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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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gillmj24
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4814886 - 09/18/11 04:10 PM

Meade=BAD

Most other companies=GOOD

I think I get it now.


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4814899 - 09/18/11 04:19 PM

Quote:



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.




That's capitalism for good or ill. If Cave had striven to deliver a better quality product in a more timely manner in their latter days, they might have survived.

The fact is also that as Meade was coming in, the old amateur astronomy, the amateur astronomy of Newtonians used for Solar System observing from the backyard was changing.

Criterion didn't shoot themselves in the foot. The handwriting was on the wall for big equatorial GEMs...who'd want to try to stuff one in a Pinto or Vega? They gave it a good try, and unfortunately came up short quality wise.

I hope Meade does well; as always the _marketplace_ will decide.


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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4814910 - 09/18/11 04:24 PM

Quote:

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




What?! The Meade software in their HCs is, for example, worlds better than anything from AP. Meade has their faults, but being unable or unwilling to try innovative ideas ain't one of 'em.



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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4815059 - 09/18/11 07:58 PM

Speaking of which, at 55lbs and 90lbs capacity it competes directly with the Paramount MX, AP900 @ 35% less cost. I can't wait to see what they can do. Also, are the numbers for tracking they are quoting only in guide mode?

Joe


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gillmj24]
      #4815064 - 09/18/11 07:59 PM

Quote:

Meade=BAD

Most other companies=GOOD

I think I get it now.




LOL


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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: jmiele]
      #4815132 - 09/18/11 08:28 PM

Based on the way it was described, I am sure the 1 arc second tracking is with the guider incorporated. The most interesting thing, from my perspective, is what the carrying capacity of the mount is. Historically, Meade has rated their mounts' capacities for visual use. If that is the case here, it seems like a nice mount but nothing special for the money. If it can really handle 90 pounds for astrophotography with, say, five knot gusts that will be pretty impressive for a 55 pound mount. I suppose we will just have to wait for the field reports.

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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: HCR32]
      #4815193 - 09/18/11 08:55 PM

Look nice, let's hope for Meade it will perform well.

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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4815323 - 09/18/11 09:59 PM

Meade's SEC disclosures says they spend $200k/ quarter on R&D. To have spent years and millions on this would have seen nothing else new coming out of their shop in the past three years. That isn't the case, so let's move on.

We're all taught to believe in the benefits of competition. At the moment Celestron and Meade look like they're just setting the ratchet for higher prices.

Then again, I could be persuaded they are actually not what is pushing this- it's more a sign of effective competition from folks like astro tech and explore scientific forcing them to change any way they can. And maybe for $200-$600 k of R&D at SoCal prices, all you get is a knock off of someone else's design and the software mods to get it working with your proprietary control system.

Yes, I admit I feel some lasting irritation with Meade largely for some of their past business practices, including things they did within a block of my home in Tucson. It's water under the bridge, I suppose. Just a pattern I'd like to see stop, but maybe that's just not realistic, and maybe not even helpful.

After all, would there be the neato AT RCs, Lunt solar telescopes, Zambuto mirrors for telescopes, or even AP itself, if Meade wasn't there? For at least half of those, provably not.

So, whoever wants to, go ahead, I'm glad to have you disagree with me. My own pride as an engineer makes the prospect of just copying someone else's product down to minor details difficult for me. But with that said, it got the Tu-4 off the ground and an entire industrial base with it.

And in a way just looking up the market cap for Meade tells its own story. Amateur astronomy isn't the kind of market everyone wants to be at the center of.

-Rich


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BlueGrass
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Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: alrosm]
      #4815359 - 09/18/11 10:28 PM

After looking at the videos and images, it strikes me that the LX800 setup looks like it might be cumbersome to assemble, disassemble and transport? Just an impression I get looking at the images.

Anyone who was at PATS happen to see the Meade folks do setup or breakdown?


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4815369 - 09/18/11 10:33 PM

It all boils down to market acceptance. If Meade sells this thing and we don't hear about the new owners having a myriad issues like Celestron's CGEM and CGE Pro, then Meade has a very successful mount and Celestron is going to have a lot of CGE Pros collecting dust.

David


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MtnGoat
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Reged: 02/18/07

Loc: Columbia Gorge, WA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4815399 - 09/18/11 10:51 PM

I get kind of a kick out of critiquing manufacturers for copying..that's part of what competition is, and I like it.

For example, no one has a lock on the idea of a wide field eyepiece no matter who comes up with it, and that's the only way you get pressure to lower prices, or at least stuff on the market which those of us who would never ever consider 3-600 dollars for perfection in an eyepiece, most of the way there for a hundred bucks.

Binos...same thing. I will never spend the many hundreds of bucks to get to the upper level of performance for large aperture binos. I'm not that picky and I don't want to spend that much. Denk is not being harmed by Zhumell in my case, and may well be helped by people who do get hooked and decide that it IS worth it to double or triple the price to get excellent 20x80s.

Same for mounts...if you want the name and quality and to honor some pioneer, great. The fact is Meade might get a buck or two of mine but AP never will simply because of the price. AP will never lose a single dollar of mine, because they would never get it in the first place. Simply completely out of reach.

Edited by MtnGoat (09/18/11 10:57 PM)


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4815498 - 09/19/11 12:03 AM

I agree Jared. It's rough without having a better idea of the scale. Even if it was rated at 60 or 70 lbs for AP. That's really about the right spot for these mounts if you think about it anyway. Most heavy single scope applications are in the 45-55 lbs OTA range for mid-heavy mounts. My AP900 really never gets pushed to 90. Its more of a cushion. The Pamaount MX is the same IMO. Rated for 90lbs. TBH, it doesn't feel as sturdy as say the AP900. Not to say it can't handle the weight. It just doesn't look or feel like it can. It's fairly small. The ME is different altogether.

If they can do this with 60 lbs photographic weight I think they'd be fine. It is also carrying the guide scope and its mounting as well. Really interested in the weight.

Joe


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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4815559 - 09/19/11 01:15 AM

The Meade 800 looks to me about the same size as my Mach1GTO. The main castings are very similar in size, perhaps identical if one allows for different contours. WRT price: the base price of the Meade is pretty close to the AP. When one buys an AP mount, there are also dovetail adapters and counterweights to consider, plus maybe a tripod or pier (I use my G11 tripod). I don't know how Meade will handle these extras. However, IMHO, if one has already decided to spend six grand for a mount, then I can't see nickle and diming the last few bits to make it do what you want. If you're seriously working on this, then you've probably already convinced your significant other that life can't continue without this mount. You've accomplished the hard part. WRT capacity, we don't know how Meade arrived at their figure. AP tries to be very conservative. Maybe Meade considers something just short of collapse to be the rated capacity. I'm being a bit sarcastic, but certainly its performance in breezy conditions would be important to me. The short tube of an SCT would be more forgiving than a refractor of similar weight. Meade was showing this as a system for imaging, including scope and guidescope, so I'd assume (hope?) that the complete system will perform reasonably well in less-than-perfect conditions.

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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4815575 - 09/19/11 01:30 AM

One other observation. The mount at PATS was a prototype. The rep explicitly told me that. I'm betting the mount I saw performs very, very well, and I'm also betting they'll be showing some hi-rez images from that mount (but there were none at the show or in the brochure). But do they plan on producing this at their Tijuana plant? Can they get consistent quality from that workforce? AP mounts are individually fussed over at the factory to make sure each one is up to snuff. Will Meade do that? I was told by an industry rep who seems to have some knowledge of Meade's current situation that the crinkle finish on the current scopes came about because Meade simply couldn't get the Tijuana factory to produce the old glossy finish without too many rejects.

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tim53
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4815841 - 09/19/11 08:17 AM

Quote:

Speaking of which, at 55lbs and 90lbs capacity it competes directly with the Paramount MX, AP900 @ 35% less cost. I can't wait to see what they can do. Also, are the numbers for tracking they are quoting only in guide mode?

Joe




Whoah! The 800 and the MX weren't right next to each other at PATS, but they weren't far apart either. The MX is a much, much, much beefier and larger mount. There's no comparison.

I think that, though I would imagine the 800 could be a decent performer, this capacity is just another one of those "optimistically reported" values and that the real practical limit for astrophotography is likely going to be about half that.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4815856 - 09/19/11 08:34 AM

Quote:

That's capitalism for good or ill.




More ill than good, I'm afraid, in this case. I was there. Diebel went after Cave with a vengeance and was proud of himself when he succeeded in putting Cave out of business. He hired away some of Cave's long-term employees. He sent ME to Cave to look at a moped an employee listed for sale, because they didn't know me there, to find out what Cave was using for tubes (since he knew Parks wasn't selling him any and he wasn't going to sell him any fiberlites).

Quote:

If Cave had striven to deliver a better quality product in a more timely manner in their latter days, they might have survived.




The late 70's scopes can sometimes be spotty mechanically, but the optics I've looked through have still seemed pretty good from those days.

Quote:

The fact is also that as Meade was coming in, the old amateur astronomy, the amateur astronomy of Newtonians used for Solar System observing from the backyard was changing.




It was changing, but it's still a pretty decent passtime. And those old caves still perform that function very well. "Data mining" of classic hardware is a pretty economical way of getting into planetary observing and imaging.

Quote:

Criterion didn't shoot themselves in the foot. The handwriting was on the wall for big equatorial GEMs...who'd want to try to stuff one in a Pinto or Vega? They gave it a good try, and unfortunately came up short quality wise.




Who did? Criterion or Ford and Chevy? Remember, Meade continued to make Newts on GEMs into the 90s. I actually think there could be a market for the low-end 1" shaft newtonians today, especially as SCTs become more complex optically and electro-gizmologically. And in the larger sizes, say above 10", SCTs are no more transportable than a good old medium focus Newtonian on a GEM.

Quote:

I hope Meade does well; as always the _marketplace_ will decide.




I hope they do well, too. I'm trending away from craigslist and ebay purchases of classic hardware and more toward making my own. I stopped buying the newfangled toys some time ago (mostly for financial reasons). I'll take a home-built Newt or Cassegrain over most everything these days.

-Tim.


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AlienRatDog
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Reged: 07/15/05

Loc: Ann Arbor
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4815857 - 09/19/11 08:36 AM

Wow everyone, we need to relax. There are only so many ways you can make a GEM look. We do not have a production model on hand nor... It's always good to have some competition in the marketplace.

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jmiele
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4815895 - 09/19/11 09:19 AM

Calypte, Thanks for your assessment. I thought it was a prototype.

Tim, also thanks. If the MX is beefier than I don't see how 90 lbs would be possible with the Meade - at least not to photo work. IMO, Bisque has made the smallest form factor capable of supporting 90 lbs photographically and it is walking the line.

Joe


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Bill Barlow
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bachus]
      #4815984 - 09/19/11 10:23 AM

Is the LX80 mount really that heavy with only a 40 pound capacity? Maybe you meant the LX800 mount?

Bill


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Bill Barlow
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4815994 - 09/19/11 10:29 AM

I was wondering what was the reason Meade went with the textured finish on their OTA's. I had thought that the textured finish was cheaper to produce, but this problem in Mexico with bad glossy finishes and increasing rejects also makes sense. I have a new 12" ACF OTA with the textured finish and I don't care for it very much.

Bill


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