Meade LXD55 AR-5


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Meade LXD55 AR-5
At $695 USD, can't complain too much about a very good value package in a GoTo scope. The 127mm f/9.3 achromat is very smooth, slightly undercorrected, and has a smallish astigmatism. Secondary spectrum is less than Orion 120mm f/8.3 and not intrusive.

The Autostar EQ mount is well made with lots of metal components (not plastic) and a serious illuminated polar scope. Reminds me of a Vixen GP/DX (same saddle plate size), and should be good to 25lbs for visual. Scope weighs 15lbs and mount weighs 35lbs with counterweight. New legs would raise the height nicely for the long OTA. 2" Focuser is coarse; vibration pads and better diagonal are recommended.

Good job Meade!

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.225.201)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=74375


Meade LXD55 AR-5
I purchased this scope primarily for the GOTO LXD55 mount. The mount looks very similar to my CG-5 mount (which came with my Celestron G9.25) in terms of size and weight, although it may be ever so slightly beefier in the RA portion. The first thing I noticed about the mount was that it wasn't painted with the same beautiful glossy finish that my CG-5 has, which I have come to admire. The CG-5 mount is eminently more attractive and finished more professionally. The LXD55 mount that I recieved had many small scratches, nicks and paint imperfections in its powder coated type finish. I was quite dissapointed with the overall visual fit and finish. This however, does not affect the mount's performance in pointing and tracking accuracy. The mount will keep an object in the FOV for over 45 minutes if left alone (provided you do a good polar alignment which is easy to do thanks to the good illuminated polar scope included). The other item worth noting is there are no manual knobs to allow you to control the scope without the motors as the CG-5 allows. I would have appreciated the option to use it manually if I wanted to use it without the motor's noise.

The GOTO accuracy of the Autostar controller and the LXD55 drives has also been excellent during the few times i've done a good polar alignment. The sound the motors makes during the alignment procedure and goto slewing is very loud and can be a problem if your neighbors leave their windows open and are trying to sleep. The drive motors sound like an electric hand drill during goto and alignment slewing! The slewing speed just under maximum speed is not nearly as loud and would be preferrable to use when i'm observing from my apartment complex. Unfortunately though, the Autostar computer doesn't allow for the user to limit the maximum speed of the mount during alignment and goto, to the speed just under maximum. I'm hopefull that Meade will create a firmware update to address this wish. A lot of people will sleep easier because of it!

I have been pleasently surprised with the optics of the OTA, and will not be selling the tube as I had initially planned on doing.

The objective lens has very nice green/purple coatings, very similar to the coatings on my excellent Meade Series 4000 26mm eyepieces made in Taiwan. The quality of the optics percievable through the eyepiece are equally as impressive. The light throughput of this 5" scope reveals great images of M13, and M57. I also saw decent detail on M51 although the spiral arms weren't detectable. The combination of light throughput and contrast causes this scope to perform close to the DSO performance of my friend's 8" dob (which throws up a great image), but not quite. The dob will show a brighter image and bring a hint of the arms into view, but there is something special about the image quality in a good refractor. The pinpoint stars and contrasty images make for a very pleasing image. There is noticable purple fringing on the brightest objects such as Vega which becomes more obvious the higher you go in magnification. At low powers the chromatic aberration is very minimal. The two times I was able to view Jupiter (low in the horizon) revealed an obvious purple halo around the limb of the planet. The purple halo didn't seem to affect the detail on the surface of the planet though, which showed decent banding and color within the bands. I thought I could barely make out the red spot as well during one observation but due to the low position relative to the horizon, the conditions weren't ideal to say the least. The small amount of chromatic aberration is something easily acceptable to me being that my G9.25 is my main scope and wouldn't expect even a flourite APO 5" to out perform it on planets.

The focuser deserves some criticism. During focusing, the eyepiece and image will bob up and down depending on if you're focusing in or out. This effect can be minimized if you tighten the focusing lock-screw but causes the focus play to be too tight.

The supplied 1.25" mirror diagonal is of very low quality and is probably the worst single component of the LXD55 package. The supplied 26mm plossl is excellent though.

Meade also loses a point for shipping a finder scope bracket and base plate that aren't compatible with each other! Because of this I have been unable to use the finder which makes sighting Polaris difficult. Meade's excellent and responsive customer service somewhat makes up for this manufacturing/QA problem. I'm told that the replacement bracket and base plate are being shipped to me FedEx 2nd day air. Meade should be congratulated on their excellent customer service.

Overall, despite my criticisms, this scope is an unbelievable value. I would rate this scope a 8.5 if the rating system allowed it but I believe due to the criticisms explained above, a rating of 8 is fair.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.14.4)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=94842


Meade LXD55 AR-5
This scope is great. Views of M4, M22, the Lagoon, Trifid, and Wild Duck were spectacular.
M13 only got better...when I finally put my 7 mm Nagler on it, I could resolve individual stars, and there was a 3-D quality to this cluster!!
Make sure you order the #505 cable set to connect to the Meade site for updates...if you get an older version of Autostar, as I did, you will need to upgrade it to include the LXD mount....

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.34.39)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=119945


Meade LXD55 AR-5
I'll get right to the point. You cannot buy a higher quaility, GoTo equiped, refractor for the money...period.

Autostar is an excellent box. Easy updates to new objects, and firmware. Has several guided tours that are very slick, and make star sessions quite easy.

Optical tube peforms very well. I've had the Moon cranked up as high as 600x, and Saturn and Jupiter nicely resolved up to 250 power, which I think was only been limited by atmospheric conditions. Deep sky objects have nice contrast. My only issue (not a complaint) is that the field of view is limited with my 1.25" eye pieces. I plan to correct that however, with a 120 mm rich field refractor. Don't overlook how nice it is to be able to throw an F5 refractor on the mount without even changing the rings!

The LXD-55 is a quality mount. The motors do make noise, but the sounds are quality sounding, and it does have a Quiet Slew Option. It can jump a little from time to time, but doesn't seem to affect it's accuracy.

Conclussion is that this scope is impressive. Perfect, certainly not, but don't let anyone fool you that it's not a quality piece of machinery for the money.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:6 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.77.246)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=141881

>The LXD-55 is a quality mount.  The motors do make noise, but the sounds are quality sounding, and it does have a Quiet Slew Option.  It can jump a little from time to time, but doesn't seem to affect it's accuracy.
>

You mention a "Quiet Slew Option". Is this quiet mode availble during the automatic goto functions and during intitial alignment procedures or only on manual slewing? How do you set this mode? I have been unable to find a way to limit the motors from going full speed during goto and alignment setup procedures. The full speed motors are too loud for my apartment complex, but if you found the quiet mode, or a way to limit the motors to one step below full speed during goto and alignment setup,  please share how to enable it! Thanks! You can email me directly at willk_1@excite.com with a response. 

-Will

Meade LXD55 AR-5
I purchased the OTA only and had my own mount for this scope. This is my second refractor. My first was a 4in. Celestron/Vixen GPC 102. I sold the GPC 102 because it had a 1/14in. focuser and I wanted a scope with a 2in. focuser and more aperture.

This AR5 does the job I wanted it to do very well and is an outstanding value! The images are very good on the planets and pinpoint stars out to the edge in my Naglers. This scope does as good or better on the planets than my old 8in. Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain did and much better than the GPC 102.

I would rate the optics at 8.5 for sharpness, an 8.5 for contrast and 7.5 for color correction. The focuser is very smooth with no backlash. The optical tube has a nicely painted surface and the tube rings work very well with large knobs on the clamshell design which I like alot.

I have been into astronomy for 18 years now and this is my 5th scope. Having been to many starparties and looked through many different scopes, this scope represents a excellent value on the market today for amature astronomers. Granted, is not quite up to AP, Televue or Taks in optical quality. But is very close on planets and moon and costing maybe a tenth of the price of the scopes mentioned above! I paid $325 for the OTA and am very happy with this purchase. I also own a 12.5 Starmaster EL, so I know a little bit when it comes to optical quality.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Staruser
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=210705


Meade LXD55 AR-5
I've had this since last Autumn. At a very good dark sky site, it's a fine performer.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.22.163)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=277019


Meade LXD55 AR-5
Pretty good value. Nice optics, AutoStar computer works great! Scope is NOT too heavy for mount if you use for Visual usage. The only major gripe I have is the tiny/flimsy Tripod. The ads don't show you some guy in a prone position trying to see into an eyepiece that is 12 inches off the ground, but that was me. Ditch the Tripod and its a good setup. I made a 2x4 tripod that is more than stable for under 12 bux. One other thing, the Dew shield I got was cracked, and the AutoStar hand controller cable connector was always disconnecting from the scope. A call to Meade (got through on the the first ring) fixed the problem within 3 days... Meade support is an A+ in my book. I would recommend this scope to anyone that wants a big refractor.

One other thing is the time to pack/unpack/setup. It takes a-while, but that is totally unavoidable in a big refrac like this one...

Johnny

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.13.141)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=295112


Meade LXD55 AR-5
This is an excellent telescope for the money. The 5" f9 OTA doesn't overwhelm the LXD-55 mount the way the 6" OTA does. The legs and be extended and the image remains stable. This allows for comfortable observing.
The optics on mine are first-rate. The views of Mars at 240X have been very satisfying. Double stars seperate as they should. Color is only a problem on very bright objects, and then it is not too bad. A minus violet filter clears up the problem if you are bothered by false color. Tracking is smooth and predictable. All-in-all this is a tremendous value.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.192.102)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=298835


Meade LXD55 AR-5
my first telescope. the mount takes getting used to. i gave it low marks for ease of use only because it has so many features, which is really a good thing.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.167.210)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=300738


Meade LXD55 AR-5
This is my 3rd Meade achro refractor, I had the 90mm, then the 6", and now the 5". The LXD55 handless the 5" a lot easier than the 6" thats the main reason I downgraded an inch. The focuser was terribly out of collimation and the stars even at low mag had serious blue halos and spiking. ( I was freaking thinking I git a REAL lemon)! After a careful collimation tho the 5" is giving me VERY good views with almost no chromatic abberations at all, even on bright objects at hi mag, im shocked that a simple collimation removed almost all chromatic abberation. My 6" had worse color, so im very happy with it now. The focuser isnt as nice and ridgid as the one on the 6" but if the tension knob is slightly tightened its useable with little wobbling. The plastic supplied prism diagonal is really junk, Im using my Televue mirror diagonal with much better success. Im still using a V-block filter on it anyway as well as it does help contrast and focusing, even tho the scope is almost color free its still an achromatic not an APO so. The LXD55 EQ is an OK mount for the money but really should be checked over closely for loose setscrews, and the wormgears needed adjusting on mine as well as loose sets, I did the rebuild on mine thats been talked about all over the web. Its the best thing ive done to this setup yet. The lubricant used on the focuser of the 5" achro and the LXD55 EQ was like glue! VERY thick & sticky and gooey. I cleaned it and replaced with lithium grease, all is well now. All in all, if your not bothered by doing what ive had to do this setup is a great buy. The 5" refractor is giving me nice pinpoint stars across the entire FOV, for what I paid I cant ask for more than that. It would have been nice however, if Meade had added a "hot key" to get the EQ to {automaticly track} instead of having to go thru all the submenus just to track without using the auto go-to. Maybe they will do that eventually as not everyone uses go-to all the time.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.85.254)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=311757


Meade LXD55 AR-5
this scope exceeded my expectations. no problems, a joy to use.well worth the money.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.200)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=316875


Meade LXD55 AR-5
Complete crap from start to finish, focuser has about a mile of play, mount was complete rubbish requiring a rebuild within 3 months of purchase.

To conclude cheap and nasty rubbish.

Overall Rating: 2
Optics:8 Mount:0 Ease of Use:0 Value:0
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.0.12)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=378411

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