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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
LX80 upgrade LX85.
      #6040353 - 08/22/13 03:30 PM

Just had a long talk with Jerry Gonzales, the VP of Operations at Meade's Mexico plant. He told me the a major rework of the LX80 is just about ready to roll. Not a lot of details yet. It will be available at a cost for LX80 users. The cost isn't set yet but will initially be at their cost or below. The mount and tripod are both getting revisions and the mount revisions sound extensive. The tripod will basically be a reworked LX90 tripod. The mount, among many other changes, will be using motors from the LX200. Completely redone gears, worm block, etc. They are currently working on software. He reported that the PE on the test mount was 16 arc-seconds. The mount will allow DEC training. Zinc is out 6061 stainless steel is in... $2 bearings out $13 bearing are in.

He is going to contact me when they are ready to release the upgrade. Oh, buy the way, the mount will be black now. They are stripping and power coating all the mounts.

I don't have any idea of how the upgrade will be handled. Do you send it in for a replacement or are they going to rework the mount you send in? No idea yet. As soon as I get any additional details, I'll post them here.

I don't know how any of this fits with Meade's current financial troubles. Jerry did tell me that they currently have back orders for 200 14" LX600/LX850's.

Mike


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Jmax
professor emeritus
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Reged: 09/28/10

Loc: Alabama
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6040366 - 08/22/13 03:38 PM

Well, that is fantastic!!! I do hope that it doesn't cost us loyal Meade users too much. I have continually sung the praises of the LX80, even knowing the shortcomings. Please keep us posted.

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6040410 - 08/22/13 04:11 PM

If (the big if) it lives up to expectations that will sell well.

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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6040433 - 08/22/13 04:29 PM

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the update but with Meade I'll believe it when I see it. I ordered the mount with the hope of doing simple wide field photography using my DSLR and camera lenses. Depending how much it costs if it is ever offered to us are the real questions. I'd happily be a beta tester.

Cheers,


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: JimMo]
      #6040534 - 08/22/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the update but with Meade I'll believe it when I see it.




Yeah, happy to hear this but skeptical about their ability to do it right now.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6040550 - 08/22/13 05:58 PM

If you are a new buyer don't expect to spend $799.00. If you want to have your LX80 rebuilt you will be getting the new guts and new tripod but you can also expect to pay something out of pocket to cover the cost of material, paint, motors, encoder and the bearings. How much? TBD

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (08/22/13 05:59 PM)


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herrointment
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6040568 - 08/22/13 06:07 PM

Mike, if this somehow all works out I believe your efforts here on CN regarding this matter will have been a most worthwhile endeavor.

Good on ya!


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Jmax
professor emeritus
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Reged: 09/28/10

Loc: Alabama
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: herrointment]
      #6040573 - 08/22/13 06:10 PM

A big 'second' on that! Thank so much, Mike, for your commitment to get something done.

John


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6040589 - 08/22/13 06:16 PM

Quote:

If you are a new buyer don't expect to spend $799.00. If you want to have your LX80 rebuilt you will be getting the new guts and new tripod but you can also expect to pay something out of pocket to cover the cost of material, paint, motors, encoder and the bearings. How much? TBD




I don't know if any price has been set. I think it would be great if the upgrade and shipping cost was all free. Not going to happen! The 800/850 fiasco was free to all the early users but this is a lot different in some ways. The number of units must be much much larger for the LX80. If Meade were currently a going concern and they did a free upgrade for all the LX80 users, I'd be surprised. I would rather cover cost, within reason, rather than make any kind of recovery that much harder.

The following is pure speculation and not based on ANY numbers I was told: if the upgrade was $100 it would be a no brainer. If it was $500, it'd be a no brainer agin but not the same outcome. Somewhere in between is what I would guess. Again, this is not based on any information I have been given.


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: JimMo]
      #6040610 - 08/22/13 06:32 PM

Great news Mike. Looking forward to hearing the details from Meade. Sounds too good to be true...but I'm an optimistic by nature. The lx200 motors would be awesome and the lx90 tripod is solid as I already have one.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: herrointment]
      #6040615 - 08/22/13 06:35 PM

Quote:

Mike, if this somehow all works out I believe your efforts here on CN regarding this matter will have been a most worthwhile endeavor.

Good on ya!




Jim & John,

Can't take too,much credit. I think Russ Tanton of Explore Scientific may have gotten the ball rolling down in Mexico. If the folks at Meade weren't inclined to make this right, they have the perfect environment at this time just to sit on it. I could tell by talking with Jerry today that he is very proud of what they are doing with the mount. According to him, this isn't something that the want to do, it is being done with mounts they have on site right now.

Mike


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6040624 - 08/22/13 06:39 PM

Quote:

If you are a new buyer don't expect to spend $799.00. If you want to have your LX80 rebuilt you will be getting the new guts and new tripod but you can also expect to pay something out of pocket to cover the cost of material, paint, motors, encoder and the bearings. How much? TBD




Michael,

I'd be surprised if the price of the new incarnation didn't go up a bit over the current $1,000. It it lives up to even the original specs, it would be in competition of mounts that cost 2.5 time as much.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6040625 - 08/22/13 06:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If you are a new buyer don't expect to spend $799.00. If you want to have your LX80 rebuilt you will be getting the new guts and new tripod but you can also expect to pay something out of pocket to cover the cost of material, paint, motors, encoder and the bearings. How much? TBD




I don't know if any price has been set. I think it would be great if the upgrade and shipping cost was all free. Not going to happen! The 800/850 fiasco was free to all the early users but this is a lot different in some ways. The number of units must be much much larger for the LX80. If Meade were currently a going concern and they did a free upgrade for all the LX80 users, I'd be surprised. I would rather cover cost, within reason, rather than make any kind of recovery that much harder.

The following is pure speculation and not based on ANY numbers I was told: if the upgrade was $100 it would be a no brainer. If it was $500, it'd be a no brainer agin but not the same outcome. Somewhere in between is what I would guess. Again, this is not based on any information I have been given.




No price has been discussed with me. I wouldn't want to speculate either. I do know that they have a few made and once the firmware code is ready it should go out to a few beta testers.

I would like to point out that the majority of LX80 owners are visual only and are probably perfectly happy with the LX80 they bought. I would imagine many others maybe aren't happy but not unhappy enough to return the mount and will use it as is. Then there are those who will return it and pay for the upgrade. I'd be interested in knowing what the *new* cost would be as I would be a buyer at anything less than 1k US. I no longer have an LX80 to trade in. If I were I think I would spend about $150ish as that would bring it in under the 1k cap I have.


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6040631 - 08/22/13 06:43 PM

Quote:

It it lives up to even the original specs, it would be in competition of mounts that cost 2.5 time as much.




Shhh. Don't give them any ideas.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6040632 - 08/22/13 06:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If you are a new buyer don't expect to spend $799.00. If you want to have your LX80 rebuilt you will be getting the new guts and new tripod but you can also expect to pay something out of pocket to cover the cost of material, paint, motors, encoder and the bearings. How much? TBD




Michael,

I'd be surprised if the price of the new incarnation didn't go up a bit over the current $1,000. It it lives up to even the original specs, it would be in competition of mounts that cost 2.5 time as much.




Yah I understand what you are saying. Puts it up into competition with the CGEM. I have the AVX mount right now and am very happy with its performance but the PE is almost double. I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask $1249.99 for the mount but I personally wouldn't swap for that cost. Anything under a grand and I would have to consider it.

I LOVE the idea of a dual mode mount. However you have to consider the price of the Skywatcher AZ-EQ6.

I also LOVE Audiostar and wish all their mounts had it available.

I know Meade is going above and beyond the call to repair the reputation and get mounts they are proud of shipped to people. With the influx of money coming from Sunny they have the cash to do it right. Jerry is doing a phenomenal job.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (08/22/13 06:55 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6040645 - 08/22/13 06:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Mike, if this somehow all works out I believe your efforts here on CN regarding this matter will have been a most worthwhile endeavor.

Good on ya!




Jim & John,

Can't take too,much credit. I think Russ Tanton of Explore Scientific may have gotten the ball rolling down in Mexico. If the folks at Meade weren't inclined to make this right, they have the perfect environment at this time just to sit on it. I could tell by talking with Jerry today that he is very proud of what they are doing with the mount. According to him, this isn't something that the want to do, it is being done with mounts they have on site right now.

Mike




+1


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6040769 - 08/22/13 08:47 PM

Are you sure he said 6061 Stainless Steel? 6061 is the most common aluminum alloy, not a stainless steel. A stainless would have likely had a number like 303, 304, or 316. Do any of them sound more familiar from the phone call?

-Rich


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6040783 - 08/22/13 08:57 PM

Rich,

I should have noticed that. My notes, taken quickly during the conversation, say "6061 SS". The phone connection wasn't great and I may have written it wrong. This was in reference to replacing zinc parts. Does it make sense replacing zinc parts with 6061 aluminum?


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6040901 - 08/22/13 10:18 PM

Maybe 6016 stainless. We use a lot of this in valves.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6040991 - 08/22/13 11:20 PM

Replacing zinc in the housing for aluminum would be a real upgrade. It also could be the worm wheel.

I'm guessing it has a stainless worm. That's a good upgrade.

You know, your persistence is what made this happen.

-Rich


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6041094 - 08/23/13 12:54 AM

Hi all,

Just got a clarification on some info that I messed up in my original notes. Mr. Gonzales sent me this:

Mike

Just calcification on material used and wear.
The material 6061 in Aluminum polar housing and new worm blocks, We changed the zinc shaft to 302 stainless, the worm is bronze, the main gear is 6061 aluminum ....
Jerry


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6041112 - 08/23/13 01:18 AM

Wow that sounds nice. Those should be good and tough.

-Rich


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6041805 - 08/23/13 12:32 PM

Great news Mike, Thanks for getting this rolling.

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LTE
member


Reged: 12/15/12

Loc: Scotland
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6042039 - 08/23/13 03:06 PM

That's great, Mike!
I eventually bought a Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 for my 8in Newtonian and relegated the LX80 to take a 6in Newtonian - works OK except for occasional wild runoffs while centring stars, but I live in fear of the tripod shedding a leg!

Tom.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: LTE]
      #6042787 - 08/24/13 12:52 AM

Quote:

That's great, Mike!
I eventually bought a Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 for my 8in Newtonian and relegated the LX80 to take a 6in Newtonian - works OK except for occasional wild runoffs while centring stars, but I live in fear of the tripod shedding a leg!

Tom.




Tom,

I'm a lot more careful about how I move the mount since I had a leg fail! The new tripod should fix that issue but I do like the adjustments on the current one. The AZ-EQ6 looks like a great mount. Do you use either mount in the dual AltAz mode?

Mike


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6044391 - 08/24/13 11:23 PM

Hi,
Are they redesigning the worm gears teeth angle or just changing the materials they are made of and putting LX200 motors. The teeth angle is where the problem is. I didn't know there were any problems with the type of materials used. But an upgrade in materials is always a good thing.
I would think they have seen how well the Skywatcher version AZ-EQ6 GT is doing even at its much higher price. And they might feel that if they upgrade their mount they could ask quit a bit more. Since they are using the LX90 tripod and using the LX200 motors and beefing up everything inside, they might be planning to bring it into the CGEM class, or maybe even the AZ-EQ6 GT. It's no longer going to be an LXD75 type mount. Then again they might keep the price low and sell a whole bunch of them. If so it could also be an affordable source for replacement motors for LX200 mounts.

Neilson


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6044406 - 08/24/13 11:32 PM

Quote:

Hi,
Are they redesigning the worm gears teeth angle or just changing the materials they are made of and putting LX200 motors. The teeth angle is where the problem is. I didn't know there were any problems with the type of materials used. But an upgrade in materials is always a good thing.
I would think they have seen how well the Skywatcher version AZ-EQ6 GT is doing even at its much higher price. And they might feel that if they upgrade their mount they could ask quit a bit more. Since they are using the LX90 tripod and using the LX200 motors and beefing up everything inside, they might be planning to bring it into the CGEM class, or maybe even the AZ-EQ6 GT. It's no longer going to be an LXD75 type mount. Then again they might keep the price low and sell a whole bunch of them. If so it could be a source for replacement motors for LX200 mounts.

Neilson




Hi Neilson,

I don't have notes on it but I know that there are design changes in addition to the upgrade in materials.

If the mount had lived up to the original specs it would have been in the CGEM class as it was. I'd like to see the new incarnation come in at the same price but I don't see how they could do that with an increase in cost of a few hundred dollars.

Mike


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6044428 - 08/24/13 11:51 PM

Hi Mike,
You are correct, it originally was in the CGEM class. But back then there was no AZ-EQ6 GT selling at a high price. I should drop that subject before Meade gets any ideals. I hope they keep the price the same or close to it. Meade has been putting some pretty hefty price tags on all their new models of mounts. I would think they would want to keep the price down on this mount because there is a big market for mounts at an affordable price around $800.

Neilson


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6044448 - 08/25/13 12:08 AM

If they came in at $800 and it lived up to original specs I think they'd sell a ton after the bad press fades. I'd love to sit in on any meetings to discuss the final price.

I think we here on CN often think the posts here represent the astro community as a whole. I'd bet there are a lot of users that haven't gotten close to testing the specs and are happy with the mount.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6044494 - 08/25/13 01:00 AM

Your right, but it goes both ways, there are also those non CN people who are having problems with the mount and can't figure out what they themselves are doing wrong. Then after a while they just give up all together. And put the mount in the back of the garage to collect dust.

I'm just glad Meade is finally going to fix it.

Neilson


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6044641 - 08/25/13 03:28 AM

Quote:

I think Russ Tanton of Explore Scientific may have gotten the ball rolling down in Mexico.


ES are European aren't they? The consumer protection law seems to be different in Europe, the dealers are responsible and can't delegate to the manufacturer, or avoid paying shipping. The European dealers will be reluctant to sell something that's got a high return rate.

Chris


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6044750 - 08/25/13 07:22 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I think Russ Tanton of Explore Scientific may have gotten the ball rolling down in Mexico.


ES are European aren't they? The consumer protection law seems to be different in Europe, the dealers are responsible and can't delegate to the manufacturer, or avoid paying shipping. The European dealers will be reluctant to sell something that's got a high return rate.

Chris




Explore Scientific is a US company owned in part by the Japanese company JOC. I believe that Russ worked with Jerry Gonzales in Mexico on the LX80 problems. I don't have any idea what the division of labor was but it is Jerry's baby now since JOC is apparently out of the Meade takeover picture. I don't think that European consumer protection laws have any bearing on what is happening with the LX80 or the eventual price of the mount.

Mike


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6044794 - 08/25/13 08:37 AM

Thanks, I think I was getting confused between Meade Europe, ES and JOC.

Chris

Edited by cn register 5 (08/25/13 08:38 AM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6045039 - 08/25/13 11:40 AM

So, does availability of the new model start with the merger, or are they still trying to talk Ningbo Sunny into building these?

-Rich


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6045238 - 08/25/13 01:50 PM

Quote:

So, does availability of the new model start with the merger, or are they still trying to talk Ningbo Sunny into building these?
-Rich




Rich,

I don't know when the mount will be available for release or for beta testing. It didn't seem like the work was tied to the merger since it started before Sunny was in the picture.

According to Mr. Gonzales, the decision has been made to go forward with the revisions.

Mike


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6045268 - 08/25/13 02:10 PM

From what I understood, these were ordered from a plant in China, so there would need to be funds put in place to order more. Russ was saying that was where things stopped- new cash needed to order replacement hardware.

-Rich


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6045326 - 08/25/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

From what I understood, these were ordered from a plant in China, so there would need to be funds put in place to order more. Russ was saying that was where things stopped- new cash needed to order replacement hardware.

-Rich




Rich,

Than they must have funded a limited number of upgrades now and then get into a larger volume after the merger. That makes sense. Jerry talked to me as of the upgrades were being tested now.

Mike


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6046628 - 08/26/13 09:43 AM

Quote:


I think we here on CN often think the posts here represent the astro community as a whole. I'd bet there are a lot of users that haven't gotten close to testing the specs and are happy with the mount.




I think that many here and many manufactures really underestimate the impact of this community and this forum.

You know my story, I had got to a point in my life were I had some old optics that I wanted to use, and I had some money that I wanted to spend. After a Meade dealer basically told me I was nuts waiting for back ordered for a year LX80, I did a little more research on this site. At that point I realized the dealer was right and bought the CGEM.

The point is, that anyone who Googles any sort of Astro gear will come across this forum right quick. It is often the FIRST Google hit and it is ALWAYS in the top 10. My neighbor blindly buys a "floor model" LightSwitch, and begins to have nothing but issues with it. He too found this site and discovered Meade history of Beta testing products on early adopters, mostly with some simple lurking on this site he returned the LS (for some other poor customer to struggle with) and now has a AVX and an HD Edge OTA. I think this forum is a invaluable cross section of people who use there gear. If a product is bad, you will see it here first and you will see it here FAST.

Even your own experience showed this, as you put out an open call to all of the hidden happy LX80 owners... and you couldn't come up with 10. In fact you only came up with 6 1/2 and zero who had taken a photo with it. Of those 6 even more of them are now reporting the same issues that everyone else discovered.

Put out an open call to happy LX200 owners, or CGEM owners, or AVX owners or Atlas owners... You will likely pull in more than 6 1/2 happy customers.

It is good news that Meade will fix this underperforming mount. It is sad that it will take them over 12 months and a near bankruptcy to do it.


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DuiA1
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6047404 - 08/26/13 05:43 PM

Mike, any word if the software testing included any polar alignment sequence/procedure similar to the AVX? How do you become a beta tester? Would we qualify given we raised these issues up the line?

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DuiA1]
      #6047429 - 08/26/13 05:51 PM

Quote:

Mike, any word if the software testing included any polar alignment sequence/procedure similar to the AVX? How do you become a beta tester? Would we qualify given we raised these issues up the line?




Dui,

I don't have any idea what is being covered in the software update. I do know that Jerry is seeing the post here. As far as beta testers, I don't know if they have all they need lined up yet or not. I'll ask Jerry about that and PM you.

Mike


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6047480 - 08/26/13 06:24 PM

ur7x,

I don't intend to diminish the impact CN has on the astro community as a whole but I do think that there are more users out there than ones aware of what goes on here. I think that's why I couldn't find 10 happy users. The number of LX80 users, happy and unhappy, wasn't all that big... maybe 15 or 20 tops. Just an educated guess. Meade had to have sold a lot more more mounts than that. I may not have approached it in a very smart way, but when I started buying equipment, I bought a C8 on eBay without knowing anything more than what I remembered from many years ago.

Finding 10 happy users of the LX200, CGEM or the new AVX shouldn't be hard. Even the AVX, here on CN, seems to have lots of users. From the post, there seem to be a fair number of users having problems with the AVX also. I know that that's probably because of the newness of the AVX and the problems are nothing like the LX80 has had.

I have had 2 problems with the LX80 and both were caused, in part, by my mistakes. To their credit, the problems were fixed quickly without talk of charging me because of user error. AP still isn't working for anything over 30 second subs. That again is due in part to my inexperience. I doubt if an experienced astrophotographer could do much better. The mount has a lot of problems and, with exception of the tripod, you wouldn't notice it if your payload is under 20 or 30 pounds and your not doing AP. I suggested that any upgrade offered to users be offered as 2 options. 1. A complete upgrade of the mount and tripod and, 2. upgrade of just the tripod. That way users that are happy with the mount can still get a more reliable tripod. Don't know what will become of that suggestion.

How the "fix" for the LX80 will be implemented is still to be seen, but at least Meade is making an attempt. Whatever the final procedure is for getting the upgrade into the hands of users probably won't make everyone happy.

And remember, almost everything I "think" with regards to the LX80 is opinion not based on hard facts. I'm not privy to much in the way of "inside information"!

Mike


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shadowpdiggity
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6047643 - 08/26/13 08:19 PM

Any ideal on a time frame for this. I would put another couple hu dried into my lx80 if it means it is done right and I can use it the way I want to. With the option of astro photography. Hopefully word comes soon.

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shadowpdiggity
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #6047652 - 08/26/13 08:28 PM

Fat fingers or poor typing skills. You decide.

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #6047658 - 08/26/13 08:36 PM

No idea on time frame. Between my lack of typing skills and the iPad's spell checker, I make a lot of mistakes.

Mike


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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6048418 - 08/27/13 09:10 AM

I would love to be a beta tester too, please let him know and let him know how much I have defended the mount. I still love it and its concept and am thrilled that they are trying to make it right. I will definitely be one of the ones who wants a total upgrade. I bought it for photography, and I am still using my old EQ5P because of the issues.

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6049456 - 08/27/13 06:55 PM

John,

I'll pass names along the next time I talk with Jerry.

Mike


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Gvs
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6049922 - 08/28/13 12:13 AM

I would also be interested in beta testing this mount.

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Gvs]
      #6049964 - 08/28/13 01:22 AM

Quote:

I would also be interested in beta testing this mount.




You know what is weird.

For all the complaints about the LX80 mount, it seems like there are a great many folks who want to purchase and test the next rev of this mount.

It is my understanding Meade is still selling these mounts in quantity. I can only imagine what the sales would be like with the new mount if it lives up to what is planned.

Simply amazing...


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6049986 - 08/28/13 01:49 AM

Gday Andrew

Whats amazing???
I was seriously considering this mount till i saw the geartrain and motors.
I could have lived with the oddball worm, as i was never planning on using heavy OTAs or doing long focal length/long duration astrophotography, but the motor/geartrain scared me off.
( The tripod did too, but thats easy to fix for me )

If it works anywhere near close to spec after redesign, it will fill a big niche market ( price/capability wise ), and for me, it means i can use my existing handbboxes and system knowledge, vs buy and learn "another" handset.

If it does have LX200 style motors, then thats a huge improvement just there,
tho it may end up having the 8/3 error in PEC that celestron has unless the new firmware does three turn PEC like the LX200s.
Be interesting to see what its like when the testers get to kick the tyres.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6050707 - 08/28/13 01:24 PM

Just to be sure everyone understands... I have NO pull of any kind with Meade...

If you want to be a tested for the mount, PM me with your contract info (name, address, email address and or phone) and I'll pass the list along. They may have everyone lined up already but putting your name in the hat couldn't hurt.

Mike


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exparrot
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6051308 - 08/28/13 07:05 PM

Mike, I just stumbled upon this thread. You are certainly a main force behind this moving forward and I commend you, sir! Wow, I hopes this pans out!

Jerry


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: exparrot]
      #6051331 - 08/28/13 07:17 PM

Thanks Jerry. It really has been a group effort because Meade has been watching the threads.

Mike


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ur7x
sage


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6052154 - 08/29/13 09:23 AM

Quote:

ur7x,

I don't intend to diminish the impact CN has on the astro community as a whole but I do think that there are more users out there than ones aware of what goes on here. I think that's why I couldn't find 10 happy users. The number of LX80 users, happy and unhappy, wasn't all that big... maybe 15 or 20 tops. Just an educated guess. Meade had to have sold a lot more more mounts than that. I may not have approached it in a very smart way, but when I started buying equipment, I bought a C8 on eBay without knowing anything more than what I remembered from many years ago.

Finding 10 happy users of the LX200, CGEM or the new AVX shouldn't be hard. Even the AVX, here on CN, seems to have lots of users. From the post, there seem to be a fair number of users having problems with the AVX also. I know that that's probably because of the newness of the AVX and the problems are nothing like the LX80 has had.

I have had 2 problems with the LX80 and both were caused, in part, by my mistakes. To their credit, the problems were fixed quickly without talk of charging me because of user error. AP still isn't working for anything over 30 second subs. That again is due in part to my inexperience. I doubt if an experienced astrophotographer could do much better. The mount has a lot of problems and, with exception of the tripod, you wouldn't notice it if your payload is under 20 or 30 pounds and your not doing AP. I suggested that any upgrade offered to users be offered as 2 options. 1. A complete upgrade of the mount and tripod and, 2. upgrade of just the tripod. That way users that are happy with the mount can still get a more reliable tripod. Don't know what will become of that suggestion.

How the "fix" for the LX80 will be implemented is still to be seen, but at least Meade is making an attempt. Whatever the final procedure is for getting the upgrade into the hands of users probably won't make everyone happy.

And remember, almost everything I "think" with regards to the LX80 is opinion not based on hard facts. I'm not privy to much in the way of "inside information"!

Mike




We can agree to disagree on much of that. The fact that your tripod top split into two pieces when you twisted one of the legs was not a problem caused by you... Both my CGEM and my smaller ASGT have seen way worse action than that and neither have suffered a catastrophic failure. In fact neither have failed in any way.

Sub 30 second exposures on a PEC mount is also a huge fail in just about anyone book. A properly polar aligned mount that is strong enough to hold up an OTA without it bouncing all around and has even close to properly cut gears should easily put out 60-90 second subs. Both of my mounts will do what with my 9.25 all night long, with nice round stars the result. I've seen way over loaded LX200's do the same.

The problem with the LX80 is not your inexperience; sadly, it has more to do with the fact the mount was under engineered out of the gate. That is not inside information either, that is pretty much a proven fact now.


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SDTopensied
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6063396 - 09/04/13 09:08 PM

I had an LX80, had problems with it, and ultimately ended up with a CGEM that I'm very happy with.

That being said, I really enjoyed using the AutoStar firmware and I liked the mount concept. I hope that Meade pulls it off and the end result is a contender worth comparing to competing products.


-Steve


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: SDTopensied]
      #6063534 - 09/04/13 11:08 PM

Yep... 2 years ago the LX80, on paper, looked to be the mount for me. The price was in my budget of under $1000. A GEM and a replacement for my SkyTee 2 AltAz mount. GEM capacity of 40 pounds. Accurate enough for AP. Wow - too good to be true. A fantastic mount for only $800.

Well, if Meade survives and if Sunny goes through with the upgrade started by Jerry Gonzales, it can still be a great product at a good price. Some big ifs but we should see soon.


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ur7x
sage


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6067637 - 09/07/13 11:32 AM

Quote:

Wow - too good to be true.




And that turned out to be exactly the case.


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6073838 - 09/10/13 08:08 PM

Hopefully there should be some activity on this soon, the merger vote is happening this Thursday, Sept. 12th. Just looked at part of the proxy statement dated Aug. 16th.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6074347 - 09/11/13 03:05 AM

The folks running the show down in Mexico are doing a fantastic job. The recent problems with Meade mounts wasn't their fault at all from what I can tell. The LX80's were bought by Meade directly from the manufacturer based on that manufacturer's word that they would perform as specified AND Meades marketing department pushed the specs aside and invented their own to sell more. Meade was desperate for cash after all. The people running the factory in Mexico didn't design or build them. When people started talking about the problems and sending them back to Meade that is when they really tore into it and identified all the issues. As a stop-gap fix they tightened it up and sent them back out because that was all they could really do without any money. In the mean time they called up that supplier and told them to stop sending them as they would not be buying more.

Now that there has been an influx in cash, they are proceeding to re-design the whole thing. You've seen the list of improvements. New gears, new worm, new motors, new tripod etc.

My understanding is that they are pacing the floor waiting for the firmware to be finished so they can test and release to beta but the firmware is taking forever. (I personally strongly believe they need a new guy so... Submit your resume!)

Again I want to say that most if not all of the information I have is based on casual conversations I've had with people that know a lot more than I do. Second or third hand information at best.


I really think that Meade's best days are ahead of them if they can get past this next week.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6074351 - 09/11/13 03:18 AM

That is exactly the take I have on the situation. Shouldn't be long now before we can see the first redesigned mounts coming out of Mexico.

Mike


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6074352 - 09/11/13 03:20 AM

The LX80 problems became Meade's responsibility when they put a Meade label on it.

Chris


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Stew57
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6074576 - 09/11/13 08:42 AM

Not the first product that was released not quite ready and won't be the last. In fact it seems Celestron has one out they are scrambling to fix. It is how the company responds to these missteps they results in either positive or negative reactions.

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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6074703 - 09/11/13 09:57 AM

Quote:

Not the first product that was released not quite ready and won't be the last. In fact it seems Celestron has one out they are scrambling to fix. It is how the company responds to these missteps they results in either positive or negative reactions.




If you are talking about the StarSense, you are wrong. One worked very well indeed at the just completed AHSP.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6075198 - 09/11/13 02:13 PM

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it. If you do not have any money you don't have any money. You can't buy parts and materials and you don't really have much of a leg to stand on with your suppliers. Whoever made the mount for them had a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Meade did not. Mistakes were made for sure but it wasn't made by the people at Meade who actually build stuff. That's all I am saying. You know I own both Meade and Celestron. I don't play favorites.

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6075408 - 09/11/13 03:48 PM

I had a call this morning from Jerry Gonzales, Meaded's VP of Operations at the Mexico facility. He told me that they are within days of shipping the first FEW reworked LX80's to beta testers. I got the impression that the beta testers are already lined up so if you wanted to be one and don't know if you are, you probably are not. I did pass names along of those of you that wanted to test the mount - so much for any pull I have!

From what he told me of performance, it should be very good for a $1,000 mount. Also, the "upgrade" when it is available should be offered in 3 flavors. You will be able to upgrade the mount and tripod, just the mount or just the tripod. That sounds to me like a good way to take care of users that are happy with the performance but worried about the tripod as well as those of use that want everything upgraded. I guess if you have the mount on a pier you may not need the tripod upgrade. he did not share with me any dollar figures on the upgrades other than they won't be making any money on the project.

More as I know anything.

Mike


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6075442 - 09/11/13 04:01 PM

Quote:

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it.




Where in pea-turkey did they get cash to spend?


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6075448 - 09/11/13 04:05 PM

Quote:

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it. If you do not have any money you don't have any money. You can't buy parts and materials and you don't really have much of a leg to stand on with your suppliers. Whoever made the mount for them had a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Meade did not. Mistakes were made for sure but it wasn't made by the people at Meade who actually build stuff. That's all I am saying. You know I own both Meade and Celestron. I don't play favorites.




You seem to be suggesting that they should be excused because it's their supplier's problem, or their own marketing department, or they really need the money.

If you were mugged, would you let the mugger off because he really needed the money?

Chris


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6075458 - 09/11/13 04:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it.




Where in pea-turkey did they get cash to spend?




Rod,

Don't know about that but the mass availability of the upgrades are not available for now, just a few. They were working on this back before Sunny was in the picture when Explore Scientific was till the prime candidate for the takeover.

Mike


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6075469 - 09/11/13 04:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it. If you do not have any money you don't have any money. You can't buy parts and materials and you don't really have much of a leg to stand on with your suppliers. Whoever made the mount for them had a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Meade did not. Mistakes were made for sure but it wasn't made by the people at Meade who actually build stuff. That's all I am saying. You know I own both Meade and Celestron. I don't play favorites.




You seem to be suggesting that they should be excused because it's their supplier's problem, or their own marketing department, or they really need the money.

If you were mugged, would you let the mugger off because he really needed the money?

Chris




I don't think a mugger is a good analogy. A mugger intended to do the mugging. Meade is responsible for the mount because their name is on it. The problems with materials that seems to be a big part of the overall state of the mount was because of the builder. Meade is not blameless but has done what was in their power to make the mount right. Giving them credit for that, IMO, isn't excessive.

A better analogy may be a car accident that was Meade's fault. Meade did not leave the scene of the accident.


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6075541 - 09/11/13 05:05 PM

Quote:



Rod,

Don't know about that but the mass availability of the upgrades are not available for now, just a few. They were working on this back before Sunny was in the picture when Explore Scientific was till the prime candidate for the takeover.

Mike




Thanks, and I sure hope this works out for the LX80 owners.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6075635 - 09/11/13 06:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Rod,

Don't know about that but the mass availability of the upgrades are not available for now, just a few. They were working on this back before Sunny was in the picture when Explore Scientific was till the prime candidate for the takeover.

Mike




Thanks, and I sure hope this works out for the LX80 owners.




My understanding is that Sunny gave them some money to cover operating costs but if the deal falls through they owe it back. That is what I meant. I learned about it in the 100 page long Meade thread we had a month ago.


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6075983 - 09/11/13 10:18 PM

Well, that's good new for me if it happens. I upgraded my tripod with a Jack's astro accessories tripod hub. He made two and I got one of them so I'd just need to send back the mount.

I had my LX80 out last night and was still impressed with alt/az mode carrying a TV85. I put every object into the center of a 60x eyepiece and I'd never had been able to find them star hopping with the LP around here. New gears that will be able to get the mount up to specs will be welcomed. Hope it happens.


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Gvs
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Reged: 05/19/11

Loc: Texas
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: JimMo]
      #6076096 - 09/11/13 11:38 PM

LX85 with starlock and I dive right in. If it can handle 12 inch OTA, it would be impressive.

Don't you all understand? It's to our benefit to save Meade, without them competition dies then you will pay more than 1500 for some of the stuff you can purchase under 1000 now.

You can be part of the problem our part of the solution. I chose the later.


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Gvs]
      #6076121 - 09/11/13 11:50 PM

There are always iOptron, Explore Scientific, Astro Tech, Orion, and Antares running around to keep Celestron on their toes. And in effect they've been the only ones in the marketplace in force the past few years to do it.

-Rich


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6076145 - 09/12/13 12:06 AM

I wasn't under the impression there was any competition going on.

Neilson Shepard


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Gvs]
      #6076512 - 09/12/13 08:26 AM

Quote:

LX85 with starlock and I dive right in. If it can handle 12 inch OTA, it would be impressive.

Don't you all understand? It's to our benefit to save Meade, without them competition dies




I don't want to see Meade go, but you are wrong about this. Meade dies and someone else will fill the void.


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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6076621 - 09/12/13 09:40 AM

I'm a little worried about the "3 flavors" thing. That makes it sound like the complete upgrade is going to cost a lot, so they have to have reduced levels of upgrade.

I still love my LX80, but every time I use it I come to realize ever more how shaky it really is in RA. This is definitely a fault in the design and, in my opinion, should be fixed for as little as possible. Also, legs should not just break off top plates.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6076751 - 09/12/13 10:59 AM

The upgrade will be offered in the different configurations to allow owners that are happy with the mount to replace the tripod that could fail today or in 6 months or in 6 years.

The full upgrade could be $1000 with the mount/ tripod split $700/$300 or the full grade could be 80 cents with the mount tipod split 60 cents/20 cents. One of the FEW things I know for sure is that the grade isn't being offered as options because it is expensive. It won't be $1000 and it won't be 80 cents... Somewhere in between!


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6076758 - 09/12/13 11:01 AM

1000 bucks to try to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse? Yeah, I'd say that is too expensive.

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6076771 - 09/12/13 11:07 AM

Even though we don't know the "new" price for the "new" LX8x, but suspicion is in the end if someone wants the full upgrade, it might just be better to purchase the new version of this mount.

A fair number of folks seem very happy with the LX80 though. My bet is a few will do the partial upgrade, a small number will do the "full" upgrade.

Of course all of this is TBD.

Any news on the Meade front on this lazy day, September 12, 2013? I don't think much is happening today...


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6076775 - 09/12/13 11:09 AM

Quote:

1000 bucks to try to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse? Yeah, I'd say that is too expensive.




Rod... Come on now. I picked $1000 just because it was as stupid as the 80 cent figure! Why didn't you pick the 80 cent figure and say.. "wow, upgrade for 80 cents - couldn't ask for more than that"

I really thought it would be obvious that the $1000 figure was not a real number for the upgrade. So, everyone that is not a real price and I have no idea as to what the price will be.

Mike


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brokenwave
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6076782 - 09/12/13 11:12 AM

The Meade shareholders are to vote on the merger today. If approved (likely).

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neilson
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6076827 - 09/12/13 11:49 AM

I'm going to make a guess,
a new tripod top for $150. and rework the mount for $399.00 plus shipping and the new mount for $1099.

If the rework is good then I think these would be fair prices with the way telescope stuff is priced these days. But I would feel better if each one was $100. less than my predictions. Hopefully its not more.

Neilson


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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6076838 - 09/12/13 11:56 AM

If the prices are that high, then they can forget me. I paid $800 for the mount already, with the promises that it would hold my scopes and work for photography. If I had wanted to spend $1200, I would have gotten the tried and true Atlas, EQ6, or CGEM. I think we shouldn't speculate too much, but I hope the 'new' Meade makes it right for something a little less than that. I would suggest $50 for the tripod upgrade and maybe up to $200 (preferably less) for the complete one. I think that would be fair and just about my limits as to what I would want to invest and have to go through shipping mine back, getting a new one and hoping it is not damaged in shipping and that it actually works.

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neilson
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6076852 - 09/12/13 12:02 PM

I agree with you or even $99. for the mount work and $50 for the tripod but despite Meade saying they wont make any money on it. I don't believe them. I think they plan to. I hope I am wrong.

Neilson


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6076869 - 09/12/13 12:09 PM

Quote:

If the prices are that high, then they can forget me. I paid $800 for the mount already, with the promises that it would hold my scopes and work for photography. If I had wanted to spend $1200, I would have gotten the tried and true Atlas, EQ6, or CGEM. I think we shouldn't speculate too much, but I hope the 'new' Meade makes it right for something a little less than that. I would suggest $50 for the tripod upgrade and maybe up to $200 (preferably less) for the complete one. I think that would be fair and just about my limits as to what I would want to invest and have to go through shipping mine back, getting a new one and hoping it is not damaged in shipping and that it actually works.




Jim,

None of the mounts you listed are $1200 so a mount with the performance of a CGEM for $1200 wouldn't be a bad deal. Don't get me wrong, I hope they keep the new mount price at $1000. I do know that their cost, initially, are going to be higher than before. If I had to guess, I think Neilson's guess are closer to what we will see. But it's all guess work now. Shouldn't be too much longer to get some real info. One of the few facts I got from talking to Jerry Gonzales is that they are to the point of talking about pricing.


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6076875 - 09/12/13 12:12 PM

Quote:


Rod... Come on now. I picked $1000 just because it was as stupid as the 80 cent figure! Why didn't you pick the 80 cent figure and say.. "wow, upgrade for 80 cents - couldn't ask for more than that"






Because the 1000 dollar figure of yours is closer to reality, I suspect. AND...I am sorry to say, at this point the idea of any upgrade is nothing more than pie in the sky, anyhow.


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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6076925 - 09/12/13 12:44 PM

That is true for a new one, I have seen them on sale, though, close to that price. Telescopes.com had them for $1299 right at the time I bought the LX80. And at that time, I could also have bought several used mounts of this class for around $1000 or even less. I would have, had it not been for the direct lies told about the LX80's capacity!

If they charge this much for those of us who honestly bought the mount believing it would do what they said, then they will lose a lot more customers in the future. That is a fact, not a fiction like their original specs about the LX80's capacity!

You know I have been a staunch supporter of both Meade and the LX80, but there is a point where that ends. If they are going to charge that much, then they shouldn't even offer a fix. It will just be an insult to us who feel like we now have a mount that was abandoned, unless we paid their price to make it right (like it was supposed to have been when we originally bought it). And they danged sure had better not sell a new LX85 mount for less than what it costs us to get our LX80s fixed plus the $800 we originally paid.


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exparrot
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6076943 - 09/12/13 12:54 PM

Why isn't this being handled the same as the LX800 debacle? Generally, the same sort of situation, but Meade did a recall with that one. AFAIK, the early adopters did not have to pay for a fixed mount. Maybe I'm wrong on that, though - I didn't watch those marathon LX800 threads that closely.

Jerry


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6076957 - 09/12/13 01:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Rod... Come on now. I picked $1000 just because it was as stupid as the 80 cent figure! Why didn't you pick the 80 cent figure and say.. "wow, upgrade for 80 cents - couldn't ask for more than that"






Because the 1000 dollar figure of yours is closer to reality, I suspect. AND...I am sorry to say, at this point the idea of any upgrade is nothing more than pie in the sky, anyhow.




Rod,

I think the 80 cent price I made up will be closer to the $1000 price I made up. But, we'll see how it come down. The mass produced updates may still be pie in the sky but there are a limited number done waiting on software.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: exparrot]
      #6076971 - 09/12/13 01:10 PM

Quote:

Why isn't this being handled the same as the LX800 debacle? Generally, the same sort of situation, but Meade did a recall with that one. AFAIK, the early adopters did not have to pay for a fixed mount. Maybe I'm wrong on that, though - I didn't watch those marathon LX800 threads that closely.

Jerry




Jerry,

The differences I see between this and the LX800 introduction is the quantity of mounts involved and the fact that there must be a lot of happy LX80 users out there. I know that an order for 400 was sent to Europe so how many did they sell in the US. The fact that there will be a limited number of users that want to buy an upgrade may play in our favor, IF they are doing it at or under cost. Who knows anything at this time?

Mike


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6077079 - 09/12/13 01:56 PM

Quote:

I agree with you or even $99. for the mount work and $50 for the tripod but despite Meade saying they wont make any money on it. I don't believe them. I think they plan to.




Dunno what it would take to make a profit, but I know they'd be losing big at $99. I'd love to buy a pair of motors and gear sets for any mount for that kind of money but I've never come close. Celestron gets $129 for each motor (and no gears) for their low-end mounts and several hundred dollars for each motor/worm assembly on the larger ones. I've paid $300 for a used pair of Vixen motors (with one spur gear each). The last mount drive motor I bought was from Takahashi at $400 (for one!) and that didn't include any gears or encoders.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6077153 - 09/12/13 02:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I agree with you or even $99. for the mount work and $50 for the tripod but despite Meade saying they wont make any money on it. I don't believe them. I think they plan to.




Dunno what it would take to make a profit, but I know they'd be losing big at $99. I'd love to buy a pair of motors and gear sets for any mount for that kind of money but I've never come close. Celestron gets $129 for each motor (and no gears) for their low-end mounts and several hundred dollars for each motor/worm assembly on the larger ones. I've paid $300 for a used pair of Vixen motors (with one spur gear each). The last mount drive motor I bought was from Takahashi at $400 (for one!) and that didn't include any gears or encoders.




John,

I didn't realize that the parts were that expensive. I assume Meade is buying at a better price than you could. Still, Jerry Gonzales told me that it is almost a completely different mount inside. Don't think a $99 upgrade is in our future.


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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6077175 - 09/12/13 02:33 PM

I think the biggest issue of all for me will be, do I take the plunge again with an upgrade or wait to see how it works for the early upgraders. How long will they offer the upgrade? You know, I'm pretty happy with my mount visually, but I really bought it for photography. Will the newly upgraded mount do what they said the LX80 would do, photographically? Should I just keep my old LX80 and resolve myself to have a 90lb behemoth to take to star parties when I could have a much more 'grab and go' Mini Tower? Or should I take a chance that the upgrade will make the mount my observatory mount, for which I originally bought it? It would really help a lot, if they simply would finally have the promised autoguider dongle readily available, you know?

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neilson
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6077183 - 09/12/13 02:36 PM

I think the prices for motors are ridiculous. I don't think some one like Meade or Celestron pays anywhere near those prices. That's the retail prices on the market and there only that much because people will pay it.
The reason I gave that high price for the mount repair is because of the LX200 motors.

Neilson


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Daud
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6095360 - 09/22/13 04:45 PM

I am trying to understand what is my warranty. I have pdf file of my original order. Many months later the mount shipped, I still have the boxes and can see the date of shipment. Shall I ask Astronomics for a copy of the invoice reflecting the date of shipment ? I would be inside the one year warranty only if calculated on the date of shipment..

Edited by Daud (09/22/13 04:46 PM)


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Daud]
      #6095397 - 09/22/13 04:59 PM

Quote:

I am trying to understand what is my warranty. I have pdf file of my original order. Many months later the mount shipped, I still have the boxes and can see the date of shipment. Shall I ask Astronomics for a copy of the invoice reflecting the date of shipment ? I would be inside the one year warranty only if calculated on the date of shipment..




I ran into the same issue and Astronomics provided me with a copy of the sales order that showed the ship date. On one return for service, I took a photo of the shipping lable and included,a,printout of that. Meade went by the shipping date rather than the sales date with, like your's, was several months later.

Mike


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orlyandico
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6095724 - 09/22/13 08:38 PM

Neilson, you'd be surprised - shocked even - at how much servo motors cost. A couple hundred bucks for a Pittman with gearhead and optical encoder. The encoder alone is about a hundred bucks.. I really have no idea how much the Maxon motors in an AP are, but the Takahashi stepper motors that John C mentions are about $280 each list from Vexta.

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neilson
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6095872 - 09/22/13 10:06 PM

That's retail prices we have to pay. I've seen the ridiculous prices they want. A company buying a large amount is going to get them for a lot less. Otherwise that LX80 mod is going to be very expensive.

Neilson


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6095915 - 09/22/13 10:27 PM

Gday Neilson

Dunno.
If the new mod merely uses the existing LX200 motor/encoder/Gbx unit, then the bulk purchasing benefits for an existing item may just cut in.
Has anyone opened up an LX600 to see if it still uses the same motors????

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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elfram2
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Daud]
      #6095968 - 09/22/13 11:04 PM

Not sure what your warranty issue is but my lx80 arrived at meade on Aug 7 and I'm still waiting for it to get repaired. I doubt I will ever do much more business with them much less spend the money to ship it out for an upgrade. I might never see it before my grandkids graduate college and I don't even have any yet!

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: elfram2]
      #6096008 - 09/22/13 11:25 PM

elfram2,

That's terrible turnaround for a repair... I guess you know that though. I think the timing, no falt of yours, was really bad. I bet, with the change in management things are a mess there. I would think 3 to 4 weeks would be reasonable turnaround with shipping factored in. You must have shipped it the first of August - have you called to check on it? Hopefully they'll try to make ithe delay up to you in some way. Let us know when you get it back.

Has anyone else experienced the same type of terrible turnaround? My 2 problems each took less than 2 weeks from shipp ng to getting it back.

Mike


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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6098069 - 09/24/13 09:38 AM

Quote:



Jerry,

The differences I see between this and the LX800 introduction is the quantity of mounts involved and the fact that there must be a lot of happy LX80 users out there.




We keep looking for all of these happy LX80 customers and yet we still can't find them...

I think this has more to do with how vocal a customer is with a $700 mount that doesn't perform per the documented specifications vs a $7000 mount that doesn't perform per the documented specifications. It is now clear that Meade only had the capacity to fix one at a time (both financially and otherwise) It looks like Management simply choose to fix the LX800 first, and are now getting around to fixing the LX80. Again this looks like nothing more than a business decision. People who buy a $7000 mount are likely to hold that mount to the specs and return it if it is not working. People who pay $700 and discover the mount that they bought to hold up a 8" SCT and dabble in AP is only able to support a 4" refactor for visual use are WAY more likely to "soak it up". We actually see evidence of that every day on this forum.

It is also more than a little curious that Meade's one year warranty for these mounts are all starting to expire... Just before the fix is released... hmmmm... coincidence?


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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6098085 - 09/24/13 09:44 AM

Quote:


Has anyone else experienced the same type of terrible turnaround? My 2 problems each took less than 2 weeks from shipp ng to getting it back.

Mike




My neighbor had problems with his 8" lightswitch right out of the gate. Meade had the scope for over a month and when it returned it still didn't work. Returned it for a full refund.. Bought a 9.25HD and AVX instead.


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brokenwave
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6098352 - 09/24/13 12:02 PM

Since most people who bought the LX80 used a credit card they would have a 2nd year warranty provided by the credit card company. Most CC's have some kind of buyer protection plan that comes with any purchase over $100.
There are many people who own the LX80 who are happy with it
because the number of returns a well known shop in S. Calif has told me (twice now) that they had sold a number of LX80's with minimal returns.
Sure I wish that the LX80 would do AP as Meade advertised, hopefully Sunny/Meade will do something about this.
The bottom line is the LX80 is better than what some people portray but worse than it came advertised as.
For my situation I have a LX80 with 2 scopes on it for visual and a CGEM for any AP I want to do all for $1600.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6098472 - 09/24/13 01:18 PM

Quote:

£We keep looking for all of these happy LX80 customers and yet we still can't find them...

I think this has more to do with how vocal a customer is with a $700 mount that doesn't perform per the documented specifications vs a $7000 mount that doesn't perform per the documented specifications. It is now clear that Meade only had the capacity to fix one at a time (both financially and otherwise) It looks like Management simply choose to fix the LX800 first, and are now getting around to fixing the LX80. Again this looks like nothing more than a business decision. People who buy a $7000 mount are likely to hold that mount to the specs and return it if it is not working. People who pay $700 and discover the mount that they bought to hold up a 8" SCT and dabble in AP is only able to support a 4" refactor for visual use are WAY more likely to "soak it up". We actually see evidence of that every day on this forum.

It is also more than a little curious that Meade's one year warranty for these mounts are all starting to expire... Just before the fix is released... hmmmm... coincidence?




I think that the inability to find happy users is because the CN members make up a small %age of buyers.

The LX80 wasn't the complete and utter failure that the LX800 was. I'd have been much more unhappy if a $7000 purchase didn't work. The LX80 worked if you didn't press the specs which is probably the case with the majority of owners.

The timing on the fix that is planned is probably more due to timing and cash available rather than some big conspiracy.

I have not heard anything from Jerry Gonzales for a while now. Hope things in Mexico are going well with respect to the new management.

Mike


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6098481 - 09/24/13 01:23 PM

Brokewave,

I'm approaching the LX80 the same way. I picked up a iOptron zEQ25 to get started in AP and will use the LX80 for visual while the z25 is at work. If the fix of the LX80 makes it a good AP mount I'll have to reevaluate things. If you are into AP a second mount sure is a nice option.

Mike


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brokenwave
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6098798 - 09/24/13 04:17 PM

In this hobby, having an extra mount or scope isn't a bad thing.
I mean, What percentage of CN members have only 1 scope and mount? Very few I would bet, indeed.


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ur7x
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Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6099968 - 09/25/13 09:16 AM

Quote:



I think that the inability to find happy users is because the CN members make up a small %age of buyers.

The LX80 wasn't the complete and utter failure that the LX800 was. I'd have been much more unhappy if a $7000 purchase didn't work. The LX80 worked if you didn't press the specs which is probably the case with the majority of owners.

The timing on the fix that is planned is probably more due to timing and cash available rather than some big conspiracy.

I have not heard anything from Jerry Gonzales for a while now. Hope things in Mexico are going well with respect to the new management.

Mike




First off I don't think that cloudy nights is a small sample, it is probably the largest collection of amateur astronomers on the planet. Secondly even a tiny sample, if it is statistically relevant will tell you a heck of a lot about the whole population. Third, given modern manufacturing practices and techniques... if one or two items fail out of the gate, then most, even all of them will eventually fail in that way. We have know about this since Colt designed firearms with interchangeable parts, or Cadillac did the same in 1902.

Notice you came up with some conspiracy idea about the timing of the fix... I never said it was a conspiracy, what I said was that Meade likely only had the money or the means to fix one... Since they knew that likely ALL of the LX800s would be returned. they fixed that one first. The fact that the LX80's are all about to go off warranty now, leaving those customer high and dry was just an added bonus for Meade corporate.

We can agree to disagree on if the LX80 was a total failure, my counter argument is that if it had of been a success, and if it had of launched on time, and if it had of done what it promised, them Meade would likely not ended in near bankruptcy. In business the measure of success or failure is brutally easy to see.


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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6099981 - 09/25/13 09:24 AM



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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6102545 - 09/26/13 03:26 PM

Information out of Meade is still nonexistent. Hope that it relates to the takeover and Jerry Gonzales is still on track with his revisions.

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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6103779 - 09/27/13 09:54 AM

I'm the same. I only have an EQ5P for photography, but it handles my very lightweight refractors as well as my AT6RC just fine. I absolutely love my LX80 as a visual/star party mount. At my last monthly star party, I again had my 8" Newtonian and C9.25 on the LX80. Once again, it worked perfectly (after a little trouble with aligning) for over 5 hours of putting every single object I went to within the field of view in both scopes and keeping the objects there perfectly. My only complaints at all about the mount are the shaky RA, no photographic ability, and weight. I knew the weight was a lot when I bought it, so you can't really count that. Also, I intended to put it permanently in my observatory for photography, so weight did not really matter. I will say that it's ability in star parties (two big scopes with very different focal lengths) is way cool! Others in the club absolutely love my setup.

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DuiA1
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Jmax]
      #6113447 - 10/02/13 04:05 PM

I've been eagerly awaiting news from Sunny or anyone in the know on the upgrade path forward. Any news? Meade has not returned my calls on my warranty extension which was verbally promised.

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JimMo
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DuiA1]
      #6113468 - 10/02/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

I've been eagerly awaiting news from Sunny or anyone in the know on the upgrade path forward. Any news? Meade has not returned my calls on my warranty extension which was verbally promised.




So after a bit a fanfare of a soon to be announced "upgrade" we hear nothing out of Meade since. I commend Mike's efforts and while I still hope for the best, I bet my LX80 is destined to be an expensive alt az mount without any possibility of any EQ photography. My one year warranty expired in August. I'll bet us unwitting beta testers are just screwed.

I also don't think Meade is monitoring these threads anymore.

Unless something is done it'll take a bit of doing to convince me to buy anything Meade ever again.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DuiA1]
      #6113762 - 10/02/13 06:46 PM

Dui and Jim,

Don't give up hope yet! I have not had any feedback for anyone with Meade in a while but from what I've heard elsewhere is that anyone at Meade can not discuss anything relating the mount until some things are sorted out internally due to the new management. I'm sure hat as soon as the involved party/parties at Meade can they will be talking again. While it is still possible the new management will kill everything relating to the LX80, I don't think that that will happen.

Just hang in there a while longer...

Mike


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: JimMo]
      #6113775 - 10/02/13 06:52 PM

Jim,

Pretty sure meade is still watching the threads on the LX80.

Mike


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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6114032 - 10/02/13 08:58 PM

Quote:

Dui and Jim,

Don't give up hope yet! I have not had any feedback for anyone with Meade in a while but from what I've heard elsewhere is that anyone at Meade can not discuss anything relating the mount until some things are sorted out internally due to the new management. I'm sure hat as soon as the involved party/parties at Meade can they will be talking again. While it is still possible the new management will kill everything relating to the LX80, I don't think that that will happen.

Just hang in there a while longer...

Mike




I thought we were all asked not to speculate about Meade's plans post merger unless we actually know something.

If this level of speculation is now OK with the mods, please let me know and I will offer counter speculation. and then in 6 to 12 months we can review who's wild xxx guesses are right.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6114212 - 10/02/13 10:23 PM

Here is a short clip of what is going on inside Meade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV7u1VBhWCE


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6114245 - 10/02/13 10:44 PM



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Daud
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6123342 - 10/07/13 06:43 PM

I decided to take the warranty repair route. When I call, I am not given an RGA (Return Goods Authorization) number but a promise of a call back, "after checking with another department". Repeated contact leads to the same outcome, i.e. describe your problems and we will get back.

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Daud]
      #6123430 - 10/07/13 07:26 PM

Quote:

I decided to take the warranty repair route. When I call, I am not given an RGA (Return Goods Authorization) number but a promise of a call back, "after checking with another department". Repeated contact leads to the same outcome, i.e. describe your problems and we will get back.




Duad,

Thats a bit scary! The change in management shouldn't stop customer service. Please let us know when/if you get a resolution.

Mike


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Daud
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6138048 - 10/14/13 11:08 PM

Never received any response, phone call or email from any of the reps I contacted.

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WesC
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Daud]
      #6138191 - 10/15/13 12:38 AM

Yeah, this isn't sounding very good. :/

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DaveJ
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: WesC]
      #6139287 - 10/15/13 03:21 PM

Quote:

Yeah, this isn't sounding very good. :/




Meade news: link. Especially interesting is the lack of LX80/LX85 news - at least to this current thread.


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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6139544 - 10/15/13 06:07 PM

So in the vacuum of news about this mount... All that is left is speculation.

Very interesting that it was not included in their list of "proud" products.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6139552 - 10/15/13 06:13 PM

No mention of the LX80/85 because the LX80 is no longer in production and the LX85 doesn't exist. We've been over this. The new version of this mount is called the VM-1. The VM-1 is completed and ready to go into production. Only prototypes exist right now. These need in-house testing and evaluation and a price point set and then the numbers run to see how much money could be made at its performance and cost. With the merger and all the stuff that goes along with it I am sure that certifying the VM-1 for production is far down on the list. Once the dust settles, which I wouldn't think would be much longer, I am sure they will get them out to the first round of beta testing if they haven't already.

While I agree that this is not the best time for Meade to be keep quiet on their plans for the future, I am not surprised either. Be patient.


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6140116 - 10/16/13 12:17 AM

Thank you for the correct info Michael! Your intimate knowledge of the situation is appreciated!

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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6140146 - 10/16/13 12:46 AM

Michael,

Thanks for the date! I haven't heard anything since before the buyout was finalized. I bought another mount to start learning more about AP so when I get an updated LX80 I can evaluate it with less user error impacting the results.

Mike


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6140447 - 10/16/13 08:59 AM

Quote:

So in the vacuum of news about this mount... All that is left is speculation.




Truer words have never been spoken.


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MawkHawk
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6140512 - 10/16/13 09:36 AM

So I see that the LTs can not be ordered. Meade has dropped that line then?

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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6140518 - 10/16/13 09:40 AM

Quote:

No mention of the LX80/85 because the LX80 is no longer in production and the LX85 doesn't exist. We've been over this. The new version of this mount is called the VM-1. The VM-1 is completed and ready to go into production. Only prototypes exist right now. These need in-house testing and evaluation and a price point set and then the numbers run to see how much money could be made at its performance and cost. With the merger and all the stuff that goes along with it I am sure that certifying the VM-1 for production is far down on the list. Once the dust settles, which I wouldn't think would be much longer, I am sure they will get them out to the first round of beta testing if they haven't already.

While I agree that this is not the best time for Meade to be keep quiet on their plans for the future, I am not surprised either. Be patient.




Not that I' doubting this Micheal, but do we have anything that substantiates this news? I can find no links about the VM1 anywhere (other than the LX80 news group and they say they got the news here)... Is this just speculation too?

Quote:

Michael,

Thanks for the update! I haven't heard anything since before the buyout was finalized. I bought another mount to start learning more about AP so when I get an updated LX80 I can evaluate it with less user error impacting the results.

Mike




Funny how two people can read the same news and come away with completely different results.

As I read Micheal's news... it looks to me like the VM1 will be a new offering and there will be no upgrade path from the LX80. Looks to me like Meade is walking away from the LX80. The fact that they are giving it a completely different name, from a marketing POV also speaks volumes.


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Daud
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6140635 - 10/16/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

... Looks to me like Meade is walking away from the LX80. The fact that they are giving it a completely different name, from a marketing POV also speaks volumes.




..and the fact that when you repeatedly call for a LX80 warranty repair you are ignored also speaks volumes.
Shall I write a letter to Mr. Lupica pointing to the PR announcement "honoring warranty" blurp ?


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6140641 - 10/16/13 10:43 AM

If you were Ningbo Sunny, would you push money into a rival Chinese company which had already foobed the original lx80? Or, would you invest in Meade, which you had just paid $5 million for, has vital IP for products, and is able to work with your factory directly to produce products internally and fill the assembly lines with orders? Note, the release says they are doing the second one. If they can get whole, maybe the LX85 will come back. They do need a mount that size since the market appears to get exponentially larger at smaller sizes.

-Rich


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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6140703 - 10/16/13 11:27 AM

Time will tell

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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Daud]
      #6140709 - 10/16/13 11:31 AM

Quote:


..and the fact that when you repeatedly call for a LX80 warranty repair you are ignored also speaks volumes.
Shall I write a letter to Mr. Lupica pointing to the PR announcement "honoring warranty" blurp ?




The first rule of LX80 Warranty Repair is don't talk about LX80 Warranty Repair...


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6140774 - 10/16/13 12:10 PM

My take on it is this: The LX80 warranty would be to essentially upgrade it since it has so many mechanical flaws. They are not just swapping a part off the shelf into your LX80 and sending it back.

Therefore, they are in limbo now because there hasn't been a final decision on what to do next. When the VM-1 is finalized and goes into production, they will have the parts to fix the LX80 in stock since the LX80 owners are essentially getting VM-1 upgrades. Right now there is nothing they can do.

What I would like to see is Meade respond in this thread the way Celestron responds in their threads and explain this.

Folks, we don't have the parts yet as we haven't been given the green light. We expect to go forward in the next month but we don't want you to send your mounts to us and have them just sit here if there is any way you can use them while you wait. Please be patient with us as we are undergoing internal changes within the company after our recent merger and reorganization. Thank you for your understanding.

Meade, feel free to copy & paste that statement and send a check in the mail asap.


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DaveJ
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6140793 - 10/16/13 12:20 PM

Quote:

Meade, feel free to copy & paste that statement and send a check in the mail asap.




Complete and total speculation. Posting such might be interpreted as fact and further confuse casual readers. I certainly wish the speculation would stop. I have no horses in this race as I have no desire, whatsoever, to purchase this or any other version of this mount. In the interest of those that are interested, such speculative comments have no purpose at all.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6140805 - 10/16/13 12:27 PM

Quote:


Not that I' doubting this Micheal, but do we have anything that substantiates this news? I can find no links about the VM1 anywhere (other than the LX80 news group and they say they got the news here)... Is this just speculation too?




Here is what I know for a fact. No speculation at all.
The LX80 is dead.
They still like the idea behind the LX80
Meade engineers have built their own LX80 and completely overhauled it with much better parts.
The name they came up with is VM-1. (I have no idea what it means)
There are a few prototypes down in Mexico and the firmware for it is pretty much complete if not already complete as I type this. Same guy who writes all their code has had the VM-1 and Max2 for a while now and has been busy with them.
Before the merger got underway, it was Meades intention to get them out for beta testing about two weeks ago. However the new people asked to pause while everything is evaluated and certified.
I personally know of two of their potential beta testers for the VM-1 and neither of them has one and neither of them has heard when they will get it.
Quote:



Funny how two people can read the same news and come away with completely different results.

As I read Micheal's news... it looks to me like the VM1 will be a new offering and there will be no upgrade path from the LX80. Looks to me like Meade is walking away from the LX80. The fact that they are giving it a completely different name, from a marketing POV also speaks volumes.




From my discussions with Meade the upgrade path is still planned on at a cost to existing owners. Previously in this thread I believe we spoke about what changes were made. New gears, motors, tripod, worm, and something else? Oh I think the autoguider port is now part of the unit so a separate module is no longer necessary.

However, and this part is about 50% speculation and 50% solid information, unless the VM-1 goes into production so there are parts in stock, I don't think the upgrade path will happen.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6140830 - 10/16/13 12:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Meade, feel free to copy & paste that statement and send a check in the mail asap.




Complete and total speculation. Posting such might be interpreted as fact and further confuse casual readers. I certainly wish the speculation would stop. I have no horses in this race as I have no desire, whatsoever, to purchase this or any other version of this mount. In the interest of those that are interested, such speculative comments have no purpose at all.




This isn't speculation but an example of the kind of statement I would like to see from Meade pertaining to the LX80 and warranty repair. I was pretty clear on that and if the casual reader doesn't understand that then too bad.


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Dave MModerator
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6140851 - 10/16/13 12:50 PM

Meade tends to be a Hot Topic, so lets all tread lightly please.
Any Personal attacks, Rude posts or Vendor bashing will not be tolerated, think before you post.


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6141259 - 10/16/13 04:42 PM

Quote:

No mention of the LX80/85 because the LX80 is no longer in production and the LX85 doesn't exist. We've been over this. The new version of this mount is called the VM-1.




You mean this VM1?

I am not convinced this is anything more than somebody's (not your) idea of a joke.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6141513 - 10/16/13 06:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Meade, feel free to copy & paste that statement and send a check in the mail asap.




Complete and total speculation. Posting such might be interpreted as fact and further confuse casual readers. I certainly wish the speculation would stop. I have no horses in this race as I have no desire, whatsoever, to purchase this or any other version of this mount. In the interest of those that are interested, such speculative comments have no purpose at all.




This isn't speculation but an example of the kind of statement I would like to see from Meade pertaining to the LX80 and warranty repair. I was pretty clear on that and if the casual reader doesn't understand that then too bad.




Michael,

I agree that Meade should make some preliminary statement about the future of the LX80. One that is factual even if it is vague.


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ur7x
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6141554 - 10/16/13 06:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Not that I' doubting this Micheal, but do we have anything that substantiates this news? I can find no links about the VM1 anywhere (other than the LX80 news group and they say they got the news here)... Is this just speculation too?




Here is what I know for a fact. No speculation at all.
The LX80 is dead.
They still like the idea behind the LX80
Meade engineers have built their own LX80 and completely overhauled it with much better parts.
The name they came up with is VM-1. (I have no idea what it means)
There are a few prototypes down in Mexico and the firmware for it is pretty much complete if not already complete as I type this. Same guy who writes all their code has had the VM-1 and Max2 for a while now and has been busy with them.
Before the merger got underway, it was Meades intention to get them out for beta testing about two weeks ago. However the new people asked to pause while everything is evaluated and certified.
I personally know of two of their potential beta testers for the VM-1 and neither of them has one and neither of them has heard when they will get it.





Saddly we have nothing in writing... nothing official.... no supporting documentation... I'm sensing some LX80 launch deja vu...

Since we all seem to be guessing here. Let me add that VM1 probably stands for one of:
1) Variable Mount 1
2) Versatile Mount 1
3) Vapor Mount 1
4) Very Meade 1
5) Very Messy 1
6) Virtual Mount 1
7) Vigorous Marketing 1 or
8) Two letters and a number as far from L, X and eighty as marketing could come up with.


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6142590 - 10/17/13 10:10 AM

This is speculation, I'm afraid. A few guys in Tijuana took a 3rd party Chinese sourced lx80 and modified it with some prototype parts they made there and called it a VM-1 while the takeover was underway.

But you have to look at where the company is, now. The lx800 relaunch is just started- they need to see what they can make. Any smaller mount has to be something either NS's plant in China can be stood up to make, or TJ can be stood up to make, or will be some sort of NS+ TJ effort. It's likely a lot of capital for jigs, die casting molds, and setting up a line is essentially happening from scratch. The original LX80 tooling very possibly is not owned by Meade, so they may be forced to work totally from scratch. They do have a hole in the lineup, but if they're going to more of a clean sheet response, there may never be any LX80 compatible parts coming.

Meade hasn't promised there will be an LX-80 fix after the buyout, and their letter yesterday didn't suggest this is coming, either. So, it really is speculation to claim this is still coming.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Meade, feel free to copy & paste that statement and send a check in the mail asap.




Complete and total speculation. Posting such might be interpreted as fact and further confuse casual readers. I certainly wish the speculation would stop. I have no horses in this race as I have no desire, whatsoever, to purchase this or any other version of this mount. In the interest of those that are interested, such speculative comments have no purpose at all.




This isn't speculation but an example of the kind of statement I would like to see from Meade pertaining to the LX80 and warranty repair. I was pretty clear on that and if the casual reader doesn't understand that then too bad.




Edited by Starhawk (10/17/13 12:15 PM)


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DuiA1
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6180248 - 11/07/13 12:35 AM

Any new news on this? Have been looking to read some. I must say this has been disappointing to date . Am I the only one who is impatient?

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DuiA1]
      #6180256 - 11/07/13 12:42 AM

Dui,

I'm getting impatient too! The only thing I have heard is that we probably won't hear anything for a few more weeks.

Mike


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6180502 - 11/07/13 08:23 AM

You will be lucky and I will be surprised if it is only "weeks." Still, I am told this may happen.

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Jmax
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6180761 - 11/07/13 10:52 AM

I hope it does. Meade, please listen! I have been a staunch supporter, but we need this situation corrected for our future trust in your company as you make a new start.

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Stew57
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6181407 - 11/07/13 04:30 PM

Quote:

You will be lucky and I will be surprised if it is only "weeks." Still, I am told this may happen.




Are you at liberty to reveal your source. A hint maybe?


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6182510 - 11/08/13 09:20 AM

Quote:



Are you at liberty to reveal your source. A hint maybe?




You can bet that anything I'm told on this subject will be in confidence. But, again, I can say it looks like they at least intend to do something about the 80. I don't know that that means "writ in stone," of course.


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WesC
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6183503 - 11/08/13 07:05 PM

Well, that will be welcome news to LX80 owners.

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DuiA1
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: WesC]
      #6302648 - 01/09/14 05:54 PM

Figure I would start the new year with some hope.... I have been waiting so patiently for some word of inspiration from Meade on this topic. I am so disappointed this has not yet come. Can a Meade rep be so kind to respond on this forum and give us any news? I really want to use my LX 80 to do guided AP. Will this happen before Q1? Or call it a bust and move on with another mount?

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EuropaWill
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Reged: 02/12/09

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: DuiA1]
      #6302728 - 01/09/14 06:38 PM

What we early adoptor LX80 owners need is a trade-in program to completely return this mount for a replacement. I've been waiting for months as well. Consumers shouldn't be beta testers and if a manufacturer discontinues a mount 1 year later and leaves their customers blowing in the wind, that does not make for good relations. There aren't that many LX80's shipped, so this is a relatively small problem for them to correct. If they dont, they can be sure lots of negative press will continue to dog them for years for not doing the "right thing". This is an opportunity to change perception. Are you listening Meade?

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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: EuropaWill]
      #6303235 - 01/09/14 11:14 PM

Why? If there is a Meade VM-1 or whatnot offered tomorrow, they'll sell the same number without an upgrade path as they would if they blew a lot of cash buying back LX80s they have no conceivable use for.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (01/11/14 10:23 PM)


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orlyandico
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6303261 - 01/09/14 11:30 PM

sad but true. The LX80's out there are only probably worth their parts.. a couple hundred bucks at best. Meade's new Chinese masters might decide it's cheaper to just antagonize existing owners, much as Ford did with the Pinto in the 1970's.

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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6304553 - 01/10/14 04:14 PM

To all of you that have watched the Meade LX80 saga unfold here, I've decided to sell my mount. Not because of the mount itself but I just had back surgery and it is just too heavy for my old back. Hope to see Meade address the mount in the future but I'll be watching as an observer from her on out.

The iOptron z25 is withing the weight limit of what my doctor says is Ok for me to move around so that what I'm going to stay with for now.

If I get any info from Meade, I'll pass it along here.

Mike


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EuropaWill
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6306178 - 01/11/14 01:00 PM

Quote:

Why? If there is a Meade VM-1 or whatnot offered tomorrow, they'll sell the same number without an upgrade path as they would if they blew a lot of cash buying back LX85s they have no conceivable use for.

-Rich




Actually, I dont think they will sell many at all due to bad blood unless they address their LX80 failures and customers. There are only so many bridges a company can burn before they lose customers for life. I'm at that point now. There is a saying 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. That suggests repeat business from loyal customers as the bread and butter for a company. I've bought quite a bit from Meade over the years (thousands) and I'm sure I'm not alone. If they abandon the early adoptor LX80 owners who are orphaned with a mount that didn't work to specs during the warranty period and doesn't work after their 1 year warranty expires then that would be the 2nd Meade goto mount i've been burned on. I'm not complaining about a lack of features. I'm talking about the mount just not working (slipping gears, lurching gears, poor tracking, counter balance shaft extensions unscrewing by themselves, etc...) and not living up to it's weight capacity claims.

I'll add that they should extend the warranty to 3 years for all current LX80 as the mount was rushed out and sold prior to being ready for primetime, and they should offer the upgrade as a very low cost option.


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: EuropaWill]
      #6307160 - 01/11/14 10:18 PM

I feel for you. But LX80 customers weren't going to be VX-1 customers no matter what:

(A) If they felt they had a great mount, they wouldn't want the same thing under a new name.

(B) If they hated the LX80 and are mad at Meade as a result, they can't be counted on to buy another Meade product, no matter what it is.

(C) If they have an LX80 they aren't happy with, but want a free VX-1 in exchange for it, that isn't a sale.

None of the three possible cases results in positive cash flow to the company from existing LX80 customers. Will these people under any of the circumstances quickly move on to more expensive Meade products? It isn't obvious to me since existing owners just haven't told stories which made it appear they were on an arc to much more expensive gear.

They're doing what they feel they need to get a rebuild of the company together after a near-death experience. Extending warranties when you have to stand up a new production line to come up with parts to service hardware with is usually a non-starter for anything worth less than an airplane.

-Rich

Quote:



Actually, I dont think they will sell many at all due to bad blood unless they address their LX80 failures and customers. There are only so many bridges a company can burn before they lose customers for life. I'm at that point now. There is a saying 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. That suggests repeat business from loyal customers as the bread and butter for a company. I've bought quite a bit from Meade over the years (thousands) and I'm sure I'm not alone. If they abandon the early adoptor LX80 owners who are orphaned with a mount that didn't work to specs during the warranty period and doesn't work after their 1 year warranty expires then that would be the 2nd Meade goto mount i've been burned on. I'm not complaining about a lack of features. I'm talking about the mount just not working (slipping gears, lurching gears, poor tracking, counter balance shaft extensions unscrewing by themselves, etc...) and not living up to it's weight capacity claims.

I'll add that they should extend the warranty to 3 years for all current LX80 as the mount was rushed out and sold prior to being ready for primetime, and they should offer the upgrade as a very low cost option.




Edited by Starhawk (01/11/14 10:21 PM)


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EuropaWill
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Reged: 02/12/09

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6307219 - 01/11/14 10:50 PM

A: If they're happy with the LX80, then new Meade doesn't have to spend a dime and lose any money on those customers based on my suggestion. Since only the unhappy people care about reparations.

B: If customers hated the mount because it is not working, extending the warranty so Meade fixes it is not an exepensive proposition for Meade but an act of good faith and confidence that the new Meade is different than the old Meade. Discontinuation of a $1000 mount 1 year out of the shoot is pretty close to admission the mount was a dud. Count me among the jaded that would welcome a tradeup offer for minimal cost.

C: If customers with an 80lb paperweight want a trade-up from the glorified beta testing experiment to the actual working mount made with proper gears, motors and innards, they should make it available for very low cost. How many unahppy LX80 owners do you think are out there tops? 150? What percentage of them do you think will actually follow through on a trade-up? Maybe 20% if your are lucky? You think making good on 30 mounts is too much to do in order to start a new company off on the right footing? You think they should risk selling close to no VM-1's because the resellers with any credibility wont push it knowing how the recent story with the LX80 played out?

There are times a company needs to fix a bad reputation and mistake they've made by throwing a relatively insignificant amount of money to fix what they've done wrong. This can pay off huge dividends for the future. They can sell the refurbed LX80's recouped from the trade-in program to offset any program costs. Its a win-win for them.

Quote:

I feel for you. But LX80 customers weren't going to be VX-1 customers no matter what:

(A) If they felt they had a great mount, they wouldn't want the same thing under a new name.

(B) If they hated the LX80 and are mad at Meade as a result, they can't be counted on to buy another Meade product, no matter what it is.

(C) If they have an LX80 they aren't happy with, but want a free VX-1 in exchange for it, that isn't a sale.

None of the three possible cases results in positive cash flow to the company from existing LX80 customers. Will these people under any of the circumstances quickly move on to more expensive Meade products? It isn't obvious to me since existing owners just haven't told stories which made it appear they were on an arc to much more expensive gear.

They're doing what they feel they need to get a rebuild of the company together after a near-death experience. Extending warranties when you have to stand up a new production line to come up with parts to service hardware with is usually a non-starter for anything worth less than an airplane.

-Rich

Quote:



Actually, I dont think they will sell many at all due to bad blood unless they address their LX80 failures and customers. There are only so many bridges a company can burn before they lose customers for life. I'm at that point now. There is a saying 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. That suggests repeat business from loyal customers as the bread and butter for a company. I've bought quite a bit from Meade over the years (thousands) and I'm sure I'm not alone. If they abandon the early adoptor LX80 owners who are orphaned with a mount that didn't work to specs during the warranty period and doesn't work after their 1 year warranty expires then that would be the 2nd Meade goto mount i've been burned on. I'm not complaining about a lack of features. I'm talking about the mount just not working (slipping gears, lurching gears, poor tracking, counter balance shaft extensions unscrewing by themselves, etc...) and not living up to it's weight capacity claims.

I'll add that they should extend the warranty to 3 years for all current LX80 as the mount was rushed out and sold prior to being ready for primetime, and they should offer the upgrade as a very low cost option.







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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: EuropaWill]
      #6307245 - 01/11/14 11:03 PM

Quote:

Discontinuation of a $1000 mount 1 year out of the shoot is pretty close to admission the mount was a dud.




We'll never know whether Meade would have stopped buying the LX80 if it had continued to be available to them. Sales appeared to be OK so I doubt it. Their relationship with the supplier ended so it is moot. There's no use guessing and then drawing conclusions from the guess.


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netwolf
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Reged: 09/03/05

Loc: NSW, Australia
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6307729 - 01/12/14 09:42 AM

Not sure if anyone her in Oz bought this mount, but down here we do have some protections now.

I was very keen in getting this mount when it first came out as a portable alt/az mount for my c8. But I wanted to wait and see results, fortunately I held of. I really to hope this mount is fixed, as I really like the concept of a dual purpose portable mount that is under a 1000 bucks. I hVe a g11 but I sometimes just want alt/az quick setup for visual and planetary imaging.


Quote from links provided.
"Warranties are separate from your automatic consumer guarantees. The consumer guarantees which apply regardless of any warranties suppliers sell or give to you, apply for a reasonable time depending on the nature of the goods or services. This means consumer guarantees may continue to apply after the time period for the warranty has expired."

Not sure if you have similar in US but if you do this could help you get service post the 1 year. In essence the idea is if you buy a TV you expect it will perform for a few years not just within the warranty period , this is we're the consumer guarantees come in to play. Similarly one would expect a telescope or mount to work and function we'll beyond its warranty period, so consumer still has right to expect service or repair.


http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees
http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

Edited by netwolf (01/12/14 09:46 AM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6308057 - 01/12/14 12:31 PM

Didn't Meade offer a refund. I had mine several months and I had no problem getting a refund. I read of many others getting a refund also. I also read of some people saying they were happy with the mount the way it was and kept theirs.

I think Meade made good on their screw up. They even quit making it. If they come out with a new design I don't think they will have any problems selling them.
Meade products generally have a very good reputation on quality. I still own 2 other Meade mounts with telescopes and probably will never sell them. I think the only people that might not buy Meade products again are the few who chose to keep their mounts and feel they are still owed something. And I doubt they were ever planning to buy an LX850 so Meade might not feel it's worthwhile to help them. They mostly sell high dollar (high profit) equipment these days and those are the customers they care about.
I doubt they will upgrade the LX80's very cheaply. I've never seen Meade do anything unless they made a good profit. Just send in a mount out of warranty for repairs and you will find that out.

Neilson


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: neilson]
      #6308075 - 01/12/14 12:43 PM

If you used a credit card to buy it, it probably has a 2 year warranty on it. Contact Visa or ? you used to put in a warranty claim,
You have to have to have an Astro shop give you a repair/diagnosis saying it can't be fixed to do AP.
Just put a deposit down on what you want to buy.
If accepted, they will refund you up to 100% of the purchase price, all you have to do is buy another mount for more than what the LX80 cost.
I did that with a clarinet and was paid, it is very easy to do, just takes a little effort.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6308132 - 01/12/14 01:09 PM

I always wondered if those credit card warranties really worked. I'm glad to hear they do. By the way what happens to your defective item, do you send it to the credit card company.

Neilson


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6308193 - 01/12/14 01:44 PM

Quote:



We'll never know whether Meade would have stopped buying the LX80 if it had continued to be available to them. Sales appeared to be OK so I doubt it. Their relationship with the supplier ended so it is moot. There's no use guessing and then drawing conclusions from the guess.




Sales appeared to be OK? Really? Not as per Meade's quarterly reports... Sales were terrible... 2011 Sales were off from 2010, 2012 sales were off from 2011. These are documented (and audited) numbers.

To state that sales were OK, when the share holder reports stated otherwise is doing exactly what you are cautioning others not to do.

It is easy to see that this mount had issues out of the gate (even before it was out of the gate actually) and was euthanized by Meade (both old and new management) as quickly(and as quietly)as they could.

I feel bad for Mikes outcome on all of this. But he went in with his eyes wide open, he knew going in that this mount had issues.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: EuropaWill]
      #6308230 - 01/12/14 02:02 PM

You keep assuming some source of replacement parts and a working substitute mount exist. They do not. So, your "Win-win" can't exist. You can't change that with a few words arguing for how easy it is when the reality isn't that. Look for a refund and consider what mount you would like to have.

-Rich

Quote:

A: If they're happy with the LX80, then new Meade doesn't have to spend a dime and lose any money on those customers based on my suggestion. Since only the unhappy people care about reparations.

B: If customers hated the mount because it is not working, extending the warranty so Meade fixes it is not an exepensive proposition for Meade but an act of good faith and confidence that the new Meade is different than the old Meade. Discontinuation of a $1000 mount 1 year out of the shoot is pretty close to admission the mount was a dud. Count me among the jaded that would welcome a tradeup offer for minimal cost.

C: If customers with an 80lb paperweight want a trade-up from the glorified beta testing experiment to the actual working mount made with proper gears, motors and innards, they should make it available for very low cost. How many unahppy LX80 owners do you think are out there tops? 150? What percentage of them do you think will actually follow through on a trade-up? Maybe 20% if your are lucky? You think making good on 30 mounts is too much to do in order to start a new company off on the right footing? You think they should risk selling close to no VM-1's because the resellers with any credibility wont push it knowing how the recent story with the LX80 played out?

There are times a company needs to fix a bad reputation and mistake they've made by throwing a relatively insignificant amount of money to fix what they've done wrong. This can pay off huge dividends for the future. They can sell the refurbed LX80's recouped from the trade-in program to offset any program costs. Its a win-win for them.

Quote:

I feel for you. But LX80 customers weren't going to be VX-1 customers no matter what:

(A) If they felt they had a great mount, they wouldn't want the same thing under a new name.

(B) If they hated the LX80 and are mad at Meade as a result, they can't be counted on to buy another Meade product, no matter what it is.

(C) If they have an LX80 they aren't happy with, but want a free VX-1 in exchange for it, that isn't a sale.

None of the three possible cases results in positive cash flow to the company from existing LX80 customers. Will these people under any of the circumstances quickly move on to more expensive Meade products? It isn't obvious to me since existing owners just haven't told stories which made it appear they were on an arc to much more expensive gear.

They're doing what they feel they need to get a rebuild of the company together after a near-death experience. Extending warranties when you have to stand up a new production line to come up with parts to service hardware with is usually a non-starter for anything worth less than an airplane.

-Rich

Quote:



Actually, I dont think they will sell many at all due to bad blood unless they address their LX80 failures and customers. There are only so many bridges a company can burn before they lose customers for life. I'm at that point now. There is a saying 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. That suggests repeat business from loyal customers as the bread and butter for a company. I've bought quite a bit from Meade over the years (thousands) and I'm sure I'm not alone. If they abandon the early adoptor LX80 owners who are orphaned with a mount that didn't work to specs during the warranty period and doesn't work after their 1 year warranty expires then that would be the 2nd Meade goto mount i've been burned on. I'm not complaining about a lack of features. I'm talking about the mount just not working (slipping gears, lurching gears, poor tracking, counter balance shaft extensions unscrewing by themselves, etc...) and not living up to it's weight capacity claims.

I'll add that they should extend the warranty to 3 years for all current LX80 as the mount was rushed out and sold prior to being ready for primetime, and they should offer the upgrade as a very low cost option.










Edited by Starhawk (01/12/14 02:09 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6308284 - 01/12/14 02:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:



We'll never know whether Meade would have stopped buying the LX80 if it had continued to be available to them. Sales appeared to be OK so I doubt it. Their relationship with the supplier ended so it is moot. There's no use guessing and then drawing conclusions from the guess.




Sales appeared to be OK? Really? Not as per Meade's quarterly reports... Sales were terrible... 2011 Sales were off from 2010, 2012 sales were off from 2011. These are documented (and audited) numbers.




We all know that. I was, of course, referring specifically to LX80 sales relative to their other products. They didn't drop other products that were still available to them despite bad overall sales figures.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6308322 - 01/12/14 02:46 PM

Quote:


I feel bad for Mikes outcome on all of this. But he went in with his eyes wide open, he knew going in that this mount had issues.




Just to be clear, I'm only selling the mount because of back problems that aren't going to go away anytime soon if ever. I like my zEQ25 but the LX80 worked well for me for visual... excpet that it weighs 3 to 4 times what the z25 does. If I had a perminate setup, I'd keep the LX80.

Mike


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6308336 - 01/12/14 02:54 PM

Quote:



We all know that. I was, of course, referring specifically to LX80 sales relative to their other products. They didn't drop other products that were still available to them despite bad overall sales figures.




Unless you have specific LX80 sales targets and actual sales numbers then you are "guessing" and then you are drawing a conclusion based on that guess.

What we know is since around 2009 ALL of Meade's reported sales numbers were very disappointing and getting worse year over year, this in spite of Meade launching several new products, including the LX80. To be OK relative to a house fire is not a great place to be, if that even is the case... Why kill off this mount if it was a positive light, why kill it if it was profitable?

We also know that Meade killed off this mount at its first opportunity. It is very clear that it was none of those things.

Everything else is, as you put it, a guess.

While we are all guessing, My guess is that the VM-1 is likely very dead too... It has been over 4 months since this rumor was launched.... and it will be at least another 4 months before we hear anything about an entry level GOTO mount from team Blue.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6308378 - 01/12/14 03:13 PM

Quote:

Unless you have specific LX80 sales targets and actual sales numbers then you are "guessing" and then you are drawing a conclusion based on that guess.




To refresh memory, here's what I said:
Quote:

We'll never know whether Meade would have stopped buying the LX80 if it had continued to be available to them. Sales appeared to be OK so I doubt it. Their relationship with the supplier ended so it is moot. There's no use guessing and then drawing conclusions from the guess.




Again - they lost their source. That's what killed the mount. It might or might not have died anyway but that's what we will never know.


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6308411 - 01/12/14 03:26 PM

Again, to say that LX80 sales were "OK" is a guess. And all of the evidence actually suggests otherwise.

You don't see the irony of chastising users with "here's no use guessing and then drawing conclusions from the guess."

And then doing exactly that?

To say that Meade "lost their source" that is a guess too... Meade chose to pull the plug on their LX80 supplier would be just as valid a guess too.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6308822 - 01/12/14 06:21 PM

Sales may have been good at the release but as the myriad of problems were exposed the sales were dropping. Factor in the returns and the incentive to drop the line was only increasing whether a supplier was available or not.

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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6309972 - 01/13/14 10:40 AM

Neilson,
1. Just have to show the item is defective,
2. Have them agree it is non repairable.
3. Buy a replacement product, submit new receipt.
4. Receive a check.
I didn't have to send in my defective item.
And it doesn't to be the same exact product.


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jimb1001
sage
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Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6310310 - 01/13/14 01:35 PM

Quote:

Sales may have been good at the release but as the myriad of problems were exposed the sales were dropping. Factor in the returns and the incentive to drop the line was only increasing whether a supplier was available or not.




Seems odd there haven't been a lot of complaints on this forum over the last few months.

I would have thought that, over time, failures would become more common and we'd be hearing about it all the time.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6310348 - 01/13/14 01:57 PM

Other than the tripod problem, I don't think the mount was overly failure prone. It continued working...it just didn't work RIGHT.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6310374 - 01/13/14 02:09 PM

They stopped selling them some time ago, so there aren't additional opportunities for failures being incurred. One reason why Meade wasn't wrong to drop it.

Ford Pintos aren't going up in flames after being rear-ended anymore, either.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Sales may have been good at the release but as the myriad of problems were exposed the sales were dropping. Factor in the returns and the incentive to drop the line was only increasing whether a supplier was available or not.




Seems odd there haven't been a lot of complaints on this forum over the last few months.

I would have thought that, over time, failures would become more common and we'd be hearing about it all the time.




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jimb1001
sage
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Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6311561 - 01/14/14 01:38 AM

Quote:

They stopped selling them some time ago, so there aren't additional opportunities for failures being incurred. One reason why Meade wasn't wrong to drop it.

Ford Pintos aren't going up in flames after being rear-ended anymore, either.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Sales may have been good at the release but as the myriad of problems were exposed the sales were dropping. Factor in the returns and the incentive to drop the line was only increasing whether a supplier was available or not.




Seems odd there haven't been a lot of complaints on this forum over the last few months.

I would have thought that, over time, failures would become more common and we'd be hearing about it all the time.







So according to you, there are no more LX80's out there than Ford Pintos.

You, then, think its "much ado about nothing?"

Interesting, given the amount of attention you've given to the issue.


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6313153 - 01/14/14 08:42 PM

Quote:


So according to you, there are no more LX80's out there than Ford Pintos.

You, then, think its "much ado about nothing?"

Interesting, given the amount of attention you've given to the issue.




I think that comes down to what some of us hope to get from (and give to) this site. Some of us here hope that we can use this site as an open and honest source of information about products that we are about to spend our hard earned money on. When I bought my CGEM for example, I went in with my eyes wide open about cogging and 8/3 problems thanks to this site.

Mike bought his LX80 in the same state, he knew about the gear slop problems, he knew about the tripod problems, he knew about the weight issues, and he knew about the total lack of AP possibilities.

People who try to imply that the LX80 is all peaches and cream in spite of all of the evidence otherwise flies in the face of what some of us hope to achieve with this forum.

There are lots of mounts that work well, or have minor problems (like my CGEM) for people to even consider a lemon of a mount.

Like Meade OTA's? Want a Meade mount to match it? LX200 is your best affordable bet. The LX200 is a GREAT mount... proven and only minor issues. Want something more spendie? LX850 is proving to be a quality unit.

There is a reason that new Meade is trying to put this mount behind it as quickly as possible.


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jimb1001
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6313445 - 01/14/14 11:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:


So according to you, there are no more LX80's out there than Ford Pintos.

You, then, think its "much ado about nothing?"

Interesting, given the amount of attention you've given to the issue.




I think that comes down to what some of us hope to get from (and give to) this site. Some of us here hope that we can use this site as an open and honest source of information about products that we are about to spend our hard earned money on. When I bought my CGEM for example, I went in with my eyes wide open about cogging and 8/3 problems thanks to this site.

Mike bought his LX80 in the same state, he knew about the gear slop problems, he knew about the tripod problems, he knew about the weight issues, and he knew about the total lack of AP possibilities.

People who try to imply that the LX80 is all peaches and cream in spite of all of the evidence otherwise flies in the face of what some of us hope to achieve with this forum.

There are lots of mounts that work well, or have minor problems (like my CGEM) for people to even consider a lemon of a mount.

Like Meade OTA's? Want a Meade mount to match it? LX200 is your best affordable bet. The LX200 is a GREAT mount... proven and only minor issues. Want something more spendie? LX850 is proving to be a quality unit.

There is a reason that new Meade is trying to put this mount behind it as quickly as possible.




The truth is you don't know what Meade is or isn't doing, quickly or slowly.

You don't know how many LX 80s have been sold or how many buyers are dissatisfied.

But don't let that stop you. Hasn't so far.

Yes, we all want information but opinion stated as fact is a disservice.


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ur7x
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Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6313523 - 01/15/14 12:49 AM

Quote:



The truth is you don't know what Meade is or isn't doing, quickly or slowly.

You don't know how many LX 80s have been sold or how many buyers are dissatisfied.

But don't let that stop you. Hasn't so far.

Yes, we all want information but opinion stated as fact is a disservice.




Yes, this is true, as I have posted, and other have chastised, we are all guessing here. Though it is odd that this mount is conspicuously absent in ALL of "New" Meade's PR releases and advertising... easy to draw conclusions and spin that both positively and negatively... of course only one conclusion is right...

But we do know that this mount is out of production and has been for a while now. If new Meade had a positive position on this mount, why not find a new manufacture for it? Or use excess production in Mexico. More guesses.


All we have is Mike's original "help me decide to buy an LX80, that I have already ordered, with positive posts only please, thread" Where in an attempt to find 10 customers who were happy with the mount and who were using it for AP, could only find 6 customer who were actually happy with their mount and zero people who had taken exposures longer than 60 seconds with it.

Are there happy customers? Sure, add in Mike, there are at least 7 here...
Does the mount measure up to "old" Meade's marketing promises? Not so much.
Did I try to buy one? Yup!
For whatever reason, did Meade stop production on this mount about 1 year after they started to first deliver it? Ya, that is documented now.
Am I happy that I took advice from members here (some helpful, who still post; and some sarcastic, who haven't posted for a several months now) and of course my local Meade dealer? You BET!

Thank you all...


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6313528 - 01/15/14 01:03 AM

What is really weird: even though the LX80 is out of production it is still promoted on the Meade website.

Yes, websites are many times not up to date, however someone visiting this website would think they could get an LX80. All I see is the item is back ordered...

OPT has them in STOCK!

So is it out of production? Did Meade announce this? Or is this a CN announcement?

Or will Meade come out with LX80 rev2?

Or will….Ah forget about it! It is all speculation!


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6313533 - 01/15/14 01:12 AM

Quote:

What is really weird: even though the LX80 is out of production it is still promoted on the Meade website.

Yes, websites are many times not up to date, however someone visiting this website would think they could get an LX80. All I see is the item is back ordered...

OPT has them in STOCK!

So is it out of production? Did Meade announce this? Or is this a CN announcement?

Or will Meade come out with LX80 rev2?

Or will….Ah forget about it! It is all speculation!




Uhh.. Sigh... No...
The out of production is the one part of this that is NOT speculation... A very clever poster here (not me) actual found (and posted) links to actual shipping documents that showed that all of the LX80 tooling had been boxed up and container shipped back to California right about the same time that the buy-out was completed.

There is no debate that the Chinese manufacture is no longer making them.

Why this happened, well, that is speculation.

But we know that any and all of the LX80's being sold are old stock, none have been built since the merger/bailout/buyout/whatever you wish to call it.


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6313542 - 01/15/14 01:17 AM

Quote:

Quote:

What is really weird: even though the LX80 is out of production it is still promoted on the Meade website.

Yes, websites are many times not up to date, however someone visiting this website would think they could get an LX80. All I see is the item is back ordered...

OPT has them in STOCK!

So is it out of production? Did Meade announce this? Or is this a CN announcement?

Or will Meade come out with LX80 rev2?

Or will….Ah forget about it! It is all speculation!




The out of production is the one part of this that is NOT speculation... A very clever poster here (not me) actual found (and posted) links to actual shipping documents that showed that all of the LX80 tooling had been boxed up and container shipped back to California right about the same time that the buy-out was completed.

There is no debate that the Chinese manufacture is no longer making them.

Why this happened, well, that is speculation.

But we know that any and all of the LX80's being sold are old stock, none have been built since the merger/bailout/buyout/whatever you wish to call it.





Yes, I saw the tooling was shipped back to California. Does that mean out of production? No…it could mean they may build them in Mexico or wherever, or sell the tooling for scrap, or...who knows what.

Yes, that does seem to infer the Chinese manufacturer is no longer making them. Yes, all are old stock.

Still, Meade still advertises this puppy. If I wasn't so busy I would give them a buzz just out of total curiosity. Maybe I will next week.


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ur7x
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Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6313551 - 01/15/14 01:22 AM

Sure please do, others have, and you can reconfirm the one part that we actually all agree on.

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6313588 - 01/15/14 01:57 AM

Quote:

Sure please do, others have, and you can reconfirm the one part that we actually all agree on.




Or, I can reconfirm what some agree upon, and then we can re-confirm what we then reconfirmed, and then…

What were we talking about…? The Mach1 vs 1100GTO? Oh, wait…that was my other forum post.

Anyways, I may newly confirm, and then we reconfirm and then we speculate on what we confirmed and reconfirmed and then…



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Jmax
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Why I am happy with mine... new [Re: ur7x]
      #6314011 - 01/15/14 09:53 AM

Not to start or add to an argument, just to give my honest feedback... It's really quiet simple, actually. It performs just as well, as a dual alt-az mount, as a minitower. It is much sturdier than one, and it can handle both my C9.25 and 200N at the same time. A minitower could not. When I bought it, it was also much cheaper than the Ioptron mount.

It is true that I bought it with the hope of using it for photography. To be honest, I can't really say if it will work or not, because I haven't tried it for photography as yet. The autoguider dongle for it has been unavailable for months. A used one came up on the classifieds just a few days ago, though, and it sold within 5 minutes. Somebody else must be wanting to give photography a go with one of their 'lemons.'

At this point, though, after using mine so successfully with my two big scopes at numerous star parties, photography is really just a bonus. I love mine. You really would not believe how fast it slews to objects (with 40 lbs of scope on board) and centers them. It is quiet the hot rod, as far as slewing speed is concerned.

John


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ur7x
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Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6314015 - 01/15/14 09:59 AM

Quote:



What were we talking about…? The Mach1 vs 1100GTO? Oh, wait…that was my other forum post.

Anyways, I may newly confirm, and then we reconfirm and then we speculate on what we confirmed and reconfirmed and then…






Some of us are trying to talk about the LX80, its known and well documented issues, and if/when/and most important How Meade will fix them with some rumored mount that was first called the "LX85", then called the "VM1", now called "all boxed up in a California warehouse".

Others here are trying to confuse the thread by introducing discussion about anything else and asking questions that they already know the answer to.

1100GOTO? Really now.


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jimb1001
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Re: Why I am happy with mine... new [Re: Jmax]
      #6314736 - 01/15/14 03:39 PM

Quote:

Not to start or add to an argument, just to give my honest feedback... It's really quiet simple, actually. It performs just as well, as a dual alt-az mount, as a minitower. It is much sturdier than one, and it can handle both my C9.25 and 200N at the same time. A minitower could not. When I bought it, it was also much cheaper than the Ioptron mount.

It is true that I bought it with the hope of using it for photography. To be honest, I can't really say if it will work or not, because I haven't tried it for photography as yet. The autoguider dongle for it has been unavailable for months. A used one came up on the classifieds just a few days ago, though, and it sold within 5 minutes. Somebody else must be wanting to give photography a go with one of their 'lemons.'

At this point, though, after using mine so successfully with my two big scopes at numerous star parties, photography is really just a bonus. I love mine. You really would not believe how fast it slews to objects (with 40 lbs of scope on board) and centers them. It is quiet the hot rod, as far as slewing speed is concerned.

John




Please check yourself.

Everyone "knows" this mount is awful, a travesty foisted upon an unsuspecting astro community by a cruel and heartless vendor.

Plus, your views are questionable in that its common knowledge that slewing this mount carrying more than a 60mm risks life and limb as the thing can come apart at any time, flinging who knows what, who knows where.

Or, perhaps, its a good little mount for the price, not quite up to the hype about astro photography capability. Although at this point, I'm not sure I even remember what "promises" about suitability for ap were made.

Sarcasm aside, I'm glad to hear that you have one of the "good ones" and are using it successfully.


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brokenwave
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Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Why I am happy with mine... new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6314947 - 01/15/14 05:19 PM

"Or, perhaps, its a good little mount for the price, not quite up to the hype about astro photography capability. Although at this point, I'm not sure I even remember what "promises" about suitability for ap were made."

This is closer to the truth for the majority of the LX-80 owners out there, pretty good to excellent for visual and not able to do guided AP.
Shame on Meade for releasing a product not close to what was advertised.
But again look at the Starsense from Celestron another product released for sale as a beta product for GEM owners but it is slowly getting to where it needed to be for sale.

Here is what Meade advertised:
This complete GOTO computerized scope comes fully equipped with the Meade AudioStar handbox with over 30,000 object library, 10 arcminute pointing accuracy (5 arcminutes with High Precision mode active) and Astronomer Inside digital audio technology with audio files on over 500 objects. Meade SmartDrive periodic error correction (active in Polar mode only) dramatically reduces errors providing performance only available on much more expensive mounts, taking your astro imaging to a new level of precision. The complete mount is powered by 8 user supplied "AA" batteries. An optional 12V DC power supply is available for separate purchase. Includes two RS-232 serial interface ports (USB Adapter available separately). An optional plug-in Autoguider port is also available and sold separately.



Edited by brokenwave (01/15/14 05:25 PM)


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Why I am happy with mine... new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6314995 - 01/15/14 05:42 PM

ur7x - CALM down…CALM down. Think humor…

Alright, so I made some calls. Sooo much better than speculating!

The list:
(1) No official announcement on the LX80 was made. This was courtesy of the CN universe (surprised? I'm not).
(2) Due to the buy out, Meade re-evaluated ALL their products (this should not be a surprise either). The LX80 is definitely going through an update, but it will exist and evolve. Without saying TOO much I think we will see something shortly. What will its FINAL name be? Who knows. Variations are out there in discussion.
(3) LX80s were definitely sold - there is definite interest in this mount.

With all the comments of what a disaster it is/was I still have not seen any metrics on the failure rate.

So, what is next? I think I am going to play with one of these and get to the bottom of things.


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6315261 - 01/15/14 07:51 PM

Quote:

ur7x - CALM down…CALM down. Think humor…





Does telling someone to "calm down" ever work?
Try with your wife/girlfriend and let us know.

Quote:


Alright, so I made some calls. Sooo much better than speculating!

The list:
(1) No official announcement on the LX80 was made. This was courtesy of the CN universe (surprised? I'm not).
(2) Due to the buy out, Meade re-evaluated ALL their products (this should not be a surprise either). The LX80 is definitely going through an update, but it will exist and evolve. Without saying TOO much I think we will see something shortly. What will its FINAL name be? Who knows. Variations are out there in discussion.
(3) LX80s were definitely sold - there is definite interest in this mount.

With all the comments of what a disaster it is/was I still have not seen any metrics on the failure rate.

So, what is next? I think I am going to play with one of these and get to the bottom of things.




More humor here too!

Notice that you avoided the question that you said you were going to ask...
Is the mount still in production?

Remember this was the one thing that everyone (else) agreed too.

Of course we (well the rest of us anyway) already know the answer to that.

If you had them on the line, why not ask about the failure rate... why not ask WHY they canceled the mount. I would like to know if they got Mike's letter that documented what they needed to do to resolve some of the mounts issues.
Any of that would be news.

We had one Meade vendor post here that early versions had a huge return rate but that later ones were better. We also had posts about not only the tripod or the gears, but there were issues with early boards and the motors burning up too. No quantum though, all speculation. What return for telescopes is "huge" If a PC manufacture had 2% of their laptops returned heads would roll... For Telescope mounts is 20% ok? Who knows.

That same vendor also posted that none have been available for some time now, there is some "old stock" floating around and thats it. Once they are gone, they are done. So was he making stuff up?

Call em back and ask how many they sold, what the sales targets were and what the return rate was.

Yes think humor indeed!


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: ur7x]
      #6315610 - 01/15/14 11:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

ur7x - CALM down…CALM down. Think humor…





Does telling someone to "calm down" ever work?
Try with your wife/girlfriend and let us know.






Well, it depends on how much she has had to drink, lol.

Still, most women melt in my arms, so they do calm down when I tell them, but then they get hyper just in my presence and just cling to me. I have to shoo them away all them.

Quote:


Quote:


Alright, so I made some calls. Sooo much better than speculating!

The list:
(1) No official announcement on the LX80 was made. This was courtesy of the CN universe (surprised? I'm not).
(2) Due to the buy out, Meade re-evaluated ALL their products (this should not be a surprise either). The LX80 is definitely going through an update, but it will exist and evolve. Without saying TOO much I think we will see something shortly. What will its FINAL name be? Who knows. Variations are out there in discussion.
(3) LX80s were definitely sold - there is definite interest in this mount.

With all the comments of what a disaster it is/was I still have not seen any metrics on the failure rate.

So, what is next? I think I am going to play with one of these and get to the bottom of things.




More humor here too!

Notice that you avoided the question that you said you were going to ask...
Is the mount still in production?

Remember this was the one thing that everyone (else) agreed too.

Of course we (well the rest of us anyway) already know the answer to that.

If you had them on the line, why not ask about the failure rate... why not ask WHY they canceled the mount. I would like to know if they got Mike's letter that documented what they needed to do to resolve some of the mounts issues.
Any of that would be news.

We had one Meade vendor post here that early versions had a huge return rate but that later ones were better. We also had posts about not only the tripod or the gears, but there were issues with early boards and the motors burning up too. No quantum though, all speculation. What return for telescopes is "huge" If a PC manufacture had 2% of their laptops returned heads would roll... For Telescope mounts is 20% ok? Who knows.

That same vendor also posted that none have been available for some time now, there is some "old stock" floating around and thats it. Once they are gone, they are done. So was he making stuff up?

Call em back and ask how many they sold, what the sales targets were and what the return rate was.

Yes think humor indeed!





A new mount is indeed in production (final manufacturing runs, testing and all that). I cannot say whether it is totally new or a model that has everything corrected and enhanced (for the latter think LX800 to LX850 type of leap). So the old one is not in production, but the new one might look very familiar. Who knows - is it evolution or revolution? Stay tuned…inquiring minds want to know!

Failure rates - I did not ask, but they did sell all they built. BTW - in the PC world the numbers are all over the place regarding manufacturing quality. My bet is for Apple the failure rate is VERY low. I remember back in the 90's a dealer told me Packard-Bell Computers had a 100% failure rate after 1 year of use. YIKES!

But I have to say ur7x you have egged me on and totally peaked my curiosity. So I am going to purchase an LX80! First use - education outreach; I know some schools that would love to try this out. Second use - I am very curious to see the real story on this mount. (You guys will soon have me purchasing every mount on the market!). I also have other uses, and was on the fence for a fun mount, but ur7x convinced me to buy one. And I just did! Do I expect this to be a high end or medium end AP mount? No - that is what the LX850, Mach1, et. al. are for. I am just curious if it works as designed and marketed. BTW, if you are in New Mexico or Michigan you are welcome to try it out with me.

Last item to repeat - I am buying it. No vendor nor Meade is giving me this for free.

Now the fun will begin indeed!

P.S. - I will post my experience in a new forum, not here. I hope ur7x you join the fun!


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ur7x
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Reged: 01/08/12

Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6315636 - 01/15/14 11:23 PM

There ya go Mike, there are now 8 happy LX80 owners.

The one that Andrew bought/is buying will melt in his arms.

I hope he got one of those open box units at OPT. No way that those are recent returns


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Jmax
professor emeritus
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Reged: 09/28/10

Loc: Alabama
Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6315637 - 01/15/14 11:25 PM

I look forward to hearing your reports on your new LX80. I think 'fun mount' describes mine pretty well. It is fun to use. It is great to have an f/5 Newt and f/10 Cat on board at the same time because of the vast size difference in their FOVs. Finally, it has to be just about the coolest looking mount around. At my club's parties, it is the hottest ticket around, definitely! I hope yours works as well as mine, and most importantly, that you have 'fun' with it. After all, isn't that what the hobby is all about?

John


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: ur7x]
      #6315659 - 01/15/14 11:44 PM

Quote:

There ya go Mike, there are now 8 happy LX80 owners.

The one that Andrew bought/is buying will melt in his arms.

I hope he got one of those open box units at OPT. No way that those are recent returns




It's good that CN members make such meaningful contributions to the threads.

Mike


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: ur7x]
      #6315679 - 01/16/14 12:06 AM

Quote:

There ya go Mike, there are now 8 happy LX80 owners.

The one that Andrew bought/is buying will melt in his arms.

I hope he got one of those open box units at OPT. No way that those are recent returns





Nope, I did not get the open box unit from OPT. Meade is opening up their boxes of tooling from China and custom building one just for lil' ol' me!

The LX80 better not melt! Now I will invite a nerdy girl to observe with me - she will definitely melt in my arms. Telescopes + a nerdy girl = pay dirt!


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

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Re: So are they still making them or not? new [Re: Jmax]
      #6315713 - 01/16/14 12:35 AM

Quote:

I look forward to hearing your reports on your new LX80. I think 'fun mount' describes mine pretty well. It is fun to use. It is great to have an f/5 Newt and f/10 Cat on board at the same time because of the vast size difference in their FOVs. Finally, it has to be just about the coolest looking mount around. At my club's parties, it is the hottest ticket around, definitely! I hope yours works as well as mine, and most importantly, that you have 'fun' with it. After all, isn't that what the hobby is all about?

John





Very well said John!

And I can believe it regarding club parties.

Question for everyone - in alt/az mode how good is the LX80 at tracking satellites?


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Misery loves company new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6316006 - 01/16/14 08:56 AM

Quote:


It's good that CN members make such meaningful contributions to the threads.

Mike




Yes! As opposed to someone who says he will call Meade to confirm if they are still in production, and then proceeds to post speculation about everything except what he said he would ask....

Mike, if Andrew is really in the market for a LX80....
Do you know anyone who is presently trying to sell one?

Just a thought.


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Misery loves company new [Re: ur7x]
      #6316042 - 01/16/14 09:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:


It's good that CN members make such meaningful contributions to the threads.

Mike




Yes! As opposed to someone who says he will call Meade to confirm if they are still in production, and then proceeds to post speculation about everything except what he said he would ask....

Mike, if Andrew is really in the market for a LX80....
Do you know anyone who is presently trying to sell one?

Just a thought.




Weird - thought I did answer the question based on my phone call. The original is NOT in production. A revision/change/replacement of some sort IS in ramp up. I have no clue what it is.

I am out of the Market because I did purchase an LX80. I am figuring the shipping location as we speak because I am on the road for the next 3 weeks.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 upgrade LX85. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6322274 - 01/19/14 02:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I feel bad for Mikes outcome on all of this. But he went in with his eyes wide open, he knew going in that this mount had issues.




Just to be clear, I'm only selling the mount because of back problems that aren't going to go away anytime soon if ever. I like my zEQ25 but the LX80 worked well for me for visual... excpet that it weighs 3 to 4 times what the z25 does. If I had a perminate setup, I'd keep the LX80.

Mike




At least for now, I've decided to hold on to my LX80 and see if my back is strong enough to use it after the weather warms up a bit.


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