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Meade LX600-ACF 12" f/8 or CPC1100

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#26 William Mc

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:30 PM

I too debated between Meade and Celestron when buying my first SCT. I really wanted The Meade as the fork mount just looked more professional than the Cheaper looking Plasticy CPC. But then I saw the post on this very forum with pics of a OTA that was just purchased from Meade directly. The OTA was just thrown in a over sized box with no packing! OMG! It was just rolling around in there freely.
That's all needed needed to know.


Um that is beyond nonsense. Shipping a telescope that tolls around????

I have purchased several telescopes this year all extremely and massively well packed. I can even show pictures.

Same for the Lx600.

I declare shenanigans on this. Send me the link, and description why this one individual had a highly suspect packaging experience.

And how did this freely rolling telescope survive?


I'd like a public apology from you! :mad:

http://www.cloudynig...1687458/page...

#27 WesC

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:09 PM

I have a question for the OP... Why would you want a big, heavy, awkward fork mount, instead of a GEM? Especially if you're going to be doing AP?

A GEM is going to be a lot easier to setup and break down, you don't need a wedge and you can use it for other scopes, like if you want to use a refractor for wide-field, as well as being able to use your SCT on other mounts should you want to upgrade down the road. I just feel like they are better suited for AP without hacks and workarounds. Especially if you end up with a long image train and want to image near the zenith... where the seeing is best. You're going to run into clearance issues with a fork.

I just see no benefit to a fork mount UNLESS you are strictly visual and are permanently mounted.

That being said, neither the LX600 or the LX850 are truly portable in the sense that you would be reasonably comfortable with moving them around on a regular basis. I'm sort of the same mind about the CPC as well, they just weigh a lot, and not just the weight, they are awkward.

Having looked through both a Meade ACF scope and an Edge, I found both to be really nice optically on-axis, but the Edge was better corrected out to the edge of the field. Quite noticeably, in fact. Since I love viewing with 82-100 degree EPs I found that I preferred the flatter field of the Edge, and I definitely preferred a GEM, so I bought an Edge on a CGEM. I'm of the same mind about refractors now... I'll probably end up with a quad because I love that flat field so much now. Its just how the sky should look. Clean and undistorted.

F10 vs F8 is a better issue to discuss, but I still preferred the Edge's versatility due to having the option of going F10, F7 (with a reducer) and F2 with a Hyperstar... should I choose to go that route. Native F8 is nice for sure, but to give up that much portability and the flatter field of the Edge, well, to me it just wasn't worth it.

I am on the waiting list for an AP1100 GTO as we speak... but that's a big step up. You can still do a lot with a CGEM and even more so with a CGEM DX.

I think you should seriously consider iOptron as well, they're making some good stuff.

Starlock and Starsense... frankly I wouldn't use either one. To me all this all-in-one stuff seems like a company trying to be a jack of all trades and master of none. In spite of certain glowing reports of perfection, I would much prefer to choose SBIG, Starlight Express or something that has been around and is widely used and supported for guiding. And I personally prefer OAG rather than finder-guider setups, especially on a big OTA. Just my personal preference. Celestron's Starsense is brand spankin' new and still has some kinks to work out. It seems more like an auto-alignment tool than a guiding option, and no one has yet reported that it does a better job than a standard 2+4/ASPA alignment routine.

And lastly, and this is NOT speculation its caution, it would really be a disservice not to warn you that since Meade is in acquisition transition right now, and NO ONE knows what will come out of the other side, it would be prudent to wait and see how things turn out before spending that kind of money with them. If you are not in a hurry and you are very serious about one of their products this is probably the worst time to buy. Give it 6 months if you can, then decide.

If not look at Edge, CGEM DX and iOptron.

#28 gavinm

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:44 PM

Especially if you end up with a long image train and want to image near the zenith... where the seeing is best. You're going to run into clearance issues with a fork.

I just see no benefit to a fork mount UNLESS you are strictly visual and are permanently mounted.


Not zenith, the pole, if you are on a wedge (unless you are at the south pole..). Yes it does restrict some parts of the sky you can image, but I've never imaged the pole so a fork mount has never worried me.

The benefit of a fork mount is uninterrupted horizon to horizon imaging without a meridian flip.

#29 galaxy_jason

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:46 PM

That's not standard shipping. I have received and exchanged several OTA's during my beta testing and they were all shipped in double walled boxes with form fitting custom foam.

As for Starlock, here are some images done with the LX850 with Starlock guiding.

http://www.meade.com...strophotography

#30 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:53 PM

That's not standard shipping. I have received and exchanged several OTA's during my beta testing and they were all shipped in double walled boxes with form fitting custom foam.

As for Starlock, here are some images done with the LX850 with Starlock guiding.

http://www.meade.com...strophotography


Always love looking at your pictures!

Question? Why did I always think you wore a cowboy hat? ;)

Just kidding....lol

#31 galaxy_jason

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:04 PM

Nope, but I do own a pair of boot. Guns Up! (Texas Tech)

#32 Rick Woods

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:18 PM

I too debated between Meade and Celestron when buying my first SCT. I really wanted The Meade as the fork mount just looked more professional than the Cheaper looking Plasticy CPC. But then I saw the post on this very forum with pics of a OTA that was just purchased from Meade directly. The OTA was just thrown in a over sized box with no packing! OMG! It was just rolling around in there freely.
That's all needed needed to know.


Others have said this too. Maybe it depends on who the factory shift supervisor is, or something. My 14" came double-boxed, with a massive form-cut dense foam interior in the inner box. They could have dropped the thing out of the airplane into my yard without hurting it. (Of course, that was 10 years ago...)

#33 Rick Woods

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:19 PM

I'm the one with the cowboy hat.

#34 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:36 PM

I too debated between Meade and Celestron when buying my first SCT. I really wanted The Meade as the fork mount just looked more professional than the Cheaper looking Plasticy CPC. But then I saw the post on this very forum with pics of a OTA that was just purchased from Meade directly. The OTA was just thrown in a over sized box with no packing! OMG! It was just rolling around in there freely.
That's all needed needed to know.


Um that is beyond nonsense. Shipping a telescope that tolls around????

I have purchased several telescopes this year all extremely and massively well packed. I can even show pictures.

Same for the Lx600.

I declare shenanigans on this. Send me the link, and description why this one individual had a highly suspect packaging experience.

And how did this freely rolling telescope survive?


I'd like a public apology from you! :mad:

http://www.cloudynig...1687458/page...



Well that was an interesting read from long ago. Reading the thread it seems a couple of select 14" OTAs were shipped in this manner when everyone else's was shipped very well protected. Near as I can tell from all the reading the linked thread this was not normal at all.

I apologize not knowing about a very very rare event from 6 years ago, but clearly it influenced your buying decision. However Meade currently does not ship using this method shown in the photos and in my 29 years of buying Meade telescopes (4 recently) I have never remotely experienced this. Per Jason, this is not standard shipping at Meade.

Of course as I was reading this old thread why did this telescope get shipped in this manner? Also this was shipped right before they did their move to Mexico. Was the telescope shipped in this manner due to a disgruntled employee? Very very odd how this came about? I never saw how this issue was resolved.

#35 William Mc

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:05 PM

"I apologize not knowing about a very very rare event from 6 years ago"

Gee Andrew, you must not have a lot of experience making apologies? I was kinda hoping for an apology for inferring that I was lying. But, you already knew that didn't you?

#36 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:51 PM

Celestron's pointing spec for standard hand controller.
http://urlm.in/lban

How is your F8 optics on planetary? does the large obstruction soften the views more than the F10?


Stew57,

Thank-you for this spec sheet. Do they have one for the StarSense though? That is what I was getting at. I did a VERY quick scan of the user manual and web site and could not find it.

The few times I had the 14" f/8 ACF on a planet it was very impressive (Jupiter and Saturn). Views seemed sharp and detailed to me. I cannot speak for the 10" or 12" models. I think my guests had more fun looking at the moons around Jupiter and Saturn. I was having fun just bouncing around the sky playing and learning the unit. When I get back I really hope the weather has calmed down. I am hoping to have the LX850 set-up for the entire month of October with the help of the Telegizmos 365 cover and mostly dry days (keeping fingers crossed).

One comparison I am thinking of doing to humor myself - looking at Jupiter this fall through the 14" ACF and the 130mm APO side by side (so to speak). Now that will get the SCT-Refractor war going... ;)

#37 jrcrilly

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:03 PM

Celestron's pointing spec for standard hand controller.
http://urlm.in/lban



Thank-you for this spec sheet. Do they have one for the StarSense though?


No need; Starsense is an alignment aid and isn't used in "Precise goto" mode. The 1 to 3 arcminute accuracy mentioned there requires operator intervention by centering a nearby star. So does Meade's High Precision Pointing routine - unless you have Starlock.

#38 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:21 AM

"I apologize not knowing about a very very rare event from 6 years ago"

Gee Andrew, you must not have a lot of experience making apologies? I was kinda hoping for an apology for inferring that I was lying. But, you already knew that didn't you?



I did not infer you were lying...

I already knew what? Meade packs their telescopes very well and this was a weird event?



Um that is beyond nonsense. Shipping a telescope that tolls around????


Correction first of all - meant to say "rolls around".

Now, first off, I could not imagine a telescope rolling around freely and surviving based on all the shipping disaster stories I have heard and read here on CN and else where.

So first sentence - it is beyond nonsense! Still! If that really happened I would be INSTANTLY be on the phone with Meade and the dealer. I just never seen this before and certainly Meade does not do this as the norm. Never saw it before. Ever.

I have purchased several telescopes this year all extremely and massively well packed. I can even show pictures.

Same for the Lx600.



Second and third sentences - true too! Nothing about lying.



I declare shenanigans on this. Send me the link, and description why this one individual had a highly suspect packaging experience.

And how did this freely rolling telescope survive?



I still declare shenanigans on this! I do appreciate you sending the link - it peaked my curiosity quite a bit when reading the entire thread. It is also clear reading this thread this was a rare and unusual event as I suspected. I am very curious how this all happened and how it was resolved. (Anyone know? What is the back story?) I can see how you would have been scared off, but still it was an extra-ordinary situation. You inferred this was typical of Meade though (there is that word inferred again). I do believe it impacted any consideration you had of Meade which is too bad. Still, I never saw a reference to something like this happening since 2007 when this happened. I do see articles of the the outer boxes getting mushed or messed up, but everything surviving inside. The box on my new 130mm APO was a bit crunched on a corner, but all was well inside (whew!).

But tough to apologize when I never called you a liar.

So as a peace offering, I will offer you a pound of thick cut, hickory smoked bacon. If you are a vegetarian - Tofu!

(BTW - Tofu would never cut it in Texas...)

#39 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:25 AM

Nope, but I do own a pair of boot. Guns Up! (Texas Tech)


Prediction right now - Texas Tech will beat Texas. It won't be pretty.

Back to the LX600 thingy...

#40 cn register 5

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:55 AM

Post deleted by Cotts

#41 Compendium

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:34 AM

How is STX able to post so confidently about Meade's general practices when he claims to be just a user.

I would only expect such an authoritative post from someone who in a position to know what Meade's general procedures are.

Chris

Well, he did say he has been buying Meade telescopes for 29 years, a couple years longer than I have been alive. That tells me he definitely has the experience.

#42 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:51 AM

How is STX able to post so confidently about Meade's general practices when he claims to be just a user.

I would only expect such an authoritative post from someone who in a position to know what Meade's general procedures are.

Chris



First of all Chris, you can call me Andrew.

And yes, using the terms of "Tron", I am a user.

I do find this a hoot that this LX600 discussion is focused one of the key discriminating factors to purchase a telescope - packaging.

My authoritative post is based on:
* Years AND recent purchases of Meade telescopes and other products (Nice of you to notice Compendium - oh, I love the food in Wisconsin!).
* Reading all the reviews online
* Reading all the comments online
* Noting the packaging complaint is rare
* Noting that if packed poorly we would hear about it very often online.
* If packed poorly, odds of breakage would be high resulting in a very high expense for returns and reshipment. Hence, one could deduce Meade packs telescopes and products sold to customers very well.

So I confidently made the comment I did. Not authoritatively, but confidently.

Oh, and even though I am not a dealer or Meade employee I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

#43 William Mc

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:07 AM

:ohgeeze:

#44 Starhawk

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:02 AM

I regret to say this has turned out to be the poorest quality thread I've ever seen on CN.

To the OP, you really need to gather info elsewhere and make a choice. We've completely and utterly failed you. In three pages, this thread has yet to mention even one of the significant issues in this decision.

-Rich

#45 mclewis1

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:18 AM

After closely following a series of threads discussing Meade current situation ... I would strongly suggest anyone considering a Meade product and wanting to use the experiences described here on CN to apply a bell curve to the comments. Throw out the extremes at both ends and evaluate on something that contains a little less hysteria.

#46 Starhawk

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:03 AM

How does that help? This thread doesn't even touch on weight, and half of the content is from someone who has never even seen either of these telescopes. Own it guys- we've left a flaming wreck alongside the runway on this one.

-Rich

#47 KevH

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:36 AM

You've certainly had no problems commenting on gear you've never seen. Why the sudden change of heart? How is thread different from 90 percent of the gear threads on CN where a majority of responses are based on what people have read? Oh yeah, this one is about Meade. That's what makes it different. Silly me.

#48 Pak

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

[quote name="KevH"]Looking at buying either the 12" LX600 or the CPC1100 but torn between the two.[/quote]

[Meade LX600 12" w/XWedge $5,999.00] This system comes with a lot. To get the same type of item, but not the same functionality, you need to do this with Celestron:

[Celestron CPC1100 HD Deluxe $3,799.00
Celestron Heavy duty CPC HD wedge $399.00
Celestron Starsense $329.00* on sale
Celestron GPS module $199.
Orion Starshoot autoguider complete package $399.99] = $5125.00ish

And you still don't have an electric focuser that I believe comes with the LX600, nor do you have vibration suppression pads or an AC adapter (unless Celestron now includes those). So you can add on a few hundred dollars more.

[quote]
Also some concerns from reading various blogs about reliability with Meade on new products.[/quote]

What you gain going with the Celestron option is 1) Mature driver support 2) Confidence in its reliability.

The Meade offering hasn't been out long enough for anyone to have used and abused it. We don't know if it is going to fall apart or not. Maybe it won't! Maybe it will be as reliable as the LX200. No way of knowing at this point. Which is why you'll see people with a lot of experience, like Uncle Rod, say he'll never pay to be a beta tester. Give the product a year and see how things went.

As for driver support, there is a rumor someone is working on them but it has been now long now and still nothing? Obviously Meade couldn't pay the developer to get the job done. Hopefully that will change now that the merger is complete.

[quote]
Have tried to lift the OTA on Meade LX600 as don't have observatory set-up but is v heavy even with split fork (although do have an engine crane which could do it!).
[/quote]

Either way it is going to be heavy. Invest in an out door year-round weatherproof cover and a wheeled system like JMI sells. Then just leave it all assembled. You are going to have to sacrifice something. Either go down in aperture and thus mount capacity so you can easily manage the weight, and therefore use it more often. OR work it out so you can use the bigger system just as often.[quote]

Furthermore, not sure which is best and exactly the benefits of each (different answer from each shop...are celestrong HD optics really better than Meade ACF for imaging?). Would appreciate any honest input / comparisons / pros & cons from those here more knowledgeable than me (probably everyone)![/quote]

As far as the quality of the optics pertaining to their physical properties I would say they are both excellent.

The Meade F/8 are NOT the same design as their F/10 ACF but a lot of people confuse them. The F/8 optics are actually very flat and comma free optics. Are they as flat as the EdgeHD? No, but very close.

The EdgeHD corrects for field curvature with glass optics inside the baffle tube. If you add a field flattener to the Meade system you achieve the same result and the design of the forthcoming F/5 reducer also corrects for flat field and it was designed to screw INTO the back of the OTA instead of sticking out like most reducers do.

At this point, and we are talking imaging only, I would rather have this design than the Edge design. Why? Because neither mount is capable of doing 30 minute exposures at this price point. You don't want to shoot at F/10 on the EdgeHD so you WILL have a reducer on there.

IF you are going to be forced to reduce, why then would the EdgeHD system be better? The EdgeHD reducer brings it down to about F/7. The Meade starts out of the box at F/8 and the reducer brings it down to F/5.

The only advantage the EdgeHD has is Hyperstar at F/2 but that is a thousand dollars more for the Hyperstar lense. Also you are bypassing the correction in the baffle tube because the light path doesn't go down there when using Hyperstar. Not a problem since you can just crop your images though and I personally LOVE the Hyperstar system and have used it quite a bit. I really wish Meade would get together with Starizona and work that business out.

The EdgeHD also has passive cooling vents so the tube reaches equalization faster than the Meade system and there are aftermarket fans available to speed that process along. With the Meade system you can spend a little money for a Lymax CAT COOLER which fits into the back of the OTA and cools it. Or you can wait and see if Meade decides to fit their OtA's with fans. They have some prototypes out being tested with fans right now.

The Meade F/8 systems have another thing going for them that I like. The 8-1 focuser system and the primary mirror rolling on tensioned bearings so there isn't any mirror shift or flop like you will see in the EdgeHD line. When you stop focusing the mirror stays in place so you don't need mirror locks. On the bigger OTAs they did add mirror locks because of the possibility of that much weight overcoming the design and having very slight movement but this hasn't been shown to be an issue.

So in closing TLDR:
Meade system is more expensive but offers a more complete package. The Meade system has been reliable so far and works as advertised. The Starlock system seems to do what they said it would do. The weight of these units is going to be heavy either way. The Meade system you've chosen is bigger and so heavier but it is also beefier. Find a way to keep your choice as an assembled unit so you can just roll it out when you want to use it. Both have very flat fields and no comma. Both tackle the flatness differently. The EdgeHD is flatter because they correct with a lense inside the baffle. The Meade is flatter before it gets to the baffle but without that lense ultimately is not as flat. They have a reducer/flattener coming that will make it ideal. Celestron system has been around a long time. It is mature, works, has driver support. The Meade system is still new. Nobody knows about its reliability in the long term and there are not any drivers for it yet. No reducer currently available for it.

Thanks [/quote]

#49 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:50 AM

Well written Pak!

#50 Starhawk

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:51 AM

The only time I have commented on hardware I haven't seen and had a chance to play with is when it isn't released yet. Start reading with a little more care.

-Rich

You've certainly had no problems commenting on gear you've never seen. Why the sudden change of heart? How is thread different from 90 percent of the gear threads on CN where a majority of responses are based on what people have read? Oh yeah, this one is about Meade. That's what makes it different. Silly me.




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