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Meade 320

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#26 Will

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:43 PM

I have started in on the mount. I'm trying to take plenty of photos as I go. I can put them up if there's interest. The DEC axis is complete, I'll tackle the RA axis tomorrow. Really not much to do here except clean the sticky grease off and re-lube. The bearing surfaces are very smooth as it is. I've done a CG-5 and one low end Celestron mount. This is much better construction.

#27 Jae

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:28 AM

all three have plastic nobs
Jon


Hi Jon, a small point....but the anal types need to know. Would you mind taking another look at the "plastic" knobs ? Like unscrew them and feel the weight and look at the texture ? Siple's article also said plastic but..

Mine looked plastic, but looking closer I'm fairly sure they are anodized metal of sort. Can't be sure without taking out a gouge. ;) Thanks.

Jae

#28 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:22 AM

all three have plastic nobs
Jon


Hi Jon, a small point....but the anal types need to know. Would you mind taking another look at the "plastic" knobs ? Like unscrew them and feel the weight and look at the texture ? Siple's article also said plastic but..

Mine looked plastic, but looking closer I'm fairly sure they are anodized metal of sort. Can't be sure without taking out a gouge. ;) Thanks.

Jae


Jae:

Good catch. The idea that the knobs might be anodized aluminum never occured to me. I removed a nob from the 312 and the 314 and both were identical, obviously metal by their weight. And inspection of the 314 knob showed that the screw head had rubbed through the anodizing and there was a ring of bright shiny aluminum underneath.

So indeed, the 312 and 314 use metal knobs on the focuser.

I tried but was unable to remove the knob from the 320. Inspection shows though that it is clearly plastic, tapping on it gives the dampened sound of plastic rather that the solidity of metal.

So, the more I look, the more I am convinced that Wil is correct, the 310 and the 320 are mates. So that only leaves the question of whether or not there was an alt-az version of the 312 other than the 314 which a brass OTA.

Jon

#29 mikey cee

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:25 AM

JAE....I know where your coming from. My Sears and Selsi scopes have black knobs but they are solid metal. You can take a small pick and scratch the back side in an inconspicuous spot to see. Also at night when the temperature drops the knobs are as cold as the metal tubes..plastic would not give up it's heat like this! ;) ;) Mike

#30 Jae

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:33 PM

Jon, Mike,

Hey you guys made my day ! :jump: :jump:

I wish John Siple would read this one.....I don't think he was convinced when I told him I thought it was metal - but I think he sold his Towa 339 by then.

Btw, I have the alt-az version of the 312 - blue tube as well as the Orion version of the 339. Both Towa I believe.

Jae

#31 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:47 PM

>>>Btw, I have the alt-az version of the 312 - blue tube as well as the Orion version of the 339. Both Towa I believe.

Jae
---

Jae: So, is the Alt-AZ version still called the 312? Is the solution to the my dilemna??

I like the 310 because the mount is sturdier, really a very nice ALT-AZ design and the fact that the tube diameter is 90mm which means it will fit in the Nexstar 80GL mount without any modifications... Of course I have never tried it but it is nice to think about..

jon

#32 Will

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:09 PM

Jon,
Right on all counts. This 310 has a helical cut rack, focuser has a lock, Oversized rings to mount the tube, two rings for the 6x30 finder and a nice metal dust cover with a felt gasket the fits inside the shield.

Mount is nearly finished ...

#33 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:04 PM

Jon,
Right on all counts. This 310 has a helical cut rack, focuser has a lock, Oversized rings to mount the tube, two rings for the 6x30 finder and a nice metal dust cover with a felt gasket the fits inside the shield.

Mount is nearly finished ...


Wil:

Interesting, have you given the scope a try? I think mine is quite good. It is an Achromat so I do expect (and see) false color, my ED-80 does a better job on Rigel, Venus and probably most things but the 310 is a treat and it has that F/11 focal length that provides some wonderful views.

Certainly your mount is a beauty, the 312 mount is very EQ-2 like, adequate for observation but pretty basic.

Jon

#34 Jae

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:38 PM



Jae: So, is the Alt-AZ version still called the 312? Is the solution to the my dilemna??

jon


Yep, still called the 312 on my OTA. I saw a picture of your brass 314 and mine is exactly the same except blue tube, same mount. The slo-mo knobs on the mount are too big and interfere with the ota. The mount should be ideal for a 60mm. Also I agree with you on the optics, very sharp.

Jae

#35 Will

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:41 PM

Somewhere around here I have an old ad with photos or drawings of three models side by side. Two of which are the 310 & 320 I think. I lifted it from a classified ad on the other site. If I find it I'll put it up somewhere.

I have only peeked through the scope I'll let you know how it looks after more time with it. I'm not a good judge. (I'm a newt guy). I'd love to check and adjust the collimation but I have no clue on a refractor.

Check back tomorrow for the "after" pictures. I worked on it all day today and it's about done. The mount has been re-worked, the tube polished, the focuser tuned up and all the accessories cleaned. Guaranteed clouds ...

#36 Will

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:57 PM

Tons of pictures of this little project (so far) are here.
http://www.wsday.com/meade320

Thanks to all who chimed in, I think I have a better idea of what I've got here now. A few things left to do yet. I did take this out last night and the seeing was very poor. I can't say much more than the diffaction rings look uniform both sides of focus. The outermost ring is brighter and a bit wider, the rest very uniform. I have much to learn here.


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