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Meade 226

Classic Refractor
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#1 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 09:56 PM

I just won a Goodwill auction for a Meade 226, I’ve looked around and there’s not a whole lot of information about it. How are the optics generally? Anyone have any experience with it?



#2 JetLinkin

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 10:14 PM

https://www.scoperev...com/page1b.html


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#3 deSitter

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 10:14 PM

The Meade refractors from that era (dark blue tube) are well thought of. This was just before the market for small long focal length refractors cratered.

 

-drl


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#4 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 10:17 PM

Thank you for the link.



#5 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 10:21 PM

The Meade refractors from that era (dark blue tube) are well thought of. This was just before the market for small long focal length refractors cratered.

 

-drl

Glad to hear that they have a decent reputation. It’s a real pity that there are very few long achros still produced.



#6 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 10:44 PM

IIRC, these were the last of the TOWA (Japan) models imported by Meade before they switched to Mizar (also Japan).  Optical quality is variable -- same as other Towa refractors.  In general, Towa was more reliable with the F15 versions of their 60mm & 80mm refractors (Towa Models 305 & 339, respectively).

 

But... you never know with Towa.  Give it a couple of star tests, and check out Jupiter at about 150x (if the seeing supports that magnification).  If you can focus to a sharp limb, then it's a Good Towa.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 December 2021 - 10:45 PM.


#7 Kasmos

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 02:34 AM

Optically the OTA can be good on small Towas, but usually the older the better the chances. The finder is junk having a plastic singlet objective that has a pencil size baffle behind it. The mounts have no controls so seem pretty useless for anything more than low powers.


Edited by Kasmos, 06 December 2021 - 02:34 AM.


#8 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 07:04 AM

The Meade blue tube stuff made around 1986 was all pretty good and up there with the Vixen stuff. Once Meade and Celestron went to the first run of China made stuff it was a big step down around 1997.


Edited by CHASLX200, 06 December 2021 - 07:05 AM.


#9 Sketcher

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:52 PM

Buttercup (CNa)

 

Shown above is my Meade Model 226 60mm f/11.7 achromat -- repainted (originally blue) and subsequently named Buttercup.

 

The objective is of excellent quality.  In focus Airy disks are beautiful, as are slightly de-focused star-test patterns from a sufficiently bright star.

 

Yes, the finder is internally stopped down; but even so, it's usable.  I decided to not replace the original finder.  Besides actually being usable, it can be used to show others what a stopped-down scope looks like, why to avoid them, etc.  Besides, the 60mm OTA is long enough (to sight along) that with practice, a finder is hardly needed.

 

Buttercup was front heavy in its mount.  So I added weight to the back end (I removed the focuser, epoxied a ring of .308 spitzer boat-tail bullets around the inside surface of the OTA, and then replaced the focuser.  (Lead is good for adding weight smile.gif )

 

My Model 226 was beat up a bit when I got it -- had to add some screws, etc. refinished the wood tripod, repainted the tripod shelf, etc.  I like to think of it as being "better than new" now.

 

The locking/securing hand nuts that secure the scope to the fork need occasional loosening/tightening when using the scope.  Moving the scope up and down tends to result in tightening or loosening those nuts.

 

I had only one .965 eyepiece (25mm) so I modified a 1.25 inch 10mm eyepiece by adding (epoxy again, after unscrewing the 1.25 inch barrel) a homemade .965 barrel.  That 10mm eyepiece can now be used as a .965 eyepiece, or I can screw back on the original 1.25 inch barrel (over the .965 barrel) . . .

 

Anyway, enjoy your "new" telescope!


Edited by Sketcher, 06 December 2021 - 01:54 PM.

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#10 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 11 December 2021 - 12:29 AM

It arrived today, it was easy to set up, everything was there including the original box. It came with a MA25 and a Huygens eye piece. Of course it’s been grey, cloudy and miserable outside, the “new scope curse” is real.


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#11 JetLinkin

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Posted 11 December 2021 - 09:20 AM

It arrived today, it was easy to set up, everything was there including the original box. It came with a MA25 and a Huygens eye piece. Of course it’s been grey, cloudy and miserable outside, the “new scope curse” is real.

Sounds like a nice score. Post some pictures when you can. Mario



#12 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 12 December 2021 - 08:02 PM

It was first light tonight, seeinf was middling, I focused primarily on the moon, Jupiter and the Pleiades. I was pleasantly surprised with the optics which are better than the modern DX102, no noticeable chromatic aberration on the moon, Jupiter’s banding was easily viable particularly when there was a moment of good seeing. The Pleiades looked lovely. The MA25 was great, very sharp, the H9 was sharp on axis but very much like looking through a straw. I miss having slow motion controls and I’m not a huge fan of the finder, but both are relatively easy fixes.
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#13 Mbinoc

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 10:43 PM

I still enjoy taking my little 226 out.

 

I often find slightly damaged or 60mm scopes mising a few components inexpensively at the thrift store for under 10$. I have used these finds to build up a few needed parts, and slowly improve the little Meade.

 

This is what mine looks like now. I kept the best components from the finds for myself and used them on the 226. A few pieces/components were sold online, and several other scopes were pieced together and given to younger children in the family.

 

Its now all metal, and has a mount with micro adjust knobs.

 

Meade.jpg

 

I also gave my nephew a Meade 226 with some decent working lower powered eyepieces. He enjoys it. I think they perform well for there size.


Edited by Mbinoc, 19 December 2021 - 08:28 AM.

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#14 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 03:17 PM

So I’ve got to say I really love the scope, but absolutely hate the finder, it’s too small and difficult to use. I’ve debated getting a RACI or a Telrad. Also I’m thinking I’d eventually like to get rings and put it on a better mount.




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