Meade 178ED


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Brand and Model:Meade 178ED
Price ($USD):$5995.00
Type:Apochromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To checked PEC
Aperture:178mm (7")
f Ratio:f/9
Focal Length:1600mm
Finder:8x50
Electric Power:18V
Mount:LXD-750
Tripod:Variable Height Giant Field
Weight (lbs):176 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):?
Description:The Meade 178ED is the world's largest continuous-production apochromatic refractor. Armed with 38.5 sq. in. (249 sq. cm.) of precision, unobstructed light-collecting area, the 178ED shows many objects in sharp, high-definition detail that larger telescopes of other types often fail to show at all. A series of ten field stops, mounted continuously along the inside surface of the main optical tube and included with all Meade ED models, combines with the industry's most advanced Super-Multi-Coatings to yield extremely high-contrast images at the focal plane. And yet, even when equipped with the state-of-the-art Meade #1697 Computer Drive System, the telescope is within the budget of many advanced amateurs. Once you've experienced a Meade 178ED/APO, there can be little comfort in using a lesser instrument ever again.

Specifications of 7" Model 178ED: 7" ED apochromatic refractor optical tube assembly with Super Multi-Coatings on both surfaces of the front lens element (D = 178mm, F = 1600mm, f/9); manual slewing handles on the rear cell; #684 giant rack-and-pinion focusing mechanism with 2.7" I.D. drawtube, 2" eyepiece-holder, adapter for 1.25", and drawtube lock; 8 x 50mm viewfinder with removable dovetail bracket; dew shield; #930 2" diagonal mirror; Series 4000 Super Plössl 26mm (62X) eyepiece; LXD 750 equatorial mount with micrometric azimuth and elevation controls, and with worm gear manual slow-motion controls, setting circles, and locks in both R.A. and Dec; retractable counterweight shaft and counterweight; latitude elevation scale; giant variable-height field tripod, operating instructions.


Meade's Apochromatic Refractor Page
Accessories for Meade ED Series Refractors
Ed Ting's Meade 178ED Review
Ed Ting's Meade 152ED Review
Meade 127mm ED vs Tak FS128 vs AP 130EDT f/8
Meade 6" Semi-Apo Review

Vote Highlights Vote
Meade 178ED
I traded my 5" Meade ED for the 178 ED. At first I thought I had made a terrible mistake: the 178 ED arrived with the commonly mentioned "flared star images." I took it to Meade for the new adjustible lens cell and centering/collimation. It took two trips and some communication with Meade but the scope they returned is absolutely excellent. Last night and this morning I had it and the 6" AP side by side on Mars, the Trapezium, Saturn and Jupiter plus various double stars. 178 ED APO: All six stars clean and clear in the Trap with a 7mm UO ortho, split the double double at 88x cleanly (18mm Pentax SMC ortho) and provided the absolute best images of Saturn you could ever hope for. I kept going back and forth between the AP and Meade. My favorite view was the one I happened to be looking at. No kidding, the 178 was brighter (mentioned by another observer present)which made some of the detail on Mars easier to pick out. At 320x (5mm TMB) in the Meade I did notice a bit of color around Mars. Slight but there. None in the AP at similar power ( 6mm TMB Mono for 300x) hard as I tried to find it! And the Meade was right there in terms of sharpness and resolution as well. For those interested, both scopes were well cooled down and both were using AP MaxBright diagonals. Eyepieces were TMB monos, SMC Pentax orthos and UO orthos. The AP was on a G-11 and the 178 ED on a Parallax HD-150 on a too tall pier. The pier is the correct height for a D&G 8" F/12.

Great scope! I gave it a "9" only because there is a touch of color. Sharpness and resolution are decidedly a "!)" and value solidly a "10".

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.26.143)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=310265


Meade 178ED
I purchased a used 7" OTA recently. I must say it's one of the best optically in a refractor that I've ever had. The overall appearance and quality of the OTA is not like a AP or Takahashi but it looks real good and the performance is equal to the best. At $2500. for the OTA I feel like I got a real bargan. I rate it 10+

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: hjastro
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=51926


Meade 178ED
I have had the Meade 178ed for over 5 years. The scope took a bit of work to get the optics perfectly centered, but other than that, I have no complaints. In excellent seeing this scope shows fine detail on Jupiter and I have seen detail on Ganymede several times.
I use binoviewers for planetary viewing and the views are incredible; Saturn looks like the proverbial CCD image as does Jupiter. The moon through this scope is superb, mainly because the contrast of this system is very high, and targets which are difficult for smaller scopes, are easily seen in the Meade . I could go on but it is enough to say that this is, by a long way, the most UNDERRATED telescope on the (secondhand) market .

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.90.233)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=594588


Meade 178ED
I've read the reviews about varying quality and images from the big Meades. I must be lucky because my 7" is outstanding. Last October Neptune was a clearly defined blue disc through a 5mm Vixen Superwide eyepiece. Deep sky objects just jump out. While not as bright as some 20" Newtonians next to me, my images were sharper.

And the mount is wonderful. I picked out Uranus seting into a murky Houston horizon in which no stars were visable by eye. It's hard to star-hop if you can't see stars. But the LXD 750 mount went to the planet dead on.

My only complaint is the size and weight and it's sail-like behavior in a wind. But the big Dobs blow in the wind, too.

Ed Malewitz
JSCAS

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.242.211)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38539


Meade 178ED
I have owned the Meade 178ED for three years now. The first one I had was damaged in shipping, the second one I received (month later), after contacting Meade several times was OK, but had two much color for my liking. I sent the scope back for a third time, and was told it was the best optics they could produce (took two months). I believe them. I have had numerous compliments on the image quality, color correction and double star tests. Why they couldn't produce this scope the first time, I do not know. The images are excellent and the color correction is on par with some of the best refractors in our group (AstroPhysics 7" Starfire, 6" D&G). By the way, it bested the Starfire, but the AstroPhysics scope had some coating problems. The only color I could see is was on Vega, and it is slight at best, depending on the seeing. There is absolutely no noticeable color in any other object! The high-precision pointing option on the LXD-750 mount is great for centering objects on the CCD chip. Obviously Meade is capable of producing a fine product if pushed, but they should not have to be forced to deliver a scope of this quality, especially in this price range. I have owned refractor's for over 30 years now, and this one ranks with the best ones I have ever owned (over 10 refractors). I have looked through many, many others, and believe me if you get one like this you will be satisfied!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.174.70)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38532


Meade 178ED
Worst optics I have ever seen. Telescope just would not focus. Stars were flared like comets. Sent back to Meade three times. Worst customer service and quality control I have ever experienced. Excruciatingly-long response time. Very poor at returning phone calls. First time they just collimated the scope then sent me back the same flawed optics. That took over a month. Second time they sent me supposedly another set of optics that were just as bad. That took almost two months. They finally sent me a hand-picked set of optics that were actually quite good. That was another two months. If you get a set of optics like this, the scope is a keeper. Star test was at least as good as my typical seeing conditions. Contrast was very good. The "ED" designation is a bit of stretch. There was plenty of false color, but at least the telescope now focuses stars to a point. I just can't figure out why they would supply such obviously poor optics on such a premium scope. They have to know they are selling down-right bad optics. There must be lots of bad 178ED's out there and they figure most people don't look through the scopes?

Overall Rating: 3
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.153.131)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38527


Meade 178ED
My Meade 178 is a superb instrument, jupiter and saturn are spectacular when using a binovue. You can see alot of detail on deep space objects. As far as color correction its only noticable on bright stars, other than that its non existence. I now use it soley for ccd imaging, and is my favorite scope to image with, primary due to the focal length and aperature, star images are tight and the images are just as good as a higher cost refractor, after owning this scope for seven years there were times I had to correct the centering, due to the scope getting bumped, fortunatly I was able to follow the instructions from the Meade refractor group. This a keeper!!!

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.122.184)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=606954


Meade 178ED
I must have one of the good ones, because mine has a perfect star test with an even airy disk on both sides of focus. It does show faint color on bright stars in the defraction rings, but not much different than my Televue 85mm or Astro-Physics 100mm F/10 refractors, both two lens doublets that also claimed to be APO when they first came out. Mine is older than most (probably 1994) and doesn't have the fully adjustable lens cell (thankfully I don't need it). It came with the LXD700 mount, which works fine, but is sensitive to good balance. I think this is where people have a problem as the drives do not have the capacity to forgive a mis-balanced scope (undersized, belt-driven motors). But if it remains balanced, it works beautifully and is very easy to operate -- much faster at high speed slews than my G11 Gemini (hence the complaints about motor noise). I keep thinking that with better motors, added gearing and adjustable pinion blocks, the mount would be able to handle twice it's capacity. Add better gears (for PEC) and this would be a serious contender for half the price of an AP or Tak. With the industry-standard LX200 interface, database and firmware, this mount interfaces with every software package I have ever tried (TheSky, Starry Nights, Cartes Du Ciel, etc.

Scope: Check the star test. If it's good - buy it! Even if poor and it has the newer lens cell, you can correct any mis-alignment and its likley a good deal.

Mount: A good value if you can keep it balanced.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.43.63)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=579786


Meade 178ED
I have a Meade 178ed OTA bought S/H for around $3000. Once the optics were correctly centered ( thanks to the excellent instructions on the Yahoo Meade group ) the telescope performed superbly. Images snap into focus and are exactly what I expect of a very good refractor. ( I also own a 4 " zeiss AS lens, so I know what good images should look like !!) It is a tribute to the Meade that I no longer use the Zeiss. In anything like very good seeing the Zeiss is totally outclassed. Which is as it should be give the size difference.
I have used the 178ed for almost a year now. During periods of very good seeing, It has shown superb views of Saturn at 250- 400 x. Titan as a clean edged disc at 533 x. Cassini's division is huge , there is ALWAYS detail to be seen in the outer ring ( Encke's MINIMA ) in good seeing. The brightening of the rings on either side of Cassini's division is easy, as is the Crepe ring and detail in the inner rings which sometimes show several divisions ( grooves ). Saturn's globe is a beautiful mixture of creamy yellow and beige with much subtle banding visible.
Jupiter is an incredible sight with binoviewers and 200-250x
( more on nights of excellent seeing ) Detail being visible in the red ( grey ) spot & the mass of intricate detail following the spot and in the belts, is revealed with very pleasing contrast.The "Boring side of Jupiter is anything but !!!! On two occasions this scope has shown a dark markings on Ganymede at 712 x .
If you use this scope with a Binoviewer on the moon you will be awake all night. The detail at 320 x and more, is beautifully rendered and of very high contrast ( and not just on the terminator). And yes, in excellent seeing you can use 100 x per inch on the moon, if you like that kind of thing.With a correctly centered lens, false color is not a problem.
On deep sky the sharp, high contrast images are a joy, I can get a 1.8 degree field with a 44mm 65° Erfle. M 13 in this scope at 130x is like a good ccd image.The Orion nebula (M42) is stunning. Again,sweeping the Saggitarius region with this scope in the summer is not going to get you to bed early.
To summarise, if you are prepared to take the time to learn how to center the lens ( not difficult But you must have the adjustable lens cell). There is probably no better scope on the Market for the money.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.123.170)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=432826


Meade 178ED
My 178 showed a bit of colour, but with the motor-focuser and fantastic LXD750 gp-to mount, it is a great light-gatherer telescope, much better than a 6" AP for less than half the cost!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:10 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.26.74)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=425367

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