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Old Meade EQ mounts

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#1 youngamateur42

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

Hi, I've been on the hunt for an old meade equatorial mount, the pedistal type. I need to to support a 10 inch scope, so I was thinking maybe a 1990's starfinder mount? It needs to have tracking. Problem is I can't find one! :foreheadslap: Anyone know where these old type mounts can be found? Thanks! :D

#2 herrointment

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:17 PM

They pop up here in the classifieds or on Craigslist and AstroMart from time to time.

The drives are a touch wonky but good enough for visual work. A shorter focal length ten inch scope might work out. My eight inch F/8.5 has more length than the mount wants to handle, but the price really can't be beat.

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#3 hottr6

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:30 AM

You do not want a Starfinder GEM for your 10". The GEM-mounted 6", 8" and 10" Starfinders shared the same GEM and pedestal. IMHO, this is almost a Goldilocks and 3 bears story, with the 6" Newt being juuuust riight on this mount. The 8" is a little much, and the 10" overwhelms the mount. If you must have a Meade GEM, look for the 16" GEM that came with the DS-16 or the 16" Starfinder. This should carry your 10" with elan.

#4 rmollise

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:43 AM

You do not want a Starfinder GEM for your 10". The GEM-mounted 6", 8" and 10" Starfinders shared the same GEM and pedestal. IMHO, this is almost a Goldilocks and 3 bears story, with the 6" Newt being juuuust riight on this mount. The 8" is a little much, and the 10" overwhelms the mount. If you must have a Meade GEM, look for the 16" GEM that came with the DS-16 or the 16" Starfinder. This should carry your 10" with elan.


Not my experience. The 8-inch tube is actually longer than the 10-inch, and length is what matters most for these mounts. The mount is perfectly OK for a 10-inch for visual (which is all you'll be doing with the combo). The mount is also fairly easily available.

#5 planet earth

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:26 AM

Last year I picked up just the Meade mount from a 826.
So far I've only used it with a 8 f5 and works very well.
Thinking of mounting my 8 f7.6 Newt (60" tube) on it this year, so hopefully it will be okay, but not sure. :question:
One very nice thing about it is without the tube and counterweights it's very light to move around.
I was fortunate to find a new AC ra motor reasonable, but they are getting hard to find.
Sam

#6 planet earth

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:34 AM

The 8" is a little much, and the 10" overwhelms the mount. If you must have a Meade GEM, look for the 16" GEM that came with the DS-16 or the 16" Starfinder. This should carry your 10" with elan.


The 16 inch EQ mounts are really hard to find in my area.
It would be nice though!
Sam

#7 youngamateur42

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:11 AM

Sorry I didn't mention what scope I wanted to put on the mount, I was planning on a 10 inch f/4.7 reflector, if that helps

#8 planet earth

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:59 PM

Sorry I didn't mention what scope I wanted to put on the mount, I was planning on a 10 inch f/4.7 reflector, if that helps

The mount will work as your 10 f4.7 it's about the same as the Meade 10 f4.5.
Better yet(though hard to find)is the Edmund 8" f8 mount with 1.5" shafts.
Also be on the lookout for Cave mounts with larger then 1 inch shafts.
Good luck on your search.
Sam

#9 planet9

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:17 AM


Are older mounts better made and working than the new ones?

#10 rmollise

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

Are older mounts better made and working than the new ones?


You mean the StarFinders? Hard to say. The DC powered mounts were more convenient, but I think the original AC model was a little better built.

#11 obin robinson

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:56 PM

Are older mounts better made and working than the new ones?


We polished the internals on my Starfinder 10 GEM and tuned the mount so it would be suitable for photography. While we redid the internals we noticed the machining was actually not bad. The old Meade GEM internals definitely look higher quality than the newer LXD55 GEM internals. So yes the old GEMs were actually made quite nicely.

obin :)

#12 orion61

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:08 PM

I had a German eq with a 2120 10" SCT that thing was Ratty,
tight and the bushings were poorly fit, nowhere nearly as good as a Vixen/Super Polaris, not a pier, but a German GEM
just the same sorry.. the A/C Meade mounts were pretty nice.
Accutrac drive correctors come up, worth the little extra pain for a better tracking and built mount in my opinion.
No plastic where plastic shouldn't be. Gears were much better... Makes me have an urge for another 8" F6 Meade...
Anybody up for a C8 swap....lol

#13 orlyandico

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:23 PM

Here's an interesting tidbit I learned on these forums..

The very first Astro-Physics mounts (older even than the steampunk AP800 from the mid-late 1980s) were actually Meade equatorials... with the worm gear replaced with a Byers.

Seeing as you can still buy the (smallest - 9" or so) Byers gear and worm directly from Ed Byers off ebay - for about $400-ish - it might be an interesting experiment to replicate AP's feat, for someone with $400 to spare on an old Meade mount.

#14 Geo.

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

The GEM 2120s sold on Hino (Mizar) mounts, later on Lin (Taiwan) mounts and then the LXD650. The Hino mounts have a good reputation.

The Starfinder 6/10 mounts go for about $150. They look a lot like the old Pacific Instruments GEM. The DC drives are similar to the LX50s, both in their design and their reliability. Main problem is the PIC 16C57 microprocessor is not hardened enough for the intended use. Static or other effects scramble their little brains and motor control goes south. Makes more sense to me to move the electronics to an easily repaired/replaced circuit like the Covington Alcor (www.ai.uga.edu/mc/alcor.html) and run the AC motor.

I've got this idea to mount an ex-Super C8 Byers' gear set to RA, an ex-Meade LX3 worm gear to Dec and goto drive it with ex-LS motors and a DS2000 motor control board. Just got to find out what the LS gearing and encoder counts are. All this because the Dob Starfinder 8's base finally fell apart :foreheadslap:






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