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Meade Starfinder 10"

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#26 lowroller21

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 09:16 AM

It's the bolts, not the straps.

 

I've been working away at a solution using draw latches.  Will post when complete.


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#27 lowroller21

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 03:43 PM

The straps are definitely the weak link on this scope.  Or at least they were!

 

I made up some brackets which I mounted to the stand after drilling and tapping some screw holes.  Then I added draw latches.

IMG 1524
 
Unfortunately the latches wouldn't stay locked due to the tension distribution, and would spring open.  So I went and got some bigger ones that could accommodate a cotter pin.  I also adjusted the brackets slightly.  Here they are all painted up.
IMG 1528
 
The scope now sits perfectly on the mount and is easy to adjust by popping the latches open half way.  I added a small rubber stop to the tube while I was at it to make sure the scope didn't slide out when positioned up & down, but it isn't needed now.

 

 


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#28 Stevegeo

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 08:11 PM

Your latches are great , and going to a larger size a wise move .. with locking pins no less you shouldnt worry about losing the scope now .. 

Your tube looks as if it's the next project ... mine was mush , the water stains aren't that bad  and could be painted over if you want to go that route . The tube itself is a thick fiberboard , much thicker then sonotube as I found out . 

Since I'm a fabricator by trade it was easy for me to lay up a new tube in fiberglass using a sonotube as a base . 

After a few days of setup, a once over with sandpaper, a layer of silk glass  then paint . 

The drilling of the holes , and placement was a simple swap .. however collimate the primary, secondary, focuser was at first a nightmare , but with a laser collimate and patience I was able to get near perfect .. 

That first night out, after a long cooldown is when I realized my efforts paid off .. 

The Meade 10 Starfinder  is a great classic well worth the referb . 

Stevegeo 



#29 lowroller21

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 06:56 AM

Thanks, I'm real happy with how it turned out.

 

Yes the tube is next.  I'm looking for a new focuser currently to replace the plastic one.  Once I have that ready to swap I'll break the whole thing down and refinish it.  I was planning on light sanding, fill any areas that need it, prime and paint.

 

What is the weight of the fiberglass tube compared to the fiberboard?  I'd be interested in hearing that process and how you get the new tube off the old one.



#30 Sheridan

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 07:32 AM

Congrats on your find! That was also my first scope and I still have it. You're going to enjoy it a lot.
You might want to replace the standard focuser with a 2 in.

Edited by Sheridan, 17 April 2020 - 07:34 AM.


#31 lowroller21

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 12:29 PM

Congrats on your find! That was also my first scope and I still have it. You're going to enjoy it a lot.
You might want to replace the standard focuser with a 2 in.

I'm looking into that now, but its hard to know what to get.  I don't want to spend a fortune but definitely want a better focuser.

 

I'll refinish the tube at the same time.



#32 stevew

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Posted 18 April 2020 - 04:02 AM

Great scope!

My buddy turned his into a Dobsonian about 20 years ago.

Great mirror! Lots of light and resolution.

It's hard to beat a good ten inch.

 

 

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#33 lowroller21

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Posted 18 April 2020 - 08:25 PM

Great looking scope!


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#34 Sheridan

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Posted 18 April 2020 - 09:19 PM

Plugged in my lx200 after 13 years in the Box climate controlled main board fried. Plugged in starfinder 10 works like a champ. This covid-19 stuff leaves me too much time at home. At least I still have a scope to use


Edited by Sheridan, 18 April 2020 - 09:19 PM.


#35 Sheridan

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Posted 18 April 2020 - 09:20 PM

Beautiful scope

Great scope!

My buddy turned his into a Dobsonian about 20 years ago.

Great mirror! Lots of light and resolution.

It's hard to beat a good ten inch.


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#36 lowroller21

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 06:51 AM

Got out last night for a while. Was trying to find some of the DSOs around Ursa Major but no luck. Light pollution here really washes out the sky.  
 

Attempted Star hopping for the first time. Didn’t have as much luck eyeballing it as I’d hoped. I’m thinking of picking up a proper star atlas and drawing up some FOV rings to help. 
 

Any recommendations for DSOs that I should be able to find in these Bortle 8 skies?



#37 lowroller21

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 08:01 AM

Moving on, time to clean up the tube!  Picked up the supplies yesterday and got everything stripped down.  Only bummer was that I had planned to roll on the appliance paint, but spray cans were the only thing available.  I bought enough to redo the freezer while I'm at it.

 

IMG 1712
 
Ready for resto:
IMG 1713
IMG 1714
 
One of the girls in the neighborhood is going to make a new decal for me.
IMG 1716
 
And what good is a rebuild without a few upgrades!  Pulled the trigger on a GSO 2" Crayford with 303mm plate (which fits the tube perfectly), 35mm extension, and an 8x50 finder scope.  Ordered from AgenaAstro.com and couldn't be happier with the service.  I also spoke at length with Jim at ScopeStuff, but he didn't have any in stock.
IMG 1721

 

I'm going to sand it down and fit the new focuser today.  The paper on the inside is peeling slightly at the seams so am going to thin down the Titebond III and seal that up.  I grabbed some bondo but think the high-build primer will be sufficient to smooth out the exterior.

 

More to come!  

 


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#38 lowroller21

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 08:19 AM

Great day yesterday.  I grabbed this for $120 on clearance!  Always wanted one and am excited to finally learn how to use it.

IMG 1730
 
I quickly knocked off the honey-do list, including a small bit of landscaping.  Should have bought another few bags of rock...
IMG 1731
 
Then onto the telescope!  Made a template for centering the new hole and got it cut.
IMG 1733
IMG 1738
 
Fits perfectly.
IMG 1734
IMG 1735
 
Then I drilled holes for the new star finder
IMG 1740

 

Next I trimmed the cuts, filled the old holes, repaired a divot, and then painted the whole thing with diluted titebond based on a recommendation I read here.  
IMG 1741
IMG 1742
IMG 1743
 
While the glue dried I cleaned up the freezer
IMG 1745
IMG 1746

 

Back to the scope!  I painted the inside with a flat black.  I was going to add peel-and-stick felt, but I couldn't get any from Michaels in time.

IMG 1750

 

And finally, after sanding down the filler, hit the outside with a hi-build primer.  

IMG 1752
 
After I make Sunday breakfast for the kids I'm headed back out to add another coat of primer, then the white.  Hope to have it reassembled by tonight.

 

 

 

 

 


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#39 lowroller21

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 07:25 PM

Painted and (mostly) reassembled!

 

I like the appliance enamel and will definitely use it again.  Probably could have got it a bit smoother, but it seems like it will be very durable.

IMG 1769
 
Got the equipment mounted.  I switched up the screws for the finder so I'm two short now but will grab them tomorrow.
IMG 1775
IMG 1774
 
And the mirror and spider are in.  All new stainless hardware throughout.
IMG 1777
IMG 1778
 
I've got a few loose ends to tie up then she's all done.  Very happy with the result.

 

 


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#40 Gil V

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 06:39 AM

The straps do not need to be that tight that they shear the pin in the attaching bolt!

#41 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 06:23 PM

Tube came out good.



#42 lowroller21

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 08:54 PM

Tube came out great! It looks even better after curing for a full day. 
 

regarding the straps, I think it was already fatigued. The draw latches work so much better though so I’m happy that I did it. 



#43 Gil V

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 02:36 AM

Glad it worked. You really don’t want the tube falling off the mount.

#44 lowroller21

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 06:27 AM

For my next project I’m planning on making some proper rings. The straps are working much better, but they still don’t secure the tube firmly to the mount. This effects the accuracy of the setting circles and also makes it hard to really dial in on an object

#45 lowroller21

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 07:56 AM

And the final touch is on!  I decided to update the decal design and am glad I did.

IMG 1856
 
With the exception of the drive motor, which has been working great, I've now inspected, cleaned, repaired, upgraded, or replaced nearly everything on it.  Ready for another 30 years of use.
IMG 1860
 
Setup for a test run last night and glad I did.  The new finder is incredibly easy to zero and the sky now moves in the proper direction so star now star hopping is a real possibility.  And I'm so, so glad I went with the two speed crayford.  I was really able to dial in the focus and the scope would hold it much better.
IMG 1861
 
My wife and kids were all very impressed (after patiently humoring me for the last month) and the early evening views were excellent.
IMG 1863

 

The balance was waaay off with the new hardware installed and I didn't feel like I ever got it dialed in.  The drive needs the scope to be perfectly balanced to track properly so I'll need to work on that.  I'm going to take some time to just enjoy it now but plan to take a look inside the motor eventually and clean it up.  And while the straps are working much better I'm going to build plywood rings later, both to secure the scope better to the mount and to avoid them springing all over the place when taking the scope out.


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#46 Grounddweller

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 10:52 PM

I picked up an 8" Starfinder a week ago and am looking to refurbish it much in the same way as you did. The mirror, secondary and tube, whilst all are grungy, seem salvageable. Only the cheesy focuser am i ready to replace. Even the 8x30 straight-thru finder has hope. Picked mine up for $80. The pier seems to be in good working order, but i am missing one of the 3 legs. might you have a lead as to where i could pick one up? I will post pics of mine in a couple of days.


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#47 macdonjh

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 08:20 AM

lowroller21,

 

Thanks for posting your project, it's been fun to follow.

 

I agree with CHASLX200, there are several reasons for getting mushy images at high magnification.  Some you can control, some you can't.  The biggest is seeing (the steadiness of the sky), can't control that.  Observing objects over a building roof, not allowing your scope to reach thermal equilibrium, poor collimation, badly made optics are all causes of soft images.  

 

I was going to suggest posting some photos of your old focuser as I have fixed junk rack and pinion focusers before, but you said you were going to replace it. smile.gif   Then I was going to suggest the GSO Crayford, but you'd already bought it.  smile.gif smile.gif

 

I live in the same part of the country you do and am rarely able to use magnification above 300x.  

 

There are plenty of good eye pieces not made by Tele Vue.  Explore Scientific gets high marks on Cloudy Nights.  Baader, the Paradigms, Meade HD60 and others all have supporters, too.  One thing to think about is how wide a field you actually need for the observing you do.  Plossls are relatively inexpensive, can be of very good quality, but have a 50o apparent field of view.  Plenty if you're observing Jupiter or a double star.  Plenty if you use a mount which tracks.  Not so good if you want to sweep the Milky Way, or are letting objects drift because your mount doesn't track.  At home, I use Plossls exclusively to observe the moon and planets.  Also, as CHASLX200 says, there's the used market...

 

If you're patient, you might be able to find a Paracorr I used.  Explore Scientific and Baader also make coma correctors.  You may find you don't need one, though.  I almost didn't buy one for my 10" f/4.  For high power viewing I really don't need it since I'm only using the central part of the field anyway.  Since your Star Finder mount tracks you may find you spend most of your time looking at the center of the field rather than letting an object drift across the field.  If that's the case, you might not notice whatever coma your scope has.

 

Perhaps some wheels for your mount?  And some jacking bolts to keep it in your observing spot and polar aligned?  

 

I hope you enjoy your scope, your restoration work looks great.



#48 Omally

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 12:42 PM

That's a very nice restoration job! Giving me food for thought: I also have a Meade SF 10 I bought in '93. I'm very fond of  it but I've never had any luck tracking anything - the motor works, I can hear it going, but it doesn't turn the scope in RA at all so everything drifts. Funny thing is, when balancing I can move the counterweight almost anywhere on it's rod and the scope seems to remain balanced. Could it be the clutch is too tight, or maybe the whole thing needs stripping and cleaning?
 



#49 macdonjh

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 01:42 PM

That's a very nice restoration job! Giving me food for thought: I also have a Meade SF 10 I bought in '93. I'm very fond of  it but I've never had any luck tracking anything - the motor works, I can hear it going, but it doesn't turn the scope in RA at all so everything drifts. Funny thing is, when balancing I can move the counterweight almost anywhere on it's rod and the scope seems to remain balanced. Could it be the clutch is too tight, or maybe the whole thing needs stripping and cleaning?
 

Seems like the other way 'round: the clutch is too loose allowing the motor to run without turning the worm wheel.



#50 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 01:47 PM

I picked up an 8" Starfinder a week ago and am looking to refurbish it much in the same way as you did. The mirror, secondary and tube, whilst all are grungy, seem salvageable. Only the cheesy focuser am i ready to replace. Even the 8x30 straight-thru finder has hope. Picked mine up for $80. The pier seems to be in good working order, but i am missing one of the 3 legs. might you have a lead as to where i could pick one up? I will post pics of mine in a couple of days.

$80 for a complete kit?  You did great.  I paid $100 for my 826 OTA.

 

I put a Lumicon helical focuser on mine, with the coarse focus sliding tube:

 

Meade 826 Restore S01 - Lumicon 125 HF.jpg

 

There are probably folks on this Forum with spare feet for your pedestal.  My short one is a mix:  Meade SF mount & pedestal, but with much older Edmund cast iron feet.

 

On most objects, my 826 performs like a 5" or 6" APO -- can seriously challenge my 2017 APM 152ED.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 27 June 2020 - 01:56 PM.

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