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Dark Matter

LX850 Mount. Is it a good mount?

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Hi,

I'm thinking of upgrading to a more better GOTO and tracking mount, and the LX850 Starlock looks promising. 

Those who use one, does the mount live up to your expectations?  

What are the Pros and Cons of the LX850 Starlock?

How accurate is the guiding and RA tracking?

Your feedback is much appreciated. 

Thanks,

Jim

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Hi Jim

It looks fantastic in the adverts, but is the latest in a line of Meade high-end mounts that appear, get rave reviews, users find bugs, and they disappear from view after a while.

I trust someone with actual experience of this mount will chip in and prove me wrong - I'm a satisfied Meade user myself, not a Meade knocker.

Michael

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Interesting that this same question has generated 75 replies on Cloudy Nights. That means that either folks on the east side of the pond have little interest in Meade systems, or they are just far too polite ...if nothing good to say...

 

Derek

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If you Google the predecessors of this mount LX800 you will find lot's of disgruntled owners

Now they've "fixed" it and called it 850

As for Starlock for better or worse you're stuck with it.

I have a Meade LX200R which has performed with no problem for many years, mind it took them a while to get it right after their plastic gears fiasco.

Too many accountants and not enough engineers running the company.

There were a few videos on Y'Tube but these seem to mysteriously disappeared :rolleyes2:

Dave

http://meade4m.com/index.php?/topic/3404-lx800-recall-and-return-silence/

Edited by Davey-T

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1 hour ago, schmeah said:

Interesting that this same question has generated 75 replies on Cloudy Nights. That means that either folks on the east side of the pond have little interest in Meade systems, or they are just far too polite ...if nothing good to say...

Yes, the thing that jumps out at me about the CN thread is that all the people who have experience of the mount have good things to say about it. There are some who are willing to point out that it has some flaws, but the net result is that it is a very good system.

If I was going to spend £10k, then a system like the LX850 sounds pretty good. My hobby is astronomy, not as one commentator there put it: "putzing around with settings, software and the mount". If I can get a system that is switch on, point and shoot then that is ideal.

But what about support? I think Meade suffers in Europe as it lacks the processes, dealers and knowledge to address people's concerns about the inevitable failures. Many years ago I needed to get an american mount fixed under warranty. The response from the then dealer (who has since changed) was "Well, we can ship it back to the factory. But we will send it by sea, so it will take 3 - 6 months plus however long it takes them to fix it" (even though when I bought the product, all the shipping cartons had "LHR" stickers on them - I guess they were too cheap to sent it by air).

So as far as the LX850, if I was going to spend £10k and they had a european service centre  that would turn any repairs round in a month, my attitude would be "stop talking and take my money". Maybe one day that will happen.

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That was quick! :D

But if I know my Meade (look at my signature) - they will now re-appear with "....an ever better mount! Just $10,099 more money!"

They've been doing that for decades. The tripod I can comment on: The 'Giant Field-Tripod' is rock-solid and worth looking for a used one - if any ever show up over there and you need one. The 'tripod' is what I'm talking of - not the mount itself.

On your side of the pond, I wouldn't care to risk buying one. Who are you going to call if it dies? At least over here we have a fighting chance of finding someone who is familiar with it to try to fix it. Over there? Ship it back to Meade in Irvine, California? That alone would cost you as much as buying something less likely to catch on fire or explode. I have an LX90 now. I had an LX200 - but they actually suggested I throw it away and buy a new one - rather than ship it back to them when their computerized-mount shorted-out and died. I gave the OTA to a friend of mine - and bought an LX90. Far fewer things to go wrong.

Good luck!

Dave

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I would only buy a mount from a firm who have proven that they can make them perform consistently to a high standard. Even Meade's greatest admirers would be very hard put to make such a claim. At this price you could buy Mesu, Astro Physics or 10 Micron. 

I run two Mesus commercially and consider them almost perfect.

Olly

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On 2017-6-8 at 11:33, Dave In Vermont said:

 The tripod I can comment on: The 'Giant Field-Tripod' is rock-solid and worth looking for a used one - if any ever show up over there and you need one. The 'tripod' is what I'm talking of - not the mount itself.

Dave

Bought one of those for my 10 Micron, certainly solid.

Dave

 

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I am new to the group and thought I would share my experience with the LX-850 ... I purchased mine in February 2017.  The first unit arrived with a corrupt Starlock ... Meade replaced it in a week.  I did some imaging and was very pleased with the what I got.   Once I started getting the hang of the mount I decided it was time to start things like PEC training, ARC, etc.  Well, When I started to run PEC, it said there were issues with the home sensors.  I contacted Meade and got a full replacement mount in a week.  When I received the new mount, I went to put the counter weight shaft in and it won't thread.  Contacted Meade and went through 2 more mounts to finally determine it was the shaft itself ... it appears they changed the threading on the shaft.  I am still working through calibrations, PEC, ARC, etc. right now ... it is taking some time as I haven't had clear skies, full moon, too windy or I have had to travel for work.   As you can see from the attached image, I got some really good results without going through setup completely.  There is some drift error as seen with the elongated stars but for no real setup, not badI am using a Stellavue 130mm APO and ST-8300.  While I was frustrated with the issues I have been having, I really lke the system.  Meade has been absolutely outstanding in their support.  I am waiting for a dark night to work on PEC and ARC training as well as drift alignment (Starlock doesn't like the moon when trying to do drift alignment ... can't see the stars).  In addition to M42, I got images of The Horsehead, The Flame, The Running Man and M13.  The can be viewed be viewed on my facbook page if interested.    As with any new system, it will take some time to get it fully calibrated and figured out.    The system does what it advertises and I am very pleased with it.  Cant wait to see the results I get once it is fully calibrated, aligned and balanced. 

 

Wayne

Maricopa, AZ

 

M42.jpg

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Hi Wayne and welcome to SGL, Meade never seem to make it easy for themselves do they, they seem to design a good system but something goes awry between the design and production stages. Always seems to have been this way since  some genius put plastic gears in to save money.

I have a 10" LX200GPS and it's been working well for years so not all bad :)

Dave

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