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Good Afternoon, I won this used telescope in a raffle but it seems no one can identify it.

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#1 danyune

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:53 PM

Good Afternoon!

 

I was referred here by /r/telescopes on reddit (Sorry if they're hated), figured this would be a great place to learn about how to use it.

 

What I do know:

This telescope was donated by an older retired gentleman who seems to have had it stored for years and years. The school club obviously did a small TLC job to make it presentable, but I did a more thorough cleaning (without taking it apart) to get all the cobwebs off.

 

From my short several hour research spree, I have figured to the best of my knowledge that this is an older Meade telescope, probably dating before the 1980s. Looked up a 1978 catalog and it was very reminiscent of the one I have. The stand has a plug in, to which I was told may just rotate once every 23hr 56min or so, not entirely familiar with why but can sorta understand why.

 

The refractor is on backwards I know. That was my bad. I had to take it off to transport it home, wanted it safe. I was playing with it like a monocle like a child just looking at things far away haha, but I put it back on, and apparently put it back on backwards.

 

The inside of the telescope seems intact, the eyepiece says 40mm on it, and there's little knobs that allow it to move up and down, presumably to focus.

 

As you can tell, I'm a complete beginner with telescopes. I wanted one when I was much younger but my parents couldn't afford it, so hopefully I can get this one to work out and see some things with my own eyes and not just pictures. I'm hoping to get a model so I can possibly look up a manual, or even ask you guys for some guidance on where to begin with using this.

 

I have not cleaned inside because I don't want to mess anything up. I am not sure if it has a special regiment in cleaning it.

 

Sorry if I break any rules, I didn't see a rule post in the pinned section. I may just not be seeing it, had sort of a long day

 

https://imgur.com/a/sCsmuyw



#2 Augustus

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:56 PM

Looks like a Meade 8" or 10" Research Grade. 


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#3 danyune

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:59 PM

Looks like a Meade 8" or 10" Research Grade. 

Oh yeah sorry I didn't mention dimensions!

 

It measures 57" long (maybe 55", had to sorta bend the tape measure around the Ring holders)

The diameter of the tube is 10", so the mirror is probably like 8"?


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#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:01 PM

Looks like a Meade 8" or 10" Research Grade. 

 

To my eye, it's not a Meade Research Grade mount, it does have rotating rings but the mount itself appears to have 1 inch shafts. 

 

 

Jon


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#5 Augustus

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:06 PM

Oh yeah sorry I didn't mention dimensions!

 

It measures 57" long (maybe 55", had to sorta bend the tape measure around the Ring holders)

The diameter of the tube is 10", so the mirror is probably like 8"?

Definitely 8" then.

 

Also, the finderscope is mounted backwards. Might wanna fix that.

 

To my eye, it's not a Meade Research Grade mount, it does have rotating rings but the mount itself appears to have 1 inch shafts. 

 

 

Jon

Hmm. Maybe it's one of those Crown Optics offerings.


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#6 danyune

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:13 PM

Definitely 8" then.

 

Also, the finderscope is mounted backwards. Might wanna fix that.

 

Hmm. Maybe it's one of those Crown Optics offerings.

Yeah, I fixed that haha, another person mentioned in on reddit, that was my bad. I took it apart to fit everything in my car to take home, and put it back together when I got to my Condo.

 

I just sorta quickly put it together after playing with the finder scope, took some pictures just so I could get an idea of what I have and how to properly use it, was not thinking about orientation of how to put it in, just sorta put it in for pictures, but that just made me look beyond beginner :(


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#7 Joe1950

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:25 PM

With a 10” tube it would have an 8” mirror. The tube length of 57 is a tad long for an F/6. Might be a f/7, but I’m not sure they made f/7. 

 

The mount is a 3rd party make, and the arrangement on the mount with the big gear and the small nylon worm gear is a 3rd party clock drive. When you have an object in the eyepiece field of view you engage the clock drive and it will keep the object from drifting out of view due to the earth’s rotation.

 

The Meade reflectors from that era were excellent. I had a 6” f/8 and the optics were top notch.

 

I’d say you have a really fine scope there. 

 

I would proceed with caution before taking things apart. You’ll want to check the mirror coatings to see how they have held up, but don’t do anything yet. There are folks here who are far better than me in explaining what to do and in what order.

 

But by all we see that is likely a fine scope. As for the mount, it’s hard to say, but it may be good also. 

 

 

Ideally, if there is a CN member or two near you, or if there is an astronomy club in your area, you could work with someone directly to give the scope a rundown and instructions for use and maintenance.

 

Good luck and enjoy!

 

 

2” focuser with 1.25” adapter.

Bet it’s a Parks fiberglass tube.


Edited by Joe1950, 06 August 2019 - 08:32 PM.

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#8 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:36 PM

If you would give your location, you could maybe get local help from a person experienced with Newtonian reflectors, which is what you have there. It's a 8" f/7.


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 06 August 2019 - 08:37 PM.

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#9 Marc-Andre

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:39 PM

It may be an ATM project with parts from several sources.  The mount and pier legs are not Meade, as well as the end rings on the tube or the spider.  


Edited by Marc-Andre, 06 August 2019 - 08:40 PM.

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#10 Joe1950

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:06 PM

I thought the spider had unusually thick vanes! 



#11 Don W

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:24 PM

My gut says it's not a Meade product. It's definitely not a Research Grade Meade. The spider is funky and it's odd that the Meade label is upside down on the focuser.


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#12 ccwemyss

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:30 PM

Whatever it was to begin with, it looks like it has been substantially modified. The mirror was moved forward, perhaps to compensate for the taller Meade focuser, which may be an upgrade. The double rings on the tube and mount make it look like the mount may have originally carried a larger scope. The tube has a second set of holes for the smaller rings, so something was done to adjust its balance. 

 

On the bright side, this was obviously tuned up by someone who had a good idea of what they were doing, and an 8" newtonian is a very capable scope.

 

Chip W. 


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#13 Joe1950

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:31 PM

Could be something altogether different.

 

Hope the mirror is Meade, or another good make. Maybe something is written or scratched on the back.

 

The reflectors from that era were usually very good. Coulter actually made a lot of the optics for different sellers, including Meade, before they expanded. And their optics were very good at that time.


Edited by Joe1950, 06 August 2019 - 09:36 PM.


#14 Paul Skee

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:35 PM

Could be the only thing "Meade" is the focuser. I had an 826 back in 79 or 80. Had superb optics. Always wanted the Research Grade w/the beefier mount and rotating tube rings. I believe f/6 was the only way the 8" was sold. The spider for the secondary does not look the same as I remember. Good advice to seek out a local club or someone local with some knowledge. I can tell you that my old 8" Meade newtonian provided some spectacular views. You are in for a real treat.


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#15 Joe1950

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:40 PM

Very true, Paul. One of the very best views of Jupiter I’ve ever had was with a 6” f/8 Meade Newt OTA. The planet was almost overhead and seeing was really good and the detail was just unbelievable. Wish I still has that scope.

 

An 8” would really knock your socks off.



#16 Paul Skee

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:52 PM

Yes sir, Joe. I watched the moon occult Saturn with that scope from my backyard. The Double Cluster was breathtaking with a 20mm Erfle. Ah, the memories, no goto, setting circles and Burnhams, man it didn't get much better.


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#17 apfever

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 10:51 PM

Not any Meade tube I know of. Maybe only the focuser and possibly some brackets or other peripherals. Likely the whole thing is an ATM build. 


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#18 danyune

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 11:37 PM

Thanks for all the info, just for reference I am in Seattle, WA

 

Yeah I figured I should avoid taking it apart myself, as I'm definitely not qualified to do so.

 

The optical piece is the only place Meade is written, and yeah there's a number of holes, I assume for addons or different mounting or whatnot. The stand is absolutely heavy, if that helps at all.

 

I've actually tried reaching out locally at several schools, seems either the club is too small to be known or simply doesn't exist. I'm sort of in a suburb of Seattle so there isn't much around. So I resorted to reaching out online to get some information.

 

I've seen mentioned, so it is a Newtonian scope? Just so I can start reading up or watching videos on functionality


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#19 tim53

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 11:41 PM

Looks like a Meade 8" or 10" Research Grade. 

Definitely not Meade.  Only the focuser, which is a generic Japanese import.


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#20 tim53

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 11:42 PM

Definitely 8" then.

 

Also, the finderscope is mounted backwards. Might wanna fix that.

 

Hmm. Maybe it's one of those Crown Optics offerings.

Not Crown either.  They are rebadged Meades made alongside Meade-badged scopes.


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#21 Napp

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 02:22 AM

Astronomy clubs in Washington:

 

https://www.skyandte...title&order=asc


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#22 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 06:46 AM

Good luck with your new scope.waytogo.gif waytogo.gif


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#23 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 07:59 AM

Yes, it looks like the typical Newtonian reflector of the 1980s.
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#24 Jimmy462

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:03 AM

>snip<

 

What I do know:

This telescope was donated by an older retired gentleman who seems to have had it stored for years and years.

 

>snip<

Hi danyune,

 

Any chance of tracking down the "older retired gentleman" who donated the telescope? It would seem to me to be the best source of information regarding the telescope's provenance and in getting some personal insights to the instrument's components and its operations.

 

To my eyes the telescope itself (not the mount) appears to be a homemade project cobbled together with an assemblage of both commercial (focuser, tube, primary mirror cell, etc.) or hand-fashioned (secondary mirror holder and spider, metal main tube end collars, etc.) parts.

 

The biggest problem I see is that the jerry-rigged secondary mounting assembly appears to have no angular adjustability, this adjustability is important to have in being able to get the optical path properly aligned for proper functioning. That the optics (main mirror and secondary mirror) are of, um, "good quality" (read: diffraction limited) one should be able to enjoy, er, "good quality" views, with the caveat, that the scope's optics can be collimated with the limited secondary mirror adjustability provided. And, I seriously suggest addressing the exposed sharp edges of the tube's metal end collars before someone's blood gets drawn.

 

It certainly looks like a fun project to undertake offering the potential promise of having a "fine performing" instrument when all is said and done. Again, I recommend trying to track down the scope's donor and I concur with others recommendations to try and get yourself hooked up with your local astronomy club, their assistance will make answering your questions and solving your problems a "whole lot" easier than trying to solve this on your own.

 

Best of luck, and keep us posted as to what you find out!

 

smile.gif

Jimmy G

 

Edit: grammar


Edited by Jimmy462, 07 August 2019 - 09:16 AM.

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#25 danyune

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:52 PM

Hi danyune,

 

Any chance of tracking down the "older retired gentleman" who donated the telescope? It would seem to me to be the best source of information regarding the telescope's provenance and in getting some personal insights to the instrument's components and its operations.

 

To my eyes the telescope itself (not the mount) appears to be a homemade project cobbled together with an assemblage of both commercial (focuser, tube, primary mirror cell, etc.) or hand-fashioned (secondary mirror holder and spider, metal main tube end collars, etc.) parts.

 

The biggest problem I see is that the jerry-rigged secondary mounting assembly appears to have no angular adjustability, this adjustability is important to have in being able to get the optical path properly aligned for proper functioning. That the optics (main mirror and secondary mirror) are of, um, "good quality" (read: diffraction limited) one should be able to enjoy, er, "good quality" views, with the caveat, that the scope's optics can be collimated with the limited secondary mirror adjustability provided. And, I seriously suggest addressing the exposed sharp edges of the tube's metal end collars before someone's blood gets drawn.

 

It certainly looks like a fun project to undertake offering the potential promise of having a "fine performing" instrument when all is said and done. Again, I recommend trying to track down the scope's donor and I concur with others recommendations to try and get yourself hooked up with your local astronomy club, their assistance will make answering your questions and solving your problems a "whole lot" easier than trying to solve this on your own.

 

Best of luck, and keep us posted as to what you find out!

 

smile.gif

Jimmy G

 

Edit: grammar

Hi there,

 

That's a solid idea to try, I did inquire when I first got it, but apparently it was an anonymous donation and the description was the best I got. Something tells me that it was just an elderly gentleman who was moving, maybe to a retirement home? No idea, but the club officers had no affiliation with the gentleman and just sorta accepted the donation.

 

It does seem like a side project that was started, and possibly put on hold. I haven't been able to find anything that matches it exactly, but as mentioned before it does have a striking resemblance to the late 70s and early 80s Meade models. Though I'm told by several here that it isn't a full on Meade and most likely put together from various brands


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