I received the 10″ LXD55 Schmidt-Newtonian in August of 2002. Unfortunately the telescope’s trip from Meade to my doorstep was a rough one. The two boxes that contain the optical tube assembly (OTA), mount and field tripod looked like they had been handled by the Samsonite gorilla and then dropped off a cliff (thanks UPS).
As it turned out the corrector plate had a small chip in it and the secondary mirror was loose and freely spinning in its housing. After waiting six months for this telescope I decided that I’d try and tighten up the secondary, collimate the scope and see how the telescope performed before sending it back to Meade, and possibly having to wait several months for a replacement. To make a long story short I never could get the OTA properly collimated. I used everything in the book and made several attempts but was unsuccessful each time. I had the collimation very close but not perfect. I could tell that if I had received a good instrument in the first place that I’d be very happy with the star rich, wide-field views this scope provides. I decided at that point to send the telescope back to Meade. I asked Meade to replace the corrector plate and collimate the telescope for me. Meade sent me a whole new OTA that arrived in perfect shape. I had to tweak the collimation to get it spot on but that was to be expected.
I’ve enjoyed the telescope very much since correcting the OTA issue. I take the scope out to star parties on a regular basis and always receive compliments regarding the views it provides.
Specifications and Features of the 10″ Meade LXD55 SN
Optical Design: Schmidt-Newtonian
Aperture: 254mm (10″)
Focal Length: 1016mm
Focal Ratio: f/4
Resolving Power (arc secs.): 0.45
Optical Coatings: Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC)
Limiting Visual Magnitude: 14.5
Limiting Photographic Magnitude: 17.0
Maximum Practical Visual Power: 500x
Secondary Mirror Obstruction (dia.; %): 3.19″; 10.2%
Counterweights: 3 x 10 lbs.
Telescope Mounting: LXD55, German Equatorial Mount (GEM)
Field Tripod: Replaced with 26″ Deluxe Astro Sky Pier
Polar Illuminated Viewfinder: included
GO TO Pointing Precision (approx.): 15 arc mins.
Slow-Motion Controls: electric, both axes
Autostar Hand Controller: #497, 20-button keypad, red LED backlit
Onboard Celestial Object Database: 30,223 objects
Slew Speeds both axes: 1x, 2x, 8x, 16x, 64x, 128x sidereal; 1.5°/sec., 3°/sec., 4.5°/sec.
Primary, Secondary Mirrors: Grade-A quality, fine-annealed Pyrex ® glass
Correcting Plate/Lens: clear float glass
Finder Scope: 6 x 30mm Achromatic viewfinder
Illuminated Reflex Sight: Telrad ®
Focuser: Metal rack-and-pinion focuser with JMI MOTOFOCUS
Total Net Telescope Weight: 70 lbs.