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In Defense of the Poor Meade LXD 55

Posted by Art Ahrens   09/21/2004 09:13PM

I acquired a LXD 55 mount about a year ago, as a portable mount for my Genesis APO. My main mount is a Losmandy G11. Attempting to mount a 10 inch scope to the LXD 55 is not a good idea, especially for imaging, and shame on Meade for attempting to sell it that way. I have used the mount with two scopes. The Genesis, which weighs approx. 13 lbs, and an Intes 703 deluxe, which weighs approx 16 lbs. When the mount is used with the Genesis, the tracking accuracy, and tracking smoothness, are very good for visual work. No vibration observed as I have seen with the Celestron goto mounts. GOTO pointing accuracy will place an object anywhere in the sky in my eyepiece as long as it is accurately aligned.

LXD 55 pros: Lightweight, portability, Easy to throw into the car to take the Genesis to a dark site, and tracking accuracy. Saves my back when I want to take the Genesis out for a quick peek, as I can leave the heavy mount inside. It has excellent goto capability for the price.

LXD 55 Cons: It is often abused with overweight scopes. Can be figidy to align and dial out the backlash. Not recommended for long exposure imaging, altho I have used it with success with a D70 for a 30 second exposure. Will Meade ever silence the noisy motors?

Summary: The LXD 55 is an excellent choice for a mount which is equivilent in my opinion to a CG5 for load capability, and portability. It is often overtaxed, and therefore, it gets a bad rap.