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New Meade Telescope


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Hi All,

While surfing the net during my lunch break, (as you do), I came across some interesting information. It would seem that Meade are to introduce a new telescope in the new year - the ETX-LS ACF.

From what I can tell, the OTA will be a six inch SCT, (ACF), with an integrated camera of some kind, on what appears to be a newly designed mount incorporating a GPS receiver. Some of the blurb I found:

Setting up and calibrating the ETX-LS telescope is as simple as flipping a switch, literally. Using built-in Integrated Sensor Modules (ISM), which includes GPS and Level North Technology (LNT) sensors and the ECLIPS CCD Camera, the ETX-LS aligns itself for optimal viewing and will calculate the time, date and location, evaluate two stars, and then begin building a ‘real time’ map of the night’s sky. A video output allows for immediate viewing and a built-in camera captures high resolution images recorded to SD card. Meade has even tossed in a guided tour complete with voice narration.

Could be interesting...

10317_normal.jpeg

(click to enlarge)

Lee.

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Latest I've heard is about US $1299.00 with 6" OTA so by the time it gets here about £1299.00 I guess. Of course with Meade's recent reliabilty problems on newly released products will it actually work as advertised ?

Any one brave enough to buy the first one?

John

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Latest I've heard is about US $1299.00 with 6" OTA so by the time it gets here about £1299.00 I guess. Of course with Meade's recent reliabilty problems on newly released products will it actually work as advertised ?

Any one brave enough to buy the first one?

John

Yikes! Blow that for a game! I'd rather buy something without all the whistles and get either a bigger aperture or range of good eyepieces!

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Latest I've heard is about US $1299.00 with 6" OTA so by the time it gets here about £1299.00 I guess. Of course with Meade's recent reliabilty problems on newly released products will it actually work as advertised ?

Any one brave enough to buy the first one?

John

If they do have any reliability issues then theres a lot of electronics integral to the OTA that could be a source of problems and very awkward to fix.

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Initial thoughts

1: If it's an ICX285 chipset (ala DSI III), then it will be a nice integrated camera, though the lack of cooling, thermal issues with it being where it is would worry me. The DSI III is a good camera, but suffers from a much higher noise floor than the 314L/16HR etc, due to lack of cooling. Darks etc can reduce it, but it's still not ideal. Also, using Envisage, is not my first choice of app to be honest, but ...well see below..

2: Integrating the autoguiding. If they have cracked that in a single tube setup, and you slap this on a wedge, with the ACF optics, then it will be a very very good one stop solution for remote imaging. If there is no autoguiding, then it's a chocolate fireguard for imaging. (IMHO), as then you still need a laptop etc, and unless it's got standard ST4 ports (none of this 909 module faff), again, choccie fireguard (I suspect it should have ST4). Even then, something like PHD as a solution takes some beating, so it would need to have an integrated guide solution as good as that.

3: A one stop imaging solution. Well, unless they have a 285 chipset that can run at 20fps, then for planetary, it's again, not a one stop solution. (they do exist BTW...I had one, but they cost £2400 for just the camera). But then I am a tad confused as to the image FOV control, amplification etc. For planetary you want high resolution (e.g. F30-F40), for deep sky, wide is best...how to manage that?

I have heard that the mount is "like a tank" in terms of build construction though.., and I know how good the ACF optics can be out of the box (very!)...so let's just see how it all pans out.. For $1299, when the 285 chip alone costs around £400 ish (last time I looked, it may now have gone up quite a bit), it will be going some to have anything serious for imaging integrated. So, not sure which market it will address...

I am quite excited, if it's got the things mentioned above...

But let's see...

It's very very innovative, that's for sure...and what the world needs from companies like Meade is innovation.

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Lets not forget that Meade hasn't really given any hard info about this scope. Just a very "creative" marketing department putting out a deliberately vague press release. The photo they have released has been retouched (particularly the OTA) so they don't even have a finished production sample to photograph.

One thing in particular worries me about this scope. Meade is almost bankrupt and has even stopped servicing certain lines of scopes as they couldn't afford to buy in the replacement parts. So where is the money coming from to develop this new scope properly? Can they actually produce a finished scope that works as advertised?

I do hope that Meade manages to pull it off because if the new scope doesn't live up to expectations I think Meade will go under.

So many questions and so little to go on.

John

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