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Meade 1266 project

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#1 The Planetman

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:24 AM

I had the opportunity to pick up a nice Meade 1266, the 12-1/2" f/6 Research Series (aka Research Grade) Newtonian.  This scope was a part of a package being offered by the original owner a few months ago the the mart.  The 1266 was ordered and picked up from the factory in 1980 and a 10" f/4.8 RG was ordered and picked from the factory in 1982. 

My buddy Ed Villareal from Texas has the 10" and we'll let him chime in when he gets a chance about that scope.  In short, he and I never remember Meade offering a 10" f/4.8 Research Grade scope.  But this one is and man is it ever pretty......

Anyway, back to the 1266.  If there ever comes a time when I can only own one scope, this is it.  I owned one many years ago and have regretted selling it.  Now that I have another one, it's not going anywhere! 

Ed brought both scopes up just after Christmas.  We did a quick clean up on his and replaced the nylon bearings on the rotating rings.  We were lucky enough to get a clear, but not so steady night while he was here.  Both scopes performed rather well considering the seeing.  The 1266 was showing some really nice details on the moon and we both agreed that it has a really good mirror.

The scope is 35 years old.  It was a bit dirty, coatings were thin, and the mount has seen quite a bit of use.  The previous owner only ordered a 10" OTA in '82 and shared the mount with both scopes.  With the 1266 being a somewhat bulky and heavy OTA, it didn't see as much action as the 10" did over the years.  That put a lot cosmetic wear on the pier and motor housing. 

 

The first order of business was pulling the optics and sending them out for coating.  I have read good things here on CN about Majestic Coatings and decided to give Jeff a try.  In short, I'm very impressed with the price and turn around.  The coatings look great!

As with all earlier Meade Newtonians, the secondary holder and studs that mount the spider to tube is likely to become brittle and literally fall apart.  This one was no exception.  I replaced the secondary holder and spider with a classic Kenneth Novak setup.  While I was at it, the original mirror cell was replaced with a Novak 9-point. 

Like Ed's 10", the rotating rings needed attention.  The years of use took its toll on the nylon bearings.  The rings were disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled with new bearings.  The OTA got cleaned up with a Magic Eraser and later a good coat of Mother's Carnuba Wax was laid down.

 

While the rings and accessories were off of the tube, I lined inside of the tube with crushed walnut shells and two coats of Sherwin-Williams flat black paint.  This created a perfect tube-length baffle so-to-speak.  I had done this to a 10" Meade RG many years ago and the difference in contrast was quite noticeable.  While talking about contrast, I added an 11" matte black vinyl circle to the focuser area.  This will help knock down any reflecting light off the white tube.  I added a Telrad opposite the 8x50 for the quick alignments. 

 

Rotating the tube is quite easy now that new bearings have been installed and the adjustment screws seem to be at a good point.  Even with an easy rotating tube, it can be awkward sometimes to get it twisted to where you want it.  I added three handles on the upper end to aid in that task.  I also put an extra tube counterweight on the rear to make it not only easier to twist the tube, they can be used as handles for carrying. 

 

As you can see in the pics, the OTA is ready to go.  The mount needs to be restored to complete the project.  Between work and other projects, that will not take place until spring.  The mount will be polished out and all painted surfaces will be sandblasted and repainted.  The motor and gears did get an inspection.  Everything looks good and work properly. 

 

Oh, one more thing that I forgot to mention....I was lucky enough to get the 80mm f/15 guidescope and rings.  I'm not sure if it will mounted on the scope or not, but I've got it if I choose to do so!

 

Now, it's just a waiting game for a good sky!!.......

 

 

 

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#2 davidmcgo

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:48 AM

That is one sweet looking setup Ross!  Should be a fantastic planetary scope.

 

I'd have something like that myself if I had a way to roll it out of the garage to my viewing area.  Sadly my driveway is too steep and everywhere eelse in my yard is different levels.

 

Dave



#3 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 06:28 PM

Very nice scope , I would like to hear more on the application process of flocking with crushed walnut shells and paint ?

That Flocking looks outstanding :waytogo: 


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#4 SDStargazer

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:41 PM

Very nice scope , I would like to hear more on the application process of flocking with crushed walnut shells and paint ?

That Flocking looks outstanding :waytogo:

Ditto



#5 youngamateur42

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:40 PM

Wow that's gorgeous! Right off the bat I noticed that you have the shorter pier, which is nice because the one on mind is like a foot taller than it needs to be- one more step up the ladder  :smirk:  Nice scope!



#6 Mr Magoo

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:48 PM

Very nice Ross! I really like the handles and the black vinyl circle. Did you make the handles? Where did you find the black circle? I have a question on the spider. I already ran into an issue with the 10" I have. The secondary is not settled all the way to the end of the holder. Likely whatever is behind it has deteriorated. I removed the 3 screws from the shroud, but it won't come off. Is the shroud glued on as well as screwed?



#7 siriusandthepup

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 12:35 AM

 I removed the 3 screws from the shroud, but it won't come off. Is the shroud glued on as well as screwed?

 

Ross and I had the same problem (a common one with many of the old RG's) with the secondary holder on the 12.5" RG scope. The back part of the housing had already broken. Thankfully a non-event because no damage was done to the primary or the secondary when the housing broke off. My 10" RG from 1982 had a different style secondary holder and therefore doesn't suffer this problem, but MY old 12.5" RG had this identical issue many years ago.

 

The problem is that the holder part that connects to the threaded rod is made of "pot" metal. Pot metal is a super low quality metal, often a zinc derivative, which deteriorates in normal atmosphere - becomes brittle and then sometimes just plain falls apart.

 

Your shroud is not glued to the housing - it is probably corroded to the housing. I had to break (with small vise grips) chunks of the housing from the inside of the shroud. It came away in many pieces, but fortunately the shroud was saved and the secondary mirror was untouched in the process. These items were then reused with the Novak spider & holder (after mirror recoating).

 

Take your time - and good luck too!



#8 The Planetman

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 11:59 PM

I put together the steps that I used to line the tube with walnut shells in another post.
Here's the link: http://www.cloudynig...ell-lined-tube/


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#9 The Planetman

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 12:03 AM

Justin, I shortened the pier 10".  The tube has been moved back by 4" in the rings to better balance the OTA.  It's much more stable now.

The handles are stock handles that I found at Lowes.  I thought the black would look pretty nice.

 

The circle is an 11" piece of matte black vinyl from the vinyl graphics shop here in town.  I centered it over the focuser hole.  If you notice, I painted the spider washer and screw matte black so it blends in. 


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#10 turk123

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 09:47 AM

Very nice job on the telescope Ross.  I too like the addition of the handles.  They may not be original, but they are practical for a cannon that high.  Your walnut shells and vinyl shield for the focuser really knocks down the reflective light.  Great addition.  

 

No no matter how many times I may ask you, you keep this one this time!   :grin:


Edited by turk123, 01 February 2015 - 09:50 AM.


#11 The Planetman

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:08 AM

Tom,  I'm going to keep it not only for the quality of the optics and condition, but the fact that they are getting harder and harder to find!



#12 Mr Magoo

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 11:29 PM

Ross when you repaint your mount, what color will you use on the pier? The one I am working on needs the pier pipe repainted. The paint that is on it is a very light coat. Almost like it did not get painted enough so it is hard to tell what the color is. I think it is just a silver. I have some Hammered Silver that I used on my Criterion restorations and was thinking of using it. 



#13 The Planetman

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 12:12 AM

I'm going to use a basic silver.  I painted one of my 1060 piers with hammered texture and I didn't like it....


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#14 johnlind

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 03:57 PM

Hello Ross

I too also have a 1266 that i purchased back in 1980 and have been very happy with its performance. I like what you have done to your 1266, especially the flocking inside the OTA. However i now have a clock drive motor problem, it is not working and is getting warm when i try to troubleshoot it. Do you know where i could obtain a replacement motor for the 1277 mount? or any other parts for the 1266. Meade says they no longer carry any parts for this model. I am an Electronics Technician and have taken the motor apart and cleaned and re-lubricated it. Still does not turn ( detached from the mount of course ). I have done calculations on how much electrical current it should draw and it comes in very close to normal, ( i have the necessary equipment ). I am desperate to getting it functional again.

Also have a dual axis corrector system for this scope ( 48RS ), i need a replacement declination motor as the output shaft was snapped off by an overanxious in-law helping me unload the mount one night to get pictures of comet halley. Bummer.

Thank You.

John L.

 



#15 CygnuS

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:11 AM

A friend of mine just picked one of these up. I haven't even seen it yet. Apparently it has a problem with the clock drive. He wants to have it working well by March 20 for a star party but I suspect finding parts could be an issue. I googled Meade model 1266 and this came up. I'll likely have questions in the future. In the meantime feel free to add anything to this rejuvenated thread. Any info about this scope would be appreciated. If we don't get the clock drive fixed how difficult would it be to use manually? 



#16 tim53

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:10 PM

You can use it manually with no problem, you'll just have to push it periodically to keep up with the sky.

 

These drives are very simple.  It may even be working fine, but because it's only one revolution per day, you might not notice it running.  Take a long screwdriver and put the blade against the clock cover and your ear up to the handle.  You should hear the motor running if it's plugged in.

 

Next thing to do if it's not is to take the clock cover off and see if there's anything wrong with the motor.  You may need to take the cover off it and help it get spinning.  Sometimes they get stuck if they've been sitting a long time.

 

-Tim.


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#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:15 PM

If you do take off the cover,  I recommend marking the worm with a marker pen to see if it rotates. 

 

Tracking manually is quite doable.. 

 

But where are the pictures??  

 

Jon


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#18 CygnuS

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:21 PM

Thanks for these responses. I haven't seen it myself but will get pictures posted someday. 


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#19 CygnuS

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:02 AM

You can use it manually with no problem, 

 

-Tim.

I've struggled with manual tracking with this style scope before and have never tried it with one this large. When you say "no problem" could you be more specific. I assume it will take some getting used to. Thanks for your advice. 



#20 tim53

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:16 AM

 

You can use it manually with no problem, 

 

-Tim.

I've struggled with manual tracking with this style scope before and have never tried it with one this large. When you say "no problem" could you be more specific. I assume it will take some getting used to. Thanks for your advice. 

 

well, when I say "no problem" I mean it can be moved manually.  I hate having to do that myself, precisely because a driven telescope is so much more pleasant to use.  I do mostly planets, and they would drift through the field of view too quickly if the telescope wasn't driven.  

 

-Tim.



#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:40 PM

 

You can use it manually with no problem, 

 

-Tim.

I've struggled with manual tracking with this style scope before and have never tried it with one this large. When you say "no problem" could you be more specific. I assume it will take some getting used to. Thanks for your advice. 

 

 

Tracking my 1266 manually was similar to manually tracking a decent but not exceptional Dob. If you're familiar with tracking a Dob,  this is similar. 

 

Jon



#22 Geo31

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 06:01 PM

 

 

You can use it manually with no problem, 

 

-Tim.

I've struggled with manual tracking with this style scope before and have never tried it with one this large. When you say "no problem" could you be more specific. I assume it will take some getting used to. Thanks for your advice. 

 

 

Tracking my 1266 manually was similar to manually tracking a decent but not exceptional Dob. If you're familiar with tracking a Dob,  this is similar. 

 

Jon

 

Ah....

 

*&@#%$!!!!!!

 

;)

 

Just teasing you Jon.  You and I both know we have differing views on the matter.


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#23 Mr Magoo

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:05 PM

Some pictures of what's inside the motor casing. 

 

005.JPG

 

006.JPG


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#24 Mr Magoo

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:05 PM

007.JPG

 

008.JPG


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#25 johnlind

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 02:46 PM

A friend of mine just picked one of these up. I haven't even seen it yet. Apparently it has a problem with the clock drive. He wants to have it working well by March 20 for a star party but I suspect finding parts could be an issue. I googled Meade model 1266 and this came up. I'll likely have questions in the future. In the meantime feel free to add anything to this rejuvenated thread. Any info about this scope would be appreciated. If we don't get the clock drive fixed how difficult would it be to use manually? 

Hello Cygnu S

I had a problem with my clock drive and resolved it by cleaning the gear train and re-lubricating it. I have had my meade 12.5 inch scope and mount since 1980, and feel that I know quite a bit about it. I also have all the original documentation on it including the owners manual. My clock drive went down back in 2015, i could hear it running, but there was no rotation on the output. Inside, the motor is coupled to the gear train magnetically and since it is a snycronous clock motor, it doesn't have a lot of torque so it didn't take a whole lot of drag from a dirty/dry gear train to stop it. Works just fine now. Hope this information helps you.

Johnlind




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