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Opinion on this Meade LX200 Classic

astrophotography beginner equipment
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19 replies to this topic

#1 kdwolf

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 02:39 PM

Hey guys, I am completely brand new to astrophotography and telescopes in general. I have been doing a vast amount of research on my first telescope and had found what seemed to be a "too good to be true" listing.

 

https://www.ebay.com...9?ul_noapp=true

 

The catch I believe is this is an old model and they do not deliver. After contacting the seller everything appears to work and is functional, no issues from what I have been told. Similar telescopes I have research run around $3k so this appears to be a great deal minus the no shipping, thoughts?

 

***UPDATE***

Just want to say thank you guys so much for all the input, did not expect to get so many detailed comments so quickly! Thank you!


Edited by kdwolf, 13 November 2020 - 03:58 PM.


#2 photoracer18

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:13 PM

Just be aware that there are a lot of scam listings for astro gear on eBay during Christmas holidays. Generally if the price seems too good its a scam with very few exceptions. I used to patrol eBay in the 2000-2008 during the time I worked at Hands On Optics to help eBay with this issue. One way to check is do a search on eBay for the same type of equipment. If you find more than one using the same photos in the listing one or all are scams. Anyone saying they can't use PayPal or you find after the auction is over they are having "trouble" and ask you to send the money thru Western-Union or any other direct cash method is a scam. If they seem less knowledgeable about the equipment than they should after owning it mark them off. Also if they live within 2 hours of you and decline you driving to pick it up yourself step back from it.


Edited by photoracer18, 13 November 2020 - 03:16 PM.

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#3 Sandy Swede

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:16 PM

Even new ones are not $3k unless they are on an expensive mount.  The person selling this scope either has no idea of what it is or is being deceptive.  The description in the ad is for a newer GPS model.  I would pass just on that basis.  I don't know how far you are from Fairfax, VA, but shipping will be at least $100 including the tripod.


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#4 sunrag

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:27 PM

This particular EBay post appears to be legit. It says it is from an Astronomy society in VA. They have even listed a link to CN forum topic related to replacing failed capacitor which is a common issue with LX200 Classic. I can’t imagine any scammer would know that. That said $890 for an 10” LX200 is not out of line, nor an exceptionally good deal.
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#5 D_talley

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:34 PM

To the OP, this is not a scope you would use for Astrophotography.   You can just buy a 8 inch OTA and put it on a better mount for a lot less. 

If you have contacted the seller, ask them why they state they are selling a 12 inch scope and a 8 inch scope in the same ad.  


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#6 kdwolf

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:36 PM

Even new ones are not $3k unless they are on an expensive mount.  The person selling this scope either has no idea of what it is or is being deceptive.  The description in the ad is for a newer GPS model.  I would pass just on that basis.  I don't know how far you are from Fairfax, VA, but shipping will be at least $100 including the tripod.

Thanks a ton for the info, you guys are crazy helpful! Yea it is a 10 hour drive and they are not shipping haha, thinking about just going with a new Celestron 8SE with the wedge.



#7 Daveatvt01

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:38 PM

(Looks like I type too slow, but here it is anyway)
The seller appears to be a northern VA astro club. They also link to a CN article about the capacitor issue these have, although they don’t say if it was fixed or they expect you to do it.
It doesn’t seem “too good to be true” to me, just an old scope at more or less the going rate. Be aware it’s not just discontined, but 20 years discontinued. And the hand controller is comically large, first produced in 1992.
I have the 10” version and like it a lot, despite it’s shortcomings. You can buy a wifi dongle for $50 too and run it from a smartphone too.
Finally, I wouldn’t particularly recommend it as a starting out astrophotography scope. Too long at 2000mm, too slow at f10. You’ll need a wedge for anything other than planets and likely want a focal reducer if you do go that route.


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#8 jefffed

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:42 PM

Note: The description in the box is from ebay's data resources. Sometimes it doesn't match the item if you're not careful as a seller. For more research, you can look up past prices of scopes that sold on Cloudy Nights thru the search bar in Classifieds to get an idea of  the amount a particular scope has sold for in the past. 


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#9 kdwolf

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:49 PM

(Looks like I type too slow, but here it is anyway)
The seller appears to be a northern VA astro club. They also link to a CN article about the capacitor issue these have, although they don’t say if it was fixed or they expect you to do it.
It doesn’t seem “too good to be true” to me, just an old scope at more or less the going rate. Be aware it’s not just discontined, but 20 years discontinued. And the hand controller is comically large, first produced in 1992.
I have the 10” version and like it a lot, despite it’s shortcomings. You can buy a wifi dongle for $50 too and run it from a smartphone too.
Finally, I wouldn’t particularly recommend it as a starting out astrophotography scope. Too long at 2000mm, too slow at f10. You’ll need a wedge for anything other than planets and likely want a focal reducer if you do go that route.

No worries I still appreciate the input!



#10 kdwolf

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:50 PM

To the OP, this is not a scope you would use for Astrophotography.   You can just buy a 8 inch OTA and put it on a better mount for a lot less. 

If you have contacted the seller, ask them why they state they are selling a 12 inch scope and a 8 inch scope in the same ad.  

Would you recommend something like the Celestar 8SE with a wedge, that was what I was also eyeing but not 100% sure...



#11 Jim Waters

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 03:55 PM

 this is not a scope you would use for Astrophotography.   You can just buy a 8 inch OTA and put it on a better mount for a lot less. 

+1 on the above.  Do NOT get this scope if you plan to get into astrophotography.

 

Also - these scopes are know for electrical problems being this old.  Capacitors usually have issues.


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#12 D_talley

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 04:06 PM

Would you recommend something like the Celestar 8SE with a wedge, that was what I was also eyeing but not 100% sure...

I would get a 80mm refractor on a good GEM if this is your first setup and attempt at photography.   You will have to do some research or work with a local club to see how all of this fits together.  A SCT is a source of frustration for first time users.  Ask us, we will tell you!  grin.gif


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#13 jhart

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 06:37 PM

I have that exact LX200 and like it a lot.  I have a wedge and use it for astrophotography.  It is not "point-and-shoot" on the order of a short focal length refractor but I like the fainter DSO's that the longer focal length and larger aperture can reach.  It is also very good for visual evenings with friends and children looking at planets, especially in alt az configuration.  BTW I enjoyed astrophotography in the alt az configuration.  You can get nice (if not Astrobin quality) stacked images with 30 second subs.

 

I would say the LX200 requires more fiddling and tweaking than a GEM mounted refractor; however, I kind of like the knowledge such necessary attention to detail gives you.  If you want an astrophotography quick fix, I would say this may not be the telescope for you.  But if you have the curiosity and interest in details and time to learn the scope, go for it.


Edited by jhart, 13 November 2020 - 06:52 PM.


#14 39cross

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 07:14 PM

As another 10" lx200 user, I concur with jhart's comments. It's a great scope for looking at dso's, the 10" aperture brings out details you won't see with a smaller scope.

I've had great success with the go-to's with the lx-200. The hand controller is pretty dated though, it feels like a portable phone from the early Seinfeld days. If you do buy this scope, do change the problematic capacitors first thing, if they haven't been changed already. If they blow they can cause nasty damage, especially in the hand controller, which has a ribbon cable that can get destroyed and is difficult to get a replacement for.

Experienced imagers say start with a smaller scope and an expensive mount. However, if you are primarily doing visual and want to dabble with imaging, this could be a good scope for you.

You can also ask for more info on the Meade forum.

#15 jhart

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 05:10 AM

The C2 capacitor in the handset on the voltage input side is the one that causes collateral damage if it blows.  It is not that difficult to replace.  I have extra replacement capacitors and would be happy to mail you one (or more if want to replace other capacitors as well).



#16 John Higbee

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 07:29 AM

I'm a member of NOVAC. The club periodically sells off astro equipment  either donated to us, or that has been in the loaner telescope program.  We're reputable, and upfront about equipment condition / potential problems (as you've seen with the inclusion of the CN string on capacitor problems).

 

The 10" LX200 series has a reputation for great optics...if you decide to buy, (despite the 10 hour drive) I would do a visual inspection, and do some observation of terrestrial objects to check out the OTA, mount and tripod. 

 

Good luck!  John


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#17 deepwoods1

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 04:04 PM

The image of the corrector shows it’s an 8”. 



#18 kdwolf

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:30 AM

I'm a member of NOVAC. The club periodically sells off astro equipment  either donated to us, or that has been in the loaner telescope program.  We're reputable, and upfront about equipment condition / potential problems (as you've seen with the inclusion of the CN string on capacitor problems).

 

The 10" LX200 series has a reputation for great optics...if you decide to buy, (despite the 10 hour drive) I would do a visual inspection, and do some observation of terrestrial objects to check out the OTA, mount and tripod. 

 

Good luck!  John

Thanks a ton John!



#19 dcbenedict

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 02:21 PM

Imagine what a sinking feeling I got when I was researching Meade 8" LX200 ACF scopes, and I find this thread, and realize that you are talking about the scope I just bought!!! All turned out ok. though The guy selling was legit and does auction off scopes on occasion to raise money for the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. I ended up paying $750 for it, but was po'd that I had to pay $46 more by eBay for PA sales tax.

 

The scope appears to be in excellent condition cosmetically, just a few nicks on the top plate of the tripod. The seller said to run the input power at 12V instead of 18V...I suppose because of the capacitor issue? I am an amateur, just getting back into astronomy after a few years of not wanting to deal with my old scope, a Meade model 395, 90mm refractor...I wanted something bigger and computerized because I just couldn't figure out the GEM I had. I read with interest the capacitor issue, and will take that under advisement. I will update back after I play with it awhile. This thing is big and heavy...a bit more than I thought!



#20 39cross

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 03:27 PM

Congratulations on your new scope! It'll run fine on 12v. But make sure to update the caps ASAP as above. Clearline Technologies sells a power panel board replacement if you'd like to just make a swap for that board.

It may seem hard to believe, but it's very common to have people post that they had a capacitor failure, and in the case of the hand controller it's an especially nasty result. We all would hate to see that happen to you.


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