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Meade 12" SCT with Skywatcher EQ6 goto mount

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#1 dgreenheck

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:06 AM

I have an opportunity to pick up a Meade 12" SCT (f/10) with a Skywatcher EQ6 mount for $1100. Is this a good value?

 

My primary interest is planetary AP but I'd also like to try my hand at some deep sky. I believe the OTA is a bit much for the mount but I'm wondering if it would be manageable.

 

I don't have an exact model number for the OTA but a picture of the end of the tube shows "Ultra High Co...." (rest is out of frame, next letter is M or N) and "Multi Coated". I have an old Meade 2080 with not-so-great optics so I'm hesitant to jump on another Meade OTA from an unknown era.



#2 jfrech14

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:13 AM

For visual and planetary work I would say it'll work well and, if it is in good condition, I think it is a solid deal. But, you will likely want to rip your hair out if you get far enough into deep-sky with that setup. UHTC is Meade's optical coating like Celestron's XLT. Be sure to inspect it and make sure it'll suit your needs. But, it seems like a good deal if it has good optics. Even if it is the old model of the OTA, for a 12" with mount  it seems great. I got a CPC1100 from someone on CN by picking up and it was great for an awesome price. 

 

Just beware that an SCT that large can be unforgiving to temp changes and bad seeing especially when it comes to planetary.


Edited by jfrech14, 23 June 2018 - 02:14 AM.


#3 ShaulaB

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:24 AM

Get a smaller OTA and a more robust mount now. Then you won't have to do it in six months when you have become frustrated with the combination mentioned in original post.



#4 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 07:46 AM

That would be a mount full of jitters.



#5 junomike

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:46 AM

Good Value?

Yes.

I'd be fine with that set up for visual although an SCT can take some time (cool down) to show It's best on Planets.

I'd buy the set up and keep the SCT for visual and add a smaller Apo (80mm - 100mm) for Deep Sky AP.



#6 dgreenheck

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 12:36 PM

Good Value?
Yes.
I'd be fine with that set up for visual although an SCT can take some time (cool down) to show It's best on Planets.
I'd buy the set up and keep the SCT for visual and add a smaller Apo (80mm - 100mm) for Deep Sky AP.


Mike, this is the route I was planning on taking if I ever decided to get into DSO’s. The mount seems usable (but not ideal) for planetary AP with the SCT. It’d be nice to throw on a refractor to get way under the mount capacity and get good tracking on DSO’s on when I don’t feel like lugging out the SCT.

#7 John Tucker

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 12:51 PM

I have a Meade 8" on the next generation (NEQ6-R) mount.  Paid more than that for the mount alone, and am happy with it though I'm a relative beginner.  Make sure it works before you pay for it. I got scammed on a LX200 with a bad mount. 

 

If you're interested in planets I think you have the beginnings of the right setup.  Considering that Saturn is visible as only a white dot to the naked eye, you're going to need a lot more than 30x to see much detail.  

 

I've taken some pretty sharp 3 minute exposures with the combo above without autoguiding.  Longer might have been possible, never really tried. 

 

If you don't live somewhere dark, consider portability.  The Skywatcher mounts are quite heavy and the 8" OTA takes up a fair bit of room in the car.  


Edited by John Tucker, 23 June 2018 - 12:53 PM.


#8 dgreenheck

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 01:35 PM

I have a Meade 8" on the next generation (NEQ6-R) mount.  Paid more than that for the mount alone, and am happy with it though I'm a relative beginner.  Make sure it works before you pay for it. I got scammed on a LX200 with a bad mount. 

 

If you're interested in planets I think you have the beginnings of the right setup.  Considering that Saturn is visible as only a white dot to the naked eye, you're going to need a lot more than 30x to see much detail.  

 

I've taken some pretty sharp 3 minute exposures with the combo above without autoguiding.  Longer might have been possible, never really tried. 

 

If you don't live somewhere dark, consider portability.  The Skywatcher mounts are quite heavy and the 8" OTA takes up a fair bit of room in the car.  

I have an old 8" Meade 2080 SCT at the moment but I'm not very happy with the optics. Planning on getting rid of it if I pick up this one.

 

The seller has mentioned in the ad that the declination motor is non-responsive. After reaching out for more information this was the response I got: "The right ascension works as expected but the declination is unresponsive. I believe it’s either a power issue (which these are known for) and the fix to that is an 18V Ac adapter plug instead of the 12v it comes with. Or it’s a firmware issue which is why I bought the V4 upgradable controller."

 

His reasoning for getting rid of it was he's moving and has a bigger scope he's hanging onto and getting rid of this one. Not trying to toot my own horn but I have a M.Sc. in electrical engineering so I'm contemplating biting the bullet and hoping I can fix myself. If it turns out to be a bad stepper I can swap in a replacement for $100 or so.



#9 John Tucker

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 01:59 PM

I have an old 8" Meade 2080 SCT at the moment but I'm not very happy with the optics. Planning on getting rid of it if I pick up this one.

 

The seller has mentioned in the ad that the declination motor is non-responsive. After reaching out for more information this was the response I got: "The right ascension works as expected but the declination is unresponsive. I believe it’s either a power issue (which these are known for) and the fix to that is an 18V Ac adapter plug instead of the 12v it comes with. Or it’s a firmware issue which is why I bought the V4 upgradable controller."

 

His reasoning for getting rid of it was he's moving and has a bigger scope he's hanging onto and getting rid of this one. Not trying to toot my own horn but I have a M.Sc. in electrical engineering so I'm contemplating biting the bullet and hoping I can fix myself. If it turns out to be a bad stepper I can swap in a replacement for $100 or so.

That would have to be your call.  I'm still trying to figure out how to change the vacuum tubes in my cell phone, .!


Edited by John Tucker, 23 June 2018 - 02:00 PM.


#10 jgraham

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 06:14 PM

I suspect that this is the original non-GoTo version of the EQ-6, which is okay, but adds to the equation.

 

If the scope is in good shape then this is a good deal. As a package it would be okay for visual and basic imaging, but nothing fancy. I do a lot of imaging with a variety of 10" scopes on an Atlas EQ-G, the GoTo version of the EQ-6, and that's about a big a scope that I'd use on this mount. I have pondered trying a 12", but haven't yet.

 

Soooo, yeah, it sound like a good deal. I'd grab it for visual with the idea of eventually moving the scope up to a better mount and putting a smaller scope on the EQ-6.

 

Just for yucks, this is the Atlas with a 10" SCT on it...

 

Atlas LX200 (11-13-2016)-1.jpg

 

...see where the counterweights are?

 

 



#11 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 06:16 PM

I can see a 10" being the max.



#12 dgreenheck

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 06:18 PM

I suspect that this is the original non-GoTo version of the EQ-6, which is okay, but adds to the equation.

 

If the scope is in good shape then this is a good deal. As a package it would be okay for visual and basic imaging, but nothing fancy. I do a lot of imaging with a variety of 10" scopes on an Atlas EQ-G, the GoTo version of the EQ-6, and that's about a big a scope that I'd use on this mount. I have pondered trying a 12", but haven't yet.

 

Soooo, yeah, it sound like a good deal. I'd grab it for visual with the idea of eventually moving the scope up to a better mount and putting a smaller scope on the EQ-6.

 

Just for yucks, this is the Atlas with a 10" SCT on it...

 

attachicon.gif Atlas LX200 (11-13-2016)-1.jpg

 

...see where the counterweights are?

I should have clarified: the mount is the GoTo version.



#13 jgraham

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 07:28 PM

Ahah! That makes it a good deal. :)

#14 jfrech14

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 07:46 PM

My friend has my old C11 on an atlas. Take off the extension bar and add a counterweight. Brings to moment arm much closer and makes it more stable.



#15 Bean614

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:30 PM

About the Meade SCT that you're unhappy with, you said "but I'm not very happy with the optics.".  Just curious--- have you ever Collimated the scope?



#16 dgreenheck

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 09:34 PM

About the Meade SCT that you're unhappy with, you said "but I'm not very happy with the optics.". Just curious--- have you ever Collimated the scope?


Yes, I collimate it every time I bring it out. Kind of hard to explain but when I bring it into and out of focus, there is a haze around the target that is elongated. The orientation of the elongation changes by 90 degrees depending on what side of focus I’m on. I’d have to pull out my 5” SCT to compare but I don’t think it has this behavior. The diffraction rings are also not very smooth either with lots of artifacts.

Overall, it’s probably just fine during nights of good seeing. That isn’t my primary reasoning for wanting to sell it and get this setup though. The price point for the combination of the scope and mount are in the sweet spot for me, and I’ll have a mount that allows me to do deep sky in the future if I swap out the SCT for an small refractor. I could never afford a new 12” SCT with GoTo mount, so this seems like a good compromise!

#17 cam1936

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 08:29 AM

Yeah that's a good deal. A bit of a gamble with that non responsive dec motor, but its priced accordingly.

#18 carolinaskies

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 11:50 AM

The OTA is worth the price alone.  The mount is fixable and even needing repair is a nice kicker as these are very popular so parts and know-how are readily available to get it back into working order. 




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