Someone on the Meade Lightbridge Yahoo! Tech Group posted last night that JMI, a company that builds after market scope add-ons as well as complete scope systems, is soon to release a tracking system for the Meade Lightbridge telescope. The apparent price is going to be around $349.00, and it's supposed to track objects for about an hour or so. It seems to be based on a motor system attached to both axis points on the Dobsonian mount. More info can be found at the JMI site here.
This could be an interesting feature. Visually, I really don't mind having to continually nudge the scope to keep things in the center of the FOV. At higher magnifications, a tracking system obviously is better in this regard. But I really use the scope for deep sky objects and rarely go to high power for these. Having said that, though, when you combine the great views of deep sky stuff through this scope, alt-az tracking capability AND the easier methodology surrounding stacking individual frames for astrophotography(AP) , it might make for an interesting AP setup! If the scope can track for a short time, and I can attach a camera to it and take long enough individual exposures that will capture enough light but not be affected by field rotation, running those exposures through Registax could yield some nice results. This definitely warrants further investigation.
Hmm, I also wonder if the motors will act as a better clutch (of sorts) to handle the top-heavy weight issue of the scope...?
I'm still looking at cameras and keep going back to the Nikon D40. There are some good deals on it right now, and it's fairly lightweight which is good for scope use. Only 6.1 megapixels but anything more could be noisier. Hopefully will have something in the next couple of weeks