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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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jmartin
super member


Reged: 08/25/08

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4813299 - 09/17/11 06:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The scope in the videos is the 10" and the secondary obstruction is 20.95 on the 10" 16.86% on the 12" and TBD on the 14".

I have thier flyer right here.







For those who insist on the percentage being expressed in terms of diameter, it's the square root of the percentage by area so you can derive it easily.




Damnit you quoted me before I could fix my spelling!!




dang, you've been cloned too.

Edited by jmartin (09/17/11 06:55 PM)


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JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4813315 - 09/17/11 07:03 PM

The 14" CO looks pretty big around 45%. I'm sure it can fully illuminate an APS-H CMOS sensor. Interesting the 12" is smaller by comparison.

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4813351 - 09/17/11 07:22 PM

As the LX800 with it's side bar guider is more focused toward imaging I can see the larger central obstruction with the F/8 optics. That's not to say they couldn't be used visually. The Planewave's a CDK's at f/7 f/8 and large central obstruction that do well visually. As long as exit pupil is considered during EP selection. I would think however, that the LX80's would focus more on visual astronomers and the kits would come with more standard optics. Once again, that's not to say the LX80 couldn't be used for AP.

Joe


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Tiny
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/02/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4813529 - 09/17/11 09:00 PM

Quote:

Yes I'd like to see the 14". That did look like a 10". If they have one made how is it the specs aren't out there yet?

Joe




It is still early and im guessing they rushed these out the door if they're displaying true prototypes instead of factory samples so hopefully more will come in the following weeks. Wouldnt mind an indepth look at the new mirror/focus system and some OTA weights.

I'd also hope they'd add at least some form of active cooling, or at least passive, especially on the 14". Seems a waste to bring out a new generation of scopes and not do that especially with all they were trying to innovate on with the RCX scopes.


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Mike Harvey
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: Orlando, FL.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4813746 - 09/17/11 11:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The scope in the videos is the 10" and the secondary obstruction is 20.95 on the 10" 16.86% on the 12" and TBD on the 14".

I have their flyer right here.




For those who insist on the percentage being expressed in terms of diameter, it's the square root of the percentage by area so you can derive it easily.




But, remember that the DIAMETER of the CO vs. the PRIMARY APERTURE produces a different effect than the AREA comparison.

% of diameter relates to resolution/contrast and % of surface area relates to light gathering. The two measurements produce completely different effects and should not be used individually or interchangeably to describe the overall performance of an optical system.

The greatest area of concern for most buyers/observers seems to be loss of contrast with larger (by diameter - D vs. d) CO's.
I've been a serious planetary observer for more than 30 years and, yes, I can see a difference in contrast between a small (or no) CO vs. a larger one when observing faint, delicate detail on Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But I honestly doubt that a more casual observer would even notice it.

***Nowadays I do 90% of my observing with the Mallincam anyway, which renders the CO/contrast loss question moot, since I can adjust the contrast on my video monitor!
If you're planning on imaging vs. visual observing, the size of the CO is also of little concern since you'll be post-processing your images anyway.
(Finally - the largest observatory scopes in the world sometimes have CO's of 50% (!) of diameter....they still seem to work rather well).

For visual observers, it's important to remember than ANY contrast loss is subject to MTF (modulation transfer function) considerations and what this means in real-life is that brighter, more-contrasty objects will be LEAST affected by the central obstruction. The moon, Jupiter's main belts, Saturn's Cassini division and ring shadow and even Mars' more obvious markings are simply not affected to any obvious extent!

My belief is that most of the "contrast loss" complaints re: SCT's are, in reality, image defects caused by collimation errors.
Meade's ACF scopes have vastly improved secondary mechanics. My 10" arrived PERFECTLY collimated and, nearly two years later, I've never had to touch it! (Though I DO check it every time I take it out).
This was certainly NOT the case with earlier Meades (and Celestrons) and most of the ones I see at star parties are simply not collimated. SCT's have taken a big 'hit' for poor images that are, actually, the fault of the scope's owner...not the scope itself.

I'll have my 10" Meade ACF set up with a Mallincam at Chiefland next month. Please feel free to stop by and see for yourself what can be done.
(And, hopefully soon, I plan to have a new 12" or 14" f/8 ACF LX800!).

Mike Harvey


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tim53
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Mike Harvey]
      #4813779 - 09/17/11 11:33 PM

I saw these guys at PATS today as well. Nice looking scopes, I'll give them that. I worry a little about the marketability of such specialized hardware, though. Presumably they showed what they have to show at this point. You could certainly swap out OTAs and include or not include the guider.

No way that mount can hold 90 pounds though, unless they're counting the counterweights, shaft, and paint!

-Tim.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: HCR32]
      #4814003 - 09/18/11 03:02 AM

Maybe motor placement could have migrated to the same locations by convergent design. However, note the slick little curved sliding shutter hatches for routing cables through the body. That's a dead giveaway- this is a monkey-see-monkey-do design ripoff.

Given the high price point for a copycat import, I hope people will still get the original.

Personally, I find myself at a loss for words. Meade's moving to destroy the business of the best full-up equipment manufacturing house left in the US.

-Rich


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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814123 - 09/18/11 07:03 AM

After the mounts are in the hands of the public Meade will not put anyone out of business.

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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Mike Harvey]
      #4814147 - 09/18/11 07:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The scope in the videos is the 10" and the secondary obstruction is 20.95 on the 10" 16.86% on the 12" and TBD on the 14".

I have their flyer right here.




For those who insist on the percentage being expressed in terms of diameter, it's the square root of the percentage by area so you can derive it easily.




But, remember that the DIAMETER of the CO vs. the PRIMARY APERTURE produces a different effect than the AREA comparison.

% of diameter relates to resolution/contrast and % of surface area relates to light gathering. The two measurements produce completely different effects and should not be used individually or interchangeably to describe the overall performance of an optical system.

The greatest area of concern for most buyers/observers seems to be loss of contrast with larger (by diameter - D vs. d) CO's.
I've been a serious planetary observer for more than 30 years and, yes, I can see a difference in contrast between a small (or no) CO vs. a larger one when observing faint, delicate detail on Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But I honestly doubt that a more casual observer would even notice it.

***Nowadays I do 90% of my observing with the Mallincam anyway, which renders the CO/contrast loss question moot, since I can adjust the contrast on my video monitor!
If you're planning on imaging vs. visual observing, the size of the CO is also of little concern since you'll be post-processing your images anyway.
(Finally - the largest observatory scopes in the world sometimes have CO's of 50% (!) of diameter....they still seem to work rather well).

For visual observers, it's important to remember than ANY contrast loss is subject to MTF (modulation transfer function) considerations and what this means in real-life is that brighter, more-contrasty objects will be LEAST affected by the central obstruction. The moon, Jupiter's main belts, Saturn's Cassini division and ring shadow and even Mars' more obvious markings are simply not affected to any obvious extent!

My belief is that most of the "contrast loss" complaints re: SCT's are, in reality, image defects caused by collimation errors.
Meade's ACF scopes have vastly improved secondary mechanics. My 10" arrived PERFECTLY collimated and, nearly two years later, I've never had to touch it! (Though I DO check it every time I take it out).
This was certainly NOT the case with earlier Meades (and Celestrons) and most of the ones I see at star parties are simply not collimated. SCT's have taken a big 'hit' for poor images that are, actually, the fault of the scope's owner...not the scope itself.

I'll have my 10" Meade ACF set up with a Mallincam at Chiefland next month. Please feel free to stop by and see for yourself what can be done.
(And, hopefully soon, I plan to have a new 12" or 14" f/8 ACF LX800!).

Mike Harvey






Regards,

skybsd


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814169 - 09/18/11 08:00 AM

Quote:

Maybe motor placement could have migrated to the same locations by convergent design. However, note the slick little curved sliding shutter hatches for routing cables through the body. That's a dead giveaway- this is a monkey-see-monkey-do design ripoff.

Given the high price point for a copycat import, I hope people will still get the original.

Personally, I find myself at a loss for words. Meade's moving to destroy the business of the best full-up equipment manufacturing house left in the US.

-Rich




Not really. The people who can spend for it will still get the MACH 1, which is considerably more expensive than this new mount, or the 900 which is twice as expensive. Even if the Meade works very well, some people will want AP. Losmandy has not put Roland out of business.

The real competitor is not an AstroPhysics mount, but the Celestron CGE Pro. For most people, 5k is a doable stretch for a piece of astro-gear. At least a realizable (perhaps) dream.


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Bachus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Nashville,TN.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4814279 - 09/18/11 09:57 AM

I'm following both the LX80 and LX800 closely. But did a quik comparrison of the LX80 w/115mm APO vs Orion EQ-G w/120mm EON. Both are almost priced the same but the LX80 is rated for 40lbs while the EQ-G is for 30lbs. But what struck me was the total weight assembled...

Orion EQ-G w/ EON 120mm....around 60.5 lbs
Meade LX80 w/115mm APO....around 106 lbs


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Jared
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/11/05

Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814451 - 09/18/11 12:04 PM

Quote:



Personally, I find myself at a loss for words. Meade's moving to destroy the business of the best full-up equipment manufacturing house left in the US.

-Rich




I own a Mach1 and love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything in it's weight class. But I wouldn't suggest Meade is doing anything nefarious. They are simply trying to sell more astro gear. The Mach1 is a successful product, and they wish to emulate that success. Frankly, though, Meade's real competition is the same as it has been since their founding--Celestron. Meade can't sit back and watch Celestron market and sell Edge OTA's and CGE Pro mounts without a response. This is the response.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4814479 - 09/18/11 12:28 PM

The real weakness for both of them has been electronics, IME. The first one to master reliable mounts wins. And it's not about volume at this point. Small companies like AP have shown that to us. So, all Meade needs to do is create a reliable mount, deliver it on time, and meet demand. Their optics have been Ok thus far. Oh, and get the service/repair thing fixed up. That Sky Assurance was a crock! It was like paying for something you should have been getting all along.

Joe


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4814485 - 09/18/11 12:32 PM

I'm reasonably sure that Meade is not going to harm Astro Physics. As already posted, there will always be astronomers that are willing to pay the extra for getting closer to perfection. There's a ton of eyepiece manufacturers out there that produce good eps at a reasonably low price, yet Televue continues to be highly successful with its high line of eps.

The Meade mount hasn't even been reviewed and we have them putting companies out of business. I'm putting my money on AP, Bisque, etc. to stay in business.

David


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4814487 - 09/18/11 12:33 PM

The service and reliability will be the key. If they work as advertised and the few that get through not up to speed are taken in a timely and professional manner, celestron is in trouble. If the majority of the mounts have trouble, have to sit for a month or more for repair, and come back unrepaired or worse it will be another 2nd rate showing. Won't put the under as they willbe on the same footing as present and same as celestron.

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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4814515 - 09/18/11 12:50 PM

Quote:


The Meade mount hasn't even been reviewed and we have them putting companies out of business. I'm putting my money on AP, Bisque, etc. to stay in business.

David




While I agree that AP is unlikely to be hurt by Meade's new mounts, one only has to look back at Meade's early history to see that putting competitors out of business was a major objective at the time. They succeeded with Cave but not with Celestron (in ~1980, when the 2080 was first developed, Diebel told us that was his goal). Criterion shot themselves in the foot with the Dynamax, but Meade may have helped put the last nail in the coffin by bringing out the 1" shaft Newt line in the late 70s. They had an RV-6 to borrow ideas from for those.

And as I've said before, the Research Grade newtonians were not just copies of Cave mounts, they were modified Cave castings.

-Tim.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bachus]
      #4814519 - 09/18/11 12:52 PM

The thing I really don't like is the lack of creativity by Meade. If you can't innovate, what are you doing? It isn't like enough LX800s could sell to support an org the size of Meade. But it's like when they set out to copy TV eyepieces; it hurts the innovators. Meade is just an astronomical Starbucks putting their shops in across the street from the pioneers who originally learned how to serve the community.

I suppose I'm a bit annoyed at how copying the design AP used had someone on this thread confused enough to wonder if AP was an importer (they aren't- the gear is made in USA).

Of course, maybe I need to have more faith in my community. After all, when Starbucks opened up across from the multi-generational coffee shops in New Orleans, it was the Starbucks you didn't see 5 years later. If Chevrolet copied the form factor of a Ferrari Enzo, no one who would have been on a course to buy a Ferrari would be fooled.

And the reason why was the same; looks like a Mach 1 and performs like a Mach 1 are very different things. The fact the LX800 seems to rely very heavily on guiding may be all we need to know. Hopefully Meade isn't playing a game of looking for innovators to copy and hunting for the ones whose coffers can't support the lawsuit needed to stop them from infringement of patents and trademarks. Astro Physics doesn't own a Gulfstream 5 to take Roland around to star parties for a reason.

Really, Meade, get out there and observe. Get an organic understanding of what works and build it- folks will like it, because you will have offered something new and good. You'll also know immediately if a proposed feature is great, or just more claptrap.

The LX80 looks like a neat product- and it's a different product. I feel like they did their own work, and if it turns out to be the CG-5 killer, so much the better for us all.

Since it has been brought up, I find I feel very differently regarding the prospect of an attack on the CGEPro. If Meade went out and built a direct competitor for it, then they would be picking on someone their own size with similar resources available. It also might put some favorable cost competition back in play since it is becoming very clear from the steadily escalating prices Celestron isn't feeling much pressure at all.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (09/18/11 12:56 PM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814614 - 09/18/11 01:46 PM

Funny how we all come away with a different observation. I was thinking the 80 is a take off of the Ioptrons. I think the real competition for the 800 is Losmandy. If a person has AP money I don't think they will want to deal with the "meade expierence". The new explore scientific mount and the 800 will be an interesting comparison. Ithink the cge pro is in for trouble or deep price cuts. Just wish they had come out with an 800 lite to compete in the popular Atlas CGEM class.

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814727 - 09/18/11 02:51 PM

Quote:

The thing I really don't like is the lack of creativity by Meade.



I wonder how many of you have actually seen and touched the LX800? I was going to post some pictures that I took at PATS, but after reading so much nonsense I decided not to do that. I don’t believe what I am reading here. How one can seek any advice on a forum like this one? The LX800 was designed my Meade engineers and it is manufactured in Mexico. Meade have worked on it for many years and spent millions of dollars on research and development.
Moderator please lock this thread.


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Tiny
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/02/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814846 - 09/18/11 03:49 PM

Quote:

looks like a Mach 1 and performs like a Mach 1 are very different things.




you said it yourself. Aesthetics are meaningless, performance is all that matters, so stop getting emotional about it.

Besides, lets get back to reality

LX800 Weight 55lb
Capacity 90lb

Mach1 Weight 32lb
Capacity 45lb

part of me thinks they might be just a little bit different where it counts due to the subtle [sarcasm] differences in weight. Call me crazy.

If the LX800 is a great mount and lives up to the specs meade deserves a nod. To use your own example i can slap a ferrari body kit on a car but that doesnt make it a ferrari. Infact copying the curves and lines of another auto manufacturers designs is exceedingly common. You dont see a company go under every time it happens because, like a mount, the real performance that matters is not determined by the exterior appearance. Have i hammered home the point enough yet?


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