Meade LXD500 102/Achr


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Meade LXD500 102/Achr
The mount is great...the scope shows quite a bit of color on bright objects.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.52.114)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41097


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
Great scope. Superior mount. Great damping. Very clear and crisp images. A little color around the brightest stars, nothing seriously degrading of the telescopes performance. Quite heavy, but it can be dismantled easily. The setup only took 10 min., so you can imagine the portablilty when it is dismantled. Great telescope that i would reccomend to anyone. Well worth the $700 bucks.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.16.118)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41098


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
I just received this scope from Astronomics at the amazing closeout price of $349! I have now used it three times and it is a very nice scope. The images are nice and the mount is very solid. I have seen Cassini's division with ease, watched the shadow of a moon transit Jupiter, and saw the Great Red Spot. Detail in Jupiter's bands was evident during moments of good seeing. This scope gives good contrasty views of the moon as well. The only disadvantage is the slight amount of blue color around very bright stars. I recommend this scope to anyone who wants a nice 4" Refractor on a steady mount.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.80.195)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41099


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
This is the first "serious" telescope I've ever owned -- not the first I ever looked through -- and I bought it at the not-very-serious price of $349 from Astronomics on a closeout sale. I had been wanting to buy it at the "usual" price of $695 for a long time, but kept hesitating. Needless to say, I'm glad I did.

First the drawbacks: It's heavy. It has more than its share of chromatic aberration -- lots of color around Mars and Venus right now (they're pretty bright at the moment). The finder scope is puny and cheap (it literally fell apart the first time I tried to focus it). The eyepiece they supply is only so-so.

On the other hand, you can balance it just fine with only one counterweight. With that, it's light enough that I usually carry it around without taking it apart -- but it is really easy to take apart. Meade cheerfully replaced the finder scope with another that, while equally puny, does stay together and focus. A better eyepiece is as close as the University Optics website. As for the false color -- well, it ain't so bad on fainter objects :-)

The great things about this scope: it's pretty -- sure to be one of the prettiest at any star party, the mount is very solid, the adjustments are smooth, and it's a refractor. Yes, you can see everything you could expect to see in a 4" refractor, and most nights you can't tell the difference between it and a Televue (except for the false color). I'd definitely pay $349 for it again. Maybe I'd pay $695. If I had more than that to spend, I'd buy a Televue! You get what you pay for.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.101.32)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41100


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
For $349 from Astronomics this scope is a steal. A solid 4" Refractor with a nice stable mount for $410 (with shipping) is an amazing bargain. Scope/Mount is pretty heavy but managable. Easy to set up too. I didn't get a motor.

The single eyepiece provided is somewhat lame but you're eventually going to need more than one anyway. My finderscope needed to be replaced as the eyepiece part of it kept falling out because the threads weren't deep enough to hold it in place. After 1 quick call to Astronomics a new finderscope from Meade arrived a week later at my doorstep. That one works fine. The old one is now a mini-upside down telescope for my kids. Astronomics did very well in terms of customer support.

For $349 my rating would be a 10. You can't do better for the price. For $650-$700 I'd probably give it an 9 after fixing the finderscope. Since I believe that the $349 Astronomics price is history I'm giving it a final rating of a 9.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.23)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41101


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
Imho, too much false color, especially for a 4" f/9 achromat and the finder scope is junk, etc. nice scope to look at though.

Overall Rating: 4
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.132.195)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41102


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
Purchased from Astronomicís at the blowout sale of $349. Great price. The Optics needed adjustment. I realized it after 6 times being out. The primary lens was shipped crooked. Take a look at yours! After we adjusted it the optics were superb! Much better than I hoped for. My LXD 500 mount needed serious work. It was very stiff. After 2 long nights of taking it apart, cleaning the metal shavings off of the gears and putting in new grease, I was able to perfectly balance it. Even though the setup is heavy, There is still a lot of vibration in the mount. Get some vibration pads and contemplate filling the legs with sand or hanging a sandbag from the tripod. It will make a world of difference. The eyepiece supplied with the telescope is par. I would only use it to align Polaris. I built my own RA motor and controls to slew and track because I heard that the Meade motor was not nearly strong enough to move that tank. It is overall an excellent scope for the price. I think just a couple of years ago it was priced around $1500. I am glad I got it for much less. Now I have aperture fever!!!!!

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.24.66)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41103


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
For the comment above, can you tell me how you made your own motor?

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.19.64)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41104


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
I, too, got Astronomic's closeout deal, and I am glad I did. The scope is beautifully designed (and poorly assembled - more about this later) and makes an imposing presence in the corner of my basement. It is *almost* too large for convenient, spur-of-the-moment, use. However, being reasonably young and atheletic, I can drag it out the back door in one piece without too much effort. Optically, it shows some false color around bright stars and planents, but I do not find this objectionable. High power views of the moon -- sometimes it will bear 306x -- are wonderful.

The mount has received some bad comments, but I found it worked much better once I rebuilt it. There was a good site that described how to do this, but it seems to have disappeared. You can view a text-only version at

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:IiO_s0hqcIE:www.slip.net/~lefevre/203SC/m203mou.htm+&hl=en

A rebuild involves complete disassembly, deburring rough edges, and replacing current grease with lithium grease. I highly recommend this procedure because you then become familiar with the many fussy adjustments that need to be made. There are many points at which you must tighten a nut *just so*, or balance two screws for proper tension. After some trial and error, I got it right. The motions are smooth and easy, while still eliminating extra play in the axes and drives. Occasionally, I notice an adjustment need touching up, but this is easy once you understand how they work. It's worth the effort.

I bought the dual axis controller (about $180), and this adds greatly to my anjoyment of the scope. By accurately pointing and guiding the scope without having to touch it, star hopping is easy. Fair warning, the drive controller is power hungry and eats AA cells rapidly. I now have a 12V power inverter that lets me run all night.

The tripod has also received some negative comments. True, it is too lightweight for the scope, but I would not want it any heavier. After the rebuild, damping time is usually less than one second. Replacing the aluminum legs with solid wood ones would reduce this further.

As the others have said, I bought some new eyepieces and a better finder.

All things considered, I give the outfit a "nine": high value for the dollar, and remaining problems are readily fixed.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.61.62)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41105


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
This is a really good looking set up- larger and beefier than expected. There is quite a bit of color on bright objects, but otherwise the optics are fine. The finder is only OK- replace it with a right angle finder and your neck will thank you. I also added a zero magnification red dot finder as well. The LXD500b mount is smooth, and with the dual axis drives & polar finder it tracks beautifully with only rough polar alignment. I did fill the tripod legs with sand, put C clamps on the legs and added vibration suppression pads with excellent results(mainly from the pads)in reducing damping time. Does well on planets(nice mars detail 6/01) and deep sky objects. With my 24.5 SWA EP(highly recommended) I get a 2.0 degree fov- nice for scanning milky way star fields. The 25mm plossl supplied is good, but the scope really performs with better EP's. You'll be very happy with this set up unless you're a stickler for color correction. Buy the vibration suppression pads and you'll like the tripod much better. The dual axis drives are worth every penny- they make the scope much easier to use. Polar finder not needed for visual use.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.194.229)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41106


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
What a pretty lookin scope. It looks more like a piece of art work than telescope...hehe...but it is quite impressive looking through. Great on deep-sky...SUPERIOR on the moon...and on the planets it was very impressive as well. Saturn was amazing . Jupiter - various cloud bands and on mars, polar caps and a little bit of color variation...mount is great...tripod could be better, but acceptable...overall a wonderful scope to use. price is $750 but it was worth every dime of that and more. I love this scope!

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.20.26)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=79472


Meade LXD500 102/Achr
This is one of those Taiwanese build scopes. It is a mass-market product and there seems to be a large difference between the various units. Some are good, some are really bad with astigmatism and lots of chromatic abberations.

If you can find the good ones : these are really good scopes which can compete with the Celestron C102. And..for some people very important : It is a real "eye-catcher". It looks beautiful.
The LXD500B mount is not very solid and especially the aluminium tripod sucks. Replace them with wooden legs.

Overall : not too bad at all, but beware for the bad units. They are really bad...

Overall Rating: 6
Optics:7 Mount:6 Ease of Use:8 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.227.236)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=132926

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