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LT 8 SC


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#1 Matroskin

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 02:42 AM

Hello all! I am a proud owner of Meade LT 8 SC telescope (plus full line of 4000 series oculars) since 2012 July. This is a great stargazing machine and I travelled alot with it on my back. If you have any questions or opinions or ideas or just wish to talk about this model of telescope - you are welcome! ))
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#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:33 AM

Hello, and welcome to the forum!

I have an LS 8 and have felt the scope could be carried in a back pack without too much trouble. Since your scope does not eat batteries the way an LS does, yours is probably a lot better for traveling. I don't think there are too many 8 inch scopes that can be carried a long distance.

Since yours has the AutoStar I setup, while mine has the AutoStar 3, I hope you stick around to answer LT questions when they come up. I have both AutoStar scopes and the LS 8 frame. I just do not have them together and feel like I am flying blind a bit when the time comes.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 Matroskin

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:01 AM

Here are some photos:

http://photohost.ru/...ures/721115.jpg
http://photohost.ru/...ures/721929.jpg
http://photohost.ru/...ures/720699.jpg

#4 Matroskin

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:02 AM

Thank you Bill! I think LT-8 is a unique model - it is one of the few 8-inch models that can be easily transported without a car. In the backpack (90 litres) I carry a telescope, a mount, a binocular, a dewshield, a folding stool, a box with oculars, a photocam, one or two 12V/7Ah accumulator battaries and a netbook. Total weight is near 55 pounds. My telescope is really reliable, I used it successfully when the temperature was lower than -20 C degrees (-4 F). The only problem I experienced was Red Dot finder's breakage - this finder couldnt endure a strong frost. Nevertheless, I use my 10x50 binocular as a finder to align AutoStar system - and everything goes fine.

#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:18 PM

Matroskin,

Between the LS and the LT, I think the LT is the robust of the two. I really like my LS in my back yard, but with the LT, there are fewer things to go wrong, and the control system is well proven. I am a little surprised that it still works for you that far below zero, but not completely surprised. The hardware on the LT, other than the red dot finder, was really checked out and well designed. I do not think the GPS system, LNT system, and all of those nice "smart" things the LS has would be able to take your temperatures, but then who knows without trying them.

I have replaced my red dot finder with a 6X30 right angle finder, which I think is more in keeping with the size and quality of the scope. I absolutely do not need a finder except when I am trying to do an Astronomy League project that prohibits the use of goto systems. Then the good finder is absolutely necessary for me. The red dot finder worked, but I kept forgetting to turn it off and kept going through batteries.

With either scope, I do not think we can beat the optics in that small size or weight of a package.....well, if we were millionares we might.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:29 PM

I posted before I looked at your pictures. The binoculars seem to be attached to the scope! That is is a great idea! Good optics close at hand.

I need to get me some batteries about like yours. I just have not gotten around to it. I normally string an extension cord from the house to the scope and use a Meade Power Supply. I also have a cable that plugs into an automobile cigarette lighter that I can use elsewhere. But, my astronomy club does "Sidewalk Astronomy" once a month at a place where I cannot park close by and there are no electrical outlets. The LS will go through a set of batteries in about six hours, compared to the 30 hours, or whatever it is for the LT.

Looks like you have a really good setup and I must say, you are one die hard observer!

Bill Steen
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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#7 Matroskin

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:29 PM

Well, I must say that LT 8, like your LS, is a real batteries-eater - usually a set of 8 size C battaries works for 4-5 hours long, not more. So I desided to replace battaries with a standard 12V/7Ah accumulator (such accumulators are used in Back UPS'es and can be easily purchased in any computer store) and a starndard automobile charger - I payed ~ 80 USD for 2 battaries and a charger. In winter one such accumulator alllows me to work with the telescope for at least 5-6 hours long; in summer I can use one fully charged accumulator for 2 or even 3 nights long. The only disadvantage is that each such battery weights ~ 5.5 pounds, so when I take 2 accumulators with myself I need to carry 11 pounds extra ))

PS: More pictures of my LT-8 (and pictures made with my LT-8, of course) you can find in the album titled "Tele & Astro" here: http://photohost.ru/member/12680. Cheers.

#8 MistrBadgr

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:20 PM

Enjoyed your images! Fun stuff!

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#9 Matroskin

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:31 AM

P.P.S. Just a week ago I created my personal web-site - sorry, it is in Russian language, but nowdays all we have a wonderful Google Translate service (to devil all the borders *lol*) I write there about my astrotrips, practical astronomy and other things. I have no plans (yet) to create an English version of the site (you know, a correct translation requires some time *lol*), but if some topic/illustrations from there seems to be interesting for you or you have any questions - we can chat or discuss or exchange opinions etc etc etc - thats what the Internet is for, in my opinion. You are always welcome! http://astrodummies.com/

#10 TakingUpSpace

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

Matroskin,

Between the LS and the LT, I think the LT is the robust of the two. I really like my LS in my back yard, but with the LT, there are fewer things to go wrong, and the control system is well proven. I am a little surprised that it still works for you that far below zero, but not completely surprised. The hardware on the LT, other than the red dot finder, was really checked out and well designed. I do not think the GPS system, LNT system, and all of those nice "smart" things the LS has would be able to take your temperatures, but then who knows without trying them.

I have replaced my red dot finder with a 6X30 right angle finder, which I think is more in keeping with the size and quality of the scope. I absolutely do not need a finder except when I am trying to do an Astronomy League project that prohibits the use of goto systems. Then the good finder is absolutely necessary for me. The red dot finder worked, but I kept forgetting to turn it off and kept going through batteries.

With either scope, I do not think we can beat the optics in that small size or weight of a package.....well, if we were millionares we might.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen



Hi, Bill!

I just started using my new LS 8 ACF. Here's a summary of my first couple of sessions (I sent it to Meade in response to the Customer Satisfaction Survey of new buyers):

After the scope initialized, it failed to put objects in view, lining up horizontally but not vertically. I did a calibration (trained the drive) of both the altitude and the azimuth.


In my first GoTo, the scope put the object in view but not centered. Then I did a GoTo of the moon. It put it well in view, but the slewing process went on and on -- as the moon drifted out of view!


I did three more alignments in an effort to improve things. After the third and last alignment, my final three GoTos were successful. I decided not to push my luck, and ended the session for the night. Will try again in the next night or so.


At this point, I don't have the confidence in the LS that I had in my previous 9.25" Celestron CPC, which I got rid of because it mysteriously gained weight as I got older! I'm now 71 all of a sudden. The LS 8 is considerably lighter.

Anyway, what can you say about my above comments to Meade? Have others had my experience? And what did they do?

#11 Matroskin

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:07 AM

In my first GoTo, the scope put the object in view but not centered. Then I did a GoTo of the moon. It put it well in view, but the slewing process went on and on -- as the moon drifted out of view!



Did you set the Lunar tracking speed on your Autostar remote control? [Setup > Telescope > Tracking Rate > Lunar]

#12 MistrBadgr

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:28 PM

Mysterious jostling back and forth is a new one to me in the last couple of weeks. I do not think the older scopes did that. I think your report of the problem is very precise. Sometimes my scope makes a few adjustments, taking a bit longer than I think it should, but nothing like what you are talking about. Hopefully, you will hear something back, but I will pass on the information to someone I know. Possibly, there has been a slight change in some fitting or some other seemingly harmless item that is causing this. Possibly, it is a known issue with a fix, setting change, etc.

Thanks for the information.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#13 TakingUpSpace

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:40 AM

[indent=1]

Did you set the Lunar tracking speed on your Autostar remote control? [Setup > Telescope > Tracking Rate > Lunar]

No, I didn't. Will do so next session. Thanks much. Quick reply and to the point!

By the way, I once knew Russian quite well. I was a Russian linguist in the Air Force in the early '60s. But like everything else (including my mind), if you don't use it, you lose it. I lost it.

#14 Matroskin

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:51 AM

To tell the truth I experienced a lot of bugs with my LT's Autostar system, but after all I managed to eliminate someones and to avoid others. Sometimes this system tried to look for Antares somewhere in zenith (I live on the 51th latitude BTW), sometimes it pointed a t/scope to Aquarius saying me on the display that this is Ophiuchus, but nevertheless I settled all those problems. The built-in maths of Autostar has many bugs, but... what doesnt have 'em?

#15 TakingUpSpace

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 04:29 AM


Since my last post, my LS 8 ACF has gotten worse. It rarely centers an object. It gets hung up, twice while doing a level and mount tilt. I had to power down, then up again. It finally got through the leveling and mount tilt. But since the very first session, the level looks off, and I have been wondering if this is the cause of the scope finding objects horizontally but being off vertically. I thought about placing something under one leg of the tripod to make the scope level, then trying GoTos to see if I get a good vertical alignment.


There are actually so many things that go wrong, I don't have time to list them hear. I may wind up returning the scope for repairs. But I'm afraid Meade would just sit on it and then return it, saying it's fixed!


I will do a second calibration, training the gears, which is rather tedious, and do a couple of more alignments before shipping the scope back.


As I said before, my previous scope -- a 9.25-inch Celestron CPC -- was a beauty compared to this. My turn to get a lemon, I guess.

Any suggestions?


#16 Matroskin

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 04:59 AM

By the way, I once knew Russian quite well. I was a Russian linguist in the Air Force in the early '60s. But like everything else (including my mind), if you don't use it, you lose it. I lost it.


Wow that's great! I love languages -- I speak English, some German, Arabic and now try to get more or less friendly with Irish Gaelic. Languages help to improve memory, in particular.

Since my last post, my LS 8 ACF has gotten worse. <...> As I said before, my previous scope -- a 9.25-inch Celestron CPC -- was a beauty compared to this. My turn to get a lemon, I guess.
Any suggestions?


Your LS 8 ACF is evidently more complex and advanced if compare to my LT 8 SC. So I have doubts if my experience will be useful for you. Nevertheless...
1) My Meade LT 8 is a good power-eater. In the user manual there's a 5A current requirement, and my power adaptor was only 3.3A. Nowdays I use a 7 Ah power cell - nearly half of all problems vanished when I added some more power.
2) I never use a fully automatical alignment procedure including a "magnetic North" detection. Only w/my hands, pointing a scope manually onto Polaris, then lowering onto horizon, and after pointing onto other 2 stars. A magnetic declination table in Autostar system has some bugs I strongly suspect.
3) Sometimes a bulit-in electronics in my remote control "forgets" about the site location. When you look onto the display it shows correct coordinates, but the telescope uses wrong coordinates when performing a slewing. To check it just ask your telescope to guide to Polaris (after the alignment) - if, for example, it suddenly points to Zenith, then it is it. This bug. Just switch power off, then on, then re-setup your location I mean enter the coordinates again. Usually it helps.
4) I dont know if you work with "Quiet Slew" mode - but if you do, I have noticed another bug there. When in "Quiet Slew" mode a telescope can get a totally wrong alignment (I dont know why I can only suggest). I use only a maximal speed when performing the alignment procedure.

#17 McDoggin

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:16 AM

How did you secure the binoculars to the OTA? I have been looking to replace the red dot sight with something that has a clear window but unless it has the same footprint I am not sure how to secure it to the OTA.

#18 Matroskin

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:37 AM

Oh it is easy I just "pinch" the "leg" that rest from the old Red Dot finder with the binoculars. The grip is tight and I do not experience problems at all. Alas, binoculars cannot be aligned preciously parralel to the optical axis, like an optical finder, but I use binoculars in such a position just once per night - for seeking the 1st star for the alignment procedure. Further work Audiostar does :) and does good by the way. After the alignment I take binoculars off from OTA and use it for separate observing (usually).

#19 Matroskin

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:09 PM

Here you are:

#20 McDoggin

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:02 PM

Hey thanks for posting the video! Nice technique. :D I also like the music!




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