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Meade 2080 With "LX Drive System"?

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#1 Tom Duncan

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 04:13 AM

Picked up a Meade 2080 today (fork mounted 8" SCT), AC drive only, with a plate on the base saying "LX Drive System". 

 

Original instruction manual is dated January of 1983 and none of its photos showing the base show the LX plate. Serial number 803553, lower than any on the Meade LX Registry if I understand it correctly. 

 

It has another plate on the tube stating it has "High Transmission Coating" , not "MCOG" or "Multi-Coated-Optical-Group".

 

The Meade LX Registry has a detailed list of the models and their identifying features, very helpful. In the description of the original models they say "The original 2080 drive base (and the 2120 which was introduced in mid-1982) was upgraded with Long eXposure accuracy of improved drive gears in the LX Drive Base in the fall of 1983"...maybe that's what I have here. Anyone know what the improvement was? 

 

So am I correct in thinking only the later 2080's with the "Long eXposure" feature but before the LX3 were known as just "LX"?

 

I've had a few 2080s in the past, none have had this plate.

 

Tom Duncan

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#2 bob midiri

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 04:46 AM

probably upgrade from the spur gear drive system. Interesting thread here. One guy posted pictures with your plate LX drive see https://www.cloudyni...080-w-lx-drive/


Edited by bob midiri, 07 March 2019 - 04:52 AM.


#3 rmollise

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 08:04 AM

The "LX drive feature" was simply that the mount used a worm gear--as opposed to the spur gears in the Celestrons of the time. All of them had it, but only some had the sticker. ;)


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#4 rmollise

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 08:05 AM

probably upgrade from the spur gear drive system. Interesting thread here. One guy posted pictures with your plate LX drive see https://www.cloudyni...080-w-lx-drive/

 

The 2080 didn't have a spur gear drive--that was Meade's big selling point.


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#5 Betelgeuse1958

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 08:56 AM

My first "good" telescope was the Meade 2120 LX3 (10") way back in the later 80's (I ended up trading it for a PC, and I still had to give some extra $$ to boot. Oh, the 80's and youthful stupidity), but unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the base to see what sticker it had on the base. I do remember that, as ISS said, the worm gearing was a huge selling point. I guess I could look back at some of those issues of Astronomy Magazine, through the adverts, and see what was being sold prior to the LX3. Those are packed away somewhere. If I get to them, I'll look, but I promise nothing......I am pretty lazy in my older years. 



#6 rmollise

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 02:39 PM

My first "good" telescope was the Meade 2120 LX3 (10") way back in the later 80's (I ended up trading it for a PC, and I still had to give some extra $$ to boot. Oh, the 80's and youthful stupidity), but unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the base to see what sticker it had on the base. I do remember that, as ISS said, the worm gearing was a huge selling point. I guess I could look back at some of those issues of Astronomy Magazine, through the adverts, and see what was being sold prior to the LX3. Those are packed away somewhere. If I get to them, I'll look, but I promise nothing......I am pretty lazy in my older years. 

 

I can tell you. There was an LX2, but it was sold in limited numbers. Before that the 2080 series. All had "LX drives"--worm gears. Some had stickers or plates advertising that, others didn't. ;)


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#7 Rick-T137

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 08:23 PM

Hi Tom,

Yes! You're right - you now have the lowest serial number on the Meade LX Registry, and I believe therefore, the oldest 2080 on that list. The evidence indicates that Meade assigned the serial numbers in ascending order versus particular numbers for particular years.

 

As for the LX drive system - it could just be hyperbole that I picked up from the Meade advertising of the day. When I was compiling my guide, I went through all the old Sky & Telescope issues from the 1980's and pulled out what I could. The description you quoted above was based on some information I found in the September 1983 issue of Sky & Telescope. On page 264, it says:

 

"New LX (Long-Exposure) Drive System now Available on Meade 8" and 10" Schmidt-Cassegrains

 

For the most advanced astrophotographic applications, the new Meade LX Drive System is now available optionally at a modest additional cost on the 8" Model 2080; the LX Drive System is now included as standard equipment at no additional charge on the Meade 10" Model 2120. The LX Drive includes custom gear components ground with extreme precision, and permits practical long-exposure photographs with up to 2 hours' duration. The LX Drive System is warranted to equal or exceed the precision of any drive system available on any production Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope."

 

So, it's a bit tough to interpret, but to me, this indicates that something OTHER than the LX Drive system came with early 2080 and 2120 telescopes. When I look at the Meade ads from late in 1980, I see they call the new SCT's the "Meade System 2000" and they do indicate the drive system uses worm gears but there's no mention of LX Drive.

 

I will do some more digging, but my suspicion is that initially the worm gear system in the 2080 perhaps wasn't accurate enough, and in the fall of '83 they put out the LX Drive system that had higher precision worm gears. Certainly the copy above indicates that.

 

So, it was always worm gears, but perhaps the LX was the first step in the many directions leading up (eventually) to the LX-200.

 

It's a theory anyway. :)

Thanks!

Rick in Canada (eh!)



#8 Tom Duncan

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:52 AM

Very good Rick, thanks for the information. All a bit vague isn't it? 

 

Tom 


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#9 Rick-T137

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:40 PM

Very good Rick, thanks for the information. All a bit vague isn't it? 

 

Tom 

Yes, it's unfortunate that most of the information I've found is based on either Meade manuals, catalogues or on ads in magazines. Rod's guide is fantastic, but many of the nitty gritty details are likely to be lost to history.




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