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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4816006 - 09/19/11 10:34 AM

Quote:

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.




What will Meade's price be if they fuss as well? We are willing to pay more for the top tier mounts because we know that they take extra care. And if Meade really did take the time to ensure that what they produce will produce +-4 second peak to peak performance and have the terrific reliability and service that AP or Bisque provides, would you buy it or would you prefer to have an AP on your pier and not a "pedestrian" Meade that costs the same as the top shelf mounts?

David


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4816102 - 09/19/11 11:50 AM

I don't really understand what Meade (or Celestron, for that matter) are trying to do here at the high end.

At the low end, the LX80 and the CGEM make perfect sense. But these $5000 and $6000 offerings just don't appeal to me at all.

It looks like both the LX800 and the CGE Pro are offering so-so performance and depending on their high capacities to justify their prices. At least for me, though, I care far more about premium performance. Undoubtedly, some people will pile 90lb of equipment on these mounts, but I have to believe that it will be a small number.

My feeling is that lots more people would benefit more from a mount that could actually carry a 40lb payload with impeccable performance. And that stuff is already available from the likes of Astro-Physics and Takahashi at a price point that is pretty close to the LX800 and CGE Pro.

At the same time that they are trying to get into the $5000 to $6000 market, they are completely abandoning the $3000 market, which now seems to belong pretty much just to Losmandy.

I want to follow up a bit on my "so-so performance" comment. If I remember this thread correctly, Meade is claiming one arc minute pointing accuracy and plus or minus one arc second tracking. When you think about it, that's really mediocre. I have to believe that this is with the whiz bang plate solving and built in guiding all turned on. I use plate solved pointing with my CGE and routinely get 15 arc second pointing. And plus or minus one arc second guiding means that there is a two arc second range of error. If I get that much error with my CGE, I am busy looing for the problem.

As it turns out, I am looking for a mount upgrade and will probably make the purchase before next summer. What I really want is significantly improved tracking and guiding. Proven support and ability to get top notch service from the manufacturer are also important to me. At this point, I am looking very closely at Astro-Physics (although the Paramount MX is also in my price range.)

Don't get me wrong, I have two CG5s and two CGEs and I am very happy with them. But once the price climbs high enough, Meade and Celestron just aren't interesting to me.


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skybsd
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #4816115 - 09/19/11 11:56 AM

Quote:

I don't really understand what Meade (or Celestron, for that matter) are trying to do here at the high end.

At the low end, the LX80 and the CGEM make perfect sense. But these $5000 and $6000 offerings just don't appeal to me at all.

It looks like both the LX800 and the CGE Pro are offering so-so performance and depending on their high capacities to justify their prices. At least for me, though, I care far more about premium performance. Undoubtedly, some people will pile 90lb of equipment on these mounts, but I have to believe that it will be a small number.

My feeling is that lots more people would benefit more from a mount that could actually carry a 40lb payload with impeccable performance. And that stuff is already available from the likes of Astro-Physics and Takahashi at a price point that is pretty close to the LX800 and CGE Pro.

At the same time that they are trying to get into the $5000 to $6000 market, they are completely abandoning the $3000 market, which now seems to belong pretty much just to Losmandy.

I want to follow up a bit on my "so-so performance" comment. If I remember this thread correctly, Meade is claiming one arc minute pointing accuracy and plus or minus one arc second tracking. When you think about it, that's really mediocre. I have to believe that this is with the whiz bang plate solving and built in guiding all turned on. I use plate solved pointing with my CGE and routinely get 15 arc second pointing. And plus or minus one arc second guiding means that there is a two arc second range of error. If I get that much error with my CGE, I am busy looing for the problem.

As it turns out, I am looking for a mount upgrade and will probably make the purchase before next summer. What I really want is significantly improved tracking and guiding. Proven support and ability to get top notch service from the manufacturer are also important to me. At this point, I am looking very closely at Astro-Physics (although the Paramount MX is also in my price range.)

Don't get me wrong, I have two CG5s and two CGEs and I am very happy with them. But once the price climbs high enough, Meade and Celestron just aren't interesting to me.




That's quite a lot to say and opinions to have - about a product (LX800) that hasn't even been released for sale as yet

Regards,

skybsd


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archer1960
sage


Reged: 07/26/11

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #4816134 - 09/19/11 12:13 PM

I like the textured finishes because they don't show smudges and fingerprints nearly as bad as glossy ones.

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4816207 - 09/19/11 12:49 PM

Quote:

...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).



This is an interesting comment. In 1978 I visited Meade in Costa Mesa to buy a finderscope. I was greeted by a tall older guy who also happened to be pictured in some of Meade's contemporary advertising. This guy told me explicitly that Cave was using Meade Fiberlite tubes.

Quote:

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.



I have two Caves: a 12.5-inch f/5 from 1978 and an 8-inch f/6 from 1973. I'm the original owner of the 8-inch. The 12.5 was a consignment item at OPT in 1993. Aside from light-gathering, the 8-inch is much the better scope optically, and I've heard numerous stories of so-so optics from late-70s Cave scopes. But the only one I've ever looked through is mine. The 1978 12.5 has what appears to me to be a Meade Fiberlite tube which, alas, has become badly scarred and is not interchangeable with current Parks tubes (different OD).

WRT the rest of Tim's comments, during one memorable evening in 1985 at the SDAA remote site, my Cave 8-inch decisively out-performed several 8-inch SCTs of both brands. I wrote a letter to Meade, gloating about my experience, and I got a personal invitation from John Diebel to tour the Meade factory, which I did in 1986. I met people there who had worked for Cave. Perhaps Tim was one of them. Perhaps he was my escort through the factory A close friend of mine worked for Meade in the early '80s, but he has had his own optics businesses for many years since his Meade days. Diebel told me the SCTs were outselling the newts by about 10 to 1. He claimed the mushy optical performance I saw with the SCTs were probably a result of faulty collimation.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4816264 - 09/19/11 01:26 PM

Quote:


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.







The 8-inch I had in the mid-70s was of average optical quality--and I, unfortunately, was one of the luckier folks.

Criterion came up short because they failed to produce a non-infringing process for doing correctors.

The Caves, optical quality aside, didn't perform very well at all when you needed to get one back in your Pinto at 3 a.m. on a cold morning. That I can testify to.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #4816272 - 09/19/11 01:32 PM

Quote:

I want to follow up a bit on my "so-so performance" comment. If I remember this thread correctly, Meade is claiming one arc minute pointing accuracy and plus or minus one arc second tracking. When you think about it, that's really mediocre.




Mediocre to whom? When it is below the seeing limit most of the time, anyway?

The Mach 1, once you buy "options" like a tripod, counterweights, and a saddle to mount your telescope on, is considerably more expensive.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4816293 - 09/19/11 01:48 PM

Quote:

The MX is a much, much, much beefier and larger mount. There's no comparison.



What are you talking about?!
The Paramount MX actually looked small in comparison to the LX800. My advice to others is to ignore this thread when deciding whether to buy the LX800.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4816309 - 09/19/11 01:56 PM

/agree... An AP mount doesn't have 1 arc minute pointing "unless" you are 100% orthogonal and spend some time polar aligning (considerable time) IME. Sorry AP fans, until the modeling software is available the pointing just isn't all that. I own them also. GREAT tracking, mediocre pointing. Permanently mounted - great. Setup nightly, not so much.

As to tracking - guided (which I believe is what they are quoting) tracking, as the Unk said, 1 arc second beats seeing just about everywhere.

Once again, if they can deliver to the stated specs, it would be great.

Joe


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #4816314 - 09/19/11 01:58 PM

Alph! What are you doing in here with all us mumblers? <----smiley activated

Joe

Edited by jmiele (09/19/11 01:59 PM)


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4816319 - 09/19/11 02:01 PM

Quote:

The Caves, optical quality aside, didn't perform very well at all when you needed to get one back in your Pinto at 3 a.m. on a cold morning. That I can testify to.



Don't know about a Pinto, but when we bought a new 1973 Datsun 510 sedan, a specific requirement was that the trunk would take my Cave 8-inch f/6, mount and all. No problem. I made many trips out to dark-sky sites with the scope in the trunk of that car.


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skybsd
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4816398 - 09/19/11 02:45 PM

Quote:

/agree... An AP mount doesn't have 1 arc minute pointing "unless" you are 100% orthogonal and spend some time polar aligning (considerable time) IME. Sorry AP fans, until the modeling software is available the pointing just isn't all that. I own them also. GREAT tracking, mediocre pointing. Permanently mounted - great. Setup nightly, not so much.




To be fair, Joe - if it is that you personally have challenges using your equipment (like the relatively straight forward procedures of polar alignment and orthogonality), then that's one case, to somehow extrapolate that into a statement of fact is just wackadoo, man

If I (the definitive "must do as it says on the tin" proponent) can repeatably set up a C14 on an AP mount and get all-sky pointing accuracy with centered objects in a N17T4, its can't be that difficult

Regards,

skybsd


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Jared
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/11/05

Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4816473 - 09/19/11 03:27 PM

Quote:

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




I suppose we'll find out when it's released in a couple months. Hopefully, it really can handle 90 pounds. A 14" Meade OTA w/ guide scope, camera, mounting hardware, etc. will weigh in excess of 80 pounds. I'll stop speculating, though, and wait for the release.


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MtnGoat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/07

Loc: Columbia Gorge, WA
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4816542 - 09/19/11 04:09 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

The Caves, optical quality aside, didn't perform very well at all when you needed to get one back in your Pinto at 3 a.m. on a cold morning. That I can testify to.



Don't know about a Pinto, but when we bought a new 1973 Datsun 510 sedan, a specific requirement was that the trunk would take my Cave 8-inch f/6, mount and all. No problem. I made many trips out to dark-sky sites with the scope in the trunk of that car.




Cool...the Z12 and all kinds of campin' goodies fits fine in the Deathmobile, seen here on safari last April...

Sorry, driftmode off, couldn't resist.

Edited by MtnGoat (09/19/11 04:09 PM)


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4816569 - 09/19/11 04:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The Caves, optical quality aside, didn't perform very well at all when you needed to get one back in your Pinto at 3 a.m. on a cold morning. That I can testify to.



Don't know about a Pinto, but when we bought a new 1973 Datsun 510 sedan, a specific requirement was that the trunk would take my Cave 8-inch f/6, mount and all. No problem. I made many trips out to dark-sky sites with the scope in the trunk of that car.




If that is how you roll, right on. Me? Not so much.


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faltered
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/01/05

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #4816619 - 09/19/11 04:51 PM

Quote:

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.




Yes, the endless comparison to AP mounts is getting old - I agree, there is only so much you can do to change an EQ mount. Plus - good for Meade for taking inspiration from "the best" and putting it into their model. Different price point, different customer, and this wont effect AP sales one bit.

And afterall, I dont see any AP mounts with built-in guiders and cameras and software anywhere near this.

I think we should be praising Meade for coming to market with a new, innovative product. Time will tell how it does, but we should be happy they are making this effort to compete and let the chips fall where they may.

This product, and most any new product to hit the astronomy market is just a good thing for everyone. Innovation and competition bring us better products and often with better prices.

I for one am excited about this product and can't wait to hear how the users think of it. Wish I could afford one!


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skybsd
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: faltered]
      #4816637 - 09/19/11 05:00 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




Yes, the endless comparison to AP mounts is getting old - I agree, there is only so much you can do to change an EQ mount. Plus - good for Meade for taking inspiration from "the best" and putting it into their model. Different price point, different customer, and this wont effect AP sales one bit.

And afterall, I dont see any AP mounts with built-in guiders and cameras and software anywhere near this.

I think we should be praising Meade for coming to market with a new, innovative product. Time will tell how it does, but we should be happy they are making this effort to compete and let the chips fall where they may.

This product, and most any new product to hit the astronomy market is just a good thing for everyone. Innovation and competition bring us better products and often with better prices.

I for one am excited about this product and can't wait to hear how the users think of it. Wish I could afford one!






As someone who owns AP and have used SB and similar, I too am interested in the new LX800 - despite ...

Subject to field reports, you can't argue with the value proposition on offer here.

Regards,

skybsd


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4816654 - 09/19/11 05:07 PM

I think the built-in guider should be optional. Meade could lower the price to exclude the guider. Lots of people already have their own guidance system and may not want to give them up.

Peter


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: faltered]
      #4816680 - 09/19/11 05:23 PM

The clear similarity of the LX800 mount to an AP Mach1GTO is more a matter of amusement than anything. It's like cheap cars styled to look like Mercedes. Aside from the arrangement of the drive motors (also copied by the iOptron mount), a couple of details that caught my eye were the little sliding covers for the entrance/exit holes for cables. The covers look like they might even be directly interchangeable with those on the AP. The azimuth adjuster appears to be a knock-off of the new, revised azimuth adjuster used by AP. However, I'm puzzled that the adjustment knob of the Meade azimuth adjuster is only on one side. The Meade also has exit channels for cables underneath the declination hub, a feature unique to the AP Mach1GTO up to now. OTOH, the Autostar controller and bracket are definitely not anything like AP. Really, however, the Meade mount looks very nice. If it performs well, then I'm happy for Meade and the mounts' purchasers. At the price, only a bit cheaper than the real thing, it better be good!

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4816724 - 09/19/11 05:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

/agree... An AP mount doesn't have 1 arc minute pointing "unless" you are 100% orthogonal and spend some time polar aligning (considerable time) IME. Sorry AP fans, until the modeling software is available the pointing just isn't all that. I own them also. GREAT tracking, mediocre pointing. Permanently mounted - great. Setup nightly, not so much.




To be fair, Joe - if it is that you personally have challenges using your equipment (like the relatively straight forward procedures of polar alignment and orthogonality), then that's one case, to somehow extrapolate that into a statement of fact is just wackadoo, man

If I (the definitive "must do as it says on the tin" proponent) can repeatably set up a C14 on an AP mount and get all-sky pointing accuracy with centered objects in a N17T4, its can't be that difficult

Regards,

skybsd




While I do have physical limitations, I do see the AP software as theirs. Their great hardware is held back a bit (just a bit) do to the lack of modeling. Now to be fair, my Paramounts (for remote use - my limitations won't hinder them) are giant bricks without a computer. The very same computer that can be added to an AP mount to supply it with modeling. So, I really wasn't comparing the AP's to the Bisque mounts. Just stating that the mass production mounts do point well (within a given range) and get you on objects fairly quickly.

I'm sure these LX800's also will have the ability to connect to The SkyX as well. Not sure what protocols they are using.

Folks should know Sky and I do banter in jest for fun.

Joe


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