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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Jared
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Reged: 10/11/05

Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LouHalikman]
      #4847755 - 10/06/11 07:01 PM

Quote:

I applaud the incorporation of the guide scope into the mount. I bought my 10" LX 200 15 years ago, when goto was a novelty, and some of the old grizzled veterans pooh-poohed it as a gimmick. That feature is now standard just about everywhere. I've had a 15" dob with excellent optics, but I sold it because the goto on the Meade was just so much easier and more fun. I predict that the including of an autoguider on the mount with a direct interface to the targeting-tracking computer will become standard very shortly with other companies. It's so obvious that I can't believe that nobody did it before. Hopefully it will eliminate the problems of autoguiding and make set-up a lot easier. It would have been nice to have made the guiding system with an available barlow to increase the focal length, but we'll soon see how well it works right out of the box.

I took the plunge and ordered a 12" LX 800 with the focal reducer -- I can't wait to see it! Lou




It's a little unclear to me whether the integrated guide scope would count as part of the carrying capacity of the mount or not. Meade just says 90 pounds is the "instrument" capacity. Frankly, it's not like there is a bright line that separates undermounted from overmounted, anyway, so it probably doesn't matter much. Obviously, we won't really find out until the mount is released and a few customers have taken the plunge. It looks like a neat product; it's literally the first thing that Meade has produced in the past couple years that has any real interest for me.


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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4847763 - 10/06/11 07:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

* 70 pounds for bare OTA (estimated since the actual weight isn't yet published, but it seems reasonable based on their existing 14" ACF OTA)




Not to me it doesn't. The OTA won't weigh 70 pounds.




Do you know something the rest of us don't? The current OTA weighs 75 pounds or so according to the OPT website. Is the new one supposed to be significantly lighter? Not trying to be snarky; I'm just curious whether the new OTA is different from the current ACF scopes in more areas than just focal ratio.




The current Meade 14 OTA doesn't weigh 75 pounds. Not even close.


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frebieAdministrator
Chief assistant to the assistant chief


Reged: 04/29/08

Loc: Neither here nor there.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4847783 - 10/06/11 07:28 PM

Meade's website quotes the weight of the 14" ACF optical tube, by itself, at 57.79 lbs.

Here's the link to the Meade page:

http://www.meade.com/product_pages/lx200_series/lx200_14/lx200_14.php

It's the third item from the bottom of the page, right hand column.

Edited by frebie (10/06/11 07:31 PM)


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Jared
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Reged: 10/11/05

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: frebie]
      #4847940 - 10/06/11 08:59 PM

Thanks for the link. I have been using the numbers from the OPT website listed here:

http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=1-600-603-619-7856

It shows the Meade 14" OTA at 75 to 78 pounds but is an estimated value based on shipping weights.

Assuming the Meade numbers are right, a complete imaging package based on the 14" would be more like 75 pounds or a little less (rather than the 85 pounds I listed earlier).


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gavinm
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Reged: 08/26/05

Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4848016 - 10/06/11 09:51 PM

The removal of the old mirror lock mechanism must save some weight.

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idahoman
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Idaho, USA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gavinm]
      #4854869 - 10/10/11 10:23 PM

After having read this very long thread, I just couldn't resist adding my two cents. First, I think the attractiveness of the LX800 system will be to the person that wants to make an immediate quantum leap into astrophotography without all the baby steps most of the rest of us have had to make. Or, possibly people with very little time to learn and setup a more traditional system. Second, the typical serious astrophotographer is very conservative on how much weight he puts on a mount. Finally, I have mixed feelings about this concept. On the one hand, the integrated design may encourage more people to enter our hobby. That's great. On the other hand, I'd still like to think that the hard work, money, and research I've invested over almost a decade will still show itself as superior to an all-inclusive product. Oh well, such is progress!

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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: idahoman]
      #4856749 - 10/11/11 10:46 PM

Quote:

After having read this very long thread, I just couldn't resist adding my two cents. First, I think the attractiveness of the LX800 system will be to the person that wants to make an immediate quantum leap into astrophotography without all the baby steps most of the rest of us have had to make. Or, possibly people with very little time to learn and setup a more traditional system. Second, the typical serious astrophotographer is very conservative on how much weight he puts on a mount. Finally, I have mixed feelings about this concept. On the one hand, the integrated design may encourage more people to enter our hobby. That's great. On the other hand, I'd still like to think that the hard work, money, and research I've invested over almost a decade will still show itself as superior to an all-inclusive product. Oh well, such is progress!




I wish Meade would invent a digital piano that would help me play Chopin

-drl


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Stew57
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: deSitter]
      #4856754 - 10/11/11 10:48 PM

Yamaha makes one! Pop a disc in and away you both go.

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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LouHalikman]
      #4856755 - 10/11/11 10:48 PM

Quote:

I applaud the incorporation of the guide scope into the mount. I bought my 10" LX 200 15 years ago, when goto was a novelty, and some of the old grizzled veterans pooh-poohed it as a gimmick. That feature is now standard just about everywhere. I've had a 15" dob with excellent optics, but I sold it because the goto on the Meade was just so much easier and more fun. I predict that the including of an autoguider on the mount with a direct interface to the targeting-tracking computer will become standard very shortly with other companies. It's so obvious that I can't believe that nobody did it before. Hopefully it will eliminate the problems of autoguiding and make set-up a lot easier. It would have been nice to have made the guiding system with an available barlow to increase the focal length, but we'll soon see how well it works right out of the box.

I took the plunge and ordered a 12" LX 800 with the focal reducer -- I can't wait to see it! Lou




Soon refractor people will be star testing their auto-guiders for bragging rights.

-drl


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LouHalikman]
      #4856760 - 10/11/11 10:53 PM

rather than the builtin guide scope I would have like to seen an auto drift align incorporated. Set the sope in approximate polar alignmet, press polar align, come back 10 minutes to a perfectly polar aligned mount. Now that would be nice!

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Stew57]
      #4856824 - 10/11/11 11:39 PM

Quote:

rather than the builtin guide scope I would have like to seen an auto drift align incorporated. Set the sope in approximate polar alignmet, press polar align, come back 10 minutes to a perfectly polar aligned mount. Now that would be nice!




Yeah, whoever gets that one down'll open up a huge door for the noobies and the plain-tired-of-hasslings (which I occasionally become when things are going wrong).


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: psandelle]
      #4856856 - 10/12/11 12:16 AM

Well that would require driving the scope in altitude and azimuth as well as RA and DEC. If the mount is guiding itself, the only real benefit from ultra-accurate polar alignment is complete absence of field rotation, allowing ultra-long exposures. Since modern AP is not really about long individual exposures, there is really no benefit from servo-driven polar alignment. Drift align computer assist ("turn azimuth knob A a half turn to the right...") should be fine. Actually, I've always thought the best system would be an ACCURATE polar scope with an illuminated reticle system that told you the precise angle at which to put the RA axis for Polaris matching. That would allow perfect alignment in one throw. The only variable would be leveling the mount correctly (easy).

-drl


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Ed J
member


Reged: 05/31/07

Loc: Tujunga, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: HCR32]
      #4897871 - 11/04/11 06:48 PM

How will Meade's new LX800 with integrated guiding system perform on the 1800 second photo tracking test?
Can't wait to see ... here is my test of a reflector after much beefing up:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/edhiker/6310123023

I did get to touch a LX800 at PATS and it sure looks nice, but lacking an optical stability specification, will need to see some field tests before making a purchase decision. Living in a city, many of my exposures are long, through narrow band filters.

Edited by Ed J (11/05/11 12:04 PM)


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xsnrg
newbie


Reged: 11/01/11

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Ed J]
      #4898618 - 11/05/11 10:35 AM

Has anyone received one yet, or is it all pre order?

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Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: xsnrg]
      #4924843 - 11/19/11 06:44 PM

Just got back from Optcorp's taco event they had today and two Meade reps were there with both the LX800 and the LX80 mounts. I don't know enough about what I am talking about to ask informed questions but I did my best. Here is what I was able to gather.

The LX800 will ship late December. The final version looks just like the display unit with the exception that the dovetail and attachments will be black not silver.

The "tool" that it comes with to crank on the knobs currently has an allen wrench for tightening the clutches but it probably will not ship with it included on the same tool but may be seperate. The design of the tool makes it more trouble than it is worth. Also I noticed that one of the knobs on the legs was broken off and they explained someone cranked on it too hard. Hmmm I see trouble there.
The F/5 reducer has already been designed and built so it will ship with the OTA's if you order one. The reducer threads in to the back but is recessed internally so it doesn't take up any back focus. You can remove it easily so you can use both F/8 and F/5 with just a few seconds time spent swapping in and out.
They are currently building/making the pier plate adapters and pier bases and they should ship at around the time the mounts ship.
The way that the mount attaches to the tripod is from underneath. One central bolt that goes up through the center.
I got to hear it move around. Not slew as there was cramped space there but they did move it around using the controller. The room was packed with people so there was a lot of background noise but I would say it seems quieter than the CGE-Pro.
Someone asked about its unguided performance. The reply was "it is okaaaaaaaay. A little less than 10". My assumption was he meant 10 arc seconds. I didn't verify.
I made the claim that the central obstruction would reduce contrast for visual use. One of the reps nodded his head, the other shook his head and gave me some speil about the optics, the coatings, the design, the seconday this and tha and was very firm that it wouldn't and he'd put it up against the edgeHD any day. Mike West from Opt later was talking to a customer about it and I overheard him saying that for visual you would lose contrast. I think it is obvious that you will.

I really needed to go in there with someone to help me do an offical cloudy nights interview for you guys and get it all on video but I feel uncomfortable just going in there and shoving a video camera in their faces and rapid firing


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Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: xsnrg]
      #4924848 - 11/19/11 06:48 PM

Just got back from Optcorp's taco event they had today and two Meade reps were there with both the LX800 and the LX80 mounts. I don't know enough about what I am talking about to ask informed questions but I did my best. Here is what I was able to gather.

The LX800 will ship late December. The final version looks just like the display unit with the exception that the dovetail and attachments will be black not silver.

The "tool" that it comes with to crank on the knobs currently has an allen wrench for tightening the clutches but it probably will not ship with it included on the same tool but may be seperate. The design of the tool makes it more trouble than it is worth. Also I noticed that one of the knobs on the legs was broken off and they explained someone cranked on it too hard. Hmmm I see trouble there.
The F/5 reducer has already been designed and built so it will ship with the OTA's if you order one. The reducer threads in to the back but is recessed internally so it doesn't take up any back focus. You can remove it easily so you can use both F/8 and F/5 with just a few seconds time spent swapping in and out.
They are currently building/making the pier plate adapters and pier bases and they should ship at around the time the mounts ship.
The way that the mount attaches to the tripod is from underneath. One central bolt that goes up through the center.
I got to hear it move around. Not slew as there was cramped space there but they did move it around using the controller. The room was packed with people so there was a lot of background noise but I would say it seems quieter than the CGE-Pro.
Someone asked about its unguided performance. The reply was "it is okaaaaaaaay. A little less than 10". My assumption was he meant 10 arc seconds. I didn't verify.
I made the claim that the central obstruction would reduce contrast for visual use. One of the reps nodded his head, the other shook his head and gave me some speil about the optics, the coatings, the design, the seconday this and tha and was very firm that it wouldn't and he'd put it up against the edgeHD any day. Mike West from Opt later was talking to a customer about it and I overheard him saying that for visual you would lose contrast. I think it is obvious that you will.

I really needed to go in there with someone to help me do an offical cloudy nights interview for you guys and get it all on video but I feel uncomfortable just going in there and shoving a video camera in their faces and rapid firing questions at them. I do have some video that I'll post on youtube when I get it processed and edited.

Regarding the LX80. I was impressed with what I saw and how sturdy it is. Really seems to be a quality product. I went ahead and ordered one. These too will ship in late December. They come with one counter weight. The guide port thingy is expected to cost about $50.00. Additional counterweights about $45.00. Or use your existing ones. The tripod legs have grips on them that you twist to adjust the height. There was a scratch on one of the legs that they claimed was from the counter weight shaft hitting it.

As I recall more I'll post more.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4926001 - 11/20/11 12:02 PM

Quote:

I made the claim that the central obstruction would reduce contrast for visual use



The size of central obstruction of the RCX telescopes is comparable to the CO of other RC telescopes. The RCX has ingredients of SCT and RC. Hope this helps.


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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

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Re: Meade's new LX800... [Re: Alph]
      #5019286 - 01/15/12 05:21 PM

Here is my understanding of total instrument capacity of LX800 mount; according to Meade’s ‘New Product Showcase’ in December 2011 Sky & Telescope magazine (p. 56), “The mount (LX800) is rated for 90 pounds (41kg) of equipment not including the two supplied 18-pound counterweights”. In light of this statement, following is a breakdown for a 14" f/8 ACF Telescope as it relates to the instrument capacity of LX800 mount:

•14" f/8 ACF Telescope will require 4 counter weights, i.e., = 4x18= 72 lbs.
•Subtracting 2 counterweights according to the statement above = 72-36 = 36 lbs.
•Approximate weight of 14" f/8 ACF Telescope = ~60 lbs.
•Adding it all up = 36+60 = 96 lbs.

Whether or not to include StarLock is debatable; for sake of completion let’s go a step further.

•StarLock weight = 6 lbs.
•Adding StarLock weight to 96 lbs. calculated above = 96+6 = 102 lbs.
•Grand total instrument weight with 14" f/8 ACF Telescope = 102 lbs. (StarLock factored in)
•Grand total instrument weight with 14" f/8 ACF Telescope = 96 lbs. (StarLock NOT factored in)

I am not intending to start another debate here; just wanted to put down some numbers for folks to contemplate in light of information provided so far by Meade. Thanks!


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Jared
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Reged: 10/11/05

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Re: Meade's new LX800... [Re: mmalik]
      #5020460 - 01/16/12 11:16 AM

That would be an unusual way to calculate capacity. Normally, counterweights (either included or additional) are not included in the capacity. It generally refers to instruments alone, and I assume this is the case for the Meade mounts.

What is unclear is just how much weight the mount can really carry. Meade is likely quoting a number that is based on visual use not photographic (not unusual, but a bit questionable since this is marketed as an imaging mount), and there is always a bit of uncertainty since the length of the telescope tube and how it's weight is distributed can play a large role, and there is no fixed standard as far as damping times or tracking accuracy in any event. Based in seeing the construction of the mount, I would expect a photographic capacity much lower than the rated 90 pounds. I guess we will find out when they are shippingand consumers have had a chance to play with them. The size and construction appear similar to my Mach1 which has an imaging capacity of around 45 pounds.


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... [Re: mmalik]
      #5020631 - 01/16/12 12:20 PM

Quote:

Here is my understanding of total instrument capacity of LX800 mount; according to Meade’s ‘New Product Showcase’ in December 2011




I would be very surprised if the frackin' counterweights were considered part of the payload of this mount. If so, the G11 is capable of a higher payload!


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