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Walking on the Moon

Meade LX200 12'


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Hi @Happysolderer and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

As far as I am aware, it is damn good for lunar and planetary observation. That said, any catadioptric [ie, Mak or SCT] ‘scope is. 

As you said, it has been de-forked, so you will need to source a sturdy mount and tripod/pier for it.

If you can attach some images, then we can suggest what else you need. A dew shield is a must have. Any catadioptric ‘scope is a notorious dew magnet. A few other things I would consider would be an SCT star diagonal and a ‘crayford’ focuser. If you are planning on astro-imaging now or later, then a field flattener/focal reducer is another must have, as the focal ratio is f:10

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Why does that sound scary, a 12" SCT on an EQ6-R  considering the load capacity is MAX 44lbs and the 12" OTA without accessories comes in at 35lbs. Now 44lbs max capacity

is within this limit but one never wants to test these limits and if adding more counterweight (s) is needed then I'm not doing it, call me a chicken I guess.

Edited by Sunshine
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We had an lx200 in our astronomy club.. we had an eq8 if my memory serves me right,the tripod weighted about 30 kg itself and the mount took up too 40 or 50 kg ,think they ended up putting it on a pier in west of Scotland science/Astronomy dept ..the scope itself was fab ,but did need a few shield ..not jealous at all lol

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15 minutes ago, andyboy1970 said:

Been reading somewhere that these de-forked SCT's have a counterweight built in to the OTA to balance them in the forks.

I would assume that purchasing just the OTA wouldn't have the built in counterweight.

Sounds like a social media story. 🙂  I have seen a 16" fork-mounted LX200 in action. No sign of any extra counterweight there.  My CPC800 (fork-mounted) does not have extra counterweight either.  There is no need for one if the attachments are put in a suitable place.  The mirror makes the OTA back-heavy anyway.  

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22 hours ago, Happysolderer said:

To be fair, whats the worst that can happen? The clutches can slip, damage a bearing or break a belt perhaps.

^^ 🙂 totally agree! No Meade or Celestron OTA's have internal counterweights. I have used the same mount you mention with a 10" Meade LX200 SCT which weighs in at almost 15Kg with junk attached. Adequate is the best I can say as I am NO fan of the Chinese manufactured mounts, as they leave a LOT to be desired stability and manufacturing wise.... There is a Fullerscope MkIV for sale/swap within the buy/sell UK feed, put in a few more posts and a months wait and maybe consider it??? No GOTO but who needs GOTO? 🙂 

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On 27/10/2022 at 16:11, andyboy1970 said:

Been reading somewhere that these de-forked SCT's have a counterweight built in to the OTA to balance them in the forks.

I would assume that purchasing just the OTA wouldn't have the built in counterweight.

The ETX maksutov’s have a counterweight built in to the rear ABS plastic flip mirror cell as well.

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You won't break an EQ6 by putting a 12 inch SCT on it. Since it's in balance, the gears and motors will scarcely notice any difference and the overload is hardly going to break a bearing, assuming they are not misaligned or overtightened. The issue is just one of stability. I was using our 10 inch Meade on an EQ6 visually, quite recently, and it was fine. It wasn't rock solid but the original LX200 fork was a springy as a trampoline. In fact I'm currently de-forking a 14 inch to put on our Mesu.

As for the scope itself, I've had the 8 inch, the 10 inch classic, the 10"ACF and the 14 inch classic. In my experience the quality of the view goes up with the aperture (no surprises!) but it does so at more than the rate you'd expect. In other words I think the optical design works better with more aperture. The 8 inch was a so-so 8 inch scope but the 14 inch is a good 14 inch. So the 12 inch should be good as well.

The scope is compact for its aperture, sealed against dust, easy to collimate and maintain and you look through the end! :D You'll need a dewheater and dewsheild but the obvious drawback is the long focal length. Wide views are impossible. On looking into eyepieces to give the widest possible field I've come across the Vixen LVW42 which gets close to what's possible, is rated as optically good and comfortable to use, and the price is reasonable. TeleVue have priced themselves out of my range of late, or I'd have the 41mm Panoptic. Another positive from the shortness of the tube is that the eyepiece does not vary as wildly in height when used on a GEM.

Olly

Edit: In built counterweights? Where are they??? You can see most of the interior of the OTA from the front so, if they exist, they can't be very big or very heavy. I'm not buying it.

Edited by ollypenrice
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16 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

but the original LX200 fork was a springy as a trampoline.

Interesting, as I have found an old CPC fork quite stable when used in the Alt/Azi mode, not as stable and as well manufactured as the Ultima/Byers fork but not a trampoline!!

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34 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

You won't break an EQ6 by putting a 12 inch SCT on it. Since it's in balance, the gears and motors will scarcely notice any difference and the overload is hardly going to break a bearing, assuming they are not misaligned or overtightened. The issue is just one of stability. I was using our 10 inch Meade on an EQ6 visually, quite recently, and it was fine. It wasn't rock solid but the original LX200 fork was a springy as a trampoline. In fact I'm currently de-forking a 14 inch to put on our Mesu.

As for the scope itself, I've had the 8 inch, the 10 inch classic, the 10"ACF and the 14 inch classic. In my experience the quality of the view goes up with the aperture (no surprises!) but it does so at more than the rate you'd expect. In other words I think the optical design works better with more aperture. The 8 inch was a so-so 8 inch scope but the 14 inch is a good 14 inch. So the 12 inch should be good as well.

The scope is compact for its aperture, sealed against dust, easy to collimate and maintain and you look through the end! :D You'll need a dewheater and dewsheild but the obvious drawback is the long focal length. Wide views are impossible. On looking into eyepieces to give the widest possible field I've come across the Vixen LVW42 which gets close to what's possible, is rated as optically good and comfortable to use, and the price is reasonable. TeleVue have priced themselves out of my range of late, or I'd have the 41mm Panoptic. Another positive from the shortness of the tube is that the eyepiece does not vary as wildly in height when used on a GEM.

Olly

Edit: In built counterweights? Where are they??? You can see most of the interior of the OTA from the front so, if they exist, they can't be very big or very heavy. I'm not buying it.

I read or heard somewhere that a reason why Meade SCTs are so heavy (compared to Celestron) is that they have a built in counterweight behind the mirror, thereby allowing a good balance when the fork is attached quite far to the rear of the tube. No idea if this is true or if it is that Meade is just using heavier (thicker) materials for the tube. However, this video shows that at least their 7" Maksutov has an internal counterweight:

 

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3 minutes ago, gorann said:

No idea if this is true or if it is that Meade is just using heavier (thicker) materials for the tube.

I have, over the years pulled apart many Celestron and Meade SCT's and have never found the mythical counterweights within any of 'em.... Meades have a considerably thicker corrector lens than Celestrons which accounts for some of the weight difference, they are also a  little more robust construction wise...

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1 hour ago, SthBohemia said:

I have, over the years pulled apart many Celestron and Meade SCT's and have never found the mythical counterweights within any of 'em.... Meades have a considerably thicker corrector lens than Celestrons which accounts for some of the weight difference, they are also a  little more robust construction wise...

Sound very reassuring, thanks!

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The video about the 7" Meade Maksutov makes sense.  The counterweight counterbalances the heavy meniscus, allows the back end of the scope to clear the base of the fork.   If you are mounting a SCT (with thin corrector plate) or are mounting a Mak on some other sort of mount, no counterweight is necessary.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Only the 7” Mak’s had the counterweight. Not sure why Meads are a bit heavier than Celestrons. One thing Meade always crowed about their SCT’s was their oversized primaries which could add some weight. I own a 7” and a 12”, (both deforked). Both came with very handy electric focusers, and the 12” has, thank you, a mirror lock. I’m trying to use the 12 for planetary but seeing hasn’t been good enough, and favors something smaller.

Anyway, this is my first post. Greetings from soon to be frozen Vermont, USA🥶

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On 11/11/2022 at 21:13, epsilon160 said:

Only the 7” Mak’s had the counterweight. Not sure why Meads are a bit heavier than Celestrons. One thing Meade always crowed about their SCT’s was their oversized primaries which could add some weight. I own a 7” and a 12”, (both deforked). Both came with very handy electric focusers, and the 12” has, thank you, a mirror lock. I’m trying to use the 12 for planetary but seeing hasn’t been good enough, and favors something smaller.

Anyway, this is my first post. Greetings from soon to be frozen Vermont, USA🥶

Greetings from frozen Ohio

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34 minutes ago, epsilon160 said:

I

I’m new to the NE. Certainly to freezing winters. I wonder if I’ll get out much between the cold and the clouds.

Ya have to dress for it.  Layers is the key.  Eventually you will start getting used to it 

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