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LX90 or NexStar 8

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  • RG@GreensteinLaw.com
    The LX90 s forthcoming availability has placed my interest in Celestron s NexStar 8 into an extended orbit. As this is a recently formed group, I eagerly
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 19, 2000
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      The LX90's forthcoming availability has placed my interest in
      Celestron's NexStar 8 into an extended orbit.

      As this is a recently formed group, I eagerly invite comments
      regarding the NexStar 8 versus what Meade has begun to claim for the
      LX90. If such discussion is beyond the scope of the intended purpose
      of this group, feel free to e-mail me directly at RG@...

      Looking forward to an interesting group.

      Best regards.
    • Wayne Powell (AeroWood)
      Thank you for your post. I created this eGroup for exactly this reason (to discuss differences in similar GOTO scopes), and to support the LX90 scope once it
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 21, 2000
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        Thank you for your post.  I created this eGroup for exactly this reason (to discuss differences in similar GOTO scopes), and to support the LX90 scope once it is more widely available.
         
        I have a Celestron NexStar5 (had a Meade EXT90 and a 90EC - without Autostar, previously).  It's a 5" scope using the computer and base originally designed for the NexStar8  (the NS8 is yet to become widely available in Canada).
         
        After getting my NexStar5 and going through a few headaches (testing many Nexstar5's to find a mechanically sound one with the latest firmware) I started suffering from Aperature Envy, basically realizing that since I've dreamed of owning an 8" LX200 or an LX50 for quite a few years, I really should make a long term investment in an 8" SCT scope.  (Still can't afford an LX200, though.)  Being a gadget and computer freak, I finally allowed my interest in GOTO scopes to override the guilt of using a more manual scope.  So I ordered a NexStar8 before I had fully researched the LX90 (which had only just been announced).   I've been a client of my telescope dealer for quite some time so he is quite willing to allow me to exchange the NexStar5 at my original purchase price for a trade-up.
         
        Without doing some research I assumed the LX90 was going to be an 8" ETX and (having owned both ETX's and a NexStar) the NexStar is definitely a worthwhile step up from the ETX engineering.
         
        While waiting for a NexStar8 to arrive at the dealer (which was supposed to be this week actually), I spent more viewing time with the NexStar5 (which is a very good scope in its price range), and "discovered" more info on the LX90.  So I cancelled the order for a NexStar 8 and am now waiting for an LX90 which is rumoured to appear in Canada in October this year. [It's being released later in Canada, some theorize it's to allow for early market reaction and bug finding by the first US adopters.  First release scopes of this nature always seem to have some manufacturing kinks to work out.....]
         
        My reasons for placing faith in the LX90:
         
        1.  I've been very happy with Meade optics in the past.
         
        2.  The price is lower than the NexStar8 with more items included in the total package (8 x 50mm finder, substantial field tripod, more capable AutoStar).
         
        3.  The look of the NexStar8 tripod is, in my mind, quite flimsy.  I use the NexStar5 on a Manfrotto tripod with homemade base adapter and anti-vibration pads so I am used to a high quality field tripod.
         
        4.  I like the software upgradeabilty and other features of the Autostar.  I've already gone through exchanges and angst with regard to the NexStar5's firmware (originally no horizon limit, no moon - now fixed).  In colder weather (say 5 - 15 degrees celcius), the NexStar5's hand controller display suffers enormously to the point of almost unreadability of scrolling text.
         
        5.  As opposed to the NexStar5, there is apparently less clearance between the eyepiece end of the OTA and base in a NexStar8 making near Zenith use of a Flat Field Corrector/Focal Reducer and diagonal prism difficult or nearly impossible.  I have yet to confirm if the problem exists to the same extent with an LX90, but I must admit that I think a Focal reducer is an essential accessory for DSO observing.
         
        6.  I went through a number of NexStar5's which had unacceptable mechanical periodic error (actually noticeable during continuous slewing as opposed to a backlash problem).  Since the NexStar5 Single Arm & Base were designed for the NexStar8, it actually works well with the lighter NexStar5 but I had reservations about performance with the heavier NS8 OTA and any attached accessories (i.e. camera, etc.).  The LX90 advertises a 4.9" diameter worm gear (a bit smaller than the LX200) but I believe it's more mechanically sound than the NS8 approach.
         
        7.  I'm not sure if it's possible, but I'm hopeful that the LX90 will allow manual movement of the OTA in the Fork Arms.  This will lessen my guilt over purchasing a GOTO scope. [The NS5 will not allow manual movement in RA/DEC, you must use the geared motors.]   Having had manual scopes, I fully appreciate the hobbiest craft of "star hopping" and star navigation which produces a much more profound sense of accomplishment when you "find" something you've been searching for in the sky.  Opposed to that is the fact that during 2 months with an NS8, I've actually been able to find and view more new DSO's than I ever did in the previous 4 years of owning a telescope.  Of course star hopping is still possible with a GOTO scope using the slewing motors.
         
        8.  My dealer, who orginally had reservations about the LX90 (partly due to the ETX shortcomings and because the proto-type shown to dealers seemed of inferior workmanship), is now eagerly anticipating one for his own use.  Further engineering on Meade's part has upgraded dealer confindence in the workmanship and mechanics of the LX90.
         
        My biggest worry is that the motors of the LX90 won't be as quiet as the NexStar5's.  I hated using the ETX 90EC because of the loudness of the RA/DEC motors which was irritating AND made me self-conscious in the backyard.
         
         
        It should be known, that while I can't currently afford to own both a NexStar5 and an LX90 (wish I could), I'm quite happy with the NexStar5 as an easily portable, easy to set up, good quality GOTO telescope.  Alt-Az auto alignment is a breeze for casual observation use, I haven't suffered from any "GOTO gone wild" problems, the motors are quiet, and the scope consistently puts targets within the view of the original eyepiece (though not in the centre) 98% of the time.  It truly is a terrific scope.
         
        There's no question in my mind that the NexStar5 is a better choice of scope than an ETX125.   So far, I'm betting, the LX90 looks like a better choice than the NexStar8.
         
        I think Celestron's worried too.  They just lowered the price of the NS8 by $200 to be more competitive.
         
        Wayne Powell
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: RG@... [mailto:RG@...]
        Sent: August 19, 2000 18:48
        To: lx90@egroups.com
        Subject: [lx90] LX90 or NexStar 8

        The LX90's forthcoming availability has placed my interest in
        Celestron's NexStar 8 into an extended orbit.

        As this is a recently formed group, I eagerly invite comments 
        regarding the NexStar 8 versus what Meade has begun to claim for the
        LX90.  If such discussion is beyond the scope of the intended purpose
        of this group, feel free to e-mail me directly at RG@...

        Looking forward to an interesting group.

        Best regards.

        To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        lx90-unsubscribe@egroups.com


      • Robert S. Greenstein, Esq.
        Wayne, From a conversation yesterday Monday, Aug 21, 2000) with one of Meade s in-house LX200 Technical Specialists, the LX90 is slated for a late September
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 22, 2000
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          Wayne,

          From a conversation yesterday Monday, Aug 21, 2000) with one of
          Meade's in-house LX200 Technical Specialists, the LX90 is slated for
          a late September debut. However, even he hasn't yet physically seen
          a unit or any of the new subassembiles.

          Additionally, the AutoStar system for the LX90 will be an upgraded
          version of the existing #497 controller. It will have about double
          the objects in it's database. And, I was told that existing 497
          controllers will not work with the LX90 which comes with it's
          own "new" AutoStar controller.

          I also look forward to the fact that the new AutoStar will have
          Asertoids and Comets, which I do not believe even the LX200 units
          have in their objects database.

          I was also advised that for CCD imaging and moderate to long duration
          astrophotography, the LX90 will require an autoguider which won't be
          introduced for several months.

          I agree with your comment that the LX90 will have a far better tripod
          than that included with the NexStar8. If it indeed ships with the
          tripod mentioned in their markeing info, it is the same as the
          LX200's it is very sturdy.

          As for the AutoStar's Internet easy upgradability, I too feel that is
          a desirable capability.

          As for OTA clearance issues, that was a concern of mine with the
          NexStar 8 and remains a question with the LX90. With the LX200 there
          is more room, but it comes at the cost of higher bulk, weight, and
          price.

          I only hope that the LX90 is compact enough to fit the bill.

          Just for the heck of it I'm going out to look at 8" and 10" LX200's.
          Hopefully, their bulk and size will make the "weight" for the LX90's
          more bearable.

          Best regards, Rob.
        • jon@starseed.com
          Thanks for starting this group, Wayne. We need a support group for impatient future owners of the LX90 : ) I bought my first scope last year, so I am
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 15, 2000
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            Thanks for starting this group, Wayne. We need a support group for
            impatient future owners of the LX90 : )

            I bought my first scope last year, so I am definitely a newbie. The
            scope was an Orion XT8 which I bought under the advice: "since you are
            new to this you need to learn the sky, so the Dob will teach you how
            to starhop." Hump!

            I spend several nights all excited about my new scope, saw Jupiter and
            Saturn easily, caught M42, and then spent hours upon hours each night
            trying to locate other objects. Starhopping is not my bag.

            Finally, after several months I decided to go with a GOTO scope. Of
            course, the NexStar 8 is out so I considered that and came very close
            to ordering it. I posted a note to the sci.astro.amateur list on
            www.deja.com and someone suggested that the LX90 might be a better
            scope. After careful consideration, I decided to order the LX90.

            I also decided that I would order from a local store (I live in a
            small town with few telescope dealers nearby). They agreed to a
            liberal return policy, so here I am. Meade told them 1-3 months on
            delivery. I am hoping that the scope gets here before the clouds
            start rollin in.

            Anyway, sorry for the short story long, but I wanted to introduce
            myself, and say thanks for starting the club.

            --- In lx90@egroups.com, "Wayne Powell \(AeroWood\)" <aerowood@h...>
            wrote:
            > Thank you for your post. I created this eGroup for exactly this
            reason (to
            > discuss differences in similar GOTO scopes), and to support the LX90
            scope
            > once it is more widely available.
            >
            > I have a Celestron NexStar5 (had a Meade EXT90 and a 90EC - without
            > Autostar, previously). It's a 5" scope using the computer and base
            > originally designed for the NexStar8 (the NS8 is yet to become
            widely
            > available in Canada).
            >
            > After getting my NexStar5 and going through a few headaches (testing
            many
            > Nexstar5's to find a mechanically sound one with the latest
            firmware) I
            > started suffering from Aperature Envy, basically realizing that
            since I've
            > dreamed of owning an 8" LX200 or an LX50 for quite a few years, I
            really
            > should make a long term investment in an 8" SCT scope. (Still can't
            afford
            > an LX200, though.) Being a gadget and computer freak, I finally
            allowed my
            > interest in GOTO scopes to override the guilt of using a more manual
            scope.
            > So I ordered a NexStar8 before I had fully researched the LX90
            (which had
            > only just been announced). I've been a client of my telescope
            dealer for
            > quite some time so he is quite willing to allow me to exchange the
            NexStar5
            > at my original purchase price for a trade-up.
            >
            > Without doing some research I assumed the LX90 was going to be an 8"
            ETX and
            > (having owned both ETX's and a NexStar) the NexStar is definitely a
            > worthwhile step up from the ETX engineering.
            >
            > While waiting for a NexStar8 to arrive at the dealer (which was
            supposed to
            > be this week actually), I spent more viewing time with the NexStar5
            (which
            > is a very good scope in its price range), and "discovered" more info
            on the
            > LX90. So I cancelled the order for a NexStar 8 and am now waiting
            for an
            > LX90 which is rumoured to appear in Canada in October this year.
            [It's being
            > released later in Canada, some theorize it's to allow for early
            market
            > reaction and bug finding by the first US adopters. First release
            scopes of
            > this nature always seem to have some manufacturing kinks to work
            out.....]
            >
            > My reasons for placing faith in the LX90:
            >
            > 1. I've been very happy with Meade optics in the past.
            >
            > 2. The price is lower than the NexStar8 with more items included in
            the
            > total package (8 x 50mm finder, substantial field tripod, more
            capable
            > AutoStar).
            >
            > 3. The look of the NexStar8 tripod is, in my mind, quite flimsy. I
            use the
            > NexStar5 on a Manfrotto tripod with homemade base adapter and
            anti-vibration
            > pads so I am used to a high quality field tripod.
            >
            > 4. I like the software upgradeabilty and other features of the
            Autostar.
            > I've already gone through exchanges and angst with regard to the
            NexStar5's
            > firmware (originally no horizon limit, no moon - now fixed). In
            colder
            > weather (say 5 - 15 degrees celcius), the NexStar5's hand controller
            display
            > suffers enormously to the point of almost unreadability of scrolling
            text.
            >
            > 5. As opposed to the NexStar5, there is apparently less clearance
            between
            > the eyepiece end of the OTA and base in a NexStar8 making near
            Zenith use of
            > a Flat Field Corrector/Focal Reducer and diagonal prism difficult or
            nearly
            > impossible. I have yet to confirm if the problem exists to the same
            extent
            > with an LX90, but I must admit that I think a Focal reducer is an
            essential
            > accessory for DSO observing.
            >
            > 6. I went through a number of NexStar5's which had unacceptable
            mechanical
            > periodic error (actually noticeable during continuous slewing as
            opposed to
            > a backlash problem). Since the NexStar5 Single Arm & Base were
            designed for
            > the NexStar8, it actually works well with the lighter NexStar5 but I
            had
            > reservations about performance with the heavier NS8 OTA and any
            attached
            > accessories (i.e. camera, etc.). The LX90 advertises a 4.9"
            diameter worm
            > gear (a bit smaller than the LX200) but I believe it's more
            mechanically
            > sound than the NS8 approach.
            >
            > 7. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I'm hopeful that the LX90
            will allow
            > manual movement of the OTA in the Fork Arms. This will lessen my
            guilt over
            > purchasing a GOTO scope. [The NS5 will not allow manual movement in
            RA/DEC,
            > you must use the geared motors.] Having had manual scopes, I fully
            > appreciate the hobbiest craft of "star hopping" and star navigation
            which
            > produces a much more profound sense of accomplishment when you
            "find"
            > something you've been searching for in the sky. Opposed to that is
            the fact
            > that during 2 months with an NS8, I've actually been able to find
            and view
            > more new DSO's than I ever did in the previous 4 years of owning a
            > telescope. Of course star hopping is still possible with a GOTO
            scope using
            > the slewing motors.
            >
            > 8. My dealer, who orginally had reservations about the LX90 (partly
            due to
            > the ETX shortcomings and because the proto-type shown to dealers
            seemed of
            > inferior workmanship), is now eagerly anticipating one for his own
            use.
            > Further engineering on Meade's part has upgraded dealer confindence
            in the
            > workmanship and mechanics of the LX90.
            >
            > My biggest worry is that the motors of the LX90 won't be as quiet as
            the
            > NexStar5's. I hated using the ETX 90EC because of the loudness of
            the
            > RA/DEC motors which was irritating AND made me self-conscious in the
            > backyard.
            >
            >
            > It should be known, that while I can't currently afford to own both
            a
            > NexStar5 and an LX90 (wish I could), I'm quite happy with the
            NexStar5 as an
            > easily portable, easy to set up, good quality GOTO telescope.
            Alt-Az auto
            > alignment is a breeze for casual observation use, I haven't suffered
            from
            > any "GOTO gone wild" problems, the motors are quiet, and the scope
            > consistently puts targets within the view of the original eyepiece
            (though
            > not in the centre) 98% of the time. It truly is a terrific scope.
            >
            > There's no question in my mind that the NexStar5 is a better choice
            of scope
            > than an ETX125. So far, I'm betting, the LX90 looks like a better
            choice
            > than the NexStar8.
            >
            > I think Celestron's worried too. They just lowered the price of the
            NS8 by
            > $200 to be more competitive.
            >
            > Wayne Powell
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: RG@G... [mailto:RG@G...]
            > Sent: August 19, 2000 18:48
            > To: lx90@egroups.com
            > Subject: [lx90] LX90 or NexStar 8
            >
            >
            > The LX90's forthcoming availability has placed my interest in
            > Celestron's NexStar 8 into an extended orbit.
            >
            > As this is a recently formed group, I eagerly invite comments
            > regarding the NexStar 8 versus what Meade has begun to claim for
            the
            > LX90. If such discussion is beyond the scope of the intended
            purpose
            > of this group, feel free to e-mail me directly at RG@G...
            >
            > Looking forward to an interesting group.
            >
            > Best regards.
            >
            >
            >
            --------------------------------------------------
            --------------------------
            > --
            >
            >
            >
            >
            --------------------------------------------------
            --------------------------
            > --
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > lx90-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          • jon@starseed.com
            I was told by Meade customer service that the scope would weigh 20 lbs which seems hard to believe, but if true would be great. Any idea how much the future
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 15, 2000
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              I was told by Meade customer service that the scope would weigh 20 lbs
              which seems hard to believe, but if true would be great.

              Any idea how much the future upgrade for CCD and long duration
              astrophotography might cost?

              --- In lx90@egroups.com, "Robert S. Greenstein, Esq." <RG@G...> wrote:
              > Wayne,
              >
              > From a conversation yesterday Monday, Aug 21, 2000) with one of
              > Meade's in-house LX200 Technical Specialists, the LX90 is slated
              for
              > a late September debut. However, even he hasn't yet physically
              seen
              > a unit or any of the new subassembiles.
              >
              > Additionally, the AutoStar system for the LX90 will be an upgraded
              > version of the existing #497 controller. It will have about double
              > the objects in it's database. And, I was told that existing 497
              > controllers will not work with the LX90 which comes with it's
              > own "new" AutoStar controller.
              >
              > I also look forward to the fact that the new AutoStar will have
              > Asertoids and Comets, which I do not believe even the LX200 units
              > have in their objects database.
              >
              > I was also advised that for CCD imaging and moderate to long
              duration
              > astrophotography, the LX90 will require an autoguider which won't
              be
              > introduced for several months.
              >
              > I agree with your comment that the LX90 will have a far better
              tripod
              > than that included with the NexStar8. If it indeed ships with the
              > tripod mentioned in their markeing info, it is the same as the
              > LX200's it is very sturdy.
              >
              > As for the AutoStar's Internet easy upgradability, I too feel that
              is
              > a desirable capability.
              >
              > As for OTA clearance issues, that was a concern of mine with the
              > NexStar 8 and remains a question with the LX90. With the LX200
              there
              > is more room, but it comes at the cost of higher bulk, weight, and
              > price.
              >
              > I only hope that the LX90 is compact enough to fit the bill.
              >
              > Just for the heck of it I'm going out to look at 8" and 10"
              LX200's.
              > Hopefully, their bulk and size will make the "weight" for the
              LX90's
              > more bearable.
              >
              > Best regards, Rob.
            • Robert S. Greenstein, Esq.
              Hi Jon! The person you spoke with at Meade may have given you the tripod weight. Meade s LX90 advertising/marketing materials show: Net Telescope Weight 31
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 15, 2000
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                Hi Jon!

                The person you spoke with at Meade may have given you the tripod
                weight.

                Meade's LX90 advertising/marketing materials show:

                Net Telescope Weight 31 lbs.

                Net Tripod Weight at 20 lbs.

                And, the body copy states:

                "... the same tripod as provided with the 8" LX200."

                It continues:

                "[T]he LX90 includes the exact same 8" f/10 optical
                system, including coatings, as the 8" LX200...."

                According to Meade's catalog, the heaviest sub-section for field
                assembly for their 8" LX200 and 8" LX50 (same OTA) are 41lbs. and
                38lbs., respectively. Of course, the mount and drive assembly of the
                LX90 have been engineered to be lighter but it would be astounding if
                it weighs in anywhere near 18 to 21 pounds lighter!?

                As for the future upgrades, the woman I spoke with at Meade only
                commented that it would not likely be before late spring of next year
                when those accessory products for the LX90 would be introduced.
                There was no discussion of pricing.

                Best regards.

                Rob.


                --- In lx90@egroups.com, jon@s... wrote:
                > I was told by Meade customer service that the scope would weigh 20
                lbs....

                > Any idea how much the future upgrade for CCD and long duration
                > astrophotography might cost?
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