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Meade 390 Questions

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#1 makscopes

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:37 AM

Hi everyone. 
 

I just got a Meade 390 refractor for $35 off of OfferUp. The scope looks to be in great shape given its age.

 

I do have a few questions however. 

 

1. Can the supplied tube rings be adapted to accept a Vixen dovetail?

 

2. Will a Unistar Light be able to handle the weight of this scope?  I have the Unistar Light on a very sturdy wood tripod. 

 

Any insight will be appreciated!

Milton


Edited by makscopes, 05 November 2019 - 08:39 AM.

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#2 beanerds

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 06:18 AM

I grabbed one of these way back in the mid/late ? 90's for my middle Son to test his growing interest in astronomy and optically it was pretty good , terrible diagonal and eyepiece but when supe'd up with a quality Mizar prism diagonal and Zeiss eyepieces it performed really well .

My advice is for this price  ,   grab it and definately  try the Unistar as the supplied Meade ( early Chinese ) mount ? tripod are rubbish , sorry to say .

 

My Son's passion for astronomy lasted for about 12 month's then he discovered girls . A different kind of passion ,,,, 

 

I can't remember what happened to it now , I think it was gifted to a nephew or something ? 

 

Beanerds.



#3 grif 678

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 01:35 PM

I think the vixen altaz rings are designed like the c-80 rings. Both rings have a place about 1 inch long that has been raised up about 1/2 inch from the rest of the ring. I believe one ring has this place on the top, while the other has it on the bottom. All you have to do is drill a hole in each of those places. Then put a bolt through that will fit the threaded holes in the vixen dovetail. Then put the rings back on with those two places on the bottom. That extra 1/2 inch recessed place in the ring will allow for a bolt head room, and it will not tough the OTA.



#4 Garyth64

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 03:09 PM

"Can the supplied tube rings be adapted to accept a Vixen dovetail?"

 

Yes, I believe that they can.

 

Here's my 395, with what I think are the brackets that  you have on your 390.

 

90mm brackets on Edmund.jpg

 

Where the bottom of the bracket goes thru the Edmund flange, there's a tapped hole in the bracket that has metric threads.  The top of the bracket is also tapped but they are for 1/4 -20.

I just ran a long enough bolt thru bottom of the bracket and thru the flange.

 

I'm sure you can come up with something that will work.

 

Also, I just purchased these brackets for my 395.  These brackets slide onto the tube.  I had to unscrew the lens cell. But what I found out was that they do not fit tight!  I solved the problem by  separating the felt under the top of the bracket where a 1/4-20 bolt would go.  I inserted a small piece of flexible thin plastic between the felt and the bracket, and screwed in a 1/4-20 bolt into the top of the bracket.  Now, I can tighten the bolt down against the small piece of plastic, and it tightens down onto the tube without marring the tube.  I did that to both brackets, and it hold the OTA very good.

 

One more thing.  I found that the bottom of these brackets were not flat or square to the rings.  A little filing took care of that.

 

395 on Edmunc.jpg


Edited by Garyth64, 07 November 2019 - 03:18 PM.

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#5 makscopes

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 08:37 AM

Thanks for the replies! What I am finding is when I take the scope off of the mount or loosen the set screws, the rings become loose on the scope. Is this normal? I am going to try fastening them to a dovetail to see if I can get them to stay snug to the scope. 



#6 makscopes

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 08:43 AM

"Can the supplied tube rings be adapted to accept a Vixen dovetail?"

 

Yes, I believe that they can.

 

Here's my 395, with what I think are the brackets that  you have on your 390.

 

attachicon.gif 90mm brackets on Edmund.jpg

 

Where the bottom of the bracket goes thru the Edmund flange, there's a tapped hole in the bracket that has metric threads.  The top of the bracket is also tapped but they are for 1/4 -20.

I just ran a long enough bolt thru bottom of the bracket and thru the flange.

 

I'm sure you can come up with something that will work.

 

Also, I just purchased these brackets for my 395.  These brackets slide onto the tube.  I had to unscrew the lens cell. But what I found out was that they do not fit tight!  I solved the problem by  separating the felt under the top of the bracket where a 1/4-20 bolt would go.  I inserted a small piece of flexible thin plastic between the felt and the bracket, and screwed in a 1/4-20 bolt into the top of the bracket.  Now, I can tighten the bolt down against the small piece of plastic, and it tightens down onto the tube without marring the tube.  I did that to both brackets, and it hold the OTA very good.

 

One more thing.  I found that the bottom of these brackets were not flat or square to the rings.  A little filing took care of that.

 

attachicon.gif 395 on Edmunc.jpg

This answers my question perfectly. Thank you. 


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