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How To Put a Meade 5000 on a Diet!

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#26 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:45 AM

Such a great idea (use a label maker to re-label the focl lengths)!


Thanks. Maybe I could even get Meade to re-engrave them for me? :lol:

The 30mm's eyecup is absolutely huge--I'd bet a half pound savings when removed.


At least as much me thinks. Would be cubic measure to the smaller models. My junky plastic kitchen scale unfortunately won't indicate the weight loss of the 24mm UWA :( Will need go to the post office or grocery store and add that data later...sorry.

These huge eyecups just aren't justified.


They sure are looking funnier all the time! :rofl5:

#27 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:47 AM

Meade 24mm UWA...

AWESOME EYEPIECE!

kinda big and heavy though :question:

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#28 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:51 AM

Huh? A wolf in black sheeps clothing? (no offense to Meade intended)

NOTE: the rubber covering on this model is so big it takes considerably more prying effort to remove than the smaller models.

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#29 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:54 AM

Ah...yes! And what a venerable wolf she is!

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#30 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:56 AM

And a more squared on view to better reference the difference.

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#31 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:58 AM

Pentax 40mm XW to the stock Meade 24mm UWA.

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#32 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:00 AM

And the Pentax to the NEW Meade 24mm UWA.

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#33 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:03 AM

The Meade 28mm SWA to the newly done 24mm UWA.

Of note, the 28mm is perfect in every way already and needs no revisions. Is a sleeper IMO and not sure why there seems to be so many for sale second-hand. Mine is a definite keeper!

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#34 alanon

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:14 AM

Ok... This really begs the question. Why would they add so much weight and bulk to their EP? What do you guys think made Meade make their EPs look like this? :shrug:

#35 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:19 AM

Last image. Body diameter now at 64mm. The stripped 24mm UWA is a little heavier than a stock Meade 28mm SWA and just slightly more so than a Pentax 40mm XW. Until I can get an accurate weight for it (tomorrow?) this is all I have to give some idea. Is still a heavy piece since a lot of glass within. However, the new smaller diameter body makes for a sigificant improvement with eye placement! There is a much better "connection" made, if it were, with eye against the field stop. It should really perform better now with a notably higher viewing impact! :jump:

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#36 erik

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:35 AM

Ok... This really begs the question. Why would they add so much weight and bulk to their EP? What do you guys think made Meade make their EPs look like this? :shrug:

To sell more ep's, I'd imagine. I mean, the 5000's do look pretty cool and futuristic. But with a dob, give me the lighter weight any day! :)

#37 alanon

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:50 AM

I have used a friends 30 mm Meade UWA and it is a nice EP, but it made my 31T5 Nagler look streamline. I would think that the lighter more streamline look would be more of a selling point. I think the stripped down 24 he has a couple posts back actually looks nice I like the bare bones look of some EPs. Look at the 34 or 36mm Siebert Observatory Grade. They seem really professional looking. Starpal has the right idea here. it not only looks nice, but it is certainly more functional for weight and diameter reasons. This is a cool modification to an already nice performing EP. :cool:

#38 Eddgie

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:37 AM

THIS was a GREAT post. I wrote a review of the 18mm, and the most serious complaint I had was the stupidly bulky housing. I am on a business trip right now, but I can't WAIT to get home and rip off the housing of my 18mm. I lOVE the eyepiece optically, but the housing is a joke.

THANKS!

#39 astrodon

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:23 AM

I bet this would make it easier for some to view the entire field as they could get their eye on-axis without bumping the housing with their cheek.
It'd be fun to go to a star party and plop one of those in your scope, then everyone would be asking you what kind of eyepiece it was.

#40 Chopin

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:52 PM

Starpal, this is an excellent thread. Thankyou for doing the dirty work. I have to say, I am a fan of form following function/simplicity. These EPs look fantastic in the sleek, plain black barrel.

#41 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:47 PM

alanon,
I feel the Naglers (especially ones of the past like the 20mm T2) were too heavy and have always thought they could have been made a little lighter. Even the slightly smaller models were usually seemingly way too "rich" in added metal. A small difference could often be felt between some of the medium to large TeleVue eyepieces and the Meade equivalents of the day. The heft may have been added to make users feel there was really something cool going on. But of course there was!

What I think might be the case with Meade monster size housings today is the impression they give potential buyers perusing the Astronomy shops, etc. The displays are really something else to see and likely often to leave an indelible mark in many a shoppers brain! :lol:

#42 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:50 PM

Thanks, Eddgie, it was much fun and too interesting to leave alone. Wondering where your review is I'd like to read it. I agree the 18mm is an excellent performer. Can't wait to try and binoview the full moon with a pair of them!

#43 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:53 PM

Absolutely and their heads pointed straight ahead as it should be instead of at an angle to the eyepiece. The 24mm UWA with new revision is definitely going to be fun in the field...hopefully soon!

#44 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:56 PM

Thanks and you are welcome, Chopin, I totally agree with the new look being striking with the straightforward lines. Since having "unveiled" the 24mm UWA, I can't decide which to keep, it or the also very nice 28mm SWA :question:

#45 starpal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:09 PM

LATEST 24mm UWA DATA:

Went to the post office and had the fellow their weigh the new streamlined version and also the shed remnant of its old self. The new type 2 model Meade ;) is 23.2 ozs., and the antiquated parts removed at 6.1 ozs. Total stock eyepiece therefore is 29.3 ozs. Not a bad improvement!

In reference, it seems the weight calculations for the other models done with the junky kitchen scale were off by about 15%. IOW, the removed weight for them would be a little bit less than stated further up in this thread. Still by all means the numbers are significant! :cool:

#46 Eddgie

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 09:04 AM

Review is on Astromart. I wrote it about 3 months ago I think.

I compared the 18mm to a 17mm T4 Nagler. As you can imagine, I preferred the eye relief of the T4, but optically, I found the 18mm to be more or less on par with the 17mm Nagler in terms of field sharpness.

It is a long review though, and the single biggest negative I pointed out in the review was the bulk and function of the shroud. I was too kind to say that I "Hated" it, but I clearly didn't LIKE it. In the review I said that I though Meade should loose the big funky shroud.

Again, can't wait to do this to my own 18mm. It looks SOOO much better. Hanging on the back of my C5, the old 18mm looked really silly. Like a big blue easter egg shoved into the diagonal... LOL.

Great work.. Again, thanks for sharing...

#47 starpal

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 03:22 PM

Eddgie,
Yours is an impressive article to review the Meade 18mm UWA that details reasons for and against it using a wide range of equipment, thanks for sharing.
Since we last spoke I've had opportunity testing the new, striking 18mm 5K UWAs paired straight-thru with a small binoviewer on my superb Skywatcher 102 f-5 achromat (see attached). The "lean mean no green 18" :lol: is quite formidable and made a pair of otherwise wonderful Smart Astronomy 19mm EF (extra flat) wide angles redundant. Magnification at 28x for a 3.5mm exit pupil (aka general observation use). Was quite comfortable to look over the wall-to-wall stars!

Additionally, I like the fact that the 18mm won't kidney bean as the 14mm 5K UWA does on bright objects like the moon. That is why I got them. Both BTW are razor sharp on axis fine for planetary, lunar and star clusters. M-42 was also well represented last night in the 18mm with much nebular extension around and off the finely delineated trapezium stars :cool:

In another 5K arena, I also find I prefer the 24mm 5K UWA to the 28mm 5K SWA. The field in the 24mm is somewhat easier to utilize now after its weight loss program, and it is somewhat more comfortable to look over "optically" than the 28mm. The 28mm is definitely no slouch though, it is bright and sharp and the eyecup actually is one that functions PERFECTLY with the embedded optics so as to smoothly adjust upward for that "just right" viewing experience!

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#48 starpal

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 03:25 PM

Side view of Meade 18mm 5K Ultra-wides in small BV :cool:

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#49 Eddgie

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 06:13 PM

Stripped down my 18mm UWA when I got home from my two week business trip.

Before, the lock nut on my 1.25" diagonal would not quite clear the outer housing of the eyepiece, and the eyepiece looked stupid on the C5.

Stripped off the housing and WOW what a difference. The knurled lock screw clears EASILY, and the whole unit simply looks FAR better to me.

Don't know what Meade was thinking with these shrouds. The 18mm UWA is on par optically with the 17mm nagler as far as field sharpness goes, but it was in that AWEFUL housing.

For me personally, this was one of the most helpful postings I have seen in a while. The 18mm was clunky in the C5, but now it is just about PERFECT. I wouldn't have tried to take it apart had someone not blazed the path.

Thanks!

#50 starpal

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 01:58 AM

Don't know what Meade was thinking with these shrouds.


Mutant Ninja Turtles?? :roflmao:

Glad it went well and that the thread was helpful to you!


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