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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD
      #5820041 - 04/24/13 03:29 PM

For a combination visual/AP platform, which would you choose and why?

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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5820050 - 04/24/13 03:32 PM

It is too early to say. Wait till somebody actually uses the LX600 and reports on it.

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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: rmollise]
      #5820059 - 04/24/13 03:34 PM

I suppose I *am* jumping the gun a little, but would welcome some speculation based on published specs.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5820137 - 04/24/13 04:11 PM

Quote:

I suppose I *am* jumping the gun a little, but would welcome some speculation based on published specs.




OK. I've seen all the above but haven't used them under the stars.

C11HD - flatter field

M10 - much better focuser, beefier mount, faster

It'd be easier and cheaper to add a flattener to the Meade than to beef up the other mount, improve the focuser, and speed the C11 up. I also like the idea of just not having coma rather than tacking on internal refractive optics to reduce coma.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5820232 - 04/24/13 04:55 PM

Thanks John. Good input. Do you think that using the mirror lock and adding an aftermarket focuser would be something to think about with the C11HD for visual observing?

As in so many things there are trade offs and you have to make a decision on which issues you're willing to live with...


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5820279 - 04/24/13 05:11 PM

I like the Meades fine...but "better focuser"? We'll see.

Edited by rmollise (04/24/13 05:14 PM)


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5820282 - 04/24/13 05:12 PM

Quote:

I suppose I *am* jumping the gun a little, but would welcome some speculation based on published specs.




Based on specs, the LX80 was going to be a huge hit for Meade.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: rmollise]
      #5820284 - 04/24/13 05:15 PM



Point taken.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5820296 - 04/24/13 05:22 PM

Quote:

Thanks John. Good input. Do you think that using the mirror lock and adding an aftermarket focuser would be something to think about with the C11HD for visual observing?

As in so many things there are trade offs and you have to make a decision on which issues you're willing to live with...




FWIW, the first two things I am adding to my 11 Edge this weekend are the FeatherTouch 10:1 microfocuser and the DSP TEMPest cooling fans. I'm very picky about focusers, so its money well spent in any case.


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: WesC]
      #5820511 - 04/24/13 07:03 PM

The Feathertouch focuser was the single best upgrade I made to my CPC1100. Well worth the expense, and easy to install.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: rmollise]
      #5821878 - 04/25/13 11:47 AM

Quote:

I like the Meades fine...but "better focuser"? We'll see.




A number of people have reported delayed shipping of their new OTA due to adjustment issues with the focuser if that tells you anything.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5821884 - 04/25/13 11:50 AM

Quote:

The Feathertouch focuser was the single best upgrade I made to my CPC1100. Well worth the expense, and easy to install.




The stock focuser on these mounts is generally fine, particularly for visual use. I personally like dual-speed focusers. Starlight is the only company that makes them for the primary mirror focuser, but they are top notch and well worth the investment. Other options exist for rear-cell crayford focusers.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5821899 - 04/25/13 11:56 AM

To answer the original question, I would not choose either system for AP particularly. The alt/az LX600 is not a good imaging platform unless you want to use a wedge which is a pain for both installation and use. The CGEM DX is maxed with the C11HD in my opinion and not the best choice for a scope this large. It is however, useable for AP.

For visual, to me the difference would be in the ease of transport and setup. The CGEM DX and C11HD are the clear winner in that case. My first big scope was a 10" LX200GPS. Great scope, but a total beast to handle. In addition, you are limited to that one OTA.

Finally, the last difference is new, untested mount/scope vs. well established mount and scope. I'm not sure if we even truly know when the LX600 will be available at this point.


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DrOxygen
member


Reged: 12/30/10

Loc: New Jersey
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: EFT]
      #5821970 - 04/25/13 12:36 PM

Ed,

I was reading this thread as I'm considering the LX600 on a wedge for AP and some visual. In my research I see most folks use a GEM for AP although some have used a wedge with success. Is using a wedge that much harder to polar align? Interested in your opinion on why a wedge is a pain.

Thanks!


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: EFT]
      #5822024 - 04/25/13 12:53 PM

Ed (and everyone else),

I guess I am confused. I have used a wedge (a "SuperWedge" in fact) and never found it a pain to install and use. Maybe for the weak and infirmed, but gosh I have used one for 21+ years without a problem. My kids have no problem with it. The X-Wedge looks like a great kit. Other bonus with the LX600 - the fork mount now splits for easy assembly and dis-assembly. This makes for ease of set-up and transportation. I have an 10" LX200, very solid scope. I would not call it a beast though.

Other benefit with the LX600 - you have Starlock and a complete turnkey Visual and AP solution.

Yes you are limited to that one OTA, but for many who cares? I have been fine for many years.

LX600 also has a f/8 optics and an internal 2-speed, crayford focuser. Saying it does not have one is mis-information.

I don't know about a number of people. Many are getting the LX850 now and have reported the OTA is wonderful. Mine comes in next Monday, so no delay for me - if anything I got mine way earlier than planned. LX600's are now trickling out, but likely you won't see mass quantities for another 30 days, however this is speculation and conjecture, just like all the other comments regarding shipping.

Yes, it is new, however Meade seems to be turning two excellent new products. Reports on the LX850 are outstanding (an option if you REALLY need to swap OTAs). When mine comes in I can provide more insight on Starlock, the focuser, and the OTA.


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5822062 - 04/25/13 01:00 PM

Dr. Oxygen,

The wedge is not a pain. If it is, someone needs to tell my friends and I we are having difficulties and just confused.

Many have used a wedge with success.

I can say a wedge is VERY easy to polar align. I am aligned with my older scope in 10 minutes or less. Once set-up (I leave my scope out for 3-7 days in New Mexico), it stays perfectly aligned. I can only imagine how much easier the alignment process is via Starlock!

Here is where you can find the user manual for the LX600 - http://www.meade.com/software-manuals/telescope-manuals/lx-series#

Mind you the GEM vs. Fork debate falls under one of those "religious discussions" - people are highly emotional over it. They will fight to their grave over it. Yet, folks take great photos with a wedge/fork combo.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5822172 - 04/25/13 01:30 PM

FWIW you're going to have a wait for anything you buy that is new and popular. I just had to wait a very long month for my C11 HD to ship.

I'm not the expert around here, but in my opinion I still think you'd have an easier time setting up and moving around with a GEM, than that fork/wedge combo.

Optically, I chose the Edge 11 because of the flat field and because its been out long enough that I could see what others were thinking of it, look at the photos people were taking with it, there's a pretty nice aftermarket for it... and so forth. Its a proven platform that has the features I want and the quality as well. Plus I can take it pretty far if I want to.

I'm just not one to jump on new tech as soon as it comes out, that's just me. Plus ACF still leaves you with some SA at the edge of your FOV, which to me is a step behind Celestron. The Meade is a bit faster, but the Edge has more aperture and it looks like a slightly smaller obstruction.

I also like that the Edge will work on pretty much any other GEM allowing me to upgrade as funds become available. I'm aware that the CGEM is pushing it with an 11". I'm going to be just visual for a while until I get solid with this thing, then I'll move into AP.

If you really want a good AP base to start from get the Edge 11 OTA and pick up either a G11/Gemini or if you can find a used AP900... its only money, right?

This is all just how I thought about it. There's no right or wrong answer. You've just gotta choose for yourself what the one setup is that hits all the points you have on your list.

Good luck!


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: WesC]
      #5822240 - 04/25/13 01:51 PM

Thanks everyone for the opinions and input. At this point I'm leaning towards the EdgeHD/CGEM as it seems to be the more flexible of the two systems if I decide to modify/upgrade in the future. The Meade does offer some very compelling features, but with the X-Wedge it's also $600 more expensive than the Celestron. I will most certainly be using the scope primarily for visual observing, so I'm not sure if the included AP features of the LX600 are going to be a deciding factor or not.

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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: dpippel]
      #5822281 - 04/25/13 02:10 PM

dpippel -

Don't forget the LX600 does include an autoguiding system in the price, which the Edge does not. So though the edge might be cheaper, if you go into AP, you will in the end need an autoguider. And with all that, you will be at the limit of the CGEM (maybe past it). You may have to consider a bigger mount.

And note, the Starlock not only helps with guiding/AP, but also alignment. Specifically, Starlock does automatic drift alignment. Ever tried to do that manually?

Typically for great AP the GEM is heavier than similar use/configured fork/wedge. The advantage of the GEM is the ability to break it down in smaller "chunks". If you go lighter weight on the GEM, it really defeats the purpose for AP.

The larger CO for the faster optics is a necessary trade, but images produced with the Meade OTA have been stunning. Have you seen them?

Lastly, if your primary use is visual, GEM is typically NOT the way to go.

Starizona has a great write up comparing the GEM vs. Fork Mount.

http://starizona.com/acb/basics/equip_mounts_gem.aspx

http://starizona.com/acb/basics/equip_mounts_fork.aspx


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Meade 10" LX600-ACF vs. Celestron 11" CGEM DX HD new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5822320 - 04/25/13 02:31 PM

Quote:

Yes you are limited to that one OTA, but for many who cares?




I had various wedged forkmounts in the observatory for years. I went back to a German EQ mount only because I wanted to use something other than an SCT. I still miss horizon-to-horizon imaging!


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