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Meade 12" and 14" LX200GPS-SMT

Recommended Accessories

 

Large apertures combined with a dazzling array of state-of-the-art LX200GPS-SMT features, including 145,000-object database, Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser, GPS Alignment, and High-Precision Pointing.

The large light-collecting apertures of Meade 12" and 14" LX200GPS-SMT telescopes enable levels of resolution and image brightness that satisfy the advanced requirements of the serious amateur, as well as those of many school or college research programs. The 12" model, for example, gathers 44% more light than Meade 10" Schmidt-Cassegrains; the 14" LX200GPS-SMT has 96% more light-collecting area than the 10" telescope.

Meade 12" and 14" LX200GPS-SMT Schmidt-Cassegrains include all of the features of the 8" and 10" models: accurate GPS alignment; onboard 145,000-object database accessible in seconds through the Autostar II hand controller; Autostar Suite Software with remote telescope control via internet, the Lunar Planetary Imager (LPI), the creation of custom tours and much more; 4-speed Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser; High-Precision Pointing to within one arc-minute; and much more. And yet, notwithstanding all of their high-performance features, Meade 12" and 14" LX200GPS-SMT telescopes are readily transportable for use in the field.

The telescopes' progressive-tension primary mirror lock, in conjunction with the Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser, cancels any residual image-shift during focusing. In addition the mirror lock results in even more precise long-distance GO TO slews of the telescope, since the large mass of the telescope's primary mirror is locked in position. In Addition to that, the Smart Mount improves the pointing accuracy of the LX200GPS-SMT telescope's "Go To" system. Despite careful efforts to calibrate and then align telescopes, they may fail to precisely center objects. Smart Mount allows your telescope to learn about, and then correct for any systematic pointing errors, regardless of the cause.


12" LX200GPS

$3799

12" LX200GPS UHTC $4094
14" LX200GPS $5299  
14" LX200GPS UHTC $5649



"We have been using Meade telescopes since our inception with remarkable success. We began with your 8-inch LX200 and now have one of your 12-inch LX200 models permanently mounted in our observatory. This instrument has proven to be extremely reliable and has allowed us to successfully conduct viewing opportunities for thousands of our Hawaii residents. It has also served us well for our 15 to 25 sections of astronomy classes we offer each academic year and has been an excellent research instrument for our undergraduate astronomy projects.

During November, 1997, a group of astronomers from Hopkins Observatory at Williams College in Massachusetts flew out to use our observatory for the occultation of the 10th-magnitude star Tycho 651672 by Neptune's 13th-magnitude satellite, Triton. The astronomers attached their imaging system to the 12-inch Meade LX200. The telescope acquired Neptune and resolved Triton easily; tracking was excellent. The entire system worked flawlessly. The 12-inch Meade LX200 successfully took 8000 images of Triton as it ran unattended, with the Hopkins imaging system attached, during the 17-minute occultation. We were the only observatory in Hawaii to get images of this event. Your company has enabled the small college to open a world of excitement, discovery, and meaningful undergraduate research at a cost easily within our reach."

- Fritz Osell, Director, Leeward Community College Observatory, Pearl City, Hawaii.



Observing with the 12" LX200GPS-SMT: The advantage of large aperture immediately becomes apparent when observing with the 12" LX200GPS-SMT. Objects merely visible in smaller telescopes now take on new dimensions, with fainter, more tenuous nebular detail observable; the Orion Nebula grows to more than twice the area visible in an 8" telescope and with subtle color variations. Jupiter's surface is a web of interlocking structural detail, even under moderate seeing conditions; shadowy detail on the surface of Jupiter's largest satellite, Ganymede, is often observable. With a limiting photographic magnitude of 17.5 (or over 18.0 if the telescope is equipped with the optional Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings group ), the 12" LX200GPS-SMT is a valuable tool in supernova patrols, in the plotting of faint asteroids, and in many other areas of significant astronomical research.



"We began our quest to CCD image the Arp Peculiar Galaxies on 11/02/01, using the 12" Meade LX200 located in the Astro Imaging Center next door to Powell Observatory in Louisburg, Kansas...Halton Arp used the 200" Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar to obtain [his original] photographic plates [of 338 Arp galaxies]. We were thrilled that with a 12" scope we could easily identify the Arp galaxies, and in some instances pick up significant detail and structure...we got some great images. We now [have] bagged almost 150 Arps. We accomplished in just a few nights what took Halton Arp months and a multi-million dollar telescope to accomplish." — from "Scoping Out Arp Peculiar Galaxies with a 12" Meade LX200 and SBIG ST-9E CCD Camera" by Bill Boyle and Tim Kristi; The Reflector of The Astronomical League, August, 2002.





"...Wouldn't it be great if we could image the finest possible detail on Jupiter or the hairline divisions in Saturn's rings even on nights of moderate atmospheric turbulence? Well, we can. Department-store technology is all it takes to assemble an imaging system that removes the twinkle from stars and fuzziness from planets. All this method requires is a telescope with excellent optics, some off-the-shelf video and computer equipment, and a bit of patience.

My results have consistently exceeded expectations. With a Meade 12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope in moderate turbulence I regularly resolve features at the Dawes limit of 0.4 arcsecond. I can even do this in a solar-heated and normally more turbulent daytime sky. [Images of the Space Shuttle in orbit] clearly show the wings, cargo-bay doors, and even the cockpit windows. I have also resolved Mir's solar panels and modules, even when the space station was hundreds of kilometers away. Images of bright stars reveal diffraction rings both day and night, and planetary details are extraordinary...."

- from the article Sharper Images Through Video by Ron Dantowitz in Sky & Telescope, August, 1998.



Southern Highlands region of the Moon.


"Just a note to let you know of my very pleasant surprise I got when I checked out one of your 12" LX200GPS-SMT telescopes for a friend recently. I have been looking through telescopes for 44 years now and have looked through thousands of SCT's. This 12" LX200GPS has optical quality that is very likely the best I have ever seen!

The star image at 500x showed no astigmatism and the least spherical abberation that I ever recall seeing with an SCT. Not only was the central darkening the same size on both sides of focus but inside of that was a similar bull's eye pattern. I have seen this pattern on one side of focus from time to time on unusually good SCT's but NEVER on both sides. This scope has the UHTC coatings and right from the start I noticed the contrast was unusually high. Nebula and star clusters were not only crisp, but sharply defined as they literally popped out from the velvety black background.

Mars was a wonderful sight to see with details on the polar cap and surface markings only limited by the seeing conditions. All in all I was stunned with the quality of this telescope and it takes a lot to stun me these days. You should be proud of yourselves for getting so close to perfection on such a difficult telescope to produce, and at a price that is ridiculously low for this type of quality. I made my friend promise to offer this telescope to me first if he ever decides to sell it, but I doubt he ever will. Thanks, and keep up the great work. "



- William Vorce


Observing with the 14" LX200GPS-SMT: With a resolving power of 0.32 arcseconds, the Meade 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain is an advanced instrument capable of serious research. When equipped with the optional Ultra-High Transmission Coatings group, the telescope presents an image brightness fully equivalent to that of a 15" telescope with standard coatings. Observing with the Meade 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain is an extraordinarily rewarding experience. The advantages of the telescope's large diffraction-limited aperture are immediately apparent, particularly to the advanced observer with an



"Tonight was by far the best view of Mars I've ever had. It was close and I was able to work with magnifications up to 395X, which made it really bid in the eyepiece.

...M13 is a great way to start the evening off with a bang. This globular always pleases, and in the 14" it's wondrous.

...I'm definitely addicted to the 14". It exceeds the 12" GPS very significantly in all areas, including difficulty in transport. Forget about the 16" GPS. This is Meade's Ultimate Scope."

...Conditions tonight were good to average for this location. And the 14" enhances all views. I haven't used the 12" since the bigger scope arrived. Both are UHTC, and the 12" is a beautiful scope. But the 14" captures enough extra photons that I can hope to see difficult objects like the central star in M57 even when beset with light pollution and haze and poor seeing. Also, being an engineer I can't help but favor the technically superior scope. "


- Pete Peterson


LX200-SMT 12" and 14" in Equatorial Mode

LX200GPS-SMT


eye trained to discern extremely fine detail on the full range of celestial phenomena - lunar, planetary, and deep-space. Studies of the more obscure Messier and NGC objects such as the planetary nebula NGC 3242 in Hydra, the spiral galaxy M100 in Coma Berenices, and the open cluster NGC 6231 in Scorpius, show a heightened level of resolution invisible in smaller telescopes. Difficult objects like the Crab Nebula (M1) in Taurus, the Spiral Galaxy (M33) in Triangulum, and the Owl Nebula (M97) in Ursa Major begin to show their essential structures under high-power visual observation; these same objects present magnificently detailed images as the subjects of long-exposure CCD or film.



"The Meade 14" LX200GPS-SMT combines all the attributes in a telescope that we seek in our public outreach programs: high-performance, large-aperture optics; extremely precise GO TO automatic pointing; and a rigid fork mounting fully up to the tasks of long-exposure CCD imaging and astrophotography. Please pass along our congratulations to your engineering and optics departments for a job very well done."

—Sheryl D. Johnson and Debbie Searle, Adventures in Astronomy, Laguna Niguel, Calif.



Specifications and Features:
12" and 14" Telescopes

TELESCOPE: 12" and 14" LX200GPS-SMT
Optical Design Schmidt-Cassegrain
Clear Aperture 305mm (12"); 356mm(14")
Primary Mirror Diameter 314mm (12.375");370mm (14.57")
Focal Length, Focal Ratio 3048mm f/10 (12"); 3556mm f/10 (14")
Near Focus (approx.) 75 ft. (12"); 100 ft. (14")
Resolving Power (arc secs.) 0.38 (12"); 0.32 (14")
Optical Coatings MgF2 on correcting plate (2-sides); standard aluminum on primary & secondary mirrors
Ultra-High Transmission Coatings optional at time of purchase
Limiting Visual Magnitude (approx.) 15.0 (12"); 15.4 (14")
Limiting Photographic Magnitude (approx.) 17.5 (12"); 18.5 (14")
Image Scale (degs./inch) 0.48 (12" f/10); 0.40 (14" f/10)
Maximum Practical Visual Power 750X (12"); 850X (14")
35mm Angular Film Coverage 0.45° x 0.65° (12"); 0.39° x 0.56° (14")
Optical Tube Dimensions (dia. x length) 13.6" x 25" (12"); 15.8" x 31" (14")
Secondary Mirror Obstruction (dia.; %) 4.0"-11.1% (12"); 4.9"-12.4% (14")
Telescope Mounting heavy-duty fork type; double tine
Setting Circle Diameters Dec: 5"; RA: 8.75"
RA and Dec. Control Systems both axes: 185-speed, microprocessor-controlled, 12v. DC servo motor; 5.75" LX worm gear with Smart Drive Software.
Primary Mirror Lock included (progressive tension)
Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser included (4-speed)
GPS Alignment included (16-channel GPS receiver, electronic sensors for true-level and North, with magnetic declination compensation)
GO TO Pointing Precision (approx.) 2-arc mins. (1-arc min. in HP-mode
Slew Speeds RA and Dec. 0.01x to 1.0x sidereal, variable in 0.01x increments; 2x, 8x, 16x, 64x, 128x sidereal; 1°/sec. to 8°/sec., variable in 0.1° increments
Tracking Rates sidereal, lunar, or custom-selected from 2000 incremental rates
Hemispheres of Operation North and South, automatically selected by GPS or user.
Slow-Motion Controls manual and electric, RA and Dec.
Bearings Dec: 3 x 1.83" dia. ball bearings; RA: 1 x 4" dia. and 1 x 2.25" dia. ball bearings
Autostar Hand Controller Atmel 89C451 & PIC16C57 microcontrollers; 2 line x 16 alphanumeric character display; 20-button keypad, red LED backlit
Main Telescope Controller distributed intelligence architecture using 8 networked microcontrollers (Motorola 68HC11, Atmel 89C451, 3 x PIC16C62, 2 x PIC16C54, Sony digital signal processor); 3.5-Megabyte flash memory (field reprogrammable), 32K RAM
Batteries (approx.) 8 x C-cells (user-supplied); 20 hrs.
Onboard Celestial Object Database 147,541 objects
Field De-Rotator (optional) #1220
Materials:
Tube Body; Mount Castings aluminum; aluminum
Primary, Secondary Mirror [Note 2] Pyrex® glass, grade-A, fine-annealed
Correcting Plate clear float glass
Giant Field Tripod, height 4." - 50" variable
Superwedge (optional) 38lbs. (12"); 40lbs. (14")
Superwedge Latitude Range 24°-65°
Telescope Dimensions, swung up 15" x 20" x 37" (12"); 17" x 24" x 44" (14")
Total Net Telescope Weight 125 lbs (12"); 166 lbs.(14")
Total Shipping Weight (approx.), including optical tube, fork mount, and giant field tripod 150 lbs. (12"); 225 lbs. (14")


Specifications: 12" and 14" LX200GPS-SMT Telescopes—Includes 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain (D = 305mm, F = 3048mm, f/10) or 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain (D = 356mm, F = 3556mm, f/10) optical tube assembly with MgF2 coatings on the correcting lens and standard aluminum coatings on the primary and secondary mirrors (Ultra-High Transmission Coatings available optionally); primary mirror lock; 4-speed Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser; heavy-duty fork mount, with 4"-diameter polar ball bearing, dual-axis 5.75" worm gears, and 7-port multi-function control panel, including two RS-232 serial interface ports; manual and electric slow-motion controls on both axes; setting circles in RA and Dec; Autostar II control system with Autostar Suite Software, 3.5-Megabyte flash memory, digital readout display, permanently-programmable Smart Drive and 185-speed drive controls on both axes, High-Precision Pointing, and 145,000-object onboard celestial software library; GPS alignment system with 16-channel GPS receiver, magnetic declination compensation, and true-level and North electronic sensors; Smart Mount which improves the pointing accuracy of your LX200GPS-SMT telescope's "Go To" system; 12v DC telescope power supplied from internal battery compartments accepting 8 (user-supplied) C-cells (optional 25 ft. cords are available for powering from auto cigarette lighter plug or from 115v AC); 8 x 50mm viewfinder; 2" diagonal mirror with 1.25" adapter; Series 4000 Super Plössl 26mm eyepiece; vibration isolation pads (14" only); variable-height giant field tripod; operating instructions.



International Space Station


cameras. Under favorable atmospheric conditions binary stars may be resolved to the telescope's theoretical limit, and, just as importantly, the telescope's high-contrast internal mirror baffling allows for the resolution of a large number of binaries where the brightness of the primary far exceeds that of the secondary. Note in the 14" telescope the subtle shadings of Saturn's inner ring structure, as well as the varying contrast levels of the cloud belts and the small polar cap on the planet's surface. Jupiter's cloud belts reveal a tremendous range



"...After the weather cleared, I had the chance to thoroughly test out the 14" LX200GPS-SMT Schmidt-Cassegrain, doing dozens of GO TO's over a period of several hours...First, my overall conclusion: this is one awesome telescope! By now Meade optics are assumed to be diffraction-limited, and the 14" is no exception. Intrafocal and extrafocal stellar images are virtually identical; subtle variations in contrast (such as on the surface of Jupiter's largest satellite, Ganymede) are readily identifiable; and thanks to the enhanced [UHTC] coatings, images are significantly brighter than in other 14" telescopes I have used...The telescope easily passed all of the usual double-star tests for superior optics.

In deep-space the telescope provided a simply stunning experience. The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) stood out in clear detail with its spiral arms and satellite galaxy (NGC 5195) well-defined. The ninth-magnitude galaxy M94 was an easy object; the bright, dense nucleus of the galaxy contrasted nicely with the fainter, wispy outer regions. The Hercules globular cluster (M13) was magnificent, as expected, but what surprised me was the quantity of stars that are now resolvable in the telescope. In a true test of the telescope's light grasp, I was able to see, using averted vision, the magnitude-15.4 central star of the Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra.

I topped off my evening session at the telescope by observing Jupiter and Saturn at high powers. At 367X Jupiter exploded into a mass of detail — wave-like belt structures, colors, and knots of just superb resolution...when the seeing improved later in the evening, I added a Barlow to up the magnification to 734X. Still the image maintained absolute clarity and definition. During moments of super-seeing I glimpsed Saturn's Encke Division (less than 0.10 arcseconds wide). The 14" is definitely a superb planetary instrument. In the short time that I have used it I could write a book on the visual capabilities of the telescope. I truly believe that in the 14" LX200GPS-SMT you have created a world-class research telescope."

- Egon Reich II, Ph.D., Costa Mesa, CA.


of color shadings, as well as whirls, festoons, and discontinuities almost too numerous to count. Observation of transits of Jupiter's four primary satellites across the disc of the planet, and of the shadows of these satellites on the planet, is routine. Even at distant oppositions Mars displays significant surface detail; at close oppositions the planet becomes a mass of intricately-connected dark plains and ochre-colored deserts.

The Meade 14" LX200GPS-SMT includes an all-new fork mounting of uncommon structural rigidity. For added strength and stability the fork's polar cross-bar assembly is cast in one continuous piece from one fork arm to the other; the motor drive base includes a thickened cast floor to minimize flexure of the telescope when mounted on the optional Superwedge at low latitudes. The mounting combines with the Autostar control system for long-distance slews across the skies



"I have nothing but praise for my Meade 12" LX200. It has provided me with very fine images of the planets, my special area of study, and operated without fault for five years. Planetary observing is probably the most demanding area of amateur study for any instrument, as the telescope must have optics of exceptionally high quality. The 12" LX200 provides detailed visual and CCD images of Mars even when the planet is far from opposition, a wealth of fine detail on Jupiter and Saturn, and memorable observations of binary stars and globular clusters. I would recommend (and have recommended!) without hesitation the 12" LX200 to advanced amateurs seeking a truly high-performance telescope that can quite literally do it all."

— Damian Peach, Assistant Director of the Jupiter/Saturn Sections of the British Astronomical Association, Rochester, Kent, U.K.; Jupiter Section, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers.



to locate targets to a precision of within a few arcminutes. The mounting, Autostar, and the telescope's research-class optics make the 14" LX200GPS-SMT the perfect choice for the visual observer or imaging specialist looking to explore new astronomical frontiers.

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