The Meade Instruments Corporation is an American manufacturer of astronomical telescopes and accessories. The program includes catadioptric primarily telescopes of the Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov types, as well as reflecting telescopes to Newton. In addition, refractors are offered.
History of the company
The company was founded in 1972 in Irvine as a one-man company with a starting capital of $ 2,500. Initially, the business was mail order small refracting telescopes. Starting in 1973, contained the Meade program orthoscopic and Kellner Eyepieces. Shortly after, Meade presented different types of filters and other telescope accessories. In 1977, the first own Meade Newtonian reflector telescope with a primary mirror diameter of 6 or 8 inches ago. The telescopes were mounted on German Mounts and were a surprising sales success.
After three years of development came in 1980, the first Meade Schmidt- Cassegrain telescopes (abbreviated SC) on the market. Schmidt- Cassegrain telescopes are compact catadioptric mirror telescopes, ie Reflecting telescopes with at least one lens. This design had been previously marketed almost solely by the U.S. company Celestron also. It was typical of the beginning, the formation of Schmidt- Cassegrain on an equatorial fork mount, which was a synchronous motor for tracking in the foot of the fork. In the 1980s, Meade developed quartz-controlled Schneckenradantriebe that were included as an alternative to synchronous drive for the high-order model series LX3, LX5 and LX6. Then Zweiachsantriebe and digital setting circles were introduced with optical encoders. A preliminary culminated with a computerized digital setting circles containing stored astronomical objects and the observer by means of a cross of light emitting diodes pointed the way to the right coordinates in the sky.
After Celestron had earlier launched its first fully automatic model " Compustar " Meade brought out in 1992 also fully computerized telescopes of the successful model LX200. 1994 manufactured by Meade, the first series-produced 16-inch SC telescope computer.
In Germany Meade products were sold until the early 1990s, the cosmos service in Stuttgart. Since 1994, Meade is represented in Germany by the exclusive distributor Astrocom GmbH, fired the wholesale in 2000 at the Meade Europe GmbH. Since 1997, Meade is a public company listed on the New York NASDAQ stock company.
2000 to today
The best-selling Meade telescope is currently (2008) the LX200ACF ( successor to the LX200GPS ). The optics was initially advertised as a modified Ritchey -Chrétien Cassegrain system due to its imaging properties, but externally similar to a conventional SC telescopes. It is to have opening with different optical tubes 8 to 16 inches. In addition, a new model called RCX400 and optics has been introduced from 10 to 20 inch opening. After finished with a comparison lawsuit challenging the authority of the Advanced Ritchey -Chrétien expression for this type telescope Meade sells these telescopes now under the names LX200ACF and LX400ACF. The abbreviation stands for ACF Advanced Coma Free, since this construction over the Schmidt- Cassegrain design has a significantly lower coma.
2009 Meade Europe its subsidiary was sold to the Bresser GmbH to improve the financial situation of Meade Instruments. Also, as part of Meade Bresser products will continue to be sold under the name Meade.