Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Gettting a good Meade 7" ED?

  • Please log in to reply
147 replies to this topic

#126 ltha

ltha

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Bend, Oregon

Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:58 PM

They were made by a Joe Nastasi at Parallax Instruments. I have dealt with him many times and always been very happy. He made three to my specs: one for the Cave/Schaefer, one for the Takahashi/NJP and one for the TEC/ HGM-200:

Attached Thumbnails

  • B9E9E481-7855-4C5A-B7B2-CDA05A12F2E5.jpeg

  • Tyson M likes this

#127 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:34 AM

They were made by a Joe Nastasi at Parallax Instruments. I have dealt with him many times and always been very happy. He made three to my specs: one for the Cave/Schaefer, one for the Takahashi/NJP and one for the TEC/ HGM-200:

I would hate to pay the shipping as that would cost half as much as the pier.  I would need a 62" or higher pier made. 



#128 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:38 AM

The Cave, TEC, Takahashi FC-125 and 18” Starmaster. Now that I have seen what the Cave can do, I need to do some cosmetic restoration!

A bigger well made Newt will always beat out a smaller APO.  This is why i can't see spending 50k+ for a 8" APO when a good 8" F/8 Newt can do 90% or more of the same size APO and cost 90% less.  Then when you get into the 12.5" to 14.5" Zambutos in my seeing it is just no contest in my steady seeing.   But i am wanting a 7" or 8" APO to try out for kicks, even a 8" F/15 D&G would be fun, but i would need a much bigger boat to hold it.  Once you get into the 8" sizes then lifting it up and mounting it takes the fun away.


Edited by CHASLX200, 19 May 2019 - 05:41 AM.


#129 ltha

ltha

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Bend, Oregon

Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:51 AM

I would hate to pay the shipping as that would cost half as much as the pier.  I would need a 62" or higher pier made. 

The piers were ordered in anticipation of building the roll off observatory. Unfortunately my carpenter/builder friend’s cancer intervened but he is hopeful. Anyway, at the time the piers were shipped I thought the shipping cost was pretty hefty, but after having the piers arrive, setting the scopes up and using them the shipping costs have been long forgotten. I built a simple platform with locking casters as an interim measure, and my life became so much easier. I used to carry the FC-125/NJP out in one trip. Heavy and awkward to say the least. Now a kid could roll it or the big Cave out pretty easily. Like many things in life, the cost or effort seems daunting up front, but once you get past that and commit the enjoyment takes over and the rest is soon forgotten. The piers are wonderful in use and worth every penny they cost. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1AF72295-F419-49CC-854F-03781FF6B06B.jpeg


#130 ltha

ltha

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Bend, Oregon

Posted 19 May 2019 - 08:16 AM

A bigger well made Newt will always beat out a smaller APO.  This is why i can't see spending 50k+ for a 8" APO when a good 8" F/8 Newt can do 90% or more of the same size APO and cost 90% less.  Then when you get into the 12.5" to 14.5" Zambutos in my seeing it is just no contest in my steady seeing.   But i am wanting a 7" or 8" APO to try out for kicks, even a 8" F/15 D&G would be fun, but i would need a much bigger boat to hold it.  Once you get into the 8" sizes then lifting it up and mounting it takes the fun away.

 

A night out with a Trekkerscope 8” f/8 and D&G 6” started the path to the 8” D&G which ultimately led to the 8” TEC. I wrote an article about the D&G on CN:

 

https://www.cloudyni...refractor-r1216

 

D&G scopes harken back to the legendary refractors. Images in mine were stunning, and false color minimal on planets. And you will get no argument from me about big, optimized Newtonians, they are favorites of mine too. The best views I had of Mars in the early 2000s was with a 10” Portaball with Zambuto primary on one of the best nights of seeing. I ordered a 12.5” PB as a result. And if I could only own one scope, it would be the 12.5” PB. Yet I still prefer the experience of viewing through a big refractor. 

 

When Yuri announced the 10” Fluorite I briefly considered it but could not justify the cost of not only the scope but a new mount and structure to house it. Others could, and TEC sold out the production run. What stopped me was knowing, in part, what a big planetary Newtonian can do and at very reasonable cost. I cannot comment on other’s assessment of cost - some folks could simply write a check for the 10” TEC, and others probably do not own sports cars, boats, motor homes, etc. and, bringing the chat back on topic, some people own the Meade 178 EDs and ask why bother - they have a solid performing large aperture refractor that can easily be set up ot transported by one person. And it did not break the bank. 


Edited by ltha, 19 May 2019 - 08:34 AM.


#131 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 22,413
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 19 May 2019 - 09:36 AM

I have read many posts where people have had large newts 20" on up and stated that they still liked the view better through the large refractor over the large newt.  Those statements tell me a lot.   


  • Paul Hyndman and 3 i Guy like this

#132 banatop

banatop

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 06 May 2007

Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:07 AM

 "some people own the Meade 178 EDs and ask why bother - they have a solid performing large aperture refractor that can easily be set up or transported by one person. And it did not break the bank."

Hi Larry, Many thanks for your excellent posts about the 178ED, I find your comparisons very interesting and informative. What you said above hits the nail on the head for me. I've had a nice example of the Meade 178 ED for the last 15 years and I can see no reason for buying anything else to replace it. The Meade does everything well and is only limited by seeing conditions. It's shown me everything  that I expected to see with a 7"ED (and more) and all for a cost per year of about $200 !

      

I'm glad that these scopes are finally being appreciated for what they are and the unbeatable value they represent in the refractor world. Find a good one and you've got a great all round scope that'll last a lifetime. Mind you, it won't be that easy; someone in a post above said that Meade made about a thousand of these, a number which I think is way too high. Judging by the numbers that have come up for sale over the last 15 years ( many of which were the same scopes being resold ), I'd say that the actual count would be much, much lower perhaps less than a hundred. As a matter of interest does anyone have any official production figures for the Meade 178 ED ?

Anyway, a great topic and good luck with the hunt Chas !


Edited by banatop, 19 May 2019 - 11:58 AM.

  • 3 i Guy likes this

#133 ltha

ltha

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Bend, Oregon

Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:18 AM

I have read many posts where people have had large newts 20" on up and stated that they still liked the view better through the large refractor over the large newt.  Those statements tell me a lot.   

I have a Starmaster 18” with a beautiful mirror. One night I was out looking at the Moon, probably quarter phase, and had my Takahashi FC-125 set up next to the SM. Looking through the SM I could see a finger of illuminated mountains sticking out into the darkness along the lunar terminator. It was literally suspended in space - until I took a peek through the Tak which not only showed the illuminated mountain tops but the structure below as well. Going back to the SM I could not see the underlying structure. 

 

In defense of big Newtonians, most are not optimized for planetary viewing. My old Cave has a Destiny curved spider, cooling fan for the Quartz primary and smallish (2.14”) secondary. Plus it is an f/6 which helps. Dr D had a series of post on his groups experiences with Jon Pons incredible refractors, and the optimized planetary Newtonians built by Ed Grissom. Properly set up a big Newt can be devastatingly effective as shown by Grissom. My old Cave and the 12.5” Portaball proved it to me. But, the refractors allow seated viewing, binoviewing in comfort and fabulous contrast. Which is better? Depends on what you are looking for but both can be superb performers. Cooling large triplets becomes an issue in larger sizes, not to mention mounting size and weight. 

 

Years ago I had the good fortune to know Al George who had a 15” f/12 D&G in an observatory at his home. What an amazing scope! Images were simply stunning but before you ask Charles, it was not a one person setup.....


  • 3 i Guy likes this

#134 ltha

ltha

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Bend, Oregon

Posted 19 May 2019 - 04:20 PM

Al George passed away a few years back unfortunately. A picture of Al and his 15” D&G taken on one of our visits:

Attached Thumbnails

  • A92AD1E1-7902-4736-B050-F2BB2DAE16B8.jpeg

  • plyscope, rolo, Josef1968 and 2 others like this

#135 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 19 May 2019 - 04:47 PM

Al George passed away a few years back unfortunately. A picture of Al and his 15” D&G taken on one of our visits:

No way i am lifting that OTA to mount up. I could buy 3 of my streets for the price of that scope. Must have been 500k.



#136 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 19 May 2019 - 04:49 PM

I have a Starmaster 18” with a beautiful mirror. One night I was out looking at the Moon, probably quarter phase, and had my Takahashi FC-125 set up next to the SM. Looking through the SM I could see a finger of illuminated mountains sticking out into the darkness along the lunar terminator. It was literally suspended in space - until I took a peek through the Tak which not only showed the illuminated mountain tops but the structure below as well. Going back to the SM I could not see the underlying structure. 

 

In defense of big Newtonians, most are not optimized for planetary viewing. My old Cave has a Destiny curved spider, cooling fan for the Quartz primary and smallish (2.14”) secondary. Plus it is an f/6 which helps. Dr D had a series of post on his groups experiences with Jon Pons incredible refractors, and the optimized planetary Newtonians built by Ed Grissom. Properly set up a big Newt can be devastatingly effective as shown by Grissom. My old Cave and the 12.5” Portaball proved it to me. But, the refractors allow seated viewing, binoviewing in comfort and fabulous contrast. Which is better? Depends on what you are looking for but both can be superb performers. Cooling large triplets becomes an issue in larger sizes, not to mention mounting size and weight. 

 

Years ago I had the good fortune to know Al George who had a 15” f/12 D&G in an observatory at his home. What an amazing scope! Images were simply stunning but before you ask Charles, it was not a one person setup.....

Zambuto optics will kill any refactor in my book for my steady seeing. Maybe if i bought a 14" APO for half a mil it could get beat out a 14.5" Zambuto.  No 7" or 8 " APO will come close at 1150x as they run out of light.


Edited by CHASLX200, 19 May 2019 - 05:07 PM.


#137 Steve Allison

Steve Allison

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,278
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Olympia, Wash. 98502

Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:02 PM

I had the good fortune to know Al and view through the various telescopes he housed in his observatory in Puyallup, Washington.

 

I remember him first having a 12.5 inch, F/8 Newtonian. I saw Halley's Comet in this back in 1986.

 

Next was an 8 inch D&G refractor, which provided me with one of the best views of Saturn I ever had. There was an article In Sky & Telescope about this instrument.

 

The 8 inch was followed by a 10 inch D&G and ultimately by the 15 inch model pictured above. I never had a chance to view through either of these telescopes, but can only imagine what images in the 15 inch must have been like...

 

Steve



#138 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 22,413
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:09 PM

I had the good fortune to know Al and view through the various telescopes he housed in his observatory in Puyallup, Washington.

 

I remember him first having a 12.5 inch, F/8 Newtonian. I saw Halley's Comet in this back in 1986.

 

Next was an 8 inch D&G refractor, which provided me with one of the best views of Saturn I ever had. There was an article In Sky & Telescope about this instrument.

 

The 8 inch was followed by a 10 inch D&G and ultimately by the 15 inch model pictured above. I never had a chance to view through either of these telescopes, but can only imagine what images in the 15 inch must have been like...

 

Steve

Looking through a large refractor like that must be an unforgettable moment.  That is how I felt looking through my Meade 178ED for the first time on Saturn.  I was amazing the contrast an unobstructed scope can provide on a jet black background.  Something, I have never seen in a reflector.   That jet velvet black background makes the view extra special.


  • peleuba, Bomber Bob, shootnstarz and 1 other like this

#139 shootnstarz

shootnstarz

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2014

Posted 16 October 2020 - 11:46 AM

This post is over a year and a half old but I want say I love my 178ED. I've heard more than one astronomer "That's the best view of Saturn I've ever seen". But my LXD750 is inop and has a slight chance of ever getting repaired, even slighter chance of buying a new mount that size.

#140 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 16 October 2020 - 06:00 PM

This post is over a year and a half old but I want say I love my 178ED. I've heard more than one astronomer "That's the best view of Saturn I've ever seen". But my LXD750 is inop and has a slight chance of ever getting repaired, even slighter chance of buying a new mount that size.

A used AP800 will hold it fine and they are cheap used.


  • shootnstarz likes this

#141 stevew

stevew

    Now I've done it

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,560
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2006
  • Loc: British Columbia Canada

Posted 16 October 2020 - 08:01 PM

This post is over a year and a half old but I want say I love my 178ED. I've heard more than one astronomer "That's the best view of Saturn I've ever seen". But my LXD750 is inop and has a slight chance of ever getting repaired, even slighter chance of buying a new mount that size.

Please post a pic. We all love big refractors...



#142 junomike

junomike

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 19,872
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Ontario

Posted 17 October 2020 - 11:47 AM

Still thinking of getting mine out  before Mars leaves...

 

178ED 1st lightCNb.jpg

 


  • payner, eros312, SandyHouTex and 3 others like this

#143 SandyHouTex

SandyHouTex

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,103
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 17 October 2020 - 07:05 PM

Still thinking of getting mine out  before Mars leaves...

 

attachicon.gif178ED 1st lightCNb.jpg

I’ve always kinda wanted one of those.



#144 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 18 October 2020 - 05:58 AM

I’ve always kinda wanted one of those.

Make sure it has the fixed cell before buying or it will be useless like mine was.



#145 Steeveaux

Steeveaux

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 134
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Wichita, KS

Posted 18 October 2020 - 09:05 AM

[quote name="CHASLX200" post="10590855" timestamp="1603018699"]
Make sure it has the fixed cell before buying or it will be useless like mine was.[/quote

The modification consists of three holes to drill and tap in aluminum.

Edited by Steeveaux, 18 October 2020 - 09:07 AM.


#146 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20,555
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 18 October 2020 - 02:30 PM

[quote name="CHASLX200" post="10590855" timestamp="1603018699"]
Make sure it has the fixed cell before buying or it will be useless like mine was.[/quote

The modification consists of three holes to drill and tap in aluminum.

Not something i have the tools to do or want to do.



#147 shootnstarz

shootnstarz

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2014

Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:35 AM

Still thinking of getting mine out  before Mars leaves...
 
attachicon.gif178ED 1st lightCNb.jpg



What mount are you using with that big dog?

Rick

#148 junomike

junomike

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 19,872
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Ontario

Posted 19 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

What mount are you using with that big dog?

Rick

Celestron CGE. 




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics