Meade Instrument's LX850 GoTo EQ Mount with StarLock Autoguider delivers near research-grade performance for advanced amateur astronomers who require precision tracking and autoguiding for long-term observation and long-exposure astrophotography. This rig starts with the motorized German equatorial mount made of steel and anodized 6061 aluminum that employs DC servo stepper motors on both axes to precisely track objects with virtually no vibrations. With a payload capacity of up to 90lb, the mount can easily handle large OTAs with accessories like photo or imaging cameras, filter wheels, or electric focusers. Adding to the mount's versatility is a unique saddle system that can be converted from Vixen to Losmandy styles to accept most user-supplied OTAs.
The brain of the LX850 is the AutoStar II computer controller. This hand held unit is a 144,000+ database with multiple alignment procedures, nine slew speeds, automatic and manual tracking rates and the ability (when properly aligned) to identify objects that the user directs their telescope to. The database also has an index of events such as sunrise/sunset, Moon phases, meteor showers, lunar and solar eclipses, plus the Autumnal/Vernal equinoxes and winter/summer solstices. Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC) and anti-backlash compensation are also programmed through the controller for increased tracking precision. Complementing the AutoStar is the StarLock system. This 80mm refractor is equipped with wide and narrow imaging cameras that read the star field and communicates directly with the controller for improved GoTo, alignment and tracking to a precision of as much as 0.1 arc second.
Supporting the mount, StarLock, and the user's OTA is a heavy-duty stainless steel tripod. Its over-sized 3" legs provide a solid observational platform with an adjustable height from 29-45". A spreader bar and tension knob lock the legs for increased strength and stability, and anti-vibration pads are included for each of the three legs to stand on for virtual vibration-free viewing.