Before proceeding, refer to Fig. 1,
Fig. 2 and Fig
3 to confirm that you have assembled your LX10 correctly and to familiarize
yourself with the location of the telescope's various controls. Explanations
of terminology such as "Right Ascension" and "Declination" will
be provided later in this manual. Following this brief review, you are ready
for your first observations with the LX10.
|IMPORTANT NOTICE! Never use a telescope or spotting scope to look at the Sun! Observing the Sun, even for the shortest fraction of a second, will cause irreversible damage to your eye as well as physical damage to the telescope or spotting scope itself. |
Using both hands, remove the metal dust cover over the correcting plate
(1, Fig. 1) by gently pulling it away from
the telescope. Be careful not to touch the correcting plate. (If you do,
refer to Telescope Troubleshooting, Maintenance and Servicing, Part
4). To protect the correcting plate, replace the dust cover whenever
the telescope is not in use.
Caution: Never turn the Right Ascension (R.A.) slow-motion control
knob (4, Fig. 8), or attempt to move the optical tube manually when the
R.A. lock (3, Fig. 8) is in the LOCKED position; such movement may damage
the internal gears.
The Declination (Dec) slow-motion control knob (2, Fig. 8) has a fixed travel
length. At some point after turning the Dec slow-motion control continuously
in the same direction, the control will become difficult to turn. Do not
attempt to turn the Dec slow-motion control past this point or damage to
the internal mechanism will result. Instead, back-off the Dec slow-motion
control by turning the control about 50 turns in the opposite direction.
Unlock the Dec lock (Fig. 9) and move the telescope manually to center the
object; then resume use of the Dec slow-motion control. Never attempt to
move the optical tube manually when the Dec lock (1, Fig. 9) is in the LOCKED
Select an object that is approximately 100 feet distant( e.g.,
the top of a telephone pole) and sight along the optical tube to "aim"
the telescope at the object. Look through the eyepiece of the main telescope
and turn the focus knob (1, Fig. 8) clockwise or counterclockwise until
the object is in focus.
Once your selected object is in focus, with the R.A. lock UNLOCKED, and
the Dec lock LOCKED, use the R.A. slow-motion control knob (4, Fig. 8) and
the Dec. slow-motion control knob (2, Fig. 8) to center the object in the
field of view.
Objects viewed through the telescope's eyepiece will be correctly oriented
up-and-down but will be reversed left-for-right.
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An important array of controls facilitates operation of the LX10 telescope.
Be sure to acquaint yourself with all of these controls before attempting
observations through the telescope.
Focus Knob (1, Fig. 8): Turning this knob causes a finely-controlled
internal motion of the telescope's primary mirror to achieve precise focus
of the telescopic image. The LX10 can be focused on objects from a distance
of about 25 feet to infinity.
Dec Slow-Motion Control (2, Fig. 8): With the Dec lock in the fully
locked position (with the lever pushed forward towards the front end of
the optical tube), the Dec slow-motion control knob permits manual slow-motions
of the telescope in Declination.
R.A. Lock (3, Fig. 8): Locking and unlocking the R.A. lock is accomplished
by moving the R.A. lock lever all the way to the left for fully locked,
to the center for partially locked, and all the way to the right for fully
unlocked. Remember: never attempt to move the optical tube manually when
the R.A. lock is fully locked.
R.A. Slow-Motion Control (4, Fig. 8): With the R.A. lock either fully
unlocked or partially locked, the R.A. slow-motion control knob permits
manual slow-motions of the telescope in a horizontal direction.
Dec Lock (1, Fig. 9): Locking and unlocking the Dec movement of the
optical tube is accomplished by moving the Dec lock lever all the way forward
for fully locked, or by moving the Dec lock lever all the way back (towards
the eyepiece) for fully unlocked. Remember: never attempt to move the
optical tube manually when the Dec lock is locked.
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The magnification, or power, at which a telescope is operating is determined
by two factors: the focal length of the telescope and the the focal length
of the eyepiece employed.
The Meade LX10 is supplied with a 25mm eyepiece as standard equipment. Eyepiece
focal length, 25mm, is printed on the side of the eyepiece.
The telescope focal length is, roughly speaking, the distance that light
travels inside the telescope before reaching a focus. In the mirror-lens
design of the LX10, however, this focal length is, in effect, compressed
by the telescope's secondary mirror, so that a long effective telescope
focal length is housed in the short LX10 optical tube.
The LX10's focal length is 2000mm, or about 80 inches. If the LX10 were
a classical refracting-type of telescope, its optical tube would thus be
more than 6 feet long instead of the LX10's more compact 16" tube length.
On a given telescope, such as the LX10, different eyepiece focal lengths
are used to achieve different magnifications, from low to high. The supplied
25mm eyepiece yields 80X. Optional eyepieces and the #140 2x Barlow Lens
are available for powers from 36X to over 500X (see
To calculate the magnification obtained with a given eyepiece, use this
Power = Telescope Focal Length ÷ Eyepiece Focal Length
Example: The power obtained with the LX10 with the 25mm eyepiece is:
Power = 2000mm ÷ 25mm = 80X
The most common mistake of the beginning observer is to "overpower"
the telescope and to use high magnifications which the telescope's aperture
and typical atmospheric conditions cannot reasonably support.
Keep in mind that a smaller, brighter, but well-resolved image is far superior
to a larger but dim and poorly-resolved image. Powers above about 300X should
be employed with the LX10 only under the steadiest atmospheric conditions.
Most observers will want to have 3 or 4 eyepieces and perhaps the #140 2x
Barlow lens to achieve the full range of reasonable magnifications. See
Optional Accessories for further details.
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The LX10, as with almost all astronomical telescopes, presents a fairly
narrow field of view to the observer. As a result it is sometimes difficult
to locate and center objects in the main telescope's field of view.
The viewfinder, by contrast, is a low-power, wide-field sighting scope with
crosshairs that enables the easy centering of objects in the main telescope's
field. Standard equipment with the LX10 is a viewfinder of 6-power and 30mm
aperture, called a "6 x 30mm viewfinder."
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Focusing the Viewfinder
The viewfinder has been factory prefocused to objects located at infinity.
Individual eye variations, however, may require that the viewfinder be refocused
to your eye. Looking through the viewfinder, point the telescope at a distant
object; if the viewfinder image is not sufficiently in focus for your eye,
it may be refocused as follows:
Loosen the viewfinder focus lock ring (3, Fig.
7) at the objective-lens-end of the viewfinder, enabling rotation of
the objective lens cell clockwise or counterclockwise for precise focusing
while looking at a distant object through the viewfinder. After a precise
focus has been achieved, tighten the viewfinder focus lock ring against
the objective lens cell to lock the focus in place. Note that no focusing
is possible from the eyepiece end of the viewfinder.
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Alignment of the Viewfinder
In order for the viewfinder to be useful, it must first be aligned with
the main telescope, so that both the viewfinder and the main telescope are
pointing at precisely the same position. Follow this procedure to align
With the viewfinder properly mounted on the main telescope, and with the
ON/OFF switch on the control panel in the OFF position, look through the
eyepiece of the main telescope to locate and focus on a stationary object
at least 200 yards distant. Center the object precisely in the main telescope's
field and lock both the R.A. lock and the Dec lock so that the object can
not move in the field.
Now, while looking through the viewfinder, turn one or more of the 6 thumbscrews
until the crosshairs of the viewfinder are precisely centered on the object
already centered in the main telescope. All six screws must be tight when
complete so that the viewfinder will not move.
The viewfinder is now aligned to the main telescope. Unless the alignment
screws are disturbed, the viewfinder will remain aligned indefinitely.
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Using the Viewfinder
Now, to locate any object, terrestrial or astronomical, first center the
object on the cross hairs of the viewfinder; the object will then also be
centered in the field of view of the main telescope.
Note: When you wish to use higher observing magnifications on a given object,
first locate, center, and focus the object using a low-power eyepiece (e.g.,
the 25mm eyepiece). Objects are easier to locate and center at low powers;
higher powers may then be employed simply by changing eyepieces.
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THE EQUATORIAL WEDGE
The standard-equipment equatorial wedge permits the use of the LX10 in an
astronomical, or "equatorial" mode. The wedge accepts the drive
base of the LX10 fork mount.
Caution: Never attempt to observe through the telescope without
the telescope being attached to a suitable tripod. Do not place the
telescope-with-wedge-only on a tabletop. In such a case the telescope may
become seriously imbalanced, to the point where it may actually tip over.
The Meade equatorial wedge is of modern design, with several important features
incorporated to facilitate observations with the LX10.
- After you have used the wedge, you will learn how its functional design
features enhance your ability to operate the telescope. These design features
- Attachment of the wedge to the field tripod by means of only one manual
knob (4, Fig. 10).
- Quick azimuth (horizontal) orientation of the telescope, by loosening
the 3" manual knob (4, Fig. 10).
- Fast adjustment of latitude angle with the tilt angle adjustment lock
(3, Fig. 10).
The importance of these features will be made clear below.
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KEYPAD HAND CONTROLLER
The LX10's standard-equipment keypad hand controller (Fig.
11) plugs into the telescope's control panel and is designed for micro-guiding
the telescope during long exposure astrophotography, yielding precise corrections
in R.A. at 2x speed.
For single-axis 2x corrections in R.A., press and hold either the "W"
or "E" key as necessary. Release to resume normal sidereal tracking
speed of the telescope's main drive system.
Note: The word "sidereal" refers to the rate at which stars
appear to move as the Earth rotates on its axis. Thus, "sidereal-rate
tracking" refers to the speed at which the telescope's motor drive
moves the telescope, in order that stars appear stationary when viewed through
To facilitate long-exposure astrophotography where minor corrections of
the telescope's position are required in both R.A. and Dec, the optional
Meade LX10 Electric Declination Motor (Fig.
13) permits dual-axis control by activating the "N" (north)
and "S" (south) keys of the keypad (see Optional
With the optional Declination motor attached, making minor corrections in
Declination during long-exposure astrophotography is accomplished by pressing
and holding either the "N" or "S" keys of the keypad.
When you have completed the correction, release the selected key.