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Meade LX70 150mm f/12 Maksutov

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#1 Cotts

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:05 PM

I bought this scope at NEAF.  The optics are very good to excellent - I tested them with an 'artificial star' placed at the other end of the huge gymnasium...  Perfectly circular and centered diffraction pattern in focus.  I have not star tested yet but I don't expect any drama...

 

Here's the OTA as it comes.  Finder and 2" (!) diagonal...

 

IMG_7341.jpg

 

I wondered about the 2" diagonal as I looked at the scope at NEAF.  This is a planetary/doublestar scope, not a wide-field sweeper,  and I was expecting to use my 1.25" eyepieces with it....  A 2" diagonal?  Could I use Ethos and other wiiiiide 2" e.p.'s with this scope?

 

Short answer, NO.   The scope comes with a screw-on 2" 'visual back' into which the 2" diagonal fits nicely.  When this device is removed the truth is revealed:   The internal baffle diameter is only 25.1 mm or about 0.95".  The wide field stops on my Ethos and Nagler e.p.'s would be wasted here.  (5mm Nagler and 3-6 zooms will be fine as their field stops are quite a bit smaller than 25.1 mm.)

Look at the above pic and ask, "Doesn't this diagonal look a bit odd?"  Does to me....  

 

I replaced the 2" diagonal with a 1.25" diagonal and a 2"-1.25" adapter and took another picture...  Looks more 'normal' now, I think...

 

IMG_7342.jpg .

 

More pics in next post... (upload limits...)

 

Dave


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#2 Cotts

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:17 PM

Here's a view down the back end of the tube with the 2" visual back removed.  The inner, darker baffle ring is 25.1mm diameter.....

 

IMG_7344.jpg

 

I have some very nice 1.25 e.p.'s  - Meade Research grade Orthos, Naglers and so on so I have no problem with using them with this telescope. It what i expected to have to do in the first place.  

 

I have to wonder why they even offer a 2" diagonal with an f/12 Maksutov.  I guess they are trying to appeal to a wider audience.  Sadly, some less experienced purchasers might be fooled into thinking their long f.l. 2" e.p.'s will work well...  They won't...

 

Here's the glass end, just for the lulz....

 

IMG_7347.jpg

 

Next:  First light report from the balcony...

 

Dave

 

PS:   Looks like the primary has push-pull collimating screws.  Nice to have them just in case...

Dave



#3 meade4ever

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:34 PM

I like prefer the white color of the Meade tubes rather the black one from SW or red from Orion.

That been said, Meade has reached the bottom to put their name on Synta products.

They made beautiful and perfect ED APO refractors and Mak in the past.

I have a Meade 102mm and two ETX and they are the perfect examples what meade could do, not so long ago.


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#4 Cotts

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 04:15 PM

I suspect that it is Synta that is putting the Meade name on their products.....  After all, they paid for the right to do so....

 

Dave


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#5 Ed D

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:07 PM

Dave, what a beautiful scope.  Can't wait to read your observing reports.  I have a feeling you're really going to like it.

 

Ed D



#6 Herr Ointment

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:33 PM

The 2"diagonal is just a little white lie.

 

This appears similar/identical to the Ioptron offering.

 

Are you sure it's Synta?



#7 KevH

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:57 PM

Having owned the iOptron mak, this is definitely a Synta. The Skywatcher USA 150 mak that was recently announced is also shipping with a 2" diagonal. They are definitely the same scopes. This Meade is an attractive looking scope at least. Much better than the gold fleck black and white SW.... To my eye anyway.
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#8 junomike

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:48 PM

Here's a view down the back end of the tube with the 2" visual back removed.  The inner, darker baffle ring is 25.1mm diameter.....

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7344.jpg

 

I have some very nice 1.25 e.p.'s  - Meade Research grade Orthos, Naglers and so on so I have no problem with using them with this telescope. It what i expected to have to do in the first place.  

 

I have to wonder why they even offer a 2" diagonal with an f/12 Maksutov.  I guess they are trying to appeal to a wider audience.  Sadly, some less experienced purchasers might be fooled into thinking their long f.l. 2" e.p.'s will work well...  They won't...

 

Here's the glass end, just for the lulz....

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7347.jpg

 

Next:  First light report from the balcony...

 

Dave

 

PS:   Looks like the primary has push-pull collimating screws.  Nice to have them just in case...

Dave

Dave, Is the VB SCT threaded? If so, what about the 0.63X reducer? That would take you to F7.5 and a 24 Pan would yield close to 1.4°.

 

Mike



#9 Cotts

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 10:45 PM

Mike, I don't know what thread an 'SCT back' is...  I doubt that I would ever attempt to use a .63 reducer anyway.  I'll be looking at double stars, planets and lunar with this scope so wide field is not very important to me..   I will get about 0.75 degree with a 26 plossl....

 

As for Synta/Not Synta.....    Apparently Synta owns Sunny Optics which bought the Meade brand last year.  And Synta owns Celestron, too,  I think??  

 

I'm putting far more stock in the optics test I did at NEAF than I am in branding...

 

Dave


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#10 hardwarezone

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 12:25 AM

The collimation holes does look identical to the Synta 6"

 

With the smaller primary baffle tube, does it get lower central obstruction ??? In comparison the Synta 5" mak and C6 sct are 27mm diameter at the baffle tube.


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#11 junomike

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 01:41 PM

Mike, I don't know what thread an 'SCT back' is...  I doubt that I would ever attempt to use a .63 reducer anyway.  I'll be looking at double stars, planets and lunar with this scope so wide field is not very important to me..   I will get about 0.75 degree with a 26 plossl....

 

As for Synta/Not Synta.....    Apparently Synta owns Sunny Optics which bought the Meade brand last year.  And Synta owns Celestron, too,  I think??  

 

I'm putting far more stock in the optics test I did at NEAF than I am in branding...

 

Dave

Dave, That's about all I do from the city also as the LP pretty much kills everything else.

 

Mike


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#12 jgraham

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:14 PM

I have a couple of focal reducers for my SCTs, but to be honest I quit using them a long time ago. I much prefer to leave my scopes at their native focal lengths. I will use a Barlow or Powermate if I want to go higher, but to go lower I use a different scope. That's is one advantage to never selling anything, after a while you collect a lot of options. :)

 

Speaking of double stars.... nothing beats a gorgeous set of sharp concentric diffraction rings!

 

Enjoy!


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#13 Starman27

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 03:09 PM

Enjoy the scope Dave! Looks like you picked a winner. Just the right size and focal length for what you are trying to do with it..



#14 Cotts

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 06:17 PM

It pretty much looks like tonight will be first light.  I've set the stuff up on the balcony to allow things to cool down.

 

IMG_7348.jpg

 

I will target a few doubles and Jupiter.  I will also take a video or two for stacking.....   Curious to see how it compares to the 8" TEC....

 

Report back tomorrow morning......

 

Dave


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#15 Cotts

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 09:52 PM

Cold!  35F.

 

Windy!   Poor seeing.  I gave up after an hour....

 

But, nevertheless, some very nice views of the moon and Jupiter.  There were moments of better seeing where tantalizing glimpses of the scope's potential.  Some detail and festoons in the belts of Jupiter.  Very sharp moments on the moon, too.   

 

Double stars were hit and miss.  the poor seeing didn't help.  I got a glimpse of the diffraction pattern of Alphard (Alpha Hydrae, 1.99 mag) and I saw that a very slight tweak of collimation is required.  The diffraction rings (2 were visible) are very  slightly brighter on one side than the other although the rings are concentric and go all the way around.  I will wait for a more placid night to do the adjustment.

 

I grabbed a video of 17 Hydrae (mags 6.07 and 6.73, separation 3.9") just for fun.  The seeing was dreadful at times and merely ok at others..  The stacked image shows typical elongation caused by atmospheric dispersion.  The star images are a bit spread out with blue on one side and red on the other.  The star was at about 33 degrees elevation so the elongation is no surprise.  In fact, the idea that this 6" scope faithfully shows this atmospheric phenomenon actually attests to its good optics...

 

Here's the stacked image:

 

17 Hydrae 6%22 Mak.jpg

 

I am quite tickled with this telescope.  700 bucks for zero CA and well-above diffraction-limited optics....

 

Dave


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#16 Ed Wiley

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 11:51 PM

Hey Dave: Going to bring it to TSP?

 

Ed



#17 Cotts

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 07:24 AM

I doubt it, Ed.  My van will be full with the gear of two people.  To bring the 6" I would also have to bring the AVX mount...  I don't have a carry case for it either...  My GM8 would need a vixen saddle, too.

 

For TSP I will have the 8" TEC and the Mach 1 as well as the GM8 for some AP with my camera lenses. 

 

Only a couple of weeks now!!!

 

Dave



#18 Phil Barker

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 03:55 PM

looks like great value for money

the 180 plus maks don't really have the quick look capability the 150 will have

wonder if meade will put up a bigger mak again even if skywatcher sourced



#19 Asbytec

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 05:40 PM

Having owned the iOptron mak, this is definitely a Synta. The Skywatcher USA 150 mak that was recently announced is also shipping with a 2" diagonal. They are definitely the same scopes. This Meade is an attractive looking scope at least. Much better than the gold fleck black and white SW.... To my eye anyway.

 

That scope looks exactly like my own Orion 150 that disappeared from the market a few years ago. I wonder if it's reborn as a Meade. Looks like it, pretty much right down to every detail. On the OTA, anyway. Finder bracket is not the same. 

 

I am quite tickled with this telescope.  700 bucks for zero CA and well-above diffraction-limited optics....

 

 

I felt exactly the same way about my poor man's Questar. Tested the heck out of it, yea, definitely better than 1/4 PV SA. And smooth as a baby's butt. 



#20 PowellAstro

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:49 PM

Man, that is a beautiful scope! Very nice color scheme and I am sure a great performer.
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#21 duck2k

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:30 PM

That is a beautiful scope. I like the blue and white.

#22 ehallspqr

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:37 PM

Any difference in the coatings between the various companies selling these OTA's? Or they all the same with a different paint job?



#23 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 01:38 AM

Typically in the past, the Chinese Maks reportedly use more standard aluminum mirror coatings, instead of the high reflectivity enhanced coatings like celestrons xlt coatings on their SCTs. Not sure if this is just a cost savings measure, or if it is intended to reduce glare and light scatter on bright targets like moon and planets. The latter makes some sense as Maks are often used as planetary specialists. There are a few new models out now that I have not heard reports on their coatings yet.



#24 BigC

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 03:12 PM

Hi guys.

QUESTION: is the threads on these Maks standard SCT size?

                     I am needing visual back for my Konus 150mm f12 Mak  and if Meade might have a compatible part it would be great!



#25 terraclarke

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 06:26 PM

I love the white and blue color scheme. It reminds me of the early Celestron Pacific scopes. If I didn't have a nice GEM mounted Meade 6" SCT I'd be down for one of those!


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