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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6060332 - 09/03/13 12:29 AM

Quote:

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




The "coma free region" of a Newtonian is inversely proportional to the cube of the focal ratio. At F/4, it 1.4mm in diameter. Inside that 1.4mm circle, a perfect mirror is diffraction limited, outside it, it is no longer diffraction limited and it gets worse the further away from the center of the field. With a 2 inch widefield eyepiece, the entire field of view might be 35mm in diameter... The coma at F/4 very apparent at low magnifications and affects the quality of the view at higher magnifications.

Yes, you can buy a coma corrector, you can also buy eyepieces that work nicely at F/4 or F/4.6 with a Paracorr. But it is a serious investment...

As far as using the same equipment for A-P and Visual.. it does involve compromizing both, A-P is about the mount, visual is about the scope.. A mount which is sufficient for visual observation with a 8 inch F/5 Newtonian would be appropriate for a 3 or 4 inch refractor used for astrophotography.

In this situation, the focal ratio, the size of the secondary, the backfocus, these are suited for A-P, not so much for visual.

Jon


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #6060340 - 09/03/13 12:40 AM

Quote:

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.




I corrected .a typo in my earlier post. I DO think a 10" newt would take a CGEM, etc. I would be afraid of using a 17 pound newt where a 22 pound SCT would work fine because the newt is so much longer. Once you add the additional equipment the weight is going to be over that initial 17 pounds... but what do I know? I don't have an AVX or a 10" newt.


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Starman27
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Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6060369 - 09/03/13 01:07 AM

I have an LX80. Works fine. It's heavier than I had expected. Interesting design and field assembly. Great tripod. I use it for star parties and out reach programs.

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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: dale67cameron]
      #6060399 - 09/03/13 01:50 AM

Quote:

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.





dale67cameron - I guess mileage varies from individual to individual and maybe I have been powerfully lucky with my Meade mounts. LX200 has worked perfect for me since 1991 (or was it 1992 when I got it? Senile me is forgetting!) - gotos are great. ETX125? Not as good as LX200, but always in field of view. LXD75 - amazing unit based my experience. Gotos always spot on after a very quick set-up. So far this has been a fun grab and go mount for me. I am very pleased with it. LX850 - absolutely amazing. High Precision Pointing is always perfect. StarLock amazing. So I guess I don't share your experiences.

Great news on your LX80 mount Starman! And I always love to hear about outreach programs and such. Do you do your outreach events and parties in Iowa and Illinois? Are you in the Quad cities area? Or do you travel a lot in those states? Did you buy or make a case for your LX80?

Edited by Spacetravelerx (09/03/13 08:31 PM)


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Compendium
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA, Earth
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Starman27]
      #6060408 - 09/03/13 02:06 AM

Even though the OTA will cost twice as much, it is sounding like an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain would be a better route to go for visual astronomy even though it can't get as wide as a field as a Newtonian. So, an 8" SCT with the AVX mount is sounding good.

I suppose an advantage of the long focal length of a SCT is that long focal length eyepieces can be used to give a larger viewing area for a given magnification and field of view. That way a person won't have to get so close to the eyepiece and squint to see small objects in the sky.

Edited by Compendium (09/03/13 02:24 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6060543 - 09/03/13 06:55 AM

Quote:


I suppose an advantage of the long focal length of a SCT is that long focal length eyepieces can be used to give a larger viewing area for a given magnification and field of view. That way a person won't have to get so close to the eyepiece and squint to see small objects in the sky.




With the longer focal length, you will be able to use longer focal length eyepieces but for a given magnification and apparent field of view, the true field of view will be the same.

Eye relief is an issue with some shorter focal length eyepieces but eyepieces with AFoVs that are greater than Plossls almost always include a Barlow-like section and have reasonable/comfortable eye relief.

Jon


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dale67cameron
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Reged: 01/03/12

Loc: Midwest
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6060549 - 09/03/13 07:04 AM

Regarding my earlier post, I have only had experience with etx90, lxd75, and the ds series mounts. I have been impressed with meades goto accuracy on their lx200's my friends have. I am sure their high end mounts are in a different league as far as accuracy. I have also had a cg-5 mount. Ok, but not an atlas. I still would recommend orion's atlas or sirius if you are looking for a dependable workhorse. Mine gets used several times a week depending on the weather. I haven't been around a huge number of the atlas and eq-6 mounts, but everybody I know that has one has been very pleased with it. I travel a long ways for some public outreach events and I really need a mount I can count on. This one hasn't let me down yet. It is very frustrating to have several hundred people wanting to look through your scope and the mount won't work. I have had kids grab my focuser and swing down off a ladder a couple of times. I had a girl pull herself up by grabbing the eyepiece the other night. I have never had to worry about the mount getting damaged by kids so far.(knock on wood) . The lx80 does have the alt-az advantage which would be nice. If you go with it, let us know your thoughts on it. I would be interested to know how it works for you.

Edited by dale67cameron (09/03/13 07:31 AM)


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Pauls72
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: dale67cameron]
      #6061113 - 09/03/13 02:03 PM

I have a Meade LXD55 mount (this is a very similar mount to the CG5 and GP2). I tuned it up, installed a Warp's belt drive kit and built a spreader to help stabilize the mount. All of these things helped and the goto's were fairly accurate. I had an 8" reflector on it. It worked well for visual use, but for astrophotography it did not. I did add a motorized focuser to reduce the vibrations when focusing. Even after all of the upgrades if you took the OTA and pushed gently on the end of it in either direction there was movement. When I moved the OTA, I could actually see the mount head flexing. Yes, that's correct I could actually see the metal casting flexing.

My LXD55 has a 30lb weight rating, my Atlas EQ-G has a 40 lb weight rating. When you add a camera, guide scope with guide camera, extension tubes, field flatteners or reducers, filters, motorized focuser, extra counter weights, etc... you are adding quite a bit of weight to your mount. When you hang some of this on the ends of your OTA you are actually multiplying the weight, because the OTA acts like a lever.

In general manufacturers ratings for their mounts capacity do well for visual use. For astrophotography use you need to take a third to half off of that capacity. All you need is a millimeter of movement at the end of you OTA to make for a blurry picture or egg shaped stars. Does it mean you can't do astrophotography at their rated weight capacity? No, it's just it will be difficult to obtain good results.

Astrophotography with long focal length scopes such as SCT's is difficult. Because of the long focal length any movement or vibration is magnified. It is strongly recommended you start astrophotograghy with a wide angle short focal length refractor if your doing deep sky. However there are multiple kinds of astrophotograghy and multiple kinds of camera's used. By far the best bet is to spend some time with someone that has some experience and talk to them.

Find a club near you or go to a star party, or even do both. look at what people have and talk to them before making a decision. Not knowing where in Wisconsin you are, I don't know how far this is from you: SAG is having their Illinois Dark Skies Star Party in early October, it's held near Springfield, IL.

This is my 8" reflector with a 60mm refractor as a guide scope on the LXD55 and then the Atlas and LXD55 mounts side by side. Although there is only 10 or 15 lbs different is capacities the Atlas is at least double the actual physical weight of the LXD55.







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Compendium
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA, Earth
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Pauls72]
      #6061351 - 09/03/13 05:11 PM

It looks like I'll have to accept the fact I'll have to buy multiple OTAs over time to do visual astronomy and astrophotography well.

First I'll focus on visual astronomy and get an 8" SCT and the AVX mount (and some accessories). Later, after saving up again, I'll work on getting AP equipment and an ED APO refractor.

If the AVX mount can't handle a 12.5 lb. SCT, the diagonal, a filter, and an eyepiece, or a 10 lb. ED APO refractor, autoguider, and camera, the mount shouldn't even be sold.

Edited by Compendium (09/03/13 05:11 PM)


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Compendium]
      #6061537 - 09/03/13 07:33 PM

You don't HAVE to buy 2 scopes for visual and astrophotography. There is an Orion 102mm APO listed on AstroMart now for about $700 that I would buy if I haven't just bought a smaller APO. It is an f/7 and large enough that it would be Ok for visual also. I don't think the seller has it listed here on CN. I am not the seller and have no stake in the sale of the scope. I guess that while there are wrong choices, there are many right choices. Good luck whatever rout you take.

Mike


==== edit ===
2 corrections. The scope I talked about above is a 110mm and it is listed here on CN. Ad # 86673 I think.

Edited by Mkofski (09/03/13 08:40 PM)


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gmartin02
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Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6061647 - 09/03/13 08:55 PM

There is nothing wrong with having multiple scopes for multiple purposes - for the same reason you have both screwdrivers and pliers in a toolbox - different tools for different jobs.

I think for visual, the AVX/8" SCT will work great, and give you a lot deeper DSO views than a smaller APO refractor.

You could also try AP with the 8" SCT, but that is probably a hard way to start out trying to do astrophotography, as it would be for any long f/l scope.

Once you are ready for AP, you could get a very short focal length refractor to "get your feet wet" - something like an AT72ED. In my experience, the shorter the focal length you start with, the less frustrations you may encounter (balance, guiding accuracy, finding targets, etc.).

You can find tons of images on AstroBin using a CG-5 mount (the predecessor to the AVX). Here is a link to an imager on AstroBin that has some really good images taken with a 6" f/5 Netwonian mounted on a CG-5:

http://www.astrobin.com/users/Joanot/

If this class mount can handle a 6" reflector for AP, then a small APO (up to 4") should be no problem.

Greg


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: gmartin02]
      #6061684 - 09/03/13 09:14 PM

I think the AVX can handle an 8" SCT - but then that is f/10 and sloooooow. If you got the Optec 0.5X reducer it would become 1000mm FL and f/5 - much better. That reducer is not cheap and only covers an 18mm circle (e.g. Micro-4/3 camera or 8300 chip camera) but it's one approach..

I've also used a refractor 0.8X reducer on an SCT and it works well. You'd then get f/8 and 1600mm which I think is beyond the AVX capabilities for astrophotography..


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6061692 - 09/03/13 09:20 PM

Quote:

That reducer is not cheap and only covers an 18mm circle (e.g. Micro-4/3 camera or 8300 chip camera) but it's one approach..




You'd need more like a 25mm circle to cover an 8300 chip.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6061723 - 09/03/13 09:39 PM

Just so you know Meade has stopped making the LX80 so any that a retailer may have is old stock. If you want the $799.00 LX80 and use it with a lighter OTA you may still find a vendor somewhere with one in the back room. Otherwise wait until the new version is released.

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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6062305 - 09/04/13 08:49 AM

Quote:

I think the AVX can handle an 8" SCT - but then that is f/10 and sloooooow.




The VX can easily handle an 8-inch SCT for imaging or a C11 for visual. For a STANDARD SCT, just get the good, old Celestron reducer. Works fine, lasts a long time.

For an Edge? The new Celestron reducer is 299, about the same in real dollars that the original reducer cost in the early 1990s when it was new.

Edited by rmollise (09/04/13 08:54 AM)


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orlyandico
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Loc: Singapore
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: rmollise]
      #6062585 - 09/04/13 12:36 PM

well uncle Rod, i know you speak very highly of the standard hundred-buck f6.3 reducer, but my experience wasn't so great. Using a 0.8X refractor reducer yielded much better stars across the field (but then the reduction is also less). My experience with the f6.3 reducer was that there also was very strong vignetting even on APS-C. For all these reasons, I got rid of my f6.3 reducer...

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rmollise
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Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6062775 - 09/04/13 02:10 PM

All I can say that I used the r/c successfully with both 35mm film, and with today's APS chips. Much depends on your individual configuration, of course so, as always "YMMV." If there is a fault in the original r/c for me, it's its tendency to reflections if bright stars are nearby. Still, back in the day it was quite an advance for me over the putrid .5 reducers I'd used before.

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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6063559 - 09/04/13 11:29 PM

Quote:

Just so you know Meade has stopped making the LX80 so any that a retailer may have is old stock. If you want the $799.00 LX80 and use it with a lighter OTA you may still find a vendor somewhere with one in the back room. Otherwise wait until the new version is released.




Really! We are all debating a mount that is basically "done"?


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #6063575 - 09/04/13 11:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Just so you know Meade has stopped making the LX80 so any that a retailer may have is old stock. If you want the $799.00 LX80 and use it with a lighter OTA you may still find a vendor somewhere with one in the back room. Otherwise wait until the new version is released.




Really! We are all debating a mount that is basically "done"?




I don't think "done" has been decided yet. Will be soon but not just yet. Barring access to a time machine, the best Meade can do with this mount is to make it work like it should have at first. The worst that can happen is Meade disappears and those of us that have the mount are orphaned. Bad, but not the worse thing that has happened to me.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Thinking of Meade LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6063810 - 09/05/13 05:55 AM

Can people please give some sort of evidence or source for the information they post so confidently.

It seems to be the sort of thing that the people at Meade who are in a position to know would be very discreet about allowing outside the factory - or telling the sales people.

It would give us an idea of how reliable this is, or if someone (not necessarily the poster) is making it up.

Chris


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