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Value of Meade lx200 12” (2000)

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#1 Mdsaccount

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 04:45 PM

Trying to figure out if it makes sense investing in a Meade LX200 12” from 2000. Is in excellent shape with lots of eyepieces , wedge, and various other add ons. It has a refurbed motherboard. I assume they swapped out the faulty capacitors at that time. We haven’t  fired it up yet. It’s been stored for a few years. I’m an optimist and assume it will work fine. If it does work well. What is a fair price on a 20 year old scope? Thank you for your help. 



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 05:07 PM

I would power it on to see what happens.  Also use the scope for a night or two to see if it functions as expected.  Do a star-test....!  Many LX200's had marginal optics.



#3 otocycle

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 05:36 PM

If it does work well, and condition is as you describe, figure $1400 to  $1800 based on age and comps from previous sales.   If the eyepieces are a case full of Naglers, adjust price upward accordingly !



#4 rutherfordt

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 06:23 PM

Don't assume-- check the capacitors and see if they were replaced before you apply any power.  It won't take long and it might save you some unpleasantness should it turn out that they were not replaced.



#5 CHASLX200

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 07:13 PM

I would go 2k if the optics were super above normal. But the mount and hand control would scare me away as they can go out at anytime and make the scope about useless other than mounting the OTA on another kind of mount.



#6 starman876

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 08:35 PM

Is this the one I saw advertised for about $1500?



#7 jgraham

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 09:02 PM

Hmmmm, I own several LX200 8” and 10” OTAs and the optics in my examples are excellent. The only challenge that I have had with the LX200s is since they were designed as an imaging platform they are massive compared to the general purpose LX90s. (Just for yucks, I also have 8”, 10”, and 12” LX90s, all with excellent optics.)

 

Enjoy your scope!


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#8 Jim Waters

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 09:27 PM

I had a 10" and an associate at work had a 12".  I could barely separate one of the stars in Epsilon Lyrae.  I think it was Σ2470.  She ended up returning her 12" because of a turned down edge.



#9 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 06:50 AM

I had a 10" and an associate at work had a 12".  I could barely separate one of the stars in Epsilon Lyrae.  I think it was Σ2470.  She ended up returning her 12" because of a turned down edge.

Some were clunkers. But Meade had it going good in the mid and late 90's with the optics. All 7 of my LX200's were very good and while one 12" LX200 was soft.  Still Meade batted much better than the Celestron's i owned on avg.
 



#10 jgraham

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 08:01 AM

That's unfortunate and I'm sure that it happens. I was an active telescope maker for over 30 years and made my own optics from 2.1" to 16.5" so I know a beetle bit about testing optics. The easiest way to inspect a complete system is either a Ronchi or knife edge star test; the absolute simplest null test. The quality of the optics produced prior to about 2000 are pretty good, but variable with the mid-80s being the worse (lots of machining streaks), but for the past 20 years they have been consistently good to excellent. I have refurbed a _lot_ of SCTs and the #1 problem that I have seen is colimation (close is not good enough for the best performance), mirror flop (loose locking ring), and acclimation.

I am sure that there are bad scopes out there, but to be honest I have so far found only 1 that I haven't been able to fix, and I haven't given up on that one yet. When I encounter a problem scope I found that I usually just need to stick with it long enough to figure it out and get it under control.

What a fun hobby!

Enjoy!
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#11 starman876

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 08:31 AM

That's unfortunate and I'm sure that it happens. I was an active telescope maker for over 30 years and made my own optics from 2.1" to 16.5" so I know a beetle bit about testing optics. The easiest way to inspect a complete system is either a Ronchi or knife edge star test; the absolute simplest null test. The quality of the optics produced prior to about 2000 are pretty good, but variable with the mid-80s being the worse (lots of machining streaks), but for the past 20 years they have been consistently good to excellent. I have refurbed a _lot_ of SCTs and the #1 problem that I have seen is colimation (close is not good enough for the best performance), mirror flop (loose locking ring), and acclimation.

I am sure that there are bad scopes out there, but to be honest I have so far found only 1 that I haven't been able to fix, and I haven't given up on that one yet. When I encounter a problem scope I found that I usually just need to stick with it long enough to figure it out and get it under control.

What a fun hobby!

Enjoy!

I am with you on the collimation.  I hear people stating that I know how to collimate and SCT.  On the bench over and over again I found what I thought in a star test was an SCT that looked like it was collimated well enough was still off enough to show in DPAC it was a lemon.  Then performing a very careful collimation it showed to be a winner.  I am sure many people sold SCT's that were not spot on and thought they had bad optics.  Collimation with a star should work, but it is hard to see if it is perfect.  A single millimeter off in one direction or the other is enough to have a very soft SCT.


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#12 RichA

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 10:16 AM

Don't assume-- check the capacitors and see if they were replaced before you apply any power.  It won't take long and it might save you some unpleasantness should it turn out that they were not replaced.

How hard is it to change them in the unit?  Caps are cheap and easy to find, unlike say some kind of eprom or CPU.



#13 starman876

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 11:11 AM

How hard is it to change them in the unit?  Caps are cheap and easy to find, unlike say some kind of eprom or CPU.

Not hard if one has skills with soldering.  The caps are easy to find.   Even eproms and CPU's are easy to change out if they are on a socket.



#14 39cross

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 01:17 PM

How hard is it to change them in the unit? Caps are cheap and easy to find, unlike say some kind of eprom or CPU.


The problem-causing caps are small tantalums. If you know what you're doing around electronics they're not hard to replace. The hand controller, power supply board and the main board are pretty easy to access.

However if you're not handy, it's best to find a friend who is

#15 John Rogers

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 02:02 PM

One of my biggest fears with modern electronic telescopes is the eventual lack of support.  The LX200 appears to be popular enough that there are third party vendors developing replacement parts:    https://clearline-tech.com/ and https://groups.io/g/LX200Astar.  I suspect LX200s will be in service for the foreseeable future.


Edited by John Rogers, 12 January 2021 - 02:03 PM.


#16 starman876

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 03:45 PM

One of my biggest fears with modern electronic telescopes is the eventual lack of support.  The LX200 appears to be popular enough that there are third party vendors developing replacement parts:    https://clearline-tech.com/ and https://groups.io/g/LX200Astar.  I suspect LX200s will be in service for the foreseeable future.

There is also a company that offers complete modern electronics replacement for the goto drive system.




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