Meade 12-inch Lightbridge Deluxe

Posted by Robert Burns   05/17/2006 07:00AM

Meade 12-inch Lightbridge Deluxe
Things I liked:
-- Optics seem of good quality for a mass-produced scope. A good but not perfect collimation with a laser tool showed colors with a 11mm Televue plossel showed color in the banding to my aging eyes. Quite a bit of coma outside the sweet spot of the center, but that's to be expected, I'm told, with a fast Newtonian. Star test was good, but as I said, my collimation wasn't right on, just near. M13 in my light-polluted skies filled about 1/3 of the eyepiece with easily distinguishable stars.

-- Easy to set up assemble; transport. From setup to setup my collimation is quite a bit off, compared to another review on this page. A laser collimator is a necessary accessory needed to lob this scope into close collimation after initial setup. If I interpreted the star test correctly, the edge is a bit rough, so a small mirror mask might be an improvement.

-- I was concerned about light reflections off the struts as they are burnished aluminum, but as far as I can tell, it's not a serious issue. By traditional DOB wisdom, if you can't see a reflecting surface when looking through the focuser without an eyepiece don't worry about it.

-- Focuser is pretty good; not the best, but good considering the price of the scope. Action was smooth action in alt and az, but see my don't likes below.

Things I didn't like:
-- I could never get the red-dot finder to align as stock mounted. Not a big deal, as I planned to put a Telrad on it anyway.

-- Nose heavy at lower altitudes, even without the Telrad,. But used the old hack of a chain weight on the tailgate, so it's solvable. I tapped a 1/4-inch /24 thread hold in the tail gate for an eye-bolt. About 14-15 inches of heavy logger chain seemed about right.

– Mirror section is awkward. to carry. I had a mental image of dropping in the dark so I added a cabinet drawer handle.

– The plastic dust shield for the mirror is a good idea, but it nearly didn't survive UPS. Two of theVelcro strips that hold it to the mirror clips came loose. Luckily the third held and worked as a hinge so there were no scratches on the mirror. While hinging about, the dust shield did scratch the inside of the blackening, but as I plan to eventually flock the inside, this is not an issue. But Meade should use a better way to secure the shield during shipping however.

Robert Burns

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