The Return of a Classic – Meade 2080 LX3

A few months ago I picked up this 1984 Meade 2080 LX3 from a local estate sale at a very good price. (The date came off of the back of the secondary.) The original owner was an advanced photographer and it came with quite a few accessories like a drive corrector, optical off-axis guider, and slow motion controls for the dec axis. It has been in storage for many years and it was buried under a thick layer of dust. Being an LX3 the silvered secondary had developed a bad case of the freckles. I stripped most of the accessories off and went through a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex cleaning everything the best that I could. I just got the secondary back from being re-coated, and everything has been put back together and aligned. I finally had a chance to spend a quality evening with it last night, and much to my delight it is a fine visual scope. I put a 2” visual back on it and spent the evening operating it as a fully manual scope with magnifications of between about 75x and 250x. I had a great view of Io slipping behind Jupiter, Venus looked fantastic (and gave the optics a good stress-test), and had a great time sweeping from southern Orion, up through Gemini, and over to Ursa Major. The images were excellent and the focuser was very smooth without any significant image shift. I’ll probably add a jumpstart battery to power the R.A. drive (which tested out fine), but for general visual use it really doesn’t need it.

I dearly love my more modern GoTo scopes, but when I’m in the mood for something simple, this old classic will fit the bill nicely.

-John

2080 LX3 (4-11-2015).jpg