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Need help identifying this scope

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#1 lfinn

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

Hi,

I have been looking for a basic scope for my 6 year old to start into Astronomy and came across this for sale. The owner has not supplied a model number YET but i was wondering if anyone here can identify it

I know it was purchased years ago for $450 and they said the mirrors look good but it has been unused for many years.
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I have agreed to buy it tomorrow just wondered if you can help identify it

#2 lfinn

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

I'm thinking it looks like a Mead 4550 but i'm unsure

#3 The Ardent

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:24 AM

I dont recommend this scope for a 6 year old.

Look at the Orion XT 4.5 or Funscope 76.

#4 lfinn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:56 AM

Ray

Thanks for the suggestion on the funscope.

Do you think i identified it correctly?

#5 hottr6

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:23 AM

While the optics may be acceptable, the mount for this 'scope will soon kill any enthusiasm. The smaller Meade GEMs are truly awful, but they do operate well in an alt-az mode with a smaller payload.

There are better 'scopes for youngsters. E.g.: Orion Starblast.

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:45 AM

Hi,

I have been looking for a basic scope for my 6 year old to start into Astronomy and came across this for sale. The owner has not supplied a model number YET but i was wondering if anyone here can identify it

I know it was purchased years ago for $450 and they said the mirrors look good but it has been unused for many years.

I have agreed to buy it tomorrow just wondered if you can help identify it


Hi:

It is some version of the Meade 4500 series. These are 4.5inch F/8 Newtonians, some have 0.965 inch adapters, some 1.25 inch. Bill Vorce at Telescope Warehouse sells the 1.25 inch. It is true that 20 years ago, these sold for something like $450 but today, $450 buys a much better, much more capable telescope.

I am not sure what you have agreed to pay for this telescope, I have bought a few and I consider them to be probably worth somewhere between $50 and $75. They can provide reasonable views, the mount is undersized so everything vibrates at the slightest touch. The counter weight shaft attachments break easily.

As others have said, probably not the best scope for a 6 year old.

Jon

#7 btb

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

I think it would be a good candidate for a home made DOB base.

#8 lfinn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

Thats a very good point. It would make a good ATM Dob project if I build a new scope and add some electronics and make it a Push To. A Push To would be ideal for a 6 year and older starter.

I'm getting the scope and mount for $25

#9 Mike B

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

As Jon says, many of these come with 0.965" focusers... and possibly plastic eyepieces... i mean "plastic" in the lenses themselves- not just the barrel!

It *still* might be worth the $25- for the optics alone (if they're good)- but to make even a decent Dob out of it (if it truly has the 0.965" focuser & junk EPs) you're lookin' at buying a new 1-1/4" focuser... or at least scrounging around for better 0.965" EPs. Your selection here will be staggeringly lean! 1-1/4" opens up an entire universe of high-quality AND affordable EPs!

The basic question is: "How much of a "project-scope" are you looking for?" ;)

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:18 PM

Thats a very good point. It would make a good ATM Dob project if I build a new scope and add some electronics and make it a Push To. A Push To would be ideal for a 6 year and older starter.

I'm getting the scope and mount for $25


:waytogo:

For $25 you can hardly go wrong. I see these scopes for $150 on Craigslist.

Jon

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

For $25, great deal as long as it functions. Also, should your son trash it (kids do things, eh)or lose interest, you're not out really anything. AND, should it peak his interest more, you still have a scope you can pull out into the back yard for some quick views.

#12 lfinn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:50 PM

My thinking exactly

He has interest and it has a 1.25 focuser. It will come with *BLEEP* EP's but thats easy to fix. I will go collect it later and have a look at the mirrors. The owner said it was only used a little and put in a closet. it has the caps on the scope so that should help the primary somewhat safe

Owners said the mirrors look OK which i will verify in two hours.
I'm sure it will need to be cleaned and culminated but any lenses I decide to purchase can be reused on my larger scope when I buy it later this year (my new toy) as starter lenses

#13 starrancher

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

25 bucks is a steal . I'll give ya 50 for it . You'd pay 150 for a similar scope out of Orion's current lineup and the Meade probably has a superior mirror .

#14 lfinn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

Shipping would cost more than the scope :) I'm in Michigan :roflmao:

#15 starrancher

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

Even if it did have the .965 focuser , Antares makes Plossls with the small barrels that are pretty dang good . About 20 bucks a piece sounds about right from Hands on Optics . These can bring one up to date if keeping a vintage scope all original is important . I've also got some vintage .965 oculars in the Kellner and Huygens designs that have great image quality . Sure the eye relief can be short and they'll sport a narrow FOV , but I wouldn't refer to them as junk by any means . Plenty of Orthos in the .965 format both vintage and current production are available also . Narrow FOV and short eye relief , but are some of the best Planetary oculars ever made .

#16 Jay_Bird

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

I cleaned up one of these for an educator and was impressed with the views thru a 20+ year old mirror. A long focus Newtonian is pretty capable and 4+ inches will show a lot.

Mount will improve after cleaning and tightening all axes and leg hinges to 'just right' after some experimentation. A better spreader tray, maybe plywood, would also help a lot.

My first thought on seeing another old Meade like this was also of how well it might work on a home-made Dob base for even more stability.

#17 lfinn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

OK got the scope and there are some minor issues but seeing as I dont plan to use it as a GEM it does not matter so much

The counter weight attachement is damaged but I dont think I will bother replacing it as I dont intend to use it as a GEM just a basic dob so with some creative adjustments it holds position.

Seeing as it will be used for mostly Planetary viewing this should work OK

It is a F8 4.5 inch tube scope with a 1.25 focuser and it came with an MA25mm lens which is pretty basic. The mirrors look ok, dusty but that is easily corrected.

I cant align the spotter scope with the main scope as the weather here is blowing 35mph gusting to 50 and it is overcast and wet.

It is supposed to clear up somewhat by Wednesday and maybe then i can do the alignments and see if there will be any clear skies to test it on the Jupiter which is overhead now

Strange thing the spotting scope has no crosshairs so i guess i will need to find an alternative. Maybe the scope from my son's old christmas gifts (garbage store bought toy scope) that has a spotting scope on it will work for now i will have to give it a try and see what works

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:35 AM

The counter weight attachement is damaged but I dont think I will bother replacing it as I dont intend to use it as a GEM just a basic dob so with some creative adjustments it holds position.



You can use these mounts in the alt-az mode by pointing the RA axis at the Zenith. One has to be careful but you don't need the counterweight shaft. If you are interested in trying this, I can describe it in more detail. The photo is a 4 inch F/6 refractor mounted on a Meade 4500 mount being used in the ALT-AZ mode. Before the Vixen Portamount showed up, this was about the only way one could have an affordable, "balanced" alt-az mount with slow-motion controls.

Jon

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#19 bob midiri

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:08 AM

you can make a nice little dob mount for it like this

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#20 lfinn

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:32 PM


The counter weight attachement is damaged but I dont think I will bother replacing it as I dont intend to use it as a GEM just a basic dob so with some creative adjustments it holds position.



You can use these mounts in the alt-az mode by pointing the RA axis at the Zenith. One has to be careful but you don't need the counterweight shaft. If you are interested in trying this, I can describe it in more detail. The photo is a 4 inch F/6 refractor mounted on a Meade 4500 mount being used in the ALT-AZ mode. Before the Vixen Portamount showed up, this was about the only way one could have an affordable, "balanced" alt-az mount with slow-motion controls.

Jon

Thats pretty much my plan for now but i will plan on making a dob base for it so it will be easier to move and lower for my son

#21 lfinn

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

Making a DOB base will be phase 2 once I can verify if the image quality is worth while. When i get some clear skies (hoping this week) i will test it on a planet and see how it looks. If the optics are OK then i will plan on a dob base.

Seeing as it only comes with a single EP i have ordered an Orion 7.2-21.5mm Zoom which will give a fair amount of viewing options without the need to change EP's. the EP should arrive within a week

#22 lfinn

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

Managed to get it under the sky tonight
The image quality is not so bad for such a little scope with the 25mm lens i could se Jupiter and it's moons. They were small but viewable. The next open sky should be Sunday and by then I will have my Zoom lens so it should provide much better images.

Not bad for $25 :)

#23 lfinn

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:56 PM

Ok after getting a new EP the images get way blurry even with the one it vame with it was not great. After inspecting the primary mirror it looks like it has some light marks on it like it was cleaned by rubbing

Any ideas where I can get what I think is an F8 4.5 inch primary for this scope

#24 lfinn

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:41 AM

Figured out what was wrong. Both of the mirrors have super fine lines if the silvering missing. Looks like the bad attempt of cleaning by the original owner ruined the silvering. I removed them yesterday and have shipped them off to be recoated.

#25 lfinn

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:41 AM

Figured out what was wrong. Both of the mirrors have super fine lines if the silvering missing. Looks like the bad attempt of cleaning by the original owner ruined the silvering.

I dont think the surface is damaged in any way but when looking at the back of the mirror with a torch shining on the front face I can see the missing silvering

I removed them yesterday and have shipped them off to be recoated. It will cost me about $70 to have them stripped and recoated..not too bad






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