
Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:15 PM
Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:33 PM
Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:38 PM
Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:02 PM
I have a 12" LX200 classic and I love it. Haven't had an issue yet, I replaced the caps in the controller, and there seems to be plenty of electronics floating around as people seem to like to upgrade them to autostar and sell the old boards.
I won't lie, it's a beast. I carry mine about 30-40 feet to set it up outside, it's not easy to put it on the wedge without help but I've been managing fine so far... wouldn't recommend it if you have a bad back. If you plan to put it in an observatory it's less of an issue. The controller is clunky, but you can do an autostar upgrade on it to fix that. I use a laptop to control it so the controller isn't an issue for me. I think GPS is over rated, but that's only because I don't plan to do a lot of traveling with my scopes, might be handy if you frequent different observing sites. It does barely fit in the back seat of my Honda Accord while stored in the soft case though which is pretty remarkable.
Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:44 AM
Those capacitors are the issue alot of people are bringing up. Whats the cost to replace them?
This scope will stay at home and be used primarily for planetary imaging. The guy said he still uses it and the optics are fine. He also said he would be more than happy to set it up for me when I was on my way to take a look at it. I just dont know what I was getting into as far as the mount goes, I am ok with judging the rest on my own.
Thank yall so much.
Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:44 AM
Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:30 AM
They are sponsors of this site and listed on the home page.
PS what they do is replace the 24v rated caps with 35v rated caps to offer a margin of protection for loosely regulated power supplies and give you new fresh caps.
Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:42 AM
Ultimately, (soon I hope) I will acquire 10 acres near my current home to build a house and obs on. But my back had a good few years left in it before I succumb to laziness in astronomy.
And thanks Tom, I will ask the seller if he has already done this and go from there.
Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:02 AM
Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:42 PM
Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:21 PM
Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:33 AM
The price for the one in the ad seems a bit high although I bought mine for $2K 6 years ago and couldn't be happier with my purchase. Others are right, its a beast but mine spends 51 weeks a year in a roll off roof in my back yard so that doesn't bother me.
The successor to the classic is the GPS model which uses different electronics and hand controller. On the classics the database is fixed and cannot be updated or changed. The GPS models uses the Autostar which allows you to upload object lists to the scope. The even newer models have different optics that give sharper images across the entire field. You will see some coma in the standard SCT optics that the classic has. Doesn't bother me, but like anything, once you've used the newer type there's no going back for some.
I hope this helps.