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New member looking for the first telescope - Meade LX200

Meade SCT
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#1 sgulsuner

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 12:59 PM

Dear all,

 

I am glad that I found this forum.  I am starting on astronomy, and I have been looking for the best telescope for a while. It is not my first attempt though. I am in Seattle and night pollution and cloudy nights have always been discouraging and preventing me to enter this hobby.  My experience was limited to my childhood. I started with naked eye star gazing, then obtained a small refactor. It was 30 years ago, and light pollution was not a problem back then.

 

Summary of a long story is,

- First option was an 8’’ DOB. Its use will be limited to my backyard and finding the targets with a bunch of visible stars would be challenging.

 

- Other option was a 4’’ refractor on a GEM that would be easier to move around. Idea of capturing what you cannot see is also appealing and the first telescope could be the foundation of another level although many of you are against that idea.

 

- Or I could get a used beginners telescope (ie. Astromaster series or a cheap refractor) to see if I can enjoy it with the light pollution and limited clarity of the skies.

 

 

Anyway, while searching for used equipment, I ended up with a completely different telescope as the best option in the local market. It is a Meade LX200 EMC (classic) 8’’ with some accessories. It is appealing because the mount would help to find stars, it has a large aperture, easier than a dob to move around. It may not track well but I can still take some photos.

 

I will have a chance to see it tomorrow. I am not sure if I can realize any problems. At least, I will try the hand controller and check the mirror for visible defects. I can replace the tantalum caps by the way.. Asking price is $700 and it comes with a case and extra eye piece. I am attaching the pictures to show the condition of the equipment and the pieces.

 

Would you help me to decide? Is $700 a fair price for this set and is it a good option to start Astronomy mostly in my backyard?

 

I will appreciate any comments  smile.gif.

 

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • eye pieces.jpg
  • s1.jpg
  • case.jpg
  • s4.jpg


#2 John Rogers

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 01:28 PM

I think $700 is a great deal.  The telescope appears to be in pristine condition and the hard case is a definite bonus.  The accessories and books are easily worth $400 alone.



#3 Juzwuz

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 03:38 PM

Hi! I'm in the Seattle/Bothell area and I saw the ad too. From the pictures it looks like the equipment is in very good condition. In the accessories, they are including a focal reducer, camera adapters, some sort of 2x barlow, and a Meade off axis guider which should be useful. It should definitely work well for viewing planets and the Moon. Deep sky objects can be tricky to locate with the long focal length. You should definitely test the motors and electronics to make sure they work OK. If everything looks good, then $700 is a decent deal. It won't be the easiest telescope system to learn on but with patience and a lot of reading and practicing it can be pretty rewarding. 



#4 DouglasPaul

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 03:57 PM

I also saw that ad. If you get it it would be nice to read about you learning to use it, I would like to get something similar eventually. Looks like a nice scope.



#5 sevenofnine

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 07:01 PM

I agree, it looks like a very good deal. If you can get the seller to agree to a basic "tour" of what the scope can do then you are all set. Best of luck to you and hopefully your new scope! waytogo.gif



#6 Herodotus

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 08:03 PM

Looks great, I'd but that in a second!

#7 whizbang

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 08:27 PM

I am in Seattle too and didn't see the ad.  Did it sell?

 

$700 is a decent price.  Buy it if you can.

 

The LX200 series is about 20 years old.  They have a well known problem with tantalum/electrolytic capacitors.  Most folks "re-cap" their LX200's.  FYI -- The Seattle Astronomical Society has two LX200.  Both are working fine with the original capacitors.

 

This baby is a beast.  The OTA and fork assembly weighs 47#.

 

The good news is, you don't need to set it on a wedge as show in the photograph.  You can mount it directly on the tripod.  It will be more stable that way, and, will Go-To objects just fine.

 

If you end up buying it, drop me a PM.  I wrote a two page quick start guide for the LX200's.  It is mostly pictures.  The guide will get you going right away without having to read a 150 page instruction manual.

 

Good luck.


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#8 sgulsuner

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 01:19 PM

We supposed meet this morning with the seller. Someone else counter offered and I am ghosted!

Edited by sgulsuner, 23 October 2021 - 01:23 PM.


#9 AstroVPK

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 01:31 PM

That's too bad but honestly, that thing is heavier and bulkier than it looks. IMO, you'd be better off buying a light Dob and driving it out of the light pollution, which, in the Seattle area, shouldn't be too hard to do.

#10 PKDfan

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 03:14 PM

Hi sgulsuner!
I'm a firm believer in 'happenstance'
If you happen to find a deal then 'stand on it'.

If not, it was'nt meant to be!


My first scope was a black C8 and discovered even though its optics were great everything else was a pain.

Sold that and I'm infinitely more happy with my 4" F/9 apo on a GEM.

Go for the beautiful contrast but dimmer image with an apo.

You will never regret it!



Clear skies & Good seeing

Edited by PKDfan, 23 October 2021 - 03:14 PM.


#11 Starman1

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 03:35 PM

Dear all,

 

I am glad that I found this forum.  I am starting on astronomy, and I have been looking for the best telescope for a while. It is not my first attempt though. I am in Seattle and night pollution and cloudy nights have always been discouraging and preventing me to enter this hobby.  My experience was limited to my childhood. I started with naked eye star gazing, then obtained a small refactor. It was 30 years ago, and light pollution was not a problem back then.

 

Summary of a long story is,

- First option was an 8’’ DOB. Its use will be limited to my backyard and finding the targets with a bunch of visible stars would be challenging.

 

- Other option was a 4’’ refractor on a GEM that would be easier to move around. Idea of capturing what you cannot see is also appealing and the first telescope could be the foundation of another level although many of you are against that idea.

 

- Or I could get a used beginners telescope (ie. Astromaster series or a cheap refractor) to see if I can enjoy it with the light pollution and limited clarity of the skies.

 

 

Anyway, while searching for used equipment, I ended up with a completely different telescope as the best option in the local market. It is a Meade LX200 EMC (classic) 8’’ with some accessories. It is appealing because the mount would help to find stars, it has a large aperture, easier than a dob to move around. It may not track well but I can still take some photos.

 

I will have a chance to see it tomorrow. I am not sure if I can realize any problems. At least, I will try the hand controller and check the mirror for visible defects. I can replace the tantalum caps by the way.. Asking price is $700 and it comes with a case and extra eye piece. I am attaching the pictures to show the condition of the equipment and the pieces.

 

Would you help me to decide? Is $700 a fair price for this set and is it a good option to start Astronomy mostly in my backyard?

 

I will appreciate any comments  smile.gif.

One major warning:

The hand controller's construction spells its death with a puff of smoke.  It is inevitable due to its design.

It is not replaceable.

There was a fellow here in SoCal, George Dudash, who sold an Autostar hand controller modified to fit these older LX200s, which would be fine.

A video of how to install:

https://www.youtube....h?v=Nv2tshAsO8k

see also:

https://groups.io/g/...ated,,,20,2,0,0

 

Perhaps someone knows how to get ahold of George Dudash to get the newer hand controller.

Without that, it is a bomb falling from the sky that just hasn't hit yet.



#12 John Rogers

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 03:43 PM

Don,

 

George Dudash sold an Audiostar upgrade kit to replace the classic LX200 electronics.  It works great, but I am not sure that it is available anymore.

 

Clearline tech sells a classic LX200 hand controller replacement: http://clearline-tec...controller.html, and other components that should keep the LX200 serviceable for many years to come.  That is great news for all classic LX200 owners.



#13 Starman1

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 04:54 PM

I once told the guys at Meade that I liked the fact the hand controller was warm in the hand--it made it nice to use on a cold winter night.

They told me back that that was a bug, not a feature, and laughed.

Glad to hear someone makes a replacement hand controller.  I liked the original better than the Autostar replacement.


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#14 ShaulaB

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 05:09 PM

"...easier than a Dob to move around" well maybe. Meade built the LX200 series solidly, and these weigh more than comparably sized Celestron SCT OTAs. The mount and tripod have a good bit of weight to them as well. Do not expect to pick the assembled telescope up as a unit to carry out of the house.

As far as anyone knows, Meade, and the Orion company that bought them, has not definitively stated if they will do repairs on Meade gear. If the rig is old, it may be difficult to source a new motherboard or motors.

Best of luck! Have fun with whatever the choice.
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#15 Dan84

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Posted 24 October 2021 - 02:11 AM

 

I will have a chance to see it tomorrow. I am not sure if I can realize any problems. At least, I will try the hand controller and check the mirror for visible defects. I can replace the tantalum caps by the way.. Asking price is $700 and it comes with a case and extra eye piece. I am attaching the pictures to show the condition of the equipment and the pieces.

 

Would you help me to decide? Is $700 a fair price for this set and is it a good option to start Astronomy mostly in my backyard?

 

I will appreciate any comments  smile.gif.

 

Make certain the drive and all electronics work, if they do this is a very good deal.



#16 sgulsuner

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Posted 25 October 2021 - 01:01 PM

Thank you very much for all your responses. Unfortunately I couldn't get the telescope. Someone offered more, and  seller sold it to him before I arrived. I wish we communicate more efficiently.

It's sad. I was very enthusiastic about it and planning to send you more information about my purchase. I shouldn't wait for the weekend and jump into it when I first saw it.

 

I try to comfort myself thinking about the weather.

 

Anyway, I hope I can find another good deal. Thanks again.




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