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Meade 395 90mm f/11

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#1 jiblet65

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 01:22 PM

Just got this yesterday. I mulled over a 10" Dob but decided I will use this one much more. One of the set screws for the finderscope was broken and I got it out with some perseverance but not really sure if I need to replace it. Cleaned the diagonal, finderscope, EP's, the outside parts of the OTA and started on the tripod just need to do the mount and she'll be ready. It came with a nice looking Vixen LV 9mm EP, Meade 25mm EP that I'll probably sell and an old school camera adapter that I'm not sure anybody could use. Any suggestions how to get the most out of it? I was thinking down the road I'd get a nicer diagonal for it like the prism one for $147 on the astronomics.com site. Not sure what tonight will turn out like but I'd like to check out the planets and Moon to see how it stacks up to the little Tasco. I have a feeling it will be a much nicer view. I'll try to get some pics of it in use the first time out.

9d410599b60166404d1f303543bec15d193486c7


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#2 Sky Muse

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 02:29 PM

The 395 came with an equatorial mount, an EQ-2 type.  Back in 1992, I got a Meade 390, with an alt-azimuth mount instead.  I had to return it, as it was damaged.  I never got to look through it.  Much later, I got a Meade 90mm f/10, the current model, and from a liquidator.

 

Your refractor is of metal throughout, and can be used with a Herschel-wedge for solar observations.

 

The only things I can think of in so far as accessorising it would be a new star-diagonal, and a larger finder-scope.  Other than that, I would perform a complete tear-down and rebuild, including the focusser; also blackening and flocking the optical-tube fore to aft.


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#3 jiblet65

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 03:07 PM

The 395 came with an equatorial mount, an EQ-2 type.  Back in 1992, I got a Meade 390, with an alt-azimuth mount instead.  I had to return it, as it was damaged.  I never got to look through it.  Much later, I got a Meade 90mm f/10, the current model, and from a liquidator.

 

Your refractor is of metal throughout, and can be used with a Herschel-wedge for solar observations.

 

The only things I can think of in so far as accessorising it would be a new star-diagonal, and a larger finder-scope.  Other than that, I would perform a complete tear-down and rebuild, including the focusser; also blackening and flocking the optical-tube fore to aft.

Yikes that last part sounds above my pay grade. I'll have to take it out and see how it does for an assessment. I've been contemplating joining the local astronomy club to see if I get some help with setting up my telescopes better. Anyway thanks for the advice.
 


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#4 Sky Muse

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 03:21 PM

Yikes that last part sounds above my pay grade. I'll have to take it out and see how it does for an assessment. I've been contemplating joining the local astronomy club to see if I get some help with setting up my telescopes better. Anyway thanks for the advice.
 

Nah, it doesn't require a lot of money; just work.


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#5 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 03:21 PM

I bought a Model 390 on the Goodwill auction back in July, with the idea of using it for sharing / public sessions once I 100% retire.  I don't like the AZ mount, but it rides very well on a 1980s Mizar Super Polaris:

 

Meade 390 S14 - Unpacked (Mizar SP LS CUl).jpg

 

I hadn't tested any Taiwan-made scopes.  I found this one to be very good / above average.  Internal blackening wasn't complete, so I flocked from the smallest baffle to the focuser, and that helped contrast.  I also had to center & lift the focuser tube -- felt did the trick.  Easy.  Peasy.

 

After the focuser fix, star tests are very fine.  CA is well-controlled.  Nice, light, good-performing refractor for $100 (bare tube) up to maybe $175 on an EQ mount, depending (as always) on condition & completeness.

 

(The 6x30 finder came with it...  GW packed it in a wad of paper -- didn't find it until after this photo.  It also came with a good 40mm Meade (Taiwan) 1.25" eyepiece, and a rubbish mirror diagonal that I promptly chunked.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 01 September 2020 - 04:00 PM.

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#6 Sky Muse

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 03:53 PM

All those years I was disappointed that the 390 didn't pan out.  The current Meade 90mm I got as a consolation is of some plastic, but at least it has a metal focusser...

 

100818.jpg

 

I went through it with a fine-toothed comb after it arrived...

 

https://www.cloudyni...0-achromat-ota/

 

The view of the Trapezium and its environs within Orion was shockingly-good afterwards.


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#7 oldtimer

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 12:20 PM

Being 75 year young I no longer want to lug around big telescopes. That said I popped for a Meade Starpro 90mm F6.5 and it has become my favorite grab & Go scope. Unlike the Meade Infinity series the Starpro series uses a Alt-Az mount that balances the tube. Yes there is some CA but it reaaly doesn't show up much on other than Jupiter and I tame that with a #8 yellow filter. It is realyy lightweight just steady. At $199 It's a great bargain.

 

Gary (oldtimer)


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#8 jiblet65

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 08:51 AM

bump - So far I'm liking the telescope, the mount not so much but that's a matter for later as I can work with it for now. My question is about upgrading the focuser, any suggestions as to what would work best with this model under $200?



#9 skygazer66WA

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 04:34 PM

I owned the Meade 390 alt-az scope during the late 1990s. The optics on it were pretty good, but the rest of the scope not so much. The build quality of the mount, focuser, finder, and diagonal could have been better for what it cost in 1996; nearly $500 at the Nature Store (IIRC that was owned by the Discovery Channel; they also sold the Meade 4" and 5" ED refractors). It would be worthwhile upgrading one today since it could be purchased used for less than $100.

 

A GSO 2" focuser, metal red-dot finder, Astro-Tech 2" diagonal, and a solid (but not high-end) alt-az or EQ mount would make a nice scope. It looks great with the Polaris EQ mount BTW (post # 5).


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#10 jiblet65

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 06:58 AM

I owned the Meade 390 alt-az scope during the late 1990s. The optics on it were pretty good, but the rest of the scope not so much. The build quality of the mount, focuser, finder, and diagonal could have been better for what it cost in 1996; nearly $500 at the Nature Store (IIRC that was owned by the Discovery Channel; they also sold the Meade 4" and 5" ED refractors). It would be worthwhile upgrading one today since it could be purchased used for less than $100.

 

A GSO 2" focuser, metal red-dot finder, Astro-Tech 2" diagonal, and a solid (but not high-end) alt-az or EQ mount would make a nice scope. It looks great with the Polaris EQ mount BTW (post # 5).

Thanks for the info. I've already ordered the Takahashi 1.25" prism diagonal from astronomics.com which should be on the way soon. I planned on that anyway especially after Bomber Bob posted he had tossed his in the round file. I saw the 2" focusers but do you need an adapter for it to fit into the tube? Not really looking to get all new 2" EP's after I've collected some decent 1.25" EP's.
 



#11 chris charen

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 03:45 PM

I have had 4x 395's over the years. Only one really star  tested well which I kept for several years. The others had concerns with aberrations related to pinched lens.The main issue being the the airy disk was fan shaped with associated excessive CA. Eventually I sold the good one and replaced it with an Orion ED80 some 15 + years ago. The ED80 was clearly optically superior. The the 395/390 series never reached its full potential which was related to Orion\s poor Q. and. A around that time time in the 1990s. They also had issues with some of their big APO's and lens cell design. Make sure your version star tests well. There will be CA on bright objects which is inherent in the achromatic design.


Edited by chris charen, 15 October 2020 - 03:46 PM.

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#12 jiblet65

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 06:31 AM

I have had 4x 395's over the years. Only one really star  tested well which I kept for several years. The others had concerns with aberrations related to pinched lens.The main issue being the the airy disk was fan shaped with associated excessive CA. Eventually I sold the good one and replaced it with an Orion ED80 some 15 + years ago. The ED80 was clearly optically superior. The the 395/390 series never reached its full potential which was related to Orion\s poor Q. and. A around that time time in the 1990s. They also had issues with some of their big APO's and lens cell design. Make sure your version star tests well. There will be CA on bright objects which is inherent in the achromatic design.

It seems OK to me but I can tell the image of some brighter objects should be more resolved. I think it's more to do with the stock diagonal than the actual telescope. Once I get the Takahashi model I should be able to tell if that takes care of that. Overall it seems like a good little scope but could use some upgrading.
 




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