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25585

How good are Meade SCTs?

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Read much on Celestron but not so much on Meade these days. How do the big 2 compare and with other SCT makes?

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I think the Meade LX200 series and later models are all pretty good though the electronics can be a bit fragile. Meade owner support, specially if you are not the original owner attracts a lot of criticism. As a past Meade and Celestron dealer, in my opinion the Celestrons have the edge in performance. I have 3 Meade SCT's and 2 Celestron SCT's.   :icon_biggrin:

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Optically Meade's are outstanding. Though there are still some problems with the mechanical hardware of these scope - such as the clutch on the LX90 and LX200-series - they are finally addressing these issues. Others are an easy fix with after-market kits from Peterson Engineering. So I usually tell people that if they don't mind rolling-up their sleeves and using a screwdriver - get a Meade.

Their "Customer-Service" had been an appalling joke - but they've also fired and replaced that bunch they had - whom I think were inmates from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Hope this helps you,

Dave

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You won't go wrong with a Celestron SCT.

They have a better standard "focuser" and better software (than Meade). You don't have to search too long to find people complaining about their Meade.

Are you thinking of buying an SCT? Your sig says you already own one?

I went for a Celestron CPC800 and was not disappointed, a great scope all round.

Traded up to a CPC1100 in the end, had to add a micro focuser as the 11" mirror was hard to get fine focus right. Avoided the crayford focusers as they make the already back heavy 11" even more back heavy.

Celestron also provide "star sense" camera (additional cost) if you don't want to setup the goto yourself. I was very impressed with mine.

Had my CPC1100 for 4 years, it was a great scope (big but great).

The mount is all important on an SCT and the dual fork mounts are great. Meade seem to provide decent mounts (wider range of dual forks) but then you see reports that the wires get stuck in the mount while in use. Just suggests a lack of thinking on the "finer detail". Not too keen on the Celestron single fork mounts but they will be ok as long as you don't get the balance in a mess (not a fan of wobbly views while the mount stabilises).

if you buy second hand then there is less to lose if you change your mind? It's probably easier to sell a Celestron SCT.

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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I've owned several Celestron SCT optical tubes and just the one Meade SCT optical tube. The Celestrons bar one were good, I did have one that 'seemed sub par on optical quality and mirror flop, the rest were very good, especially the Edge HD which was fantastically sharp from the centre to the edge. The one Meade SCT OTA I had was an old white tube which I picked up for just £300 quid with extras. I found the Meade to be really great optically and it had virtually no mirror flop. I also liked the metal focuser knob, rather than Celestrons rubberised one, it just feels better quality.

As for the mount packages i.e. the CPC verses lx200, lx90. I'd feel saver with a new CPC, but it's not a cheap option. There are a number of older Meades on the market, namely ENS a second hand dealer sells plenty for a saving, but it is a gamble with the electronics I believe. You do hear about plenty of Meade's being de-forked, not sure if this is to mount them on an EQ or because the mounts have died?

I'm often tempted to pick up another OTA at least, they are such a lot of aperture for the size and weight, and great for drilling into targets. Dew control can be a nightmare though lol.

ahh one more thing, the Meade audio star looks great and really simple, I've been tempted by one of the new ETX's just for the goto and portability. The Celestron does have starsense which looks great too, but it's an expensive extra which needs saving for. 

Edited by Lockie
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I've owned a few Meade scopes and eyepieces over the 30+ years I've been in the hobby, in all honesty, none have been outstanding. Celestron and Skywatcher equivalents have always seemed better both optically and mechanically.

A few years back a chap who writes equipment reviews for the major astro magazines here and in the USA confided in me that in testing scopes he consistently found Celestron were both optically better and mechanically more robust. There will be exceptions within both brands of course but he had used and owned far more scopes than I have so I took that tip serioiusly in more recent acquisitions especially because my own, more limited, experience of these brands seemed to agree with it.

I think Meade kind of lost their way sometime back :dontknow:

 

 

Edited by John
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After operating a Celestron 11 for several years as the standard club telescope for members as well as visitors, the management decided on a lighter Celestron 8 while the mount and pier were getting an overhaul. Then some very senior member gave away his 8" Meade Schmidt-Cass (LX200 mount?) that had a common electronic failure due to many years of use, but it was fixed. The scope had become too heavy for him.

After some comparison, they found the Meade tube was a bit sharper, so that's what they use now. When I brought my brand-new 3.5mm and 5mm 110° Myriads, we looked at a couple large globulars, and despite the excessive magnification (now that I have a 9mm Myriad we can do a more realistic test), sharpness and cleanliness were very good.

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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3 hours ago, alanjgreen said:

You won't go wrong with a Celestron SCT.

They have a better standard "focuser" and better software (than Meade). You don't have to search too long to find people complaining about their Meade.

Are you thinking of buying an SCT? Your sig says you already own one?

I went for a Celestron CPC800 and was not disappointed, a great scope all round.

Traded up to a CPC1100 in the end, had to add a micro focuser as the 11" mirror was hard to get fine focus right. Avoided the crayford focusers as they make the already back heavy 11" even more back heavy.

Celestron also provide "star sense" camera (additional cost) if you don't want to setup the goto yourself. I was very impressed with mine.

Had my CPC1100 for 4 years, it was a great scope (big but great).

The mount is all important on an SCT and the dual fork mounts are great. Meade seem to provide decent mounts (wider range of dual forks) but then you see reports that the wires get stuck in the mount while in use. Just suggests a lack of thinking on the "finer detail". Not too keen on the Celestron single fork mounts but they will be ok as long as you don't get the balance in a mess (not a fan of wobbly views while the mount stabilises).

if you buy second hand then there is less to lose if you change your mind? It's probably easier to sell a Celestron SCT.

Alan

If I bought another SCT, it would be Meade 10 or Celestron 11. Not an edge in the latter case as I have rich field scopes already. Want long FL! Only for visual. Read an old CN post string about the importance of clear aperture, fiddly collimation, and physical weight.

Up-sizing from my C8, the 9.25 is not enough, C11 too expensive, so the Meade 10 seems ideal on paper. If I went for an OTA eg ,https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/meade-10-lx200-acf-optical-tube-assembly.html#tab-4 hopefully I could also mount it on my Skytee-2 as well.

Edited by 25585

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My first SCT was a little ETX90 at the time was very impressed with it, our first gimps of Saturn was seen using this scope and we were like kids jumping up and down saying how tiny but perfect the image was. Sold this to buy a big refractor. Years later I bought a Celestron C8, loved it focusing was a breeze. So both scopes have given me great trouble free service. If you asked me which brand I would pick for future SCT purchases it would be Celestron.

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

If I bought another SCT, it would be Meade 10 or Celestron 11. Not an edge in the latter case as I have rich field scopes already. Want long FL! Only for visual. Read an old CN post string about the importance of clear aperture, fiddly collimation, and physical weight.

Up-sizing from my C8, the 9.25 is not enough, C11 too expensive, so the Meade 10 seems ideal on paper. If I went for an OTA eg ,https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/meade-10-lx200-acf-optical-tube-assembly.html#tab-4 hopefully I could also mount it on my Skytee-2 as well.

25585,

I am not sure that I would mount such a long focal length scope on a MANUAL mount. Even if the skytee2 can take the weight, finding stuff and then keeping it in the FOV will be a very time consuming job.

If I had 2K to spend then I would go for a second hand CPC1100! At 2800mm focal length, you really need (a) goto to get stuff in the FOV and (b) tracking to allow you to sit and observe rather then sit and fight the controls to keep it in the FOV.

I sold my 4 year old one for £1650. There are several for sale on astrobuysell (overpriced probably), just make a reasonable offer and leave the seller to come to their senses :)

Alan

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