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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6059343 - 09/02/13 01:58 PM

Sigh,


For now I am going sailing.




In the mean time I do have the big Meade LX850 vs. Celestron vs AP challenge. No one has taken me up on it, so I will likely post the results against cardboard cutouts. Stay tuned for the results in November.

AND in the mean time, lets get back to the OPs main points.


Quote:

Andrew, please make an attempt to get your facts straight.

(1) Where does someone claim Meade isn't currently selling or supporting products in this thread? You claim someone is saying this- who and where?

(2) Please provide data on what published data supports this story about backup buyouts in the offing. According to Meade's management, plan B is liquidation.

(3) This "Coming out with a Rev" is the result of a year-long campaign spearheaded by Mike Kofski. It's irresponsible to soft-pedal the reason for it: The LX80 does not meet any of its stated specs. Mike and a lot of other CN contributors have done a lot of work to document the true state of this hardware, its software interactions, and field behavior, then reported all of it and campaigned for a fix. Will Meade actually do it? Well, they are saying everything will magically be better with aluminum parts instead of zinc pot metal parts (this is why the tripods break), actual drive gear profiles on the worm and wheel, and more fixes. Telling a story of "The great is getting better!" is disingenuous to the point of fraud.

(4) Explain what this "Lots of interest" business is all about. This appears to be nothing more than a massive block of ad puffery. What does it have to do with giving a responsible answer to an OP who asked in good faith?

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

It'll probably be half a year yet before I can afford something decent, so there's plenty of time for them to fix it.




Edited by Dave M (09/02/13 04:30 PM)


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6059356 - 09/02/13 02:05 PM






Last I checked I am the PI on two space missions though.

Meade is not paying me a penny, though I am a VERY happy customer of Meade.

- Telescopes: all have worked great since day of purchase.
- Accessories: worked great since 1975
- Customer service: Wonderful folks to talk with.



Edited by Dave M (09/02/13 04:29 PM)


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Mkofski
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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6059358 - 09/02/13 02:06 PM

Rich,

Good points all. Since the OP has several months to make a decision then he can look at the state of mounts at a later date.

In the mean time I'd suggest a LOT of research on what equipment and software is required to get I to AP and still have a system that is usable visually.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6059365 - 09/02/13 02:08 PM

Quote:

Due to the affordability, among other benefits, I may go with an Orion 10" Astrograph Newtonian reflector as my first good OTA. Not only will it be great for visual observation at first to get used to the scope and computerized mount, it will be great for DSO astrophotography at a good price.




The Orion Astrograph is an F/4 Newtonian designed for photography, ie, large secondary, focuser backfocus chosen a camera rather than than visual.

Since apparently this is your first Newtonian, well, F/4 is not the place I would start out... Coma is serious, eyepieces do not like F/4 light cones unless you are willing to spend real money. One of my favorite scopes is my 12.5 inch F/4.06 but to make it sing, there's $2000+ in eyepieces, a Paracorr and about $250 collimation tools.

Astrophotography and visual observing, these are different hobbies. It's best not to try to mix them.. $500 buys a 10 inch F/5 Dob complete that is a wonderful visual instrument and is more forgiving than a 10 inch F/4...

Jon


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Dave MModerator
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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6059694 - 09/02/13 05:14 PM

Just a reminder Guys, Please!! keep the discussion a polite one.
Thank you!


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6059757 - 09/02/13 06:05 PM

Quote:

I recently watched some Youtube videos by Forrest Tanaka on astrophotography. He brought up a few interesting points that may delay me from getting a SCT for a while. Due to the affordability, among other benefits, I may go with an Orion 10" Astrograph Newtonian reflector as my first good OTA. Not only will it be great for visual observation at first to get used to the scope and computerized mount, it will be great for DSO astrophotography at a good price. I don't mind the size of the OTA and means I'll be able to afford a telescope much sooner.

Of course, that still leaves me with the mount. I did see the new AVX mount and is at a relatively good price. However, I'm worried about the weight limit. The 10" Newtonian is 25.5 lb. by itself. It'll be pretty close to the weight limit of the mount (30 lb.) when more accessories are added, especially if I add an autoguider + scope and a camera one day. Will it be able to handle all that? The CGEM can hold 40 lb., but is double the price for that extra 10 lb.




The LX80 isn't even close to being able to handle your target payload. To quote some who offer the advise to me sarcastically, "This aint the mount for you". Of course I'm offering that advice in earnest.

If you are considering a 10" newt and money is tight, I'd consider a second hand atlas or CGEM.


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A. Viegas
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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6059777 - 09/02/13 06:22 PM

I hope Mike is right and that Meade comes along with the LX85 with improved gears, components and re-engineered tripod. I came close to buying the LX80 when it was first announced, but I listened to Uncle Rod and others who advised caution on the new product front. Still, I think there is an important niche for a EQ/Alt-Az & Dual Scope mount such as the LX80 promised for under $1k. Of course we have to wait and see if the Sunny merger goes through and Meade survives... Like many others I too was hopeful that Explore Scientific would have been the white knight as I believe they have very good product intuition and could have taken Meade to greater success... Crossing my fingers and waiting...

Al


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6059784 - 09/02/13 06:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

* Only two in this forum I have seen report legs snap.





Now that's reassuring.







Actually, let me correct my statement.

Out of the 1000s sold, I have seen 1 confirmed break on CN and this was taken care of by Meade even though the damage was done by the customer.

Bonus points for Meade on that.




Bonus? Wow. I have personally seen people take loaded Atlas, CGEMs and LX200's by one leg and drag them across long grass to make room for a late comer to a star party. I have never seen ONE of those tripods break. The fact that Meade worked quickly to send out a replacement is not "Bonus Marks" Bonus Marks would be offered if Meade had engineered a tripod that didn't snap in the first place... I wonder were are all of the posts from owners of LX200's, CGEMs, ASGT, Atlas, AP, or what have you with broken tripods?

No this mount is "special" in a not so special way.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #6059802 - 09/02/13 06:36 PM

A lot of what drives these interactions is frustration. The hardware was frustrating. The learning process was really frustrating. Trying to make fixes was extremely frustrating. Getting a repair together which will be available 2 weeks after the company faces a vote to sell out for salvage value or go to liquidation, well, that's a bit frustrating, too.

The advice for an Atlas or CGEM is spot on- available, steady as a block of granite, and known quantities.

Maybe Meade's folks have a great answer. But at this point, it's really late. It's a warning to anyone who wants a second bite at the apple.

-Rich


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #6059884 - 09/02/13 07:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

* Only two in this forum I have seen report legs snap.





Now that's reassuring.







Actually, let me correct my statement.

Out of the 1000s sold, I have seen 1 confirmed break on CN and this was taken care of by Meade even though the damage was done by the customer.

Bonus points for Meade on that.




Bonus? Wow. I have personally seen people take loaded Atlas, CGEMs and LX200's by one leg and drag them across long grass to make room for a late comer to a star party. I have never seen ONE of those tripods break. The fact that Meade worked quickly to send out a replacement is not "Bonus Marks" Bonus Marks would be offered if Meade had engineered a tripod that didn't snap in the first place... I wonder were are all of the posts from owners of LX200's, CGEMs, ASGT, Atlas, AP, or what have you with broken tripods?

No this mount is "special" in a not so special way.





UR7X -- My English is not so good, so let me explain it more clearly.

It is a bonus for Meade to respond and take care of the matter, especially when the customer indicated it was his fault.

I agree it should have been engineered better, though it appears there are many happy customers out there on the visual front for the LX80.

Either way this is all moot. Compendium is looking at 6 months down the road, not next week. Meade will either be selling the LX80 still, the LX8x, or per others selling only Walmart Telescopes or dead and gone since all the white knights have disappeared. Probably best to focus on Compendium's question, t and next steps.

Compendium--

Jon did have some very good points in his post: "Astrophotography and visual observing, these are different hobbies. It's best not to try to mix them.. ".

It all boils down usage, location, finances, application, etc. etc. My 14" ACF is wonderful, but I will not travel around the country with it. Plus it seems more effective in my drier climate location (excluding the monsoon season!). A faster APO refractor compared to your current model can be quite nice and is portable (I am learning this quickly!), but may be too expensive. Fortunately you have some time to figure this out - and even try out some telescopes and mounts!

I do like the concept of the LX80. My guess is all the questions regarding the "LX8-whatever" will be answered in the next 6 months.

BTW - sometimes I travel through Wisconsin. I have no problem if you want to take a peek and trial run with my equipment if you are interested. And of course if you are in Michigan or New Mexico you are welcome to stop by too.


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Pauls72
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Reged: 10/28/07

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6059920 - 09/02/13 08:04 PM

Several things you need to be aware of. A 10" reflector is a fairly large scope in size, it has a lot of mass (weight) out at the ends, so when it moves it wants to keep moving. Second a big scope acts like a big sail and catches the wind very well, so a little breeze can cause a lot of movement. So what does this mean to you? You need a fairly robust mount to handle this big of scope. Running a mount at or near it's rated weight limit for astrophotography will generate nothing but frustration.

A CGEM, iEQ45 or EQ-6/EQ-G will work well for visual use with this scope. For astrophotography, these would be about the minimum scope you could get by with and even then it may be a tough job.

Quote:

Compendium--
Jon did have some very good points in his post: "Astrophotography and visual observing, these are different hobbies. It's best not to try to mix them.. ".





I think there are quite a few of us who mix the two them with no problems. Some scopes are not meant for astrophotography, while others are not meant for visual use. But their are quit a few that will do both well. A good robust mount will work well for both.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6059930 - 09/02/13 08:12 PM

I was happy that Meade took care of both the problems I had with the LX80. I wasn't all that happy to have to pay shipping back to them for the mount, but that's the way life,is at times.

I know of 3 occurrences of the tripod let breaking. I take partial responsibility for the failure of mine because I tried to move the mount without picking it up. I only take partial responsibility because moving a loaded tripod an inch or 2 shouldn't snap the legs off.

All this rhetoric does the OP no good at all. How important or unimportant our individual jobs are does the OP no good at all. I think we've made the point that, right now, the LX80 isn't a good choice for a 10" Newtonian astrograph. He can revisit mount as his purchase date get closer.

I had a lot of advice when I was looking for a mount. Probably should have listed to some of it. I think that the OP could use some advice on what all equipment and software is required to get into AP and what that total cost is. I made up a list of what I know (not all that much) at 3 levels: 1. Low cost, 2. Higher cost, better equipment and 3. "if I won the lottery level". Just round numbers without specific vendors in mind. Add to it if you like or give us your own list. My low end numbers are based on buying some used and some new equipment.

Item Low end Higher end If I win the lottery
Mount $1,000 $5,000 $15,000
Imaging OTA $400 $1,500 $15,000
Finder $50 $150 $0
Second OTA $250 $750 $3,000
Computer $300 $1,500 $3,000
Software $100 $500 $1,500
Cables $200 $200 $500
Field flatner $125 $250 $0
Tablet $250 $500 $750
Guide camera $250 $600 $1,000
Imaging camera $500 $2,500 $10,000
Observatory $0 $1,000 $15,000

Total $3,425 $14,450 $49,750


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Pauls72]
      #6059931 - 09/02/13 08:13 PM

Compendium,

Of course the other question to consider is are you also looking at Video Astronomy along with AP and Visual?

Video Astronomy is my more recent "discovery", and I am having a blast with it (when I have the opportunity with weather, travel and all!). This is also a lot more forgiving than AP, and you can see a lot of faint fuzzies and such. Will it look like the amazing AP photos some folks produce? No, but you can see a lot of cool stuff, in color no less, in seconds you would barely see visually. With video astronomy the demands on your mount are very low.


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Compendium
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA, Earth
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6059935 - 09/02/13 08:17 PM

Instead of spending far more money on a beefier mount to hold a 25.5 lb. 10", I could go down to the 8" which is 17.5 lb. Surely the Advanced VX could handle that, right?

About the coma, a Google search showed that some people said there was coma around the edge, but it was very little during visual use without a coma corrector. Even if they are wrong and it is bad, wouldn't a coma corrector or barlow lens fix that? I'd eventually have to get a coma corrector for photography anyway.

Regarding video astronomy, I assume that's referring to speckle imaging? I read about it, but I have no idea how it's implemented.

Edited by Compendium (09/02/13 08:32 PM)


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6059954 - 09/02/13 08:36 PM

Quote:



Item Low end Higher end If I win the lottery
Mount $1,000 $5,000 $15,000
Imaging OTA $400 $1,500 $15,000
Finder $50 $150 $0
Second OTA $250 $750 $3,000
Computer $300 $1,500 $3,000
Software $100 $500 $1,500
Cables $200 $200 $500
Field flatner $125 $250 $0
Tablet $250 $500 $750
Guide camera $250 $600 $1,000
Imaging camera $500 $2,500 $10,000
Observatory $0 $1,000 $15,000

Total $3,425 $14,450 $49,750





Mike - good research on the ball park numbers! Without the observatory, I think the current high end setup I am working with is $21,500 (there will be research instruments added putting it over $200k). LX200 (mid-range) was around $15k, ball park over the years of purchases, using your metrics.

However, you can take some really cool images with just an iOptron SkyTracker (or similar), Manfrotto tripod and head (or similar), and a DSLR with lens. This may be low end in price, however great high end images. Worth considering.

Don't forget the subscription with Adobe for PhotoShop in your software model. This will of course add up over time.

So many choices...

What is the PowerBall at right now???


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6059959 - 09/02/13 08:38 PM

Coma is visual at low powers. Prime focus photography is going to show it along the edges. Coma correctors increase the f/#.

Maybe a better question is what is driving your telescope choice. Are you just looking for aperture?

Video astronomy is not speckle imaging; real time images of integrations. It's been around since the late 90s. Look up Mallincam and you'll see examples. Basically you set up a camera with a video monitor. As the camera looks at the image, it combines the last several frames in what it sends to the monitor. Mou can select how many frames it stacks and the white balance to get a usable image on the screen. It's a cute trick, but you can do it with a Dobsonian, so it really doesn't have much to do with mounting.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (09/02/13 09:31 PM)


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dale67cameron
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Reged: 01/03/12

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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6059968 - 09/02/13 08:43 PM

The meade mounts I have owned in the past were always ok as long as luck was with you. I never had complete confidence in them. Goto's would be accurate one night and a disaster the next. I bought a orion atlas 2 years ago and what a upgrade. From the first night I used it, it has been dead on every night. Nothing magical, just set it up , align and use it. I use everything from a 8 lb to a 55lb scope on it and it just works all night with no issues. If you want a no nonsense mount that works, buy an atlas.

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Mkofski
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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6059992 - 09/02/13 09:00 PM

Quote:

Instead of spending far more money on a beefier mount to hold a 25.5 lb. 10", I could go down to the 8" which is 17.5 lb. Surely the Advanced VX could handle that, right?

About the coma, a Google search showed that some people said there was coma around the edge, but it was very little during visual use without a coma corrector. Even if they are wrong and it is bad, wouldn't a coma corrector or barlow lens fix that? I'd eventually have to get a coma corrector for photography anyway.

Regarding video astronomy, I assume that's referring to speckle imaging? I read about it, but I have no idea how it's implemented.




I think the AVX will have trouble with a 17 pound 8" newt... A 6" would be better. I think a 8 or 10 " newt would require a CGEM, Atlas, or iOptron 45

Also, for visual, if the OP has not used a larger newt, you can get in some fairly uncomfortable positions. I bought a 6" Orion and sold it after using it 2 times. I find a SCT and a short or medium FL refractor much easier to use.

Edited by Mkofski (09/03/13 12:27 AM)


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Mkofski
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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6060006 - 09/02/13 09:11 PM

Quote:

What is the PowerBall at right now???




I just recently realized that to win the Power Ball I have to start buying tickets.

My kit is in the low end price wise but because of not doing proper research I've spent almost twice that amount.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6060328 - 09/03/13 12:27 AM

Quote:



I think the AVX will have trouble with a 17 pound 8" newt... A 6" would be better. I don't think a 8 or 10 " newt would require a CGEM, Atlas, or iOptron 45





Curious POV since my neighbor has his 22# 9.25 HD Edge on his AVX and it works great and he takes amazing pictures through it.

If the AVX can perform decent AP with a 22# OTA a 17# newt should be a walk in the park.

An 8" Newt will be fine on ether an AVX or the CGEM... moving to a 10" newt I would move to the Atlas or CGEM if for no other reason then for windy nights... 10" newts make for a large sail.


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