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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Meade's new LX800...
      #4809751 - 09/15/11 06:57 PM

Did you get your email from our host? New SC at f8 and ACF optics. Let the speculation begin!

David


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Rick Woods
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4809783 - 09/15/11 07:22 PM

Ah, Meade is (maybe) once more pushing the envelope, and risking a new product introduction. I love when they do that!
I hope it's a good one, and gets some support. That'll force Celestron to do something to compete, and bingo - we get a whole new class of telescope choices!


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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #4809797 - 09/15/11 07:34 PM

I will say this: Very interesting...but...given what's gone on the last few years, they need to do everything in their power to make sure this is right _out the door_. No more early adopter-beta testers as with the RCX.

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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4809810 - 09/15/11 07:42 PM

F/8, that's the RCX FL isn't it? Humm. Interesting.. Joe

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Festus
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4809836 - 09/15/11 07:58 PM

I was just looking at the HD scopes and this news has me hesitating. I am certainly interested in the OTA and like the new focuser concept. My RCX experience has me still gun shy of the the whole electronic - do everything - approach. I do miss the RCX optics, best I have ever had.

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Tiny
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4809838 - 09/15/11 08:00 PM

Impressive. F8 coma free native. F5 coma free and flattened with the reducer. Claimed no image shift or need for mirror locks due to a new focus system.

I have one complaint from the announcement however. They seem to be doing what Celestron did. They have a low[er] end and a high end but nothing inbetween. Would of been nice to see a mount option in the ~2k-3k range out the door right away to give people another option from the CGEM/DX instead of budget mounts or the CGE Pro competitor.

I can only imagine they'll release a baby brother to the LX800 mount with a 50-60lb capacity later.


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LLEEGE
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4809909 - 09/15/11 08:55 PM

Finally Meade has put the RCX optics in an OTA! This could be a serious game changer.

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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #4809940 - 09/15/11 09:14 PM

Indeed. Time shall tell..Joe

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jgraham
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4809942 - 09/15/11 09:15 PM

Cool. This may explain the end of the LXD75. Congratultions to Meade for bringing a new product to the market!

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AlienRatDog
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jgraham]
      #4810017 - 09/15/11 09:56 PM

LXD75 going bye bye?

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Tiny
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #4810059 - 09/15/11 10:24 PM

Quote:

Finally Meade has put the RCX optics in an OTA! This could be a serious game changer.




i dont think its the exact same. They seem to have dumped the moving corrector. Kind of a good thing as well since it means the scopes should be able to utilize hyperstar.

Heres the post from the venders section

Edit: Please provide a link to images that are not your personal property. Thanks.

Edited by rick rian (09/16/11 11:28 AM)


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Martin Lyons
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4810266 - 09/16/11 01:25 AM

What's that "Starlock" thingy parallel to the SCT? A new guiding system?
Seems a whole new mount included in the mix......interesting.


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MtnGoat
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #4810286 - 09/16/11 01:47 AM

Good lord. I think I'm in love.

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MtnGoat
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #4810289 - 09/16/11 01:53 AM

Quote:

What's that "Starlock" thingy parallel to the SCT? A new guiding system?
Seems a whole new mount included in the mix......interesting.




If they're ambitious it's a built in imager and plate solver to drive dead on gotos on it's own, as well as direct dead on polar aligns.

If they aren't it's just their own rolling of an autoguider.

I tell you this, Unca Rod is right...at $6000 no one had better be used as beta testers.


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MtnGoat
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: MtnGoat]
      #4810290 - 09/16/11 01:54 AM

yes...it does look like a plate solver!

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meade4ever
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: MtnGoat]
      #4810293 - 09/16/11 02:01 AM

Oh my god, these telescopes are beautiful to look at !
Thanks for sharing


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Martin Lyons
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: MtnGoat]
      #4810297 - 09/16/11 02:09 AM

Quote:

I tell you this, Unca Rod is right...at $6000 no one had better be used as beta testers.




I dunno, if they paid me $6000 I wouldn't mind


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4810320 - 09/16/11 02:52 AM


Looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards,

skybsd

Edited by rick rian (09/18/11 03:46 PM)


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dadeo
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #4810323 - 09/16/11 02:55 AM

Okay, I dig it! If the gizmos work, how about a conversion kit for the LX200?

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HCR32
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Festus]
      #4810352 - 09/16/11 03:27 AM

Quote:

I was just looking at the HD scopes and this news has me hesitating. I am certainly interested in the OTA and like the new focuser concept. My RCX experience has me still gun shy of the the whole electronic - do everything - approach. I do miss the RCX optics, best I have ever had.



Have to agree. Rcx had the best optics. I had it side by side with my TMB and let me tell you I wanted to put the TMB away. I'm just wondering if these new ota are of the same quality?


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Doug76
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #4810406 - 09/16/11 05:01 AM

Quote:

LXD75 going bye bye?




Could be. They also announced a competitor to the CGEM and Atlas, called the LX80, which is a GEQ, but is configurable as an alt-az and as a dual scope mount (like the iOptrons).


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LLEEGE
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Doug76]
      #4810531 - 09/16/11 08:04 AM

Can't say I'm a fan of the threaded CW shaft. Probably proprietary. Looks like Robin Casady will have a new product to make.

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #4810591 - 09/16/11 08:55 AM

Quote:

Can't say I'm a fan of the threaded CW shaft. Probably proprietary. Looks like Robin Casady will have a new product to make.




Amen!

David


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AlienRatDog
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: HCR32]
      #4810623 - 09/16/11 09:16 AM

Ok...well that is settled...when I defend my thesis and hopefully make more money than what I am making as a grad student...the 14" LX800 and a nice CCD camera is what I am buying myself as a graduation gift...

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jgraham
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #4810674 - 09/16/11 09:57 AM

They've been closing out the LXD75 for some time now just selling off stock. It looks like the LX80 will replace the LXD75.

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Bill Barlow
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jgraham]
      #4810716 - 09/16/11 10:22 AM

At f/8, will these new Meade ACF OTA's have a larger secondary obstruction/mirror similar to the AT RC scopes..somewhere around 40-45%? Will the f/8 OTA's cost more than the current f/10 ACF OTA's?

Bill


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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #4810824 - 09/16/11 11:27 AM

Quote:

At f/8, will these new Meade ACF OTA's have a larger secondary obstruction/mirror similar to the AT RC scopes..somewhere around 40-45%? Will the f/8 OTA's cost more than the current f/10 ACF OTA's?

Bill




According to preliminary specs, the secondary obstruction of the 10" is approximately 4.05" in diameter (20.95% by area). On the 12" it is approximately 4.36" in diameter (16.86% by area). The 14" is TBD. These specs are preliminary and should be not taken as gospel, as preliminary specs are always subject to change.

No pricing or part numbers on OTAs yet. I would think they would be further downstream than the estimated November shipping date on the scopes, as Meade would probably want to fill the pipeline with complete scopes before breaking out the OTAs separately.


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Tiny
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Reged: 05/02/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #4810825 - 09/16/11 11:27 AM

Quote:

What's that "Starlock" thingy parallel to the SCT? A new guiding system?
Seems a whole new mount included in the mix......interesting.




yes its an included guide scope. Some info from mount forum

Quote:

Alignment procedures 2-Star Align, 1 Star Polar Align,
StarLock assited drift align

StarLock Wide-field camera 25mm x 26mm f/1.04 optic with 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor gives field of 14.72 x 11.78 degrees.

Narrow-field camera 80mm x 400mm f/5 optic with 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor gives field of 57.2 x 45.8 arcminutes (2.68 arcseconds/pixel)

High-precision pointing +/- 1 arcminute

High-precision guiding +/- 1 arcsecond RMS (with good seeing. 1-4 second correction update rate depending on star magnitude. Faintest guide star 11th mag.

High-precision alignment Semi-automatic drift align procedure for ulta-precise polar alignment






Quote:

At f/8, will these new Meade ACF OTA's have a larger secondary obstruction/mirror similar to the AT RC scopes..somewhere around 40-45%? Will the f/8 OTA's cost more than the current f/10 ACF OTA's?

Bill




Obstruction should be around 38-39%.

They announced some package/mount pricing, but nothing on OTAs yet.

LX80 Mount will be $800
LX800 Mount will be $6000
LX800 with 10" OTA $8000
LX800 with 12" OTA $9000
LX800 with 14" OTA $10000

my guess is the OTA only pricing will be

10" $3000
12" $4000
14" $6500


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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: dadeo]
      #4810842 - 09/16/11 11:37 AM

Quote:

Okay, I dig it! If the gizmos work, how about a conversion kit for the LX200?




The 90 pound payload capacity mount will be available separately (set up for Losmandy-style D-plate mount OTAs) at a retail of $5999. You can always defork an LX200 optical tube and put it on the LX800 mount. However, it is unlikely that the German equatorial mount StarLock system could be easily adapted to the fork mount LX200 (not enough room between the forks for the 80mm guidescope and separate wide field camera). Stranger things have happened, though.


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: frebie]
      #4811076 - 09/16/11 01:45 PM

The OTA prices have always been close between the big 2. I would expect the same here as well. Joe

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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4811178 - 09/16/11 02:44 PM

Quote:

I will say this: Very interesting...but...given what's gone on the last few years, they need to do everything in their power to make sure this is right _out the door_. No more early adopter-beta testers as with the RCX.




I agree whole-heartedly. Problem is that Meade has a track record of advertising and taking orders before the product is fully ready, going back at least 30 years to when I was working for them.

The prices seem... ...astronomical to me, though. Maybe it's time Meade brought back a well-made, inexpensive Newt on a Gem!

Pigs might be able to fly, after all, if you get 'em moving fast enough!

-Tim.


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SGT500
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4811209 - 09/16/11 03:05 PM

That looks SOLID! When i eventually upgrade my mount i think it will be to that Lx800. Assuming they are good and nobody has any problems. but wow, what a nice looking piece of machinery.

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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4811225 - 09/16/11 03:16 PM

Quote:

Looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards,

skybsd




Hmmmmm.., NOW I know why I like the looks of these mounts..,

Anyone else see the resemblance

Regards,

skybsd

Edit: Reminder, use a link to images that are not your personal property. Thanks.

Edited by rick rian (09/18/11 03:49 PM)


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Stew57
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4811227 - 09/16/11 03:17 PM

I actually think the threaded cw shaft may be a good feature. Cross meridian two turns up and slightly east heavy, cross back and 2 turns down and still slightly east heavy. makes balancing easier..31mm eyepiece 2 turns down..mallincam 4 turns down...DSLR 6 turns down


I had thought of this as a feature myself and would be nice if one just would log how many turns each piece of equipment needed. Of course some easy to operate lock would be needed.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Stew57]
      #4811241 - 09/16/11 03:27 PM

Quote:

I had thought of this as a feature myself and would be nice if one just would log how many turns each piece of equipment needed. Of course some easy to operate lock would be needed.




I like the threaded cw shaft on the NJP in my permanent setup but it would probably be a pain if the mount had to be assembled for each session. No locks are required; the weights don't move. It's a real convenience to not have to clamp and unclamp them.


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Astrojensen
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4811245 - 09/16/11 03:34 PM

Quote:

Hmmmmm.., NOW I know why I like the looks of these mounts..,

Anyone else see the resemblance

Regards,

skybsd





Now that you mention it...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4811261 - 09/16/11 03:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hmmmmm.., NOW I know why I like the looks of these mounts..,

Anyone else see the resemblance

Regards,

skybsd




I'm just sayin'

Heeheehee!!!!!

Regards,

skybsd

Now that you mention it...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




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Rick Woods
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4811411 - 09/16/11 05:20 PM

Well, it's a GEM. The all look pretty much like that.
I dunno - a 40% CO is pretty extreme. This would not make a great visual planetary scope. You'd lose a bit more fine detail; but I guess what you DO get to see is nice and sharp?

I'm with Tim; let's see a high-quality Newt on a solid gem, reasonably priced!

Quote:

I actually think the threaded cw shaft may be a good feature. Cross meridian two turns up and slightly east heavy, cross back and 2 turns down and still slightly east heavy. makes balancing easier..31mm eyepiece 2 turns down..mallincam 4 turns down...DSLR 6 turns down




Yeah, but two turns up from the previous three turns down for the 31mm, or wait, the last eyepiece I used was the 9T6, so that's 1.5 turns up, subtract the extra 2 turns for meridian cross, carry the 1...

Your brain could explode!


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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4811413 - 09/16/11 05:21 PM

Quote:



Anyone else see the resemblance

Regards,

skybsd




Yep.


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Bill Barlow
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: frebie]
      #4811426 - 09/16/11 05:32 PM

Thank you for the preliminary information on some of these scopes "specs".

Bill


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MtnGoat
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4811440 - 09/16/11 05:44 PM

Quote:

Anyone else see the resemblance

Regards,

skybsd




Ye$, I $ure do!


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #4811510 - 09/16/11 06:22 PM

Quote:

I dunno - a 40% CO is pretty extreme. This would not make a great visual planetary scope. You'd lose a bit more fine detail; but I guess what you DO get to see is nice and sharp?




Hey Rick....looking at the specs, it looks like Meade is aiming this new OTA directly at imagers especially when teamed up with the mount and all of its goodies. I'm guessing that once the mount gets into full production, you might see a trimmed down model without all of the guiding stuff and match it up with the f10 ACF tubes for a nice visual package.

David

Edited by David Pavlich (09/16/11 06:23 PM)


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Tiny
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/02/08

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #4811663 - 09/16/11 08:18 PM

Quote:

I dunno - a 40% CO is pretty extreme. This would not make a great visual planetary scope. You'd lose a bit more fine detail; but I guess what you DO get to see is nice and sharp?




In fairness we're talking about 4-6% difference here compared to celestron scopes. The smaller meade scopes of the LX200 line actually already had a larger than average obstruction, something like 36-37% so there you're talking about a couple of percent. Will the visual observer see the difference of a few % in central obstruction? I sincerely doubt it. As stated the scope is geared primarily toward imagers. If the scopes really have no image shift and a perfectly rigid mirror they'll be a big hit with both F8 and F5 focal ratios available.

If there is anything to be negative of with the new OTAs its the apparent lack of an attempt to improve cooling. At the very least they could of installed vents.

The other thing i noticed is there are no improvements to the handles on the OTA. Lifting that 14" nearly 60lb tube into place will be a 2 person job for sure.


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4811694 - 09/16/11 08:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I dunno - a 40% CO is pretty extreme. This would not make a great visual planetary scope. You'd lose a bit more fine detail; but I guess what you DO get to see is nice and sharp?




In fairness we're talking about 4-6% difference here compared to celestron scopes. The smaller meade scopes of the LX200 line actually already had a larger than average obstruction, something like 36-37% so there you're talking about a couple of percent. Will the visual observer see the difference of a few % in central obstruction? I sincerely doubt it. As stated the scope is geared primarily toward imagers. If the scopes really have no image shift and a perfectly rigid mirror they'll be a big hit with both F8 and F5 focal ratios available.




While there isn't much difference in obstruction between various configurations of SCTs, the obstruction of, say, an f/6 Newtonian can be around 20%, or about half that of the SCTs. And f/6 is nicely poised between f/5 and f/8 for wide field imaging, and an f/6 Newt is pretty decent for planetary as well.


Quote:


The other thing i noticed is there are no improvements to the handles on the OTA. Lifting that 14" nearly 60lb tube into place will be a 2 person job for sure.




At least a GEM mounted SCT is more transportable than a fork mounted SCT, except in the 8" sizes. I find that a 10" fork-mounted SCT is no more transportable than a 10" Newt on a GEM. In fact, if mounted on a wedge, it's less transportable.

And while a GEM mounted SCT is easier to set up than a fork-mounted one, they still require a higher saddle than a Newt does, so the bigger ones are more scary to set up due to their weight.

-Tim.


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Hilmi
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4812235 - 09/17/11 07:33 AM

I might get attacked for saying this, but purely on looks, it looks better than the Mach 1. I like the shiny metal and blue bits. The combination is rather striking and has a nice modern sporty feel to it. (wears helmet and other protective gear to ward of AP fans)

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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Hilmi]
      #4812256 - 09/17/11 07:57 AM

Quote:

I might get attacked for saying this, but purely on looks, it looks better than the Mach 1. I like the shiny metal and blue bits. The combination is rather striking and has a nice modern sporty feel to it. (wears helmet and other protective gear to ward of AP fans)




Heeheeheee!!!!!!!!!!!!

I understand the folks at AP have already noted this mount, too..,

Like I said, the light bulb went off in my head, so its now quite clear to me why the looks of the LX800 impressed me.

Mind you, with just a 90lb (advertised) payload.., the price ain't too bad lookin' either

Subject to Real© reviews, I'd be keen to ship one in..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Jared
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Hilmi]
      #4812464 - 09/17/11 10:28 AM

Heresy! Speaking as a Mach1 owner, I believe you should be drawn and quartered for bearing false witness against the divine word of the Rolando!

Just kidding, of course. It looks like a well thought out scope and mount, and I hope it does well in the market. If the reliability is there, and if the payload is really 90 pounds for astrophotography, it will represent a good value. The only catch is that a 6,000 USD price, even if it represents a good value, is not going to appeal to the masses, so it won't do much to help turn Meade around. Still, this is the first scope/mount combo they have produced since the RCX400 line that has appealed to me personally.

The only part I am not certain about is the inclusion of a standard guide scope and camera. At this price level, you aren't dealing with beginning imagers, and many will likely prefer to use off axis guiders, more sensitive or lower noise guide cameras, etc. They might not like the idea of paying for equipment they don't need or want. Plus, if the mount is well made, the high precision GoTo offered by the guide scope/camera shouldn't really be necessary. Perhaps I'm just being a curmudgeon on this one, though. And certainly, an automated routine for drift alignment, especially for those in the southern hemisphere, would be nice.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4812483 - 09/17/11 10:38 AM

I'm glad to see Meade finally using their head and getting back with new and heavier EQ mounts. I'm just surprised they didn't follow up sooner to the LXD-650. Why they didn't who knows.

That said I think they really thought the price range w/features out carefully. Mind you at $6000 it might seem a lot but the extra "Starlock" feature makes up for it. Of course we'll have to wait & see on results and reviews. But two cameras plus 80mm refractor with built-in guiding alone is another $600+.

The only other mount in that range of weight capacity and price is the Losmandy HGM Titan (100# rated) but it's at $7300. The next down is the Losmandy G-11 rated at 60# at $3700. The highly touted AP Mach1 is at 45# but nearly $6400.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bachus]
      #4812496 - 09/17/11 10:48 AM

Well, the similarity to the AP mount is certainly no coincidence. I wonder: Does AP make the Mach 1 in the US, or is it a rebadged import?

-Tim.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bachus]
      #4812509 - 09/17/11 10:52 AM

I'll be interested to see what the true capacity IS. Traditionally, most manufacturers rate their mounts for visual use not photographic. However, this mount is clearly intended for photographers so perhaps not in this case. For example, I would say the Mach 1 has a very similar true capacity to the G11 despite the lower rating. On a recent trip to the Mojave desert, I managed reasonably sharp images of NGC 3718 at 2,000mm focal length with a 40 pound imaging payload with winds gusting to 25 knots. Clearly, the 45 pound rating on the Mach 1 is on the conservative side. Tak ratings are also quite conservative. Most other manufacturers? Not so much. Can't wait to read about real world experiences with this mount and the 14" OTA. If it can really support (and accurately guide) such a monster over a ten or fifteen minute subexposure on a mildly breezy evening, I'll be impressed.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4812514 - 09/17/11 10:55 AM

The Mach 1 is made in the U.S. By Astro-Physics, not rebadged. If the new Meade mount resembles it, it is either because the Meade engineers drew inspiration from the Mach 1 or because the requirements drove the engineers to a similar result.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4812530 - 09/17/11 11:02 AM

Cool. If Meade is buying the AP mount then great. If it's some clone, not so much.

-tim.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4812562 - 09/17/11 11:17 AM

I'm sure they aren't buying the AP mount. It's similar, but not THAT similar. Inspired by the Mach1, maybe. No more than that. Plus good as the Mach1 is, it certainly doesn't have a 90 pound payload capacity.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4812654 - 09/17/11 12:01 PM

I tend to agree with your statement Jared - "or because the requirements drove the engineers to a similar result"

The GEM design isn't rocket science. It's strength is it's simplicity. And drawing conclusions about design copying based on a CGI image is absurd. Not directed at anyone - just saying"....

I'm as excited as the next person, however have many questions. Like for one - how are they ensuring the rigidity between the two scopes? Need more close up pictures!!


Joe


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4812658 - 09/17/11 12:03 PM

Did any one see the specs on the LX80 as well?

Carries a total payload of up to 40 pounds in EQ/Alt-Az modes and 75 pounds in dual OTA modes... for $800.


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4812733 - 09/17/11 12:57 PM

Quote:

I tend to agree with your statement Jared - "or because the requirements drove the engineers to a similar result"

The GEM design isn't rocket science. It's strength is it's simplicity. And drawing conclusions about design copying based on a CGI image is absurd. Not directed at anyone - just saying"....

I'm as excited as the next person, however have many questions. Like for one - how are they ensuring the rigidity between the two scopes? Need more close up pictures!!


Joe




More "pictures"???

I'm waiting for the FIRST photo - the ones provided so far are CGI, buddy.

Regards,

skybsd


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4812751 - 09/17/11 01:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I tend to agree with your statement Jared - "or because the requirements drove the engineers to a similar result"

The GEM design isn't rocket science. It's strength is it's simplicity. And drawing conclusions about design copying based on a CGI image is absurd. Not directed at anyone - just saying"....

I'm as excited as the next person, however have many questions. Like for one - how are they ensuring the rigidity between the two scopes? Need more close up pictures!!


Joe




More "pictures"???

I'm waiting for the FIRST photo - the ones provided so far are CGI, buddy.

Regards,

skybsd




If anyone's still not convinced of where the idea for this mount came from, have a look at this image used by one vendor's preordering system.

Pay attention to the ALT locking mechanism - now where have you seen that before



Regards,

skybsd


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4812759 - 09/17/11 01:11 PM

Quote:

Pay attention to the ALT locking mechanism - now where have you seen that before



Regards,

skybsd




Looks just like the LXD650/750 of 15 years ago. Or were those Mach1 clones also?


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4812765 - 09/17/11 01:13 PM

You Mach 1 guys might be able to speak to my speculation on the design characteristics. Perhaps Meade is looking at AP mount's ability to track well beyond the meridian...at least the 900/1200/3600. To me, that would be a good reason to emulate the AP design.

David


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4812782 - 09/17/11 01:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Pay attention to the ALT locking mechanism - now where have you seen that before



Regards,

skybsd




Looks just like the LXD650/750 of 15 years ago. Or were those Mach1 clones also?




Well, John - I'm sure the mount of yesteryear also did not have: -

the same DEC and AR housing as the Mach-1
the same through-the-mount cabling run as the Mach-1
the same shaped DEC and RA motor housing
etc..,
etc..,
etc..,

By the way, the important point in my post is the fact that the photoshop guy at Meade forgot to change the image of the ALT locking mechanism - see ?

Best.,

Regards,

skybsd


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4812787 - 09/17/11 01:23 PM

Quote:

Perhaps Meade is looking at AP mount's ability to track well beyond the meridian...




I saw somewhere that it's specified to go only 20 degrees past. I miss that feature from my old LXD750. The NJP is a terrific mount, but it doesn't know better than to keep driving away even if the telescope's below the mount. I don't see that as an advantage.


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4812843 - 09/17/11 02:00 PM

At the end of the day is the simple question..... can the design (regardless of the originator) be executed to allow for excellent pointing and tracking? AP took years to perfect their manufacturing tolerances. Bisque also did _not_ have the tracking and pointing they do today when the initial Paramounts were launched. I great idea is the first step. Bringing it to fruition is the trick.

Joe


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4812859 - 09/17/11 02:11 PM

Quote:

If anyone's still not convinced of where the idea for this mount came from, have a look at this image used by one vendor's preordering system.

Pay attention to the ALT locking mechanism - now where have you seen that before




I opened images of both mounts and compared them closely. By some sort of coincidence (?) there are images from both companies of the two mounts shot at practically identical angles, making comparisons easier.

I must say I am a bit stunned by not only how much the LX 800 resembles the Mach1, but by HOW EXTREMELY CLOSELY the positions of more than several bolt holes, screws and various adjustment knobs match. It's almost a bit uncanny.

At this point I'll go all out and say we're looking at a genuine clone, at least mechanically, though some camouflage has been attempted. I mean, if designing it from the bottom up, how big is the chance that you'll end up with two mounts with not only practically identical overall designs but matching bolt holes as well?


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4812875 - 09/17/11 02:22 PM

Methinks the reality is that there is some OEM rebranding going on!

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Hilmi
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4812876 - 09/17/11 02:22 PM

Do I see the equivalent of an Apple Vs. Samsung court case coming up in the astronomy world?

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: MtnGoat]
      #4812931 - 09/17/11 02:51 PM

Quote:

Methinks the reality is that there is some OEM rebranding going on!




Hmmm. Maybe, but I don't think so.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Phil Cowell
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: MtnGoat]
      #4812962 - 09/17/11 03:09 PM

Quote:

Methinks the reality is that there is some OEM rebranding going on!



AP stepped up production to try to close the waiting list to meet the demand on the Mach 1. There's not a chance they would be making them for Meade as well. you might want to do a little research on the production capabilities before going with the rebranding idea.


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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #4813014 - 09/17/11 03:45 PM

Were the initial images of the LX800 CGI drawings as some people have stated? The image of the LX800 prototype now at PATS shown here:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4812863/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

doesn't look like CGI to me.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: frebie]
      #4813052 - 09/17/11 04:17 PM

http://youtu.be/3EA8lfrYK_M
http://youtu.be/m4s1dMXltWs

I got to touch it, taste it, see it and smell it today at PATS. Went ahead and put a deposit down on it.


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JoeR
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4813078 - 09/17/11 04:42 PM

Too rich for my blood but the LX80 mount is very interesting. It would be great for my refractor and if the 40 pound payload capacity is correct even my C11 can be used with it. As for the LX800s the f/8 is still slow but I guess that's what the Starlock is for. If Starizona makes Hyperstar lenses for these then that would be a serious wide field imaging package.

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Starman27Moderator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: JoeR]
      #4813102 - 09/17/11 04:55 PM

I'm visiting the UK and they have the mounts and scopes on-line at Telescopehouse.com. The specs for the larger mount are pretty impressive. Besides being go-to with almost automatice functioning the specs according to the telescopehouse.com site are; "The machined stainless steel and aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminium construction means that the LX800 is a rock-solid platform. With precision roller bearings on both axes; a 1.75" stainless steel R.A. shaft; 0.68" diameter brass worms and 5.8" diameter, 225-tooth aluminium gears, the LX800 delivers smooth and precise movement. As you would expect, the LX800 is a fully computerised GoTo mount with GPS and comes with a database of over 144,000 objects. All this sets atop a new super-stable tripod.

The StarLock™ module includes two cameras. One camera has a super wide-field optic with LightSwitch style pointing and high-precision mode, capable of landing an object within 1 arc-minute. The other camera, with an 80mm F/5 optic is capable of guiding down to 1 arc-second and is sensitive enough to lock onto 11th magnitude stars automatically! Once the scope lands on a target, it begins to guide itself and all you really need to do is polar align, add a camera, focus, and open the shutter. StarLock even automatically programs periodic error correction also reducing any other errors down to virtually zero. Oh, and they've also included an electronic drift-align assist, which provides a simple routine for accurate polar alignment using the StarLock™ guider to measure the drift. There's no Longer any need for a separate guider or computer and the StarLock requires no user focusing or guide star selection."

From the looks and specs it has only a superfical resemblance to the Mach 1 in that they are both GEQ.

The LX80 easily converts from an AltAz to GEQ and also into a double telescope mount.


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Starman27]
      #4813107 - 09/17/11 05:01 PM

That's at least a 45% CO on that scope there... Joe
Thanks for posting the vids..


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Tiny
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4813122 - 09/17/11 05:07 PM

is it the 10" that is on display? The smaller scopes tend to have larger obstructions, i think the 10" LX200 was already at 38% or so, so i can believe that being a bit over 40%. Too bad its not the 14".

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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Tiny]
      #4813135 - 09/17/11 05:16 PM

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


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ewave
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4813139 - 09/17/11 05:18 PM

Quote:

That's at least a 45% CO on that scope there... Joe
Thanks for posting the vids..




I agree. The OTA in the 2nd video has a huge central obstruction. Guess the target consumer will be mostly for imaging, not visual, unless the larger OTAs have less obstruction percent wise.


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Bill Barlow
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: ewave]
      #4813204 - 09/17/11 06:02 PM

I see that the 6", 8" and 10" Meade scopes offered with the LX80 mount are standard SCT's, not with the ACF optics. I wonder why Meade wouldn't use the ACF optics as a selling point?

Bill


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Micheal
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #4813275 - 09/17/11 06:37 PM

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.

BTW one of many things I liked about this mount is that it sits much lower to the ground and the tripod has a very wide stance. Looks really stable with the low center of gravity. The mount weighs 55lbs without counterbar or tripod.


Edited by Micheal (09/17/11 06:44 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4813285 - 09/17/11 06:43 PM

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.


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Micheal
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4813289 - 09/17/11 06:46 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 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!!


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4813295 - 09/17/11 06:51 PM

Quote:

you quoted me before I could fix my spelling!!




Oops. I have now fixed it in my post where I quote you.


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jmartin
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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David PavlichAdministrator
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4816754 - 09/19/11 05:55 PM

Quote:



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.


Joe




The same protocols the other Meades use, which means you can connect to TheSky with the built in driver or ASCOM.


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4816763 - 09/19/11 05:58 PM

Quote:

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




Top Man!

Stay well..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Micheal
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4816769 - 09/19/11 06:00 PM

Take a Celestron CGE-Pro at $4999.00 and add the GPS at $160.00, the 80mm f/5 refractor at $120.00, the two cameras (which I have to guess at DSI-II price of $300.00 each), the dovetail bar that allows mounting of the guide camers adjacent to the main OTA at about $50.00 (another guess), and you have a total at $5930.00 (rounded up). Maybe someone could play along and try to figure out what it would cost to buy a comparable pair of cameras.

Anyways, the LX800 mount sells for $5999.00 retail. So if you were to compare it to a retail CGE-Pro at 4999.00 you have tp spend about a grand more on accessories to bring it up to a direct apples to apples comparison.

Now you need to talk about the differences in software. CGE-Pro doesn't come with the starlock software. The CGE-Pro has 40,000 object database while the LX800 has I think I recall 144,000.

So now we have to compare build quality. Meade sent their manufacturing to Mexico and the quality took a dive. Lots of complaints in the forums over the last few years with regards to Meades QC, their attitude, their failures with warranty work. From what I have heard recently they have decided to stand back and take a hard look at what they are doing, where they want to go as a company and what they need to do to fix these issues. With this model roll-out they are saying that they are working very hard on the quality. Is this true? I have no personal experience with Meade so I can not speak to that point.

Celestron was bought by Synta(hope I spelled that right) and now makes all their stuff in China. Which shouldn't mean that it is bad quality but I would say that any warranty work, extra parts or quality control could very well be going through the growing pains that Meade went through when they moved to Mexico. I was one of the first to take delivery of the CGE-PRo with the 14" EdgeHD. While I have no complaints about the OTA, the mount has been giving me problems since I got it. It has been back to Celestron twice now. Each time I got it back it was worse. I finally just fixed it myself. I have also been hearing a lot of similar stories posted here on Cloudy Nights about other Celestron products and problems with warranty repairs, getting through to someone on the phone willing to help. My mount is still under warranty and I call them and they say to submit a request on their web page. They can't even do it on the phone. When I submit it online I don't hear back. I have to keep calling until I get someone to help me.

I guess what I am really saying is that if you are not going to spend the money on a hand built ultra high quality mount and you still need the load capacity offered by the LX800 and the CGE-Pro, you are going to have to play the game of give and take. You could always buy your choice and have it hypertuned with better bearings, motors, gears etc and spend another $1000.00. I think with all the extras you'd still be under the cost of one of the better mounts.

I've always liked Meade. I hope they have reinvented themselves and they start offering 3 year warranties on everything they sell and develop a much much better attitude about honoring those warranties. I hope they get their quality control up to the level we can all agree it needs to be. I guess we'll wait and see.


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4816892 - 09/19/11 07:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:



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.


Joe




The same protocols the other Meades use, which means you can connect to TheSky with the built in driver or ASCOM.




That's a good thing. Especially for astrophotographers looking to get pointing as accurate a possible or do some remote work. Joe


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WadeH237
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4817334 - 09/20/11 12:17 AM

Quote:

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




I concede the point.

But I am musing less about the specifics of the LX800 and more about Meade and Celestron moving into a price range that is bringing them closer to premium mount manufacturers with very solid reputations. I was also making the point that it appears that they are doing this (and in the case of the CGE Pro are certainly doing this) by offering higher capacities than most imagers would ever need.

And I am very willing to admit that my opinion is biased by the CGE Pro, which is a very different mount than the LX800. But this is largely because the LX800 has a bunch of gizmos that, as an intermediate imager, I don't need. I've already achieved my desired pointing and tracking performance by using components that meet my specific needs best.

I have nothing against either Celestron or Meade (In the case of Celestron, I am a satisfied owner of over $10,000 worth of their stuff) and wish them both success.

-Wade


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4817344 - 09/20/11 12:35 AM

Quote:

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.




Sounds like you talked to Brian Holdcroft. It may be that Diebel sold some tubes to Cave for a while, but he definitely wasn't when I got there.

Quote:

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).




I have two Caves as well - a 1974 8" lightweight deluxe with excellent optics, and a 1965 10" DK OTA with mirrors that must have come from Tinsley. It's good, too, though it's got quite a large CO.

Quote:

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.




I only worked for Meade in 1978-1979, about 14 months or so, and then again from fall 1981 to spring 1982. I never worked for Cave, but it is true that a handful of Meade people from Cave were still there well into the 80s, IIRC.

Quote:

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.




I've had a few good SCTs, but all but one 8" Newt I've had (a Meade 826!) easily outperformed the SCTs. I bet my SCTs could do well enough to take awesome images if I could actively cool them, though. And there's no disputing the quality of Damien Peach's images through a C-14. I'd sure like to see him try a 14" Newt someday, though!

-Tim.


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WadeH237
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4817350 - 09/20/11 12:38 AM

Quote:

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





Plus or minus one arc second is pretty poor guiding unless you are shooting wide field.

The thing about seeing is that it tends to be random. For exposures longer than a few seconds, your stars may be larger, but they will be round.

Let's say that you have seeing of three arc seconds. If you are taking 5 second guide exposures, your guide exposures will be round and your guider will be able to easily compute the centroid to a fraction of an arc second.

Let's say that you have three arc seconds of seeing. If your guiding is perfect, your long exposure have round stars with about three arc second FWHM. When you add in two arc seconds peak-to-peak of guiding errors, you'll have noticeably oval stars.

I frequently image a a scale of one arc second per pixel and I can easily tell the difference in my images with sub arc second guiding and one or more arc second guiding. And as I said, if I am seeing plus or minus one arc second errors in the guide reports, I am going to be looking for the problem.

YMMV.


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4817377 - 09/20/11 12:57 AM

Just realized that there were a couple other tallish older guys there besides Brian. Might have been Diebel's dad, who worked for him for a while. Or another guy, who'd been a fighter pilot in WWII. He was cool. But I can't remember his name now.

-Tim.


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Starhawk
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4817400 - 09/20/11 01:15 AM

Yeah, there is the AP software with all the charm of a milling machine. It does flat-out work. I have to say though, the reliance on mechanical alignment makes it act a lot like a big observatory mount.

-Rich


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #4817458 - 09/20/11 03:10 AM

Hello Wade,

Quote:

Quote:

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




I concede the point.

But I am musing less about the specifics of the LX800 and more about Meade and Celestron moving into a price range that is bringing them closer to premium mount manufacturers with very solid reputations. I was also making the point that it appears that they are doing this (and in the case of the CGE Pro are certainly doing this) by offering higher capacities than most imagers would ever need.




Well.., I disagree that increased payload is the single metric driving these developments - but even so, what exactly is wrong with others also offering higher capacity mounts at effectively lower cost to the market?

Take a look at the current offerings at the 90lb benchmark - who else comes in at the price mark of the LX800? In addition, Meade appears to be bringing a lot more to the party than just payload with the new LX series. Subject to field reports (of course), that can't be a bad thing - and if it works, it certainly gives everyone else (premium or otherwise) something to think about in terms of the value propositions of their own respective line ups.


Quote:

And I am very willing to admit that my opinion is biased by the CGE Pro, which is a very different mount than the LX800. But this is largely because the LX800 has a bunch of gizmos that, as an intermediate imager, I don't need. I've already achieved my desired pointing and tracking performance by using components that meet my specific needs best.




Well.., I'm no photographer, so I really don't get what "intermediate imager" means. For starters, what is the measuring stick used to assess where you are? Is it what you photograph? The equipment you use? Your location? Number of sessions per month? ...

Like I said - I haven't got a clue, but I can tell you one thing I've observed - "Better®" (anything) when it comes to photography always appears to work out being heavier in the end. If pressed, I'd have to say that it wouldn't surprise me if 90lbs were the sweet spot for most out there - Of course, its possible that I'm wrong

But to use as a comparison, from various comments posted by users, it seems to be that the single most common popular feature of the new Celestron mount software is the All-Star system - who'd have thought? And what are the objectives of the included "gizmos" (your word) in the new Meade LX Series? Better polar alignment? Native auto guiding? Native, onboard drift alignment? Seems to me that's not stuff most would turn down at a reasonable cost..,

Quote:

I have nothing against either Celestron or Meade (In the case of Celestron, I am a satisfied owner of over $10,000 worth of their stuff) and wish them both success.




That's a nice place to be, for sure! To give you my perspective, I've done Celestron mounts, and Losmandy, and SB and AP. Take it from a humble visual-only observer (who by the way is NOT a Meade fan).., What Meade is proposing to bring to the party will only liven up the place - Its just up to them to make sure they can dance

Best, Wade!

Regards,

skybsd


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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4817467 - 09/20/11 03:41 AM

Quote:

I only worked for Meade in 1978-1979, about 14 months or so, and then again from fall 1981 to spring 1982. I never worked for Cave, but it is true that a handful of Meade people from Cave were still there well into the 80s, IIRC.



I think my friend worked there around that time. I'll ask him if he remembers you. When I visited Meade in 1986, one of the former Cave employees told me he thought Cave actually lost money making amateur telescopes, but he stayed in business through contract government work.

Quote:

I've had a few good SCTs, but all but one 8" Newt I've had (a Meade 826!) easily outperformed the SCTs. I bet my SCTs could do well enough to take awesome images if I could actively cool them, though. And there's no disputing the quality of Damien Peach's images through a C-14. I'd sure like to see him try a 14" Newt someday, though!



The only SCT I've ever owned is a 2001 Meade 10-inch. Visually the optics are actually very good. I bought it for imaging, but the few times I tried it, I wasn't very happy with the results. Diebel told me their SCTs were almost as good as their equivalent-aperture newts.


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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4817480 - 09/20/11 04:02 AM

Quote:

Just realized that there were a couple other tallish older guys there besides Brian. Might have been Diebel's dad, who worked for him for a while. Or another guy, who'd been a fighter pilot in WWII. He was cool. But I can't remember his name now.

-Tim.



When I've mentioned this to people in the past, they've usually suggested it was John Diebel's dad. The guy was kind of lanky and had thick-rimmed glasses. I'd say he was "tall," but I'm 5-6, so everybody is "tall" to me . One of the Meade ads from the late '70s showed him wearing a lab coat and holding a Fiberlite tube. There may also have been one with him standing by one of the Research Series newts.


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #4817601 - 09/20/11 07:43 AM

Quote:

Plus or minus one arc second is pretty poor guiding unless you are shooting wide field.






Not really, but yeah, YMMV.

Edited by rmollise (09/20/11 07:43 AM)


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Calypte]
      #4817606 - 09/20/11 07:50 AM

That was Brian Holdcroft in those ads showing the Research Grade scopes.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #4817660 - 09/20/11 08:49 AM

Quote:

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.




I looked at their websites, and I still think the MX is the better mount. The Meade tripod is more massive than the tripod under the MX (which reminded me of the old Celestron tripods, which were nice and stiff), though.

The MX looks to be comparable to or maybe capable of carrying a bit more load than my NJP. And the NJP is more massive than the LX800. I've had my 12.5" Cassegrain on the NJP. I've never weighed the 5 ft OTA, but it's probably about 50 pounds or so. And it's too much for the NJP, possibly due to the long moment arm and the weight combined. I suppose it's possible the Meade does well with short SCT OTAs. Longer tubes would likely need to be lighter weight in order to be stable, especially for astrophotography.

I also have a Tak EM-500 (bought used at far below retail) that loves that 12.5" Cass. But it's a lot bigger than either the MX and the LX800.

People can certainly buy whatever they want. They can even ignore threads about their favorite mounts and spend their money from a less-informed perspective if they want. But why would they want to?

As I said before, I hope Meade does well with their new lineup. If I were in the market, though, I'd wait to see that all the bugs are worked out before plunking my folding greens down, though, based on experience with Meade over the years.

-Tim.


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Starhawk
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #4817687 - 09/20/11 09:06 AM

Now that would be a good point to end this thread. Not to say we will...

-Rich


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WadeH237
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Reged: 02/24/07

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4818004 - 09/20/11 12:12 PM

Quote:

Well.., I disagree that increased payload is the single metric driving these developments - but even so, what exactly is wrong with others also offering higher capacity mounts at effectively lower cost to the market?





There's nothing wrong with it. I just don't understand it.

What are you going to put on the mount that requires a 90lb payload? Even if I wanted to image with my C14 and all the trimmings, it would come in far under that weight. The thing is, the focal length on the C14 is so long, that it's a problem to find nights with sufficient seeing to make use of the focal length.

If it helps, take a look at what people are doing today with high capacity mounts that are already on the market. Most of the people I know who are running AP900s, AP1200s or Paramounts are imaging with refractors and large chip cameras. There are also lots of people using RCs and such. Certainly, there are people loading to capacity, but in my experience, there are aren't that many of them. Interestingly, when I talk to users of these mounts, capacity doesn't seem to come up. What they seem to care about is having the mount "get out of the way," which roughly translates to impeccable tracking and guiding, and high reliability and repeatability.

When I look at what's available today, it seems to me that the big opportunity is to offer a mount that can carry a 40lb to 50lb payload and offer the "get out of the way" experience. To me, this is pretty much what Astro-Physics is doing with the Mach 1.

Of course, there are lots of comparisons in this thread between the LX800 and the Mach 1. So maybe that's what Meade is trying to do and these two mounts are really close to each other in capacity. AP has a reputation of being conservative when stating capacity. Meade and Celestron have both been known to go the other way (SN10 on an LXD-75, C11 on a CG5, or even a C14 on a CGEM DX are all pretty optimistic on the mount capabilities.)

I find your comments about being a visual only observer to be interesting, especially since you also say that you've been a user of Software Bisque and Astro-Physics mounts. In particular, the Sofware Bisque mounts require an external computer to run them, so I'm a bit surprised by that.

Maybe there is a market out there for visual observers to run with big telescopes that I am not considering. Certainly to me, the main reason that I would think about a CGE Pro would be to carry a C14 for visual use. But I think that it's unfortunate that they discontinued the CGE, which could do this job for thousands less.

Quote:

Well.., I'm no photographer, so I really don't get what "intermediate imager" means. For starters, what is the measuring stick used to assess where you are? Is it what you photograph? The equipment you use? Your location? Number of sessions per month? ...




It's a completely arbitrary term that I made up. It's my way of saying that I am not a newbie to imaging. I have lots of experience with different techniques, different imaging scales and different equipment. Since I live in a place with more than 300 overcast days a year, most of my dark sky time is spent at star parties. I've achieved enough reliability that I can walk away from my site and I spend a fair amount of time helping less experienced imagers to work through problems that they are having. I don't consider myself advanced because there are lots of people out there who are much better than I am at all aspects of imaging.

Quote:

But to use as a comparison, from various comments posted by users, it seems to be that the single most common popular feature of the new Celestron mount software is the All-Star system - who'd have thought? And what are the objectives of the included "gizmos" (your word) in the new Meade LX Series? Better polar alignment? Native auto guiding? Native, onboard drift alignment? Seems to me that's not stuff most would turn down at a reasonable cost..,




The All-Star polar alignment routine is brilliant. I love it. Much of the brilliance is its simplicity. It's a software thing that takes better advantage of the existing hardware. I use it on all of my mounts, including the CGE that I bought many years before All-Star was even developed.

Plate solve assisted pointing and software assisted drift alignment are also great ideas. The thing is, I don't need - or even want - those systems to be integrated into the mount. As an imager, I already have a camera and optics that I'm imaging through. It makes no sense to me to duplicate that hardware. I'm also using a laptop and as it turns out, I already have software that does everything that we're talking about and more - at less cost and I can use it on any of my mount that I already own, or may get in the future.

Guiding is a bit different in that there is a much steeper learning curve in order to do it well and reliably. I believe that there would be a huge market for a plug-and-play system that guides reliably. I will be interested in seeing the experience from LX800 users, but I'm a bit skeptical that Meade's solution for this will be more problem free than other guiding solutions. I will be happy to hear that my skepticism is unwarranted if user reports are positive.

At the end of the day, my reason for participating in this thread is that I am trying to understand why Meade thinks that this is the right combination of features and price for their offering. To me, they are mainly looking to solve problems for people that are getting started in astrophotography. This is a great thing, but how many people are really looking to spend $6000 on a mount who are just getting started? If they were to offer these features on a lower capacity mount that's price competitive with the CGEM and Atlas, and I'd think that they'd have a game changer. Oh, and for the record, if the LX80 delivers on its promises at its price point, I think that it will be a game changer.

Clear skies to you,
-Wade


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #4818205 - 09/20/11 01:34 PM

Hi Wade,
Good to hear from you..,

Quote:

Quote:

Well.., I disagree that increased payload is the single metric driving these developments - but even so, what exactly is wrong with others also offering higher capacity mounts at effectively lower cost to the market?





There's nothing wrong with it. I just don't understand it.

What are you going to put on the mount that requires a 90lb payload? Even if I wanted to image with my C14 and all the trimmings, it would come in far under that weight. The thing is, the focal length on the C14 is so long, that it's a problem to find nights with sufficient seeing to make use of the focal length.




I agree that folks with 90lbs of payload is not a majority use case - it happens, but a minority. Yet, over-mounting (especially where photography is concerned) is pretty much what folks tend to do nowadays, not so? How many times have we seen posts to the Cats and Casses forum like "Hello everyone, I'm new to the hobby and I want|plan to|am getting an SCT, what else do I need to start taking pictures?" I'd also wager that the majority of these posts over the past year have been about EdgeHD-11 scopes too. The problem is - with that sort of FL (note there aren't any FRs as yet for the EdgeHD Series yet) and any payload that approaches 45lbs of equipment (and unspecified moment arm), what's a photographer to do as far as a mount is concerned? Before Meade's announcement of the LX Series, the choices were very few, and not cheap (okay, economical)


Quote:

If it helps, take a look at what people are doing today with high capacity mounts that are already on the market. Most of the people I know who are running AP900s, AP1200s or Paramounts are imaging with refractors and large chip cameras. There are also lots of people using RCs and such. Certainly, there are people loading to capacity, but in my experience, there are aren't that many of them.




Yep - pretty much no-one I know is running their PME or AP mounts to their stated capacity for photography. However, on the visual observing side, I see more folks that will get close

Quote:

Interestingly, when I talk to users of these mounts, capacity doesn't seem to come up. What they seem to care about is having the mount "get out of the way," which roughly translates to impeccable tracking and guiding, and high reliability and repeatability.




Yes - but at the payload they use, its soooo not a problem -it just isn't worth bringing up. Most of the photographers I know are most concerned about PE, Function (doing what its supposed to do, every time) and Form (doing what its supposed to do very well), so that they can spend (waste ) their time at the computer all night without having to worry about what the mount is doing.

Quote:

When I look at what's available today, it seems to me that the big opportunity is to offer a mount that can carry a 40lb to 50lb payload and offer the "get out of the way" experience. To me, this is pretty much what Astro-Physics is doing with the Mach 1.

Of course, there are lots of comparisons in this thread between the LX800 and the Mach 1. So maybe that's what Meade is trying to do and these two mounts are really close to each other in capacity. AP has a reputation of being conservative when stating capacity. Meade and Celestron have both been known to go the other way (SN10 on an LXD-75, C11 on a CG5, or even a C14 on a CGEM DX are all pretty optimistic on the mount capabilities.)




Actually, I think you'll find that even Roland will advise you that if you've got 50lbs of photographic payload you should be looking at the AP900 at a minimum, not the Mach-1 GTO. I'm not saying that the latter isn't able to carry that load, I'm merely pointing out that this is bread 'n butter AP900 territory. In fact, depending on the moment arm, the recommendation may well be that an AP1200 is the better option.

At this point though, there's nothing to suggest that the LX800 will not do the same for its corresponding users.

Quote:

I find your comments about being a visual only observer to be interesting, especially since you also say that you've been a user of Software Bisque and Astro-Physics mounts. In particular, the Sofware Bisque mounts require an external computer to run them, so I'm a bit surprised by that.




Yeah - I spent about 8 months assessing options for my forever mount after I decided to ditch the G11. The Paramount ME headed my list (a hair ahead of AP) and I actually had a buddy of mine's PME for a few weeks to kick the tires with. I didn't like the external computer dependency one bit, and when I went to pull my deposit, I got wind of the PMX being due in a few months, so I held off deciding until I got more information. At first when I spoke to the SB brothers it was still not decided whether or not the computer dependency would apply to the new, field portable PMX so I held on right up until it was clear that a hand controller was not on the cards.

I went with AP.

Quote:

Maybe there is a market out there for visual observers to run with big telescopes that I am not considering.





Yes - me!

My AP900-GTO is carrying a C14 + piggybacked AP130EDFS-F6 when mounted at home - no dew shield on the C14. When away from home, its just the C14 + dew shield.

With work, life and the UK weather, I'm hard pressed to maximize each opportunity I have to get out at night. With the AP, I have a solution that handles the payloads, and works exactly as I expect it to every_single_time I go out. I power on, and start observing - No gotchas, no floopies, and no wackadoo behaviour. When away from home, I spend maybe 15 - 20 mins on mount initialization (polar alignment / calibration) and I'm set.

Quote:

Certainly to me, the main reason that I would think about a CGE Pro would be to carry a C14 for visual use. But I think that it's unfortunate that they discontinued the CGE, which could do this job for thousands less.

Quote:

Well.., I'm no photographer, so I really don't get what "intermediate imager" means. For starters, what is the measuring stick used to assess where you are? Is it what you photograph? The equipment you use? Your location? Number of sessions per month? ...




It's a completely arbitrary term that I made up. It's my way of saying that I am not a newbie to imaging. I have lots of experience with different techniques, different imaging scales and different equipment. Since I live in a place with more than 300 overcast days a year, most of my dark sky time is spent at star parties. I've achieved enough reliability that I can walk away from my site and I spend a fair amount of time helping less experienced imagers to work through problems that they are having. I don't consider myself advanced because there are lots of people out there who are much better than I am at all aspects of imaging.

Quote:

But to use as a comparison, from various comments posted by users, it seems to be that the single most common popular feature of the new Celestron mount software is the All-Star system - who'd have thought? And what are the objectives of the included "gizmos" (your word) in the new Meade LX Series? Better polar alignment? Native auto guiding? Native, onboard drift alignment? Seems to me that's not stuff most would turn down at a reasonable cost..,




The All-Star polar alignment routine is brilliant. I love it. Much of the brilliance is its simplicity. It's a software thing that takes better advantage of the existing hardware. I use it on all of my mounts, including the CGE that I bought many years before All-Star was even developed.

Plate solve assisted pointing and software assisted drift alignment are also great ideas. The thing is, I don't need - or even want - those systems to be integrated into the mount. As an imager, I already have a camera and optics that I'm imaging through. It makes no sense to me to duplicate that hardware. I'm also using a laptop and as it turns out, I already have software that does everything that we're talking about and more - at less cost and I can use it on any of my mount that I already own, or may get in the future.

Guiding is a bit different in that there is a much steeper learning curve in order to do it well and reliably. I believe that there would be a huge market for a plug-and-play system that guides reliably. I will be interested in seeing the experience from LX800 users, but I'm a bit skeptical that Meade's solution for this will be more problem free than other guiding solutions. I will be happy to hear that my skepticism is unwarranted if user reports are positive.

At the end of the day, my reason for participating in this thread is that I am trying to understand why Meade thinks that this is the right combination of features and price for their offering. To me, they are mainly looking to solve problems for people that are getting started in astrophotography. This is a great thing, but how many people are really looking to spend $6000 on a mount who are just getting started? If they were to offer these features on a lower capacity mount that's price competitive with the CGEM and Atlas, and I'd think that they'd have a game changer. Oh, and for the record, if the LX80 delivers on its promises at its price point, I think that it will be a game changer.

Clear skies to you,
-Wade




I think we'd agree that its best to wait and see how the mounts fair when they ship. Although I'm no fan of Meade myself, I do hope they crack the reliability and support challenges so that the mounts can speak for themselves. If the gizmos do work as designed, then I can see where the target users will have at least a great option to leverage whichever onboard features that may simplify their operations and increase the efficiency of their workflows.

I know that if the field reports come back positive, I'd be looking to get one of them.., for visual purposes, or course

Best, Wade.,

Regards,

skybsd


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Brian L
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4818423 - 09/20/11 03:20 PM

I would like to see a spec for the tracking accuracy unguided... does anyone know whether or not the mount can be operated without the use of the StarLock feature? Is there an ST-4 port provided that can override the StarLock? Differential flexure might be a concern. In any case, I would be less interested if I couldn't use my self-guiding camera...

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Brian L]
      #4818528 - 09/20/11 04:06 PM

As always, probably best to simply send an email with questions to the manufacturer..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4818543 - 09/20/11 04:12 PM

Doesn't it bother any of you that the mount comes with it's own guide scope that you may not want or ever use it because you already have a guidance system you like and trust?

Peter


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skybsd
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4818563 - 09/20/11 04:21 PM

Quote:

Doesn't it bother any of you that the mount comes with it's own guide scope that you may not want or ever use it because you already have a guidance system you like and trust?

Peter




As a visual-only observer, it doesn't bother me one bit

Seriously though - if its at all terribly important to someone then its best to seek clarification on feature operations and functionality directly from the manufacturer up front..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4818705 - 09/20/11 05:36 PM

Quote:

Doesn't it bother any of you that the mount comes with it's own guide scope that you may not want or ever use it because you already have a guidance system you like and trust?

Peter





As with anything that gives you more "gizmos"...it's either a burden or convenience, a plus or minus depending on the individual.

On the minus side like you said you may already have a guider setup you like, prefer, use to and it's something else that could go wrong, break, stop working, etc...

On the plus side it's already there, no setting up another camera, guide scope, more cables, hookups, no rail package to buy or extra rings. No buying a guide scope or guide camera...amost a turn-key setup, it's there ready.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bachus]
      #4818735 - 09/20/11 05:47 PM

Just thought of this. Isn't the LX800's "effective" payload for the main scope (for comparative purposes anyway) something like 100 lbs. After all, guidescope and brackets and such are already there. Any other mount you would subtract the weight of a guidescope, etc, to arrive at the capacity of your main imaging/viewing scope. Maybe better just to "de-rate" the regular mount for comparison, eh?

Chris


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4819132 - 09/20/11 10:08 PM

Quote:

Doesn't it bother any of you that the mount comes with it's own guide scope that you may not want or ever use it because you already have a guidance system you like and trust?

Peter




I'm trying to understand your train of thought. If this configuration doesn't meet your requirements, then you don't buy the mount. But why should that bother you especially since there are alternatives; CGE Pro or the Losmandy Titan?

David


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Peter in Reno
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4819150 - 09/20/11 10:17 PM

Well, I think to a lot of people, it may be a waste of money if they already have their own guidance system. If Meade made this optional, the price of the mount could be substantial lower without the guide scope. Also, I am firm believer of Off Axis Guiding (OAG) whether the scope is SCT or refractor. Even Meade's claim that their new focusing system without mirror locks will NOT shift the primary mirror, I am very skeptical. I would rather use OAG over any separate guide scope.

Peter


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bilgebay
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4819393 - 09/21/11 01:18 AM Attachment (85 downloads)

To add to what already has been said, would that guiding system be good enough to guide a C11 or a C14 ? I am doubtful...

I agree with Peter regarding OAG. Even this requires careful adjustments of the guiding software, PHD in my case.

In the photo attached, I am trying to guide my C11 @f/10,(2800mm) with the help of an OAG. I am sorry that the RA graph is not visible. I am realizing only now that the Rubylith didn't allow my iPhone to capture the RA graph. Next time, I will take it off before taking the picture of this graph Despite all my efforts, both the RA and the DEC lines are quite jaggy. I have double checked my drift alignment before this session. My mount is on a permanent pier and has near perfect polar alignment.

Nevertheless, the resulting photo has round stars.

On the contrary, when I was guiding with lesser focal length guide scopes (well, I tried maximum 800mm) the graph was almost flat but the resulting photo was full of stretched stars.

So, what is the focal length of Meade's guide scope ?


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819403 - 09/21/11 01:30 AM Attachment (85 downloads)

This is what came out of this graph...an unprocessed sub - Stephans Quintet - 300 second exposure

Edited by bilgebay (09/21/11 01:30 AM)


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bilgebay
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819404 - 09/21/11 01:32 AM Attachment (53 downloads)

Crop of of the center left area

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bilgebay
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819407 - 09/21/11 01:38 AM Attachment (43 downloads)

100% crop from the above

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bilgebay
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819415 - 09/21/11 01:52 AM Attachment (68 downloads)

and this is what I've got with 800mm FL guidescope - 480 seconds exposure

Edited by bilgebay (09/21/11 01:58 AM)


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bilgebay
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819416 - 09/21/11 01:53 AM Attachment (42 downloads)

cropped

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819418 - 09/21/11 01:54 AM Attachment (49 downloads)

while the stars are like this, PHD graph was even smoother than this one

Edited by bilgebay (09/21/11 01:55 AM)


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Bachus
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819606 - 09/21/11 07:56 AM

Quote:

So, what is the focal length of Meade's guide scope ?





According to the specs and info....

"StarLock uses a 80mm f/5 optic and a super wideangle lens in a two camera system that automatically finds your target in high-precision, immediately captures a field star as dim as 11th magnitude and then guides to an incredible accuracy of one arcsecond. StarLock achieves this amazing accuracy because, unlike add-on guiders, StarLock is integrated into the telescope control system and communicates directly with the motor controllers in real time with a maximum precision of 0.01 arcseconds."


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bilgebay
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Bachus]
      #4819618 - 09/21/11 08:08 AM

400mm focal length !! I will wait for the experts to chime in before I comment further.

Edited by bilgebay (09/21/11 08:08 AM)


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jmartin
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819687 - 09/21/11 09:15 AM

deleted by me.

Edited by jmartin (09/21/11 09:16 AM)


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmartin]
      #4819746 - 09/21/11 09:57 AM

With the optional reducer bringing the telscope down to F/5 from F/8 I think the built in guider should be great. Remember that if you are properly polar aligned, which the system helps to accomplish, you should be able to take your subs with minimal guiding to begin with. If I read correctly the description of how it works, it should auto-correct the periodic error as it goes along. I think they are trying to hit the most common issues astrophotographers have to deal with, that takes up valuable time, from a few different angles at once and their expectation is the system is going to take very minimal set up time before you are ready to start imaging and once you do you will have no problems with mirror shift, periodic error, polar alignment issues etc.

Will it work? Only time will tell.


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tim53
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #4819759 - 09/21/11 10:05 AM

Quote:

while the stars are like this, PHD graph was even smoother than this one




I haven't used PhD guiding, but I've found a lot of these applications seem to adjust the vertical scale of the graph so you can see the wiggles. If your polar alignment is very good and your autoguiding is working really well, the vertical scale might be covering a very small range, so the corrections look horrendous even if they might be down in the arc second range or so.

If all THAT is the case, then I can understand why your OAG'd photo shows round stars but your GS'd photo shows elongated ones. Guiding is working very well, but you're getting a little differential flexure between your main and your GS in the second pic.

This kind of flexure can be frustrating to track down, as it could be anywhere in either scope.

-Tim.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4820418 - 09/21/11 04:34 PM

Quote:

Doesn't it bother any of you that the mount comes with it's own guide scope that you may not want or ever use it because you already have a guidance system you like and trust? Peter


The vast majority of CN posters seem *eyeballers* and are probably very representative of amateur astro in general. The proposed Meade *astrograph* [3 cams: w/a finder+ autoguider+ main scope users {DSLR?}cam] would seem over-kill so maybe Meade are looking for new markets which I applaud - as an exclusive imager

However my small dome won't accomodate a spacehogging GEM which I thought, from the vids, was rather ugly. Beauty is clearly in the eye-of-the-beholder


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: nytecam]
      #4820533 - 09/21/11 05:45 PM

You have been looking at a prototype. The production unit has a much nicer saddle. Nonetheless the LX800 has equally bad ergonomics as the CGE Pro. The LX800 uses a re-purposed LX200-ACF control box which has a ST4 port. I am sure that one can turn off the built-in autoguider and I am hoping that the available ST4 port can be used with an after-market guider.

This thread has gotten long in the tooth and posts are running in circle.


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #4820739 - 09/21/11 07:48 PM

"This thread has gotten long in the tooth and posts are running in circle."


Yes but that's because everything you just stated was perviously posted in this thread. <---smiley

Just saying'

Joe

Edited by jmiele (09/21/11 07:50 PM)


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Micheal
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: HCR32]
      #4846188 - 10/05/11 10:39 PM

What are your thoughts on the 14" for visual? At F/8? F/5 with optional reducer? My thought is to use a 10mm Ethos and maybe a 6mm as well. ( both at F/5 )

Or should I not buy nice eyepieces and get a dob reflector for visual?

The 14" lx800 will mostly be for imaging but sometimes I do like to spend my nights with my eye to an eyepiece


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4846384 - 10/06/11 01:19 AM

I would wait and see what others' experiences are. Meade lists the capacity of the new mount at 90 pounds, and you would need every bit of that for the 14". Given the weight of the mount, I am skeptical as to whether it can really handle a 14" OTA. Time will tell, but I wouldn't want to be an early adopter.

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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4846623 - 10/06/11 07:47 AM

Quote:

I would wait and see what others' experiences are. Meade lists the capacity of the new mount at 90 pounds, and you would need every bit of that for the 14". Given the weight of the mount, I am skeptical as to whether it can really handle a 14" OTA. Time will tell, but I wouldn't want to be an early adopter.




Why would you need every bit of that? Especially for visual?


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Micheal
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4846948 - 10/06/11 11:10 AM

I understand that the ota weight is tbd however I doubt it will exceed 50 pounds. The 14 inch edgehd is I think 45 pounds. Remember all you are adding is a diagonal and a one pound eyepiece for visual.

For photography you are adding the camera, filter wheel and filters, and whatever else you need for proper back focus. Oh I guess a dew shield and maybe heaters. Maybe a robofocus too. Not enough to exceed or even come close to 90 pounds.

Edit: After doing some research and learning a bit from this thread it is obvious that it will exceed my "50 pounds" statement. Looks closer to 70 pounds. I still do not believe it will be 90+

Edited by Micheal (10/06/11 12:06 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4846970 - 10/06/11 11:19 AM

Quote:

I understand that the ota weight is tbd however I doubt it will exceed 50 pounds. The 14 inch edgehd is I think 45 pounds.




I think you'd need to base any comparisons on other Meade optical tubes rather than Celestron models; Meade optical tubes are substantially heavier. The 14" ACF tube goes at least 75 pounds.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4846989 - 10/06/11 11:28 AM

My old Meade 14" SCT weighed in at 70 lbs. bare bones, without finder diagonal or anything else added. It was too much weight for my CGE or my LXD750 so i sold it.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jason_milani]
      #4847031 - 10/06/11 11:52 AM

Are they heavier because they are fork mounted and there is extra weight in metal to support the OTA along both sides accounting for extra weight of accessories? The new LX800 not being fork mounted would just have a single aluminum dovetail running lengthwise and would therefore be lighter? the 10" version is 33 pounds. How does that compare to a 10" ACF. I would be interested in finding that out.

Edit: According to Meade's website the 10" ACF OTA weight is 29.46 pounds. Link to page.

Edited by Micheal (10/06/11 11:55 AM)


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4847036 - 10/06/11 11:55 AM

No the OTA alone on the 14" Meade ACF was over 70 lbs.. Joe

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4847052 - 10/06/11 12:01 PM

Quote:

No the OTA alone on the 14" Meade ACF was over 70 lbs.. Joe




Ok well according to Meade's website the 10" ACF is 29.46 pounds. OTA only. 10" info

The 14" version is 57.79 pounds. 14" info

On the 10", which is the only info they've released, it is 33 pounds for a gain of 3.5(ish).


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jmiele
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4847436 - 10/06/11 03:36 PM

A 60 lbs OTA is 70 with a dovetail and finder, finder bracket and a dew shield. Bottom line, it's heavy....way heavy.
Joe


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Jared
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4847509 - 10/06/11 04:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I would wait and see what others' experiences are. Meade lists the capacity of the new mount at 90 pounds, and you would need every bit of that for the 14". Given the weight of the mount, I am skeptical as to whether it can really handle a 14" OTA. Time will tell, but I wouldn't want to be an early adopter.




Why would you need every bit of that? Especially for visual?




I was reading the last line of Michael's post which said the 14" would mostly be used for astrophotography, but that sometimes he prefers visual. For astrophotography I would assume:

* 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)
* Another eight pounds or so for the built in guide scope (it's still equipment being supported by the mount)
* Five pounds for a camera and connectors (some are heavier and some are lighter, but this is a reasonable middle number for a CCD camera)
* Two pounds for dovetails and finders

Total weight would be 85 pounds or so as I've described it. To me, that's "every bit" of the 90 pound capacity.

If it were being used visually only, and if you removed the guide scope, you would only need 75 pounds or so worth of visual capacity. That would provide a little headroom but not all that much. Obviously, if the 90 pound capacity is real and is a number aimed at astrophotography, a 75 pound visual load isn't going to pose any real challenges.


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AlienRatDog
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jmiele]
      #4847533 - 10/06/11 04:36 PM

pansies...

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Micheal
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4847540 - 10/06/11 04:39 PM

My understanding is when a manufacturer lists load capacity of a mount the number provided does not include the items it already comes with such as the balance shaft & weights. Since Meade is including in the package the cameras and optics for those cameras I would believe the 90 pounds does not include that weight.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Micheal]
      #4847567 - 10/06/11 04:55 PM

Im definately going to buy one - 14"

Worst comes to the worst, I'll put the OTA on a bigger mount and use the LX800 for some lighter photographic kit.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #4847647 - 10/06/11 05:36 PM

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


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #4847663 - 10/06/11 05:47 PM

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.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: LouHalikman]
      #4847665 - 10/06/11 05:48 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




When I bought my ETX-LS6 I knew something like this would come out! Can't wait to hear a report Lou once you receive it!


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4847746 - 10/06/11 06:55 PM

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.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #4847752 - 10/06/11 07:00 PM

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.




You're thinking maybe 68-69 lbs. ?


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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
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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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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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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
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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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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [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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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [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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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [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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mmalik
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #5021269 - 01/16/12 05:40 PM

My understanding is that counterweights beyond those supplied by default (2 in this case) would be included in calculating the instrument weight carrying capacity of a mount. If that were a true statement of 'mine' and if Meade intended the same, then my calculations above would be correct. Although I am open to an alternate explanation.

Going beyond the topic a bit, there are two types of forces at work when it comes to mounts; torque and deadweight.

Torque would be taken care of as long as an amount of load put on one side of the pivot is balanced with appropriate counterweight (I didn’t say equal counterweight since that can be adjusted by moving the counterweights along the lever or counterweight shaft).

Deadweight on the other hand is a measure of how much weight a mount can carry or can safely carry. Deadweight has implications for bearings and motors in terms of friction and stress, respectively. This may be going too far but is relevant I think, and some food for thought. Breakdown of 'initial' deadweight on LX800 for a 14" f/8 ACF Telescope are as follows:

Counterweight shaft and cap = 18 lbs.
4 counterweights [needed to balance 14" f/8 ACF] (18 lbs. each) = 18x4 = 72 lbs.
StarLock = 6 lbs.
14" f/8 ACF Telescope = ~60 lbs.
Approximate deadweight on LX800 mount = 156+ lbs.

Note: LX800 mount body (55 lbs.) and tripod (35 lbs.) add up to 90 lbs.

Edited by mmalik (01/16/12 11:13 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5021296 - 01/16/12 05:56 PM

Meade told you the counterweights were included in the payload spec? But only _some_ counterweights? Who at Meade told you this?

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5021446 - 01/16/12 07:09 PM

That would be a very unusual way to calculate carrying capacity. I have never heard of a company that rated capacity as anything other than instrument capacity.

As far as dead weight goes... Most mounts can support far more than their rated capacity without risk of collapse, but they become unwieldy because they don't damp vibrations well enough to allow accurate focusing, and they can't be pointed precisely because the mount flexes as it is repositioned or as a gust of wind pushes on the scope. As far as torque goes, even a perfectly balanced load will have limits since the motors will need to overcome increased inertia and increased friction in the bearings that comes with greater loads.

The conservative rule of thumb with manufacturers who rate their mounts based on visual capacity is that the photographic capacity is 1/2 of the rated capacity. This stems from the fact that tracking tends to get less smooth when the bearings are loaded near capacity--generally not a concern to visual observers since your eye doesn't integrate exposures over long time periods. Also more critical for an imager is how well the mount can hold the scope steady with a breeze blowing. This is why there is often a discrepancy between rated capacity for visual and photographic. As far as I know, Meade has not stated whether the capacity of the 800 is photographic or visual. I am just making an educated guess based on its physical size and weight.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #5021892 - 01/16/12 10:55 PM

Rod, you may have misunderstood me; 'I' was suggesting that counterweights beyond those supplied by default (2 in this case) would be included in calculating the instrument weight carrying capacity of a mount; I shouldn't have used quotes (and have removed quotes).

I was my inferring this from Meade’s ‘New Product Showcase’ in December 2011 Sky & Telescope magazine (p. 56). Note: Please read my original post on 1/15. Sorry for any confusion. Regards!

Edited by mmalik (01/17/12 12:07 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #5021966 - 01/16/12 11:59 PM

Quote:

That would be a very unusual way to calculate carrying capacity.



Carrying capacity includes telescope and CWs.
Load/payload capacity is just telescope.
A correct way is to specify both payload and carrying capacity and that's what SB do.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #5021988 - 01/17/12 12:28 AM

I stand corrected. I believe all other manufacturers (other than SB) specify just load/payload.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5022034 - 01/17/12 01:22 AM

Well I guess I'll be the guinee pig cause I pre-ordered a 14" LX800. Like one poster said, if it's too heavy, then just put a smaller scope on the mount and use the 14 for another day.
Anyone have any idea on a release day for these? Meade replied to me today and said this:

" We are hoping for first shipments on this new and exciting product in
the next two months."

Best Regards,

John Piper
Manager, E-Commerce
Meade Instruments Corp.

I was hoping for a release by the end of this month or early next month.

Steven


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: sphelps]
      #5022166 - 01/17/12 05:18 AM

The Ides of March?

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: sphelps]
      #5022532 - 01/17/12 10:44 AM

Doc Clay told me he thinks "February"...but that is beginning to sound optimistic.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: herrointment]
      #5022535 - 01/17/12 10:45 AM

According to the information on Meade's website...

LX800

...the 90 pounds is the rating for the instrument load.

Quote directly from the site...

"Constructed of machined stainless steel and aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum, the LX800 mount presents a rock-solid platform with precision roller bearings on both axes. Its .68 inch diameter brass worms and 5.8 inch diameter, 225-tooth aluminum gears deliver smooth, precise movement with up to a 90 pound instrument load. Add to this internal cabling and the AutoStar II fully-computerized GoTo system with GPS, with a database of over 144,000 objects. All this sets atop a new ultra-stable tripod."


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: sphelps]
      #5023926 - 01/18/12 12:00 AM

Steven, carrying capacity figures I put together were more for the better understanding of the numbers than critique; I am quite sure Meade will do a good job with this release, and that could be the reason for the delay. We’ll look forward to your firsthand reviews of 14" LX800!

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5024074 - 01/18/12 02:29 AM

No problem. I'll give a review as soon as I receive my shipment and I'll post photos. The mount, tripod, counterweight shaft, and (3) weights all add up to over 160 lbs so I think its capable of handling a 70 lb instrument. Now 90 lbs may be pushing it but if it snaps off and drops the 14" optical tube to the ground, you all will be the first to know.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: herrointment]
      #5024454 - 01/18/12 10:48 AM

Quote:

The Ides of March?




More like April fools.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Stew57]
      #5025579 - 01/18/12 08:16 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The Ides of March?




More like April fools.




Some things never change. When I worked at Meade 30 years ago, they always advertised months before they had working models.

-Tim.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: tim53]
      #5026144 - 01/19/12 04:18 AM

Following is a comparative analysis of recent 14” telescopes from Meade with 14” LX800. As we know, LX800 ACFs to some extent are reincarnation of RCX which is good I think. Note: This topic has been discussed in this forum from different perspectives; I thought I’ll put some numbers together for side by side comparison and better visualization.

……………………………………RCX400 14"…..…LX800 14"…..………LX200 14"
Optical design………..……ARC…………………ACF……………..……ACF
Clear aperture…….………356mm …….……356mm……..………356mm
Focal length…………………2,845mm…………2,845mm……….…3,556mm
Focal ratio (speed)…..…f/8……………….……f/8……………………f/10
Resolving power…………0.321 arc sec….…0.326 arc sec……0.326 arc sec
Pointing Precision………2-arc min…….……1-arc min…….……1-arc min
Guiding Accuracy…………N/A…………………1-arc sec…….……N/A

Edited by mmalik (01/19/12 10:59 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5026364 - 01/19/12 09:07 AM

Nice chart. Only thing I'd say is that there is no such thing as an "ARC," except in the minds of Meade's marketeers, who I assume have since had to go on to other things.

Oh, and given my experience guiding recent Meade forks, "1 arc second" is...shall we say? "Optimistic?"


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #5026383 - 01/19/12 09:22 AM

From what I've seen all of these companies spec the theoretical resolution. Quoting it to 3 places is a bit much, but that's hardly a sin unique to Meade. I do a lot of double star observing and I've found that it's usually pretty accurate, but pushing the edge requires good alignment, thermal stability, and seeing.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: jgraham]
      #5026389 - 01/19/12 09:29 AM

Resolution is merely a function of aperture and can be calculated accurately. Which don't mean your scope will be able to deliver that--all the time or at all.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5026453 - 01/19/12 10:15 AM

Quote:

Following is a comparative analysis of recent 14” telescopes from Meade with 14” LX800. As we know, LX800 ACFs to some extent are reincarnation of RCX which is good I think. Note: This topic has been discussed in this forum from different perspectives; I thought I’ll put some numbers together for side by side comparison and better visualization.

……………………………………RCX400 14"…..…LX800 14"…..………LX200 14"
Optical design………..……ARC…………………ACF……………..……ACF
Clear aperture…….………356mm …….……356mm……..………305mm
Focal length…………………2,845mm…………2,845mm……….…3,556mm
Focal ratio (speed)…..…f/8……………….……f/8……………………f/10
Resolving power…………0.321 arc sec….…0.326 arc sec……0.326 arc sec
Pointing Precision………2 arc-min…….……1-arc min…….……1-arc min
Guiding Accuracy…………N/A…………………1-arc sec…….……N/A




At least they are giving you a full 14" clear aperture on the newer models

Seems the older ACF version had a 12" clear aperture according to the table (although I coulda sworn my 14" was a real 14", but then, what do I know

Edited by Martin Lyons (01/19/12 10:17 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5026476 - 01/19/12 10:25 AM

Quote:

Following is a comparative analysis of recent 14” telescopes from Meade with 14” LX800. As we know, LX800 ACFs to some extent are reincarnation of RCX which is good I think. Note: This topic has been discussed in this forum from different perspectives; I thought I’ll put some numbers together for side by side comparison and better visualization.

……………………………………RCX400 14"…..…LX800 14"…..………LX200 14"
Optical design………..……ARC…………………ACF……………..……ACF
Clear aperture…….………356mm …….……356mm……..………305mm
Focal length…………………2,845mm…………2,845mm……….…3,556mm
Focal ratio (speed)…..…f/8……………….……f/8……………………f/10
Resolving power…………0.321 arc sec….…0.326 arc sec……0.326 arc sec
Pointing Precision………2 arc-min…….……1-arc min…….……1-arc min
Guiding Accuracy…………N/A…………………1-arc sec…….……N/A




Uh, I think you'd better check that "305mm" figure on the "Clear aperture" entry for the LX200 14". 305mm is 12" and the 14" LX200 is 356mm, not 305mm. I have a 12" LX200GPS and our club has a 14". Trust me on this one, they're not the same aperture!


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5026559 - 01/19/12 11:02 AM

Dave/Martin, sorry, my mistake; thanks for point it out. I have edited the original post regarding aperture for LX200 14". Sorry again. Regards, Mike

Edited by mmalik (01/19/12 11:08 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5027824 - 01/20/12 12:17 AM

LX800 ACF secondary mirror obstruction is something that has been exhaustively discussed in this and other forums; following are some summary figures (Note: Some of the figures are approximate and are intended for better understanding than mathematical precision; any corrections to calculation errors are welcome though.)

Another request; since we are dealing with numbers, please feel free to point out mistakes ‘without quoting numbers’ so that original post can be edited and doesn’t lead to ambiguity and speculation for follow-up readers. Thanks!

LX800 f/8 ACF Secondary Mirror Obstruction (by diameter=obstruction/diameter*100)
10"............4.05"/10"*100= ~40.5%
12"............4.36"/12"*100= ~36.33%
14"............TBD

LX800 f/8 ACF Secondary Mirror Obstruction (by surface area)
10"............20.95%
12"............16.86%
14"............TBD

Edited by mmalik (01/20/12 12:23 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5028335 - 01/20/12 10:12 AM

Quote:

LX800 ACF secondary mirror obstruction is something that has been exhaustively discussed in this and other forums; following are some summary figures (Note: Some of the figures are approximate and are intended for better understanding than mathematical precision; any corrections to calculation errors are welcome though.)

Another request; since we are dealing with numbers, please feel free to point out mistakes ‘without quoting numbers’ so that original post can be edited and doesn’t lead to ambiguity and speculation for follow-up readers. Thanks!

LX800 f/8 ACF Secondary Mirror Obstruction (by diameter=obstruction/diameter*100)
10"............4.05"/10"*100= ~40.5%
12"............4.36"/12"*100= ~36.33%
14"............TBD

LX800 f/8 ACF Secondary Mirror Obstruction (by surface area)
10"............20.95%
12"............16.86%
14"............TBD




Hi mmalik, the obstruction percentages by diameter and area don't seem to be equivalent. If the diameters are correct then the fraction of obstruction by area would be (about)

10" diameter fraction = 40.5% -> area fraction = 16.4%
12" diameter fraction = 36.33% -> area fraction = 13.2%

If the area fractions are correct, then the equivalent diameter fractions become

10" area fraction = 20.95% -> diameter fraction = 45.8%
12" area fraction = 16.86% -> diameter fraction = 41.1%

Best regards,

Edited by Mark Costello (01/20/12 10:13 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5028908 - 01/20/12 03:34 PM

Quote:

If the area fractions are correct, then the equivalent diameter fractions become

10" area fraction = 20.95% -> diameter fraction = 45.8%
12" area fraction = 16.86% -> diameter fraction = 41.1%





Good catch. This is so because 16.86% = 0.1686 and sqrt(0.1686) = 0.4106 = 41.06%

The 12" RCX is on my shortlist. The ultimate hi-res astrograph.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #5029868 - 01/21/12 05:17 AM

Mark/Alf, surface area figures I listed are actual Meade specs; I was trying to calculate diameter based figures according to my understanding (and not directly deriving from surface area figures). I think both approaches, yours and mine, should be ok since method you are using is bit different than mine.

Alph, on a side note, I would suggest going with 14" LX800 instead of 12" RCX. Thanks, Mike

Edited by mmalik (01/21/12 05:19 AM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5030090 - 01/21/12 09:49 AM

Funny, the new 12" OTA has the least obstruction and I remember seeing that from the pics on their site. Perhaps the 12" IS BEST!

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5030186 - 01/21/12 10:56 AM

Quote:

Mark/Alf, surface area figures I listed are actual Meade specs; I was trying to calculate diameter based figures according to my understanding (and not directly deriving from surface area figures). I think both approaches, yours and mine, should be ok since method you are using is bit different than mine.

Alph, on a side note, I would suggest going with 14" LX800 instead of 12" RCX. Thanks, Mike




How can both approaches be OK when you got very different results for obstruction as a percentage of diameter? What method were you using? I don't know of a way to calculate obstruction other than the one outlined by Mark and Alph.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Jared]
      #5038051 - 01/25/12 09:56 PM

Jard, sorry for the late response; as I stated earlier, both approaches are OK. Reason for the disparity is what I stated in my original post, “Some of the figures are approximate and are intended for better understanding than mathematical precision”.

If you need to know exactly why both calculation methods are OK, let me give you EdgeHD example instead since we have actual figures to work with instead of approximates; here is how:

Example:
EdgeHD Aperture = 14”
EdgeHD Secondary Mirror Obstruction = 4.5"
Area of entire aperture = pi*r^2 = 3.14*(14/2) ^2 = 153.86
Area of secondary mirror obstruction = pi*r^2 = 3.14*(4.5/2) ^2 = 15.90
By area = 15.90/153.86 = 0.10 = 10%
By diameter (my method) = 4.5/14 = 0.32 = 32%
By diameter (your method) = sqrt (15.90/153.86) = sqrt (0.10) = 0.32 = 32%


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5041983 - 01/28/12 02:32 AM

I have been wondering about the weight of LX800 14" f/8 ACF optical tube; my main concern/question is if it would be feasible at all for one person to mount/un-mount the OTA onto an LX800 mount or would it be absolutely 2 person job? Meade LX200 14" f/10 ACF was fork mounted and weighed quite heavy (110 lbs.); given there are no forks now, would it be reasonable to assume that bare bone OTA (mounting plate only and NO viewfinder or other equipment) weight would be roughly the same as the Celestron’s 14” EdgeHD (which is 45 lbs.)? Plus adding the factor of lower LX800 saddle and assuming properly placed handles on OTA, is it reasonable to presume LX800 14" f/8 ACF could be handled by one person?

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5042593 - 01/28/12 02:05 PM

Quote:

have been wondering about the weight of LX800 14" f/8 ACF optical tube; my main concern/question is if it would be feasible at all for one person to




I would be concerned about it too. I mount the C14 on the CGE few times a week, and I sometimes wish I had a lighter OTA. The M14 is significantly heavier than the C14 and the side-by-side saddle makes it even harder. If you are into pretty picture taking then there is no benefit of going with the 14” The 12” matches most CCDs much, much better.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #5042973 - 01/28/12 05:23 PM

I am actually interested in both, visual as well as photographic performance of a telescope. I have heard that when it comes to visual observing there is big difference between say 8” or 10” and 14” or 16” apertures.

When it comes to astrophotography, aperture to some extent really doesn’t matter in my opinion. I have seen folks taking stunning pictures with 5” (I mean, five inch apochromatic) aperture as long as one has a decent mount, a decent camera, and takes long exposures. Reason I am thinking about 14” is actually to see stuff yet have the ability to capture the same in decent quality. I think, most ‘common’ apochromatic apertures are around 5” and I consider that to be a decent aperture for astrophotography, and where one doesn’t have to contend with factors like secondary obstruction, etc.

While we are on the subject of APO, my dilemma actually is between LX800 14" f/8 ACF telescope or LX800 130mm ED APO telescope. 5” APO weighs only 25 lbs. and would be great for long exposure astrophotography but it loses visual resolving power to great extent against 14”. I am interested in deep space observing (I don’t like the term deep sky) as well as in astrophotography.

Coming back to my original point, being able to mount 14” OTA by myself is quite important consideration for me if folks can chime in on their experience with non-fork mounted 14” OTAs of similar sort? Real answers about 14” OTA handling by one person or not will become available when folks have a chance to review it.

On a side note, I am also interested in knowing what folks think about LX800 130mm ED APO telescope in terms of both visual and photographic performance; and sorry for another speculative question, thanks to Meade’s delays!

Edited by mmalik (01/28/12 06:20 PM)


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5042996 - 01/28/12 05:36 PM

What's the point of asking questions when you are not listening and you have already made up your mind.
14" SCT vs 130mm APO? Geez! apples and oranges and confusion.


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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Alph]
      #5043025 - 01/28/12 05:53 PM

Sorry, but this is LX800 forum; I consider the APO comparison relevant. Even Meade has 3 ACFs and an APO compared side by side at http://meade.com/lx800/specifications, just click 'Compare Models'.

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Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: mmalik]
      #5043267 - 01/28/12 08:41 PM