Meade Instruments Corporation
Telescopes · Binoculars · Microscopes


 
Meade LX200 Instruction Manual
7" Maksutov-Cassegrain, and 8", 10", and 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes
 A. INTRODUCING THE MEADE LX200
IMPORTANT NOTICE! Never use a telescope or spotting scope to look at the Sun! Observing the Sun, even for the shortest fraction of a second, will cause irreversible damage to your eye as well as physical damage to the telescope or spotting scope itself.
As a new LX200 owner, you are preparing for a journey into the universe with the most advanced amateur telescope ever produced. The advent of this instrument is the culmination of twenty years of innovation and design at Meade Instruments; never before have the features you have in your hands been available to amateur astronomers: from robotic object location to the revolutionary Smart Drive and the most stable mounting structure ever. Your telescope comes to you ready for adventure; it will be your tour guide and traveling companion in a universe of planets, galaxies, and stars.

Meade 8", 10", and 12" LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain and 7" Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are instruments of advanced mirror-lens design for astronomical and terrestrial applications. Optically and mechanically, the 7", 8", 10", and 12" telescope models are perhaps the most sophisticated and precisely manufactured telescopes ever made available to the serious amateur. These telescopes enable the visual astronomer to reach out for detailed observations of the Solar System (the planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Mars) and beyond to distant nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. The astrophotographer will find a virtually limitless range of possibilities since, with the precision Meade worm-gear motor drive system, long exposure guided photography becomes not a distant goal, but an achievable reality. The capabilities of the instrument are essentially limited not by the telescope, but by the acquired skills of the observer and photographer.

The 7", 8", 10", and 12" LX200 are, with the exception of a few assembly operations and features, almost identical operationally. Most standard and optional accessories are interchangeable between the three telescopes. The instructions in this manual generally apply to all three telescopes; when exceptions to this rule occur, they are clearly pointed out.



IMPORTANT NOTE

If you are anxious to use your Meade LX200 Telescope for the first time, at the very least be sure to read Telescope Assembly and Quick Start sections of this manual. Thereafter, we urge you to read the balance of this manual thoroughly at your leisure, in order that you may fully enjoy the many features offered by the instrument.



[ toc ] 1. What Is the LX200? An Overview

Meade LX200 SCT's mark a new era in telescope technology for the amateur astronomer, whether beginner or seasoned veteran. For the beginner, LX200 electronics permit the location and observation of the major planets as well as hundreds of deep-sky objects the very first night you use the telescope. For the experienced amateur the telescope's pushbutton electric slewing, digital readouts, Smart Drive, and much more open up visual and photographic capabilities heretofore undreamed of.

[ toc ] a. Heavy-Duty Mounts with 9-speed Dual-Axis Electronics
DC-servo-motor-controlled worm gear drives on both telescope axes permit observatory-level precision in tracking, guiding, and slewing. The 9-speed dual-axis drives cover every possible contingency of telescope positioning: Press the SLEW button on the keypad controller for rapid motion of the telescope across the skies at up to 8 ° per sec. (6 ° per sec. for the 12" LX200) on both axes simultaneously; once near the target, switch instantly to the FIND speed for centering in the viewfinder at 2 ° per sec. Observing the object in the main telescope, use the CNTR speed (32x sidereal) to place the object in the center of the field. During long-exposure astrophotography press the GUIDE button for precise corrections at 2x sidereal speed.

[ toc ] b. Built-in 64,359-Object Library

Enter into the keypad any of the 110 Messier objects, 7,840 of the finest NGC objects (galaxies, diffuse or planetary nebulae, star clusters), one of the 8 major planets from Mercury to Pluto, one of 351 alignment stars or any one of 56,050 SAO, UGC, IC or GCVS objects, press GO TO, and the telescope automatically slews, or moves, to the object at up to 8° per sec., centering it in the main telescope field.

[ toc ] c. Altazimuth Mode Operation

For all visual observing applications, and for lunar and planetary photography, Meade LX200's may be set up in the Altazimuth mode. Just attach the telescope's drive base directly to the tripod, use the fast 1-star alignment procedure, and the telescope's computer actuates 2-axis tracking that keeps objects precisely centered in the field, even at high powers, during the entire observing session.

[ toc ] d. Terrestrial Operation

Meade LX200's make incredible land-view telescopes. Set the telescope up in the Altazimuth format, activate the Land menu option on the telescope's computer, and use the Keypad to track land objects on both axes at any of the same 4 drive speeds!

[ toc ] e. Keypad and Power Panel Functions

The multifunction capability of LX200's includes direct connection of popular CCD autoguider/imagers; RS- 232 serial interface with a personal computer (PC), allowing the user to perform all of the Keypad functions through, or write custom telescope software for a PC; brightness level control of an illuminated reticle eyepiece from the Keypad and including special pulse-mode reticle operation.


[ toc ] 2. Standard Equipment

[ toc ] a. 7" Model LX200

lncludes 7" Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tube assembly with EMC Super Multi-Coatings (D = 178mm, F = 2670mm-f/15); heavy-duty fork mount, with 4"-dia. sealed polar ball bearing, quartz-microprocessor-controlled 5.75" worm gears on both axes; setting circles in RA and Dec; handheld keypad Electronic Command Center with digital readout display, permanently-programmable Smart Drive, 9-speed drive control on both axes, GO TO controller, High-Precision Pointing, and 64,359-object onboard celestial software library; internal tube-cooling fan for rapid image stabilization; 25 ft. power cord and adapter for telescope operation from 115v.AC; 8 x 50mm viewfinder; eyepiece-holder and diagonal prism (1.25"); Series 4000 SP26mm eyepiece; variable-height field tripod; operating instructions.

[ toc ] b. 8" Model LX200

lncludes 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube assembly with EMC Super Multi-Coatings (D = 203mm, F = 1280mm-f/6.3 or 2000mm-f/10); heavy-duty fork mount, with 4"-dia. sealed polar ball bearing, quartz-microprocessor-controlled 5.75" worm gears on both axes, and multi-function power panel display on the drive base; manual and electric slow-motion controls on both axes; setting circles in RA and Dec; handheld keypad Electronic Command Center with digital readout display, PPEC Smart Drive, 9-speed drive control on both axes, GO TO controller, High-Precision Pointing, and 64,359-object onboard celestial software library; 25 ft. power cord and adapter for telescope operation from 115v.AC; 8 x 50mm viewfinder; eyepiece-holder and diagonal prism (1.25"); Series 4000 SP26mm eyepiece; variable-height field tripod; operating instructions.

[ toc ] c. 10" Model LX200

lncludes 10" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube assembly with EMC Super Multi-Coatings (D = 254mm, F = 1600mm-f/6.3 or 2500mm-f/10); heavy-duty fork mount, with 4"-dia. sealed polar ball bearing, quartz-microprocessor-controlled 5.75" worm gears on both axes, and multi-function power panel display on the drive base; manual and electric slow-motion controls on both axes; setting circles in RA and Dec; handheld keypad Electronic Command Center with digital readout display, PPEC Smart Drive, 9-speed drive control on both axes, GO TO controller, High-Precision Pointing, and 64,359-object onboard celestial software library; 25 ft. power cord and adapter for telescope operation from 115v.AC; 8 x 50mm viewfinder; eyepiece-holder and diagonal prism (1.25"); Series 4000 SP26mm eyepiece; variable-height field tripod; operating instructions.

[ toc ] d. 12" Model LX200

lncludes 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube assembly with EMC Super Multi-Coatings (D = 305mm, F = 3048mm-f/10); heavy-duty fork mount, with 4"-dia. sealed polar ball bearing, quartz-microprocessor-controlled 5.75" worm gears on both axes, and multi-function power panel display on the drive base; manual and electric slow-motion controls on both axes; setting circles in RA and Dec; handheld keypad Electronic Command Center with digital readout display, PPEC Smart Drive, 7-speed drive control on both axes, GO TO controller, High-Precision Pointing, and 64,359-object onboard celestial software library; 25 ft. power cord and adapter for telescope operation from 115v.AC; 8 x 50mm viewfinder; 2" diagonal mirror with 1.25" adapter; Series 4000 SP26mm eyepiece; giant field tripod; operating instructions.

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