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Intes Micro Alter M603: Thumbs up!

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#1 Garfield

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:47 PM


Hello All!

Just thought I'd drop a quick note and pic of my new Intes Micro M603 to follow up on my post a while back inquiring about a 6" or 7" MAK as a convenient portable planetary scope. After a lot of thought I decided to go with the 6" M603, figuring that it would provide me with the best mix of portablity and performance on the moon and planets that I was looking for. I also decided the ~35% CO of the F/10 should provide sufficient contrast for a 6 incher, noting that the ~30% CO's of the TEC-6 and M615 wasn't that much better.

Initially I placed a want ad on AM which attracted offers of an M703, an M715 and a couple of M500's, but no 6 inchers were offered up. There were a few TEC 6's around but I couldn't see paying more than twice the money over what I got from Mike at ITE, which is a new 1/8th wave M603.

I've only had it for a couple of weeks and so far am using it on a Manfrotto 075B tripod w/501 head until my Lapides modified Teegul that I have on order shows up. I specifically bought the M603 for the moving-mirror focuser so I could use it with my binoviewer, but I got an unexpected bonus! If you look at the pic carefully you can just make out the Denkmeier dual-arm powerswitch below the Baader Mark IV binoviewer that I normally use on my Portaball newt. I didn't expect to be able to use the powerswitch, but hey, it works, so why not?! :grin:

The scope arrived in a hard-padded case with an 8x50(?) finder (which I replaced with an 8x50 right-angle amici) and 2" Intes diagonal with 1-1/4" adapter. A quick star test showed the scope to be well collimated.

I've only had it out under the moon and Jupiter a couple of nights but am very pleased with its performance. Even though Jupiter is receding in the early evening sky, several equatorial bands were obvious and I was able to pick out the GRS, although it was colourless. A two/three-day old waxing Moon was impressive too even though it was quite low in a murky, humid sky. I was very impressed with the tight star images which showed as very small dots, although not quite the pinpoints one would see in a high-end APO refractor.

I've owned a TV-85 and several 100mm refractors including an ED that I used to use for lunar/planetary quick looks but found them all lacking in aperture to deliver the power and brighness needed for satifying "quick-look" viewing with my binoviewer when I don't want to roll my 12.5" Portaball out. (And I get to observe sitting in a chair now, too!)

The cool-down time is a non-issue right now since there isn't any. Of course the fall and winter will be more of a test.

In summary, I'd have to say my early experience with the M603 suggests that I should be happy with this cost effective, compact 6" optical package. In fact, so far I'm impressed enough with the Mak's performance that some day I may pursue a larger Mak for more dedicated lunar/planetary observing.

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#2 CigTech

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 09:14 AM

Very nice set up you got there.

#3 ezrider23

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 09:56 AM

very nice!!!! I think you made a wise decision going with this scope.

#4 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:00 AM

Hi Garfield.
Great looking scope you got there!
These days, we're dealing more with "warm up" issues, huh?
;)
Do you know what sort of coatings the mirrors have?


Have fun with your "big Mak"! :grin:


Clive.

#5 Garfield

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:50 AM

Thanks Guys! I'll be experimenting with some further mods and mounts and will post updates together with my longer term impressions in due course.

Clive:

The scope is just the current standard version M603 (non-sitall). Its my understanding that all these now come with "ehnanced coatings" or whatever. To be truthful I don't pay too much attention to the coatings; seems to me paying extra bucks for enhanced/dialetric coatings is an expensive way to gain a couple more percent light thoughput. If I really need more light, I'll buy a bigger scope!! :smirk:

#6 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 12:17 PM

Thanks Guys! I'll be experimenting with some further mods and mounts and will post updates together with my longer term impressions in due course.

Clive:

The scope is just the current standard version M603 (non-sitall). Its my understanding that all these now come with "ehnanced coatings" or whatever. To be truthful I don't pay too much attention to the coatings; seems to me paying extra bucks for enhanced/dialetric coatings is an expensive way to gain a couple more percent light thoughput. If I really need more light, I'll buy a bigger scope!! :smirk:


No problem, Garfield.
If you like what you see thru the scope, that's great.
FWIW, the actual difference might be more than a couple of percent. Taking the worst case (overcoated aluminum) you're at 88% reflectivity. Compared to an enhanced Al coating, which might offer 96% reflectivity, in a two mirror system, the enhanced coatings will deliver 15% more brightness. If your scope has enhanced Al coatings, the improvement going to dielectric wouldn't be as significant.
The extra cost would be more noticeable! ;)

Clear skies,

Clive.

#7 Garfield

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:33 PM

Thanks Clive. Of course your points are quite valid. Don't get me wrong, I'll take the enhanced coatings over non any day - as long as I don't have to pay a premium for it!


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