Meade Starfinder 10"
Posted 29 December 2020 - 09:00 PM
- Bomber Bob and Rick-T137 like this
Posted 29 December 2020 - 09:15 PM
These are pretty simple scopes and if the primary and secondary look good you have a decent chance of making it work. If the focuser is original it is not something that you will want to use. I would make sure the sonotube is undamaged.
Thanks, unfortunately looks like the scope sold immediately as the ad disappeared and the guy didn’t respond. No surprise. Back to hitting refresh...
Posted 02 January 2021 - 07:55 PM
So then I hauled this beast to the backyard and zeroed the star finder on the tip of a power pole.
Wish I could say that everything went great, but that wasn't the case. I couldn't find anything decent to look at, couldn't get the eyepiece into a good position, and I sheared the bolt on the forward strap! Who designed those? Ridiculous. Not a good first attempt.
But fast forward to this morning...
I woke up at 0330 - couldn't sleep so I went to the garage. Opened the door, tied the scope to the mount (which is much more secure than it was last night!) and look what I found
I stargazed from 0400 right until 0700.
I saw the rings of Saturn for the first time.
I saw the bands on Jupiter, and its moons for the first time.
I saw a double star.
I showed a morning jogger Saturn and blew his mind.
And I saw the moon with greater clarity than every before. Cell phone pic through the lens:Overall impression of the scope is that I love it! I had been trying to find an XT8 but this thing is the best. Once you get that incredibly heavy base in position it works like a dream. The balance is excellent and it moves easily. The drive motor works flawlessly and I don't know if I could do without one now. I'd put a planet into the eyepiece, go get a cup of coffee, and it would still be centered 10 minutes later!That said, there are a couple of issues. First is the focus adjuster. I'd read that it was a POS and thought it would be fine, but trying to dial in the focus with a 9mm lens was tough. If there are suggestions for a good focuser that is less than $100 (preferably closer to $50) I'd love to hear it.Second is the straps. No way am I paying $200+ for a set of rings, but something needs to happen. I'm thinking pelican hook and small turnbuckle, but will see what I can find at the hardware store. The rope works really well, but isn't a very elegant solution.I'd also love to get a clearer picture at higher zoom, but understand that with a short focal point this may not be possible? My best images were using the 2x barlow and 25mm lens. The 2 x 12mm lens started to get a little blurry, and with the 9mm it was impossible to hit the focus point just right. Would a 3x barlow help or am I at my limit?Very happy overall. Any suggestions of what I should look for tonight?
I had one of these years ago. Great scope. I hated the two bands that secure to the mount. Found that when you wanted to turn the tube to keep the eyepiece at a convenient spot they were a real nuisance. I had a metal shop form me a short "tube" out of sheet aluminum to work as a cradle for the OTA. It was a little wider than the attachments on the mounts where the bands go. It was split on one side and I had them flange the ends of the tube upwards to create tabs the length of the cradle. Drilled holes to correspond with the holes in the mount where the bands attached. Then drilled a hole near each end of the flanges and inserted screws with nuts you could turn with your fingers - knurled knobs. Line the interior of the aluminum tube with felt. Was much more stable than those bands - just loosen the screws a little, turn the tube, retighten. Wish I had pictures of it - it was pretty slick.
- Bomber Bob likes this
Posted 03 January 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted 05 January 2021 - 12:50 AM
One of my straps broke at the pins, too, but only after about 10 years of steady use. I bought my Meade 10" Starfinder new in 1994 with the AC clock drive. Today, I still use the OTA on an Orion Atlas mount attached using Parallax rings (mounted upside down) and a Losmandy dovetail bar. I upgraded the focuser and finder. I had the mirror recoated a couple of years ago.
- Bomber Bob, texastrain11 and Skiims like this
Posted 08 January 2021 - 10:14 AM
Hey Lift Off: I would love to see a photo or your rig. I am in a similar situation and need to remount.
Posted 09 January 2021 - 11:26 AM
Here is a photo of the Parallax rings and dovetail plate. The rings are 12.7" I.D. specifically for the Meade 10" Starfinder EQ. I think the dovetail plate was included with the Orion Atlas EQ-G mount.
- Mr Magoo, Bomber Bob, texastrain11 and 1 other like this
Posted 09 January 2021 - 12:12 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?
Before changing to a GOTO mount, I had replaced the bronze bushings in the worm block with ball bearings which fixed the binding that plagued the Starfinder EQ clock drive. I also kept it lubed, including the plastic RA bushings, with low-temp lithium grease. I kept the clutch fairly loose and the assembly balance slightly favoring the westward rotation. Those were the good ol' days, err, nights.
- Bomber Bob, texastrain11 and Skiims like this
Posted 09 January 2021 - 05:35 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.
Main differences between the views in my 2017 APM 152ED and my 1980s Meade 826 were aesthetic, except for the frac's wider field & tinier micro-dot stars. I know with the 826 that colors are closer to natural than in the ED, though that can vary with object, seeing, & accessories. The 826 is sharp at up to 50x / inch; the ED up to 75x / inch -- maxes of 400x & 450x, respectively. In practice, 300x in the 8" is as revealing as 400x in the 6" most nights, and a bit easier on my aging eyes!
Had my arthritis not spread & worsened, I'd still have the Big ED. There are objects that I saw in it that are (for me) incomparable & unforgettable. But the 826... is moving into my workhorse category, which is Good Company: FC-50 & Dakin 4 don't mind a third member.
I kept the clutch fairly loose and the assembly balance slightly favoring the westward rotation.
I do that with both my StarFinder EQs, and it makes for good tracking at up to 450x. It doesn't work much or at all with my smaller Japan-made mounts...
Edited by Bomber Bob, 09 January 2021 - 05:40 PM.
- mdowns likes this
Posted 13 April 2021 - 01:53 AM
I've had my starfinder 10 for about 25 years now. One of the AC drive models. I made a ring fixed around the tube to rest against the end of the saddle, towards the eyepiece end, so that when the straps were loosened I could rotate the tube without it sliding off balance. It also helps with positioning when fitting the tube on the saddle as I keep the tube indoors and the mount in the garage.
One day I'll get around to building an observatory :-)
The mirrors are excellent quality and it stays collimated remarkably well, as in I've never had to touch it from the day I bought it, checked with a laser collimater a couple of times.
Edited by johnpat, 13 April 2021 - 01:59 AM.
Posted 29 April 2021 - 06:12 PM
I have found this very interesting. I have a Meade DS-10 from the early 80s. Bought new when living in Houston, my 3 kids and I used it a lot, would take out to the dark country in North East harris County. But, loaned to my brother in Amarillo in late 80s, I was so busy with work and didnt use much. After 30 yrs, or so, of storage, I have refurbished here in Tuttle, Oklahoma. have Bortal 5 skies and love the views. I did have my primary refigured and coated by Carl Zambuto last year during the rebuild. Very well worth it! As for balancing and mounting. Have a set of home made rings from plywood, and work very well. For getting best balance (as I use Canon T6i for imaging) I have in past few weeks added an ADM dovetail and Losmandy saddle to the old, original Meade GEM. Pics of rebuild are in my profile gallery. Set original Meade 1980s GEM on pier built in backyard, looking to erect roll-off this year.
- Bomber Bob and jcruse64 like this
Posted 29 April 2021 - 11:53 PM
I had to make use of a very dense MDF to fab an adapter plate to mount the Losmandy onto the 40 yr old Meade GEM. Works very well, nice and solid, not susectible to humidity and temps while performing imaging sessions, or over long term. Having the dovetail system has really made improvements in mounting OTA to GEM (just carrying each time to backyard pier is hardest), and balancing is so much improved, and safer in execution. Yep, still can use some touches on the cosmetics. But, first wanted to ensure the results of my rebuild before persuing further, have a lot of ideas concerning more updates to OTA and mount. With use of the Canon Pro 4 Processing program, Canon Utility for live imaging on laptop (assists greatly with tracking and focus), along with stacking in Sequator... I refer to it as "Old School" interface with "New School". Now, just to relearn the night sky (no Go-To helping here) and making improvements... more imaging sessions ahead! Just need more sessions and imaging subs of many more DSO. Love it!!
Edited by texastrain11, 30 April 2021 - 09:46 AM.