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Newbie question: Mead or Celestron

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 09:48 AM

Help! Other than the aperture size which is the better scope and why? The two scopes in question are the Mead 10” LX200GPS and the Celestron Nexstar11” GPS? (And possibly the Mead 12” LX200GPS) If you had the money to buy one today what would you get and why? I apologize if this question has been asked before.

Thanks
Dazed and Confused!
Bart

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 09:53 AM

Hi, Bart.

The good news is that it's Ford v. Chevy. Both are excellent instruments and you'd enjoy either one. Both have great optics and pointing accuracy.

The Celestron wins for portability due to better ergonomics. The Meade has a more elaborate controller. Celestron has a two year warranty. Meade has mirror lock.

One could go back and forth listing features all day! :gve:

#3 bierbelly

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:06 AM

Hi, Bart.

The good news is that it's Ford v. Chevy. Both are excellent instruments


I'm not sure that 'Ford v. Chevy' works in the same thought with the word 'excellent'. :lol:

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:10 AM

Hi, Bart.

The good news is that it's Ford v. Chevy. Both are excellent instruments


I'm not sure that 'Ford v. Chevy' works in the same thought with the word 'excellent'. :lol:


I was thinking about that myself; and they aren't the Ferraris of the telescope world. I suppose there's a more appropriate word than "excellent".

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:59 AM

Bart:

I couldn't help but notice the responses you are getting to the same question on the "Talking Telescopes" Yahoo Group.

I suggest that you try to evaluate these with some weight on the experience levels of the responders. Anecdotal tales of the experiences of unnamed third parties with unspecified models are of doubtful value. They are often inspired by brand loyalty, which is particularly unhelpful to someone seeking comparative info.

There are folks here with plenty of experience with both manufacturers; they are able to give meanful comparisons.

My first "Ford v. Chevy" response was based on my previously owning and using the 8" and 11" Nexstar GPS scopes as well as the 10" and 14" LX200GPS scopes.

#6 TeamGS

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:42 AM

I have owned none of the models you are interested in, so my opinion is strictly based upon features, and aperture.

If we assume that optically and mechanically they are relatively equal, (Though the Celeston site has an interesting article on why their scopes are better. Could all be smoke, but was interesting none the less), the Meade also includes the LPI imager, microfocuser, mirror lock, and Autostar suite. I think that with the Autostar suite, you can also download custom tours, satellite, comet info., etc. I don't believe that the Celestron can do this.

All things being equal, of your three choices, I would go with the 12" LX200GPS.

Although, from my 8" standpoint, I would take ANY of those three! :)

Regards,

Gary

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 12:06 PM

I think that with the Autostar suite, you can also download custom tours, satellite, comet info., etc. I don't believe that the Celestron can do this.


Hi, Gary.

Yes, the Autostar II is more rich in features, and I like that (I kept the Meade!). Mine is permanently mounted, though. For portable use the 11" Celestron really shines - especially compared to the 12" Meade. You give up one inch of aperture but the difference in transportability is tremendous. It's even substantially easier to take to the field than the smaller 10" Meade.

For those who don't mind connecting PC's to their scopes the Celestron has recently added their version of HCAnywhere to their standard package. I haven't used it but it gives some heavy geek value - including speech output and wireless scope control using a game controller!

I didn't mean to exclude anyone in my earlier remarks about experience with the particular scopes; of course all are entitled to opinions and those who are willing to share them provide a valuable aid to newbies. Comparison of published features and their relative value doesn't require hands-on experience with a particular piece of gear. I just see so much anecdotal stuff on the Yahoo Groups that fails to provide anything meaningful. :tonofbricks:

#8 Mark

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 12:57 PM

Hi Bart. Over the last 15 years I've owned 3 sct's; a Meade 10", a Celestron C8 and currently a Celestron G5. I cannot think of any reason to pick one company over the other. All the scopes I had performed well and had no problems. My only experiences with tech support were email queries to Celestron that were answered within a few days.

I'd suggest that you go with the scope whose features you like best.

Mark

#9 TeamGS

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 01:27 PM

For portable use the 11" Celestron really shines - especially compared to the 12" Meade. You give up one inch of aperture but the difference in transportability is tremendous. It's even substantially easier to take to the field than the smaller 10" Meade.


Wow! That's interesting. I'll have to hit a star party and check out the C11GPS. I didn't realize the size/weigt/portability was so different between the Celestrons and Meades. Good information. :jump: Do you think that the extra mass/bulk helped the stability of the Meade versus the Celestron?

I agree that personal experience, especially when there is experience with both side of the argument, is much more valuable than just listing specs. I guess that is as good a reason as any to give my wife when I buy a new C11GPS! :roflmao:

Regards,

Gary

#10 jrcrilly

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 01:44 PM

I didn't realize the size/weigt/portability was so different between the Celestrons and Meades. Good information. :jump: Do you think that the extra mass/bulk helped the stability of the Meade versus the Celestron?


Hi, Gary.

There's no good reason why the NX11GPS should be more portable than the 10" Meade; the weights are quite similar. Celestron chose to provide big, comfortable molded handles near the center of gravity while Meade provides sharp little metal handles way down low, far from the balance point. It's just poor ergonomics. Mounting them on the tripod is different as well; the Celestron has a locating pin sticking up from the tripod head; the Meade has a bolt that is inserted up through the base AFTER the scope is planted there and centered by eyeball and luck. Neither of these factors affects the performance of the scope, and both instruments work very well indeed. I just found the Celestron more pleasant to drag out to the field and set up. Once set up, they are very similar in stability.

The 12" is another story entirely. It's heavier by 15 or 20 pounds. It still has those LOW, sharp handles. The kicker is that the fork arms are too short to permit the optical tube to be stored pointed downward - it must point UP. Guess what effect that has on the distance between the handles and the center of gravity? I LIKE the 12" LX200GPS; it's an awful lot of bang for the buck - but when I had a 12" Classic I didn't consider mine to be portable.

For fixed use, I did choose the Meade because of its more powerful controller - of course in that mode I keep a PC hooked up so there goes most of that advantage! The mirror lock and microfocuser are also nice to have, though.


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