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LX850 Shipping!


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#1 Meade

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:37 PM

BIG NEWS: As of today the new LX850 is officially shipping! Those affected by the LX800 recall will be receiving units as early as next week, with dealers and new orders being handled immediately afterward.

For more information on the LX850, just go to the web site here: http://www.meade.com/lx850.
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#2 deepwaterescue4u

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:55 PM

Yay WTG Meade lets pray all bugs are worked out and the company sells 5 million of them over the next few years... :)
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Terry

Meade LX200 10" ACF GPS
Meade 4 speed microfocuser
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Panama City Florida

Live long and prosper

#3 tlwarnke

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

And the LX600 when?

#4 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

I am looking forward to putting the 14" model to work soon. Work is a bad term...FUN!

-- Andrew
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-- Andrew
World Explorer,
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and all that...

#5 ahopp

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

Me too, my 14" is going to get a workout.

I am so excited, I can hardly see straight.

Tony
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____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#6 Cefiar

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:28 PM

Yay! This is good news to hear on my birthday. ;)

That said, since I have to wait on a dealer here in Australia, I suspect it'll be April before I get one in my hands. *sigh*
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#7 deepwaterescue4u

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:14 AM

Well Happy Birthday Cefiar....
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Terry

Meade LX200 10" ACF GPS
Meade 4 speed microfocuser
Vixen flip mirror
Milburn Wedge
Panama City Florida

Live long and prosper

#8 MoT Man

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

Good news :D Will be watching this very closely. If all works out well i shall be ordering one to stick my PowerNewt and Apo on 8-)

Scott
LX90 8" ACF
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CGEM
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#9 Dan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:14 AM

Wow! This is big news!! If I ordered a 10 inch today, how long would it take for me to get one in Dallas Texas?

#10 Cefiar

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

Got an update from my local dealer telling me that Meade expect to start international shipping about a month after they started US shipping (so around 8th of March).

At that rate, I should hopefully end up with my 14" LX850 either just before or just after Easter. Fingers crossed for before!
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#11 gspie

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

I received my replacement 10" two days ago.
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 DracoIV

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:22 AM

Good news re the LX850. Please provide some information about the LX600!! I have a 14" LX600 pre ordered through OPT and I have been on the fence about "jumping ship" and ordering from Celestron. My OPT rep has made several attempts to get updates from Meade with no success. The LX 600 fork mount is important to me, however, before giving up on Meade and switching to Celestron, I would consider changing my order to the LX850...if I could just get some information from Meade!!! I have been following the posts to this forum and their links for about eight months and the lack of response from Meade Instruments has been...disturbing. Meade is fortunate, indeed, to have such a loyal customer base. Those of us who are in business ourselves should be so "lucky". Even so, I do not know of any business that has "stonewalled" it's customers so effectively for such an extended period of time and remained in business afterwards. So many of us have demonstrated our loyalty and patience for many months, the very least you can do is provide us some kind of response/update on the LX600 so that we have the fair opportunity to adjust our plans and committments! Thank you in advance!

#13 ahopp

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:30 AM

DracolV, I am a 14" LX800/850 recall customer. Ordered my scope Nov. 2nd 2011, Received it May 2012, and it was taken for recall June 2012. It ships back from recall this week and I am excited to get it next week.

At no time during this process did Meade 'stonewall' me. They always took my calls and explained where they were in the process. I was not happy with how long the process took, almost 9 months, but, no 'stonewalling'.

They even gave me a $500 credit toward the 6000 series 80mm APO for all the trouble of the recall.

So, while it has not been the best experience, it has been tolerable.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#14 RonH

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:17 AM

My order for an LX 600 went in last April. My experience with Meade has not been favourable. I would not describe my direct contact as informative, helpful or useful. On the contrary, I found it misleading, prevaricating and was left with the strong impression that the representative I spoke with deliberately and strongly resisted any attempt to give a fair account of the state of development, production and delivery estimates (or for that matter a clear statement that there were issues, what the issues involved and that they were being addressed). I would have been content to receive open and fair answers even if that meant hearing that delays could extend to many months. When I called in October I was assured it would be a matter of a few weeks. Well in the scheme of things, I suppose around 38 weeks is a "matter of a few weeks" in the cosmic or evolutionary calendars but not in the customer calendar. What rankles me more than anything else is (a shared concept save for a lucky few?) the apparent flagrant disregard for customer relations - a silence that seems to speak (even if unintentional) loud contempt. I'm happy for those that are happy and feel well served but Meade, in my opinion, needs to look at its corporate policy and who represents its public image,

RonH

#15 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:45 AM

RonH, Draco, et. al,

The issue Meade has is that they are a publicly owned company. As a result they have to be highly careful what is said that can influence their stock, business operations, loans, etc. Also, as the LX800 was being "fixed", the recall and its announcement had to be closely managed. Yes, Meade can spill their guts about many things - and then be open to lawsuits by their shareholders based on anything they say. Their biggest mistake (which seems to be common in the astronomy biz), is pre-announcing products. It is a great tactic to build demand to thwart the purchase of a competitor's products, but if the product is not ready troubles do arise. Microsoft was (and still is) big on doing this.

So during this tense time at Meade (and in this business in general), I am not surprised at all by the careful message Meade has let out.

Now, from a speculation and conjecture point of view, Meade is likely focused on getting out all the recalled LX800's (the new LX850). Meade will then fill the demand for the LX850 (old LX800) which I hear is in early March. I am in that bunch. My guess is I will see my 14" LX850 sometime in May 2013. Meade is working hard to fullfil this manufacturing run which will also build much needed cash reserves - and fill the LX850 pipeline. From a manufacturing perspective this is also far more efficient.

Once this demand is met and any more "kinks" figured out, then the LX600 will likely come out. Who knows when that will be, but likely tied to how fast they can build these things and the release process of the LX850. You could see the LX600 in March or December - who knows. I do know it will come out some time.

BTW - I too was considering the 14" LX600, however I am looking at being more "portable". I travel all around New Mexico and sometimes other locals in the United States. I came to the conclusion the 14"-fork mount was just too much of a chunk to set up, even with two people. The LX850 seems more manageable. Plus my 22 year old 10" LX200 works fantastic still and can fullfil the "portable fork mount" requirement.

-- Andrew
-- Andrew
World Explorer,
Satellite Development,
and all that...

#16 RonH

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:33 AM

Andrew, while I appreciate your measured response, being candid with a customer does not inevitably entail catastrophic consequences for it's shareholders nor does it render a company liable to lawsuits. What may, however, damage all of the aforementioned and increase liability is holding out the promise of a product and then failing to produce without a word of explanation. If companies wish to avoid disfavour I suggest that the best way to do this is to turn their dilemma into an honest set of statements with, if need be, an advertising expert's help, which seems to be exactly the way they went about reengineering the LX800 morphing into the LX850! In the absence of explanation there is a risk that Meade will be acting as though its customers were easily to be duped let alone ignored.

#17 DracoIV

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

Wow! Ron, Tony, Andrew and others...this forum had been quiet for a few days after the LX850 announcement and gspie posting he had received his recalled LX800 (LX850). Tony, thank you for your response, and I am glad your experience has been better than mine. When I awoke at 3:00 AM (a rare cloudy night here in the Texas hill country) and finally decided to contribute my "two bits worth", it was with high hopes that I might receive a response from Meade. Perhaps the word "stonewalled" was a bit strong, but in following the general LX forums there have been many customers over the past 6 months that have chosen stronger and harsher language. Many of which have recently given up on Meade and cancelled their orders. I do understand the predicament that Meade must be in and being a public company in a competitive market is never easy. But, at the end of the day, good customer relations should trump all other concerns. Really, I think Ron has expressed the growing "frustrations" of the majority of customers quite well.


#18 DracoIV

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

Aren't these forums great? They are not simply "gripe" sessions. They do provide feedback and info to Meade (whether they choose to respond or not), but perhaps more importantly, they provide a venue for like minded people to share ideas, problems, and hopefully solutions. Members such as gspie, through many valuable posts on this and other forums, have provided heaps of valuable information from there own personal experiences. Andrew, I was particularly interested in your decision to select the GEM over the fork. I am a long time visual observer who has recently decided to make the transition (or addition) to astro imaging. I live in dark sky country about 120 miles NW of San Antonio and I will never give up my 15" dob. I ordered the LX600 because I was concerned about the meridian flip on very long exposures. I do not have to move around, so portability is not my paramount issue. The cost difference between the 600 and 850 is not an issue. I will be using a Cannon 60 Da. You have clearly given much thought to your selection. Given all current considerations, what is your opinion?

Frank

#19 ahopp

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

DracolV,

I agree that there have been even harsher words by others on other forums. I think you will find that most of those folk actually never ordered a scope. Every user that I know of, that actually purchased a scope, was pretty even handed in their comments about Meade.

As I said, I was not thrilled about the recall event and subsequent wait, but, I am excited about the scope/mount and can not wait to get mine.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#20 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

DracoIV,

Well let me say up front, I feel in some ways the GEM vs. Fork debate is partly religious, lol. Many are the one or the other it seems. I did spend a lot of time researching this item to come to my decision, however I am comfy with it now. When the LX800 was announced that was my target scope, however when Meade announced the LX600 I moved to that one. But....

I then decided to learn more on the topic. LOTS of opinions either way. My issues were relative portability, versatility, and support for astrophotography. Though I have pretty good seeing conditions here in Rio Rancho, New Mexico I do go out for public events or really good remote locations in the New Mexico high desert (skies are amazing here at 7,500' and up). I will have an observatory in a year, but I still want mobility. This is where the rub comes in. The 14" LX850 comes in just over 250 lbs, However the parts of the scope are much lighter with the heaviest being 63 lb. This becomes more manageable. For the LX600, judging from the specs and shipping weight, my guess is the OTA/Fork mount will come in around 100 lbs - yikes! And if doing Astrophotography you will need the Wedge - more weight. I do have the "Super Wedge" on my LX200 Classic which is a must have for astrophotography, but it is a heavy deal with the tripod.

BTW - portability is a relative term here, but it is manageable.

Next item is versatility. With the LX850 mount I can put other telescopes on it. Right now I am eyeing the Coronado 90mm scope. I might even get the APO refractor for quick travel (yeah, Meade will love me). And that is the point - I can do this with the LX850. I cannot with the LX600 - the OTA is integrated with the fork mount. No quick switches there, nor would I do it. Can I mount stuff all over the LX600? Yes, but it soon gets unmanageable and the quick grab and go goes out the window. Why use the entire OTA/fork to just use a 90mm scope? Hence with the LX850 I get more bang for the buck - I won't need a different mount for each telescope.

Last is astrophotography, which the LX850 is made for. With a GEM, the OTA is closer to the main axis than the fork mount hence your problem with flexure is much lower (note, for the 14" to mitigate the flexure problem Meade moved the Starlock to the top of the telescope to further manage this problem). The GEM is rock solid and will provide for very stable images. Meridian flip can be a problem for long exposures, but the LX850 will let you go up to 20 deg past the meridian before flipping (I wouldn't push it though). To further mitigate this problem just plan accordingly. Also, with much of today's cameras and software tools, you will not be taking the multi-hour pictures of the past. You will take shorter ones and stack them. So unless you are doing very long exposures tracking asteroids or such, you should be fine for nebula, star clusters, galaxies and our solar system.

The main problem with the LX850 is EVERY TIME you will have to not only polar align your telescope, you will also have to balance it properly. You should not have to do this with a fork mount. However, if you keep your scope in an observatory or outside for a few days, the LX850 has a "park" position - when done just park it and leave it (nicely protected of course). When ready to observe, turn it back on and it goes into action - already balanced and aligned. Pretty nifty! So, you may not have to balance the LX850 every time once set up, though if you change cameras or add/remove equipment you will have to rebalance.

Last item - I have the Canon 60Da. WONDERFUL DSLR! Nice for both Astro picts AND regular picts. I got mine 2 days before the Annular Eclipse over New Mexico last May. Literally one of the first ones out of production and just in time. It worked perfectly out of the box! I got some great photos of the eclipse! 2 weeks or so later I was in Michigan to catch the Transit of Venus with the Sun setting over Lake Michigan. Great picts AND video from the Canon 60Da. I also got my first really good picts of the Ring Nebula and Orion Nebula. Not "Pro" level, but quite good (I need to learn all the tools out there). You will do a lot with that camera. My next camera is the MallinCam for video astronomy.

Well that is my quick insight on the LX850. Well, sort of quick!

-- Andrew
-- Andrew
World Explorer,
Satellite Development,
and all that...




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