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LX200 14" GPS SCT - now portable

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#1 john_benham


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Posted 17 August 2018 - 03:54 PM

Telescopes tend to get heavier and more bulky with age! I just acquired a Meade LX200 14" GPS SCT. My usual telescopes include various models of the Meade 10" SCT, including the LX200 GPS Autostar II and the older LX200 box handheld.


My new (to me) 14" SCT at 125#'s is not exactly portable. I set it up for my main home observatory telescope, but it is too much aperture for my skies just west of Spokane, WA - ie. not enough contrast. I took it off my pier and replaced it with my older LX200 (box controller) model, which works fine in my local skies. (view to mag 11 or 12, on a good night)


So, let's make the 14 " portable my reducing it to its basic components. One can handle the weight of each component easily and re-install in the back of one's SUV or pickup. My tailgate happens to be the same height as the Meade giant tripod, so alone, I could slide it off onto the tripod. If I want to use the wedge, I would need another person to assist me to lift it in place.



1. Loosen the four allen bolts holding each arm

2. Remove the three small allen bolts from each of the two flanges holding the OTA

3. With the arms loose, one can spread them to slide either the mount off the OTA, or slide the OTA off the mount without scratching the finish.


At this point one can easily store these two components and transport the mount and OTA to a star party, etc.


I chose to go further:

1. Totally remove four allen bolts on each arm

2. Decide where to cut the wires going to each arm - one arm has six-colored coded; the other has nine-colored coated plus four for the focuser and reticle.

3. Strip the insulation about 1/4" from each wire; tin it with solder; crimp-on a solder-less connector on each. I also soldered each connector (from experience). From the mount I chose to use the female connector and the male from each arm. Just the opposite for the focuser and reticle since they share similar color-coded wires.


Now the OTA can slip into a 16x32" duffel bag I got from Big 5 Sporting Goods for $25. I added 1/2" foam padding inside. The base and arms can be stored in a thrift store found bag 24" long, also protected by foam padding. The massive wedge is in a REI bag also protected by 1/2" foam padding.


Reassembly takes about 30-minutes.


Will set it up first time at Logan Valley in E. Central Oregon week after Labor Day, 2018 - USFS Big Creek Campground if anyone is interested. These are the darkest and highest contrast skies to us in Spokane.


Attached - 7 photos (The CloudyNights program only allows me to upload one photo... Sorry)


John Benham

Spokane, WA





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#2 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 04:15 PM

 Too much work for me but have at it while you can. flowerred.gif

#3 junomike



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Posted 17 August 2018 - 07:15 PM

Also, I wonder over time of the constant loosening/tightening might have an effect on the strength of the screws and/or holes.

#4 john_benham


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Posted 18 August 2018 - 12:02 PM



The allen bolts on the arms are heavy duty and of no concern on weakening with time. But the three allen bolts on the OTA flanges are small and the heads can be easily stripped, which I did to one of them. I replaced all six with S/S philips head screws which appear stronger and faster to take on and off.


On an older Meade 10" 2120LX3, I componetized it for easier transportation during longer road trips. Never had any issues. I also added digital setting circles and the SkyCommander setup which made for a great push-to system.


You certainly have an impressive optical inventory. Thank you for your reply and concern. I'm only going to use the 14" for remote and dark sky observing. Most of the time I use my LX200 10" SCT or Williams Optics 102mm refractor on a goto Meade GEM mount.


If it's wildfire smoke free, I'll be in E. central Oregon in September as mentioned above. Please join us if you live reasonably nearby. Last June we started our first star party there, Logan Valley Star Party. Search on Yahoo and one will find the web site.



JB - Spokane

#5 Nowthatsorignal


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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:04 PM

This is awesome! Is this scope still in service? How has it treated you over the last 3 or so year?
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#6 David Mercury

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 09:13 PM

I was wondering the same thing 

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