Meade Instruments Corporation
Telescopes · Binoculars · Microscopes


 
Meade LX200 Instruction Manual
7" Maksutov-Cassegrain, and 8", 10", and 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes
 B. UNPACKING AND INSPECTION
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 you begin to unpack your telescope from its cartons, you will probably be interested in setting it up right away; we certainly understand your excitement but please take a few minutes to read this page before doing so. You should verify that you have all the proper equipment, and that it has arrived to you undamaged.

We strongly recommend that you keep your original packing materials. If it should ever become necessary for you to return your telescope to the Meade factory for servicing, these will help ensure that no shipping damage will occur.

Meade LX200 telescopes supplied to countries outside the U.S.A. are identical to those offered domestically, with the exception of the AC wall adapter.

[ toc ] 1. What You Should Have

Carefully unpack and remove all the telescope parts from their packing material. Compare each part to the product identification label on the outside of each carton. In the case of the LX200 Accessory carton, a seperate list of items is enclosed identifying each item in that carton. You may wish to place a check next to each item as you identify it. Each telescope has been inspected twice at the factory to confirm the inclusion of every item.

[ toc ] 2. Please Look Everything Over

Meade Instruments and your shipper have taken precautions to ensure that no shipping damage will occur, but if your shipment has suffered severe vibration or impact damage (whether or not the shipping cartons show damage) then it is important that you retain all the original packing and contact the shipper to arrange a formal inspection of the package or packages. This procedure is required prior to any warranty servicing by Meade Instruments.


[ toc ] 3. Inspecting the Optics: Note on the "Flashlight" Test

If a flashlight or other high-intensity light source is pointed down the main telescope tube, you may at first be shocked at the appearance of the optics. To the uninitiated, the view (depending on your line of sight and the angle the light is coming from) may reveal what would appear to be scratches, dark or bright spots, or just generally uneven coatings, giving the appearance of poor surface quality. These effects are only seen when a high intensity light is transmitted through lenses or reflected off the mirrors, and can be seen on any high quality optical system, including the giant research telescopes in use today. It should be pointed out, however, that optical quality cannot be judged by this grossly misleading "test," but through careful star testing. The Flashlight Test causes even the very best optics to look "terrible."

As the high intensity light passes through the Schmidt corrector plate, most (about 98%+) of it is transmitted through while the rest of the light scatters through the glass. As the light hits the mirrored surfaces, most (about 94%) of it is reflected back while the rest of it scatters across the coatings. The total amount of scattered light will be significant, and its effects allow you to see microscopic details that are normally invisible to the unaided eye. These anomalous details are real, but their combined effects will in no way impose limits on the optical performance, even under the most demanding observing or imaging criteria.

[ toc ] 4. Caution: All LX200 Owners

Serious damage to the drive gears may result from shock in handling, while transporting or commercially shipping the LX200, should the R.A. Lock (7, Fig. 3), and/or the Dec. Lock (2, Fig. 4) be left engaged. Always release the locks when storing in the optional case, or when crating for commercial shipment to allow the telescope to give, if the shipping container is sharply jarred or dropped.

Also, the optical and mechanical axes of all LX200 telescopes have been carefully aligned at the factory to ensure accurate object pointing. Do not loosen or remove the fork arms or optical tube assembly from the drive base; the resulting misalignment of the axes will result in inaccurate slewing of the telescope in the GO TO mode.


[ toc ] 5. Caution: 10" and 12" LX200 Owners

Do not attempt to turn the focuser knob of the optical tube until you have read this note!

Next to the base of the focuser you will see a red-colored slotted head bolt. This bolt is used only for safety in shipment. Remove this bolt before attempting to turn the focuser knob. In its place, insert the rubber plug provided as a dust protector (this rubber plug is included with your hardware package).

Your focuser is now operational.

Warning! The 10" and 12" LX200 should never be commercially shipped without this red-colored bolt in place. This is essential during commercial transport where rough handling may occur. For your personal transport and storage, you will never have to use this bolt again.


a. TO COMMERCIALLY RE-SHIP THE 10" OR 12" LX200, BE SURE TO FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE:

1. Turn the focuser knob clockwise until it stops. This will bring the primary mirror all the way back in the tube.

2. Remove the rubber plug and insert the red-headed bolt. Thread it in to a firm snug feel. Do not overtighten. (If you have misplaced the red-headed bolt, you may use any other bolt that is 1/4-20x1" long.

3. When packaging the 10" or 12" LX200, be sure to release the R.A. Lock (7, Fig. 3), and Dec. Lock (2, Fig. 3), to prevent shock to the gears in the motor assemblies.

Please note that commercial shipment of the 10" and 12" LX200 Telescope without the safety bolt in place and without being packed in the original factory-supplied shipping cartons as described above is done at the owner's risk and your warranty may be voided if shipping damage results.


6. Keypad Version Number

The current keypad version is 3.20 (see sticker on back of keypad). This does not indicate the telescope software version which is displayed on the keypad LED at power-up.

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