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Meade Starfinder 10"

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#51 Omally

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 02:36 PM

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

I'll give that a try when it's not raining, thanks!



#52 Omally

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 01:43 AM

 

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...

I'm quite fond of Stellarium, it's very useable on any platform and has a red-light mode. Very handy on my iPad by the scope for example. Also gives you all the Dec and RA figures you need to dial in on whatever you want to look at. Oh yes, and it's free!

https://stellarium.org/


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#53 Grounddweller

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:07 AM

So working during the summertime on the coast is brutal on the time off, even with a pandemic in place. That means that this project will be slow-going. This is the exploded view of the 8” I picked up a few weeks ago. It looks like there has been some mods done to the tube, adding a small cooling fan behind the cell. I do not know if the black plastic base cover is original but it looks like the hole cut out of the centre is a homemade mod. The mirror was heavily covered in dust & dirt, but a quick sloshing in plain water removed a couple of layers. The secondary is not as heavily covered, though the interior of the sonotube has a good coating throughout. The focuser seems like it came out of a gum ball machine and is not fit for use, as it seems like Meade concentrated on the optics and cheapened every other aspect ( thankfully for that aspect at least). 

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#54 Grounddweller

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:32 AM

Here is the mount. It looks to be in good shape despite missing one of the legs. It seems that the power cord has been removed (?) but the battery compartment is still operational and does turn the unit on. A good cleaning and rust removal should provide a big difference in the appearance, though finding a matching leg could be very hard indeed.

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#55 Grounddweller

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:08 PM

Mirrors cleaned up nicely. A small occlusion on the secondary about 1/4 inch from the bottom edge but overall they look very nice. A prosthetic is being sent from another CNer. Project on hold until after surviving the Independence Day holiday.

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Edited by Grounddweller, 30 June 2020 - 07:08 PM.

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#56 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 08:00 AM

Here is the mount. It looks to be in good shape despite missing one of the legs. It seems that the power cord has been removed (?) but the battery compartment is still operational and does turn the unit on. A good cleaning and rust removal should provide a big difference in the appearance, though finding a matching leg could be very hard indeed.

I think I used the external AC adapter once with my 2 SF mounts, just to test it.  A big plus for me with these mounts is the built-in battery compartment.  I keep at least 2 packs of 9V transistor batteries on hand, in case I run short of AA batteries.  IME, the 9Vs will keep it running steady for at least 15 hours.  The AAs go much longer -- a couple of months.


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#57 bjkaras

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 04:19 PM

Some of those old high quality newts like the Cave, Meade or Criterion were really excellent. Any of those would give an Apo a run for its money. When I had my Cave 6” I would have stacked it up against anything.


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#58 Grounddweller

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 06:02 PM

I have had to put this refurbishment on hold for a couple of weeks, I hope to start again in August.

the mirror seems to be in good shape and not need a re-coat, though the sides look a little unbalanced, is there a good way to test the mirror optically without specialized equipment? Here are some pics with the edges in question:

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Edited by Grounddweller, 27 July 2020 - 06:02 PM.


#59 lowroller21

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:33 AM

Great looking scope!  You are going to love it.

 

My next project will be looking at ways of making the mount more portable.  I'd like to be able to remove the feet and stuff them into a bag for travelling.

 

Stay tuned.


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#60 RobertMaples

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:50 AM

I just came across this thread.  Very nice restomod.  You got a heck of deal on that scope!  I really like the undated decal, too.  

 

 

 

...Markings on the back of the mirror.  Any idea what they mean?..

 

 

 

I may have missed it, but I don't think anyone answered this question.  So, the markings were 10, 4.5, 44.8, T. L.: I'm pretty sure the first two mean 10" mirror and 4.5 focal ratio.  I think the 44.8 is the actual measured focal length in inches. The T. L., I don't know, maybe Tested Length?



#61 Grounddweller

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 12:06 PM

Robert,

Those numbers would be consistent with what I have on the back of mine: 8...6...47.8, but as you can see in the pic I have an “NL” designation on the back of the mirror. BTW, I moved from Chapel Hill, TN a few years ago so I am well familiar with your neck of the woods.

 

Lowroller21, I could not find those sweet decals that you had made, but I did find some MEADE decals that I recently received. I am following your advise on the exterior paint and look to restart this project soon.

Steve

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#62 astroroman

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 05:19 AM

It's a great scope, I bought one 10 years ago for a cheap and I used it for some time as it was. I decided to sold original mount, I used optics (very good optics) in a new Geoptik tube (in alu), with a Orion UK focuser with micro reduction. I changed secondary mirror as well (because I broken the original), with a smaller one with the new tube that is smaller than the original one. I'm pretty happy about this scope. If I can find another one I'll keep it and mantain it in the original shape.


Edited by astroroman, 14 August 2020 - 05:20 AM.

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#63 lowroller21

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 07:30 AM

Robert,

Those numbers would be consistent with what I have on the back of mine: 8...6...47.8, but as you can see in the pic I have an “NL” designation on the back of the mirror. BTW, I moved from Chapel Hill, TN a few years ago so I am well familiar with your neck of the woods.

 

Lowroller21, I could not find those sweet decals that you had made, but I did find some MEADE decals that I recently received. I am following your advise on the exterior paint and look to restart this project soon.

Steve

I had the decals made locally by a lady with a Cricut machine.  



#64 macdonjh

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:19 AM

Robert,

Those numbers would be consistent with what I have on the back of mine: 8...6...47.8, but as you can see in the pic I have an “NL” designation on the back of the mirror. BTW, I moved from Chapel Hill, TN a few years ago so I am well familiar with your neck of the woods.

 

Lowroller21, I could not find those sweet decals that you had made, but I did find some MEADE decals that I recently received. I am following your advise on the exterior paint and look to restart this project soon.

Steve

My thoughts on those markings:

8 = 8" diameter mirror

6 = f/6 nominal focal ratio

47.8 = actual focal length in inches (so only f/5.975, rotten quality control smile.gif)

NL = optician's initials

 

[edit] Sorry RobertMaples, I didn't notice you'd already answered the question.


Edited by macdonjh, 14 August 2020 - 08:20 AM.

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#65 Grounddweller

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 12:11 PM

After several weeks of delays due to work and hurricane ( my prayers go out to everyone affected by Laura) I completed the repaint on the sonotube and added the decals. My thanks to Lowroller for the advice to use appliance paint, it worked very well! I found the decals from a seller across the pond and they worked out well also. The last picture is the Meade standing up against my F/5 200mm Newtonian. The two sets of holes at the opposite end of the tube from the focus are is apparently to allow you to move the mirror forward for AP. I do not know if I will test these out but it is good information to know.

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#66 Grounddweller

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 12:12 PM

The other photos

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#67 lowroller21

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 12:36 PM

That looks fantastic!

 

That appliance paint is seriously my new secret weapon.  Months later my tube is still looking great.


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#68 Grounddweller

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 07:15 PM

So I have finished the rebuild and will see about getting a star test shortly. BUT...I thought you all might find this bit of information mildly interesting. As I was shining a light on the back of the mirror, I detected some printing that was barely visible next to the markered info that we were hypothesizing about earlier. Above the markings the printing reads. “MEADE PARABOLOID” then, on the left of each markered number, were these titles: “DIA” ( for my scope, it is indeed 8) “RATIO” ( again, for mine, 6) and “FL” ( in my case, 47.8”). I could not discern any marking next to the “NL” so that remains a mystery. I will post some more pics shortly.

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Edited by Grounddweller, 04 September 2020 - 12:17 PM.

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#69 Grounddweller

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 07:18 PM

My sincerest thank you to sqrlman for providing the 3rd leg to the pier. Collimating seems to be successful.

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#70 Grounddweller

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 07:44 PM

Very hot and humid night on the coast. I may not have it out long but I will see if I can get a gauge on the optics.Yes, I have The focuser on the opposite way, I just like my focusers to be oriented on this side of the scope.

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#71 tim53

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 08:49 AM

After several weeks of delays due to work and hurricane ( my prayers go out to everyone affected by Laura) I completed the repaint on the sonotube and added the decals. My thanks to Lowroller for the advice to use appliance paint, it worked very well! I found the decals from a seller across the pond and they worked out well also. The last picture is the Meade standing up against my F/5 200mm Newtonian. The two sets of holes at the opposite end of the tube from the focus are is apparently to allow you to move the mirror forward for AP. I do not know if I will test these out but it is good information to know.

Yes, the second set of holes for mounting the mirror cell were to allow one to move the mirror forward up the tube so that an SLR could reach focus.  These days, with digital astro cameras and mirrorless cameras having replaced film SLRs, you won't likely need to move the mirror.

 

-Tim.



#72 Tom Stock

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 12:59 PM

Nice I've always wanted an 8" or 10" starfinder.  My first scope was a Meade 10" F4.5 Starhopper (dobsonian verison of the starfinder).  It was crude scope (cardboard and plastic) but the mirror was fantastic.  The best view I've ever had of Jupiter, even after 30 years, was thru that 10" dob.  I remember it clearly because the bands came alive with festoons and swirls in moments of very good seeing.


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#73 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 08:28 AM

Just out of curiosity, how much difference is there between the Starfinder 10" and the DS 10". I know that the DS 10" and DS 16" both came out in the 1980's, Comet Halley era, but how much difference is there in optical quality?

 

I remember the ads for the DS 16 recommended paying an extra $300 - $400 for the "sealmaster ballbearings, highly recommended". I remember looking thru a DS 16 at the 1985 Mt. Kobau star party. The owner had modified it so that the front actually rotated for comfortable obsersing.

 

For any of you who want a good chuckle, watch the movie "Roxanne" with Steve Martin and, her name escapes me for the moment, she plays an Astronomer looking to have a new comet named after her. She brings her DS 10 with her for the summer at Nelson B.C. It's actually not a bad movie.

 

Thanks for trip down memory lane! Clear skies!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#74 tim53

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 10:53 AM

Daryl Hannah



#75 macdonjh

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 09:21 AM

Just out of curiosity, how much difference is there between the Starfinder 10" and the DS 10". I know that the DS 10" and DS 16" both came out in the 1980's, Comet Halley era, but how much difference is there in optical quality?

 

I remember the ads for the DS 16 recommended paying an extra $300 - $400 for the "sealmaster ballbearings, highly recommended". I remember looking thru a DS 16 at the 1985 Mt. Kobau star party. The owner had modified it so that the front actually rotated for comfortable obsersing.

 

For any of you who want a good chuckle, watch the movie "Roxanne" with Steve Martin and, her name escapes me for the moment, she plays an Astronomer looking to have a new comet named after her. She brings her DS 10 with her for the summer at Nelson B.C. It's actually not a bad movie.

 

Thanks for trip down memory lane! Clear skies!

RalphMeisterTigerMan

 

 

Daryl Hannah

Indeed, Daryl Hannah.  One of my favorite movies ("How can this thing be so heavy, it's mostly air!" "Yeah, and GLASS, be careful!").  LA Story is another from about the same time in Steve Martin's career.




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