Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Meade ETX90 Observer review in AAS

The ETX90 Observer telescope is reviewed in issue 59 of All About Space magazine.


The review points out the high quality of the ETX90 stating that "The overall build of the ETX90 is excellent, promising to last for years of astronomy, even with heavy use".

Over the years the Meade ETX telescopes have set the standard as the most popular advanced small telescopes on the market.



Issue 59 of All About Space magazine is out now.

Find out more about All About Space magazine at:
https://www.imagineshop.co.uk/magazines/all-about-space/all-about-space-issue-59.html


There is more information on the ETX90 Observer at the Meade UK website:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-ETX-telescopes.html








Thursday, 8 December 2016

Choosing a small computerized telescope

This time of year, many people purchase their first telescope and we often get asked to recommend a computerized entry level telescope. There are many options but two telescopes come to mind, the Meade StarNavigator 90 and the Meade ETX80 Observer.


Meade StarNavigator 90 (left) and Meade ETX80 Observer (right).


Ease of use

Both telescopes use fork mount designs (altazimuth mounts) allowing the user to set them up quickly and start observing within minutes. Fork based telescopes do not need counterweights or precise balancing, making them well-suited for beginners. Furthermore, both telescopes are based on a lens design (refracting telescopes). Typically, refracting telescopes do not need to be collimated by the user. Collimation is the process of aligning the optics to maximize optical performance. This process can be time consuming for novice astronomers.


Handbox controller

Computerized telescopes are controlled with a handbox controller such as the AutoStar on the StarNavigator 90 or the AudioStar on the ETX80 Observer. The user does not physically rotate the telescope but issues commands through the keypad on the handbox. The handbox includes a database of planets and deep-sky objects including galaxies, nebulae and star clusters. The user can select any of the objects in the handbox’s database and the telescope will slew to the target and once there, it will track it automatically compensating for Earth’s movement. At any point the user can select another object of interest and the telescope will slew and track the new object. This method of operation is often referred to as “GoTo” functionality or GoTo telescope. In order to use this functionality, the telescope must first be star aligned.


Star alignment

Meade computerized telescopes can be star aligned by levelling the telescope parallel to the ground and use the arrows keys on the handbox to point the telescope towards the magnetic North using the compass bundled with the StarNavigator 90 and ETX80 Observer. The user is then prompted to enter the date and time into the handbox. Next, the telescope will automatically point towards a star and the user is prompted to centre it in the field of view using the arrow keys on the keypad. The telescope will point towards a second star and the user will be prompted to centre it in the field of view once more. The telescope is now star aligned and the user can access the handbox’s database and GoTo features.


Meade StarNavigator 90

The StarNavigator 90 is a refracting telescope with a lens aperture of 90mm. It is well suited for visual observation of the Moon and the planets. The Moon is an impressive sight and the planets despite their much smaller appearance will show some detail such as the polar caps of Mars, Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s zones. Some deep sky objects will also be visible in grey scale because colour is not apparent in such distant and faint objects. More deep sky objects will be visible from a dark sight without light pollution.


Meade ETX80 Observer

The ETX80 is one of Meade’s all time classic refracting telescopes. Although it will show slightly less detail on the planets compared to the StarNavigator 90 due to its shorter focal length, it will perform better on deep sky objects. It is a step up from the StarNavigator 90 making it the ideal beginner’s all-round telescope or the perfect travel scope even for experienced amateur astronomers. It is compact and easily portable and it even includes a backpack.

The optical coatings on the objective lens and the Super Plossl design of the eyepieces ensure that the ETX80 will provide the best optical performance of any telescope in its class. It can also be used for astrophotography thanks to its built-in flip mirror and internal barlow lens allowing a camera and an eyepiece to be attached to the telescope at the same time. This feature simplifies astrophotography or even terrestrial photography. The two-arm fork mount provides a more stable camera platform too.

The AudioStar handbox controller bundled with the ETX80 Observer is one step above the StarNavigator 90’s AutoStar (#497) handbox and includes over four hours of speech describing the objects tracked by the telescope. People standing near the telescope will also learn by listening to the informative narration.


Summary

The StarNavigator 90 and the ETX80 Observer are great starter telescopes and represent an ideal entry point for newcomers to the hobby. The ETX80 Observer is the better all-round performer but the StarNavigator 90 performs particularly well on the planets.


You can find out more on the Meade StarNavigator 90 at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-StarNavigator-telescopes.html

More information on the Meade ETX80 Observer at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-ETX-telescopes.html


These telescopes can be purchased from the following Meade UK dealers:
www.MeadeUK.com/Dealers.html





Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Photography with the Meade ETX90

Can a telescope be used as a powerful lens for your DSLR camera? The answer is yes, as demonstrated in Fotodiox’s video below. In this case a Meade ETX90 is used as a 1250mm lens for prime focus terrestrial photography. The ETX’s motorized fork mount and fine adjustment controls prove particularly useful.





Adapters

Typically, two adapters are required to attach a DSLR camera to the ETX telescope for prime focus photography. The first screws to the rear photo port of the ETX telescope. The output is a standard photographic male T-thread (M42 x 0.75mm). There are two such adapters depending on the ETX model as shown below.


Meade #64 T-Adapter for ETX90/105/125

For larger ETX telescopes such as the ETX90 and above, the Meade #64 T-Adapter (SKU: 07363) should be used.


Meade #64ST T-Adapter for ETX60/70/80

For smaller ETX telescopes such as the ETX80 and below, the Meade #64ST T-Adapter (SKU: 07366) should be used.



A second adapter, often referred to as a T-ring, is required for the DSLR camera. There are many such adapters depending on the camera brand. Meade supplies adapters for Canon EOS DSLR and Nikon DSLR cameras. The T-ring screws at the front of the DSLR camera (instead of the lens). The result is a female T-thread (M42 x 0.75mm) that will fit the appropriate #64 T-adapter or #64ST T-Adapter attached to the telescope as described previously.


Meade Canon EOS T-Mount

The Canon EOS T-Mount (SKU: 07384) is required for Canon DSLR cameras. This is often referred to as a Canon T-ring (M42 x 0.75mm) female.


Meade Nikon DSLR T-Mount

The Nikon T-Mount (SKU: 07378) is required for Nikon DSLR cameras. Often referred to as a Nikon T-ring (M42 x 0.75mm) female.


Other companies supply similar T-ring adapters that will fit DSLRs from other camera manufacturers in addition to Nikon and Canon.





Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Meade ETX90 Observer review

The ETX90 Observer telescope is reviewed in the November issue of BBC Sky at Night magazine.

The review points out the many unique features of the latest ETX90 model including the AudioStar handbox controller with built-in speaker and audio descriptions of 500 objects, dual-arm fork mount, stainless steel tripod with built-in tilt plate, detachable optical tube, internal flip mirror and more.


Over the years the Meade ETX telescopes have set the standard as the most popular advanced small telescopes on the market.


The November 2016 issue of Sky at Night magazine is out now.

Find out more about Sky at Night magazine at:
http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/issue/november-2016


There is more information on the ETX90 Observer at the Meade UK website:
http://www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-ETX-telescopes.html






Meade LX90 advert in print

A new advertisement has been published in the November 2016 issue of BBC Sky at Night magazine. It promotes the Meade LX90 ACF series of telescopes, the Meade Stella Wi-Fi Adapter and the Meade LPI-G cameras.














Meade LX90 ACF

The LX90 telescopes use Meade's advanced coma free (ACF) optics for razor sharp views to the edge of the field of view. From aperture sizes between 8" to 12" it is the most affordable yet serious telescope for the advanced amateur astronomer.


Meade Stella Wi-Fi adapter

Stella allows the user to control the LX90 telescope remotely using a smart phone or tablet. It can also be used with any Meade telescope that is controlled with an AudioStar, AutoStar II or AutoStar III handbox controller.

Meade LPI-G cameras

The LPI-G is available in two models colour and monochrome. The LPI-G camera can be used to capture images of our solar system such as the planets and the Moon. A computer running Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OSX or Linux is required for imaging. I addition the LPI-G can also be used as an auto-guider on computers running Microsoft Windows.



The printed advert appears in the magazine as shown below.





Find out more about the Meade LX90 ACF telescopes at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-LX90-ACF-telescopes.html

Find out more about the Meade Stella Wi-Fi Adapter at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-Stella.html

Find out more about the Meade LPI-G cameras at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-LPI-G-Cameras.html





Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The International Astronomy Show 2016

The International Astronomy Show was hosted once again at the Stoneleigh Park near Coventry. The two-day event took place on 14th and 15th October.  Meade Instruments was represented at this year’s event by a number of dealers including Green Witch, 365 Astronomy and the Widescreen Centre.

Green Witch at the International Astronomy Show 2016.

The range of Meade and Coronado telescopes on display included the Meade LightBridge Mini, Meade StarNavigator 90, Meade ETX80 Observer, Meade ETX90 Observer, Meade LS 8” ACF LightSwitch and Coronado SolarMax II 60 amongst others.


365 Astronomy at the International Astronomy Show 2016.


If you were unable to attend the show but would like to know more about Meade and Coronado telescopes, please visit the dealers’ websites from the links below.





The Widescreen Centre at the International Astronomy Show 2016.



For an extensive list of Meade UK dealers please refer to:
www.MeadeUK.com/Dealers.html




Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Meade Stella Wi-Fi Adapter released

Introducing Stella, the exciting new accessory from Meade Instruments. Stella allows the user to control a Meade telescope remotely using a smartphone or tablet.

Stella is designed to operate with Meade telescopes that are fitted with an AutoStar #497, AudioStar, AutoStar II or AutoStar III handbox controller. This includes all Meade GoTo telescopes released in 2016 and most models released in the last few years. Other requirements include a smartphone or tablet, an app and a connection cable. The requirements are listed below.

Meade Stella Wi-Fi Adapter.


Power requirements

Stella is bundled with a mains power adapter to charge its internal rechargeable battery. Once fully charged Stella will operate for a period of 4 to 8 hours depending on use. The charger specification is 5V DC, 1A. Stella’s power input is a micro-USB port.

Stella connectivity: USB port (left), DB9 RS-232 (centre), 5VDC 1V power input (right), mains charger (far right).


Wi-Fi connection

Stella requires a Wi-Fi computer network to operate. It can join an existing computer wireless network or alternatively it can create its own Wi-Fi network hotspot if required. An internet connection is not necessary.


Connection cable

To operate Stella a connection cable is required. The type of cable depends on the telescope model and handbox controller.


Telescopes with AudioStar or AutoStar #497

Telescopes that use the AudioStar (SKU: 07640) or AutoStar #497 handbox controller include the DS-2000, StarNavigator, ETX, LXD-75, LT, LX90 and Coronado DSM. These telescopes require the Meade #505 cable (SKU: 07505) to connect to Stella. The #505 cable connects to Stella on one end and to the handbox on the other.  The handbox must remain connected to the telescope as normal.

Older AutoStar handboxes prior to the #497 model are not compatible with Stella. If you are not sure whether your handbox is compatible, please refer to the following post AutoStar and AudioStar explained. If your telescope is fitted with an older AudioStar then you can still use Stella if you upgrade to the newer AudioStar handbox.


Telescopes with AutoStar II

Telescopes that use the AutoStar II handbox (SKU: 07200) include the Meade LX200, LX200 GPS, LX200 R (but not LX200 Classic), LX400, LX600, LX800 and the LX850. Stella requires the Meade #507 cable (SKU: 07047) to connect to these telescopes. The cable connects to Stella on one end and to the telescope’s control panel on the other end. The AutoStar II handbox is not required for remote telescope control in this configuration.

Telescopes with AutoStar III

Telescopes that use the AutoStar III handbox (SKU: 04700) include the Meade LS (LightSwitch). Stella requires a standard USB A/B type cable to connect to these telescopes. The cable connects to Stella on one end and to the telescope’s control panel on the other end. The AutoStar III handbox is not required for remote telescope control in this configuration.




StellaAccess software

StellaAccess is a software app that runs on smartphones and tablets. It is a planetarium and telescope control app designed specifically for Stella.  There are two versions of StellaAccess, one for iOS and another for Android devices. StellaApp is a commercial piece of software that has to be purchased separately from Stella.

StellaAccess for iOS can be purchased on the Apple app store.

StellaAccess for Android can be purchased on the Google Play app store.





You can find out more about Stella at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-Stella.html

Stella is available to purchase from Meade UK dealers.
www.MeadeUK.com/Dealers.html



Saturday, 24 September 2016

Meade's successful Photokina 2016

The Meade display at Photokina 2016 has been a great success! Many Meade fans passed by to say hello!












Thursday, 15 September 2016

Meade at Photokina 2016

Next week Meade will be exhibiting at Photokina between 20th and 25th September 2016. Photokina is the world's largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries.


The fair will be held in Cologne, Germany at the Koelnmesse Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre. Many photographic and imaging companies introduce and showcase state of the art imaging products.

Meade will display new products that will be released in the near future. Representatives from Meade UK will also be present on Saturday 24th.

Meade will be in Hall 2.1, Stand: B042



For more details on Photokina please visit: www.photokina.com

For more information on Meade at the event, please email:   marketing@meade.com




Monday, 5 September 2016

Meade LX600 StarLock


The LX600 is the latest model of Meade’s advanced line of fork-mounted telescopes that trace their roots back to the 1980’s. The LX600 features an extensive range of advanced features including Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optics; a much improved optical design over the traditional Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. In addition to the ACF optics other major innovations include fully automated star alignment, full-time auto-guiding and automatic Periodic Error Correction (PEC).



Advanced Coma Free


The LX600 is designed specifically for deep-sky imaging and it is available in apertures between 10” and 16”. The Advanced Coma Free optics remove coma all the way to the edge of the field of view. Stars appear perfectly round without distortion. Another difference from traditional Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes is the focal ratio; the LX600’s focal ratio is f/8 making it better suited for deep sky imaging rather than f/10 used in Schmidt-Cassegrains. Furthermore, the LX600’s primary mirror mounting system eliminates image shift completely.


AutoStar II Handbox

The AutoStar II is effectively a handheld computer that is used to issue commands to the telescope. It includes a database of over 145,000 celestial objects that are easily accessible on the Autostar II display. Some of the catalogues in the database are the NGC, Index, Messier, Caldwell, Herschel, Abell, Arp, Uppsala, Morphological, Variable Stars, SAO, Hipparcos and named objects.


Focuser

The LX600 includes a very smooth, dual-speed (7:1) focuser that simplifies precise focusing significantly. Focusing can be improved even further with the addition of the optional Meade Zero Image Shift Micro-Focuser. The Micro-Focuser is also controlled through the AutoStar II handbox. This is a practical solution that keeps cables and control boxes down to a minimum.


StarLock

The StarLock is an advanced new system that is incorporated into all LX600 models as standard. It eliminates the requirement of an external computer for star alignment and in addition it provides precision tracking and auto-guiding. At its centre StarLock is the logic embedded in the electronics of the telescope and it is assisted by the StarLock guide scope and two StarLock wide field cameras.

The best feature of StarLock is that it does not get in the user’s way. It works in the background, automatically selecting a star in the field of view and controlling the motors of the telescope to make fine speed adjustments in order to provide the most accurate tracking possible. The StarLock guide scope and cameras provide real-time data and any adjustments are made instantly. The red LED on the StarLock guide scope comes on to indicate when the system is auto-guiding.

StarLock also centres the target in the field of view automatically without any user input. Furthermore, StarLock provides training for periodic error correction in order to make precise adjustments to the telescope’s motor drive and polar alignment. StarLock technology is unique to the Meade LX600 and Meade LX850 telescopes.


Wedge

For astrophotography the X-Wedge is the must-have accessory for all LX600 models up to 14” in aperture. It is a robust platform with ball bearings and large hand knobs to make azimuth and elevation adjustments quickly. The LX600 16” model requires the larger MAX-Wedge.


Portability

Another innovation in the LX600 is the optical tube that can be detached from the fork mount and mount base in order to assist portability and keep the weight of each individual component as low possible. This reduces the total weight that must be lifted at a time by 16kg. Despite this, it is recommended that two people are in hand to assemble the telescope.


Summary

The LX600 leapfrogs Meade’s own LX200 as the premier fork mounted telescope. It is equally well suited for professionals and advanced amateur astronomers alike. For deep sky visual observation and imaging it is the obvious choice.

For an in-depth report on the Meade LX600 please refer to the review in the May 2016 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.


Read more on the LX600 on the Meade UK website:





Sunday, 4 September 2016

Meade Wilderness 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope review

This month's All About Space magazine, issue 55, features a review of the Meade Wilderness 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope.

All About Space issue 55.

If you are planning to purchase a spotting scope for terrestrial use but would also like to do some basic astronomy work then this review may be of interest.

Meade Wilderness 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope review.

Read more about the Meade Wilderness range of spotting scopes at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-Wilderness-Spotting-Scopes.html





Friday, 26 August 2016

Meade ETX Observer advert in print

There is a new advertisement that has appeared in two UK magazines. It promotes the new ETX Observer telescopes. The advert appears in Astronomy Now and Sky at Night magazines.

The ETX80 Observer and ETX90 Observer telescopes are high quality telescopes designed with portability in mind. The ETX80 Observer includes a backpack and the ETX90 Observer includes hard carry case and a tripod bag.


The printed advert appears in the magazines as show below.




Find out more about the ETX Observer telescopes at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-ETX-telescopes.html

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Meade LightBridge Mini review

The Meade LightBridge Mini is reviewed in the August issue of Astronomy Now magazine.


The August issue is out now.

Find out more about Astronomy Now magazine at:
http://astronomynow.com/magazine/



More information about the LightBridge Mini on the Meade UK website.
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-LightBridgeMini-telescopes.html

Monday, 11 July 2016

All-new Meade ETX Observer

The Meade ETX series of telescopes has been re-launched with two major enhancements. The AutoStar handbox has been replaced with the latest AudioStar handbox and the optical tube is now removable from the fork mount.


AudioStar


The AudioStar controller provides all of the telescope control functions of the previous AutoStar handboxes but adds unique Astronomer Inside digital audio software and a speaker built into the AudioStar body that can provides hours of spoken descriptions of the objects you are observing. The pre-recorded speech includes overs 500 celestial objects contained in the AudioStar database, including planets, nebulae, star clusters and the Moon. Its database includes over 30,000 astronomical objects.

Removable optical tube


The optical tube is now detachable. Other optical tube can be attached in its place allowing other small aperture optical tubes to be used instead, including the Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST).


Portability


The ETX80 Observer includes a backpack making it the direct replacement of the older ETX80 Backpack Edition. Likewise, the ETX90 Observer includes a hard case and a tripod bag making the direct replacement of the older ETX90 Portable Observatory.

To find out more about the ETX Observer series check the website at:
www.MeadeUK.com/Meade-ETX-telescopes.html


Available Now


The ETX80 Observer and the ETX90 Observer are now available from your specialist Meade dealer.  Check out the list of Meade dealers at: www.MeadeUK.com/dealers.html


Sunday, 3 July 2016

North West Astronomy Festival 2016

The North West Astronomy Festival (NWAstroFest) is an annual event held in Runcorn, Cheshire. The festival brings together a wealth of knowledge and expertise then shares it with its audience. The festival is attended by a variety of exhibitors including clubs, societies, educational groups and traders.





For the first time this year, the exhibition spanned three days between Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July 2016. Tring Astronomy Centre once again attended NWAstroFest with a large stand and a wide range of products including Meade and Coronado telescopes. Meade telescopes on display included the LS (LightSwitch), StarNavigator and Coronado solar scopes.




Find out more about the NWAstroFest at:
www.nwastrofest.co.uk