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Buying Meade 8 inch LX50: No remote! what to do?

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#1 csbrtheredelite

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:43 PM

Hello, I am a to-be amateur astronomer taking the plunge in my local classifieds to buy my first scope. A really promising lead that I have found is a guy selling an 8 inch LX50 scope (which I believe is a Schmidt Cassegrain) with tripod and wedge for 500 CAD. All this seems like a decent starter scope to me, but there is one admittedly significant hitch, that being there is no hand controller included. Research has been pretty difficult, as it seems like an older unit (mid 90's?) and there isnt a ton of information about what to do on the web to solve this problem.

 

The seller says when the wedge is hooked up to power things seem to be working well, which makes me think that I have 2 options.

1. Figure out a way to control the wedge, whether that be through finding a controller or some other means. If somebody happens to have one that works I will pay for you to ship it to me for a good price (I live in western Canada)

2. De-forking the unit which is something I would not like to do because I am concerned I would damage it, and perhaps more importantly I would have to buy another unit to have it stand and operate

 

So far I have emailed Orion, which has apparently bought Meade but they have not been much use so far, any advice on what to do is appreciated. 

 

Also feel free to let me know if you think I am barking up the wrong tree here (its price comes to mind!) and there are likely better options out there, I have been interested in space my whole life but have only seriously looked for a scope to buy as of 1 day ago so I have much to learn to put things simply.

 



#2 kfiscus

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:47 PM

Welcome!

You should ask this in the thread dedicated to SCTs ("Cats & Casses").  Those folks can probably steer you toward a decision or fix.  Good luck.


Edited by kfiscus, 15 August 2022 - 07:48 PM.

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#3 firemachine69

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 08:03 PM

I'd buy it with the understanding that it may be a manual-only scope. If you can find a controller and try it out, bonus. 



#4 PJBilotta

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 08:53 PM

Post a WANTED ad for an LX50 controller, and one just might be out there. Can't hurt to ask, as these were big sellers in their day, and there are quite a few out there.

The Magellan II hand controller also works with the LX50 mount, and might be another option. It won't function as an object finder without add-on encoders, but it will work as a basic hand controller for the RA and AZ axes.
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#5 Daveatvt01

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 09:51 PM

Hi and welcome!

There are two possibilities, but... I'm not sure which one is the case. I've had earlier and later Meades, but never an lx50. Hopefully someone with direct experience with the lx50 will see this and can answer your question though.

Possibility #1 is that the mount needs a hand controller to run the motors at all, like lx200 and later scopes. If so, you can always use the scope completely manually, unlocking the clutches all the way for large movements and using the slow motion knobs for centering and panning nearby. But it won't keep anything centered for you.

Possibility #2 is that the mount will do simple RA tracking even without the hand controller, like the lx5 and various other earlier scopes. In that case it wouldn't really matter to many people whether the scope had the controller or not. The basic lx50 controller didn't add a ton of functionality unless you were interested in hand-guiding astrophotos. You would still mostly operate the scope manually, but when you find an object the mount keeps it centered for you. Since the seller says that "things seem to be working" maybe this possibility is more likely(?) Maybe they can even tell you if you ask that question directly. 

To further complicate things, some were upgraded to Magellan "semi goto", but no version of this scope was a full goto scope like the later lx200's and lx90's. More about the lx50's on Uncle Rod's CAT buying guide (lx50 starts on p.47): https://skywatch.bra...ed/used_sct.pdf

Also as a new member you won't be able to place a wanted ad until you have been a member for 30 days and have a minimum number of posts.

Good luck!


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