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Announcing the Meade LX80 & LX800


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#1 Meade

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:58 PM

Meade LX800 Series:

Meade Instruments introduces the latest in a long line of advanced astronomical products: the LX800™. Using revolutionary new technology, every aspect of this system has been designed to deliver the new standard in astrophotographic and visual performance.

FASTER, SHARPER OPTICAL SYSTEM
Building on Meade’s award-winning Advanced Coma-Free™ (ACF™) optics, the LX800 employs a fast f/8 optical system with high-contrast baffling that assures crisp, pinpoint imaging to the very edge of the field. The all-new OTAs feature an internal Crayford-style, zero image-shift focusing system with a twospeed, 7:1 control that rigidly holds the primary mirror, eliminating the need for a mirror lock. In addition, with the LX800s optional large-format, three-element f/5 focal reducer/field flattener, you gain even wider fields, faster exposures and a flat field even on larger sensors. Also available is Meade's new Series 6000 3 element air-spaced f/7 apochromatic refractor. This finely machined and finish OTA features superior optical performance, a 3" Crayford-style 10:1 focuser and an optional 3" field flattener.

PRECISION MACHINED, SOLID GERMAN EQUATORIAL MOUNT
Constructed of machined stainless steel and aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum, the LX800 mount presents a rock-solid platform with precision roller bearings on both axes and a 1.75 inch stainless steel R.A. shaft. Its .68 inch diameter brass worms and 5.8 inch diameter, 225-tooth aluminum gears deliver smooth, precise movement with up to a 90 pound instrument load. Add to this internal cabling and the AutoStar II fully-computerized GoTo system with GPS, with a database of over 144,000 objects. All this sets atop a new ultra-stable tripod.

STARLOCK — FULL-TIME AUTOMATIC GUIDING
StarLock — the heart of the LX800 — is the revolutionary new technology that makes target acquisition on your imaging sensor and accurate guiding during exposures completely automatic. With Meade’s exclusive LightSwitch technology at its core, StarLock uses a 80mm f/5 optic and a super wideangle lens in a two camera system that automatically finds your target in high-precision, immediately captures a field star as dim as 11th magnitude and then guides to an incredible accuracy of one arcsecond. StarLock achieves this amazing accuracy because, unlike add-on guiders, StarLock is integrated into the telescope control system and communicates directly with the motor controllers in real time with a maximum precision of 0.01 arcseconds. There’s no need for a separate guider or computer and the StarLock requires no calibration, no user focusing or guide star selection. StarLock even automatically programs periodic error correction and then corrects for any other errors down to virtually zero. StarLock also provides computer-assisted polar alignment using the drift method for extreme precision. No expensive shaft encoders or add-on guiding systems can provide this level of performance.

Visit www.meade.com/lx800 for more info on the new LX800 Series.


Meade LX80 Series:

Now you no longer have to make the difficult decision between the ease of setup and operation of an alt-az mount or the versatility and long duration imaging capability of a German equatorial mount. Meade’s LX80 is the only mount that gives you both plus one more — three computerized GoTo mounts for the price of one. The new line of LX80s with Multi-mount is the most innovative and versatile mid-range telescope system available anywhere.

LX80 Multi-Mount
The LX80 Multi-mount operates in three modes, German equatorial, single OTA alt-az and dual OTA alt-az. Setting up in any mode is quick and easy. The LX80 is built around a solid aluminum structure, with two large, tapered roller bearings that handle radial and thrust loads on each axis to carry a total payload of 40 pounds In EQ and alt-az modes and up to 75 pounds in dual OTA mode. Its precision worm gear drives on both axes deliver smooth, accurate motion and Meade’s proprietary SmartDrive™ provides periodic error correction that dramatically reduces errors providing performance only available on much more expensive mounts. Both the primary and secondary OTA dovetail plates are industry-standard for maximum compatibility with all of your OTAs. The LX80s computerized GoTo mount is controlled with the amazing AudioStar handbox with Meade’s exclusive Astronomer Inside audio descriptions of the objects you are viewing.

Meade’s legendary Schmidt-Cassegrain Optical System
Refined and improved over the years, Meade’s Premium Schmidt-Cassegrain (SC) optics give you the highest performance of any on the market. Meade uses highspectral transmission Borofloat glass that delivers superior light transmission across the entire visible spectrum for our corrector plates, unlike inferior standard plate glass used by some other telescope manufacturers. Combined with our industry-leading Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) — with 15% better light transmission than standard coatings — and oversized, thermally-stable primary mirrors for optimum light collection, you get a spectacular viewing experience not available on competitors’ SC telescopes.

Series 6000 ED Triplet APO Refractors
Designed specifically for the discerning astrophotographer or visual observer, Meade Instruments Series 6000 refractors offer incredible optics and ultra-precise Crayford-style 10:1 dual-speed focusing and optional 2-element field flattener. Also included are full-sized cradle rings, Series 5000 die-electric coated 2 inch star diagonal with 99% reflectivity and a custom hard carrying case to keep that beautiful new telescope looking impressive for years to come.

For more information on Meade's Series 6000 ED Triplet APO Refractors visit: http://meade.com/s6000-ed-apo

Coronado SolarMax II
The Coronado SolarMax II™ is an incredible breakthrough in solar observing, with the revolutionary RichView™ tuning system built into every SolarMax II. Zero in on the most precise wavelength of light for each area on either side of the hydrogen-alpha (H-a) line for the highest contrast views of active regions, flares, filaments and other surface features or quickly retune for spectacular images of prominences on the solar limb. No other commercially available H-a telescope provides the tuning range and accuracy of the SolarMax II.

LX80 Tripod
With large two inch diameter stainless steel legs, the all new LX80 tripod is rugged and stable. Built-in fine-tune leg levelers at the top of each leg make doing small adjustments the easiest they’ve ever been.

Visit www.meade.com/lx80 for more info on the new LX80 Series.

#2 tmohr36

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:18 PM

YAY! Thanks for the heads up. Really like the features and look of the new line already! Anxious to get my hands on the LX80 mount manual. Is it available, already? Preorders of the LX80 line are already available on Meade Store website, nothing on the LX800 yet though.

I love my LS-8, but this new mount and my desire to jump into Astrophotography has tempted to "preorder" today!

#3 tmohr36

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 06:52 PM

Any updates on when the manual for the LX80 and LX800 series Scopes, mounts and accessories will be available? Throw us a bone here. Shipping is supposed to begin in November. Certainly all the details (setup, handbox menus, etc) have been established and combined into a nice informative Operators Manual by now. Guide port accessory, polar scope, GPS, alignment procedures???? Any hints? Please? Please!?

#4 tmohr36

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:24 PM

I'm going crazy waiting for some hint of life for these new products. I've seen the advertisements in many Astronomy magazines. On the Meade Store, they still show preorder available. Are there any updates to when these mounts and scopes will begin shipping? Thanks in advance!

#5 gspie

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 11:06 AM

Does anyone know if the new LX800 moount will come with ASCOM compliant drivers so that the new scope/mount can be used with other telescope/camera control software (I use Maxim/DL-CCD Pro for image capture, and it allows the telescope to be controlled from within the program during imaging sessions)?

Still waiting for product news with baited breath ;>)
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 12:30 PM

I have not heard any details like that at all....at least so far.

If I do, or run across any information, I will post here about it.

I have a feeling that any information like that will probably hit everywhere at the same time.

Bill Steen

#7 gspie

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:07 AM

And, even though the scopes/mounts
may be a little behind, getting a
look at the manual would be very useful for getting
a jump on 'first light'. Who really wants to
read the manual when they first get
the scope and mount to play with?
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#8 gspie

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 04:01 AM

Since I'm asking so many questions, one more...

Is the 10" OTA for the LX-800 mount going to have the same physical dimensions as the LX-200 10" OTA (without fork, just the tube)? I'm also looking into a hard case for it.
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#9 MistrBadgr

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

This is a slightly educated guess:

I belive the actual optical tube will be the same.  I cannot imagine making a seperate scope with all the costs associated with it.

Attachement points, however, may be an issue yet to be resolved.

I will ask, but I have no idea when my contact can answer back with an answer, if he knows.

Bill Steen

#10 MistrBadgr

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 07:52 PM

Something I forgot to ask:

Do you have the 10 inch LX-200 now and looking at going the the new mount?

Bill

#11 gspie

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:00 PM

I currently use a Classic LX200 8" (F10 w/F6.3 reducer) on a milburn wedge -- I'm planning to replace the whole setup with the LX800 GEM and the new 10" ACF @ F8 (for now).
My goal is astrophotography (which I do in the current setup, see my setup below the line of this message). I just paln to not use the separate guide scope (since th LX800 will take care of that function).
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#12 MistrBadgr

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:38 AM

Thanks.  I did not know if you were wanting a whole new rig or were wanting to fit an existing OTA to the new mount.

#13 gspie

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:51 PM

Yep - a whole new rig...
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#14 MistrBadgr

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:07 PM

One thing I thought of that you might want to put in your action plan for the new scope is a new 6.3 focal reducer.  The one you currently have has coma correction in it.  I am fairly confident the new scope will have coma correction built into the scope itself.

My LS-8 is ACF and I have a 6.3 focal reducer.  Coma is produced along the outside.  There are a few new versions of 6.3 focal reducers that are built for ACF type scopes.  I plan on buying one myself, but it is a back burner item compared to other things on my personal list.

Also, if you have not, you might try calling Meade Customer Support for the questions you have.  Over the last year or so, at least, a human being has talked to me rather quickly if not actually answering the phone directly.  Most of the questions I have had have been about older scopes that are outside the memory range of the people working there, but they seem to be very knowledgable about new ones.  They might be able to answer your questions quicker than I can.  If you do get an answer, please post it so we will all know.

Thanks,

Bill Steen

#15 gspie

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:53 PM

The 6.3 reducer is on my, when-I-finish-spending-on-micro-focusers-new-filters-dew-shields-and-what-ever-else-a-new-scope-brings-to-the-table list  :)

And direct contact alwasy had good results in the past -- it may be a good path to follow..
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#16 gspie

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:14 AM

The direct route did tell me the OTA has the same dimensions as the LX-200 10" OTA -- but nothing further on when an announcement of when the scopes were going to become availabe.

Come on Meade -- throw us a bone! -- Pretty Please..

At least get a draft of the manual out there for us eager beavers to get a head start -- put a draft wtermark on the pages so we know what's there is still under review.
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#17 gspie

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:52 AM

Any updates on when the LX800s will be available?
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#18 schmacker

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:14 PM

A new image was posted on their facebook today from what was said to be final beta testing.

http://www.facebook....meadetelescopes

Sounds to me like the product should be a reality very soon.

#19 schmacker

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Two more new images from beta testing are up on Meade's facebook page:

http://www.facebook....63499890&type=1

#20 gspie

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:19 PM

Just curious -- without breaking any non-disclosure rules -- Using Maxim DL/CCD, you can start a Mosaic series of exposures -- the software will take an image (or series of images), the slew to capture another portion of the sky, just a bit away from the starting point. When software slews the telescope, will the guider re-capture the guide star (or new guide star), and continue guiding at the new telescope position, or will it try to go back to the original guide star?
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm




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