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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Reged: 11/02/03

Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor
      #6043700 - 08/24/13 02:08 PM

Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor

By Terry Nakazono


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pdxmoon
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #6043905 - 08/24/13 04:43 PM

A very excellent review. This corresponds to my experience with this scope. It is a wonderful value.

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Bill Steen
member


Reged: 12/15/12

Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6045880 - 08/25/13 08:19 PM

I am pretty much a fan of the NG series. I purchase NG 70's for my grandchildren, but put 32, 20, 15, and 12.4 mm plossles along with a 2X barlow with them. The series seems to be cleaverly made for the level of scope. I have had no complaints with the recent ones at all.

I have personally used an NG 70 to find and split the Astronomy League's Double Star List, but have wondered how well the original eyepieces and the 60mm version would hold up beyond the Moon and other bright objects.

This was a very well done review with more extensive viewing on rather demanding objects for this level of scope than I have done. This is good information on what I can try to see when I visit my grandchildren as part of their learning experience.

Bill Steen


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6045942 - 08/25/13 08:49 PM

Quote:

A very excellent review. This corresponds to my experience with this scope. It is a wonderful value.



Thanks! I like the fact that it comes with a real mirror star diagonal, so you can take advantage of the wider fields of view that better eyepieces provide. Many other lower end scopes come with terrestrial prism diagonals that serious limit the FOV.

Edited by tnakazon (08/25/13 08:54 PM)


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Bill Steen]
      #6046017 - 08/25/13 09:25 PM

Quote:

I am pretty much a fan of the NG series. I purchase NG 70's for my grandchildren, but put 32, 20, 15, and 12.4 mm plossles along with a 2X barlow with them. The series seems to be cleaverly made for the level of scope. I have had no complaints with the recent ones at all.

I have personally used an NG 70 to find and split the Astronomy League's Double Star List, but have wondered how well the original eyepieces and the 60mm version would hold up beyond the Moon and other bright objects.

This was a very well done review with more extensive viewing on rather demanding objects for this level of scope than I have done. This is good information on what I can try to see when I visit my grandchildren as part of their learning experience.

Bill Steen



It's good to see that you're passing down the hobby to the younger generations, but adding in extra Plossl eyepieces and a 2x Barlow to the package, wow! Let's hope they appreciate these extra goodies...

In the review, I forgot to mention that the MH9 9mm EP has somewhat poor eye relief, despite giving a wider field of view compared to a regular Huygens EP of the same size.

I haven't been much of a double star person in the past (I'm more into star clusters, galaxies and gaseous nebulae), but this scope could easily make me become one.


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Bill Steen
member


Reged: 12/15/12

Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: tnakazon]
      #6047310 - 08/26/13 04:41 PM

These little scopes do well with double stars, at least ones within reason for their diameters.

Something that also helps is to sand rings around the inside of the lens hood and the lens keeper ring, then pain the inside with the flattest, blackest paint you can find. A lot of glare from reflections go away.

I also blacken the edges of the objective lenses with a cone tipped sharpie, using the flat edge and not the point...about two good coats. It makes a big difference in contrast.


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PhaedrusUpshaw
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Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Bill Steen]
      #6049382 - 08/27/13 06:08 PM

Quote:

These little scopes do well with double stars, at least ones within reason for their diameters.

Something that also helps is to sand rings around the inside of the lens hood and the lens keeper ring, then pain the inside with the flattest, blackest paint you can find. A lot of glare from reflections go away.

I also blacken the edges of the objective lenses with a cone tipped sharpie, using the flat edge and not the point...about two good coats. It makes a big difference in contrast.



Thanks for the upgrade information, I just ordered a NG60-SM for a grab and go and I certainly appreciate any information that might make a scope preform better.
Clear skies to all and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill


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Bill Steen
member


Reged: 12/15/12

Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #6049579 - 08/27/13 08:10 PM

Here are a few other things people do with the NG scopes:

Go tot the hardware store and get the right sized bolt with the same threads as the eyepiece tray to thread in the hole from the bottom and stick out the top maybe a quarter of an inch. I do not remember exactly what size that is. Then get a coupling nut in that same thread size. A coupling nut is what you would use to thread two pieces of rod together with that thread size. Put the coupling nut on the bolt where it sticks through the eyepiece tray spider, then screw the tray into that. The tray itself is capable of handling four 1.25 inch eyepieces and four 0.965 ones. With a leg underneath going to each of the three legs of the tripod, one of the 1.25 inch holes gets blocked off and there is not enough clearance between the tray and the leg to really use that one hole. This gives you that fourth hole back.

For stability purposes, one gentleman has hung a bag of old batteries, about four and a half pounds, under the tray. He said that did a pretty good job of stopping the wiggle.

I have undone the pop rivets in the ends of the legs, stuck rods of various types inside and then re-riveted the ends back on to give the tripod a little extra low weight. Most of the time, the scope is ok without it, but it helps if a little bit of a breeze comes along.


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Lowjiber
newbie


Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Las Vegas
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Bill Steen]
      #6122038 - 10/07/13 10:10 AM

I had no idea that collimation of such an inexpensive refractor was possible.

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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
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Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #6122140 - 10/07/13 10:58 AM

Just a note:
Your well composed and comprehensive review is the reason I now have one of these excellent little refractors in my collection and I find I am using quite often due to its portability. Thank you once again for an excellent review.
Clear skies and of course, Keep looking up!
Bill


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Lowjiber]
      #6123947 - 10/08/13 12:42 AM

Quote:

I had no idea that collimation of such an inexpensive refractor was possible.



You adjust the screws holding either 1) the objective assembly end or 2) the focuser end (or both) to the main OTA, until the view through a Cheshire refractor eyepiece shows both ends of the scope aligned with each other. In my experience, most low-end refractors come miscollimated.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #6123966 - 10/08/13 12:55 AM Attachment (61 downloads)

Quote:

Just a note:
Your well composed and comprehensive review is the reason I now have one of these excellent little refractors in my collection and I find I am using quite often due to its portability. Thank you once again for an excellent review.
Clear skies and of course, Keep looking up!
Bill



Thanks - I've taken this scope to an evening party once and people were impressed by the views. This is also a good scope to take the next time I fly to South America to explore the Southern skies.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Bill Steen]
      #6124149 - 10/08/13 05:22 AM

Quote:

These little scopes do well with double stars, at least ones within reason for their diameters.




The double-double is within reason for a good 60mm as was Porrima this summer. Are you able to get decent splits of these doubles with the 70mm version?

Jon


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Bill Steen
member


Reged: 12/15/12

Re: Review of the Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth refractor new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6174371 - 11/03/13 07:55 PM

I used an NG 70 to do the Astronomy League's Double Star List. Even though I had to get a couple of them in a second year when they were in a better position, I managed to split them all.

I have been working over a TerraStar 60, which is a slightly dressed up version of the NG 60. It was a basket case and a drowned rat with some parts missing. Bought a new objective for an NG 60 and a new focuser to get a missing focuser tube. I have had a bit of trouble splitting Epsilon 1 Lyrae, but was able to split Epsilon 2, with the narrower split with little problem. I was using a 6 mm TMB Planetary, a UO HD Ortho 6 mm, and a Meade 5000 series plossle 5.5 mm at different times. I finally got the split on Epsilon 1. I am thinking the cataracts that I have developing were hurting me on the double with the magnitude difference.

In my opinion, the NG 70 is a really sweet little scope.

Both the NG 60 and 70 have trouble with heavier eyepieces. They do not stay in balance well with eyepieces much heavier than a 32 mm Plossl, like the Meade 4000 series. So, watch out with eyepiece weight.

The hole in the original diagonal will fit Meade eyepieces, like the 4000 series Plossles, but I have had trouble with some other brands. So far, I have been able to work one of the eyepieces into the diagonal and leave it there for a few days to stretch out the plastic. I have thought about carefully sanding out the hole a little with very fine sand paper.

Bill Steen


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