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Hello everyone - Lots of questions from a newbie.

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#26 Panza

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 02:28 AM

I'll start looking for a used mount then.

lol :) That's so true Jeff.

Then to the question of where to buy the OTA + other pieces:

Which shops in the USA ships Meade OTA's abroad ?

List:
10" LX200R OTA
3 eyepieces suggested by Ben
2" diagonal (Williams or alternative as the Williams doesn't seem to be sold many places)
Dewbuster

#27 Neil

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:29 AM


Which shops in the USA ships Meade OTA's abroad ?

List:
10" LX200R OTA
3 eyepieces suggested by Ben
2" diagonal (Williams or alternative as the Williams doesn't seem to be sold many places)
Dewbuster


Hi Panza,

A few shops are willing to ship OTA's abroad from the states, but personally I would not do it. As many on this forum have experienced, some of the shipping materials Meade uses aren't the best (even for shipping within the US) so to have one shipped from the states direct to your door would fill me with dread.

Can you not use a local dealer in Norway or Europe?, surely this is the best solution, a little more expensive but at least the dealer/shop will get the first look at the blue tube rather than you.

Good luck with your descision...... :cool:

Regards, Neil.

#28 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 09:48 AM

Which shops in the USA ships Meade OTA's abroad ?


Officially, none. However, some will, and there are also ways to route it via a USA address (e.g. friends/family or forwarding services).

But, as Neil says, I wouldn't. To put it bluntly, Meade quality control is not good right now, so there is certainly a reasonable chance you'll need dealer support with whatever you buy. Importing saves a bit of money up front (not as much as it might seem, once you add in shipping, tax etc) but you are on your own if anything goes wrong.

#29 Panza

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 10:17 AM

I realize the drawbacks of importing but I'm sorry to say that the norwegian prices on Meade products makes it a lot more interesting than with the prices you have in the UK.
Savings wil be an estimated 50% when shipping and taxes are accounted for.
I'll consider getting just the OTA here though as it seems to be a small % of the total cost :) Will let you know how things go. Still would like more input on mounts :)

#30 impakt

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:54 AM

Panza - You are where I was 3 months ago. This is what I ended up with...

I just took delivery of a 12" LX200R - I can't even get it out of the box by myself! And thats without the tripod. As per the good advice of the folks here, I wanted a Tak NJP but the cost of the mount alone was equal to 90% of my entire budget! What to do? I am mounting my scope on a pier and I am making a solid stainless steel plate at 35' angle (my lat) as a replacement for a wedge. It's not ideal for imaging but it's better than alt/az or a Meade wedge.

For dew control I bought a Kendrick dew heater.
Eye pieces: 35mm Panoptic, 16mm type 5 nagler, 9mm type 4 nagler. I'll get a 2x 2" barlow later. I went for the nagler's because of the long focal length of the 12" (and it is nice to have good EP's after using $10 junk plossles for ten years!).

Other junk I bought: JMB solar filter, DSI II Pro with filters, Losmandy counterweight and guide scope plate/rings, Meade 5000 80mm Apo guide scope, DSLR focus and cables, Shoestring GBUSB serial-usb adapter.

I will be getting some filters later to try my hand at narrow band imaging.

Anyway, trust me - no matter what you go with, you'll be both happy and jacked off at the same time. Thats why I need to win a lottery so I can buy hubble once the new space telescope is launched! :-P

#31 Panza

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 12:48 AM

lol :) I have a feeling it will be the same for me impakt :)

I have put together my list now, let me know if I need something else:

Meade 10" LX200R - OTA
William Optics - 2" Quartz Dielectric Mirror Star Diagonal for SCT's
Televue 12mm Nagler type-4
Televue 20mm Nagler type-5
Televue 35mm Panoptic
Kendrick Digifire 7 Dew Controller $115
AstroStrap Dew Heater for 10" Telescopes
AstroStrap Dew Heater for 2" eyepiece
T-thread adapter is [ME-07352]
T-ring is [CE-93419]
Celestron - CGE German Equatorial GoTo Mount
10” dovetail bar (LO-DM10) $79
Camera mount (LO-DCM1) $99
Reducer

#32 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 01:36 AM

That looks like a good list to me!

I prefer the Dew Buster controller to the Kendrick, but that's a pretty minor thing.

As for the reducer, you need to be careful to avoid the common SCT reducer/flatteners (like, I believe, Meade or Celestron's f/6.3 reducer) because the LX200R already has a flat field and those reducers will introduce field curvature. The Astro-Physics 27TVPH is supposed to be very good with the RCX/LX200R telescopes, although it isn't very cheap.

#33 Panza

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 04:06 AM

Thank you very much Ben, good thing you mentioned the reducers not to buy.

The people at Optcorp said that the Kendrick has: "when turned on 20% for example have a 20% power flow going to the heater at all times meaning no fluctuations in the temperature".
They don't seem to stock the Dewbuster either. Why is the Dewbuster better ?

#34 impakt

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:19 AM

Panza - that's a great shopping list - you're going to love it I'm sure. Not that I'd know since I'm still waiting for my tripod to arrive :(

#35 bwskyward

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:40 PM

Panza,

Looks like a very impressive list of gear. I have been using an RCX 12" for more than 2years now. I attend numerous star parties with this telescope which means you have a lot of folk's with different skill levels looking through your telescope. I found that the electronic focuser was getting a real work out, not to mention lots of hands on the controler, which caused some problems. I am one of the old time guys that likes a manual focuser, therefore I put one on my RCX. This worked out great and solved several problems with different people "fat fingering" the controller buttons. You might give this some consideration if there will be numerous people using the telescope. It may save you from a electronic focuser problem down the road. It also looks like you have given the eye-piece selection a lot of consideration. A few weeks ago I aquired a Televue 22mm type4. This eye-piece in my RCX is nothing short of fantastic. You might consider the 22mm type4 in place of the 20mm type5. I think it would be a comfortable fit after the 12mm type4. Best of luck.

BWskyward.

#36 Panza

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:52 AM

Hi BWskyward.

Thanks for your input. I will be getting the LX200R and that has a manual focuser i belive. If i had the money to go to an RCX I would do like you and get a manual focuser. Although I'm only (?) 32 I still like the mechanical stuff better. Keep it simple stupid :)

Why is the 22mm eyepiece better/more comfortable than the 20mm ?

#37 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:24 AM

Why is the 22mm eyepiece better/more comfortable than the 20mm ?


The type-4 Naglers have more eye relief than the 20mm type-5 has, which makes them a bit more comfortable. I wouldn't call the 20T5 uncomfortable, but eye relief certainly is more limited. I prefer the 20mm because I find it sharper than the type-4s, but both the 20mm and 22mm Naglers are fantastic eyepieces so there's no "wrong answer".

However, the 35mm Panoptic doesn't offer a huge increase in field of view over the 22 T4 (0.89 degrees vs. 0.71, the 20mm T5 gives 0.63 degrees FOV) so if you did go for the 22mm then the 41mm Panoptic would probably be a better buy than the 35mm (that give 1.1 degrees FOV at 61x magnification) to keep the eyepieces well spaced out.

#38 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:28 AM

The people at Optcorp said that the Kendrick has: "when turned on 20% for example have a 20% power flow going to the heater at all times meaning no fluctuations in the temperature".
They don't seem to stock the Dewbuster either. Why is the Dewbuster better ?


The Dewbuster allows you to keep the 'scope at a certain temperature above the dewpoint, and just applies enough power to do that. The Kendrick applies constant power, regardless of whether it's needed or not.

I generally run my Dewbuster at +4 above dewpoint and forget about it. Don't think i've ever had to adjust it - or even think about it - since I got it.

#39 Panza

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 02:40 AM

That sounds like a good solution. Does the dewbuster have a sensor so i adjusts the power according to the temperature and dewpoint ?

#40 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 02:48 AM

Does the dewbuster have a sensor so i adjusts the power according to the temperature and dewpoint ?


Yes it does.

http://dewbuster.com...r/dewbuster.htm

#41 Panza

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:24 AM

I read it and I agree with you that it's a much better solution than the Kendrick. :) Thanks again for guiding me, you have definitely saved me a lot of trouble. I'll buy you a beer or a coffee if you ever come to Lillehammer.

Just edited to say I ordered the Dewbuster now.

#42 mclewis1

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:56 AM

Sigmund,

There is an early model Kendrick controller that works as described by Ben, we'll call this the first generation. Then came the DewBuster and it added the temperature feedback control, the benefit is that you don't have to keep adjusting it if the temperature changes over an evening, we'll call this the second generation. Kendrick then introduced the Digifire series with more controls than the first generation and the option of temperature sensing, also a second generation product. The Kendrick Digifire with temperature sensing is roughly equivalent to the DewBuster.

There is now a third generation product from Kendrick that gives you more control over the temperature following capabilities and humidity points.

Having said all this I still agree with Ben, the DewBuster seems to cover all of my dew management needs.

It's nice to see some Norwegians on this forum ... I've got relatives a little north of you (Trondheim, Bodo, and Kirkenes).

#43 Panza

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:54 PM

Hi Mark.

The Dewbuster looked nice and simple too. The Kendricks had more bells and whistles but as you say: What more do you need than to keep the dew away :)

Kirkenes is more than a little north of me. 2500km or something :)

I have a huge number of relatives in Minnesota, and some in Iowa. I was to Northfield last summer.

#44 Robin Lee

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 11:06 AM

Have you considered Pete Peterson's Eyeopener II? EZ Clutch kit? Buck's Drive tune-up? Get-A-Grip for easier handling? Bob Knobs for collimation? Vibration isolation pads? Baader solar visual film? Portable battery? Binoviewer for 3D view? Green laser for showing public the sky that you are pointing? UHC Filter to enhance the view of nebula?

Don't curse me for listing all the things above. ;)

#45 Panza

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 11:11 AM

LOL :) I won't curse you.

I read about the knobs but the other stuff I don't know what to do with. I'll get a celestron battery though.
If you can explain a little about the stuff I'll think about it.

#46 Panza

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 11:45 AM

- Do I need the eyeopener to fit the 2" diagonal ?
- I'll get a Celestron CGE mount so I guess the Clutch kit and drive tuen-up are out ?

#47 Robin Lee

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 07:43 AM

You can avoid EZ Clutch kit, Buck's Drive tune-up and Get-A-Grip now. You don't need the eyeopener to attach your diagonal. By the way, using the eyeopener will benefit the 35mm Panoptics. You may refer to this list about which eyepieces will be benefited. I am not sure whether it helps when doing imaging. Someone please clarify this as I am interested to know too.

Do you mind me to hijack your thread? Hehe~ How fast can an equatorial mount be setup up for visual observing? What about imaging? Is the 2 stars alignment more than enough or polar alignment is the only way to align for imaging?

#48 LLEEGE

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 07:53 AM

Figure an hour to set up and drift align the setup.

#49 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 07:59 AM

~ How fast can an equatorial mount be setup up for visual observing? What about imaging? Is the 2 stars alignment more than enough or polar alignment is the only way to align for imaging?


It depends.

For visual I put my HEQ5 down facing roughly north and one-star align. Takes about a minute. Goto puts the object in the finder 'scope, then I centre it manually. That's good enough for almost all the visual observing I do.

For imaging, I can get arcminute polar alignment in under ten minutes for the AP1200 using PoleAlignMax. It's awesome. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work with my HEQ5 either, although I haven't tried. It does need CCDSoft or MaximDL though, plus something to plate solve, so the software requirements are quite steep.

#50 Robin Lee

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 05:03 PM

Oh~ How much is the PoleAlignMax? I am suddenly interested in GEM as Scott told me that he can modify G11 to work in 2º latitude at no extra cost.

Panza, are you going to mount your scope in an observatory?


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