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Meade Lightbridge 10" truss dobsonian

dob Meade reflector
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#1 LRedfield

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:52 PM

This will be a basic review as I am not an accomplished astronomer.

 

Very pleased with this scope, durable and well thought out. These Lightbridge scopes can be very eyecatching at events, they look exotic I guess and draw a lot of attention. The open truss so far has not been very vulnerable to stray light; I think this is because the upper and lower tubes are fairly deep and provide protection. The construction is steel for tubes, aluminum for truss rods, and fine particleboard for the base. Overall this unit is much heavier than I expected, especially the lower tube. Combination of a heavy mirror and cell makes the base especially heavy. This has an advantage in that it keeps the 'hinge' low, but it makes it a job to carry around, even when disassembled. This scope is the most vulnerable to temperature changes of any scope I have used; a cool down is a must. My unit will not hold collimation when assembled, even with the truss rods marked for proper placement. A laser coll is required on my unit, and sometimes even during viewing if the truss rods shrink during the night.

 

The 2" eyepiece feature is most welcome, especially for a smaller unit. I highly recommend 2" eyepieces, especially wide field as they really open up this scope. Narrow field eyepieces on this are a waste. Eyepiece FL is good down to maybe 12-15mm, but eyepieces 9mm and less get pretty fuzzy. Focus unit is basic and kinda clumsy, but adequate. Steel tubes mean mods such as new mounts can be added easily, like working on a car you can hammer, drill, weld with abandon as it will cause no harm. This scope is surprisingly resistant to dewing, I am usually the last in the star party to call it quits when humidity strikes. If dew does form it is more likely on the secondary than the main, making it easy to remove.

 

LIke many owners I added a carrying handle to the base, this works wonders and is a must do modification.



#2 AZ_SkyWatcher

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 08:24 AM

How is your collimation?  How is the seeing in your area?  A 9mm eyepiece only translates into 138x and you should be able go at least double that with no appreciable breakdown in image quality.  Your seeing will be limited by conditions, mirror quality and collimation.



#3 DaveG

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:42 PM

I haven't had first light with mine yet, but I'm overall happy with the build quality and it is a great looking telescope. I did have a few issues however, like one of the holes in the UTA for the truss tube wasn't tapped. A trip to the hardware store fixed this.



#4 SteveG

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:29 PM

It's been my deep sky work horse for the last 8 years or so. I purchased an early variant, and powdercoated the tube-rings and truss poles black.

 

I had my primary mirror tested, before the warranty period ran out, and it tested pretty good, but sadly that test was in error and after several years of messing around with the scope I finally determined the mirror was quite bad (severe astigmatism). It's got a new GSO that checks out very good now.

 

The weight in the lower tube is actually a counterweight, and yes, it's a heavy beast. I agree on the looks, and the LB has the best motions of any (low-cost) commercial dob I've ever used.

 

Mine came with a really bad single-speed focuser. It now has a Moonlite. I agree, the scope looks cool, and doesn't dew up as easy as others.

 

Other Mod's I've done:

Added rear baffle to trap & move air up the tube.

Added a ring baffle directly in front of the primary to move the air across the front of the mirror.

Added Scopestuff flocking to the insides of the tubes.

Added a black plastic "milk jug washer" behind the secondary.

Modified the secondary holder by grinding away the outer perimeter, turning it into a flat holder, secondary siliconed to the flat.

Added rear counterweights.

Added a wood eyepiece tray.

Added a navigation knob.

Added a Paracorr type 1, tunable top.

Added a custom steel mirror cover with handle.

 

 

Misc 052.jpg


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#5 SteveG

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:35 PM

Rear baffle & seal. The black plexiglass is flat on the inside. The st stl counterweights help, but are not enough (note the magnetic weight on the tube).

Misc 057.jpg

 

Custom mirror cover is velro'd to the mirror ring I installed:

 

Misc 056.jpg

 

Here you can see the ring, which is mounted on top of the mirror clips:

 

IMG_6004.JPG


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#6 SteveG

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:39 PM

Here you have a Telrad base, laser, Moonlite focuser, modified secondary holder (with black milk-jug washers), and the Paracorr:

Misc 054.jpg


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#7 coutleef

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:35 PM

And as an additional modification perhaps, 

 

you installed Bob knobs for the secondary?


Edited by coutleef, 27 January 2015 - 07:35 PM.


#8 Pinbout

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:08 PM

 

The st stl counterweights help, but are not enough (note the magnetic weight on the tube).

 

how big are the counter weights



#9 SteveG

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:23 PM

And as an additional modification perhaps, 

 

you installed Bob knobs for the secondary?

I made those using socket screws and plastic caps that are designed to fit the socket screws.

http://www.mcmaster....-screws/=vnyj2u



#10 SteveG

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:25 PM

 

 

The st stl counterweights help, but are not enough (note the magnetic weight on the tube).

 

how big are the counter weights

 

1.87 lb each, per the Opt site:

http://www.optcorp.c...e-set-of-3.html



#11 Pinbout

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:53 PM

 

 

 

The st stl counterweights help, but are not enough (note the magnetic weight on the tube).

 

how big are the counter weights

 

1.87 lb each, per the Opt site:

http://www.optcorp.c...e-set-of-3.html

 

 

diameter and height...that's not listed. ;)



#12 LRedfield

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 04:09 PM

Some additional thoughts:

 

A common mod is to mark truss tubes for assembly (so they go in the same place each time).

This actually only requires two marks; I have noticed many LB owners mark all the points top and bottom. But all that is required is to assemble the scope, find the seam (on the bottom unit) and put identical stickers on the truss tube ends on either side of the seam. The top unit aligns with the bottom unit by matched seams. This ensures correct assembly. Also I have switched to stick-on "bumps" so the LB can be assembled in the dark by touch alone.

 

Also I recently noticed you cannot attach the upper and lower units together (for transport) using the truss clamp points, as they don't line up. It would have been nice if Meade had added this feature. They do have a "Transporter Storage Kit", I think it uses brackets to tie the two units together.


Edited by LRedfield, 24 April 2015 - 04:11 PM.


#13 Sean Wood

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 10:46 AM

JMI makes a transport kit that does allow you to attach the lower and upper tube assemblies. I have a similar set that I made from some heavy plastic I procured from work. They work well. You'll find them about mid page or just select the "transporter storage kit" from the product index at the top of the page.

 

 

http://goo.gl/3u96Jv


Edited by Sean Wood, 25 April 2015 - 10:47 AM.


#14 LRedfield

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 01:56 PM

Surprise, surprise. The new DeWalt #DWST38000 is a perfect fit for the Lightbridge 10 inch. Case will take the base and all. Everything has to be carefully placed, but it all goes in. Also the case makes a nice work table in the field. I made a plywood shelf to fit the pull out handle, this extends the size of the table space. This also has a gasketed lid, which is nice.



#15 LRedfield

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:16 AM

Photos of my DeWalt hard case

Attached Thumbnails

  • case 2.jpg
  • case 1.jpg

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#16 Will_S

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 10:45 PM

Quick question I'm hoping a LightBridge 10 owner can answer - how long is the lower optical tube assembly?  Thanks!



#17 SteveG

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:30 PM

Quick question I'm hoping a LightBridge 10 owner can answer - how long is the lower optical tube assembly?  Thanks!

About 16-1/2" including the collimation knobs. About 17-1/4" with Farpoint weights attached.


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