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Meade 8 LX200 GPS EMC

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#1 TheRealSean

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 04:35 PM

Hi all, I found a secondhand Meade 8 inch LX200 GPS EMC scope for sale. I am hoping to purchase this for my father who has been looking through an old 70's Jason for a while. I am confused by all the LX200 models (ACF, SCT, GOTO, UHTC) out there, can someone give me a heads up about different specs and if this one would suffice? He is pretty adamant about having it computerized, as he is older and doesn't want to spend too much time bending over to search. Basically, he would like to see comets, nebula, deep sky objects, and of course the planets, would this scope do that? Does not need to be too up close. Also, what would a secondhand price be for this? I am on west coast US. 

Thanks, Sean  



#2 nitegeezer

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:00 PM

I could be wrong, but I don't believe that version mount was ever sold with that version scope. I am guessing someone bought the mount and scope both used and paired them together. Without exercising both the scope and mount, there is no way to know how well it works.

#3 carolinaskies

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:10 PM

All LX200's are GOTO.  

UHTC indicates the type of coatings.  Look at the corrector plate retaining ring... if it has UHTC that is the most effecient coating that Meade started making available in the late 90s. 

You'll hear the term 'Classic', which is LX200's made prior to gps being added to the mount and prior to Autostar II hand control.  The classic control is a very squared off hand control while the Autostar II is a streamlined rounded edge design

The GPS version has a 'lump' antenna on the top of the left fork arm.  If the telescope does not have this lump then the telescope is a Classic. 

Any GPS-equipped telescope made prior to 2015 should have firmware upgraded. The original firmware does not work correctly since the GPS rollover that incorrect dates are returned in the mount. This problem can be bypassed by turning off GPS via the hand control setup menu; manual entry of the date/location will then be required.  Updating the firmware is done via an RS232 adapter fed from a computer to the LX200.  Though Meade offers an updater, Starpatch GPS website has an updater which is more flexible and successful at updating. 

GPS & ACF only differ by the optics that were improved for the ACF, otherwise it's the same mount. 


 


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#4 TheRealSean

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:43 PM

Here is a link to the scope. I’m not sure that lump that you’re taking about: https://i.imgur.com/1pEeAvp.jpg



#5 nitegeezer

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 08:14 PM

That must be one of the first LX200GPS units to have an EMC scope, most and I thought all were UHTC. Definitely need a firmware upgrade if that has not happened. For testing, disable the GPS and then manually enter time, date, and location and then do a two star alignment.

#6 TheRealSean

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 08:24 PM

Thank you. I will check with them to see if it has been upgraded. They are asking $1,600, does that sound fair? It looks like it's in good condition, however it doesn't come with a box or the manual or anything. Does come with the other peripherals though, the remote, lenses, etc. Thanks. 


Edited by TheRealSean, 04 December 2020 - 08:24 PM.


#7 carolinaskies

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 08:58 PM

Thank you. I will check with them to see if it has been upgraded. They are asking $1,600, does that sound fair? It looks like it's in good condition, however it doesn't come with a box or the manual or anything. Does come with the other peripherals though, the remote, lenses, etc. Thanks. 

Hmm, $1600 is too strong money for that telescope given it's nearly 20 years old with EMC coatings. These were a few hundred less than the UHTC coated LX200GPS models when the GPS was introduced.  Meade would shortly go to UHTC for all SCTs.   You might ask how much a difference in coatings? It's comes down to brightness of stars and other targets. The average light loss could be on the order of 10-15% dimmer with EMC comparatively.  A novice wouldn't notice this difference, but experienced observers willing to shell out the big cost definitely did which was why EMC models languished in stock for a few years until Meade finally cleared them out for a substantial discount.

It would have to come with a lot of extras for me to think it was anywhere close to their asking price. 

Typically these sell in good working order for $850-1000 in the states with a reasonable amount of accessories included.   

A manual is available online, just search "Meade LX200 GPS manual" and you'll get PDF links you can read online or save to your computer.

The tripod looks to have an azimuth adjuster so there should be a wedge included with the accessories... this tilts the telescope so you can align it with the north celestial pole, not necessary unless you intend astrophotography but for the price they are asking it should be there. 

I'm not saying this is a hard pass, but I think unless it comes with some really good accessories I'd offer $1000-1100 tops if you really want to get it.   And realisticly an LX90 today is only $1800 and has a crisper and better optical system for the average amateur not intending too much astrophotography.   
 



#8 michael8554

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 08:00 AM

"Basically, he would like to see comets, nebula, deep sky objects, and of course the planets"

 

The 8" LX200GPS has a long focal length, which makes it suitable for SEEING planets and bright comets, but nebulae and DSO's may be too dim to SEE.

 

IMO to SEE nebulae and DSO's you may need a much larger aperture scope, such as a 16" Dobsonian.



#9 carolinaskies

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 08:06 AM

The 8" will pull in plenty of targets like DSO galaxies, bright nebula, etc. Correct filters will be necessary for emission nebula regardless of aperture.

Today, the use of electronic assisted astronomy EAA using camera like a revolution imager make the 8" more versatile too.

#10 bob midiri

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 08:47 AM

All LX200's are GOTO.  

UHTC indicates the type of coatings.  Look at the corrector plate retaining ring... if it has UHTC that is the most effecient coating that Meade started making available in the late 90s. 

You'll hear the term 'Classic', which is LX200's made prior to gps being added to the mount and prior to Autostar II hand control.  The classic control is a very squared off hand control while the Autostar II is a streamlined rounded edge design

The GPS version has a 'lump' antenna on the top of the left fork arm.  If the telescope does not have this lump then the telescope is a Classic. 

Any GPS-equipped telescope made prior to 2015 should have firmware upgraded. The original firmware does not work correctly since the GPS rollover that incorrect dates are returned in the mount. This problem can be bypassed by turning off GPS via the hand control setup menu; manual entry of the date/location will then be required.  Updating the firmware is done via an RS232 adapter fed from a computer to the LX200.  Though Meade offers an updater, Starpatch GPS website has an updater which is more flexible and successful at updating. 

GPS & ACF only differ by the optics that were improved for the ACF, otherwise it's the same mount. 


 

Hi and my apology to the OP in asking this question as I do not want him to think Im hijacking his post but is there a direct link to the right starpatch upgrad?, Im all thumbs with this and that website has so many listed patches wasnt sure which one is the correct, I have a 7"LX200GPS Mak and a RC 8" model before the ACF. thankyou and again my apologies Bob



#11 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 03:08 PM

Gday Bob

I have a 7"LX200GPS Mak and a RC 8" model before the ACF. thankyou and again my apologies Bob

You can gert StarPatch to download the correct files automatically for you.

Just start StarPatch

go to the "Options->Handset type" menu and select your model

Then use the "File -> Get Updates" menu.

Now the sticky bit

The 7"LX200GPS Mak  is an "AutostarII (LX200GPS)"

but i dont know what you mean by an RC 8" before ACF

Do you mean the RCX400 / LX400-acf   ????

If so, it has a model type of "AutostarII (RCX400)"

 

Again after downloading,

just select the correct Handset type, connect to the mount and load.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#12 bob midiri

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 04:08 PM

Gday Bob

You can gert StarPatch to download the correct files automatically for you.

Just start StarPatch

go to the "Options->Handset type" menu and select your model

Then use the "File -> Get Updates" menu.

Now the sticky bit

The 7"LX200GPS Mak  is an "AutostarII (LX200GPS)"

but i dont know what you mean by an RC 8" before ACF

Do you mean the RCX400 / LX400-acf   ????

If so, it has a model type of "AutostarII (RCX400)"

 

Again after downloading,

just select the correct Handset type, connect to the mount and load.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

Thx Andrew the 8" RC is LX200GPS, the name was changed to ACF I think because of proprietary reasons in using the name Ritchie Chreiten . Again thx for all this info much obliged Bob


Edited by bob midiri, 05 December 2020 - 04:39 PM.


#13 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 06:03 PM

Gday Bob

 

Thx Andrew the 8" RC is LX200GPS, the name was changed to ACF I think because of proprietary reasons

Hmmm, Still need to be careful here.

You mention it is an LX200GPS that changed to ACF

If thats the case, do you mean it was originally called the LX200R    ?? ( not RC )

If so, it is also an "AutostarII (LX200GPS)"

What firmware does it have in it now????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#14 bob midiri

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 11:27 PM

Yeah The LX200"R"...me bad



#15 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 12:05 AM

Gday Bob

No probs, there are so many names for the same thing, it can get confusing.

Soooo, both your mounts will use the same firmware, ie 4.2g

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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