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Meade 10" SCT History?

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#26 jallbery

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 12:13 PM

jallbery above stated that LX6s only came in f/6.3. That is also a misunderstanding as they made both f/10 and f/6.3. I have had both. I also used to have a website named Telescope Bluebook where I listed the key elements, year of release, etc. of hundreds of telescopes.

I stand by my statement.

 

A true LX6 is only in F/6.3.   Meade had so many problems with the initial F/6.3 scopes that they had to keep selling the F/10 LX5s.   They then essentially renamed the LX6 as the Premeire line which they then offered in both focal ratios.  There were a variety of models with various levels of accessories (the bigger the number, the nicer the accessories).

 

The above matches what Rod Mollise has documented in his SCT guide.


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#27 jgraham

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 04:54 PM

It is certainly confusing as the LX6 and the Premier used the same mount and it is the mount that usually distinguishes the different models.

A rose by any other name...
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#28 Mike W.

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 09:40 PM

Is the plossl something like this? https://www.cloudyni...l/#entry8896463

 

ds

yes, it's an 18mm

 

It's not a premier, Meade was selling two versions of the LX6 according to a web site I found last night, don't want an argument about what they sold from 1989 to 1992, according to the site they were selling both f/6.3 and f/10 as 2120 LX6.

They had bad feedback from consumers that purchased the f/6.3 so they sold their remaining LX5's f/10 as LX6's and my serial number falls into sequence with the late model LX6 1992.

They had a premier and a plain Jane model.

Mine has the Quratz drive but it only has RA. driven, it could be upgraded to the premier, the controler I have was for a camera that Meade sold during that time.

 

I spent several hours last night and this morning reading about it, including the 80 page owners manual.

https://deepskies.co...stry.aspx#guide

 

I want to thank those here for your time and input, waytogo.gif


Edited by Mike W., 20 October 2018 - 06:32 AM.


#29 luxo II

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 01:33 AM

Mike,

The first question is how the optics perform. Meade’s quality was highly variable - a few really good ones, many average ones and quite a few really awful.

Second ... the Meade electronics were basically crap and didn’t last long - the result being many of their scopes were deforked and put on an EQ mount if the OTA was good.

Edited by luxo II, 20 October 2018 - 01:34 AM.


#30 jgraham

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 05:58 AM

I own several scopes of this vintage and they can be real gems. The LX6 (or whatever) was from the late pre-GoTo era and were designed primarily for visual use. Everything is exactly where your hands expect to find them in the dark, making them very comfortable to use. The 10" is particularly nice as it is a relatively large scope, but still very portable. The only problem that I have had with my 10" LX6 (or whatever) is that the slow motion controls can be a little bit of a reach while I am seated, other than that it is a fantastic star-hopping scope. Having restored several of these old scope that the previous owner swore was 'broken' the #1 problem that I have found is collimation. 'Close is good enough' doesn't really work for anything but wide field views. If you take the time to really zero-in the collimation the performance often blossoms, particularly with the f/6.3s (I own 3 of these from the later LX200 era). Another common problem with scopes that have been in storage for a long time is the grease on the mirror slide has dried out a bit causing the mirror to rock a bit when focused. Running the focuser from stop to stop a couple of times can help to redistribute the grease and smooth things out a bit. Always setting the final focus while turning the know counterclockwise (lifting the mirror) also helps. The collimation should also be set after the focuser has been turned counterclockwise to be sure that the mirror is sitting in a stable and reproducible orientation.

 

Have fun!


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#31 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 06:52 AM

Morning luxo II, I've heard the same thing, may have been a quality control thing on the collimation of the 6.3's, being faster they need to be very spot on as jgraham mentioned in the above post.

 

jgraham, the scope has to be disassembled completely for cleaning, spider webs and deposits on the primary, the corrector plate is covered with it too.

When I do that I'll clean all the old dried up grease off, clean the focus control, collimation will have to be star test, 

 

All the photography attachments are vintage, this scope hasn't been used in at least 15yrs.

 

I'll plug in the base to a power supply and see if it moves, according to the manual it's supposed to.

 

Like I said in a previous post, it'll keep me off the streets today, smile.gif


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#32 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 07:16 AM

for those that might want to know, in this article it's stated that the LX 6 came in both focal ratio's.

 

Meade LX-6
Meade, as you’d expect, didn’t take the introduction of the Ultima 8 lying down,
they quickly responded with a new and different telescope of their own, the LX-6. What’s
really new about this scope as compared to the LX-5? At first glance, not much. The fork
is basically identical to what is found on the previous telescope, and so is the drive base.
The control panel has added a few new features, including a built-in input for the Meade
Computer Aided Telescope System (which by now Meade was also referring to as the
DRS, the Digital Readout System). The hand controller has continued to evolve, with the
most noticeable new feature on this being that the display for the DRS can be added
internally to the controller rather than bolted-on as in the LX-5. As supplied, the space for
the DRS is a blank panel that was removed and replaced with the DRS LED readout
when/if the user purchased the computer option. A red LED map light is now on the hand
paddle too, just as on the Ultima 8 hand unit. But the LX-6 was, when it was introduced,
looked upon as a revolutionary telescope, and none of these changes sound very
revolutionary. What made the LX-6 different? Its focal length. Until this time, all
commercial Meade and Celestron SCTs had been offered in a focal ratio of f10 only. The
new Meade was rated at f6.3. It was only available in this focal ratio; there is no f10 LX6.
This new scope was immediately hailed by astrophotographers. Picture takers
using Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes had gotten used to working with f10 telescopes. But
they weren’t happy about it. This long focal length meant that it was impossible to image
large objects and it also meant that exposures had to be long. In photographer’s parlance,
an f10 system is slow. The Meade f6.3 changed this, giving photographers wide fields
comparable to those enjoyed by imagers using the new short focal length APO refractors.
Visually, an f6.3 SCT is also nice, giving low power wide angle views with reasonably
short focal length eyepieces.
The introduction of the f6.3 optics of this telescope also led to an unfortunate
misunderstanding. Some folks got the idea that the images produced by the LX-6’s f6.3
optics would always be brighter than those of an f10 system. VISUALLY. This is, of
course, untrue. At the same magnification, the brightness of images in an f10 scope and
an f6.3 scope are identical. The f6.3 just allows you to obtain lower magnifications with a
given eyepiece. It’s nice, of course, to be able to obtain low power without resorting to
large and expensive extra-long-focal length eyepieces. I’m not sure how this mistaken
idea took hold. The Meade advertisements of the time I’ve gone back and looked at are
careful to state that, “Images are brighter and fields wider when using the same
eyepiece as an f10 telescope.” Admittedly this wording is a little confusing, and I have
the sneaking suspicion that some dealers, hoping to boost sales of this premium priced
scope ($2000.00 U.S. for an 8” LX-6 in 1990) may have hinted that its visual images
were also brighter than those in the old f10s.
What good’s one of these old f6.3 telescopes today? After all, you can buy a
reducer/corrector now that will turn your f10 into a 6.3 for less than a hundred dollars. A
native f6.3 focal ratio is still nice, though, especially if you’re a photographer. F/6.3
reducers really do work, but they may produce vignetting—the image may not cover your
entire film frame. For CCDers, an f6.3 OTA may be especially desirable, since the
standard f6.3 reducer can be used to ‘speed’ the telescope up to about f4, giving the wide
fields that electronic picture takers crave. Meade still sells f6.3 versions of their top of the
line CATs and they continue to be very popular with advanced astrophotographers.
Then a used LX-6 would be a wonderful buy if you’re an astrophotographer or
enjoy wide field viewing? Perhaps. Mechanically and electronically the telescope itself is
every bit as good, or even slightly better than, the well-loved LX-5. The LX-6 features all
the luxury accouterments that made the “5” popular: a big 60mm finder, a 2” star
diagonal and more. But I would advise any prospective LX-6 purchaser to be wary and to
be sure to test the telescope thoroughly. The problem is the optics. Today’s LX-200 f6.3
telescopes produce beautiful images. But it apparently took a while for Meade to get the
hang of making really good f6.3 mirror/corrector sets. Some LX-6s do have very good or
even excellent optics. But it is a fact that many are distinctly average in this area, and that
quite a few poor scopes made it out the factory door and into the world. If you run across
a nice-looking LX-6, go ahead, but be sure to star test the telescope carefully. This is
mandatory. You cannot depend on an LX-6 having acceptable optics. Also, please note
that even the best f6.3 optics may not be quite as sharp as f10 sets. Edge of field
performance, especially, is not likely to be as good. Is it worth putting up with less than
sharp stars at the periphery of the field to gain photographic and visual wide fields?
That’s for you to decide, but many observers reply with an enthusiastic “Yes!” Like the
LX-5, the 6 was also available in a 10” version. This scope features the same f6.3 optics
as the smaller model.
Hubba-hubba! Now ain’t that somethin’?! I wanted an LX-6, real bad, but a good
bottle o’ Rebel Yell was a lot cheaper!
Meade Premieres
Meade considered the LX-6 a great success and promoted and advertised the new
flagship scope aggressively. But they found it necessary to continue production of the
older LX-5. It was clear from the beginning that not all amateurs were sold on the idea of
an f/6.3 SCT, especially once rumors of problems with the fast optical system began to
surface. Meade apparently didn’t want to continue producing two different top-of-the-line
telescopes, though, and eventually stopped manufacture of the LX-5. Actually, the LX-6
also disappeared at this time. Well, it didn’t really disappear, it was just renamed, now
being called the Premiere. The idea of the premiere series was to give the purchaser some
choices. A number of different sub models of Premiere were offered. Most importantly,
you could choose your focal ratio. Meade would supply the scope with either f/6.3 or
f/10 OTAs. You could get an 8 inch or 10 inch, and you could even choose a scope with a
smaller finder or less accessories if you couldn’t quite manage the two thousand dollars
that the top f/6.3 8 inch commanded.
What happened to this somewhat innovative way of selling CATs? Mostly, it was
swept away by Meade’s introduction of the LX-200 goto scope. All company resources
were directed toward making the 200 a success, and the former top dog, the Premiere,
naturally had to go. But the Premiere idea may not have had a long life even if there had
been no LX-200. While the concept of choosing the optics and accessories of your new
telescope appeared to be sound, in reality the whole thing seemed to confuse telescope
buyers, especially novices.
Is the Premiere a good used telescope? Well, if you liked the LX-6, you’ll also
like the Premiere. It is almost identical to the slightly earlier model. The only difference,
of course, is that you’re quite likely to find a Premiere with f/10 optics. And,
unfortunately, some of the nice LX-5/6 options may be missing if the scope’s original
purchaser had to save some money. As with the LX-6, an f/6.3 model’s optics should be
carefully star tested before purchase. There are substantially more LX-6s on the used
market than Premieres, since the Premiere lasted only a short time, being phased out with
the introduction of the LX-200 in 1992.


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#33 Skywatchr

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:08 AM

LX6s only came in in F/6.3. 

 

As far as the logo differences, I think the "S" in the red logo is the significant thing.  I think it stands for "Smartdrive"-- Meade's periodic error correction.   PEC was on the spiffier Premiere models, but not all Premieres.  And I think it only became an option after the launch of the Premiere line, but I could be wrong.

 

My one LX6 was F/10 that I purchased brand new, and the other I bought used was also F/10. I've never owned an F/6.3 version. The "LX6s only came in F/6.3" is simply not true.

 

Now that I think about it, the one LX6 I had used the "standard" worm drive like the LX5, and the other, the Premiere used a much finer worm drive.  I think I still may have an RA motor from the Premiere around somewhere.



#34 Skywatchr

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:12 AM


Like I said in a previous post, it'll keep me off the streets today, smile.gif

lol.gif



#35 bbqediguana

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:26 AM

yes, it's an 18mm

 

It's not a premier, Meade was selling two versions of the LX6 according to a web site I found last night, don't want an argument about what they sold from 1989 to 1992, according to the site they were selling both f/6.3 and f/10 as 2120 LX6.

They had bad feedback from consumers that purchased the f/6.3 so they sold their remaining LX5's f/10 as LX6's and my serial number falls into sequence with the late model LX6 1992.

They had a premier and a plain Jane model.

Mine has the Quratz drive but it only has RA. driven, it could be upgraded to the premier, the controler I have was for a camera that Meade sold during that time.

 

I spent several hours last night and this morning reading about it, including the 80 page owners manual.

https://deepskies.co...stry.aspx#guide

 

I want to thank those here for your time and input, waytogo.gif

Hi Mike,

 

LX6 vs Premier were just marketing terms - really the mounts are all LX6 mounts with just different levels of PEC or PPEC in them.

 

The page you link to is mine, and I'm sure that it states the LX6 was 1989 and was f/6.3 only. In 1990 Meade consolidated it's LX5/LX6 efforts and put out the Premier line with f/6.3 or f/10 optics. I think Uncle Rod's guide says the same.

 

But it's all just semantics. The bottom line is they are great scopes. On the Premier side, it came in 3 flavours:

- Model 30: basic with smaller finder and no Dec control and no display behind the red screen

- Model 50: better with bigger finder, Dec control but still no display behind red screen

- Model 70: best with bigger finder, Dec control, encoders and LED display behind the red screen

 

My 2080 is a Premier Model 50, but I often refer to it as an LX6 because that fits in better with Meade's long-running naming scheme.

 

Sorry to hear about the spider poop on the mirror. I'd love to hear how it turns out after a bit of a clean up!

 

Thanks again!

 

If it's okay with you, I'd love to add your scope to the Meade LX registry I have on my site.

 

Cheers!

 

Rick


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#36 jgraham

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:45 AM

Several of my olde scopes came with all of the latest and greatest gizmos that were probably oogled and drooled over when they were new. Ugh. I strip all that stuff off and take it back to the basics. I'll add a nice 50mm RACI finder if they don't have one already (the star-hoppers friend). Taking these apart for cleaning is easy, just use a light touch and mark the orientation of the corrector before you lift it out. I recently restored a beautiful late production Meade SN8 that apparently sat in storage without a focuser on it long enough for mud dobbers to make themselves right at home inside the tube. They made quite a mess, but it turns out that mud dobber mud readily melts away under running water. Other than a tiny bit of coating coming off the edge of the secondary and a bit of film on the primary it cleaned up great! It is now back under the stars collecting starlight.

 

My Mud Dobber SN8 as it appears now...

 

Atlas SN8 (2) (10-7-2018)-1.jpg

 

Nice to know about the different controllers. I was wondering why my LX6 (or whatever) came with a nice looking handbox with nothing behind the red window. I keep all of the gizmos in case I ever what to dress them up for show, but I like using them to much to keep them that way.

 


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#37 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:58 AM

Hi Mike,

 

LX6 vs Premier were just marketing terms - really the mounts are all LX6 mounts with just different levels of PEC or PPEC in them.

 

The page you link to is mine, and I'm sure that it states the LX6 was 1989 and was f/6.3 only. In 1990 Meade consolidated it's LX5/LX6 efforts and put out the Premier line with f/6.3 or f/10 optics. I think Uncle Rod's guide says the same.

 

But it's all just semantics. The bottom line is they are great scopes. On the Premier side, it came in 3 flavours:

- Model 30: basic with smaller finder and no Dec control and no display behind the red screen

- Model 50: better with bigger finder, Dec control but still no display behind red screen

- Model 70: best with bigger finder, Dec control, encoders and LED display behind the red screen

 

My 2080 is a Premier Model 50, but I often refer to it as an LX6 because that fits in better with Meade's long-running naming scheme.

 

Sorry to hear about the spider poop on the mirror. I'd love to hear how it turns out after a bit of a clean up!

 

Thanks again!

 

If it's okay with you, I'd love to add your scope to the Meade LX registry I have on my site.

 

Cheers!

 

Rick

cool, yeah!


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#38 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 09:01 AM

on the back of the mirror

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#39 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 09:07 AM

inside the tube looks better than I thought it would,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

I keep telling myself I don't need another money pit with mirrors in it,,,,,,,,,,

I do not need,,,,,,,,,,

 

 

ok, but just until I collimate it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

 

While cleaning the corrector I worried about water behind the secondary, so thinking it was just a cap on the front and the adjustment screws under it I removed two of the screws before I felt a looseness, yup, that's not a cap and thems is adjustment screws,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

I wonder if I could Barlow a laser thru it to collimate,,,,,,,?

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#40 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 09:14 AM

What da ya think, scotch bright and comet cleaner?

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#41 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 09:22 AM

Dang, the two pics I took of the primary before cleaning got messed up, and the mirror came out pristine,,,,,,,

 

 

so now what,,,,,,,,,

 

btw,,,, these corrector plates are finger print magnets!


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#42 jallbery

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 10:15 AM

for those that might want to know, in this article it's stated that the LX 6 came in both focal ratio's.

 

...

Uh... it says exactly the opposite of that...

What made the LX-6 different? Its focal length. Until this time, all

commercial Meade and Celestron SCTs had been offered in a focal ratio of f10 only. The
new Meade was rated at f6.3. It was only available in this focal ratio; there is no f10 LX6.

and then 

 

the LX-6 also disappeared at this time. Well, it didn’t really disappear, it was just renamed, now

being called the Premiere. The idea of the premiere series was to give the purchaser some
choices. A number of different sub models of Premiere were offered. Most importantly,
you could choose your focal ratio.

 

Which is exactly what I've said earlier in this thread.

 

Here is Meade's listing on the specs of the LX6 from the LX6 manual:

MeadeLX6Specs

 

Note that only one focal ratio is listed.  You can see the rest of the manual at:

https://www.manualsl...Lx6.html#manual

 

Here is a Meade ad for the LX6:

http://2.bp.blogspot...1600/blue 6.JPG

Note that the LX6 "revolution" is equated with the LX6 being an F/6.3 scope.  No mention is made of the model also being available in F/10.

 

bbqediguana's post matches my recollection.   The Premiere is not a deluxe model of the LX6 (unlike the the later Premier editions of ETX scopes)-- it is a rebranding and a repositioning of the LX6 in conjunction with a consolidation of the LX5 line.   The low-end F/6.3 Premiere-- the  2080 Premiere Model 36 (the 30, 50, and 70 were the F/10 models; the corresponding F/6.3 model designations ended in 6's)-- was actually a less deluxe scope than an 2080 LX6 (smaller finder, possibly lighter wedge).   The "Premiere" was relative to the basic 2080 model that Meade had reintroduced at a lower price point.

 

I don't doubt that Meade users and probably even dealers stuck to calling the Premiere scopes LX6s-- with the exception of the option for F/10 optics and variants in accessory levels, for all practical purposes, that's what they were.  The upper level models eventually added PEC (or perhaps it was there at the introduction of the line), but non-PEC versions are essentially LX6s,

 

All that said, clearly, other folks remember things differently.  Does anyone have a Meade catalog, advertisement, or pricelist that shows an F/10 LX6 scope?


Edited by jallbery, 20 October 2018 - 10:32 AM.

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#43 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 10:19 AM

Then what's the writing on the back of the mirror?

 

And to pull from the article,

 

The idea of the premiere series was to give the purchaser some
choices. A number of different sub models of Premiere were offered. Most importantly,
you could choose your focal ratio. Meade would supply the scope with either f/6.3 or
f/10 OTAs.

 

So the LX 6 was the 6.3 and had a very short run, to avoid confusion they renamed it the Premier and offered the options.

 

but who cares, 


Edited by Mike W., 20 October 2018 - 10:39 AM.


#44 jallbery

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 10:50 AM

Then what's the writing on the back of the mirror?

 

Well, clearly, F/10 is the focal ratio.  3-9-91 is probably the date of manufacture of the mirror.   4-5 might be a testing date or an assembly into a scope date.  I don't know what the other numbers mean.   Perhaps they are some sort of characterization of the primary used in matching it to a corrector.

 

At any rate, the 1991 date is consistent with this scope being a Premiere.

 

By the way, a newer version of Rod Mollise's SCT guide is available from:

https://skywatch.bra.../used_sct.pdf  



#45 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 11:27 AM

The corrector didn't fair as well as the primary, most likely be ok for visual but never AP.

 

I'll keep you guys posted on what he decides he wants to do with it but I'm not going to purchase it, that was never my intention, just helping an old man out.


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#46 bbqediguana

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 12:16 PM

Although we seem to be nitpicking over the semantics of LX6 vs Premier the reality is that there is confusion over this part of Meades history. Part of my goal is to get it straight and keep people properly informed. I don’t want the details to fade away as time goes by.
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#47 bbqediguana

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 12:18 PM

Thanks jallbery - I forgot about the 36/56/76 models! 😀

Edited by bbqediguana, 20 October 2018 - 12:19 PM.


#48 Mike W.

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 06:57 PM

I am Bummmecd!!!

 

I plugged the base into a 12v. source, the light on the control panel lights, amp gauge works but after 6hrs. it's only rotated 90°,,,,,,,,undecided.gif

 

 

 

All kidding aside, I tried the hand controller briefly but neither the rapid slew RA or Dec. seemed to function.

I'm going to read up on this, btw I discovered a Dec. drive on the fork, it wasn't plugged in,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

caught myself searching the classified's for a diagonal,,,,,,,,  or a Baader Click Loc visual back,,,,,,,

 

 

 

no,,,, no,,,,,no,,,,,, nooooooooh,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

ok maybe,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, shocked.gif waytogo.gif


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#49 jgraham

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 07:08 PM

Keep in mind that this hand controller was designed to help manually guide a film camera, not to slew the scope. If I recall right the maximum slew rate was 16x sidereal. In other words, really freek'n slow. :)

 

That's why I stripped all of the antique imaging stuff off of mine and took it back to its visual roots.


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#50 bbqediguana

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 07:15 PM

Keep in mind that this hand controller was designed to help manually guide a film camera, not to slew the scope. If I recall right the maximum slew rate was 16x sidereal. In other words, really freek'n slow. smile.gif

 

That's why I stripped all of the antique imaging stuff off of mine and took it back to its visual roots.

I think it does 8x or 2x. WHOA! :)

 

Pro tip: make sure the RA and Dec locks are on tight or the hand controller might not work so well...




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