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Dixie

LX850

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Not seen this mentioned anywhere here so ...... Meade has launched its new heavy mount, LX850, which seems to be an LX800 (all of which were recalled) that works. Does not inspire me with much confidence.

http://www.meade.com/lx850

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Mu experience of Meade's is limited. I did have an ETX125 for a while. The scope was fine, the mount less so. Had a mind of its own and was full of bearing slop. And this was the supposedly 're-engineered' version. As the 850 is 're-engineered' version of the 800 which wasn't round for long, I think I'd be very careful about buying a Meade again.

Edited by beetlejuice

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Good optics, poor mechanical/electricals seems to be a common thread with Meade scopes. Seriously, if they did a bit more beta testing and spent an extra dollar here and there on components they might avoid this kind of PR nightmare.

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I think part of the problem is they really do not have that much money anymore. Between 2004 and 2007, Meade generated over $100 million in revenue each year. Fast forward to the to their fiscal year end 2012 (Feb 2012) and they reported $21.6 million in revenue and it has been sub $30 million since 2009. Current reported cash balance is $670,000, and their operations are currently burning cash. Their capital expenditure reported in the cash flow statement is very low so it looks as though they expense all their R&D budget through the profit and loss, but it is still a small number ($261k for the first 6 months of the current financial year).

Though they are burning some cash, they do have an un-drawn $1 million secured revolving credit facility, so they still have some liquidity but it is not giving them much breathing room, or possibly the ability to really spend what is needed to avoid problems like the LX800...

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If I were buying a long focal length rig for imaging I'd want I mount that I knew would do the job. There aren't many of those and this mount hasn't made the list any longer so far as I'm concerned...

Olly

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I guess the LX800 fiasco has damaged their reputation so badly Meade had to rename it something else. Personally I don't remember hearing any other astronomy products requiring a complete recall. Furthermore it was recalled because of basic and fundamental design failures which should have been spotted if Meade had assemble and tested the mount before they were sold.

When Celestron moved their manufacturing to China, the transition was smooth and if anything the quality improved. It is said the quality of Chinese made SCT were more consistent than the US made counterpart. The same cannot be said about Meade's move to Mexico. There are plenty of horror stories about their electronics, and my Mexican made SM60's blocking filter has a big blob of glue in it which could have been spotted easily if someone had looked at it before it left the factory.

Finally if you have £6k to blow on a mount, why not get a 10Micro GM1000 or a Mesu 200.

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Does make me wonder why some folk put a deposit down for the LX800 before the product had actually hit the shelves. I feel for them, but Meade's track record does not inspire any confidence at all. I knew Meade had financial troubles and I hope they pull through - but if they do they need to re-evaluate their business philosophy. Synta's take-over of Celestron has been a shot in the arm to that brand, which just a few years ago was also on the brink of collapse (I seem to remember a mooted take-over by Meade at the time). As you point out Keith - why would you risk £6K when there are other mounts of higher quality and reliability. The EQ8 could be the final blow.

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Looks like the 850s are shipping now and early reports seem positive. Some details at the bottom of the page on this thread.

Edited by IvanT

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The impression I get is that Meade tends to sell dreams. They tell you about how excited you will be to use their equipment.

A lot of people seem to go for this, the excitement on CN has been bemusing. Charts showing it's progress across the USA, photos of the boxes, photos of it unpacked and assembled - all looking very shiny.

Chris

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I have seen the pix, looks good, but would like to hear some user reviews before I invested my hard-earned.

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The impression I get is that Meade tends to sell dreams. They tell you about how excited you will be to use their equipment.

A lot of people seem to go for this, the excitement on CN has been bemusing. Charts showing it's progress across the USA, photos of the boxes, photos of it unpacked and assembled - all looking very shiny.

Chris

To summarise, Meade's marketing department is much better at their job than their engineering department

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I always wanted a Meade scope and if you like it was a dream, now I have one I wish I had bought something else. There is nothing really wrong with it but there is nothing really that excites me, before it came I was like a dog with two tails. As for the mount there are better on the market for either the same or less, as with many American Companies the marking is first rate. It was the same with my old employer, I almost believed some of it.

To follow up on Keiths words that department is writting cheques the engineering dept can't cash.

Alan.

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I certainly wouldn't put myself forward as an early adopter, the time required to save the money would see to that. If Meade are still around this time next year and "real end user" reports indicate that engineering is catching up to marketing..... who knows.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Meade's scopes and mounts were great back in the day (middle to late 80's). As far as their newest LX850, had a deposit down for thirteen months. Always got the same answer for them about the release date, Oh it will be a few more weeks. Don't know if they are going to be going into receivership or what. Their stocks are basically penny stocks now. Enough said on that matter. Glad they took so long to get the LX800 and LX850 on the market. Decided to go with the Celestron CG Pro mount. Meade in the best day has nothing on this mount

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It's the self contained, no need for a laptop, built in drift align routine, with auto-centre and guide, all concealed in a mount with stainless steel accessories and a decent load capacity that interests me. The idea of an auto-guided portable setup that can be setup and drift aligned with minimal fuss is appealing.

My experience to date is that all the bits and pieces I've cobbled together to allow me to take reasonably long subs, don't always play nice and I've wasted lots of time under crystal clear skies diagnosing and fixing problems.

If the 850 delivers what it promises then the "I just want a setup that works" group I consider myself part of, will be the target market for this one.

Hugh investment though, that's why I'd like to see some detailed non biased first light reports.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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