Meade LX600-ACF 12" f/8 go-to StarLock altazimuth, with ACF & UHTC optics No Tripod

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The 12" Meade LX600-ACF uses Advanced Coma-Free f/8 optics (a modified catadioptric version of the reflector design used in many of the world's largest research telescopes), an altazimuth go-to fork mount, and a revolutionary new dual sensor StarLock full-time automated guider system to put professional-grade visual and short exposure photographic performance in the hands of amateur astronomers at an affordable price . . .
Our Product #: 12608N
Meade Product #: 1208-70-01N
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Product Description

This Meade 12" LX600 StarLock system Advanced Coma-Free telescope has:
• 12" f/8 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optics
• UHTC optical multicoatings for high light transmission
• unique StarLock system for full-time automatic arc second guiding accuracy
• internal Crayford-type dual speed focusing to reduce image shift during use
• dual fork arm altazimuth go-to mount with GPS
• AutoStar II computer hand control with 145,000 object go-to library

This Meade 12" f/8 LX600-ACF go-to fork mount catadioptric telescope is a simple to operate and virtually plug-and-play package that makes taking great short exposure DSLR and CCD astrophotos as easy as focusing your camera and opening the shutter. The collection of features and technology integrated into the LX600 is unavailable from any other manufacturer and cannot be duplicated by just attaching a set of add-ons to another scope.

The LX600 has fast f/8 focal ratio Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics that are ideal for both viewing and imaging. It puts those optics on a heavy duty altazimuth fork mount that has a unique StarLock object finding and star tracking system. StarLock automatically aligns itself on the sky, finds and centers any of the 145,000 objects in its memory you choose, then tracks that object perfectly for as long as you want for viewing and imaging.

This altazimuth mount Meade LX600 provides an exceptional visual and short exposure imaging experience, with pinpoint stars all the way across the field of view. For long exposure DSLR and CCD imaging, adding an optional Meade X-Wedge (our part #2575) will convert the scope's altazimuth mount to a precision equatorial mount. This will eliminate the field rotation all altazimuth mounts display, a an exceptional long exposure imaging capability.

If you have the dark skies to take full advantage of its considerable light gathering capacity (two and a quarter times that of an 8" scope), or are willing to make the effort to transport this rather heavy scope to the dark sky site it needs for best performance, it's a scope that can keep you happily observing and photographing the wonders of the heavens for the rest of your life.

This Meade LX600 Telescope's Optical System . . .

Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) catadioptric design: 12" aperture catadioptric (2438mm focal length f/8) optical tube. The ACF design emulates the coma-free optical performance of a professional observatory's Ritchey-Chrétien telescope, but at a fraction the cost. The primary and secondary mirrors are low-expansion borosilicate glass. The aspheric high spectral transmission catadioptric corrector is made of costly Schott Borofloat glass from Germany. All optical elements are fully multicoated with Meade's time- and observer-tested UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) for maximum light transmission.

Focuser: Internal Crayford-style for zero image-shift primary mirror focusing with dual speed 7:1 ratio fine focus control. The new Crayford design minimizes image shift and mirror flop to eliminate the need for a separate mirror lock or locks.

Finderscope: 8 x 50mm crosshair straight-through achromatic design, with helical focusing.

Star diagonal: 1.25" multicoated prism diagonal.

Eyepiece: 1.25" 26mm Meade Series 4000 Super Plössl (90x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.57°, over 10% larger than the full Moon, for truly expansive lunar and deep space views.

This Meade LX600 Telescope's Mount . . .

Meade StarLock full-time automatic guiding dual fork arm altazimuth mount: Die-cast aluminum drive base. Dual die-cast aluminum fork arms support the optical tube. The mount includes servo-controlled slewing and tracking motors in both altitude and azimuth. The 8° per second go-to slewing performance is the fastest available.

The 12VDC 5A motors are powered by a supplied AC power adapter that plugs into any 110-120 volt 60 Hz household current outlet. The AC adapter draws 70 watts and has a regulated 13.8V DC output with a constant 5 amp capacity and a 7 amp surge capacity. An optional adapter (with a 25' cord) is available to power the scope from your car's cigarette lighter plug or a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field.

The LX600 mount uses high-quality heavy duty 5.75" worm-gear drives in both axes to provide the precise tracking and low periodic error critical for long exposure astrophotography. Unlike German equatorial mounts, the LX600 fork mount provides the freedom to track from horizon to horizon during viewing and astrophotography without being forced to stop imaging and perform a meridian flip (tumble the tube) in order to continue tracking past the meridian.

StarLock/GPS/AutoStar II computer system: A GPS (global positioning satellite) receiver is built into the LX600 mount. The GPS receiver, in conjunction with Meade's AutoStar II computer control, Meade's exclusive LightSwitch technology, and Meade's unique dual sensor StarLock automatic guiding system, automatically aligns the scope on the sky so that the AutoStar II computer can locate for you any of the 145,000 stars and objects in its memory.

Using a two refractor/two camera system rigidly mounted on top of the optical tube, the StarLock system automatically finds and slews the LX600 to your chosen target with high +/- one arc minute precision, immediately captures a field star for guiding, and then guides full time while you view or image. The revolutionary new technology of the Meade StarLock system makes target acquisition in your eyepiece and on your imaging sensor (and accurate guiding during viewing and imaging) completely automatic.

The built-in StarLock cameras include a super wide angle 25mm f/1.04 refractor with a 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor that has a 14.72 x 11.78 degree field for star field acquisition, and a narrow angle 80mm f/5 refractor with a 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor with a 57.2 x 45.8 arc minute field (with a resolution of 2.68 arc seconds/pixel) for precise centering. The guiding accuracy is a very high precision +/- 1 arc second RMS (with good seeing). It has a 1 to 4 second correction update rate depending on the guide star magnitude. The faintest usable guide star can be as dim as 11th magnitude.

StarLock communicates directly with the motor controllers in real time with a maximum precision of 0.01 arc seconds. There's no need for a separate add-on guide scope and computer and the StarLock system requires no calibration, no user focusing, and no manual guide star selection.

StarLock even automatically programs periodic error correction into the drive and then corrects any other misalignment, atmospheric refraction, or other mechanical errors down to virtually zero in real time. No expensive high precision shaft encoders, software pointing models, PEC training, extra-large gears, or add-on guiding systems can provide this level of performance - and StarLock does it all without the need of an external computer.

Once the Meade StarLock system has locked the scope on the night sky, the AutoStar II computer quickly and automatically moves the scope to any desired object with just a few strokes on the 20 backlit LED buttons on its hand control, guided by the readouts on its double line, 16 character liquid crystal display. The scope will move to your chosen object at a maximum slewing speed of 8° per second and with a cantering accuracy typically in the +/- one arc minute range. Once on the selected object, it will flawlessly track the object while you observe or image at your leisure.

Available centering and guiding rates include 0.01x to 1x sidereal, variable in 0.01x increments; 2x, 8x, 16x, 64x, and 128x sidereal; and 1° to 2° per second, variable in 0.1° increments. Tracking rates include sidereal, lunar, or a rate custom-selected from 2000 incremental rates. In addition, the Meade AutoStar II computer provides numerous additional visual, tracking, and photographic tools and functions to make your observing easier and more enjoyable.

AutoStar Suite Software: This standard equipment software package is designed to integrate the telescope with your Windows-based PC or laptop computer for an enhanced range of performance features. The AutoStar Suite Software includes a planetarium program with a database of 19,000,000 stars and deep space objects for display on your computer screen. It includes all the standard planetarium program features for stand-alone use when nights are cloudy. In addition, it contains programs for controlling the telescope from your laptop or PC.

With its combination of the finest Advanced Coma-Free optics, go-to GPS altazimuth mount, and revolutionary new StarLock full-time automated integrated guider system, this 12" altazimuth mount LX600 from Meade Instruments is the complete virtually plug-and-play portable visual and astro-imaging package you've been looking for.

Tech Details

Aperture 12"
Focal Length 2438mm
Focal Ratio f/8
Highest Useful Magnification 610x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Optical Coatings UHTC
Resolution .038 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 26mm Super Plossl
Telescope Type Advanced Coma-Free
View Finder 8 x 50mm
Visual Limiting Magnitude 14.9
Warranty 1 year


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Supplied Accessories

Meade 12" LX600 ACF (f/8) Telescope LX600 Dual Fork Arm Altazimuth computerized mount StarLock automatic guider AutoStar II GOTO system 1.25" star diagonal 8x50 viewfinder with quick release bracket 26 mm Super Plossl eyepiece