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Purchase list (would you change anything)


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hopefull i'm posting this in the right place, if not could a Mod move it and tell me where its gone!!

This is my shopping list-

Meade LX200 8" inc whatever comes in the box! @£2349.00

Televue Barlow 2x @ £85

Mains PSU 4 Amp @ £40

Celestron 8" dew Shield @ £26

Kendrick 8" dew Strap @ £48

Hitek 4 port controler @ £69

Meade 4000 series Eps (free with purchase,)

#62 camera adaptor @ £26

T-Ring for camera body. @ £17

Total outlay (scarey) £2657.00:icon_eek:

what i'm here to really ask is -

1-have i got the shopping list correct?

2-is there anything i dont need or could buy better for the money without sacrificing quality.

3.will this get me the images of the nebs and planets i'm after or will i

just be throwing money away!

i was keen to get the 10" but i must admit i'm starting to like the idea of the 8" as i want to transit around, i am able to leave it setup in the garage at home and will certainly buy the wedge when i can afford it!

Any options on kit, something not worth the money or better for the money please let me know!

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The mount will probably not be ideal for imaging, Forks are not easy to polar align unless you either spend ages drift aligning or get an upgraded wedge.

For Planetary a SCT is fine, but for DSO's its not the best choice due to the Focal ration been Slow.

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i take it from that your suggesting this rig wont do me any good? John.

i should say that i'm not expecting to be taking prize winning shots of anything now or in the future, but would like to catalogue what i get to spot!

i know from reading its not the 'ideal' setup but i was hoping it would surfice as able?

i understand the need for a true GEQ mount but wont have the money for that at the start, if the passion survives and the images i do get draw me in i may well sell on and move up, or keep and add too..thanks for the link to the book i think i will buy it now as it looks from the review to be a good book for someoen like me and i hope it does plug a few holes in what it will take to get it right...

any other feed back would be welcomed apart from just the book, as i intend to pick this lot up at the weekend, unless someone says its a complete waste of time! or is that what you was saying John?

Edited by Rols
add johns name to question!
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yeah i was thinking the focal reducer would be a good investment! Earl. i believe it reduce to F6.5! Earl, not great i know! and the Arc is not great either! but what do you do instead? the budget is tight and i want the quality? whats the better option.. i dont like the 2nd hand market much to much expense for stuff i know little about..i'm a technical person and hate not to be able to fix a fault with anything i own!

i was told the gears on the lx200 were good quality and the mount would surfice a wedge later quite well? is this not realy true?

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was heading to get a tank at some point brian but for the time being i will be stuck to the back garden (patio, facing south) and do have an external socket for it..does seem expensive though at £40. i'm trying to barter a good discount for all in one purchase so may get that much back and feel better about it! certinly was expecting a comment on that item.. twitching a little now! would like some more raw honesty about the rest though as the money is still in my pocket! if 'you lot' with experience suggest i dont buy any of it i wont, thats why i'm asking.

but please take into concideration, i'm just entering this subject and i hear the lx200 is proven as being a good allround scope, and if i was starting with this and trying to grab a few pics along the way would i realy be making a hash of it all from the getgo? say if i am..

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It appears the Celestron is still on offer:

CPC GPS Series

Huge saving (£1100), although i have no idea what extra the LX200 has to offer over the CPC. In terms of optics there will be nothing to choose.

While the Meade 4000 eyepiece set is nothing to get too excited about.

You could buy a Celestron C8 optical tube only and an EQ6. Again have a load of cash saved. In fact you could add a good quality small apo and still have change.

Edited by russ
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Read the book first, re-do your list, re-do it again, then look at the For Sale section. You WILL save £££ and as long as it's someone who has been around a while and active in the hobby, I'd be very surprised if you weren't delighted with your purchases.

Half the scopes I have ever owned were pre-owned and all are perfect...

Edited by Rossco72
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Rols if you are set on having the Meade LX200 ACF 8" then can I offer you an alternative.

For the same money you could have the following:

- LX200 ACF 8" as an optical tube only (Telescope House £1329)

- NEQ6 GEM (GOTO) (FLO £880)

Total cost £2209 which leaves you with £140.00 spare! Your dew management system of heater, shield and controller could then be bought at no extra cost (...alright + £1 :))

You will need to fix a vixen bar to the OTA for sure but it's relatively inexpensive. Yes, you will need to buy some eyepieces but FLO has got an offer on (£63) regarding the same Meade eyepieces which will allow you the choice of what YOU want and not what's necessarily given to you.

There are two further considerations. My view is that the Meade's motors make a lot more noise than the NEQ6 when moving the scope around the sky, especially at 2:00am in the morning with neighbours trying to get to sleep (I wouldn't want to wake them up with them thinking an AA lorry has just pulled up outside to remove their car :):D) But here's the most important consideration. As your astronomical interest grows, so will your demand for kit. A NEQ6 allows you to change your Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) to say a refractor or a reflector as no one scope does it all and in addition, it has a greater payload capacity! It will allow you to extend your capabilities with astrophotography with more appropriate tracking capabilities and you will be able to apply free programs like EQMOD to the mount that can help you run your scope from a laptop should you so wish in the future (... for this read observatory but don't tell the missus :p)

I'm a great believer in buying kit separately. My choice will also require you to buy a finder scope but YOU can decide which one you would like (right angled, red dot etc) as stuff that comes with any kit is usually adequate but not great.

Anyhow that's what I would do. In the meantime my only other suggestion is to wait and take your time and if you haven't already, try to look through this kit first as you are spending a lot of money.


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You could have the new Celestron Edge HD 8" OTA for the same as the Meade 8" ACF. Plus the EQ6.

But getting a better idea of what you want and then playing the secondhand market, as Stuart suggests, is good idea.

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For Imaging if i was going out to spend money today.

NEQ6 mount. (This is the base starting point) EQMOD Adaptor

Skywatcher - Skywatcher EQ6 Syntrek (don't buy a goto your going EQMOD)


Scope wise:

Maksutov Newtonian - Skywatcher Explorer 190MN DS-PRO Mak-Newt Astrograph


and for guiding (with suitable gear) and widefield work

Pro Series - Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro OTA


You will need Guidescope rings idealy

and for that ID speak to FLO

Other bits and bobs as acording to needs.

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If you're looking for an imaging setup, I'd suggest buying

Books - Making Every Photon Count - Steve Richards

and having a read before anything else.


Don't go throwing money around before you read up on what it is excatly you want to do. Invariably, different disciplines need different equipment. Go slow, ask all the questions you like and get as much advice as possible.

Personally, I'd look at doing a spot of visual observing for a while as you'll have a steep enough learning curve without adding the extra hassle of imaging. Try tailoring your kit around that with a view for imaging in the future rather than just jumping in at the deep end.


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Okay,with all that said i think your right! i may have the chance of a 90mm meade to curb my enthusiasm, while i look into this a little more, you lot seem to be set in the same stonework on this EQMOD so any sensible person would stop and take count,i will aproach the company i have talked to and get them to hold fire for me while i work out what it is i require, i'm glad i asked in here rathre than on the begginers section, not that i think the answers would have differed, just you guys did what i hoped and said it as it needed to be said, i will get the 90mm meade if possible do some viewing get used to that and then move on. (my other half will have invested the money in clothes or something by the time i get back to the whole in the wall)

Thanks for the answers, i will take a look at the celestron and the idea of building it component instead, the thing that put me off was the bulk of the EQ systems but if i get the 90 then i will still have something to carry around!

this is why i joined, i knew if left to make my own decissions i would end up waistfull!

Cheers Guys

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You've had some good advice here Rols however I think some of the advice is quoting the old mantra that fork mounted scopes are no good for astro imaging even if mounted on an equatorial wedge. Most people who quote this advice have never actually used a modern, higher quality fork mounted SCT on a wedge for DSO work. I spent a lot of time working with an NS8 on a wedge and found it performed extremely well.

Astroimaging Equipment

I found the NS8 excellent for visual, the alt az set up is so much pleasanter to use than an equatorially mounted scope. It was also very good for planetary and lunar imaging, much more convenient than equatorial arrangement.

At the time I was learning the ropes. Started with alt az imaging with a Meade 3.3 reducer and a fastar set up working at F2. I subsequently put it on a wedge and did more unguided work. I eventually added some hardware to allow a small refractor to be piggy backed. With this arrangement I did a little bit of autoguiding and the set up worked like a dream. I measured the PE once, it came out at +/- 10 arc secs which would put an EQ6 to shame.

The big downside was that the camera would impinge on the base of the scope when pointing near the NCP which ruled out a chunk of sky, although I still have that problem now, with the siting of my observatory.

Polar alignment could be achieved every bit as quickly as with an equatorial.

Where an equatorial system comes into it's own is the flexibility it offers in supporting a range of scopes and guiding arrangments. I was using refractors on a small vixen mount and decided to upgrade to an EM200. After this it didn't make sense to persevere with the NS8 so I got rid (which I still regret sometimes)

So, if you want a jack of all trades then a fork mounted LX200 will serve you very well. It is an expensive option though, especially if you want to do high quality DSO work (good quality wedges don't come cheap and the Celestron and Meade versions are poor).

If you primarily intend to do deep sky imaging then the flexibility of an equatorial mount might be an advantage.

As Russ says, make sure you have a look at the Celestron CPC

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hang on a sec i think if you just tug that string i might go back up...:)

i'v paused my purchase, i'm going to go look at what i could get for my money if i was to decide otherwise. the primary reason for going down the 8" route was portabillity, if i end up going down the EQ route i end up stuck to my back garden, and woudl then want the 10", if i wedged the 8" it would not be so bad to move around! i'm all up for getting the best i can for the money but i also need to be able to move it a 100 miles to a nice viewing location!

your obviously aware i'm torn as to what to buy or i would have gone and got it..i think if i can grab this 90 at a sensible cost it will give me a look at the sky, and once i have covered that base maybe i will know better what i want from my main setup. i see the logic of buying seperate items, as bespoke enables me to buy the best itmes for the money and pick the setup!

as said before the info from you lot has been good to hear, it has made me pause for thought and make sure before i spend! thankyou for doing that. i was led to believe that the fork was going to be 'OK' but not 'best' siuted to the job and by the sound of it, it will be ok. and most likely suited to me! but i will wait for the book to arrive read through and see where i come out..:)

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Ah, I think you may have got your abbreviations mixed up :).

An EQ (or GEM) mount mount is a German Equatorial Mount which is a design of mount, the LX200 you're looking at has a fork mount.

EQMOD is a system whereby instead using using a handset to align and use the mount, it's done by your computer.


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