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MEADE 7" MAK First Light Report

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#1 clusterbuster

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 12:51 AM

Hi All,

 I just acquired a MEADE 7" MAK yesterday !

I have wanted one of these for years... 

  The first thing that I want to mention is that when I first saw it, I was surprised at how BIG it was.. also, until recently when I started reading about the Meade 7, I did not know that the MAK 7 (Meade)  has an 8.25" Primary Mirror.

Way to go MEADE !!! 

 If any of you are wondering... the counterweight is still in it !

 so, Last night.. Sky Conditions Clear, 7/10 rating in my opinion.

I put the Big Mak on the balcony about an hour before sunset, my balcony faces the East.

At about 8:45 I went out and put the MAK on my AVX Mount... 

 first target Cor Caroli, very beautiful, nice tight star points, then I went to M3 , M3 showed  more stars than I anticipated, I also noticed this effect on M13 (later in the evening). The F15 instrument had my attention, I have been reading about these Telescopes and their performances for quite some time on the forums.

 Seeing these (Outlying Stars) on the Globulars is something that I don't normally see on my Balcony.. (this is normally seen at my dark sky sight, but not from my home , East Tampa)

It must be a combination of EXCELLENT OPTICS and the f/15 Focal Ratio.

 M57 was as VIVID as I have ever seen it (from the city) in any Telescope.. I was kind of surprised at how nice it was (gaining much more respect for this instrument , the more I looked at different objects).

 M11 was simply OUTSTANDING, the Stars were as beautiful in this cluster as have ever seen them . and you could see the subtle light behind these Stars that I normally only see in a Dark Sky !

 Albireo was really beautiful, the Turquoise Star had the most beautiful color in it that I have ever noticed.

 I (with much excited anticipation) was ready to look at Jupiter  as it had climbed up to a decent height in the sky. WOW... Lots of detail, the GRS was really sharp, and I could see Europa even though it was in front of Jupiter, as I took in the beauty of the big gas Giant, many pencil thin Bands, the 2 major bands showing their irregularities clearly, I saw Europa eventually come off of the limb of the Planet, that was quite a treat. 

Then of Course, Saturn (which is still quite a ways from opposition), was simply Stunning, Saturn has been hanging out in a rich star filled area for the last year or so.( I remember back in the day, before wide angle Eyepieces when you would see Saturn and its Moons OR Jupiter and its Moons and that was pretty much your Planetary views.) Now with Wide Angle EPs. we are able to see the Planets with some larger field of views,

Saturn showed some very nice coloring, the Cassini Division was clearly seen and the Crepe... I looked at Saturn for over an hour, Even though I knew that there were now plenty of DSOs in Scorpio and Sagittarius to check out. The beauty of Saturn had caught me in its grip. I will look at other objects in the VERY NEAR FUTURE !.

The WONDERFUL MEADE MAK 7 has been on the Balcony for a couple of hours now, so I will soon be at the Eyepiece(s).. again this morning' (1:45 AM right now);

I have been observing ( through very good equipment ) for over 40 years.. This MEADE 7 MAK has REALLY IMPRESSED me on my first night with it, I don't think that a Telescope should really be evaluated until one has observed with it for many sessions,( different sky conditions of course produce different results).

However, judging by what I have seen on my First Light with this Telescope, I SAY.. What a GREAT Telescope it is!

 Clear Skies

Mark


Edited by clusterbuster, 12 April 2019 - 01:00 AM.

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#2 Asbytec

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:55 AM

I can relate. When I got my Orion 150, I did not expect much. But, after observing with it, it really began to impress me. Over time I realized I had a nice scope. I am sure your Meade is the same way. Congratulations, you're in for a nice ride. 


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#3 clusterbuster

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:48 AM

Second observing session:

 The seeing was not as good as last night (so glad that last night was GOOD) as it was an evaluation type session, any way this morning I was perusing through Cygnus and " MY OH MY" ...I am most impressed with the DARK JET BLACK BACKGROUND that this scope delivers! 

I was scanning around Sagittarius and BOOM, there was M22, I had my 20mm 100*  WO Eyepiece in and at 135X this Globular was Magnificent, in the past year I have observed M22 with a 14" Dob, and I will tell you what, this view was just STUNNING !!!

I sure am glad that I got this Telescope !!!

Clear Skies

Mark


Edited by clusterbuster, 12 April 2019 - 04:51 AM.

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#4 Asbytec

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:20 AM

I can relate again. My first impression was how dark the background was. Of course, the longer focal length means we are operating at smaller exit pupils, generally, and that may account for the darker sky. But, it may well be well baffled, too. I still do not know the answer, but yes..a darker background was my impression, too. 

 

I went on to enjoy my MCT in good seeing and thermally stable to include surface albedo on Ganymede, tiny Craterlets on Plato's floor subtending ~ 0.7" arc, double stars, and even deep sky. I enjoyed my MCT so much over the 8 years I used it...a lot. Jove, Mars, and Saturn rocked under those conditions. So much so, I dubbed my Orion 150 a "poor man's Questar" and treated it with kid gloves. Kept it well collimated, clean, and in good working order.

 

I became a fan of the MCT design because of the enjoyment I got from it. Much like you are expressing right now. It can take magnification well, as much as you can throw at it. Don't be shy. Mars at 70x per inch, doubles even higher. No problem. 


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#5 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:46 AM

Congrats on your new scope.. .enjoy! 
 

Light from a meniscus (the front lens) diverges, hence the mirror is larger so as to capture all the light. Instrument size is not based on the mirror but on the entry lens (meniscus) size.


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#6 bob midiri

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:56 AM

Awesome report Mark, and this is just the start of a most wonderful voyage with your Meade Mak. Here is Hoping clear and steady skies to you as you continue to look up!


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#7 Bill Barlow

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:26 AM

Mark, does your 7” Meade MAK have the UHTC coatings?  Hope you keep enjoying it.

 

Bill



#8 clusterbuster

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 11:09 AM

Mark, does your 7” Meade MAK have the UHTC coatings?  Hope you keep enjoying it.

 

Bill

Yes, Bill, it does have the UHTC Coatings, it is a LX200 GPS, but it is an OTA only, it works great on my AVX Mount ! I have been observing for many years and have had a LOT of Telescopes, and this one really has me excited ! The views are just beyond what I thought that a 7" Mak could produce !!!

Mark


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#9 Asbytec

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 11:44 AM

I've wondered for years why my MCT excited me. The conclusion was it was the scope I used under fine tropical seeing and modest ambient temperatures. Such conditions allowing high magnification allowed me to explore an observing realm and see new things I never thought possible.

The Meade has the added advantage of employing an elliptical primary which, as I understand it, is a better fit for the meniscus than a spherical primary. So, it should be a great scope, especially collimated and thermally stable in good seeing.
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#10 dscarpa

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 02:45 PM

 Nice scope and report! Try cranking up the magnification on DSOs.  M 57 and M42 look very 3D with lots of detail at 320X in my IM715D. I use a 9 WO 101 equal to my Ethos 13 which is also great in this scope-discontinued but SV and APM have versions- for 320X from my darkish suburban yard.  Both eyepieces are also excellent  on doubles, the Moon and planets. David


Edited by dscarpa, 12 April 2019 - 02:55 PM.

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#11 Starman27

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:28 PM

Thanks for the great detailed first light report. 


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#12 payner

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:39 PM

Mark: Your excitement I can relate to with this telescope.  I have the LX200GPS w/ UHTC coatings.  When the GPS series came out, Meade apparently decided somewhere in the run of this model, that the 7" MCT was going the way of the dinosaurs, extinct in their line.  So, while the MCT was produced over many years, and in three LX series I know of, only the relatively few LX200GPS models had the UHTC coatings. 

 

Another significant, and needed part of this design, was the oversized primary.  This way one receives a fully illuminated field in this instrument.  Also, the f/2.5 aspheric secondary yields a well corrected FoV.  With full illumination and the aspheric secondary, stars of equal magnitude show the same across a correct field.

 

My Meade 7" has the weight in it, too.  I do not see the issue that others see.  Grant it, one should run the fans, if needed, but the oversized tube of the OTA may play a key role in lessening the effects of a thermal gradient.  Since the OTA is of a diameter for an 8" aperture instrument, seems this "buffer" helps to keep the distorting plumes out of the optical path.

 

Enjoy,
Randy


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#13 clusterbuster

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 11:54 PM

Mark: Your excitement I can relate to with this telescope.  I have the LX200GPS w/ UHTC coatings.  When the GPS series came out, Meade apparently decided somewhere in the run of this model, that the 7" MCT was going the way of the dinosaurs, extinct in their line.  So, while the MCT was produced over many years, and in three LX series I know of, only the relatively few LX200GPS models had the UHTC coatings. 

 

Another significant, and needed part of this design, was the oversized primary.  This way one receives a fully illuminated field in this instrument.  Also, the f/2.5 aspheric secondary yields a well corrected FoV.  With full illumination and the aspheric secondary, stars of equal magnitude show the same across a correct field.

 

My Meade 7" has the weight in it, too.  I do not see the issue that others see.  Grant it, one should run the fans, if needed, but the oversized tube of the OTA may play a key role in lessening the effects of a thermal gradient.  Since the OTA is of a diameter for an 8" aperture instrument, seems this "buffer" helps to keep the distorting plumes out of the optical path.

 

Enjoy,
Randy

Randy, for whatever reason this Telescope is the BEST one that I have ever owned, and I have had some NICE ones, I had a 14" Dob for a couple of years that went deeper, but WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE (Meade 7 Mak) appears to this old veteran observer as SOMETHING MAGICAL, I actually feel like a new kid with a NEW TELESCOPE, I know that THIS is a KEEPER for sure !!!

Mark



#14 Asbytec

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 03:35 AM

...I know that THIS is a KEEPER for sure !!!

Mark

LOL I still have mine.

 

Occasionally we run across comments of folks who regret selling their keeper. I swore I would not make that mistake. Magical is an interesting word, I felt the same way. But I could find no logical explanation as to why it would be magical or in any way much different than any other. But, I grew to love mine regardless of the reason it seemed magical. Maybe love really is blind. 


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#15 payner

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 08:53 AM

Yes, most of us (me) have at one time or another said we would not sell something, and did.  While I won't say I'll never sell anything anymore (who doesn't like to experiment?), I do know what has suited me best in the classes of telescopes I have/do own.

 

Clear skies,
Randy


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#16 Tyson M

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 12:31 PM

Yes, most of us (me) have at one time or another said we would not sell something, and did.  While I won't say I'll never sell anything anymore (who doesn't like to experiment?), I do know what has suited me best in the classes of telescopes I have/do own.

 

Clear skies,
Randy

Guilty,  I really like to experiment with refractors for instances. 

 

Mirrored scopes on the other hand.....I found exactly what I wanted. 


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#17 gfstallin

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:05 PM

I love it when someone is so excited by his/her new telescope. Reading the excitement in the first light reports, I get so happy for folks. It's like we all got a telescope. 

 

George


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#18 clusterbuster

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 01:39 AM

Yes, most of us (me) have at one time or another said we would not sell something, and did.  While I won't say I'll never sell anything anymore (who doesn't like to experiment?), I do know what has suited me best in the classes of telescopes I have/do own.

 

Clear skies,
Randy

Hi Randy,

 When I saw your signature and realised that the Meade 7" Mak is hanging out with all of those Takahashi Telescopes, it makes me proud !

Mark



#19 payner

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 05:34 PM

Hi Mark: Well, the Meade is a great telescope in its own right.  Though I do appreciate Takahashi scopes for their optical and mechanical quality, coupled with complete systems/accessories they make available for each model, the fact that the MCT is a Meade does not diminish its qualities.  That big MCT is really a pleasure to use.  Enjoy!

 

Regards,

Randy


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