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Meade LX70: $199

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#26 dmgriff

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 10:32 AM

Is the lx70 comparable to a manual lxd55 in size and actual weight capacity?

 

Should the lx70 handle a 4in f/10 refractor, 9x50 raci, 2in diag. and asian binoviewer weighing a total of 13 1/4 pounds? The refractor pushes a omni cg4.

 

Good viewing,

 

Dave


Edited by dmgriff, 22 February 2019 - 02:11 PM.


#27 M57Guy

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 09:30 PM

It will be interesting to actually compare the two side by side.

 

I'd like to hear your side-by-side comparison, when you've had a chance to kick the tires.

 

Thanks in advance for letting us know.


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#28 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 10:00 PM

I'd like to hear your side-by-side comparison, when you've had a chance to kick the tires.
 
Thanks in advance for letting us know.


Will do! waytogo.gif


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#29 SeattleScott

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 02:36 AM

Specs say 9lb Mount head, 12lb tripod, so about 21lb. My LXD55 was 25lb. My LXD75 with stainless steel tripod was pushing 30. My CG5 was 29lbs. This really seems more like a CG4 to me just based on advertised weight.

Scott
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#30 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 09:25 AM

Specs say 9lb Mount head, 12lb tripod, so about 21lb. My LXD55 was 25lb. My LXD75 with stainless steel tripod was pushing 30. My CG5 was 29lbs. This really seems more like a CG4 to me just based on advertised weight.

Scott


When mine gets here early in the week, we will have a side by side photographic comparison with it and the Omni CG-4.
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#31 selfo

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 11:48 AM

I just pulled the trigger on one. Been looking for a grab and go mount for a while. I almost went with the ES Twilight 1 but for the same amount of money the LX70 seemed a much better value. It’s heavier than the Twilight and may take a little longer to set up but looks like it may be more stable under load. Should arrive Tuesday in time for some clear skies...Maybe....
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#32 M57Guy

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 11:49 PM

I just pulled the trigger on one. Been looking for a grab and go mount for a while. I almost went with the ES Twilight 1 but for the same amount of money the LX70 seemed a much better value. It’s heavier than the Twilight and may take a little longer to set up but looks like it may be more stable under load. Should arrive Tuesday in time for some clear skies...Maybe....

The Twilight 1 is much more of a grab-and-go, but the LX70 is vastly more stable.


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#33 dmgriff

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 08:25 AM

Just received the lx70 yesterday. Bought it, as a manual eq5 class gem (if that is what it is?) for $200 shipped is a steal to me.

 

It is indeed a eq5 mount. I have not assembled it, but the mount itself is the same size as my manual Astrozap GEM (lxd75). It may be made in the same factory. The Astrozap lxd75 (no longer available) was $179 plus shipping (total $230 for me).

 

The Meade lx70 (as previously stated) is the same size as my current manual lxd75, which is larger than my old Apogee Inc. GEM (lxd55), which is larger than a Omni cg4.

 

Looking forward to Terra Clarke's side by side comparison to a cg4.

 

Good viewing,

 

Dave


Edited by dmgriff, 28 February 2019 - 08:28 AM.

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#34 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:47 AM

I received my LX70 earlier this week. It is indeed a CG5-class clone of the Vixen Great Polaris, while the Celestron Omni CG4 is basioa clone of the older, lighter Polaris mount. I have had both of the above mentioned Vixen mounts and now have both the Celestron Omni CG4 and the Meade LX70. I like them both! They are both good mounts in my estimation, and I plan to keep both. Both come on studier, heavier tripods than either of my previous two Vixens. Below are some comparison photographs:


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#35 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:50 AM

Here are the counterweights of the two mounts, the Omni CG-4 comes with the two smaller diameter counterweights in the photo. The LX70 comes with the single larger counterweight. The cumulative weight appears to be the same.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by terraclarke, 28 February 2019 - 10:10 AM.

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#36 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:52 AM

Here are the two counterweight shafts. They are the same diameter. The Omni CG4 shaft is the one with the fluted upper part (right).

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Edited by terraclarke, 28 February 2019 - 10:11 AM.

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#37 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:53 AM

Here are the two tripods. The are pretty much identical in weight and size, 1.75” dia. stainless steel legs. The spreader/accessory trays (not shown) are identical and appear to have been cast from the same mold. (LX70 tripod to the right.)

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Edited by terraclarke, 28 February 2019 - 10:13 AM.

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#38 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:55 AM

Here are the two mount heads. Both are well made. The Meade LX70 appears to be about 20 percent larger.

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Edited by terraclarke, 28 February 2019 - 09:55 AM.

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#39 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:59 AM

The LX70 has larger gearing. Gears are all metal including a far more impressive dual drive system containing all brass gearing, clutches on both drives, and a housing for the RA drive identical to that of the Vixen Great Polaris.

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#40 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 10:05 AM

Here is the dual drive system of the LX70:

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#41 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 10:06 AM

If you lament the fact that Vixen has phased out it’s Great Polaris line, you might consider the LX70.

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#42 M57Guy

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:19 PM

Thanks for sharing the side-by-side comparison photos, Terra.

 

Let us know your thoughts from comparing the two in the field. popcorn.gif


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#43 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for sharing the side-by-side comparison photos, Terra.
 
Let us know your thoughts from comparing the two in the field. popcorn.gif


Will do. I’m really looking forward to giving it a spin. Waiting for a decent night. The next week is either cloudy or very cold. frown.gif
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#44 dmgriff

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 12:18 PM

Just received the lx70 yesterday. Bought it, as a manual eq5 class gem (if that is what it is?) for $200 shipped is a steal to me.

 

It is indeed a eq5 mount. I have not assembled it, but the mount itself is the same size as my manual Astrozap GEM (lxd75). It may be made in the same factory. The Astrozap lxd75 (no longer available) was $179 plus shipping (total $230 for me).

 

The Meade lx70 (as previously stated) is the same size as my current manual lxd75, which is larger than my old Apogee Inc. GEM (lxd55), which is larger than a Omni cg4.

 

Looking forward to Terra Clarke's side by side comparison to a cg4.

 

Good viewing,

 

Dave

Update to above....

 

After closer inspection, the lx70 is close to the size of the Astrozap gem (lxd75), but the Astrozap is a little more robust in build.

 

I now think the LX70 is more comparable to a LXD55 in size. It does support a 105mm/1000mm refractor with 9x50 raci, 2in diag, asian binoviewer (total wt 13.25 lb) better than my Omni CG4, imo.  

 

The lx70 with the above refractor setup and the Astrozap gem (lxd75)

DSC00152(1)

 
For comparison, here is the lx70 as above and the Astrozap gem (lxd75) with a 150mm/1200mm newtonian reflector.
DSC00156(1)
 
The tripod height on the lx70 is about 33.5 inches. The Astrozap gem tripod is about 25.25 inches. Both tripods at their shortest.
 
Note the eyepiece height on the 6in f/8 reflector. If it was on the lx70, it would be pretty high up for comfort. Maybe, one should limit a newtonian to f=900mm or less on the lx70 and the supplied tall tripod.
 
Good viewing,

 

Dave


Edited by dmgriff, 01 March 2019 - 12:36 PM.

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#45 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:17 PM

One of the scopes that I plan to use on my LX70 is my ATM 6” F4.5 (its focal length is 680mm).
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#46 AstroKerr

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 09:48 PM

I really must take this opportunity to thank the OP and everyone for bringing this to my attention - Thank You!

 

I was casting about for a new mount last night after viewing with the Jason Comet 750 and suffering thru it's mount - really the last straw - and it seemed I should find something to semi-dedicate to running Comets two at a time. Something new, something with slo-mos and I headed out to look at the Exos Nano Eq and the IExos 100 and a few others. For insight and reference I searched here and ran into this thread. I went to Highpoint, took a glance, decided the LX70 was a CG-4 and started to move on. But it is a good price and there had been one or two mentions of it being CG-5 class, despite similarities in payload and component weights and so I came back and finished reading. My my my - Groupoid's got a C8 on it (I have a C8), Geo has some stepper pix, TC and Griff like it and have pictures!

 

So, it's not another CG-4 (which runs around $300 currently) - it's a fine bit better! And less expensive! And Jondi, Griff and TC all like it, Selfo, Griff, & TC all thought enough of it to pull the trigger... but this was the kicker:

 

This deal was just too good to pass up. I’ve been wanting to make my C Omni CG-4 more of my basic g&g GEM since I let go of my old Vixen Polaris mount a while back. In doing so I’ve been wanting to remove the dual-drive system from the CG-4 and return use of the manual slow motions, mainly since (1) only the dec, not the R.A. is clutched, (2) the nylon gears, and (3) the way the drives really just stick out there. I’ve liked the little CG-4 a lot and it has served me well over the past six or eight years I’ve had it. So today, I deleted the drives and added back a set of slow motion controls. I also went ahead and ordered one of these now LX70s and the dual drive system and polar scope from High Point. The drive seems beefier and appears to have larger worm gearing, its reported to be more of a CG-5 and has ball bearings, both drives are clutched, and all the drive gears are brass. I hope I will be pleased. It will be interesting to actually compare the two side by side.

I take note when TC makes a call like that - I've two CG-4s (one motorised) and I do like it better sans drives - it's a real peach manually. So I copycatted her, shamelessly. Now, I want to mention I take note when Jon, Jon, Jond, Griff, Alan, Jeff, Erin etc. make a call or provide advice - but Terra did a lot of work and gave me the 'final' push down the path the rest of you got me on - thank you, all!

 

I added my first ED to the order as well - based on similar indirect advice, including that of Magister Pensack, I chose an SV80 Access over an Orion ED80 or Evostar ProED 80 - I was leaning towards the Orion because I'm stingy, the Evostar for it's accessories, but then saw gmillerok1's write-up, and Jon's "If the extra money is there for the Access, I'd go for it." posted elsewhere settled that for me. And I was looking at 80EDs since Terra said somewhere, essentially, "get or look through any decent 80ED..." and it is time, I suppose...

 

Now, because I'm me, I haven't given up on the 102mm f/9.8 (& mount) I'm chasing to compare to the AR102L / 1350 that's coming in Saturday and will likely spend a good deal of it's time on this LX70, even though doing so would have allowed me to pick up an SV102 Access this go-round. And that is because (I kid you not) TC said an 80ED and that's what I have planned on since she gave that advice to whomever wherever and I like to try to stick to whatever jumbled plan I have.

 

And I rambled all this out because of that "Are we helping?" thread recently - yes, you all are. Every decision made in this particular purchase was based on one or more somethings one or more of you posted, and that should give you warm fuzzies. grin.gif And if any part of this purchase turns out to be a 'mistake' - it will be my mistake for not reading more - and I almost already made that mistake at the very start of this "LX70" business.

 

<slight pause for woodsplitting, cooking Sybil's dinner, and acquiring 102 f/9.8 & CG-4, Thank You, Urania! >

 

You matter, the lot of you waytogo.gif- Clear Skies, Sharp Eyes, and Thank You!


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#47 groupoid

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 11:17 PM

Glad to be helpful. Btw, while the mount was already good, it actually grew on me when I got an ES 127ED. It functions with it pretty well! I had a counterweight extension bar bought a few years ago by mistake, and it turns out it fits LX70. It balances with ES 127ED in the middle of the extended bar.

 

Now, your post made me check HPC if the mount is still in stock, just out of curiosity. It was. Moreover, both polar scope and dual axis drive are discounted. So, I pulled the trigger on both of the latter (the total bill was $165). I guess this money spending never ends...

 

I should say (obvious for most people here) that manual EQ mount has a significant advantage over alt-az: you can do rough polar alignment just by looking into the hole, and then you can keep the object in the field by rotating just one knob, you would have to correct sometimes with the other one, but not very often. It works even with a 4.5mm eyepiece, but the objects move rather quick, and some time is spent waiting for the vibrations to damp. So, the motor may be useful, especially if I decide to add a powermate (this telescope is asking for it).

 

It's not completely clear if I need the motor. I have an AVX, after all (got it by accident, also very cheap). But this mount has manual clutch override, and is overall more "simple". Wouldn't hurt, I guess.


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#48 groupoid

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 11:43 PM

One thing I learned yesterday from field use: make sure you have a Philips screwdriver with you (there is one included with the mount). The slo-mo knobs can fall off (I blame the temperature change). Also, sometimes you may want to move the knob to the other side depending on where the scope is pointing. I had to use my mailbox key instead.


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#49 Crow Haven

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 12:25 PM

Thanks to all the help I've got one on order now too! grin.gif waytogo.gif


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#50 groupoid

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 01:28 PM

Btw, since I ordered the motor: anyone knows what's its AP performance? Obviously, there is a limitation that there is no ST4 guiding port (you can upgrade, which involves some soldering, but no). Still, suppose I polar align and try to do unguided -- what are realistic expectations with a small refractor (say, of the size of SV70T).


Edited by groupoid, 02 March 2019 - 02:21 PM.



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