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Meade 12-14” RCX400

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Hi guys 

i was woundering as I very nearly purchased a Meade 12”RCX400 beginning of last year I believe this was through telescope house of the bargain basement price of £1800 or there abouts.and according to various sources of information I’ve heard the only reason why meade stopped really making them is thay was to exspensive to produce.as I’m aware this was the first successful attempt in producing the meade ritchey chretien optics now known as ACF advance coma free and unfortunately I got put off buying one due to the rather complexed electronics and was told thay like to be used on a regular basis which is all very well but weather permitting cannot always be used much as you like to and you shouldn’t really have to baby sit a telescope anyway.this scope also had some additional useful features like a motor focus and also built in electronic collomation very handy instead of useing dreaded hex drivers and worries of a quick slip of damaging those rather expensive optics.

I also was advised that only one Meade engineer in the whole uk that could actually service them if anything did go wrong and as I gather this was Steve collingwood at sct telescopes.In saying that I was told that thease RCX400 telescopes was the best sct cassagrain telescope ever made and was something special and offer spectacular views and once and a while even tho it’s really an observatory class telescope thay do pop up from time to time on the preowned market.So any comments will be very much appreciated on this scope and anyone who owns one.😄


Edited by Supernova74
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  • 7 months later...

I am salvaging a 10" RXC400 at the moment, so here is my two bobs worth. I picked up a dusty, dirty and electronically expired version very cheaply. At the time my rationale was that, if I couldn't replace the electronics, I could always defork the OTA and have a high quality OTA for my equatorial mount at a bargain price (120 pounds equivalent). So, it depends on the price of the telescope, what is or might go wrong with it, and your mechanical and electronic aptitude.

In terms of what might go wrong that you can fix, I believe the Alt and Az motor drive cards are the same as other Meade models and can be swapped out. I think everything else is RCX-specific and hard to find or repair. As noted elsewhere, (https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/285714-light-ringscircles-in-image-after-automatic-background-extraction-in-inpixsight/?tab=comments#comment-3129598 ) you can tolerate the loss of the focus and collimation functions, by adding a focusser to the back of the mirror cell, and by manually collimating with tools from the front. You could probably drill access holes through the front plastic cover to access the collimation/focus leadscrews, and slip plastic tubing over the locked nuts, for a low-risk manual collimation approach. 

In my case I removed the control and drive electronics, and have replaced them with an Arduino Mega board, interface boards for the encoders and limit switches, and L298N modules to drive the dc focus motors and alt and az stepper motors. Its still a work in progress, but so far, so good. 

Hope this helps, Ed


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