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NEXSTAR11 GPS vs Meade LX200 10"GPS

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#1 Mike28

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 06:37 PM

Well people I purchased the NEXSTAR11 GPS. I already own a LX200 10" GPS and here is my opinion/review:
OPTICS: I give to Celestron. Much sharper image then Meade.
Alignment: close but I give Meade this one. Celestron first
star is way off from finderscope, I even reset to factory setting to start all over again but same result.
Satelite GPS aquasition: Celestron! real quick!
Less Noise when slewing: Celestron again. Very quiet when slewing. My Meade sounds like a coffee grinder.
Focusing: Celestron! Very little image shifting when focusing. For the Meade I purchased the Peterson kit to correct the terrible shifting I was getting. That has reduced the shifting to 0. Meade take notice.
Targets: Meade - has the 140,00 plus targets in its database. But whether I will ever get to see them all in my life time is another story....maybe in my next life.....
mounting scope to tripod: Celestron. Easier than Meade but once again I had purchased the Peterson mount kit for the Meade. Now it too is a one shot, quick mount. without it, it is Celestron hands down.
I havent had that many clear skys on the east coast here with all the rain but hopefully this summer I can really give these two scopes a run for the money. The loser will be sold but so far I really like the NEXSTAR11. Less perks but less hassles. and lighter to handle. Meade is top heavy and with the handles on the lower part of the forks its like a wrestling match lifting/setting it up. Anyone else have their own opinions on these two scopes? Thats all I can give you now.....

mike28

#2 Charles

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 09:40 PM

Mike As a owner of a Meade 12" LX200GPS UHTC I truly understand your thoughts on the Meade. Quick question though:
Does your Meade have the UHTC? I think my Meade has great optics.
As to the mirror shift...I experienced the same with mine, but since I have started backing off the entire locking mechanism when I set up I no longer have that problem. I was wondering if many people experienced that problem but still had a little friction left on the knob. The manual just states to loosen the knob. I learned almost a year into ownership I needed to turn it until it did turn to the right anymore. Also I noticed that periodically moving the mirror to the front and back stops helped reduce the shift when focusing. I had read somewhere that the grease was not evenly distributed on the gear and this helped.
charles

#3 Mike28

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 05:56 AM

Hi Charles: Thankyou for replying. Yes my 10" LX200 came with UHTC coating.But as I read from other owners in past this coating really is for CCD imaging/photography. I have two members in my club who both have 12 inch meades-one with the UHTC and one without(same model). They compared the two looking at the same object,using the same lens and could not see a difference in brightness. I have owned Meade scopes in the past. My previous one was a 8" lx200. I had no problems with that scope. Right out of the box and it worked fine. I didnt even have to adjust the secondary mirror (collimation). I am sorry I sold it lol. Dont get me wrong. Meade makes great scopes too. I suspect Meade just rushed the gps scopes into production to counter Celestrons GPS scopes so as a result these scopes were being rushed through the quality control dept. My first GPS had sctatches and dents on the forks, the slewing was terrible-more noise and it was tugging when turning. I sent it back to dealer and got another one. This one was better but the backlashing/image shifting was terrible. I did adjust it but until I purchased the kit from Peterson did I really eliminate the problem. I have none of these problems with the NEXSTAR11. Just the two star alignment. like I stated previously the first star is always way out of finder range. But I do get the alignment to work fine.This scope has the current program Celestron loaded so any issues from previous models is eliminated. I also upgraded the LX200 software to 1.6 (had 1.0) but since weather has been bad have not a chance to use it. Like I said I will be using both scopes this summer if Sky ever clears up for us!

Reguards
Mike

#4 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 09:25 AM

Hi Mike,

As far as alignment being off in the Celestron? You have to complete a GPS alignment then calibrate the compass and level. Once this is done the first (and second) star should easily be in the finderscope. If you reset to factory settings, it will have the magnetic deviation set for Torrance and the compass will be off.

As far as the Meade being noisy, keep in mind that it is slewing at a much higher speed. I have the 11GPS and am VERY happy with mine and agree with everything you said. Just keep in mind the calibration item above.

Clear skies,
Jeff

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 10:51 AM

Also reverting to the factory settings will put the time zone back to California as well. :foreheadslap:
Several other things...As far as the 46,000 vs. 140,000 object data base this doesn't even count. Connect your scope to The Sky and you have access to 19,000,000 objects. Same with a lot of other planetarium programs. How many of Meades 140,000 objects are duplicates? Use hcAnywhere and you have the capability of wireless control over the scope and are able to plan custom 200 object tours with hcTour.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 01:00 PM

I have to agree with you Mike on the quality of optics. One friend from my club has a Meade 10" and another a Celestron Ultima 11", NO UHTC on the Meade. Side buy Side, I find that Celestron has better optics. Even with my little Nexstar5, I find my optics better than a Meade 10". As for data base of information, I agree with Lenny. Take any computer program and voila! You have unlimited access to the sky, millions and millions of stars, considering that your are in the proper continent.

#7 rboe

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 09:56 PM

Just to take a different tact. How many of those objects are visible using your eye and that scope? The reason I mention that; most folks will not try CCD or photography and unless you do, many objects will not be visible (with the exception of your department store scope with 566X!!! Those are truely the best money can buy). Kinda like me bragging about how many books I have. I just have not read them all.:) Yet. I will though. Some day.

Ron

#8 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 10:05 PM

Hi Ron,

I couldn't agree more. A large percentage of the database is also filled with stars.

So my advice, don't get carried away by the size of the database....don't equate it to aperture :roflmao:

Clear skies,
Jeff

#9 rboe

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 10:14 PM

I just wish they would lable them in the sky. How can you tell one spot from another? With my eyes they all look alike. I'd love to see a listing that had a picture of what it was suppose to look like before you slewed to it. Then you'd know if you really wanted to go there. None of this blind date crap.:)

Guess you can add that to my USB, Firewire, Bluetooth etc. wish list. They won't push it until the department store scopes have those options.:)

Better yet, put all the objects on slides, the data base pulls up the slide and you can look for as long as you want. CloudyNights won't stop you, cold won't stop you and you won't have to slew or align! You could even view in daylight!

Time for my meds

Ron

#10 Mike28

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 09:39 AM

It helps to use the maps/ charts like I purchased to help me around the sky. The 'Go To' is also a great assist and saves time finding targets. I can go to more targets in one night than I though I could manually. Once you get to know the local stars and use the two star alignment in the 'go to' scope you will not need labels lol.

Mike....

#11 Mike28

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:17 AM

Hi Jeff:
Success! After resetting to factory, the GPS auto alignment was performed and calibration of compass done. I did detect a slight drift on the target after 30 minutes. It was still in the FOV but near the edge. Maybe I should re-calibrate again? Last night the sky was great! Looked at M13, M27, M5 all came in quite beautifully. Even saw a few meteors. The optics on the NEXSTAR11 were great. I had a nice quiet night of slewing.

Clear Dark Skys

mike...

#12 Mike28

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 09:34 AM

Hi Lenny:
You are right. I can (and will) purchase the programs for more targets and load it to lap top and run it to my scope. I had quite a few owners tell me to do this. And I am taking yours and all of the others advice to do so. I still have to purchase the hardcase for the Nexstar. I plan on doing CCD imaging so I have a long way to go. This rain we have been getting on the east coast is very discouraging. Hope the SST at Savoy MA is clear....

Reguard and clear dark skies to you

Mike....

#13 jrcrilly

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 10:31 PM

Anyone else have their own opinions on these two scopes?


I've had 'em both. I liked the quiet slews and smooth focuser of the Celestron. I also found it easier to load/unload and setup than the 10" Meade. My aging eyes don't see any difference between 'em optically. I find the Autostar II controller to be much more capable than the Nexstar, which does matter (if I wanted to drag a laptop around with me I'd have kept my 10" or 12" Classic). The ability to control the microfocuser with the handbox is a real plus (I used an NGF-S on the C11 but had to have a separate control for it). I wasn't able to choose a clear winner myself and ended up keeping the 10" Meade for other reasons (compatibility with my observatory scope). I'd have been very happy to keep either one. ;)

#14 Mike28

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 09:09 AM

Hi John: Well I could not find a buyer for 10" LX200 GPS for now so I too will keep it. I took the NEXSTAR11 to Savoy
MA for SST and it worked flawlessly. I used velcro to attach hand control to base. I found having to constanly take it off the fork everytime I slewed to different target annoying. Using the rs232 port at base for hand control solved that problem. I Put a piece of velcro on the right side of fork (at base) and a piece on back of hand control.
It did the trick. I found I really dont need a microfocuser for the NEXSTAR. There was practically no image shifting when focusing. Only thing about hand control is you cant adjust the brightness for the readout/screen. Only one setting there. Other than that I found no issues with the hand control. I found the menu easy to use. MARS looked outstanding at Savoy. Used a Nagler 12mm with a orange filter to inhance the Martian terrain. Had a 25" Dobson owner commenting how great Mars looked through my scope. I peeked through his scope and only difference was it looked larger in lens. Clarity was same in both scopes!


Mike....


#15 jrcrilly

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 08:50 PM

:confused: You guys are all ganging up on me to make me regret going over to the dark (blue) side! Yes, the NX11 us a wonderful instrument and the hand controller is more intuitive than the Autostar II (though a little less powerful). I'm a big believer in Velcro, as anyone who has bought one of my used scopes can confirm...

I've been content with both the Blue and the Gray focusers for visual use, but find that I can get a little more precise for imaging with a Crayford-style focuser. The Celestron focuser feels better & has less backlash & focus shift but mirror flop is always there. It's a bigger deal on a GEM than the NX11 fork mount, though. Meade's lock sorts that out nicely.

As I say, I could have flipped a coin and couldn't have lost. I like 'em both a lot. :rainbow:

#16 Stacy

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 11:54 PM

Hi!

There is an alternative to Velcro! I use this 3M™ Dual Lock™ Low Profile Reclosable Fasteners all the time. It has a nice “snap” when you attach something. It holds items much more securely than with Velcro. You can usually find it at the hardware store. Just an idea. :)

Stacy

#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 10:26 AM

Jeff, can you explain the process of recalibrating the GPS in a bit more detail? I'm suffering the same problem with an 8i.
<quote>You have to complete a GPS alignment then calibrate the compass and level.</quote>

I'm assuming I reset to factory defaults first, do the initial gps alignment, and go into the menu's, and select the 'calibrate' option? What's in vovled in selecting that option. I've seen it in the menu, but the manual is somewhat lacking in proceedure.

#18 jrcrilly

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 10:22 PM

No need to reset anything; just do a good GPS alignment and, after verifying that accuracy is good, go into the utilities menu and do a compass calibrate. Nothing will seem to happen - don't worry about that. It's just an internal adjustment which will affect the next alignment.

#19 Mike28

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 04:32 PM

LOL! I wont gang up on you. I have both the NEXSTAR11 GPS and LX200 10" GPS. One is quiet and slower, the other is noisy and faster.I say what ever your happy with and go with it. I am keeping the LX200 for now-no buyer as of yet.
I will use it as a backup or while doing astro photography with the 11", I can use the 10" for viewing. I should also consider piggybacking the 10" onto the 11" lol

mike.....

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 03:02 AM

Mike
Which one is better for astro photography (becouse of tracking accuracy) and what is the maximum useable exposition for deep sky objects.

#21 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 04:40 PM

NEXSTAR11 GPS sounds like one tough cookie. But at a price of $2,099, it's pretty steep.

#22 Rusty

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 10:08 PM

That would be a heckuva good price for an N11GPS. It seems the main competition for the N11GPS is the Meade 12" GPS. I have the N11GPS after tossing both around, and I'm very pleased with the choice.

#23 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 12:11 AM

Care to share where you found the NS11 for that price? I'd definately pick one up!

#24 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 08:38 AM

Care to share where you found the NS11 for that price? I'd definately pick one up!


Edit: oops sorry

#25 Stacy

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 02:17 PM

Says $2999 :foreheadslap:


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