16" Lightbridge - any good?

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Talyn
Post subject: 16" Lightbridge - any good?
Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:07 pm
molecule
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My current financial situation means I might have to put aside any thoughts of getting a custom-built 18" dob as these cost upwards of ?3100 ($4650) for one from a UK-based maker (and even more to import something like an Obsession or Starmaster).
However, $1800 ($2700) is not so bad and I can save up for one in a reasonable amount of time so, shall I go for a 16" Meade LB instead? I know LBs aren't perfect, the mirror boxes weigh an absolute ton and the scopes do require some tweaking to get them to work without too many irritations, as did my 12" GSO Dob when I got it, but I'm sure they can't be too bad or Meade wouldn't have sold as many as they have.
With a bit of luck, though, by the time I have accumulated the necessary funds for a Lightbridge maybe my situation will have improved and I carry on saving for a better scope.

Any thoughts on Meade Lightbridges, anyone?

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snorkler
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Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:05 pm
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I've never seen or used one, but aperture is (almost) everything. There's nothing else in that price range with that much aperture, so I'm inclined to recommend it, sight unseen.

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Erik
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Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:23 pm
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I got to play with several 16" LB's when I worked at Scope City a couple of years ago, and I've looked through a couple at star parties. My opinion is that they're far better than the Starfinder dobs Meade used to sell, but they're not nearly the quality of any "premium" truss dob. The motions in azimuth are still a bit sticky to me, and the tension brake mechanism doesn't always work as it should. The base is rather substandard as well, though the lower weight of the LB compared to a solid tube dob makes it usable. Optically, the ones I've looked through were decent- again, much better than the 16" Starfinder's. I believe the mirrors are manufactured by GS in China, and they figure decent mirrors.

At f/4.5, a Paracorr is a must for the 16" LB.

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Talyn
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Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:41 pm
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Thanks for the responses. I only have ?100 of savings, so there's a way to go yet and, who knows, my situation might improve and I can afford a premium dob.

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