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meade 2080

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#1 stevenk

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:39 PM

I have always owned classic long FL refractors and reflectors but never an SCT, for one reason or another. Recently however the opportunity arose and I purchased an almost mint Meade 2080 8 inch serial no 823073. When I saw the scope I realised it was not an LX10 that it had been advertised as. The seller was the brother in law of the owner who had recently and sadly passed away, as a result he believed it was what it was not. Regardless,I bought the scope for a fair price, with its original case and all accessories, including ccd cameras that have RA plugs that I don't know how to use. I was aware of the reputation these early scopes had, but took the chance anyway.

I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised with this scope apart from a bit of dust, mechanically it is excellent and optically it seems great, given that I have no other SCT to compare it against. I am also converted to this design. I do know for a fact that the scope is not perfectly collimated as out of focus star images and rings are off centre but I am getting some magnificent images off centre. The motor drive is also quite accurate although a bit of a pain as it requires 240v and cannot be run from a 12v car power plug

As mentioned, Star images off centre are perfect and planetary images are fantastic, I have never seen Saturn so clearly before.

How would you guys rate these scopes? I believe the one I have could not possibly be from the early eighties. The coatings are all perfect and the mirrors are again pristine.
I attach a picture of the scope and an accompanying image of Saturn

Steve

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#2 stevenk

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:40 PM

Optics of the SCT

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#3 stevenk

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:42 PM

Here is an image I have taken with the Meade 2080 at prime focus using a cheap web cam.
The skies were cloudy in Melbourne and I found focusing a real Problem as the focus keeps jumping but I did the best I could and managed to get an image.
Steve

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#4 jgraham

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:50 PM

Wow, what a beautiful scope! I don't ever recall hearing any negative comments about the optics in the 2080. These were built before the run-up to comet Halley in 1986 which is the period when the optics in some of the production SCTs became spotty.

Enjoy!

#5 stevenk

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 01:47 AM

Thanks John - I have heard negative comments about the 2080 in fact- I have no way of knowing the age of this scope

Steve

#6 jgraham

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:13 AM

I have seen very few SCTs from Meade or Celestron with questionable optics outside of the Halley era. In almost every case that I've seen for myself the problem was either poor colimation or poor thermal stability. It is amazing how many scopes I've 'fixed' by aligning them properly.

#7 stevenk

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:57 AM

Thanks John. i had heard that the 2080s had questionable optics. Any idea if you can associate year of manufacture by the serial number? Also I am a little afraid of trying collimation

#8 jgraham

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:40 AM

Not that I'm aware of. I took a quick look at the telescope blue book and it looks like the 2080s were built long before the Halley era. So, they are before the spotty QA/QC from that period, but they are fairly early in Meade's production of SCT optics, so it wouldn't surprise me that some were better than others. Collimating an SCT is fairly easy, just use a light touch. You should be able to find a manual for your scope on Meade's web site. All of the Meade SCT manuals have the basic procedure.

#9 Raginar

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 05:10 PM

I had a 10" f/6.3 from that era. It was pretty awesome. I wish I hadn't sold it.

If you're happy with it, that's all that matters bro :).

#10 stevenk

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:37 AM

Thanks Chris

#11 shawnhar

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:04 AM

Great looking scope, congrats!

#12 Binojunky

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:21 PM

Nice looking example, good shot of Saturn, enjoy the scope, DA.

#13 stevenk

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:29 AM

Thanks Guys, I am converted to SCTs I think having had refractors. Images are very good and I would say refractor quality. It could be the increase in diameter that makes the difference however.

Also the image of Saturn was actually much sharper visually using a Russian 7.5mm eyepiece and it was easier to focus visually as well

My best
Steve

#14 stevenk

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:37 AM

Not that I'm aware of. I took a quick look at the telescope blue book and it looks like the 2080s were built long before the Halley era. So, they are before the spotty QA/QC from that period, but they are fairly early in Meade's production of SCT optics, so it wouldn't surprise me that some were better than others. Collimating an SCT is fairly easy, just use a light touch. You should be able to find a manual for your scope on Meade's web site. All of the Meade SCT manuals have the basic procedure.


John I will give it a try over the weekend and report back.
Also I found the actual manual for the 2080 - thanks for the tip

Steve

#15 rmollise

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:31 AM

Not that I'm aware of. I took a quick look at the telescope blue book and it looks like the 2080s were built long before the Halley era. So, they are before the spotty QA/QC from that period, but they are fairly early in Meade's production of SCT optics, so it wouldn't surprise me that some were better than others. Collimating an SCT is fairly easy, just use a light touch. You should be able to find a manual for your scope on Meade's web site. All of the Meade SCT manuals have the basic procedure.


Well...sort of. The 2080 was available off and on in various configurations--mostly "on"--all the way into the 1990s. Meade didn't have much success with their pre-LXD55 GEM SCTs as their bargain scopes. That role was filled by the 2080 for a long, long time. ;)

#16 jgraham

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:37 AM

Coolness. Bottom line; if you're getting good images when the telescope is aligned and thermally stable, then you've got a winner! If you're planning on doing a fair amount of high resolution observing (high magnification stuff) then something like a Lymax Cat Cooler is a good investment. I bought one for my 10" SCTs and it quickly became one of my favorite accessories.

#17 abe

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:42 PM

Hi.

I'd just like to chime in favor of good old Blue. I bought a Meade 2080 back in high school in the 1980s with my paper route money. In the decades since, I've tried out Russian Maks, refractors, a couple of Celestrons etc. and I keep reluctantly coming back to the notion that the 2080 was/is still probably my best overall scope.

A few things that come to mind:
- Excellent all metal construction - nicely cast mirror cell and mount, knobs are beautifully machined steel, machined aluminum setting circles, zero plastic.
- Everything is proportioned correctly - not too light in some places and too heavy in other places (which always seems to be the case with most scope mounts).
- The standard tripod is super stable and just the right height.
- The ergonomics are just right - knob placement, the forks are easy to hold without cutting into your palms etc.
- Mechanics are excellent - both axes always move smoothly regardless of temperature, the locks work well, slow motion controls are smooth and consistent etc.
- Collimation is always spot on.
- Excellent optics with neutral color balance and good contrast.
- Beautiful blue tube and black castings - prettier than Meade's modern models. Combined with the machined aluminum setting circles (ooh, shiny!), I think it's as nice to look at as to look through.

On the 2080, everything is just right and makes sense. I look at most telescopes and mounts today and there's always something annoying that's poorly designed or doesn't make any sense to me from a usability perspective. With any sort of design, occasionally magic happens and it ends up just right. I feel like the 2080 is like that - it started with the almost perfect C8 design and just upped it by a very slight notch.

Newer scopes may have an edge in technology and perhaps even slightly in optics, but from a purely design, construction, and functionality perspective, so far nothing beats old Blue.

-abe.

#18 stevenk

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:17 AM

Uncle Rod, JOhn and Abe .. Thanks

#19 Geo.

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:43 PM

The first Meade 8" SCT was the 2080 on the mains powered fork. For OZ it would have to have a 220v, 50 cycle drive and a reversed motor. Meade discontinued the mains powered mount in '95 when the LX10 was introduced. The LX10 replaced the synchronous motor with a battery powered motor controlled by a very crude and variable timing circuit.

Interesting factoid: when Meade introduced the LX200 they used the worm wheel from the 2080 mount for the Dec drive. The RA drive was a more cheaply made helical cut gear while the Dec had the 2080's nice housed worm wheel. I used the wheel from a 2080 mount recently to replace a worn Dec gear on a LX200.

Got an 8" ACF coming, pebble blue=8( Think Meade would have taken a lesson from Celestron's Velvettone adventure. We'll see if it can push the carbon fiber C8 off it's perch.

#20 stevenk

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:59 AM

Hi George
Thats really interesting- and you are absolutely right about the 220v 50hz Australian mains requirement.

Its strange how these scopes generally dont get too much of a positive wrap, but as you and others have mentioned the build quality is amazing and I am really impressed with the optics. I am used to 10 inch newtonians and Polarex and Royal Astro refractors, all of which I love, again because of their optics - but this little SCT has really got me - its portability and its views, and not to mention the viewing comfort.

I just wish I knew when it was made, just because I am curious. Just as you and Uncle Rod mention, it may well be from the 90s.

Thanks George

Steve

#21 jgraham

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:40 PM

If you ever open it up you might see if there are any dates on the printed circuit boards.

#22 stevenk

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:10 AM

Hey John
Thats a great idea but I am not sure I am game.
But if the need ever arises, it might satisfy my curiosity

Steve

#23 Geo.

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:11 PM

There may be a manufacturer's date on the drive motor.

#24 stevenk

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 05:17 AM

George that may be right - again I am hesitant however

I am curious about another thing. I have been contacted by an owner of an 8 inch LX10 - he has advised that he would like to offer me the LX10 in exchange for the 2080 - he mentions that the optics would be better on his but he would like to swap as there is an emotional tie to the old model. Is there a difference in the optics guys ?

Steve

#25 rmollise

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:12 AM

Is there a difference in optics? The only way to tell would be by TESTING the optics. Is it possible the optics are better in the LX10? Yes. The main advantage? The LX10 comes with a hand control and is powered by a 9-volt battery.






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