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Hey Meade heads, question on Starfinder mounts

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#1 MtnGoat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:56 PM

A buddy is picking up a Starfinder 10" on the stock mount, decent CL deal at $350 looks to be in very good shape. Don't know the exact age, yet.

He wants Magellan for it..a couple questions.

Mag 1 or 2 both fit same mounts? (We know there is a special one for the 16" mount)

Also...this is essentially push-to with encoders, right? Hard to discern from instructions, which mentions slewing but must be dec limited by the tangent arm approach, right?

Any comments on the push to accuracy once installed?

thanks

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:08 PM

Also...this is essentially push-to with encoders, right? Hard to discern from instructions, which mentions slewing but must be dec limited by the tangent arm approach, right?


Magellan I was a typical DSC setup using a typical Tangent DSC controller. Magellan II was a more elaborate setup, using a controller similar to that of the LXD650/750 and LX200 mounts. It provided limited goto operation, comparable to that of early Vixen rigs (slew rates were quite slow and, as you comment, the DEC can't be slewed very far anyway on the Meade GEM models). You would manually move to the right area and the Mag II would control the final motion. I think they finally got that system working just before they discontinued it.

Both Mag 1 and Mag II were offered in versions with hardware specific to various mounts. You'd have to find one with the correct hardware for the mount you plan to use.

#3 rmollise

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:22 AM


Magellan I was a typical DSC setup using a typical Tangent DSC controller. Magellan II was a more elaborate setup, using a controller similar to that of the LXD650/750 and LX200 mounts. It provided limited goto operation, comparable to that of early Vixen rigs (slew rates were quite slow and, as you comment, the DEC can't be slewed very far anyway on the Meade GEM models). You would manually move to the right area and the Mag II would control the final motion. I think they finally got that system working just before they discontinued it.

Both Mag 1 and Mag II were offered in versions with hardware specific to various mounts. You'd have to find one with the correct hardware for the mount you plan to use.


And there is really no need to go huntin'...neither one worked very well...

Well, the Mag I could be OK with better encoders (a buddy of mine used one with a JMI encoder kit), and the Mag II can be a godsend if you need a drive corrector for the later non-AC StarFinder mounts...just don't expect to be impressed by its object-finding abilities...

...but in general...a modern set of DSCs like a Sky Commander or Argo Navis is MUCHO BETTERO! :lol:

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:48 AM

in general...a modern set of DSCs like a Sky Commander or Argo Navis is MUCHO BETTERO! :lol:


No argument there! ;)

#5 tommyhawk13  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:34 AM

I've got the same mount for my 8" Starfinder.

It's a sturdy mount, and good for it's cost, but chances are your buddy will want to upgrade to a better mount.

I had a heck of a time trying to polar align the thing, and I assume that's necessary for the Magellan DSC's.
There are no fine adjustments for altitude or azimuth.
I used to pick 2 legs up off the ground and rotate the mount on the third, while everything was mounted.

I'd tell your friend to save his money and learn the sky the old fashioned way. A Telrad & some charts do wonders.

That's a great price, by the way. What a steal!

#6 MtnGoat

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 01:29 PM

I sent him the responses and he decided to take the advice and pass on Magellan. He has a small machine shop, we'll probably order him a nice big worm gear from Stock Drive Products, install it and a clutch on the DEC axis, then add a pair of LXD75 motors to the setup to Autostar the works. That should work fine.

It does look as though it will be undermounted with 1" shafts, though. We'll see how it works out. In the meantime, he did pick up an atlas and I found him a DS scope on CL for 75 bucks, we're getting a GLP for it and will use it as a target finder in the short term.

#7 MtnGoat

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 04:40 AM

Well, he picked it up today. Mount is underwhelming, but the optics are superb. Really, really crisp. I just spent a couple hours getting some of the best views I've ever seen of the moon and Jupiter. We were running it at 210x on both objects and the focus was tack sharp, but the breeze was making life difficult. I think it's slightly over F4 and it is very nice.






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