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Help buying my 1st good Meade telescope

Started by dstrash, 12/16/2007 06:34PM
Posted 12/16/2007 06:34PM Opening Post
I am a novice astronomer for many years and looking to move up in knowledge and equipment. I have a small 5" Celestron "comet catcher" on an equatorial mount. I recently bought a Meade My Sky to learn the night sky. I like the ability to hook it up the a scope and move it to an object. My delema is should I buy an 8 or 10" and the LX200 or the LX200R? I can spend $4,000 but are the RC optics well worth the extra $1.000? Weight is a factor also as I will be moving the scope to dark locations by myself. The 10" LX200 OTA is about the same weight as the 8" LX200R.
I like the 10" LX200R but is this the best scope for me?
Posted 12/18/2007 09:21PM #1
Hi Don,

Ahhh... the famous "what scope's best?" question.

It's the old cost/weight/aperture issue. Although a 8" SCT is a great all around scope, I think you'll appreciate the extra aperture of the 10, or if you go Celestron, the 11 incher. I've looked through a bunch of 8" SCTs and they all were good all around workhorses, but the image brightness never tickled my fancy. A good 6 inch refractor gave them a good run for the money. A few years back, I looked through an old 10" Meade and was surprised how much the extra 2 inches added to the image. A year an a half ago I purchased a used 12" LX200 and really enjoy the scope. The 12" IS at the edge of single-person-portability. I'm 53, 5'8", and about 155lbs, so I'm not a big or young guy. I CAN lift the 12" into its tripod although my eyeballs bug out a bit while doing so. Not sure how I'll do it in 10 years or so, but for now I can handle it. Before buying my scope I spent a couple nights under the stars with both the 12" Meade and the 11" Celestron. Both were great performers. I liked the looks of the Meade and the extra inch of aperture so that was my choice.
FWIW: The Celestrons are nearly silent when slewing, the Meade can sound like you're grinding coffee beans for a Latte. Keep your eye peeled here on Astromart. I see a lot of 10" and 11" GPS models for sale and you can save some $$ for accessories.

Clear, sunny skies.
Tom Masterson
Coronado-Lunt-Daystar Solar Filters forum Moderator
Posted 12/19/2007 06:24AM #2
Just to be sure I understand the question--Are you looking for a scope that will connect to your Meade My Sky specifically, or just the best goto scope available?

Posted 12/29/2007 11:16AM #3

Buy a Losmandy G8/G11 and try various Meade and Celestron OTA's until you find the one thats best for you.

If only someone had told me that years ago....