Meade LXD75 SN-10 update.
Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:51 PM
I realised that the scope needs (1) an much beefier mount, (2) good rotating tube rings permanantly attached to the tube, (3) a "Feathertouch" focuser, and (4) a high quality, right angle finder. To bring the scope up to that standard would take $$$$! and lots of it! If Meade engineers were real sharp, they could put together an upgrade KIT and sell it like hotcakes!
Posted 13 July 2005 - 12:56 PM
The most I have spent so far for an upgrade is $190 for a Tele Vue 2.5X Powermate which gives me an image sharp to the edge in my Plossls on the SN8 OTA. That can be used in any scope in the future, so it isn't just an upgrade for the Meade OTA. I doubt that Meade (or Celestron) will ever sell a better helical focuser for less money than Borg does. The focusing smoothness reminds me of focusing a good Leica lens, and it drops into any other scope that take 1.25" EP's.
Since I got the lighter 8" OTA, the shakes haven't bothered me much. The tracking is smoother since it came back from Meade Service, and the Go To works like a charm now. I was looking at Mars the other night at 338X (about 4 AM with fairly still air), and the tracking was smooth and the ice cap was quite clear. Uranus was a clean green disc.
You spent so much on the JMI focuser, and the Meade optics are quite sharp as I have come to find out. Why not just mount the OTA on a Losmandy G-11 or Celestron CGE or equivalent and use the LXD75 mount for a lighter scope? I have learned to never sell what is working for me. It seems your major problem is the mount at this point.
I am saving my green for a Collins "I Cubed" Image Intensifier EP. It will be more than my total LXD75 outlay including all options I have bought and intend to add. Of course, it will be useful on just about any other scope and really isn't an LXD75 upgrade.
I am currently insulating my entire SN8 OTA to control dew and cooldown without going to dew heaters and fans. The entire cost, including Astrozap dew shield, will come to around $60. The Astrozap came close to doing the job by itself, and would suffice if limiting my viewing to a couple of hours. Since I am "seeing limited" at this point, there will never be a need to go to a more expensive OTA. I would like a beefier mount in windy weather, and I will probably end up with something like a Celestron CGE or Losmandy G-11. The LXD75 mount is staying, however. I intend on getting a Stellarvue Nighthawk or lightweight Borg modular refractor OTA before too long, and the LXD75 mount can handle either with room to spare and is in the appropriate price range.
Since getting the Powermate and being "taken over by the Borg", my SN8 has become VERY easy to operate and I see many dozens of objects every time I view. I do not touch my Meade R&P focuser after setting the rough focus, and that $57 Borg focuser works like a champ. Now I need an astronomy chair.
I will put the finishng touches on the OTA insulation job today. As upgrade luck would have it, it looks like I might be clouded out tonight. I considered dew heaters along with battery hauling and charging maintenance as something to be avoided if at all possible (beside the $250 extra expense). Like you, I would rather be viewing than fiddling with gear. Keeping EP's in my pocket to be warmed and changing them out every few minutes keeps them dew free. I keep finding ways to upgrade my SN8 for little money, and it mainly involves staying away from the herd mentality and the sales tactics of the scope accessories industry. I DID pay $120 delivered for the JMI LXD55 mount case, but it does greatly simplify the transport and setup of my scope, even if the build quality leaves a bit to be desired.
I sure could use a set of rotating rings or a right angle prism. However, an astronomy chair will handle that problem quite well and will work with any scope I later buy.
Posted 13 July 2005 - 01:31 PM
I guess I'm just spoiled by all the really nice touches of the TMB 175 APO that I have had for ~15 months.
For the purchase price of the Meade, it is really one heck of a deal. I gave some serious thought to getting another set of legs (shorter) for my Takahashi NJP-160 mount, but that alone was going to cost me (gasp!) over $500! Then a set of rotating tube rings, a right angle finder, etc. All this on a $700 tube assembly? Didn't compute--sorry!
I actually considered the Losmany mount as an option (G-11), but the cost/benefit ratio just ruled that out, too.
Posted 13 July 2005 - 03:53 PM
That would be outstanding.
Posted 13 July 2005 - 04:32 PM
Posted 13 July 2005 - 04:37 PM
just did some reading on up the post and answered my own
Posted 13 July 2005 - 05:34 PM
BUT THE PRICE! WHOA!!!