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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Beginner question
      #5784267 - 04/07/13 04:36 PM

I have just ordered a LX200-ACF 10" f/10 scope. I also ordered the AC adapter. And I know I want a moon filter. What would the top of everyone's "must have" accessory items to go along with it?

Also reading through these various posts I'm wondering if I've made the right choice. No spare parts sold by Meade?? Poor customer service?? I've got two month wait, its not to soon to cancel the order.


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tommax
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Reged: 02/15/13

Loc: WI
Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5784288 - 04/07/13 04:49 PM

On what else you would want to get, that would depend on your intentions... visual, astrophotography? If imaging.. DSLR, DeepSpace, Planets with webcam?

It will also depend greatly on your knowledge of the sky... the goto can be spot on sometimes, others not so much so the better you know the sky to start with the better off you'll be.

Meade offer a sky assurance program which if your worried about things there I would take advantage of for sure and it would not hurt for you to just call them and explain your concerns and see if they can put your mind at ease, Meade makes some good products at good prices so the scope is probably a good enough deal, but to protect it... I would call and look in their SA program for sure.


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5784292 - 04/07/13 04:53 PM

Hello Celtictexan,

First let me open saying I have received nothing but excellent service from Meade. First rate in my opinion.

The spare parts debate - I guess it all depends. I my 35 or so years dealing with Meade I really have not had a need for replacement parts. With all the variation in the telescope lines over time, keeping spare parts becomes a nightmare and very expensive. If they have the parts - yes they can sell it to you. If it is a major service item, you need to send the item back to them for repair, especially if it is under warranty.

All my Meade products (10" LX200 and ETX-125) have worked very well over the years. So well, I have an 14" LX850 coming in soon.

What goodies do I get for my LX200/LX850? I got the 2" Diagonal with 24mm UWA eyepiece. This is a wonderful kit. Since then I purchased the 30mm UWA (a beast!). I also purchased the Meade 5000 series HD-60 ep with case. I also got from Astronomics a solar filter for fun Sunspot viewing. Other nice goodies to consider - piggyback mount, dew filter for moist climates, and carrying case.

I would not cancel the order unless you want to get the LX600 or LX850. However the 10" LX200-ACF is a very good telescope.


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budman1961
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Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5784374 - 04/07/13 05:31 PM

Are you thinking of doing any imaging? If so, a good solid wedge should be near the top of your list! You might consider a Celestron 6.3 focal reducer/flattener (again if imaging).

Andy


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: Beginner question new [Re: budman1961]
      #5784448 - 04/07/13 06:11 PM

Thanks for the replies I do feel a bit better about the choice of a Meade. I'm totally a beginner, this is my first scope outside some cheap box-store Christmas special. I know I've bought quite a bit of scope but I wanted plenty of room to grow as I would like to be able to move to basic photography and cam eventually. But for now I'm just going to be looking, and learning the scope and the sky. So mostly I'm just interested in basic things that will support viewing like the moon filter. I definitely like the 2" upgrade and solar filter. The SA program sounds good too. Thanks for all advice, astronomy is a life long interest that I'm finally in a position to begin to get more serious about.

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nitegeezer
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/27/07

Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5784498 - 04/07/13 06:35 PM

When I bought my scope I was looking at a 12" as that is what a friend had and I really liked it. He talked me down to an 8" and at the time I was a bit offended but now I am extremely grateful. I have found that the 8" still gives me a nice view and when my back gets cold at the end of the viewing session I can still get it back into the case. The only reason I mention the weight is that I do have to be careful and it has surprised me how heavy it is on a cold night. I have no problem with Meade, the only issues I have had with my scope are operator related!! If you do decide to get a wedge, make sure it is one of the heavy duty ones as there is a big difference.

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cavefrog
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/11/08

Loc: loozyanna
Re: Beginner question new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5784991 - 04/07/13 10:51 PM

The first thing I thought of has not been mentioned... unless that is what Andrew was talking about when he said "dew filter"?

a dew shield is almost mandatory. SCT correctors are horrendous for picking up dew.

Theo


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nitegeezer
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/27/07

Re: Beginner question new [Re: cavefrog]
      #5784996 - 04/07/13 10:56 PM

Yes, a dew shield for sure, even if it is just a simple homemade one. There are several light weight ones out there and while they don't cost much they really lengthen the viewing time.

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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: Beginner question new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5785302 - 04/08/13 05:41 AM

Should the dew shield be the heated type? Or is the shield alone good for most of the time?

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nitegeezer
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/27/07

Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5785681 - 04/08/13 11:09 AM

I think you would be the best one to answer this question as it depends on your conditions, you just need to collect a little data. I would start by making a dew shield out of almost any light semi-rigid material, and I would suggest one that extends at least 12" past the end of your scope. If this is effective then you don't need a heated type and then you just need to decide if you want to stay with your homemade one or buy something that looks pretty.

I would stay away from heated if it is not really necessary. They consume a lot of power so you need a bigger battery or your viewing session is cut short anyway. I made my test dew shield out of a stiff plastic that is still flexible, a kids roll up snow sled if you have ever seen one of those. That was ten years ago, and I am still using my test version. I have only had two nights where I wished I had a heater.


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Beginner question new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5785777 - 04/08/13 11:48 AM

My first accessory would be a 14" LX850 finder scope for my 10" LX200-ACF.

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Shogun
super member
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Reged: 01/01/12

Loc: Burbank, CA
Re: Beginner question new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5786989 - 04/08/13 09:59 PM

get a telrad, a 2" diagonal, and a couple of nice eyepieces (one or two wide field EPs, one or two ortho's for planetary viewing), and a dew shield/heater as needed. Get a astronomy program for your phone/ipad or computer. There are some that are free, like stellarium. Just stick with these basics for a little bit, learn the scope and the sky, dont rush into buying a bunch of things, astronomy is a patient mans hobby.

go out to star parties and see what other people have, this will help with picking eyepieces, and you can see/try other things.

then wait a little while and consider what you want to do, if you are going to keep doing visual, then get more toys for visual, if you are going to do imaging, than invest in that (although imaging will open up a whole new set of expenses, its a money pit). imaging vs visual is like a fork in the road, most people spend 80% or more of their time on one or the other.

spend wisely

if you decide to stick with visual, then consider a binoviewer, more eyepieces, and some filters, and counterweight system as needed

id you want to do astrophotography, the list of things to get is long


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: Beginner question new [Re: Shogun]
      #5787341 - 04/09/13 04:10 AM

I was hoping to try RMSS but the two month wait kind of shoots that down. I definitely would have liked to test drove some things. There is suppose to be a program that comes with the scope so I was waiting a bit on that one. The telrad sounds good. I'm not finding good descriptive info on the purpose of the ortho.

Where do you get the mounting brackets for the 14" LX850 "finder scope"? lol


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Shogun
super member
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Reged: 01/01/12

Loc: Burbank, CA
Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5789455 - 04/10/13 01:05 AM

for planetary observing you dont need large FOV or exotic eyepieces. The orthos are simple EPs that dont have multiple elements, they allow more light in and provide good contrast, and thus work well for planets, i guess its not a must have, maybe a nice to have. invest in one or two nice EPs, instead of buying a whole bunch of OK ones.

i use the telrad alot more than the finder scope, that was one of the first things i purchased, $40 well spent.

there are probably all kinds of astronomy clubs and star parties in your area so just hunt around, you dont need your own scope to go.

stellarium is free, there are other free programs, why wait for the program that comes with the scope, sounds like you are already itching to get started.


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: Beginner question new [Re: Shogun]
      #5789549 - 04/10/13 02:58 AM

Oh Ive been itching for many years. I was way let down by the two month wait. I definetly wasnt expecting it. There is a local club here in Amarillo I'll be getting in with them next meeting. Spring weather hasnt cooperated much for bumming a veiw just yet. I did go ahead with the stellarium, it and my binocs will get me a bit ahead. I originally though you were talking about a telescope guide program. I alamost went for meades $200 kit but changed my mind. After reading this. I'm going to up it to the 2" and get a couple of the better EP or the HD60 kit. I also got the dew shield. I was looking at a case for it as I will be traveling around. That was a high dollar item so I probably will see what I can construct on my own. The box it comes in may serve that purpose for awhile. Might pick up a good set of binocs to for when the wife pushes me out of the way. From her reaction so far Im going to have a very willing partner.:)I did get the telrad pleasant surprise with the low price of that and a few other things on the way. At what point does balance weight become and issue. So of the articles about about stripped gears make me wonder if thats not a pretty important thing to stay on top of.

Edited by celtictexan (04/10/13 03:05 AM)


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Shogun
super member
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Reged: 01/01/12

Loc: Burbank, CA
Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5789591 - 04/10/13 04:13 AM

For visual, perfect balance is not critical, but the better the balance, the more accurate/smoother the goto and tracking. IMO its not too critical for visual observing to be perfectly balanced. Wait until you get the scope, put on the dew shield, telrad, 2" diagonal, and EPs, and see if they balance each other out. If its relatively stable, you are ok. If its front heavy, you can get a counterweight that goes on the back where the visual back/ diagonal are, see link
http://www.petersonengineering.com/sky/balance.htm
peterson also makes the "eye-opener". This is a nice little upgrade to the visual back that lets more light in. Not a must have but a nice to have, especially with 2" diagonal and EPs

If the scope is back heavy or if you think you will keep getting more accessories, heavier EPs, or you will get into astrophotography, than you need a flexible setup (skip on the peterson balance weight). Meade makes a balance kit that you can look into. I have/prefer the losmandy kit, (you will need DM10 and DVDWS)
http://www.losmandy.com/secondary.html

If you are going to be traveling with the scope, will you have access to a power outlet? if not, you may need some kind of a battery pack. Some people use portable car battery starters (get at least 18 amp hour), some people build their own pack with a marine or deep cycle battery, Kendrick also has a nice but expensive unit (I got lucky and found a used kendrick battery pack on craiglist). Celestron has the Powertank.

BTW a good way to save $ is to get some of this stuff used.

Anyway as I tell you all these things to get, be mindful that if you have to break down and setup your scope each time you want to use it and carry all these items with you, each little thing adds time and effort to the process and you need to carry more things with you. The first few times its fun, but when its cold outside and your wife is telling you to hurry up, it can get annoying. Most night I enjoy the setup, some nights I try to minimize what I take with me.

As far as EPs, Meade EPs are OK, but there are better EPs. Look through the eyepiece forums, post questions, read reviews, lots of information out there. If budget is not an issue, look into Televue EPs or Explore Scientific EPs or other well rated/reviewed EPS. There are many to choose from, these are just the popular higher end EPs. It sort of fun to build your own set over time. Ive been gradually adding to my Televue set over time, filling in the gaps. A barlow lens might also be useful too. I have the TV 2x Powermate, comes in handy sometimes. EPs generally hold their value (especially if kept in mint condition). People buy/sell/trade them like baseball cards sometimes. See the CN classifieds.

Glad to hear that you are getting into the hobby with your wife. Always good to share the experience with someone close. Luckily my wife is a willing participant, and she lets me spend $ on gear.

Clear Skies


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: Beginner question new [Re: Shogun]
      #5789608 - 04/10/13 04:51 AM

LOL the ok with the spending is the good part so far. Not one raised eye brow yet. She does seem to like it. The weight and gear issue was why I pretty much stopped at the ten in. Battery packs is something I'm definetly looking at. The power tanks seem weak if running a computer possibly a heater, the scope, and probably things IDK yet. Seems like marine batterys properly rigged would be best outside the wieght issue. Ive seen some nice cargo trailers single purpose adapted to scopes and extras, so I may go that route to avoid putting it all in the back of the truck.

I've had bad luck with used, so I generaly avoid it till I'm more expearianced, but I can see where EP's might not suffer like some used items do.

I'm going to look through you links now thank you and all for the help.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Beginner question new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5789949 - 04/10/13 10:35 AM

I have been viewing for over 40 yrs. here is my opinion,
and worth every cent you paid for it!
If you live in the City a Wide band LPR filter will help.
Eyepieces are #1. You don't have to spend a fortune.
My RKE eyepieces from Edmund are fantastic. AND cheap.
I have had eyepieces that cost 1/2 as much as my SCOPE!
You can get a decent low power 70 degree eyepiece for not a lot of money for DSO.
I quickly realized the money was better spent elswhere.
You can make a dew shield yourself, dont get caught up in the B.S. of spending a ton of money on items!
I bought a new Arcturus Binocular Viewer, it is the best $119.00 shipped I have ever spent. My views are as sharp as a friends WO's
If you look in the Classifieds any used Binoviewers are sold "within hours!". You gain another 30% smaller detail
when useing 2 eyes on Planetary compaired to one.
Color filters are nice if you like Planetary viewing.


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: Beginner question new [Re: orion61]
      #5791846 - 04/11/13 07:24 AM

Thanks Orion I'm pretty curious about using the bino's Ive never looked through a scope that way. I've got one eye that's not so good, corrected or not. I'm very right eye dominate so I don't know if they would do me any good or not. I'm curious about wearing glasses too. Ive always thought the focus would serve the purpose of using glasses for most people but I'm seeing much talk about eye relief for those that do. Is it just certain people that have to wear glasses all the time? And I do intend to build for myself what I can.

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RogueGazer
super member


Reged: 06/10/12

Loc: Central Point Oregon
Re: Beginner question [Re: celtictexan]
      #5792168 - 04/11/13 11:36 AM

+1 on the binoviewers. The best views I have ever had were using my BV's and cheap eyepieces. I have a left eye dominance issue as well and using a BV is no problem and it is a much more relaxing experience. I would BV exclusively if I could.

You could buy a used set of BV's and easily resell them if you dont like them without loosening money.


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