Meade 203SC/500


 Info  Votes  Messages  More Stats  Up One Level
image
Brand and Model:Meade 203SC/500
Price ($USD):disocntinued
Type:Schmidt-Cassegrain
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:203mm (8")
f Ratio:f/10
Focal Length:2000mm
Finder:6x30
Electric Power:add-on
Mount:LXD-500
Tripod:Aluminium "Teeter-totter"
Weight (lbs):60 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:The 500A has aluminium gears in the GEM, the 500B has bronze which are much better.

Vote Highlights Vote
Meade 203SC/500
This was my first scope. If it came with a better mount and tripod, I could have rated higher. I cut my teeth with this tube and the optics are great. At it's price, one can assume some fixing up is in order. I have hardwood legs and a higher quality diagonal on it now. I did get the tracking motors but took them off. I perfer to track manually for now as I don't do imaging which would require something better than the cg5. I highly recommend it because of the optics and price. Oh, I replaced the 6x30 finder too.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:3 Ease of Use:7 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.223.35)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=83168

If you still have those tracking motors, I could take them off your hands!  http://www.flickr.com/people/jasmel90/

>This was my first scope.  If it came with a better mount and tripod, I could have rated higher.  I cut my teeth with this tube and the optics are great.  At it's price, one can assume some fixing up is in order.  I have hardwood legs and a higher quality diagonal on it now.  I did get the tracking motors but took them off.  I perfer to track manually for now as I don't do imaging which would require something better than the cg5.  I highly recommend it because of the optics and price.  Oh, I replaced the 6x30 finder too.

Meade 203SC/500
Once collimated properly Lunar/planetary views are fantastic. Cassini Division even in worst seeing & Jupiter detail in cloud belts/GRS almost always apparent. 2-4 craterlets in Plato no problem. I live in the AZ desert with better than average seeing, so consider that. Lunar views will knock your socks off. I do use premium EP's( 12mm Radian, 14mm SWA & 9mm Nagler T6 for high power work). Stars are pinpoint, although f.o.v narrow compared to my other scope- 10" f/5 Dob. I do use a 2'' diagonal with 40mm Pentax XL to widen the view. I was frustrated with the mount until I added the dual axis drives( the slow motion knobs are difficult to reach), filled the tripod legs with sand and placed on vibration suppression pads. Tracking is excellent with decent polar alignment and leveling and damping time is 1-2 sec. I'm pleased with this as my lunar/planetary scope, but for deep sky it's only OK since the long focal length restricts the f.o.v and observing near zenith is impossible since the motors obstruct this position. The deep sky views are good though, but a fork mount would allow observing the entire sky, I believe. Overall a great buy.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:6 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.175.248)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=47347


Meade 203SC/500
This is an excellent first scope. THe optics are first rate--I compared it with my father's LX200 and it gives up nothing, much as Meade claims. An equatorial mount is the easiest way to develop an intuitive field for the relationship between the cellestial sphere and the horizon, and getting a cheap SCT on an equatorial mount is pretty tough to beat. After owning it for a year or so, I bought a 2" diagonal (from Meade, highly mediocre, not at all recommended) and started using Nagler and other 2" eyepieces. The views obtained are worth every bit of hassle during set-up. I built a 8" Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount with fantastic optics, but verey often still go through the effort to required to use the Meade because its optics are great for high magnification and tracking objects is pure pleasure, whether manually or using the drives.

Nevertheless...

(1) The unit I was sent had a rinky-tink 6x30 finder. It will drive you crazy and you will replace it--consider the Antares 8x50 90o or the Orion 9x50.

(2) The tripod is a joke. THe Deluxe Field Tripod that I bought for my ETX is identical, and is barely adequate for the ETX. You will replace the legs with something else, trust me.

(3) The equatorial head needs tweaking in the first year or so of ownership if you use big eye pieces, e.g., Naglers. A LOT of tweaking. Plan on buying a pair of channel lock pliers and building up some nerve to take things apart.

(4) The knobs used to move the mount in manual mode are a joke because if you even come close to looking straight up, you will have to remove the R.A. knob to have a look. You will replace them, have no doubt. I bought small knobs for a stove at my local hardware store for about 50 cents each: they are smaller and let me swing the scope pretty well where I please.

(5) If you are new to sky gazing, you will surely want to get a 2" diagonal and at least one large aperture eyepiece. F/10 is pretty serious business when it comes to nebulae.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.146.31)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41096


Meade 203SC/500
Good optics, terrible tripod, terrible mount. Mount doesnt track.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.227.182)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41095


Meade 203SC/500
What a great bang for the buck! Huge apeture...decent optics...and a mount that with a little tweaking can allow some decent astrophotography work as well as some excellent visual viewing.

This scope gives very good images, both on planets and deep sky. The mount I have with mine is the Meade LXD500B. The B stands for bronze gear, a huge improvement over an aluminum gear...stay away from the aluminum mount model.

As was stated previously...the *only* weak link to this set up...and it is not that big of a deal, is the mount! Slap on a pair of wooden legs (either manufactured or make your own...it's not that hard)...add some Celestron Vibration Pads and you have a *GREAT* setup!

I have owned a CG2 mount...a GG3 mount...a CG4 mount and a CG5. This mount I would rate as equal to a CG5, and maybe a little better because of the bronze gear...mine is smooth as butter.

The dual axis drives they sell for this mount are an improvement to those sold for the Celestron CG4 and CG5. If one replaces the aluminum legs with wooden ones, puts a set of Celestron Vibration Pads on each leg...and purchases the meade dual axis drives...then you transform this scope into a wonderful astrophotography setup capable of doing some begining/intermediate astrophotography with this set-up.

All in all...I think this is one of the best buys today for a eq. mounted Schmidt-Cassegrain!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.64.50)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41093


Meade 203SC/500
Very good optics poor tripod and okay mount.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.241.73)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41092


Meade 203SC/500
I've had the scope for about two years. The optics are great. The planets look really good. On night of good seeing Saturns division are clearly visible. On deep space its pretty good too. I've found all of the Messiar objects with it. Ive also seen alot of the NGC objects too. The eyepiece they supply with it is great. My only complaint is the mount and the tripod. The tripod isnt very sturdy and the mount doesnt track very well. But if you not planning on doing any astrophotagraghy with it then the mount will do.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.234.3)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41091


Meade 203SC/500
I have owed one of these for about 1 1/2 years. The scope and mount are pretty
good but as in the previous post, the tripod is junk. Way to light for the load
of the scope and mount. I rate the scope an 8 but because of the tripod, I hve the whole set up a 7.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.205.168)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41090


Meade 203SC/500
As this is my 1st serious scope, what the h*ll do I know?
I know I like it very much. I get clear images, it's easy to work, cools down quickly and has plenty of add-ons to jazz it up. The price is great as it's optics rivals the big LX200 models without the electronics, something I can do without.
Check out http://www.slip.net/~lefevre/203SC/m203sc.htm and see what can be done about the tripod's shortcomings. It really is a good scope and gets you into the field with some change left over for beer!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.46.133)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41089


Meade 203SC/500
Had one, Star tested well, just slight turned down edge. The tripod sucked, I replaced it with a home made wooden one and that improved the performance significantly. I enjoyed the scope for two years before upgrading to a LX200. The upgrades on LeFevre's site are recommended. For the price, this is a good scope, but the dual axis drive brings it over an LX10, wich may be a better deal for the price.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.186)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41094

Click here to see all votes (10 total)
[Click Here to Login]
Don't have a login? Register!