Meade LS6-ACF LightSwitch 6" Advanced Coma-Free Go-to altazimuth


Availability: In stock

This Meade 6" LS is the easiest to use telescope you will ever own. You never have to touch it to align on the sky for an evening's observing. Simply turn it on. The 6" LS automatically aligns itself on the sky for you. 
Our Product #: LS6ACF
Meade Product #: 0610-03-10
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Product Description

This Meade LS 6" LightSwitch telescope has:
Hot Product for 2010 LightSwitch technology for hands-free/eyes-free automatic alignment on the sky
Advanced Coma-Free optics rival professional Ritchey-Chrétien scope performance
built-in 640 x 480 pixel color CCD camera with 8° field
Astronomer Inside multimedia output with built-in speaker and video output
UHTC optical multicoatings
AutoStar III computer control with 100,000 object database

This Meade 6" LS ACF LightSwitch catadioptric telescope aligns itself on the skies automatically to make astronomy easy. You don't have to know Polaris from the Pleiades, or Albireo from Zubeneschamali, to align the scope on the sky each night. You just have to turn it on. As Sky & Telescope said when naming it a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2010, "Meade's LightSwitch technology adds a new level of automation to the set up and use of Go To telescopes."

The Meade LS LightSwitch Technology uses a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, proprietary LNT (Level North Technology), an AutoStar III computer, and an ECLIPS (Electronically Controlled Locate Identify Position System) CCD camera to make the scope amazingly simple to set up and operate. Simply turn on your Meade LS. First the GPS receiver automatically determines where and when you are on Earth from the signals it receives from a network of Earth-orbiting satellites. Then the LNT system automatically levels the optical tube and points it north. Next, the AutoStar III computer automatically points the scope at two alignment stars. And finally the wide-field ECLIPS CCD camera images those alignment stars and automatically centers them for you to refine your celestial alignment.

You never have to look through the eyepiece or finder, or touch any button other than the on/off switch, to have your Meade LS perfectly align itself on the skies, ready to find 100,000 celestial objects for you at the touch of a button. You can be observing dozens and dozens of deep space objects like a seasoned observer your first night out.

This Meade 6" LS ACF catadioptric brings the image quality of a professional observatory to your back yard, at the lowest price ever for optics of this quality. Its Advanced Coma-Free optics have a flat, coma-free field that is visibly similar to that of the Ritchey-Chrétien design optics used in most professional observatory telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope, but at a mere fraction the cost of a true Ritchey-Chrétien.

Remember that the best telescope for you is not always the biggest scope money can buy. It's the scope you use most often. And with its superb balance of sensible aperture, reasonable weight, unique features, and low price, you will find yourself using the highly portable 6" Meade LS ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics a lot. Here's a link to a recent video review on the LS6 that talks about just how easy the scope is to use. The Meade LS6 may well be the perfect telescope for you . . . for life.

This Meade LS Telescope's Optical System . . .

Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric designed to emulate the optical performance of a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope: 6" aperture (1524mm focal length f/10). Oversized Pyrex primary mirror. Schott water white glass front corrector lens. Fully-multicoated UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) optics for the highest possible image brightness. Aluminum tube construction with glare-stop baffling. Guaranteed diffraction-limited performance. The scope has a standard Schmidt-Cassegrain rear cell thread, allowing the use of most SCT accessories manufactured over the past 30 years. For more details, click on the "optics" icon above.

Finderscope: The Meade LS finderscope is a SmartFinder non-magnifying red dot finder for object centering and star-hopping when using the AutoStar III hand control manually to stroll through the heavens without using the computer to guide you. This straight-through wide-field red dot finder allows easy non-magnified views of the sky, with a projected red dot of light showing exactly where the scope is pointed at all times.

Star diagonal: 1.25" 90° multicoated prism type.

Eyepiece: 1.25" 26mm Meade Super Plössl (58x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.89°, nearly 80% wider than the full Moon, for expansive lunar and deep space views.

ECLIPS CCD camera: The ECLIPS (Electronically Controlled Locate Identify Position System) color CCD camera is mounted under the optical tube. Its wide-angle short focal length lens is aimed parallel to the tube and takes 8° wide 640 x 480 pixel panoramas of the sky centered on the object at which the scope is aimed. The ECLIPS camera forms a vital part of the LightSwitch automatic sky alignment system, by imaging the stars that the scope points at during its alignment sequence and centering them precisely to refine the scope's pointing accuracy.

However, the ECLIPS camera is more than just an alignment tool. It also takes full color 8° panoramas through its own wide angle lens of whatever you observe during the evening while you observe with an eyepiece through the main scope optics. It can save these images to a user-supplied SD card with no computer needed at the scope for later processing indoors on your computer. An SD card slot allows easy software upgrades and storing of your ECLIPS astrophotos on your SD card. If you prefer, it can also display the images in real time on an optional monitor or TV set via a video output jack on the LS for all to see while you observe.

The ECLIPS camera does not shoot high power images through the telescope optics, but rather uses its own low power lens to take complementary wide angle panoramas of what you are visually observing at higher powers. This helps to put the close-up objects in context against the larger celestial background.

This Meade LS Telescope's Mount . . .

Fork mount/drive system: Die-cast aluminum drive base. The light-weight, but rigid, die-cast aluminum single fork arm of the Meade LS damps vibrations quickly. There is a carrying handle at the top of the fork arm. The fork arm is long, to allow most cameras to clear the drive base when the scope is pointed at the zenith. The mount includes servo-controlled 12V DC slewing and tracking motors driving 4.875" precision worm gears in both altitude and azimuth. The motors are powered by eight user-supplied C-cell batteries that fit into the drive base. Because of all the electronic features built into the LS, the usable life of the batteries is only 3 to 5 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.

An optional #RCXAC wall power adapter is available to power the LS from 110-120 volt 60 Hz AC household current in your back yard to conserve battery life. An optional #607 cigarette lighter cord is available to power the scope from your car's cigarette lighter plug or a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field.

Adjustable height tripod: ETX-style self-centering steel leg field tripod. A single threaded rod with a large hand-tighten knob and spreader bar simultaneously holds the scope firmly on the tripod and locks the legs rigidly in the most stable position. The spreader bar has cutouts to hold three 1.25" eyepieces close at hand and up and out of the evening's dews and damps.

LightSwitch Technology: The unique LightSwitch Technology of the Meade LS allows completely automatic hands-free/eyeball-free alignment of the telescope on the sky at the beginning of each observing session. A built-in GPS receiver and the patented LNT (Level North Technology) in the system's Integrated Sensor Module combine with the built-in wide angle ECLIPS CCD imager under the telescope tube to allow the LS to completely align itself with the sky without any input or guidance from you. You simply flip the LightSwitch on and the telescope automatically finds its location, time, date; aims the optical tube north and levels it; then locates and centers the appropriate alignment stars for a perfect celestial alignment every time. You don't have to look through a finderscope or eyepiece to automatically align the scope on the heavens for an evening's observing enjoyment.

AutoStar III computer: The AutoStar III computer can show you the planets and thousands of deep space objects the very first night you use your scope - even if you've never used a telescope before! At the push of a button, the LS ACF will move at a fast 6.5° per second to any of the 100,000 objects in its database. You can choose from Messier, Caldwell, IC, and NGC deep space objects, binary and multiple star systems, the Moon, planets, asteroids, and comets. You can also automatically move to any object that's not in the database simply by entering its right ascension and declination coordinates. The AutoStar III computer includes hundreds of special event menus, guided tours, a glossary, utility functions, and telescope status options. A hand control holder is built into the scope drive base for hands-free computer controller operation. The scope electronics and AutoStar III hand control provide full USB 2.0 support for accessories like additional DSI CCD cameras.

Astronomer Inside Software: It's a marvelous experience to look through a telescope at a distant object - but nothing can match the experience of knowing things like how many years its light has taken to reach your eye, how fast it's moving, how big it is, etc. Thanks to the built-in Astronomer Inside multimedia software, the Meade 6" LS enhances the observing experience as no other telescope on today's market can. Right at the telescope, you have a complete audio/visual library at your fingertips . . . just waiting to give you a full tour of the night sky.

Thanks to a built-in speaker and video-out jack, the whole family can share in the fun! An optional LCD monitor is available to let you see the more than 75 on-board animated video files in the "Astronomer Inside" software in you LS6, while the scope's on-board speaker plays the accompanying audio. It will also display the "Astronomer Inside" still photos and menus and will display a current sky chart when not playing back videos.

The Astronomer Inside multimedia software has over four hours of professionally produced audio content with descriptions of hundreds of objects such as the planets, Moon, stars, constellations, star clusters, nebulas, galaxies, and more. Astronomer Inside will let you learn the secrets and details of the objects you observe while you are viewing them in a fun and interesting way. It has custom guided tours of the best objects that are visible from your location, at any time and date during the course of the year. The built-in speaker in the scope's drive base can announce audio instructions and object descriptions for all to hear. If you'd prefer to listen in private (at a star party, for example, or in your backyard when people are asleep nearby), there is also an audio out jack that will let you listen privately through optional headphones or earbuds.

The video output jack for the optional monitor can show you more than 30 minutes of video presentations (movies and animations of celestial phenomena) and still images of many celestial objects, plus give you an instant display of images from the ECLIPS CCD imager and easy on-screen menu navigation. The multimedia presentations feature the voices of Sandy Woods of the "Star Date" astronomy radio program and George Woods, Hollywood actor.

The simple tripod/altazimuth mount configuration of the LS ACF with UHTC optics makes setup fast and easy. The automatic alignment of the LightSwitch Technology system will have you observing in only a matter of minutes. The wide array of objects in the LS ACF database (100,000 of them!), and the pointing accuracy of the AutoStar III computer, will accurately speed you from object to object with no frustrating hunting or star hopping. With the LS ACF, you'll spend more of your time looking at objects and less time looking for them.

If you're one of those busy people whose schedule doesn't leave you much time to enjoy astronomy, an easy-to-use fully-computerized Meade LS ACF with UHTC optics will make the most of your limited observing opportunities. The 6" LS ACF is a scope that one person can easily move outside to observe by himself or herself.

This 6" scope has enough performance with its premium coma-free design and UHTC optics to keep you busy observing and photographing for the rest of your life. And the 6" LS ACF has all the advanced features you'll ever need to keep you happy out in the field or in your backyard. The LS is big enough to keep you observing for many years to come, portable enough to make it easy for spur of the moment observing, with superb optics and enough useful features to keep the most ardent gadget lover in seventh heaven 'til the cows come home . . . all at a price that won't break the bank.

The 6" Meade LS ACF with LightSwitch Technology and Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics may indeed be the perfect scope for you.

Tech Details

Aperture 6"
Binary and Star Cluster Observation Very Good
Focal Length 1524mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Galaxy and Nebula Observation Good
Heaviest Single Component 28 lbs.
Highest Useful Magnification 305x
Lunar Observation Great
Weight 37 lbs.
Planetary Observation Good
Resolution 0.76 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece SP26
Telescope Type Advanced Coma-Free
Visual Limiting Magnitude 13.4
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
Bouhgt my first scope in Feb. of 2013. Was really excited, wanted to get into astrophotography. Well, I set the scope up flipped the switch and low and behold it went through it talk, then found the GPS satilites, found N. aleigned with two stars. WOW!! How great is this. I figured I would start out easy so I choose the moon. Hmmmm. I thought this was to keep the object in the EP. The sscope was not tracking. Right out of the box it was no good. I contacted the dealer I bought it from and they sent a new scope (that they tested) W/ free shipping for the return of the first scope. This new scope I used for a month getting used to the photog aspect, then deciced to try the ccd camera that came with the scope... SD card would only go in half way. So i contacted Meade told CS that I had to bring in the scope for the SD card slot. Living in the area I thought I could just drop it off. NOOOOooo, it has to be shipped in. Not having the box to ship it in, I guess I will have to pay for it. Now, when it starts up and tries to find N. it goes to the S. So, now everything is 180 degrees off. Sorry, but this is the last Meade telescope I will buy. My next scope will be a Celestron. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 6" f/10 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optical tube assembly with UHTC optics (multicoated mirrors and a multicoated corrector)
  • Single-tine fork mount with dual-axis 4.875" worm gears and control panel
  • LightSwitch Integrated Sensor Module with built-in GPS receiver, electronic level sensor, electronic magnetic North Sensor, and ECLIPS (Electronically Controlled Locate Identify Position System) CCD camera
  • Electric slow-motion controls on both axes
  • AutoStar III hand controller with digital readout display, 9-speed drive controls on both axes, and go-to controller
  • 100,000-object onboard celestial software library
  • Internal battery port accepts 8 (user-supplied) C-cells (optional 25 ft. cords permit powering from either 12vDC auto cigarette lighter plug or from 110-120VAC home outlet)
  • Non-magnifying straight-through illuminated red dot finder
  • 1.25" diagonal prism
  • Series 4000 Super Plössl 26mm eyepiece (58x)
  • Astronomer Inside multimedia playing audio through a built-in speaker and showing video on an optional monitor through a video out jack
  • Standard field tripod
  • Operating instructions supplied on a media disk for your computer (no printed manual supplied).