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Where are all the LX600 users

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#1 dcaponeii

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 09:40 PM

I’ve had my 12” f/8 ACF LX600 for about a year and a half but try as I might I never find many other users of the LX600 series. The scope has been a great performer and I’m curious about others experiences with the OTA/Mount combination.

#2 carolinaskies

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 04:36 PM

Most people with them are off using them, no need to post on forums that are used more often to complain than crow.  



#3 dcaponeii

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 08:43 AM

Most people with them are off using them, no need to post on forums that are used more often to complain than crow.  

True enough although I had to send my first one straight back as it would not power up.  Replacement had to go back after 6 weeks for a bad DEC encoder board.  Been perfect ever since that repair was made (just over a year of great operation.)


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#4 Ryker1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:21 PM

I have owned my 14 inch LX600 since March of 2018 and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute I have spent with it. I did have an issue with the Starlock randomly deciding to not power up but since an update it has performed flawlessly. The ability of this unit to precisely locate any object I am studying never ceases to amaze me. My unit is permanently mounted in an observatory so polar alignment is not an issue which I would think helps in location accuracy. I added a series 6000 80mm APO last year which allows me to see a much larger area of the sky in contrast to the much smaller field of view in the 14inch. Very satisfied with everything so far which helps numb the pain of the original expenditure.

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#5 dcaponeii

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:49 PM

My experience with Starlock has been equally positive. My 12” is observatory mounted as well which really simplifies observing sessions. Accuracy of the high-precision mode using the Starlock is amazing and will usually put the object onto even my ASI290MC Chip’s FOV
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#6 David Mercury

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:17 PM

My lx600 14 has never worked right from the time I received it last September. I can at least use it manually but it won't auto align and the readout says motor failure.

Meade says they'll send me a replacement RA motor and encoder but they are on backorder now 



#7 dcaponeii

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 08:40 AM

My lx600 14 has never worked right from the time I received it last September. I can at least use it manually but it won't auto align and the readout says motor failure.

Meade says they'll send me a replacement RA motor and encoder but they are on backorder now 

How can you use it manually if the RA Motor needs to be replaced?  Sorry that it's never worked for you.  That's a lot of scope to be sitting around broken.  The first 12" Meade shipped to me would not run on the ac/dc power supply so that replaced it asap.  The second one they shipped worked for a few weeks and then the DEC encoder failed.  The shipped it back to factory for repair.  Since the repair it's been working fabulously since then.  I'm wondering why you didn't insist on having the scope replaced if it didn't work out of the blocks?



#8 carolinaskies

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 12:45 PM

How can you use it manually if the RA Motor needs to be replaced?  Sorry that it's never worked for you.  That's a lot of scope to be sitting around broken.  The first 12" Meade shipped to me would not run on the ac/dc power supply so that replaced it asap.  The second one they shipped worked for a few weeks and then the DEC encoder failed.  The shipped it back to factory for repair.  Since the repair it's been working fabulously since then.  I'm wondering why you didn't insist on having the scope replaced if it didn't work out of the blocks?

Like the LX200 there is a manual RA and manual DEC knob which can be used to slew the telescope around.  

 


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#9 dcaponeii

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 09:55 AM

Like the LX200 there is a manual RA and manual DEC knob which can be used to slew the telescope around.  

 

DUH.  I guess I was thinking the word "slew" implied motorized movement but you're absolutely correct you can use the manual knobs to move the scope around just like the old 2080 I used to own.  I guess no tracking at all thought.  At least the clock drive in the base of my 2080 was fairly bullet proof.  I'm dreading the time when my computerized mount gives up the ghost.  Hope "Meade" (whoever owns them after this bankruptcy) shows some signs of life soon.



#10 Ryan O'Connell

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 08:45 PM

Received my new 10" LX600 a few days ago and naturally the clouds immediately rolled in. Everything testable indoors appears to be working, though. A much better experience than the new LX200 I bought last summer, which had a sensor board error message, and was also missing the eyepiece, diagonal, and a finder scope thumb screw. It had obviously been returned before and (accidentally?) re-shelved. I quickly found out that the only thing worse than Meade customer service is Meade customer service during a pandemic.

 

I have zero interest in griping, though. I felt it was worth taking the chance this time on buying another Meade scope and it looks like the gamble paid off. Knock wood. We'll see when the stars come out. This order was through B&H, who I've had only positive experiences with over many years. I specifically asked before ordering and they said I could return it to B&H if there were problems, rather than dealing with Meade.

 

This sounds nonsensical, but Meade scopes are high quality when they work.

 

Got an AutoFi Wi-Fi adapter from Astro Gadget and have successfully connected the new scope to Sky Safari on my ipad mini. Lotsa fun using this app, as it replaces log book, star charts, guide book descriptions, etc. It also replaces go-to functions of the hand controller. I found out a couple years ago when I had an Orion XT8 Plus dobsonian that I enjoyed the gazing part more than the hunting part, so this LX600 level of go-to and precision pointing/tracking is a good fit for me, and it'll also work when I eventually get into photography. I'll get the X-wedge then.

 

Replaced the finder scope with a Telrad. 

 

I have a Pelican 1780 case with pick and pluck foam that I custom-plucked for the LX200 (which is now at Meade under warranty and will be up for sale when I get it back). Considering cutting down the hard foam custom-molded insert from the LX600's factory cardboard box and fitting it into the Pelican case instead of the pick and pluck foam, which can be a bit floppy and inconvenient.

 

It's funny that this sweet precision scope has an objective dust cover that falls off when you look at it wrong, so I'll make a velcro strap to secure it. It likes to fall off with a giant clang when I manhandle the scope onto or off of the mount, and my cat now has PTSD.

 

Put on the included counterweights, then added the ones I bought for the LX200. This double helping of weights is just enough to balance the chunky Meade 5000 mirror diagonal and Explore Scientific 100º 25mm 2" eyepiece. So one day far down the road I reckon I'll need more counterweights when I add a camera, especially if I start with a DSLR.

 

Glad I made the decision to upgrade to the LX600, because everything I've heard about the Starlock seems worth it. And yowzer, this is a beefy tripod. The LX200 came with the smaller version, whatever is the next size down from the Giant Field Tripod.

 

Anyway, here's looking forward to

 

Clear skies,

Ryan

 

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Edited by Ryan O'Connell, 24 April 2021 - 08:46 PM.

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#11 dcaponeii

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 07:41 AM

Received my new 10" LX600 a few days ago and naturally the clouds immediately rolled in. Everything testable indoors appears to be working, though. A much better experience than the new LX200 I bought last summer, which had a sensor board error message, and was also missing the eyepiece, diagonal, and a finder scope thumb screw. It had obviously been returned before and (accidentally?) re-shelved. I quickly found out that the only thing worse than Meade customer service is Meade customer service during a pandemic.

 

I have zero interest in griping, though. I felt it was worth taking the chance this time on buying another Meade scope and it looks like the gamble paid off. Knock wood. We'll see when the stars come out. This order was through B&H, who I've had only positive experiences with over many years. I specifically asked before ordering and they said I could return it to B&H if there were problems, rather than dealing with Meade.

 

This sounds nonsensical, but Meade scopes are high quality when they work.

 

Got an AutoFi Wi-Fi adapter from Astro Gadget and have successfully connected the new scope to Sky Safari on my ipad mini. Lotsa fun using this app, as it replaces log book, star charts, guide book descriptions, etc. It also replaces go-to functions of the hand controller. I found out a couple years ago when I had an Orion XT8 Plus dobsonian that I enjoyed the gazing part more than the hunting part, so this LX600 level of go-to and precision pointing/tracking is a good fit for me, and it'll also work when I eventually get into photography. I'll get the X-wedge then.

 

Replaced the finder scope with a Telrad. 

 

I have a Pelican 1780 case with pick and pluck foam that I custom-plucked for the LX200 (which is now at Meade under warranty and will be up for sale when I get it back). Considering cutting down the hard foam custom-molded insert from the LX600's factory cardboard box and fitting it into the Pelican case instead of the pick and pluck foam, which can be a bit floppy and inconvenient.

 

It's funny that this sweet precision scope has an objective dust cover that falls off when you look at it wrong, so I'll make a velcro strap to secure it. It likes to fall off with a giant clang when I manhandle the scope onto or off of the mount, and my cat now has PTSD.

 

Put on the included counterweights, then added the ones I bought for the LX200. This double helping of weights is just enough to balance the chunky Meade 5000 mirror diagonal and Explore Scientific 100º 25mm 2" eyepiece. So one day far down the road I reckon I'll need more counterweights when I add a camera, especially if I start with a DSLR.

 

Glad I made the decision to upgrade to the LX600, because everything I've heard about the Starlock seems worth it. And yowzer, this is a beefy tripod. The LX200 came with the smaller version, whatever is the next size down from the Giant Field Tripod.

 

Anyway, here's looking forward to

 

Clear skies,

Ryan

 

Best of luck with your scope.  I'm nearly two years into mine and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  As with all new scopes there is a learning curve but mine is rock solid and with the observatory, I'll partially open the roof as soon as the sun is not shining on the scope to let it cool down and then it's a just a minute or two to start up for imaging.  Starlock High-precision gets a little confused if the seeing is not good but in that case use the menu to turn off high-precision.  Also mine doesn't like the 0.33 values that Starlock has for default settings as it will "hunt" during tracking.  I typically have been using 0.11 for RA and DEC rates.



#12 Lindhard

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 08:48 AM

  Also mine doesn't like the 0.33 values that Starlock has for default settings as it will "hunt" during tracking.  I typically have been using 0.11 for RA and DEC rates.

Does .11 work for photos?  I have tried all sorts of settings but still get "funny pictures" if I leave guiding to Starlock.



#13 dcaponeii

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 12:37 PM

Does .11 work for photos?  I have tried all sorts of settings but still get "funny pictures" if I leave guiding to Starlock.

Every planetary photo and most of my galaxy photos have been taken with my 12" f/8 ACF or in the case of some galaxies with the 0.62x reducer in place making it an f/5 scope.



#14 dcaponeii

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 12:43 PM

Does .11 work for photos?  I have tried all sorts of settings but still get "funny pictures" if I leave guiding to Starlock.

Starlock will start oscillating around RA and/or DEC if either the rates are set too low OR too high.  IT's described in the manual but it's easy to detect in the live view of your capture software.  Get a star in the FOV and put the crosshair on the star (I just us my cursor).  On either side of the "optimum rate" you can watch the star walk back and forth by a few arc seconds when the Starlock is hunting.  I just tweak the rates until the hunting stops.  I get round stars at f/8 for at least 60s exposures.  I don't typical use sub exposures that are longer than that because I find better SNR results with a large number of short subs.  My typical sub is 30 - 45 sec depending on the object.



#15 Lindhard

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 02:02 PM

Starlock will start oscillating around RA and/or DEC if either the rates are set too low OR too high.  IT's described in the manual but it's easy to detect in the live view of your capture software.  Get a star in the FOV and put the crosshair on the star (I just us my cursor).  On either side of the "optimum rate" you can watch the star walk back and forth by a few arc seconds when the Starlock is hunting.  I just tweak the rates until the hunting stops.  I get round stars at f/8 for at least 60s exposures.  I don't typical use sub exposures that are longer than that because I find better SNR results with a large number of short subs.  My typical sub is 30 - 45 sec depending on the object.

Thanks. I will try to finetune following your method.



#16 Ryan O'Connell

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 10:14 PM

I can see this will be one of my go-to threads. 



#17 Ryan O'Connell

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 03:44 AM

Okay here's a probably easy question: That travel lock screw that you remove from the focuser upon receiving your brand new LX600—should I reinstall it when taking my scope via Pelican Case and Honda Fit to the observing spot 45 minutes away? I'm guessing no, since the focus mechanism is pretty tight and the mirror is supposed to be unfloppable?

On that note, received my Meade microfocuser today.



#18 dcaponeii

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 08:48 AM

Okay here's a probably easy question: That travel lock screw that you remove from the focuser upon receiving your brand new LX600—should I reinstall it when taking my scope via Pelican Case and Honda Fit to the observing spot 45 minutes away? I'm guessing no, since the focus mechanism is pretty tight and the mirror is supposed to be unfloppable?

On that note, received my Meade microfocuser today.

Mine is in an observatory but with my 2080 I never used the bolt for short duration trips.  I would agree with your suggestion that it's not needed for your described trip.  As for "unfloppable" you will still see some mirror flop.  The Meade focuser eliminates image shift during focusing direction changes but there are still some effects of mirror flop visible when shifting from eastern to western sky for example.  No where near as bad as my 2080 used to be however.



#19 kzar

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 07:03 AM

I have owned my 14 inch LX600 since March of 2018 and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute I have spent with it. I did have an issue with the Starlock randomly deciding to not power up but since an update it has performed flawlessly. The ability of this unit to precisely locate any object I am studying never ceases to amaze me. My unit is permanently mounted in an observatory so polar alignment is not an issue which I would think helps in location accuracy. I added a series 6000 80mm APO last year which allows me to see a much larger area of the sky in contrast to the much smaller field of view in the 14inch. Very satisfied with everything so far which helps numb the pain of the original expenditure.

Have exactly the same OTA :).

I will have it installed on a pier as you did by using the head of the giant tripod so that I won't bother with the tangent arm needed for adjusting the azimuth ! 

I am looking forward to having it all set. Once done, I will update this thread with a photo.


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#20 David Mercury

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 05:29 AM

How can you use it manually if the RA Motor needs to be replaced?  Sorry that it's never worked for you.  That's a lot of scope to be sitting around broken.  The first 12" Meade shipped to me would not run on the ac/dc power supply so that replaced it asap.  The second one they shipped worked for a few weeks and then the DEC encoder failed.  The shipped it back to factory for repair.  Since the repair it's been working fabulously since then.  I'm wondering why you didn't insist on having the scope replaced if it didn't work out of the blocks?

 

 

I was very hesitant to ship back to a financially shaky Meade during the pandemic.

Also, I can slew manually as the motor works but stuck on one speed,

It won't auto align though.

Meade is in the process of moving to a different building and they just informed me that my motor/encoder should be shipped around May 15th.

I am anxious to get my LX600 14 fixed and experience some of its fantastic capabilities like you guys have.

 


Edited by David Mercury, 02 May 2021 - 05:43 AM.


#21 kzar

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 12:36 PM

Quick one : is there anyone following this thread who was successful to use a LX600 with ASCOM driver for imaging ? Just asking, because once my R/O observatory is up and running, I am planning to use my Meade in conjunction with APT. So far, I am very satisfied with APT and my ES 102 APO. Hence my question since I never used any ascom driver to control my meade remotely through a laptop. 



#22 dcaponeii

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 10:07 AM

Quick one : is there anyone following this thread who was successful to use a LX600 with ASCOM driver for imaging ? Just asking, because once my R/O observatory is up and running, I am planning to use my Meade in conjunction with APT. So far, I am very satisfied with APT and my ES 102 APO. Hence my question since I never used any ascom driver to control my meade remotely through a laptop. 

Sorry.  I read your question on another post but have never tried using ASCOM driver with my scope.  I've been meaning to because it would be fun to link it to my Starry Night Pro software.


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#23 Star Wonderer

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:26 PM

Quick one : is there anyone following this thread who was successful to use a LX600 with ASCOM driver for imaging ? Just asking, because once my R/O observatory is up and running, I am planning to use my Meade in conjunction with APT. So far, I am very satisfied with APT and my ES 102 APO. Hence my question since I never used any ascom driver to control my meade remotely through a laptop. 

I have been having issues lately with my StarLock tracking properly.  Let me know if you hear from anyone re: ASCOM.  I am using SGP and could run PHD to control scope if possible.

Thanks, Larry P.



#24 kzar

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 03:28 PM

I have been having issues lately with my StarLock tracking properly.  Let me know if you hear from anyone re: ASCOM.  I am using SGP and could run PHD to control scope if possible.

Thanks, Larry P.

 

Hi Larry,

 

I successfully installed the so-called "Meade Generic" Ascom driver on my LX600 (https://bitbucket.or...ar497/wiki/Home). I was able to pilot my Meade via APT / Carte du ciel. This was a quick test but the results are encouraging. I will give a complete try once I have all my gear up and running. I am looking forward to testing the plate solving option. 

 

As for Starlock, what's the issue that you are experiencing ? I hear more and more people complaining about it. Good luck with your issues. Let us know.



#25 SIG.OCT

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:45 PM

I've had my LX600 for about 10 years now, only recently mounted to get DSO serious. Unfortunately I've had nothing but problems with it, from physically broken boards, faulty GPS sensors and a recently failed Starlock (which is now sitting on the floor).

 

Meade were good to sort the original issues but weren't interested in the Starlock. This forced me into guiding like a normal person which has only served to expose the appalling gear accuracy. Bucks gears have helped with the crippling backlash slop but the raw variation is driving me crazy. It turns out that pouring money into the good gear doesn't overcome built in weaknesses (what a surprise!). 

 

If I time it right, I can get about 180s (guided) exposures that are useable. Exasperating!

 

2021 04 26 16.58.25
rawpec

 


Edited by SIG.OCT, 06 May 2021 - 06:48 PM.



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