MAPUG-Astronomy Topical Archive Logo

Selected LX200 & Tripod Specifications

MAPUG-Astronomy Topical Archive     AstroDesigns


Subject: 12" LX200 Max Height? --1 of 2   Top

From: Anthony Kroes <> Date: Dec 2001

> I'm designing a portable observatory for my 12" LX200. Can someone tell me
> what the maximum height (w/ telescope pointed to zenith) of the 12" LX200 -
> mounted on the Meade Superwedge and Giant Field Tripod - is?

With legs all the way in on the tripod, and no dewshield, it is 7' even , give or take an inch. I measured mine a while back to make sure I had enough clearance for the roof of the observatory I am currently building to roll back without taking out the telescope if I forgot to 'park' it. If you need a closer measurement, let me know and I can set it up in the house (observatory is still under construction) and get you to the nearest 1/4".


Subject: 12" LX200 Max Height? --part 2 of 2

From: David Samuel <>

I measured my height to be about 80.5" with the tripod at its minimum height setting. However the maximum height will depend upon two other things.

The first is your latitude. The wedge will raise or lower the height of the whole fork assembly as you adjust for your latitude.

The second is your R.A. The maximum height of your system is not achieved when your scope is pointed to the zenith, but when the scope is pointed slightly to the east or west of the zenith. This is because as you move the scope slightly east or west of the zenith in R.A., the outer edge of the corrector plate moves to a position that is higher than the centre of the corrector plate. I am not sure of a better way to explain this. This height difference will decrease as your latitude increases. You should allow an extra 2.5" to 3" for this.


Subject: Weights of 10", 12" & 16" Mounts & OTAs --part 1 of 2   Top

From: Doc G, Date: Sep 2002

My values are as follows:

10" mount (forks and base with electronics) = 34 lb.
12" mount (forks and base with electronics) = 36 lb.

10" OTA (f/6.3 version) = 28 lb.
12" OTA (f/10 with front cap) = 36 lb.

10" complete (f/6.3 version) = 62 lb.
12" complete (f/10 with front cap) = 72 lb.

I think the f/6.3 version is a bit heavier than the f/10 version because of the larger secondary structure. There are still some minor discrepancies, but I would say we are close enough.


Subject: Weights of 10", 12" & 16" Mounts & OTAs --part 2 of 2

From: Peter Erdman <> Date: Nov 2003

About a year ago I weighed a 12" and 16" OTA at 40lb and 70lb respectively. Only the front cover attached to the OTA in each case.

I made these couple of measurements on these "classic" versions fairly carefully after running into difficulties with counterweights on GEMs to which I had moved the OTAs. The numbers I had available were clearly wrong, the 12" low and the 16" very high, so I pursued the matter.

Numbers available are often the combination of other system components (forks, bases, tripods) and separating them is frequently not possible without further measurements. My measurements were OTA only with the front cover plate on.

I also got 35lb for the 12" (classic) fork and base assembly. The 10" should be about 1lb less since they are the same except for the 1" spacer blocks added to the 12" version.

Just for completeness, the new 12" OTA (with the mirror lock) which is presumably the same as supplied with the GPS units, weighs 5lb less than the old version. All the weight loss is near the rear of the scope. Whether it is less metal or less glass I can't tell. The casting is different, so maybe that's where it went.


Subject: Weights of LX Classic Fork Arms    Top Button

From: Doc G, Date: Nov 2001

Over the years, I have had many LX200 mechanical assemblies apart. I never got around to weighing them. I just did that for the 10"Classic fork arms since I am working on a project which uses the LX200 mechanical system.

The left arm weighs 7 lb. 14 oz. and the right arm (with the dec drive) weighs 10 lb 1 oz. These weights include the saddles that holded the (OTA) optical tube assembly.


Subject: Height & Weight of 12" LX200 Giant Field Tripod

From: Anthony Kroes <>

Height of the Meade Giant Field tripod (from 12" 'classic' LX200) floor to top of tripod head/base of wedge:
   Legs fully extended: 54-5/8"
   Legs fully retracted: 38-7/8"
   Head diameter: 8"
   Weight: 45 lbs


Subject: Wedge to Tripod Head Bolt Sizes    Top Button

From: Roger Hamlett <>

   The smaller tripod thread that screw into the top of the tripod is 5/16"-18
   The centre bolt is 1/2"-13.
   The ones into the scope base, are 3/8"-16.


Subject: Rear Cell Thread Specs --part 1 of 3     Top

From: Doc G, Date: Oct 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Kroes:
> Does anyone know the specifications for the threads on the rear cell of
> the 'classic' 12" LX200? I would like to try my hand at making an adapter
> (like the Eyeopener) for the rear of my scope. It would be nice to use
> the full 2" light path instead of choking down to the SCT thread adapter

I do not have a specification. I have made such an adapter and found the following dimensions to work well. Bore to 80.8 mm and cut with a 60 degree boring bar. 1.75 mm thread to a depth of 1.2 mm. You may have to adjust very slightly to get a nice snug fit. I usually cut a bit less and then open up to fit. I do this all in metric since I have a metric lathe.


Subject: Rear Cell Thread Specs --part 2

From: Roger Hamlett <>

Have just gone and rechecked with a thread gauge, and it measures out as 16TPI, or 1.6mm (over the typical 0.5" if thread, you can't see the error between these two). You are cutting oversize significantly (3.37 to the outside of your tool). You are getting away with it, because of the very short threaded length on most scopes... I have checked on a Celestron scope, a Meade scope, and on both Meade, and Losmandy fittings.


Subject: Rear Cell Thread Specs --part 3 of 3     Top

From: Doc G

I believe the specifications for Meade threads is probably English. Thus the 3.25" and 16 TPI is a correct "specification." I use all metric since I am an electrical engineer and have metric machines. Most of the adapters I have purchased are very loose. I make mine very tight. But there are only 3 threads that engage so the thread pitch is not very critical. I cut at 1.75 because it is easy for me with the metric lathe. I may have had a gear ratio that gave me 1.65 for one of the setups. But with only three threads engaging I am close enough. I have checked another adapter and it looks like 81mm bore and 1.3 mm thread depth. That is very close. Everytime I need to do English threads, I have to fiddle with the gears to get close enough.

I cut the threads with a right angle boring bar with a 60 degree tip. The trick I use to do this without endangering a jamb, is to cut the thread from the inside surface out. You have to run the head backwards and use a left handed tool.


Subject: Dec Bearing Shaft Size      Top

From: Mike Dodd <> Date: Feb 2003

I own a later model 10" LX200 that has metal bearings, so I don't need to perform the modification. However, the information about disassembly and reassembly/alignment are helpful because I'm going through the procedure to align the forks and OTA.

It turns out that the 1" steel shaft that's mentioned for leveling the forks (also mentioned in the appendix citing Jim Mettler) is not 1" any more. Mine measures 0.984" - which is exactly 25mm. It seems that Meade went overseas for the steel bearings.

In any case, the 1" shaft is needed for the old Nylon bearings, but if the scope has factory-installed steel bearings, buy a 25mm shaft.


Subject: 12" Baffle Tube Dimensions  Top

From: Alan Voetsch <> Date: Feb 2003

12" LX200:

  • Main baffle tube OD is 2 1/2"
  • Main baffle tube ID is 2 3/8"
  • Secondary baffle length from inner surface of the corrector is 1 -21/32"
  • Secondary baffle OD is a shade under 4" say 3 -63/64"


Subject: When LX200 Made Switch to Metal Bearings --part 1 of 2      Top

From: Rod Cook <> Date: Mar 2003

Dave, I agree with you that a definitive cut-off based on serial numbers was not determined. Your message persuaded me to try again to remove the setting circle cover on the east dec arm. This time I got it to turn, perhaps the cool weather helped this time. I am pleased to report I found steel bearings. This scope was shipped from the factory, and I received it around 10 October 2000. Serial number 127540.

The messages Jason sent earlier were the data I was thinking of. To summarize the data he provided and adding mine for 12" LX200 classics:
  S/N121905, Nylon, received 3 March 2000 (ordered 27 Dec 1999)
  S/N124523, Nylon, bought 29 January 2000
  S/N125753, Nylon, bought May, 2000
  S/N125773, Steel, received May, 2000
  S/N127540, Steel, received 10 October 2000 (ordered 29 June 2000)
  S/N129819, Steel, received Fall 2001

This information, although limited, does support our contention the change took place in the spring of 2000.


Subject: When LX200 Made Switch to Metal Bearings --part 2 of 2     Top

From: Dave Schanz <>

Now we're starting to narrow the change over to an actual serial number! Based on the info in the database, it seems that Mother Meade simply slaps a serial number on a scope as soon as it is ready to ship (or some other final QA point)? The data seems to strongly suggest that serial numbers for the 10 and 12" models start with a 1 ( the 8" start with an 8, the 7" MAKs with a 7 and the 16" start with a 16). The 10" and 12" models seem to have serial numbers suggesting that whichever is ready to ship next gets the next serial number in the sequence.

Given that assumption, the scope noted below - S/N 125773 was received in May of 2000 with steel bearings. My 10", S/N 125753 was received from OPT stock in late May, 2000 with plastic bearings. So, one could assume that the plastic-to-steel switch occurred at some point between S/N 125753 and 125773.

I would think it is safe to say that if a person has a 10" or 12" classic with a serial number prior to 125753 it has plastic bearings. Serial numbers above 125773 have the metal bearings. If someone has a serial number between the two, then we want to hear from you!


MAPUG-Astronomy Topical Archive   AstroDesigns   Top