Meade LX850 5.1" f/7 ED triplet go-to StarLock equatorial refractor


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The 5.1" Meade LX850 combines superb triplet apochromatic ED refractor optics, a 90 pound payload capacity go-to mount, and a revolutionary new StarLock full-time automated integrated guider system for the most complete and refined 5.1" astro-imaging scope available . . .
Our Product #: LX850130
Meade Product #: 0130-85-01
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Product Description

This Meade 5.1" LX850 StarLock system refractor telescope has:
130mm (5.1") f/7 Series 6000 apochromatic triplet ED refractor optics
Fully multicoated for the highest possible light transmission
2.5" Rack and Pinion dual speed focuser
1.25" 25mm 60° field HD-60 long eye relief eyepiece (36x)
New 90 pound payload capacity go-to GPS mount
StarLock full-time automatic guiding for 1 arc second drive accuracy when viewing or imaging
AutoStar II computer hand control with 144,000+ object go-to library

This premium Meade scope puts a Meade Series 6000 5.1" f/7 apochromatic refractor on a revolutionary new 90 pound payload capacity go-to German equatorial mount. It has a full-time StarLock guiding system that automatically centers objects with a +/- one arc minute accuracy and tracks them for viewing and imaging with an accuracy of +/- one arc second.

The 5.1" Meade ED triplet apo refractor provides the serious observer, astroimager, and school or college observatory with equally serious wide-field color-free imaging and observing capabilities. Whether you are a dedicated visual observer or a serious astrophotographer (or both), this Meade 5.1" f/7 LX850 refractor can keep you happily observing and photographing the heavens for the rest of your life. And the LX850 mount's 90 pound payload capacity lets you use it as the heart of an observing/imaging system with virtually any other refractor, reflector, or catadioptric optics you might want to add.

This Meade Telescope's Optical System . . .

Series 6000 ED apochromatic refractor: 5.1" aperture (910mm focal length f/7) triplet refractor optical tube, weighing 25 lbs. The triplet system has a center element of advanced FK61 ED optical glass for images that are essentially free of spurious color, no matter how bright the object being observed or imaged and no matter what the magnification. All optical elements are fully multicoated on all air-to-glass surfaces for maximum light transmission and contrast. A sliding dew shield/lens shade is standard equipment on the optical tube.

Focuser: 2.5" Rack and Pinion dual speed 10:1 ratio fine focus control. A 2" self-center locking rign accessory holder is standard.

Star diagonal: Meade Series 5000 2" mirror type with 99% reflectivity dielectric coatings and a 1.25" eyepiece adapter.

Eyepiece: 1.25" 25mm Meade Series 5000 HD-60 (36x). The eyepiece field of view is 1.67°, over three times wider than the full Moon, for truly expansive lunar and deep space views.

Tube rings and dovetail: Dual split hinged aluminum tube rings, with a Vixen-style dovetail plate.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Meade StarLock full-time automatic guiding LX850 German equatorial mount: 90 pound payload capacity machined stainless steel and aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum mount weighing 144.8 pounds, including counterweights and tripod. It uses a 1.75" stainless steel RA shaft. 225 tooth 5.8" diameter aluminum right ascension and declination drive gears, driven by DC servo motors turning 0.68" diameter precision-machined brass worms. The mount will track 20 degrees past the meridian during imaging.

The RA and dec shafts ride on precision roller bearings for rock-solid tracking. There are home sensors on each axis. The 12 volt 5 amp DC mount is powered by a supplied 110-120 volt 60 Hz universal AC power supply. Internal cabling prevents cable snags and tangles.
With a 90 pound payload capacity, and optional counterweights readily available to balance virtually any load, the Meade LX850 mount can be the heart of a vastly expanded optical system.

The dovetail on the mount head will accept both Vixen-style and Losmandy-style D-plate dovetail bars, giving you great flexibility in choosing other optical tubes for the mount to support. You can use it to hold larger catadioptric and Cassegrain optical tubes, refractors, reflectors, dual scope systems, and more. The sky is virtually the limit with the Meade LX850 mount as the centerpiece of your observing/imaging system.

Counterweight: One 18 pound stainless steel counterweight is provided for precise payload balancing on the 1.75" diameter threaded stainless steel counterweight shaft. Additional optional counterweights are available to let you use your mount with heavier optical systems.

Tripod: The Meade 36 lb. giant field tripod adjusts from a height of 29" to 45" and damps vibrations quickly. It has 3" diameter stainless steel legs, with a center leg brace for rigidity. A single threaded rod with a large hand-tighten knob simultaneously holds the equatorial head firmly on the tripod and locks the tripod legs rigidly in the most stable position.

StarLock/GPS/AutoStar II computer system: A GPS (global positioning satellite) receiver is built into the mount. The GPS receiver, in conjunction with Meade's AutoStar II computer control and unique StarLock automatic guiding system, automatically aligns the scope on the sky so that the AutoStar II computer can locate for you the more than 144,000 stars and objects in its memory.

The system starts by having the GPS use the signals from Earth-orbiting satellites to determine the scope's position on Earth in three dimensions with an accuracy of a few meters and set the time with an accuracy of fractions of a second.

The revolutionary Meade StarLock system then takes over to model the sky overhead. StarLock - the heart of the LX850 - is a revolutionary new technology that makes target acquisition in your eyepiece and on your imaging sensor (and accurate guiding during viewing and imaging) completely automatic. With Meade's exclusive LightSwitch technology at its core, StarLock uses a two refractor/two camera system to automatically find your target with high precision, immediately capture a field star for guiding as dim as 11th magnitude, and then guide while you view or image. And it tracks and autoguides with an incredible accuracy of +/- one arc second.

The built-in StarLock cameras include a super wide angle 25mm f/1.04 optic with a 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor that has a field measuring 14.72 x 11.78 degrees for star field acquisition, and a narrow angle 80mm f/5 refractor with a 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor that has a field of 57.2 x 45.8 arc minutes (with a resolution of 2.68 arc seconds/pixel) for precise centering and guiding.

StarLock achieves its exceptional +/- one arc second accuracy because, unlike add-on guiders, the StarLock cameras are firmly attached to the moving equatorial head itself (not the optical tube where it might get misaligned during use, as is possible when using a separate photoguide scope attached to the optical tube). In addition, StarLock is integrated into the telescope control system and 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 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 errors down to virtually zero. StarLock also provides computer-assisted polar alignment using the drift method for extreme precision. No expensive shaft encoders or add-on guiding systems can provide this level of performance.
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 slewing speed of 3° per second and with a centering 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 tracking rates include 0.01x to 1x sidereal; 2x, 8x, and 16x sidereal; and 1/4°, 1/2°, 1°, and 3° per second.

Tracking modes include EQ North and EQ South. Alignment procedures include 2-Star Align, 1 Star Polar Align, and StarLock assisted semi-automatic drift alignment for ultra-precise polar alignment. High-precision guiding accuracy is +/- 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. 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.

With its combination of the finest apochromatic refractor optics, robust 90 pound payload capacity go-to GPS mount, and revolutionary new StarLock full-time automated integrated guider system, this LX850 from Meade Instruments is the most complete 5.1" wide-field refractor astro-imaging solution available. Meade calls it "the picture perfect platform for effortless astrophotography." Who are we to disagree?

Tech Details

Aperture 5.1"
Focal Length 910mm
Focal Ratio f/7
Heaviest Single Component 55 lbs
Highest Useful Magnification 260x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 151.8 lbs
Resolution 0.89 arc seconds
Telescope Type Refractor
View Finder 8x50
Visual Limiting Magnitude 13.1
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
Totally worth the money. The starlock really makes this item a must-have. Gotten dozens of high quality images with this setup. (Posted on 1/15/2019)
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Supplied Accessories

Meade 130 mm ED APO LX850 Refractor Telescope with Fully Extendable Dew Shield LX850 EQ Mount Head LX850 Heavy-Duty Giant Field Tripod with Anti-Vibration Pads Starlock Automatic Guider 80 mm f/5 Refractor with Two Camera Sensor System AutoStar II GOTO System with 144,000+ Object Database AutoStar Suite Software 26 lb. Stainless Steel Counterweight 2.5" Dual-Speed 10:1 Rack & Pinion Focuser with 2" Self-Center Locking Ring 2" Series 5000 Dielectric Diagonal 8x50 Viewfinder with Crosshair Reticle 25 mm Eyepiece Barlow Universal AC Adapter USB Cable Mounting Rings with Vixen-style Dovetail Hard Aluminum Carry Case