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LS Meade 8"


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my brother is thinking about buying an LS Meade 8"

The only scope he's ever had is the 76 mini dob, that I bought his daughter for her 8th birthday.

Now, I'm thinking - this might be a bit expensive bit of kit for somebody, who has never really tried anything.

What do you guys have to say about the LS meade 8".

What can it do and what is it not able to do?

It comes with a CCD "for astroimaging on your first night out" - yeah right...

I'd be thrilled for some comments!

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Well it may not be as bad as you think. The LS range use the whole drive mechanism from the bigger Meade scopes, check the CN forum, and there seem few problems therefore.

Yes it does have a CCD for astroimaging, think the images are saved to a memory card which you take inside, and download to your PC. The CCD is what allows it to do all it's own alignment.

The CCD isn't great but it is there and will take images.

They seem not to have taken off over here, more popular in the US.

The alignment seems to work if you have sufficently clear views, gather it takes about 10-15 minutes.

They are bigger then you expect, just wonder if the 6" may be better therefore.

Have a read of the CN forum section for Meades.

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The trouble is that it's a bit of a cul de sac. Whatever it says on the tin, this is not a setup that is going to get you anywhere fast if you decide to get into astrophotography of the deep sky, for instance. Mount and scope are a unit so you can't try different optics as you learn what you like or don't like in astronomy. It is a reasonable visual scope, though it has a limited field of view because of the long focal length. You'll need expensive upgrades to use a 2 inch widefield eyepiece.

Its raison d'etre is to provide instant gratification to beginners who don't know the night sky. Once you stop being a beginner you might feel there are many things it can't do.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Its raison d'etre is to provide instant gratification to beginners who don't know the night sky. Once you stop being a beginner you might feel there are many things it can't do.

An 8" scope is pretty good for anyone, beginner or experienced. That arguement means don't consider a Celestron 8SE. Which lets be honest is not a beginners scope.

He could end up with an 8" scope that sets itself up, has a data base of a lot of ojects, at 8" (200mm) will show a hell of a lot.

Instant gratification is fine, what do you want boredom and monotony for a beginner?

Are we really trying to get people interested in astronomy?

Edited by Capricorn
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very good question...

goto I think is the best way to get people interested in immersing themselves into astronomy

goto will later just serve as a tracking motor, helping you with the first steps in astrophotography, what essentially most people would like to try from the very beginning.

And if in the end, easy set up and instant gratification leads to a bigger, more sophisticated scope - that's great!

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An 8" scope is pretty good for anyone, beginner or experienced. That arguement means don't consider a Celestron 8SE. Which lets be honest is not a beginners scope.

He could end up with an 8" scope that sets itself up, has a data base of a lot of ojects, at 8" (200mm) will show a hell of a lot.

Instant gratification is fine, what do you want boredom and monotony for a beginner?

Are we really trying to get people interested in astronomy?

In my view too many beginners fall, as I did, into the SCT GoTo solution. It is not the only easily learned setup and has a lot wrong with it, notably in DS imaging. If you have done any DS imaging you will know not to start at a focal length of two metres, or even 63% of 2 metres. You will know not to get involved in wedges. And if you are into visual observing you will know that there is no advantage to having a very long focal length. It does not enhance high magnification observing (though it greatly enhances planetary imaging, I accept) but it does mean you can't get as wide a field view as you might like.

I still have a ten inch SCT but it sees less action than anything else we have here. It does what it does pretty well but there is so much it can't do. That's all I'm sayng.

Olly

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The Lightswitch scopes work rather well - I wasn't expecting them to be quite that simple and was somewhat amazed when one of our group set one up at Kelling Heath a year or so back. He literally placed it on the tripod, turned it on and just let it go to work.

Perhaps more expensive than a beginner would usually opt for, but a beginner wouldn't have any problems using it.

I think the CCD imager is somewhat limited - it does wide starfield stuff mainly I think, and you can either output to a monitor or save them to SD card.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I have had the 8" LS for nearly a year now, my first scope.

just take it outside, flick the on switch - and 10 minutes later it is aligned. For a first scope within seconds I was observing some great deep space objects - superb - how many people can say that - It really is idiot proof. I recommend you get the optional TV monitor which will improve your experience greatly.

Want to see the crab nebular? choose it from the menu and seconds later there it is.

However good the scope is not an imager - to wide of field - there are better options out there but if you can afford it and want to see the hevens without the hastle of setting up and aligning, this is the scope for you.

Regards

Paul

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Hi Graham, I have the earlier LX90, think the alignment may still be the same, as you can choose which stars for alignment in the 2 star align (not auto align which is another option) it shows each star on the hand controller and you can scroll up or down to choose the next star but I think they are listed alphabetically - so it may take a while. Alot of people say that the Meade electrics are hit and miss - but in the last couple of years owning the scope its been perfect - no issues at all and always aligns first go and if you take time to level the tripod first off, each object is very near to the centre field of view (in the 31mm Aspheric anyway) Regards and clear skies Paul.

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Hi Paul,

My understanding is that LS scopes work differently to the LX90s. The set up is supposed to be completely automatic, there's no centring stars or choosing alignment stars. The scope has a ccd camera built into it so once it's determined it's location and time via gps, determined north with built in compass, levelled itself, it then slews to alignment stars that it picks and then using the camera centres the star itself. Then it goes off to the next alignment star and repeats the procedure. Supposedly this takes about ten minutes. My question is whether having slewed to where it expects to find a star to align on only to find that there's an obstruction in the way does the telescope then get confused or is it clever enough to realise that there's something in the way and try a different part if the sky?

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Hi Graham, sorry yes, just had a look a Telescope House, think I can see where your going with the little CCD underneath, but surely the boffins must have thought of a way round that, would like to have a look at the manual to see what 'environment' was needed to set the scope up, because where I observe from I have a limited part of the sky to observe from (mainly SE, S and towards the SW but not alot). I find that buildings, houses and walls help shield alot of the lights around here, but you cant get away from it all - living in the West Midlands - really light polluted here - Take care and regards Paul.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi graham i have owned a ls 8" for about a year or so,to answer your question re star alaignment the answer is yes it will search and find alternatives automatically.it is a very good scope for observing but not for astro imaging via the inbuilt ccd camera.i have set up the scope many times in all seeing conditions and it has never failed yet, like all goto scopes it is quite power hungry so use a power tank to operate(the more amps/hour the better)i would recommend a 17 amp/hour also it requires a mini SD card not larger than 2gb if you want to image with it.

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