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Almost NOS Meade 7" MCT LX50

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#26 clamchip

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 09:26 AM

I owned one for a while, I sold it for some unknown reason.

The forest service bought it for fire watch, they must have done their homework because

that's a job it is well suited for, that and studying hummingbird eyelashes.

Did you know hummingbird eyelashes are not hairs they are feathers, yes amazing.

I gave it plenty of time to equalize, mine had twin fans from the factory, I'm not sure if they

all do. 

Meade really knows how to build a MCT.

 

Robert


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#27 tim53

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 10:59 AM

Primary for the intes mk63 came back from Majestic yesterday while I was working. It was really windy here yesterday and into the night, so no setting up of telescopes for me.   But I’m off work today so I hope to put the MK63 back together, set it up next to the Meade 7”, and compare the views. Too bad the planets are in the wrong part of the sky from my backyard. And the moon probably won’t be over the house until late. Maybe a double star or two?


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#28 GEC

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 08:44 PM

Congrats on the scope.  I have the OTA that I purchased new years ago and it is superb. The Mars Mak. Yours will likely have a cast iron counterweight inside the tube behind the primary, which makes cool down take a while unless it have been removed. Several threads on this site talk about that.  OTA is a heavy bugger with the weight in.  Mine never had the weight and it is around 17 pounds.   There are two fans in back to aid cool down.  I use refletix to insulate the tube.  There is some mirror shift when focusing, but I put a GSO Crayford to fix that. 

 

Cheers,

GEC


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#29 tim53

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 10:26 AM

So I took the Meade and the Intes MK63 out under the moon early this am. There were high thin clouds everywhere, making it hard to judge contrast, but the images in the Intes are definitely sharper since I refigured the primary!

 

Comparing the Intes MK63 with the Meade, they’re both quite sharp. The Meade mount is easier to use than the Intes mount. The Intes is easier to set up, as I can carry the whole scope out assembled. The Meade is a bit scary putting on the wedge. I wish the fork arms had handles. I like the latitude adjuster on the Meade. It wasn’t tight so it slipped and I had to guess the latitude with the telescope already mounted. Must have done well because it tracked well. Love the small hand controller. The lx50 mount is nice and ridgid. The Intes shakes when focusing, but settles down quickly.

 

The Meade was noticeably brighter when viewing the moon at similar magnifications. more than i would have expected with 1" more aperture.  It's got EMC coatings, not top of the line UHTC, but maybe still a big factor in the difference.  it also did very well with a Meade series 4000 26mm eyepiece.

 

I can't wait to DPAC the Meade.  I've already done the Intes, while I was refiguring the primary (so I know that the system is ~1/10th wave.  I'm thinking that the Meade might be similarly very good, but thinking that and knowing it are two different things!

 

I'll be in Utah for a week, beginning tomorrow.  I'm not planning on taking either scope with me due to the moon and other things to do while I'm there, so this will have to wait til I get back.


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#30 tim53

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:17 AM

Zooming in, it looks like I should be able to remove the filter before fiddling with the connection.  The white bits might be styrofoam.  I'll check when I get home from work later today.

 

attachicon.gifCapture_filter.JPG

So it did turn out that the white bits are nicks in the annodizing.  So this may have been dropped.  Also, it's a clear window, not a nebula filter.  So if I can't persuade it loose with heat or penetrating oil, I won't feel bad if I have to bugger it up with channel lock pliers or something along those lines.


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#31 tim53

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:42 AM

So I'm cogitating on accessories for this scope.  First, I'm sorely tempted to make an adapter plate so I can mount the wedge on my Tak EM-500 transportable pier.  That would make it possible to roll the fully-assembled scope out of my shop door, with a little gymnastics to get the legs through the 27" opening.  The stock tripod is too splayed to get through the door with the scope on it.  (I suppose another option would be to try to rig up a means to fix the spread at a smaller value on a dolly so it'll make it through the doorway, but then I'd be worried about it tipping over).

 

I need a set of tube weights for the bar already mounted to the tube.  I'm pretty sure I got all the seller had, so not there.

 

I would really like too replace that 6x30 finder with a larger RACI finder.  I have a couple spare telrads, so I could use one of those, too, I suppose.  But it could be mounted on the tube and still leave the 6x30 in place.

 

I'll need a guidescope for imaging with the Mak.  I like the smaller DSOs, like planetery nebulae and galaxies.  My fast astrographs like the Tak Epsilon 130 take great images, but galaxies are mainly pretty small and unresolved.  So, longer exposures at f15 and guiding mandatory.  I've thought about something like an MgenIII or astroberry.  I have several old Point Grey cameras that work well enough using a GPUSB from Shoestring Astronomy and Astro IIDC on my macs, but they're getting pretty long in the tooth.  I'm only able to run Astro IIDC because i paid for the license key dongle when the closed up shop over 10 years back.  I have a (now old) Meade DSI pro III camera that used to work with an old version of PHD, but it doesn't seem to work with PHD2 on either my Macs or my PC laptop.

 

I'll probably need a dovetail plate to mount to the top of the tube for the guidescope.  I could spend for a store-bought, or make one of these, like i made for my 6" Kludgescope many years back, made with 3/4" aluminum channel and a 1x stick, with screws every inch or so holding the channel to the 1x:  

post-6788-14072905386259_thumb.jpg


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#32 tim53

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:45 AM

But I'm having a hard time finding currently-available commercial accessories for this scope.  So if anybody has ideas, I'm all ears.

 

-Tim.



#33 deSitter

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 10:36 AM

So it did turn out that the white bits are nicks in the annodizing.  So this may have been dropped.  Also, it's a clear window, not a nebula filter.  So if I can't persuade it loose with heat or penetrating oil, I won't feel bad if I have to bugger it up with channel lock pliers or something along those lines.

That more or less cinches (ha ha) it - the threads are crossed - I would just saw the bad part off and try to save the threads on the diagonal retaining ring - they can be lapped out later.

 

-drl



#34 deSitter

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 10:42 AM

Guide scope? Well, clearly, an ETX90 :) 

 

-drl


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#35 deSitter

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 11:04 AM

RE that filter - the location of the image plane in a Mak is not arbitrary - best performance will come at one particular location for the image plane, and I'm sure the Meade diagonal was designed with this in mind, so removing that extra spacer and pointless window can only improve the performance of the scope by restoring the location of the image plane. I think I would just break it apart until I had bits that were small enough to remove with a Dremel or a hacksaw.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 15 May 2022 - 11:16 AM.

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#36 deSitter

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 11:20 AM

Guide scope - a cut-down super finder/guider made from a 60mm 15-60x click zoomer would be ideal. Although the image will likely not be perfect, you can run up the power for guiding, or use a 40mm Plossl + right angle roof prism for a RACI super-finder - then keep the 6x30mm existing finder for quick locating.

 

-drl



#37 tim53

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 11:52 AM

Guide scope? Well, clearly, an ETX90 smile.gif

 

-drl

Funny. I have one of these I bought from chuck hards a few years back. I’ve never used it!



#38 tim53

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 12:09 PM

The intes mk63 has a 60mm mak guidescope, but to remove it, the scope has to be taken all apart to get at the screw at the nut At the front that holds it in place. When you adjust the aiming with the screws at the back, you’re actually bending the tube at the front, as there is no pivot there!  



#39 deSitter

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 01:30 PM

Funny. I have one of these I bought from chuck hards a few years back. I’ve never used it!

They are great! Mine is going to its third eclipse tonight - that's what I got it for!

 

-drl



#40 tim53

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 11:11 PM

We just got to Milford, Utah a few minutes ago.  For the last couple hundred miles, the entire eastern sky has been socked in.  I'm tired from the drive, so I think I'm just going to stare at my eyelids the rest of the night.



#41 RichA

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 07:10 PM

Funny. I have one of these I bought from chuck hards a few years back. I’ve never used it!

It's the kind of scope that never lets down, owing to small (forgiving) aperture and good optics.



#42 tim53

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 04:29 PM

Today I got that optical window off the star diagonal.  Took a bit of heat to get it off, but no physical damage to the threads on either part.

 

Now I have another problem:  The baffle on the OTA appears to be loose, from myself and the previous owner trying to get the star diagonal with the stuck window on and off.  Currently, it turns as soon as i get the window finger loose.  Won't tighten enough to keep the star diagonal from rotating under the weight of a 1 1/4" eyepiece.  I fear that the baffle is held by a lock ring on the inside of the OTA, behind the mirror and the pig iron weight glued into the cell.  So, how is access.  I'd have to take the corrector cell off the tube, to be sure, but the primary cell is glued on, from what I've heard on here.  

 

I suppose a somewhat drastic "solution" might be to epoxy or locktite the baffle from the outside, if I can get access to the threads from the back (it doesn't look likely).

 

Thoughts?



#43 tim53

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 04:34 PM

Aha!!!  Scratch that!  (though I probably shouldn't use the word "scratch" when talking about optics!).  I took the optical window gizmo off the star diagonal and just threaded the star diagonal onto the back of the OTA, and NO SLIPPING!  So it appears that the window threads are too large, so it's skipping threads on the OTA.  Putting the star diagonal back on the scope without that window, I'm able to tighten it without turning the baffle, so it never was the problem.  I'm going to set aside that window and never use it again.

 

=tim


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#44 clamchip

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 05:45 PM

I wonder if the window is one of these:

https://www.cloudyni...st#entry9220891

 

Robert



#45 tim53

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:12 PM

If it is, they machined it too big, so it's skipping threads and never gets tight.  Without, I just put an old film can in the 1 1/4" adapter in the star diagonal and i'll leave it on the OTA.



#46 maroubra_boy

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:22 PM

I am aware of the big lump of a weight that is inside these Maks.  I wonder how insulating the OTA would go with such a scope with that weight in it?  I don't foresee any issue from it once the OTA is insulated.  Should perform just like any other insulated Mak.  And once insulated then no wait time for any cooling smile.gif

 

Would be interesting to hear about one of these scopes with its counterweight intact and being well insulated on how it performs straight off the bat.  If it performs as I suspect it will, being as good as any other Mak, then this mitigates the need to remove the counterweight or to defork the OTA (if the fork mount is still performing well).

 

I have found it impossible to find any of these Meade Maks here in Australia.  I know they exist here, but I've had better luck with finding other even more exotic optics than these!  Curious.

 

Alex.


Edited by maroubra_boy, 22 May 2022 - 06:23 PM.

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#47 jgraham

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 07:16 PM

My imaging Mak 7 is insulated... but the weight has been removed. I know of another Mak 7 user with a stock system with the weight. He says that the weight has never been a problem for him.

If I recall right the lock ring on the Mak 7 is incorporated into the baffle. You can remove the corrector by removing the 3 pull-bolts an lift it off. You can then reach in and snug the baffle. You can then reinstall the corrector and pull bolts. If you put it back in the same orientation and don't touch the push bolts it should go right back where it was.
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#48 Dave Trott

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 10:00 PM

My imaging Mak 7 is insulated... but the weight has been removed. I know of another Mak 7 user with a stock system with the weight. He says that the weight has never been a problem for him.

If I recall right the lock ring on the Mak 7 is incorporated into the baffle. You can remove the corrector by removing the 3 pull-bolts an lift it off. You can then reach in and snug the baffle. You can then reinstall the corrector and pull bolts. If you put it back in the same orientation and don't touch the push bolts it should go right back where it was.

Watch out for the grease on the baffle slide tube!


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#49 tim53

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 06:55 PM

So i'm trying to get this thing set up for some astrophotography in the field at our dark sky site outside Milford Utah.  (Bortle 2!). I'll be going there on the 29th through the 5th of July.  I want to take the Meade because the mount only needs 6 AA batteries, and my cameras can also run on their internal batteries, and I can control them via an ipad or my Mac laptop.

 

So I need:

 

A piggyback camera bracket - can't seem to find one online.  Should be same as the 8" SCT, but I don't know where to look for that either.

Tube weight set - ordered one for the 8" SCT, as I already have the bar mounted to the OTA, but no weights.

Focal reducer - I have a Meade one, but it's at Cosmic Acres.  I should just put it in my camera case.

Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter - for my Pt Grey firewire cameras and THIS mac laptop (a 2012, first without the firewire port, but has Astro IIDC on it that I used to use for autoguiding with a GPUSB).  Ordered the adapter just now.

But for autoguiding - the LX50 mount has an ST4 port, so I assume it'll work with the GPUSB connected to the laptop.  But what about something like the (expensive) MGEN 3?  It might be nice not to have it tethered to anything but the mount.

Guidescope - I will have to adapt whatever I used for a guidescope.  Should I just buy one of the modern ones that are basically finders with camera adapters (and mounting hardware)?  Or should I adapt my 3" f/5 Jaegers OTA (below) to the Meade?

Dovetail plate? - I'd probably look for a Losmandy D style plate and put it on top.  I suppose I could use a camera bracket to fit the dovetail plate.  I could also make my own plate, but probably more time than it'd be worth in labor savings.

 

3" Jaegers:

post-6788-14073283781437_thumb.jpg


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#50 tim53

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 07:04 PM

It occurred to me that I have one of the nice Meade 60mm finders that someone modified to take 1 1/4" accessories.  It has a helical focuser, too.  Very nice.  But it either has a simple pair of mounting rings or a dovetail foot but no bracket for mounting it to the OTA, I think.




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