8-inch ACF telescope
A capable, compact and colourful telescope with a wide selection of extras
Meade is a long-established manufacturer and brand with a huge range of telescopes, mounts and accessories, so we were pleased for the chance to review its latest LX65 mount and ACF (Advanced Coma-Free) 8-inch telescope. The system comes with a stainless steel tripod, 26mm eyepiece, Red Dot Finder, star diagonal, bubble level with compass, and a DVD with planetarium software.
The LX65 mount is a single straight arm alt-azimuth Go-To mount, powered either by eight C-type batteries or an external 12V power source. An interesting addition is that there are two Vixen-style saddles, the main one for holding the supplied telescope and an additional one on the outer side for a second telescope that weighs up to 3.2kg. This second saddle can be adjusted to line up the view exactly with WKH SULPDU\ LQVWUXPHQW ,W V LGHDO IRU DGGLQJ D ULFK HOG refractor to give wide views of the same target. The mount is sturdy despite its outer plastic casing, which looks good in the blue livery complementing the optical system.
All in hand
Controlling the mount and providing functionality is the AudioStar hand controller. This plugs into the topmost of the ports on the back of the mount arm, clearly labelled HBX. A removable bracket allows the hand box to be attached to the mount for convenience. The AudioStar features 30,000 objects covering all the main catalogues of deep-sky targets, such as Messier, Caldwell, NGC and IC, along with Solar System targets of the planets, asteroids and comets. Other options include named stars, variables and doubles along with the choice to take a tour of ‘Tonight’s Best’ – which automatically selects the best night-sky objects for that time and location – so there is plenty to explore. The AudioStar also features audio voiceovers for 500 objects in the database.
The optical tube is a Meade ACF catadioptric telescope with a diameter of 203mm (8 inches) and a