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Charlie HeinAdministrator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/02/03

Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
The Unsung Hero
      #5434112 - 09/22/12 09:57 AM

The Unsung Hero

By Malcolm Bird


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Nathan Spitzer
super member


Reged: 03/24/09

Loc: Charles Town, WV
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5434155 - 09/22/12 10:33 AM

Totally agree that this type of scope can be awesome for what you get. One thing to watch for on Ebay-Craigslist is for vintage Japanese scopes of this type.

I have a 4 1/2 inch Towa dating to sometime in the 70's that I paid $25 for plus the so-so mount. It has a very nicely ground parabolic mirror and throws up great images of the moon and planets. I plan on remounting its clamshell on my MIZAR mount from a vintage Meade 6600. Combined it should be a great combo.


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BoriSpider
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/10/04

Loc: S.W.FLA
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Nathan Spitzer]
      #5434281 - 09/22/12 11:43 AM

I was hoping to see pics up in here.
I have a Meade 114NT that they sold on their
outlet website for like $50. One day it will
be a mini-dob.


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johnthomas
super member
*****

Reged: 10/18/11

Loc: Oklahoma City
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: BoriSpider]
      #5435586 - 09/23/12 07:48 AM

Enjoyed the read too. Although I have others (bigger & smaller), my 4.5 has become my "favorite" scope. Not the best, not the MOST portable, but still my favorite.

I have mine on a alt/az pipe mount (on top of a portable wood "pier") with a tiny digital level & an azimuth circle. Love it.


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cheapersleeper
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: johnthomas]
      #5436819 - 09/23/12 07:29 PM

I have one of those tubes on a tall dob mount for my son. When he is not around, I sneak it outside. Around that aperture, things start to be interesting...

Brad


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soupaman
sage


Reged: 07/26/09

Loc: Not sure
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5437096 - 09/23/12 10:20 PM

I have the Meade 'electronic' version. Electronic meaning, the mount. Well, that went into the trash. The scope itself is quite good though. I mounted it on a cg4 in alt az mode. The scopes weekness is definitely the plastic focuser. It doesn't care for heavy eyepieces, or light ones for that matter There's a lot of slop between the ep and the focuser drawtube. Putting some teflon tape inside the drawtube helped a lot with this. Now I don't even need to tighten the set screws. The plastic housing around the secondary isn't the greatest either as it seems to have a hard time holding collimation. But visually, this seems to not have a large affect on views.

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RAK on Tour
member


Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Sedalia, Missouri
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: soupaman]
      #5437225 - 09/23/12 11:55 PM

I have to agree with the article, as well. I just came in from a one-day-past-first-quarter moon observing seesion, and I have to say the moon was just spectacular! I also use a C4-R Celestron refractor, and the performance of my 114mm f/8 reflector has me thinking of selling the refractor - the reflector is that good. I will need to do more side-by-side testing before I make a decision, but what little comparison I have done to date shows very little difference between the two in performance. I have been shocked at how good the reflector performs. Fortunately, I don't have to decide anytime soon...

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ukcanuck
Vendor (Skylight Telescopes)
*****

Reged: 11/07/06

Loc: London, UK
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: RAK on Tour]
      #5437522 - 09/24/12 06:28 AM

My first scope.

The Bushnell is still up in the loft...I'll set it up again someday.

The eyepieces were truly awful. ...when trying to find M51, it simply wasn't visible with the supplied eyepieces...I then inserted a borrowed Meade 26mm super Plossl, and the galaxy became visible.

I ditched the eyepieces and never looked back.


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themos
member


Reged: 04/01/08

Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: ukcanuck]
      #5437795 - 09/24/12 10:20 AM

And they are not too bad for astrophotography either.

M13

Sunspot

Saturn

Jupiter

Mars


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johnthomas
super member
*****

Reged: 10/18/11

Loc: Oklahoma City
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: themos]
      #5437833 - 09/24/12 10:49 AM

impressive photos for 114mm I'd say. Nice Job!

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BoriSpider
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/10/04

Loc: S.W.FLA
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: johnthomas]
      #5437925 - 09/24/12 11:45 AM

RAK on Tour: So you like your 114 better than your C4-R?
Wow, I can't wait to see them side by side myself.


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Ed Holland
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/16/10

Loc: San Jose, CA and Oxford, UK
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: BoriSpider]
      #5438506 - 09/24/12 05:34 PM

My wife bought me one of these from a local Goodwill store three years ago. It really helped transform my budding interest in astronomy. The EQ mount proved fun to learn and the optics are more than capable. It's also ripe for tinkering projects if you are the DIY type (I built a crayford focuser and a better finder).

I still have and use this good little telescope - thanks for writing such a constructive article.

Ed


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Bob Brockway
member
*****

Reged: 03/08/12

Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #5441615 - 09/26/12 12:55 PM

Great read. This was my second scope, the first being a typical department store 60mm refractor. Was I impressed at the upgrade. I then went to an 8" dob. Great views but I started longing for portability. Went to a 4" refractor and honestly, I should have just gone back to my 114. I'll have to dust it off and set it up again.

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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Bob Brockway]
      #5442392 - 09/26/12 08:51 PM

Nice article. I have one of these, but haven't viewed thru it in at least a couple years. I need to get it out and test it side by side with my 80ED scope.

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Mogster
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/14/04

Loc: Manchester, England
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: djeber2]
      #5446715 - 09/29/12 12:26 PM

The supplied eyepieces, barlows and mounts are usually the weak link.

Quite often they are almost unuseable. You could get bargain bucket plossls to make the views decent but how many people are going to do that at this price point.


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Jaimo!
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/11/07

Loc: Exit 135 / 40° North
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Mogster]
      #5446804 - 09/29/12 01:31 PM

Great article, my first scope was a Meade 4500...

Jaimo!


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Perigny270
super member


Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Temiscaming, Quebec
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Jaimo!]
      #5447287 - 09/29/12 07:05 PM

My brother-in-law got a Bushnell version. Once collimated and all the bolts on the mount tightened up it is pretty good. The 0.965" EPs are OK but the FOV is narrow. The Barlow is awful. Putting regular 1.25" Celestron EPs and Barlow is a significant improvement. The scope brings our good oohs and ahs for the moon, planets and double stars.
this was fun - he enjoys the scope and the sky much more now.
You said it all well in your article. Thanks!


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Nathan Spitzer
super member


Reged: 03/24/09

Loc: Charles Town, WV
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5447347 - 09/29/12 07:43 PM

In the ATM section of the November Sky and Telescope they have an article about an improvement to the old-style pipe-mount bearing system that would be perfect for this type of scope. I may just dig out my old copy of "All about Telescopes" and finally try to build one.

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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: Nathan Spitzer]
      #5454345 - 10/03/12 11:30 PM

In the early 1980's I used to drool over scopes like this.
My imagination ran on overtime with curiosity of what could be seen through a telescope that big.
Of course once I had one, and I realized that trying to look through the pea shooter finder when it was pointed at the zenith was a neck breaker,
and trying to see anything but the brightest stars and the Moon through it was an exercise in frustration.
The mount would wobble at the slightest breeze, and the Huygens and Ramsden .965 eyepieces did not show Saturn at 600X quite like it was pictured on the box.
But I loved it anyway, as it was my first "serious" telescope
Nicely written article.

Steve


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ed_turco
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Lincoln, RI
Re: The Unsung Hero new [Re: stevew]
      #5458025 - 10/06/12 02:26 PM

As an ATM, I ran across a couple of these and on a lark refigured the optics to a solid 1/10 wave.

You haven't seen anything until you've looked through one of these that have been refurbished!

Of course, getting some good 1.25" Plossls and a Barlow adds icing to the cake.


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