Below is my 'First Light' review of The Meade LXD75 - 127mm Refractor Posted on Astromart 9th June, 2005.
I've left the review as is, including my 'over the top' ravings about the scope .....
LXD75 127mm Refractor
MacWilliam - 6/9/2005
LXD75 – 127mm Refractor
Just a quick review of this scope for the sole reason that
I couldn't find one myself when considering buying it!
I spent the last year with the Orion 100mm EQ F/6 and wanted to move to the
LXD75 for several reasons:
2. Supersize Me! (A Big Refractor relative to the Orion)
4. Lunar Planetary Imager (An intro to Astro-Photography)
The Big Dobo craze just doesn't grab me. The main reason is I find it very hard
to point these scopes accurately, and as for star hopping - eh? I find it a
challenge just to move the target back to the centre. Perhaps if I had some
upside down reverse image glasses on :-)
So Refractor it had to be .... I wanted the 6" so so much!!! And Now?
Thank God I went for the 5"!!!
The 6" is a behemoth and I live in a condo with hallways and stairs (arms
tired enough yet?), and a parking lot to negotiate ...
When the 5" arrived and opened the box I knew I had the right scope.
It looked very impressive. It weighs 15lbs, which is right on the high side of
my comfort level. This also puts it well on the comfort side of the LXD75 mount
which is built to ahem, 'withstand' (I think that describes the situation) the
28lb 6" scope!
Everything was delivered in good order, no missing parts, everything worked.
I assembled the scope, tripod and mount in about an hour - taking my time. I
initialised the autostar and faked a polar alignment all without any problem. I
had previously ordered the Orion Dynamo - 7 amp hour version and this provides
ample power without adding to the transport weight burden.
Our first night out with the new scope I slewed over to Jupiter just using the
Arrow keys (without a star alignment).
I could immediately see a big difference in the detail presented by Jupiter
when compared with the Orion 100mm. The cloud belts didn't look smooth anymore,
more like (as Stephen Hawking might have put it had he been a Vet instead of a
Theoretical Physicist) 'Cats Fur' ...
I had also pre-purchased an Orion 7.5mm Epic ED eyepiece. I figured I needed at
least one 'Good' eyepiece for use on the new scope. I plugged this into the
scope and at 155x, the view was impressive. I immediately could see a moon
emerging from behind Jupiter. Other club members then had a look at this and
about 10 mins later it was gone. We were slightly baffled at this until we
referenced the scenario and found Io had emerged from conjunction and then been
eclipsed by Jupiter's shadow! Pretty exciting stuff for our first night with
the new scope ...
Then I did a 2 star alignment - which is very simple and slewed to M3, then M5.
The scope was pointing pretty close to these but they were still just outside
the main field of view of my 25mm eyepiece. I then did a 3 star alignment and
that made a big difference. Pointing was then dead on! I always use 3 star
Our first session was great on the planets, but not too impressive on the Deep
Sky. But next time out, I learned what a difference an observing site makes.
This time we were not looking over glare. The seeing was poor on the planets so
I used the GOTO to point to some globs, galaxies, and nebulae. I was amazed at
how good the Ring (M57), M81/M82, The Dumbbell (M27) all looked through the
scope ... I had seen the ring through an 8" reflector on the firs night
and thought - well don't bother with that, its barely seeable. But at the new
site, it looked amazing ....
So much for a quick review ...
Summary: The Scope Hit All The Targets I Had For It.
Tracking - 8/10
GOTO - 10/10
Size - 10/10 (great move up from the 4")
Imaging - ?/10 (still learning this)
Jupiter's moons on the first night out and imaged some actual detail on the second
try! So the LPI is as easy to use as they advertise and it’s fueled our desire
to learn more. So I have to say we've only had three nights out with the scope
so far and that’s a very short time to find its limits. But I also have to say,
the capabilities and performance so far are superb!
If you are a stickler for super fine engineering then you will not be happy
with for instance the focuser. It could be a lot smoother, but I took it apart
and it’s pretty easy to fiddle with to achieve smoother operation.
Overall this is amazing value. I would
rate the scope at 10 out of 10 on value and performance.
Thanks for reading,
Post Meade LXD75 Update
Ah the 127mm Refractor, I knew it well! Alas we have now parted company. In an attempt to get some faster (and
lighter) optics for short exposure imaging I sold the Meade to a good pal and
experienced photographer. I replaced it
with a Celestron 6” Newtonian on EQ mount – The Omni XLT 150 is F/5 compared
with the Meade’s F/9.3 optics. The
Meade is great visually though and I recently saw Uranus through the scope and
was impressed by the clear disk and ‘real’ colour presented. On the same night I could not find the 7th
Planet in my non GoTo Scope. After
having the scope for a couple of years I would evaluate its strong and weak
points like so:
Focuser (quite coarse,
tricky to adjust without loosening too much)
Drives (quite noisy – but only a problem if you bothered by it)
LPI incompatible with Windows Vista – users have now found a
Tripod a little low for a long refractor
Solid heavy duty construction on everything
More objects and functions in the GoTo Database than the
competition by far
Price still beats everyone else and includes imager
Tracking – achieved three minutes unguided (1180 FL) for my M42