Last update 2001-3-24

Experiences with the Meade LX200, part 1

The wonderful but very noisy machine.


In the middle of 2000, I decided to order an 8 inch LX200 with a F/6.3 focal ratio. I chose the 8 inch since it is more transportable then a 10 inch version and because the field of view is larger. The main purpose was to make CCD pictures so the "faster" F/6.3 focal ratio was selected.

I asked several users and got conflicting opinions. Some people warned for the large central obstruction in the F/6.3 models. It is true the the contrast for faint un-sharp (low frequency) object is lower then for a less obstructed optical system. Typical examples are bands of Jupiter. Sharp defined objects like the Cassini devision of the Saturn rings, the F/6,3 is a tiny little better  then the F/10. However most people will not notice. A very good article regarding this subject can be found at:

To understand the difference between an largely obstructed system, such as a F/6,3 and a less such as a F/10, you have to understand the MTF curve where the contrast is given against the spatial frequency.

The delivery was initially set at 6 weeks, but finally it took a very long 4 months. All worked fine except then the drives need some lubrication by the shop where I bought it. Secondly I had to return the 8x50 for a small damage. Also the prisma was returned. It was so bad that there was a big difference between the alignment of the telescope with or without the prisma. The one supplied with my LX10 was much better.

All you want to know about LX200's can be found at

The absolute wonderful thing of the LX200, is that using CCD you can easily point at any object. With respect to the LX10, finding becomes less time consuming. In fact moving to any faint object becomes just pushing a few buttons. Secondly the guiding is a 2/3 times better (quartz controlled) and corrective guiding is only after 30/40 seconds or so required instead of the 10/15 seconds of aLX10. An disadvantage of the LX200 are the very noisy drives. The sound is not of a nice lubricated sewing machine but is more familiar with the sound of a 2-stroke engine (motorized bicycle or moped).

Here are some CCD results of the first months:

NGC1023 NGC2024 NGC2158

NGC2264 NGC2403 M31

NGC869 NGC884 NGC891

M42 M33 m37

M1 M65

M100 NGC3628

M95