I have recently purchased a Meade LXD75 SN-10 UHTC and here is brief review of this Instrument.
Meade LXD 75 SN-10 AT (UHTC) 10" f/4 Specifications
Clear aperture: -10" (254 mm)
Focal length: -1016 mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed):-f/4
Resolving power:-0.45 arc seconds
Coatings: - Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (as option)
Mounting: -Die cast aluminum
Input voltage: -12 volts DC
Alignment: -German-type equatorial
Tripod: -Variable height field tripod
Net telescope weight: -30 lbs.
Net tripod (mount) weight: -55 lbs.
The Telescope and the Mount were delivered in Two large boxes the packing was very well executed and utilized fitted expanded polystyrene inserts that exactly matched the enclosed parts. I carefully laid out all of the items and compared them to the list in the Owners Manual. Nothing was missing or damaged; so far, so good! I simply followed the manufacturers instructions to assemble this scope and it went together very well. After assembly I stepped back and looked Meade’s handiwork overall it was looking very attractive. There were no shipping damage, no blems in paint which provided me with very favorable first impression .The Included accessories were 1 Cradle assembly 2.Meade Series 4000 26mm Plossl EP 3 1.25”-2” eyepiece adapter 4 Camera adapter 5 8x50 achromatic finder.
It comes with LXD75 GOTO mount with 30000 objects database in Autostar. The build quality of the mount is pretty good and it is very sturdy and capable of carrying this OTA. After I balance it slews effortlessly in GOTO mode with this OTA which I must say is pretty heavy. Once I complete the initial alignment it finds the objects which I select from the Autostar almost every single time and place it in the FOV of either 26mm or 10mm EP. Autostar does what Meade says about it also it tracks the objects very well which I think is pretty decent performance seeing the price of this setup.
This is the best part of the whole setup. The optical component inside the OTA is of excellent quality I did the airy disc pattern test with star Sirius and it showed perfect pattern i.e exactly same airy disc pattern inside and outside focus a hallmark of good quality optics. The collimation stays good I rarely need to adjust the collimation and even then it takes not more than 2 minutes. My first view of M-42 The Great Orion Nebula with it was great I could see the wings of nebulosity I was amazed at its immense light gathering capability I could also see very faint Theta 1-E and Theta 1-F near the trapezium without difficulty also for the first time I was able to see the sigma orionis with all four components. Open clusters were a marvelous experience view of M35 was awesome also the views double cluster in Persues and Pleides were breathtaking and no matter wherever I point the telescope I could see the slews of stars with it. Next I saw Venus with 26mm EP in conjunction with 5x telextender and even though it is a fast F/4 telescope the view was great. The view of Saturn with this was truly amazing my 5” Newtonian is nowhere close to match SN-10 performance in terms of showing sharpness and contrast on this planet with SN-10 I could see Saturn’s subtle cloud belts without problem but the rings were not visible during this time as it is edge on and seen as a sharp line across planet’s face. Overall I am quite pleased with optical performance.
Tonight the atmospheric conditions were better than the average condtions So,I decided to do some high magnification works and so I pointed my telescope to n orionis it is binary star with the sepration of around 1.5 arc seconds both white in color my view through this telescope at 510X provided a clean split although the atmosphere was not very good I was able to resolve this without difficulty.Next I went to 31 orionis again clearly visible even though the sepration is 12.7 arc seconds it is not considered difficult but there is significant magnitude difference A is 6 mag and B is 11 mag view with 205X was good the primary is peach colored while secondary is pale blue and contrast was quite good considering this as a centrally obstructed optical system of the Schmidt-Newtonian design.Next I went to Adhara in Canis Major this is double with very significant difference in magitude the view at 205X provided clean split after it went to sirius now this is one of the most challenging double with 10 magnitude difference the secondary star is not easy to see due to glare from sirius but I viewed it at around 280X I was getting the occassional glimpse of the secondary star may be I will try this on a more stedier night.After that i waited for Saturn to come up the images were tack sharp at 205X with low contrast cloud belts visible easily encouraged by this I increase the power to 510X and image was very good even at that magification I had never seen saturn at this magnification again the optics cotinues to impress me favourably, many people will say that a F/4 reflector cannot give you the good planetary performace at high magnifications but what I saw from my telescope was totally different.M41 was glitters of stars even though there was nearly full moon presented the view was great again.
Some problems:I noticed that the setup is very sensitive to balancing after all it is a heavy setup also I have to train the drive frequently but no problem considering the views it provide and after drive training the backlash is virtually eliminated GOOD.The finder scope has one design flaw that to focus it you have to losen or tighten the objective lens cell.It is very prone to collimation errors specially the secondary mirror collimation the images will suffer greatly even with the slight misalignment but the good thing is that the collimation stays good even after repeated uses.The Meade series 4000 26mm Plossl that came with it was not very good quality and requires replacement.
All in all this is an excellent telescope package with this price range and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good telescope with Goto capability.
Meade Series 5000 5X telextender:
Along with this I also purchased Meade 5x Telextender it is a four element power multiplier even better than the apochromatic Barlows that are sold today. It has Multi coated optics which eliminates the glare in bright objects. Also it has very well corrected flat field of view the objects stays sharp across entire field. The build quality is superior and it design looks impressive. It is a great add on for anyone looking for good Barlow lens for them.