Meade 16" f/8 LX600 ACF Telescope with StarLock w/o Tripod
- 16" f/8 Advanced Coma Free Optics - 3251mm focal length
- StarLock automatic guider and AutoStar II GoTo system included
- Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC)
- Internal Crayford style focuser with 7:1 reduction and zero image shift
- Includes 2" 28mm PWA eyepiece, 2" Series 5000 diagonal mirror, 8x50 finderscope, AC adapter, DC cable, but does not include tripod/wedge
The Meade 16" f/8 LX600 ACF Telescope is the ultimate performer among Meade's LX series of Alt/Az fork mounted telescopes. This is the largest diameter offering in the ACF line, yet is still incredibly compact for its aperture. The 16" f/8 ACF is ideally suited for both medium and large sized observatories in a more permanent location. Note this telescope does not come with a tripod, and is designed to attach to a permanent pier or custom made tripod. When broken down into its constituent pieces, the LX600 16" is relatively manageable and can be set up by a small group of people (see below for the weight breakdown to be sure you are comfortable lifting the heaviest component). The robust fork arms hold the optical tube rock solid to dampen any vibrations, which is critical for high power planetary observation or long exposure deep-sky imaging. Push button controls, automatic locating and tracking of celestial objects, and a wealth of object data at your fingertips in the AutoStar II hand controller make the LX600 a joy to use.
The patented Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optics produce impressively flat fields of view with no coma, even out to the edges of larger format cameras or extreme wide angle eyepieces. This makes the ACF system ideal for visual observers and astro-imagers alike. The Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) are included as with all Meade ACF optics, yielding maximum image brightness and contrast at the eyepiece or camera sensor. The ACF system also reduces astigmatism and eliminates diffraction spikes.
Designed and Manufactured in North America.
The ACF primary, secondary and corrector plate glass blanks are manufactured in the USA exclusively for Meade. Meade ACF telescopes, including the mounts, are manufactured and assembled in North America.
Key Features and Upgrades Set the LX600 Apart
The Meade LX600 series differs from the LX200 offerings in several key features, first and foremost being the focal ratio of the optical tube assembly (OTA). The 16" f/8 LX600 features a 3251mm focal length, shorter (and faster) than the LX200 16" (4064mm f/10). This shorter focal length yields a wider field of view with a given camera sensor or eyepiece and allows for a shorter exposure time compared with the slower f/10 system, while still providing the legendary optical quality that ACF system is known for.
The optical path and components of the ACF telescope design
Another distinguishing feature of the LX600 line is the inclusion of the StarLock automatic guider, built right onto the optical tube of the Meade 16" f/8 ACF. The StarLock system completely automates target acquisition and accurate guiding during astrophotographic exposures. No need to buy a separate guide camera or worry about locating guide stars and determining the correct guide cadence. The StarLock is solidly attached to the tube using a Vixen-style dovetail and provides both a wide-field CMOS camera sensor view for auto-alignment (14.7° x 11. 8° field of view), and a high resolution narrow-field CMOS sensor (57.2' x 45.8') for accurate high resolution autoguiding. It's also pre-focused at the factory, eliminating the need to refocus a guide scope each night.
StarLock automatic guider diagram
The LX600's focusing system boasts a couple of distinguishing features compared to Meade's LX90 and LX200 series telescopes. The first is a two-speed focus knob for ultra precise focusing of your targets. Get close to focus quickly with the course focus knob, then use the 7:1 reduction fine focus knob to dial in maximum sharpness. The second is an internal Crayford style zero shift focus mechanism built into all the f/8 ACF optical tubes. This mechanism utilizes bearings between the primary mirror and the baffle tubes, rather than the mirror sliding forwards and backwards directly on the baffle tube itself when focusing. The Crayford-style bearings eliminate focus shift and mirror flop, ensuring zero backlash and smooth motion throughout the focus range. Focusing at high magnifications on a planet by hand is thus extremely easy thanks to this internal Crayford focuser design and the ultra-precise fine focus feature. For those wishing to enhance the focusing process even further, an optional Electronic Microfocuser (Meade #07080) is available, which enables precise, touch-free focusing via the AutoStar handset.
Mechanical Advantages of the LX600 ACF Series
Mechanically, the LX600 series incorporates some notable design and feature upgrades that set it apart from other contenders in the fork mounted GoTo telescope class. Because the combination of ACF optical tube and fork mount can be bulky and heavy at the larger apertures, Meade's engineers wanted you to know they have your back — literally. How's that? Because the LX600 design allows the optical tube to be separated from the fork mount for easier, more convenient breakdown, assembly, and transport. Just below the altitude axis on both sides of the optical tube is a connection joint. You simply remove the four hex screws on each side to release the optical tube and upper fork section from the fork mount's base and lower arm section. Now you have two lighter and more manageable components!
Here is the weight breakdown of the telescope's main components:
- Optical tube with upper fork assembly: 190 lb.
- Motor mount and lower fork arm assembly: 112 lb.
- Assembled telescope weight: 302 lb.
Also, larger ergonomically designed handles on the upper fork/optical tube section make installation easier. They're super handy for astronomers who must set up and break down their rig for each observing or imaging session.
And one last premium feature: a tube balancing weight system. This sliding steel counterweight and rail system lets you balance the tube to compensate for heavier eyepieces or camera equipment. Balancing the optical tube ensures proper tracking and guiding performance and reduces strain on the motors. The rail is preinstalled on the bottom of the optical tube. The 16" f/8 LX600 ACF includes two sliding counterweights totaling 6.7 lbs.
Advanced Electronics and AutoStar II GoTo Pointing Technology
The LX600 system features a maximum speed slew of 8° per second, meaning the telescope can find the next object on your viewing list in just seconds, even if it is on the opposite side of the sky. Meade's SmartDrive technology provides Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC), allowing the advanced StarLock system to achieve a guiding accuracy of up to 1 arc-second with good seeing.
The "brains" of the LX600 is the included AutoStar II computer system with its 145,000 object-library, multiple guided tours, and High Precision GoTo Pointing capability. The AutoStar II system provides control of virtually every telescope function. The AutoStar II handbox has soft-touch keys, an LCD display that's backlit with red LEDs to preserve your night vision, and intuitive key arrangement and menus that make AutoStar wonderfully easy and fun to use.
Precise star alignment is performed quickly and nearly effortlessly with Meade's level north technology alignment system, incorporating a 16-channel GPS receiver. The drive base of the telescope has multiple input/output ports including an RS-232 PC interface, separate Autoguider port, illuminated reticle power, and 12v output power. Mount and electronics are powered by an included 12v DC 5-amp Universal Power Supply. The mount is also equipped with mechanical locks and slow motion manual controls if no power is available.
Quality Borne of North American Manufacturing
Designed and manufactured in North America to exacting quality standards, the Meade flagship LX600 series of fork mounted Alt/Az Advanced Coma-Free GoTo telescopes are perfect for the discerning visual astronomer or dedicated astro-imager. The Meade 16" LX600 ACF features a 16" aperture, 3251mm focal length, and f/8 focal ratio with Dual-Fork Mounting. The Ultra High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) and a resolving power of 0.29 arc-seconds provide an improvement in brightness and resolution on everything from star clusters, fine detail in nebulae, to greater surface features on planets. Includes a 2" 28mm PWA eyepiece (116x), 2" Series 5000 diagonal mirror, and 8x50 optical viewfinder with crosshair. Because of the size of the shipping box(es), the LX600 16" telescope will be shipped via freight and arrive on a pallet.
The Meade 16" f/8 LX600 ACF Telescope is the largest aperture in the Meade product line, and the ultimate telescope that will provide years of astronomical exploration and amazement!
- Best for viewing
- Fainter deep sky
- Best for imaging
- Deep sky
- Astro-imaging capability
- Lunar, planetary & long exposure
- User level
- Optical design
- Advanced Coma-Free (ACF)
- Optical diameter
- Focal length
- Focal ratio
- Finder scope magnification
- Finder scope lens diameter
- Magnification with included eyepieces
- Resolving power
- Lowest useful magnification
- Highest useful magnification
- Highest theoretical magnification
- Limiting stellar magnitude
- Optical quality
- Diffraction limited
- Finder scope
- Diagonal degrees
- 2" 90° Mirror Star
- Mount type
- Weight, optical tube
- 318.0 lbs.
- Additional included accessories
- AutoStar II hand controller, Tube counterweight system w/ rail and two weights, AC adapter and DC power cable
- Other features
- Internal zero-shift Crayford style focuser, Starlock automatic guider, LightSwitch style automatic alignment
- Two year