Meade Instruments Corporation
Telescopes · Binoculars · Microscopes

Meade LX200 Instruction Manual
7" Maksutov-Cassegrain, and 8", 10", and 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes
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.
Designed to make you a better astronomer, the integration of optics, mechanics, electronics, and software in the LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope is easily mastered, so easy, in fact that the telescope becomes a natural extension of the observer.

The LX200 gives you virtually every telescope function possible with every control in a compact hand held console. The red LED backlit Keypad has tactile touch buttons (some of which are brighter than others), designed to have the right feel even if you wear gloves. Its red LED backlit display, key arrangement, and easy to understand information allow you to focus the telescope and your mind on the subject at hand.

The LX200 Keypad Hand Controller is a dual axis drive corrector with periodic error control, an information display center for the computerized library, a digital coordinate readout system, a pulsing, illuminated reticle eyepiece brightness controller, a two speed electric focuser controller, and a red LED flashlight!

You will find within a few minutes of powering up the LX200 that the Keypad becomes warm, which is normal for the system. The electronics utilize a heat sink as a means to provide the right operating environment temperature for the LCD display even in sub-zero weather. If you are indeed in these colder conditions, the display may not be visible until the Keypad has transferred enough heat. This process can take a few minutes upon powering up the telescope. While severe cold weather is not damaging to the electronics, it is advised to keep the Keypad in a warmer area to allow immediate proper display performance.

[ toc ] 1. ENTER Key

The ENTER key (1, Fig. 6) is used to select a menu file, a file option, or to edit a value. To select a file or an option, press and release the ENTER key. The LX200 will give a short beep tone and perform the action that you have requested. To edit a value, press and hold the ENTER key until a double beep tone is heard and a blinking cursor appears in the display. There are some other specific situations where the ENTER key is used. These are described in detail where necessary. From now on, the two types of presses will be called 'press' and 'press and hold'.

[ toc ] 2. MODE Key

The MODE key (2, Fig. 6) cycles through the five modes of the LX200, and is used to exit from specific menu files.

[ toc ] 3. GO TO Key

The GO TO key (3, Fig. 6) causes the LX200 to automatically slew to specific library entry coordinates. The GO TO key also produces a blinking cursor in the GO TO menu file of the COORDINATES/ GO TO mode, to allow new Right Ascension and Declination coordinates to be entered.

[ toc ] 4. Direction Keys

Labeled N,S,E, and W, ( 4, Fig. 6) these four keys make the LX200 move, or slew, in a specific direction, with an option of four different speeds, explained later. During entry to change a value, the E and W keys can be used to move the blinking cursor back and forth across the LCD display, so that if an error is made during entry, it can be erased and changed.

The remaining twelve keys have multiple functions, there are up and down arrow keys and numbered keys from 0 through 9. Each one of these keys also has alternate functions listed above the arrow symbols and numbers. The ALT LED light is only visible when entering numerical data. A description of the individual keys follows:

[ toc ] 5. Speed Keys (SLEW, FIND, CENTER, and GUIDE)

These keys (6, Fig. 6) allow you to set the rate of movement or slew speed in the drives of the LX200, as activated by the N, S, E, and W keys. The chosen rate is indicated by the speed indicator illuminated LED beside the rate key that you have pressed. The speed rates are SLEW (for the 7", 8" and 10" telescopes, it is 8 degrees per second, for the 12" telescope, it is 6° per second), FIND (2 degrees per second), CNTR (32X sidereal rate), and GUIDE (2X sidereal rate).

NOTE: All of the slew speeds will drive the LX200 in all four directions, except for GUIDE. The 2X sidereal speed in GUIDE has one difference in that it will not interrupt the Right Ascension tracking direction to make Easterly (for Northern hemisphere) or Westerly (for Southern hemisphere) adjustments; it will merely slow down the tracking drive to one half its normal speed. You will find, however, that the slower drive will move the image opposite of the tracking direction, without disturbing the smooth drive action. This performance is absolutely essential when making astrophotographs.

Also note that on DC power sources, the top speed of 8 degrees per second (7", 8" and 10" telescopes) and 6 degrees per second (12" telescopes) is slightly slower. Guiding and tracking rate speeds, are however, unaffected.

SLEW, FIND, CENTER, and GUIDE keys also have numbers listed 7, 4, 1, and 0 respectively. When editing a value, the multiple function of each of these keys is realized. SLEW and FIND are also used to set the 'fast' focus speed for the electric focuser accessory option*, while CNTR and GUIDE set the'slow' focus speed. There are other special functions for the CNTR and GUIDE keys that are discussed in the RET KEY operations.

[ toc ] 6. RET Key

Typically used for guiding the LX200 during an astrophotograph, the RET key (5, Fig. 6) is used to change the brightness and pulse rate of the optional corded style illuminated reticle eyepiece*. Pressing either the PREV and NEXT (up and down arrow) keys while holding down the RET key, alters the reticle brightness level up or down.

When guiding on very faint stars, you may find it helpful to pulse the light from the LED so that the reticle crosshairs blink on and off. You will be able to adjust the reticle brightness as well as adjust the pulse rates. There are three pulse rates that can be used, all with a one second pulse interval. The continuous illumination control and pulse rates are set by holding down the RET key and pressing one of the following keys; GUIDE (100% on, no pulsing), CNTR (50% on, 50% off), MAP (25% on, 75% off), CNGC (10% on, 90% off).

[ toc ] 7. FOCUS Key

The FOCUS key (9, Fig. 6) allows 2 speed electric focus control of the optional Meade #1206 Electric Focuser* (or equivalent corded electric focusers such as the Meade Model #1200A). To activate, press either the SLEW or FIND key (for fast focusing), or the CNTR or GUIDE key (for slow focusing), press and hold the FOCUS key, and then press and hold the PREV or NEXT keys for near and far focus.

[ toc ] 8. MAP Key

The Map key (11, Fig. 6) turns on and off the red LED 'flashlight' that is located at the top of the Keypad. The deep red LED light will protect your night vision while you search for a particular accessory or examine a star chart.

[ toc ] 9. Object Keys (M, STAR, and CNGC)

These keys (10, Fig. 6) allow direct access to the LX200's Object Library any time that you are not editing a value or setting a parameter, or selecting a file menu. Use the Object keys when you are at a "top level" of a mode. After pressing one of these keys, the Keypad's display will give a blinking cursor, allowing you to enter the catalog number for objects listed in the library (see Appendix D. 64,359-Object Library). After entry press the ENTER key. To see the entered object press the GO TO key. A brief description of the catalog key symbols are; M (Messier objects), STAR (stars and planets), and CNGC (Computerized New General Catalog).

[ toc ] 10. PREV AND NEXT Keys

The PREV and NEXT (up and down arrow) keys (12, Fig. 6) move the display LCD arrow up and down the menu files and menu file options, so that you may choose an individual selection to enter. These keys are also used when adjusting the RET brightness range, or when activating the electric focuser. PREV and NEXT work as well to select the objects from the Object Library when using START FIND.

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