Last updated: 31 December 2003

LXD55 8sc logo

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all LXD55 models. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	Hartman mask focus aid
Sent:	Tuesday, December 30, 2003 09:00:55
From:	"Brooker, Roger" (Roger.Brooker@cwcom.co.uk)
I have seen that you made the above for your 8"sc. Will the hole
dimensions work with my 6"sn ? or can you tell what the dimensions for
the holes should be.

Roger Brooker
Mike here: Make the diameter of the holes somewhat smaller than the radius of your clear aperture minus the radius of the secondary.
Subject:	Question about your LXD55 Telescope
Sent:	Tuesday, December 23, 2003 22:10:28
From:	"Jaime Negrete" (jotanegrete@hotmail.com)
My name is Jaime Negrete Rodriguez, I born in Viña del Mar - Chile, I
live in Belloto Norte - Chile. I am 40 years old and I have been
starting as amateur astronomer 3 years ago when I bought in USA my first
telescope, the "Galileo", reflector  3". Then, after 1 year I decided to
buy another telescope, this time I was wanting something bigger, The
Orion Skyview Deluxe reflector 6" was my choice and I purchased it in
USA through a good friend of my wife who live in Virginia and she
shipped through DHL to Chile ( to make the history short, I paid more
than the double of it original price after shipping and handling, taxes,
insurances, etc), but, anyway I got it and really it has been fantastic,
giving me very rewarding times.

I am sure you are already knowing where my question going. Yes, I want a
bigger telescope and I found your web site very interesting, and I think
you have a very nice Schmith Cassegrain Telescope and I want to asking
about the Equatorial Mount, is the polar alignment easy to make?, is the
hand controller performing a kind of automatic polar alignment?. All
these is because I know than the alignment is critical to have good
results in astrophotography, unfortunately in the southern hemisphere do
not have a bright star as  the polar star in the northern hemisphere,
(sigma octan, is very weak and difficult to find). I want to know from a
owner what is the performance of your telescope (between 0 to 10)
compare with the Meade LX200 GPS, which make the polar alignment very
easy, but also very costly (U$D 1000 more than the LXD55, in the
equatorial mount). I have received some information about the fork mount
from users where they said that is not all that good for
astrophotography due to the extra weight of the camera,adapter, etc,
which at the end makes difficult to balancing the telescope, and you
have to carry with you a set of counterweight which at the end starting
to damaging the gears, etc. and afecting the guiding speed to named some
of the problems. In other hand I know the Equatorial Mount and I feel
confortable with it. but with your experience, would you move into the
GPS series for some reason, or you stay firmly with your LXD55.

Sorry for my bad english, but the language in Chile is the Spanish and I
am doing my best, (I can read better that write in english). I hope you
can really help me to make up my mind and make the right choice, of
course I will ask the same question to somebody who have a LX200 and 
another with the latest  LX200 GPS mount, so at the end I will have a
picture of the goody and the bady of  the different models.

Many thanks in advance for your kind cooperation, and of course I wish
you and all your family a Merry Cristmas and a very Happy New Year 2004
and also clear sky, good seeing and pin point star in the eyepiece.

Jaime Negrete Rodriguez

Please reply to negrete@vtr.net or jotanegrete@hotmail.com or jotanegrete@mail.com

Belloto - Chile
South America

Mike here: The Autostar handcontroller/computer greatly simplifies polar alignment. You set the GEM head for your latitude and then follow the onscreen prompts to do the alignment. You can improve the alignment by using the polar alignment scope in the GEM head BUT this is not required for shorter duration astrophotography.

Subject:	LXD55 8" SN - 5" or 6" Refractor - 8" SC ? First scope
Sent:	Tuesday, December 23, 2003 07:18:49
From:	"Olivier Hercot" (olivier_hercot@hotmail.com)
At this moment I haven't any telescope, but I want to acquire one of the
LXD55 serie as soon as possible...

I want to do some astrophotography of both planetary and deep sky
objects with my Canon 10D , but I don't know which of these scopes is
the best suited for astrophotography?

Is the only more equipment I need is a T-Adapter and a T-Ring for Canon
EOS ? Is it the same T-Adapter for a refractor ?

Thanks and sorry for my English, it isn't my first language ;-)

Mike here: Each of these scopes have different strengths but all can be used for astrophotography. Of course, the larger the aperture the shorter the exposures will need to be for the same object or the fainter the objects captured for a given exposure length. But you also want to consider focal length as that will determine the image scale on the film. HOWEVER, for long duration astrophotography of DSOs you will likely need to add either a "guide scope" or an "off-axis guider" to ensure that tracking is accurate. Perhaps you best choice (my opinion) for DSO astrophotography would be the 8"SN but the best for Moon and planetary shots would be the 8"SC. However, many AR users have excellent results with those refractors. Decisions, decisions, decisions... As to the T-Adapter, if it slides into the eyepiece hole then it will work with any telescope model. If it is a "SCT" style T-Adapter then I don't know if it will work with the AR models.
Subject:	Belated thank you
Sent:	Friday, December 19, 2003 13:34:09
From:	"Neal Ruple" (N_Ruple@msn.com)
I wrote to you a few months ago about a problem I had been having with
my LXD55 8SN.  I kept getting motor mount failure warnings even though
my batteries were basically brand new.  I went out and got an Everstart
brand 300 amp jump starter battery with cigarette lighter port and the
car adapter from Meade.  I have not had a problem with it since.  I just
wanted to say thanks because you had responded to me so quickly.  I put
your message in my stored messages folder and forgot to respond back
until I reread some of them yesterday.  Thank you again for your advice,
it seems to have cured my problems and I have been able to use my scope
just fine since.  Neal Ruple

Subject:	I need some help ROBOFOCUS PROTOCOL
Sent:	Tuesday, December 16, 2003 06:47:52
From:	"Carlo Martinelli" (carlo.martinelli@ulss17.it)
Good moornig Mr W. in this days i need to know a protocol whit funcions
the ROBOFOCUS focuser.

In my italian site i have a make an electronic focuser (Focus Navigator)
complete of LX200 protocol to move focus whith conpensation backslash.


in this days i want to integrated whith ROBOFOCUS protocol to make an
Autofocus whith Maxim DL.

I have a Meade LXD55 S/N 10 and Clestron C11

Do you help me ???

Tanks for any answers.
Carlo Martinelli - IW3GIK
Pagina Web: Telecontrollo Telescopi AstroElettronica
Moderatore: Mailing List MotoriVB http://it.groups.yahoo.com/group/motorivb/
Moderatore: Mailing List LXD 55 Italia http://it.groups.yahoo.com/group/lxd55italia/

Subject:	lxd55 saddle question
Sent:	Monday, December 15, 2003 10:41:14
From:	"joanna" (dollieday@msn.com)
i bought an lxd55 mount and need to know if you know if the saddle is
called gp or cg5 type because i need to buy a losmandy adapter so i can
use losmandy dovetails.

any idea(s)?

Mike here: Unfortunately, I've seen references to both. So I'm not sure which is more correct. Sorry.
Subject:	Gear noise
Sent:	Wednesday, December 10, 2003 20:02:32
From:	bullfox@comcast.net (BullFox)
In searching the internet, I came across a lot of complaints about the
LXD55 mount.  I like mine a lot, and have had no problems with it. I
think its plenty ok for the 8 inch SC, but probably not robust enough
for the bigger SN's, which are heaver with longer moment arms.  Still
and all, its pretty noisy, and thats always a warning sign for anything
with gears.
Mike here: Have you tried the "Quiet Slew" option in the Autostar?


Didn't know there was such a thing.  Where is it?
Mike here: Setup --> Telescope.
Subject:	LXD55
Sent:	Monday, December 8, 2003 17:51:07
From:	"EILEEN SMAR" (res18va8@verizon.net)
I had e-mailed you before about problems with my LXD55 mount with 497
Autostar (6" SN LXD55 UHTC).  The problem I had was with "random
slewing" upon startup and throughout a session - as in the mount having
sort of "a mind of it's own", slewing to nothing I had entered and
nothing in general.  After calibrating motors and training drives
several times and this still occuring, and getting worse, I called Meade
and told them what was going on.  I got an immediate response of "yeah,
it needs to come back to the factory"; as if this is a common problem. 
Well, one night after just messing around with the mount, going through
the menus, as I often do just to get more familiar with the Autostar,
(the problem still existed and was getting worse) I decided for the hell
of it to reverse the cable from the mount to the handbox.  The problem
seemed to have subsided.  My question is; is this a common problem and
have you heard of this possible fix?  Did I have the cable reversed to
begin with?  I don't think this should have affected anything - except
the balck plastic "thing" that is around the cord is by the handbox now,
and not the mount.  What is this thing anyway?  Just a noise or
interference preventor?  I am not an electronics expert.  I think I
should send back the mount anyway, and probably will.  Just looking for
some feedback.  Thanks!
Best Regards,
Jeffrey Smar
Mike here: When I first received my LXD55-8"SC in Nov 2002 I had the same problem with a random slewing. At first I had the ferrite core next to the Autostar. So on a whim I reversed it and haven't had a single random slew since. It is there to prevent stray electrical signals from getting into the electronics. Why the difference? Beats me! But if it works keep it that way. I have!
Subject:	ETX-125EC or 8" LXD55 Schmidt-Newtonian?
Sent:	Sunday, December 7, 2003 18:49:22
From:	"King Tibianus" (finlikin@hotmail.com)
I've recently been looking into getting a good scope and I would like
your opinion.  I think I've brought it down to the  ETX-125EC with UHTC
or the 8" LXD55 Schmidt-Newtonian.  Which do you believe would be the
better buy (both about the same price)?  I will most likely want to get
into astrophotography a bit down the line.  Deep sky probably interests
me the most.
Mike here: Due you think you want focal length or aperture? The best telescope for you depends upon what you plan to do with it and your expectations. Also, does portability come into the equation? For astrophotography, you will get better results with the LXD55 but that will somewhat depend upon the equipment you plan to use for astrophotography. But both can do it, as evidenced by the photos on my LXD55 and ETX Sites.
Subject:	Re: collimating
Sent:	Sunday, December 7, 2003 15:14:43
From:	"Dan Braasch" (scutter@megsinet.net)
To the poster from December 2nd (Roger Booker) who has the question on
collimating his 6" reflector.

I have collimated a Newtonian with a "cheshire" collimation eyepiece,
and yes, the two marks must line up on top of one another. Not only
that, they must both be centered on the cross-hairs of the collimation
eyepiece. This requires patience while you are learning to do it, and it
helps to have a basic understanding of what you are trying to achieve.

My collimation eyepiece came with incorrect instructions which
frustrated the heck out of me. I repeatedly performed the steps in
order, only to have both marks lined up off of the cross-hairs. I
finally realized which step made no sense, and just did it the way I
thought it should work. Turned out, after searching the web, I had
finally gotten it right, after many days of frustration.

 I would suggest some time reading web pages so you can get a grasp of
what is required. This may make the process easier. There is a wealth of
collimation information on the web for your taking. After you get used
to collimating, it's not a tough thing to do. And if a bozo like me can
figure this out, I'm sure you can, too!
Dan Braasch

Subject:	eye pieces
Sent:	Sunday, December 7, 2003 05:53:27
From:	shirley m feickert (sfeickert@earthlink.net)
Where can I find out about the man G.W.Plossl, how, when, where  or the
history of Plossl eye pieces.

Mike here: Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has an excellent online resource called the "Learning Center". Go to their web site and click on the "Learning Center" and then search on eyepieces. The item "Choosing Eyepieces" has some history.
Subject:	LXD55 8" SC-8 soft case and piggyback bracket
Sent:	Saturday, December 6, 2003 16:31:40
From:	Lamar McLouth (lmclouth@a1isp.net)
Do you have or can you recommend an appropriate OTA soft case for the
LXD55 8" SC-8?

Preferrably, I would like one where I do not need to remove the finder
scope.  I've seen pictures of the soft case for the LX90, and something
similar to it for the SC-8 would be great.

Also, I'm looking for a piggyback bracket for the LXD55 8" SC-8. Have
you used one with your SC-8?

Is there a particular type I need or will any generic one for an 8" OTA

Thanks for your help and input.  Keep up the good work on your great

Mike here: Sorry, I have no info on a special software case for the 8"SC. But I have seen reports that duffle bags work (with the proper protection). As to a piggyback, again no specific answer but any designed for the Meade 8"SC (whether the LXD55, the LX90, or the LX200) will work. One for other 8" models may work but I would suggest confirming first.
Sent:	Tuesday, December 2, 2003 14:57:50
From:	"roger BROOKER" (roger@brooker1260.freeserve.co.uk)
I have purchased a 6" reflector & have noticed a black circle on the
primary mirror, i have read up on this & it says this is for collimating
the scope.  Ok i have bought a collimanting eye peice & when inserted i
have noticed the the black ring on the mirror does not match up to the
one one the eye piece.  ( should it )
Roger Brooker
Mike here: The black dot should be centered in the reflection of the mirror that you see when looking into the eyepiece hole when NOT using an eyepiece. This should be explained in your telescope manual. I can't speak to what you will see with the collimating eyepiece.


I think i may have worded my original email incorrectly. On my
colimating eyepiece around the looking hole there is a black ring ( the
same as the one on primary mirror ) so when looking through the
colimating tool i can see 2 black rings.  Should the mirror be adjusted
so that the 2 rings are 1.
Mike here: I have never used one so can't comment.
Subject:	RE: Autostar and cold temperatures
Sent:	Monday, December 1, 2003 10:44:04
From:	skindt@pacifier.com
This message is in regards to the gentleman trying to keep his autostar
warm.  Sometimes having more than one hobby gives you ideas for the
other hobbies.  There are gloves made specifically for Radio Control
transmitters that have a clear front panel and hand holes.  It seems
like one of these could be utilized possibly with one of the chemical
hand warmers to keep the autostar warm and yet still be functional. 
Here is a link to the RC Glove:


Several other related items can be found on Ebay.

Keep up the great website.


Subject:	re:  What gives ?
Sent:	Sunday, November 30, 2003 20:33:20
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	bunny@milwpc.com
The 909 APM -does- work reliably on the LXD55 for the
purposes of focusing and powering an illuminated reticle.

The portion which is reportedly inconsistent is the autoguider socket.
It -will- affect the telescope's motion, but apparently not repeatibly.
(sometimes a "left" goes fivce pixels, sometimes it goes ten).

The focuser socket will drive any reasonable focus motor which 
can withstand a 12 volt drive voltage.  It is plug-compatible with
a number of Meade focusers, and some other brands can use it too.
All it demands of the focus unit is a motor.

If you use the AUX port for focusing, WarpCorp on the LXD55telescopes
yahoo group has fitted some DS-model Meade focusers onto his LXD55's.
Ask at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LXD55telescopes/
and he'll be happy to describe 
(i think there are photos and how-to's in the File and Photos areas
of that group).  

have fun

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