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Looking for advice on Meade 8” 2080LX

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#1 jpengstrom

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:01 PM

I figure it's worth posting here to get some opinions.  Let me give you a quick synopsis of the situation so you can either ask me some questions or give me some advice. :)

I have a 9.25" Celestron and mount on order - the order was placed at the beginning of April with Astronomics.  For the past year and a half I've been looking at and learning the night sky with my eyes and with my DSLR (and telephoto lens) on a tripod (no tracking).  While nobody knows for sure when astronomy equipment will become available again due to the Covid delays (and subsequent production and shipping bottlenecks that have occurred) it could very well be six months or more.  So, in the meantime, I found an ad for an 8" Meade 2080LX manufactured in 1982.  It's inexpensive, but primarily because the secondary mirror is in pretty bad shape with corrosion and pitting.  The primary looks to be in pretty good shape and the corrector plate also looks to be in pretty good shape (although it could use a careful cleaning).

While I could see the benefit of using the scope until my order arrives, it probably wouldn't get much use after that...although I do have to admit that a certain part of me likes the options that a separate 8" SCT gives me.

So here are my questions:
 1) Is it possible to salvage a badly pitted and corroded secondary by sending it off for resilvering and recoating or is the only thing to do in that case to go through its pockets and look for loose change?  And am I right that the orientation of the secondary mirror is as critical as the orientation of the corrector (i.e. the 12 o'clock position when removed needs to be the 12 o'clock position when reinstalled)?
 2) Would it be worth it, visually only, to use an SCT that has, ohhhh, about 20% of the secondary covered with corrosion (mainly around the outside edge of the mirror) and pits?

 3) I am reasonably good mechanically and don't have any fear about opening up a scope so there's a certain part of me that thinks a scope to "practice on" might not be a bad thing especially because I wouldn't have much invested in it - should I be worried about that line of thinking?
4) Any other advice you care to share is welcome - i.e. get a pair of binoculars and mount them on a tripod as a way of "reaching deeper" then just my two eyes, etc.

Thanks



#2 rmollise

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:44 PM

1. Yes.

2. The performance might surprise you--though I'm not saying it won't be impacted.

3. I'm not sure what there'd be to worry about.

4. Every amateur astronomer needs a pair of binoculars. My choice...something around 15x70s or there about. If you buy binoculars you need to mount on a tripod, you will not use them very much. 15x70s are handholdable.


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#3 jerobe

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:46 PM

At some point you will want a good pair of binoculars.  They're a really  enjoyable means of learning the sky and are an essential piece of observing equipment.  My 10x50s get as much, or maybe more, use than my telescopes.

 

If you can buy the 8 inch SCT cheaply enough, it might be an interesting project.  It sounds like you're handy and not afraid of a challenge so it could give you lots of tinkering opportunities!


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#4 jgraham

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:48 PM

This sounds like a 2080 LX3 with the silvered optics group. Fortunately, the only element that was silvered was the secondary and it is only tarnished, not pitted or otherwise damaged. Just for yucks you might try collimating it and giving it a try it might work fine. I would never have known that mine was tarnished if I didn't look at it. A tarnished secondary looks like it has a bad case of freckles. Fortunately, it is a fairly easy fix to remove it and send it off for recoating. The 2080 LX3s that I have looked through have excellent optics and are great performers. Mine was nice before I had it recoated, and even better afterwards. So yeah, I think that they are worth restoring. Also, these older 2080s are really nice as they were designed for manual operation and are very conformable to use. I have also done a fair amount of imaging with mine using an f/6.3 reducer and unguided short exposures (15 seconds, high gain, and lots of them).

 

My Baby...

 

LX3-1.jpg

 

Enjoy!


Edited by jgraham, 22 June 2021 - 01:49 PM.

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#5 KTAZ

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:49 PM

TBH, there are older 8" Celestron SCT tubes on the classifieds here for $350 or so without a pitted secondary. Why go through all that trouble?

 

I personally had a bad experience with an 80's Meade 2080. Not very well built and pretty soft images overall. Just giving you a data point.


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#6 jpengstrom

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 04:08 PM

1. Yes.

2. The performance might surprise you--though I'm not saying it won't be impacted.

3. I'm not sure what there'd be to worry about.

4. Every amateur astronomer needs a pair of binoculars. My choice...something around 15x70s or there about. If you buy binoculars you need to mount on a tripod, you will not use them very much. 15x70s are handholdable.

Thanks!  Is the "Yes" to number 1 for the possibility of salvaging the secondary, the necessity of aligning the secondary the exact way it came out, or both? smile.gif  As for what to worry about in number 3, well, let's just say that I can envision half of my garage being taken up with disassembled scopes and mounts in various states because I have a desire to see how everything works or to try and make it better.  And that has a tendency to annoy to my better half. lol.gif 
 

 

At some point you will want a good pair of binoculars.  They're a really  enjoyable means of learning the sky and are an essential piece of observing equipment.  My 10x50s get as much, or maybe more, use than my telescopes.

 

If you can buy the 8 inch SCT cheaply enough, it might be an interesting project.  It sounds like you're handy and not afraid of a challenge so it could give you lots of tinkering opportunities!

Yeah, I figured a decent pair of binoculars would be good.  It seems to be the consensus of many people on this forum.  But hey, like you said, I like to tinker so maybe the cheap 8" SCT and a pair of binoculars would be good.
 

 

This sounds like a 2080 LX3 with the silvered optics group. Fortunately, the only element that was silvered was the secondary and it is only tarnished, not pitted or otherwise damaged. Just for yucks you might try collimating it and giving it a try it might work fine. I would never have known that mine was tarnished if I didn't look at it. A tarnished secondary looks like it has a bad case of freckles. Fortunately, it is a fairly easy fix to remove it and send it off for recoating. The 2080 LX3s that I have looked through have excellent optics and are great performers. Mine was nice before I had it recoated, and even better afterwards. So yeah, I think that they are worth restoring. Also, these older 2080s are really nice as they were designed for manual operation and are very conformable to use. I have also done a fair amount of imaging with mine using an f/6.3 reducer and unguided short exposures (15 seconds, high gain, and lots of them).

 

My Baby...

 

attachicon.gifLX3-1.jpg

 

Enjoy!

It's not a bad idea to give it a try and, if it performs decently then I could just use it until my new order arrives and then pull the secondary and send it off.  I don't really plan on imaging with the 8" - it'd be visual only.  Maybe I'd get a T-adapter to hook up my DSLR for plate solving (which I'm already doing with my DSLR and lens on a tripod) to help with learning to star hop (star hop one step to where I think I should be, put the camera on and platesolve and verify I'm where I should be kind of thing).
 

 

TBH, there are older 8" Celestron SCT tubes on the classifieds here for $350 or so without a pitted secondary. Why go through all that trouble?

 

I personally had a bad experience with an 80's Meade 2080. Not very well built and pretty soft images overall. Just giving you a data point.

For $350 for the 8" OTAs on the classified I'd already be at a higher price and not have a mount. smile.gif   But I do appreciate the data point!


Thanks for all the replies!  I appreciate ya'll taking the time to give me advice.


Edited by jpengstrom, 22 June 2021 - 04:09 PM.

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#7 chthonic65

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 04:10 PM

How much are they asking for it? Recoating's going to be about $100 after shipping.

#8 jpengstrom

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 04:30 PM

How much are they asking for it? Recoating's going to be about $100 after shipping.

$325 for the scope, mount, tripod, wedge, 1.25" diagonal, finder, 2 1.25 eyepieces (7mm and 20mm, standard Meade plossls, nothing to write home about), and a dec drive motor with a non-working dual-axis drive corrector.  Seems like a pretty decent deal to tide me over until my order ships.


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#9 Rick-T137

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 05:19 PM

$325 for the scope, mount, tripod, wedge, 1.25" diagonal, finder, 2 1.25 eyepieces (7mm and 20mm, standard Meade plossls, nothing to write home about), and a dec drive motor with a non-working dual-axis drive corrector.  Seems like a pretty decent deal to tide me over until my order ships.

I paid $300 (CAD) for a similar rig (a 2080 LX but it was from the early 90's) and it turned out to be great. My son has an OTA from an LX3 that had the tarnished secondary, and we sent it out to get recoated and it works wonderfully now. 

 

IMHO, it would be worth the $325 to get a rig you can experiment with and tinker with. You'll be that much further ahead when the C9.25 finally shows up.

 

FYI, here's pics of my secondary before and after. And YES - the orientation with the corrector plate and the primary mirror matters - so make sure you use a sharpie to make some inconspicuous markings so you can put it all back together the way it came out. 

 

BEFORE:

Meade 2080 Secondary
 
AFTER:
Meade 2080 Secondary FIXED
 
Clear skies!
 
Rick

 


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#10 jpengstrom

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 05:38 PM

 

I paid $300 (CAD) for a similar rig (a 2080 LX but it was from the early 90's) and it turned out to be great. My son has an OTA from an LX3 that had the tarnished secondary, and we sent it out to get recoated and it works wonderfully now. 

 

IMHO, it would be worth the $325 to get a rig you can experiment with and tinker with. You'll be that much further ahead when the C9.25 finally shows up.

 

FYI, here's pics of my secondary before and after. And YES - the orientation with the corrector plate and the primary mirror matters - so make sure you use a sharpie to make some inconspicuous markings so you can put it all back together the way it came out. 

 

BEFORE:

 
 
AFTER:
 
 
Clear skies!
 
Rick

 

 

Rick, thanks for the info and thanks for the pics.  The secondary of the scope I'm looking appears to be worse than your before picture, but it's impressive how good yours looks after recoating.  So how long was the turn-around time for your son's recoating?  And I'll be sure and mark the secondary (and corrector plate and secondary holder) to make sure it all goes back together in the same orientations. I guess it's also worth asking the folks who'll do the recoating if they can handle not removing the alignment mark I put on when they recoat.



#11 Rick-T137

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 06:07 PM

Rick, thanks for the info and thanks for the pics.  The secondary of the scope I'm looking appears to be worse than your before picture, but it's impressive how good yours looks after recoating.  So how long was the turn-around time for your son's recoating?  And I'll be sure and mark the secondary (and corrector plate and secondary holder) to make sure it all goes back together in the same orientations. I guess it's also worth asking the folks who'll do the recoating if they can handle not removing the alignment mark I put on when they recoat.

If I recall, it was about a 2 week turn around - mind you this was pre-COVID. It cost me about $125 CAD (around $100 USD). The mirror is mated to a metal base, and you can mark one of the three bolt holes and that shouldn't be touched by the re-coating process. Just the top mirror-part was worked on. You should double check that with whatever vendor you use (I used Normand Fullum in Quebec, Canada). 


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#12 jpengstrom

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 07:20 PM

If I recall, it was about a 2 week turn around - mind you this was pre-COVID. It cost me about $125 CAD (around $100 USD). The mirror is mated to a metal base, and you can mark one of the three bolt holes and that shouldn't be touched by the re-coating process. Just the top mirror-part was worked on. You should double check that with whatever vendor you use (I used Normand Fullum in Quebec, Canada). 

Thanks - that's great info!  One of the reasons this forum is fantastic!


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#13 rmollise

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 10:02 AM

Thanks!  Is the "Yes" to number 1 for the possibility of salvaging the secondary, the necessity of aligning the secondary the exact way it came out, or both? smile.gif  As for what to worry about in number 3, well, let's just say that I can envision half of my garage being taken up with disassembled scopes and mounts in various states because I have a desire to see how everything works or to try and make it better.  And that has a tendency to annoy to my better half. lol.gif 
 

 

Yeah, I figured a decent pair of binoculars would be good.  It seems to be the consensus of many people on this forum.  But hey, like you said, I like to tinker so maybe the cheap 8" SCT and a pair of binoculars would be good.
 

 

It's not a bad idea to give it a try and, if it performs decently then I could just use it until my new order arrives and then pull the secondary and send it off.  I don't really plan on imaging with the 8" - it'd be visual only.  Maybe I'd get a T-adapter to hook up my DSLR for plate solving (which I'm already doing with my DSLR and lens on a tripod) to help with learning to star hop (star hop one step to where I think I should be, put the camera on and platesolve and verify I'm where I should be kind of thing).
 

 

For $350 for the 8" OTAs on the classified I'd already be at a higher price and not have a mount. smile.gif   But I do appreciate the data point!


Thanks for all the replies!  I appreciate ya'll taking the time to give me advice.

 

The secondary's rotational orientation is probably marked on it. If not, mark it in some way before removing it. 


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#14 jpengstrom

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 11:08 AM

The secondary's rotational orientation is probably marked on it. If not, mark it in some way before removing it. 

Thanks, Uncle Rod!  When I go to pull the secondary off for resurfacing I'll be sure it's either already marked or make sure to mark it.


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#15 jamestheviewer

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 02:05 PM

For the first time in months I hit a sale forum today, saw this scope, and considered it.  I googled the repairs and found this thread, so good luck with it!  The failed dual axis drive scared me a little...


Edited by jamestheviewer, 23 June 2021 - 02:33 PM.

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#16 jpengstrom

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 03:28 PM

For the first time in months I hit a sale forum today, saw this scope, and considered it.  I googled the repairs and found this thread, so good luck with it!  The failed dual axis drive scared me a little...

Yeah, but it's not like the dual axis drive is required, especially for purely visual use.


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#17 jamestheviewer

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 04:48 PM

Yeah, but it's not like the dual axis drive is required, especially for purely visual use.

Very true!  Do you plan on doing a (few) follow-up post(s) about the repair experience?  Personally, I find those very interesting.


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#18 jpengstrom

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 05:26 PM

Very true!  Do you plan on doing a (few) follow-up post(s) about the repair experience?  Personally, I find those very interesting.

So my plan right now is to use the scope as is, assuming its optics are at least OK.  Then, after I get my scope from Astronomics, whenever that turns out to be, take the secondary out of this 2080 and send it off for recoating.  But I'd be happy to document the disassembly/reassembly in a post.


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