Interesting new product Monday: The new Meade LX80

As I mentioned once before, amateur astronomers love their stuff. There are many of them out there that happily keep a dozen or more telescopes, long with a dizzying array of do-dads and accessories that go along with them.

I take a different approach, but I still love to keep track of what’s new and cool. So, I thought Monday would be a good day to post about some of what’s coming and what’s out there.

Available in any color you like, as long as it

Meade is about to start shipping a the new LX80 mount next month and I think it’s worth a close look. It is advertised as “Three mounts in one”, but it’s more like two with some swappable bits.

Nah, I

You can set it up as an equatorial mount OR an altazimuth mount, then choose between using a counterweight or slapping a second scope while in the alt-az mode. By looking at its design, it resembles a tiny version of one of their top-end robotic mounts and claims it can hold 70lbs(!) of payload, though that’s the two-up configuration only, otherwise it’s 40lbs, which is still impressive for a $800 unit. The way it’s described, this price includes the tripod and it has some crazy feature that talks to you about the things you’re viewing. Seems like a built-in Skyscout and kind of gimmicky. It’s cheap for a medium capacity goto mount and Meade is a good name, but is the person who drops $800 on only a mount really going to want to have it tell them facts about the moon? Maybe, but I don’t think so. And no polar finderscope?

Regardless, I think unless this thing turns out to be a piece of junk, which is doubtful, this will be a HUGELY popular item.

Of course, as with all things, if you want to step it up, you can add a zero and get the LX800.

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