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RE: RE: How Do I Polar Align A Meade LX-50?

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Posted by Hans G. Gnodtke on November 1, 2000 18:41:35 UTC

I use the LX 50 11 " since January, and my answer to polar alignment frustrations was JIMis Minimax. Thats a cute device which works well with the LX 50 and has a mode for precise polar alignment in three easy steps (first do the rough alignment as explained by Dennis, the rest is well explained in the manual).
If you repeat hte exercise three or four times, you have results no less precise then the traditional drift method.
Mini max costs a lot of money,true enough, it sure does, but its worth it. I persomnally believe that this was the most precious accessory I invested in since starting serious observation again 13 years ago. I bought it again, when it was stolen at the airport together with other optical and photo stuff. I did not have the money to replace all my losses, but I just needed to have the minimax again and therefore scratched every dollar together I could lay my fingers on. The Minnimax doesnt make the LX 5 emulate an Lx 200 but close enough. Also, even if you don#t polar align, do the two star alignment and you will never again have to settle for just Saturn and the moon.
Maybe Meades own Magellan equals the MINImax or even outdoes it on the LX models. but i am not sure, that it has a polar alignment mode.You will have to talk to someone knowledgable, Maybe some users of the forum can assist and provide info.
Star hopping is great, setting circles as your only navigation aid is really sportsman likeand separates boys from men. But as I grow older and want to use my feww clear nights at the eye peace rather then fumbling with the finder, computerized navigation assistance is really the solution and not excessive luxury. I dont want to talk you into costly investments, but that one sure did it for me. And it doubled the value of my LX 50 !
Frankly, the LX50 is too fine an instrument to limit yourselves to objects easily found even in cheap dept.store scopes. Think about it and good luck!
Hans

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