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Meade LX-10 8-inch

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Date: 7-24-2001
Price: $1270
Design: 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain
Description: Intro level Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.

Several years ago I purchased a Meade LX-10 8" Schmidt Cassegrain, the recommended tripod, and other accessories totaling about $1470.00. Today, with the fact that Meade is currently throwing in a $200.00 tripod for free with LX-10 purchases makes this same configuration a more attractive purchase at $1270.00. I started out with the basic LX-10 equipped with a deluxe wedge (recommended) that consists of a fine latitude and azimuth control resulting in easier polar alignment. The scope arrived in four boxes, one for the fork mounted OTA, one for the tripod, one for the wedge and an accessory box containing the eyepiece, eyepiece holder, diagonal and finder. Never having assembled a schmidt cassegrain telescope before the initial assembly took about a half hour, thereafter I am able to fully assemble this scope in about 
5 minutes. The first order of business was to check the collimation and make any necessary adjustments before seriously observing with this new instrument. Using the technique described in the owners manual I centered on a bright star and slightly defocused the image. To my surprise the collimation was only slightly off and in about 5 min. of tweaking the secondary shadow appeared to be dead on. The first object observed was the ring nebula in Lyra. Accustomed to viewing these objects through 2.4 to 4" telescopes the upgrade to the 8" aperture was significant in that the nebula actually appeared to have a well defined hole in the middle. Globular clusters such as M13 and M92 proved to be the most impressive in that stars were resolved almost to the core. Galaxies also took on a more dramatic quality in that now I was seeing structure where before only smudges in the smaller instruments. I've often read that the large central obstructions of schmidts precludes them from being used as serious planetary instruments, however I have to report that the planets look better than in any of the smaller achromatic refractors I've been using ( 2.4" Unitron and a Meade ACHR-102/500 ). The stiff focus control knob (unlike the Celestron C-8s I've seen that are buttery smooth), is responsive and exhibits very little image shift. I'm so pleased with the optical quality of the LX-10 that even after purchasing a 10" LX-200 I still find myself using the 8" LX-10 more often for quick looks on work nights. The supplied 30mm Meade finder in my opinion is optically inadequate by not being able to focus at infinity. The 6 tightening screw finder brackets although are better than Celestron's with their 3 screws and an O-ring. Meade's finder you can't look through and Celestron's can't keep an alignment from session to session so the only logical thing to do is replace it with a unit from Anteres of Canada. Their 50mm amici-prism finder and quick release bracket combo add $130.00 to the LX-10 package and can be supplied in the same blue color as the Meade LX-10 tube. This finder has a focusable eyepiece, more light grasp, and offers ease of use by giving a correctly oriented image ( not so important in the main scope but very helpful in a finder ). The last accessory deemed invaluable was the addition of the Stellarvue red dot finder, making star hopping a breeze and assuring oneself that the star you're looking at with your eye is the same one pegged in the finder. The breakdown today for this setup is as follows. Meade LX-10 with free tripod and shipping $ 1065.00, Deluxe wedge kit $ 50.00, Antares 50mm amici finder w/ bracket $ 130.00, Stellarvue red dot finder $ 25.00, all adds up to $1270.00. Now that's a bargain! 

Submitted by maganday@aol.com - USA

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