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.
The power panel incorporates a power switch and LED indicators showing power on with a current ammeter to show power draw. There is also a N/S switch for Northern hemisphere and Southern hemisphere use.
The Power Panel has all of the connectors for the AC or DC power input, the DEC Motor, and the Keypad. There are connectors designed to accept optional accessories such as a CCD autoguiding camera, the optional Meade Encoders* that will update the Keypad even if you move the LX200 manually (not using the N, S, E, W keys), the optional Meade #1206 Electric Focuser*, and an illuminated reticle eyepiece*. There is even a connector for RS-232 communication that will allow you to perform every function of the Keypad from your personal computer. An illustration and a description of the LX200 Power Panel features follows:

[ toc ] 1. ON/ OFF Switch

When the ON/ OFF Switch (7, Fig. 7) is moved to the ON position, the power light indicator, the Current Ammeter, and the Keypad all light up. You will hear the drive motors rev which momentarily pegs the Ammeter, then the drive motors shift to a slower speed which allows the RA worm gear to find its' centering position for calibrating the Smart Drive, then resuming to an even slower tracking speed. The Keypad Display reads 'Meade LX200', then the version of the software is indicated briefly before defaulting to the TELESCOPE/ OBJECT LIBRARY. Within 15 seconds, the planetary orbital calculations with their corresponding apparent sizes and magnitudes, and current stellar precession calculations are made. Every computer function is checked, and the LX200 diagnostics is complete.

[ toc ] 2. N/S Switch

The recessed N/S Switch (8, Fig. 7) converts the LX200 for operation in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, making the drive reverse its' tracking direction. Before power up, the appropriate N or S switch position should be made, as the LX200 will not recognize a change made on the N/S switch afterwards. Use a pen or small tool to slide the switch appropriately. Be sure before you travel across the equator, that you are setting the proper + or - latitude SITE entry for your final destination.

[ toc ] 3. Ammeter

The Ammeter display (1, Fig. 7) is a series of vertical red LED bars. Each bar that is fully lit represents 0.1 ampere (100 milli-amperes) of current draw. The LED Ammeter represents its' lowest value on the extreme left of the scale. During normal tracking speeds, the Ammeter will show about four fully lit LED bars and at times a fifth that is partially lit, indicating about 400 to 450 milliamps or 0.4 to 0.45 amps of current draw (when a slew in initiated, the ammeter will peg the scale momentarily showing the inertia load, this effect is entirely normal). The current draw information can be useful if you are trying to calculate how much battery life you will have during an observing run. As an example, if the ammeter has four bars lit, indicating 0.4 amps and you are using a 12 amp hour battery, then to know the approximate number of hours of life the battery would yield, you would divide 12 by 0.4 indicating a battery life of 30 hours.

[ toc ] 4. DEC Motor Connector

The DEC Motor Port (11, Fig. 7) is an 8 pin phone jack connector socket, designed to accept standard 8 pin phone jack coil cords. One end of the supplied coil cord plugs in to the Power Panel and the other plugs into the DEC MOTOR socket in the right fork arm to power the declination motor.

CCD Connector Pin LX200 Assignment
#1 #Normally Closed
#2 West
#3 North
#4 Ground
#5 South
#6 East
[ toc ] 5. CCD Connector

The CCD Port (10, Fig. 7) allows direct interface from popular aftermarket CCD autoguiding/imaging cameras with their compatible connecting cables to accomplish autoguiding for non-attended astrophotography. The CCD cameras effectively watch a star and detect slight movements. When star movements are detected, signals from the CCD electronics make drive corrections in the LX200, to bring the star to a home position.
Most CCD autoguiding/imaging cameras are supplied with a cable which is compatible with the LX200 port. If your CCD unit does not have a cable, one can be obtained from the CCD manufacturer, or you can make your own cable using the following table of information.

[ toc ] 6. Power 12vDC Connector

The Power 12v DC connector (9, Fig. 7) is designed to accept either the AC Converter that is supplied as standard equipment with the LX200 or the DC Power Cord that is available as optional equipment. The acceptable voltage range (under load) is from 12 to 18 volts.

[ toc ] 7. Keypad Connector

The Keypad connector (6, Fig. 7) is a 4 pin phone jack connector socket, designed to accept standard 4 pin phone jack coil cords. One end of the supplied coil cord plugs into the Keypad port, the other end plugs into the LX200 Keypad.

[ toc ] 8. Reticle Connector

The Reticle connector (5, Fig. 7) accepts optional accessory corded, plug in style illuminated reticle eyepieces such as the Meade 12mm Illuminated Reticle Eyepiece, or the Meade Series 4000 Plössl 9mm Illuminated Reticle Eyepiece (corded style)*, to allow brightness control and on/ off pulsing rates to be set from the LX200 Keypad.

[ toc ] 9. Focuser Connector

The Focuser connector (4, Fig. 7) accepts optional accessory corded, plug in style electric focusers such as the Meade #1206 Electric Focuser*, to allow electric focus adjustment control from the LX200 Keypad.

[ toc ] 10. RS-232 Connector

The RS-232 connector (2, Fig. 7) allows personal computer interface to allow communications at 9600 baud to access every feature of the LX200 Keypad. In Appendix F of this manual is a wiring schematic to make your own RS-232 connector cord, a cord test program, a demonstration program, and the LX200 Command Set for writing programs. Meade Instruments supplies this information for professional programmers. Meade Instruments Corporation does not offer support or advice for writing software for the RS-232 option.

[ toc ] 11. Aux Connector

The Auxiliary connector (3, Fig. 7) is used for the 7" Maksutov fan power.

* See the current Meade Telescope Systems and Accessories Catalog.

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