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Given a Meade 6600 w/ Mizar GEM, missing declination knob, other minor parts? Where to buy replacement parts and/or upgrades?

Beginner Classic EQ Equipment Meade Mount Reflector
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#1 VidiviciVeni

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:24 PM

In researching and revisiting my passion for astronomy from my youth with my kids, and after *so much help* from many online (on reddit -- this is my first post, here!) for all of my questions and steering me in the right direction (and away from other directions I thought I should go down, initially), I was *very fortunate* to have been given a free Meade 6600 w/ Mizar (I think it may be an AR-1) GEM. This is apparently a scope/mount combo from the mid 1980s, but I think it has a good reputation -- especially the mount, it seems.

 

i9K4cGwrfhbVhPF1wCrA1gOqhlkoAtiVn0om_3uoMkI.jpg

 

However, it's missing a slow-motion knob for the declination, and I'm having trouble finding (understanding?) a compatible replacement. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Is this some universally compatible system I should be able to find various compatible knob styles as replacements for? I'm fine with getting completely different style knobs from the originals as long as they're compatible -- if so what should I be looking for?

 

I found the original Meade 6600 manual online as a pdf, but it doesn't say anything about this, unfortunately, and the Meade website didn't seem to have what I'm looking for.

 

It's old, some of the hardware on the OTA and weights and counterweight shaft  are a bit rusty, etc -- but it otherwise seems like it works great. The 6x30mm straight finder scope was wobbly on the OTA, but I tightened everything up and just need to calibrate everything a bit better, now. It is also missing the rubber "feet" and so have to place it on soft surfaces to avoid scraping up my floors while it's inside. Any direction on finding these replacements would be helpful, also, along with any other suggestions on improving or otherwise modernizing the situation around this scope & mount.

 

It came with a couple stock, basic plossl eyepieces and I just ordered the SVBony Redline ultra wide angle eyepieces (6mm, 9mm, 15mm and 20mm), a SVBony 7mm-21mm zoom lens and the Celestron Omni 2x Barlow. Also a simple moon filter. Might grab a Telrad as well (it comes with a straight 6x30mm finder scope, no cap), but am curious around what it would take to pick a good quality / versatile gun reflex scope and find ways of mounting one of those, instead. Have already had some fun with it, even balancing it and learning polar aligning, and looking at the moon even with the stock eye pieces, and am very excited to continue down this rabbit hole with my family and kids!

I also wonder if the polar alignment viewfinder is still available anywhere to buy? I've seen a number online but there are many of them and don't know where to start to get the right fitting / compatible one.

 

I live in the South Shore of Boston, MA area, if it matters. Any help & guidance is greatly appreciated!



#2 VidiviciVeni

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:04 PM

Some folks in the "Classic" forum helped out pretty quick with pointing me in the direction of replacement slow-mo knobs, but if any of you mount specialists can offer up any additional guidance and/or suggestions/ideas around this mount (missing rubber feet, other hardware suggestions, etc), then I'd definitely appreciate it



#3 ngc7319_20

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:55 PM

Another knob option:

https://www.highpoin...-black-smk-bk-2

 

Rusty parts:  non-painted parts can be cleaned with very fine steel wool or Scotch Brite, and some oil like WD-40.  Wear nitrile gloves.  Painted parts are more tricky -- the same will work but you may need to re-paint afterwards.

 

Rubber feet: crutch tips will often work, and come in many sizes.

https://www.mcmaster.com/crutch-tips/

 

Don't worry about the polar scope / finder.  Just aim with a compass or use Polaris.  That will be fine for visual observing.

 

Telrads are nice but might be bulky on that scope.   Some smaller options:

https://www.highpoin...1x-finder-r-crs

https://www.bhphotov...inderscope.html

https://www.stellarv...002-mrf-finder/


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#4 VidiviciVeni

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 11:07 PM

Thank you, good sir, I already ordered some of the 6.5" 6mm DIA flexible knobs, but the rust clean-up advice will def be put to good use. 

 

Good ole McMaster-Carr... thank you, I'll take some measurements and grab some black crutch tips for the feet.

 

My thoughts exactly on the Telrad -- it looks useful but my concern was its size and also its cheapness. I'm intrigued by the Celestron -- will I need to buy a separate dovetail mount base and drill into the OTA to attach it to? Anything I should look for to make sure I get the right dovetail base?




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