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Meade 16" Starfinder EQ "Unboxing"

Classic EQ Meade Reflector
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#26 jsiska

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 11:25 AM

I have a 1994 Meade General Catalog. Page 41 has a full page description including half of the page showing a photo of the 16" Starfinder Equatoral. On page 40 is a specification table is listed with all of the Starfinders which also includes a column for both the Equatoral and Dob 16". On page 43 is a full page description of the 16" Starfinder Dobsonian; there is also a half page photo similar to the equatorial on page 41. Page 44 is divided into top half and bottom half. The top half of page 44 shows a photo of each of the Starfinder Equatorials including the 16" along with a shorter description of each. The bottom half of the page has the same but instead of equatorials it is of the Dobs.

 

From this catalog, I'd have to conclude the 16" Equatorial was still available in 1994 along with the Dob version. Whether or not any of the 16" equatorials were sold in 1994; who knows?

 

Meade 16 in. Equatorial RS.jpg


Edited by jsiska, 27 August 2023 - 11:51 AM.

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#27 cavedweller

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 11:31 AM

I have a 1994 Meade General Catalog. Page 41 has a full page description including half of the page showing a photo of the 16" Starfinder Equatoral. On page 40 is a specification table is listed with all of the Starfinders which also includes a column for both the Equatoral and Dob 16". On page 43 is a full page description of the 16" Starfinder Dobsonian; there is also a half page photo similar to the equatorial on page 41. Page 44 is divided into top half and bottom half. The top half of page 44 shows a photo of each of the Starfinder Equatorials including the 16" along with a shorter description of each. The bottom half of the page has the same but instead of equatorials it is of the Dobs.

 

From this catalog, I'd have to conclude the 16" Equatorial was still available in 1994 along with the Dob version. Whether or not any of the 16" equatorials were sold in 1994; who knows?

Is it stated anywhere for the equatorials if they are AC or DC powered?



#28 sdedalus83

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 11:52 AM

Is it stated anywhere for the equatorials if they are AC or DC powered?

There were both and you could upgrade to the DC drive. I would guess yours is DC since it has the Magellan II.



#29 jsiska

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 12:01 PM

Is it stated anywhere for the equatorials if they are AC or DC powered?

The table on page 40 says the "Motor Drive System is 115v AC/60 Hz synchronous. the Drive Gear is a 5" worm gear." On page 44 it adds that the "motor drive system (115v/AC/60Hz) with timing motor, worm gear system , automatic clutch, and 6 ft. power cord."



#30 Linn

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 12:53 PM

Going to throw this out there, mfg# and the wo# both start with "98", assuming wo means work order, 1998?



#31 starman876

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 02:46 PM

No wonder then.  It was really the same scope but the name change threw me off.

Well Chas, the name of the thread is 16" star finder equatorial flowerred.gif You were thinking of the blue DS16.  


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#32 cavedweller

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 06:55 PM

There were both and you could upgrade to the DC drive. I would guess yours is DC since it has the Magellan II.

 

This 1994 catalog is likely the same one where I decided to buy my 10" Starfinder EQ in 1994. There was no choice for a DC drive. I recall calling them not long after I bought it wanting to change it to the DC drive which I saw advertised as a new improvement. They told me the DC drive would not fit the AC mount. I am betting that the 1995 catalog has only the DC drives offered.



#33 sdedalus83

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 07:31 PM

This 1994 catalog is likely the same one where I decided to buy my 10" Starfinder EQ in 1994. There was no choice for a DC drive. I recall calling them not long after I bought it wanting to change it to the DC drive which I saw advertised as a new improvement. They told me the DC drive would not fit the AC mount. I am betting that the 1995 catalog has only the DC drives offered.

I wonder if the retrofit kit was a later addition. I’ve seen one on the classifieds here and a thread on another forum with instructions on how to connect the AC synchro motor to the new board.



#34 cavedweller

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 07:38 PM

Going to throw this out there, mfg# and the wo# both start with "98", assuming wo means work order, 1998?

 

You are suggesting a numbering scheme similar to Cave mirror serial numbers. I wonder if the WO# could be construed as the equivalent of a serial number? Could more than one scope be on the same WO#?



#35 Linn

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 08:22 PM

You are suggesting a numbering scheme similar to Cave mirror serial numbers. I wonder if the WO# could be construed as the equivalent of a serial number? Could more than one scope be on the same WO#?

Remember this is just a WAG, but I am guessing work order could be the contract number for the order. If so, probably a number of scopes in the order. Manufacturing number might line up with something like model number indicating the specifics of the individual scope. Again, remember I have nothing to back this up. 



#36 Martin

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Posted 29 August 2023 - 03:42 PM

I have a 1994 Meade General Catalog. Page 41 has a full page description including half of the page showing a photo of the 16" Starfinder Equatoral. On page 40 is a specification table is listed with all of the Starfinders which also includes a column for both the Equatoral and Dob 16". On page 43 is a full page description of the 16" Starfinder Dobsonian; there is also a half page photo similar to the equatorial on page 41. Page 44 is divided into top half and bottom half. The top half of page 44 shows a photo of each of the Starfinder Equatorials including the 16" along with a shorter description of each. The bottom half of the page has the same but instead of equatorials it is of the Dobs.

 

From this catalog, I'd have to conclude the 16" Equatorial was still available in 1994 along with the Dob version. Whether or not any of the 16" equatorials were sold in 1994; who knows?

 

attachicon.gif Meade 16 in. Equatorial RS.jpg

My 2000 Meade catalog actually shows this scope and mount still being sold at that time. I think that was about the end of this scopes era though. 

 

Martin


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#37 cavedweller

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Posted 07 September 2023 - 05:31 PM

My 2000 Meade catalog actually shows this scope and mount still being sold at that time. I think that was about the end of this scopes era though. 

 

Martin

 

Could you please post a hidef picture or scan of the catalog page?



#38 apfever

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Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:24 PM

Here's some pictures. Not great. 2000 catalogue. 

The 6", 8", and 10" Starfinder GEM, on typical mounts.

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010001.JPG
  • P1010002.JPG

Edited by apfever, 07 September 2023 - 10:26 PM.


#39 apfever

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Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:25 PM

next pages.

The 16" with late version MRG mount.

The Starfinder DOB versions.

Page 73 has more on the 16 GEM. There is a scattering of related stuff through other pages. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010003.JPG
  • P1010005.JPG

Edited by apfever, 07 September 2023 - 10:44 PM.


#40 apfever

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Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:34 PM

Spec page. See the column headers. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010006 - Copy.JPG


#41 apfever

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Posted 07 September 2023 - 10:38 PM

half n half, spec and description of 16" GEM 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010008.JPG


#42 cavedweller

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Posted 07 September 2023 - 11:17 PM

Thank you! Greatly appreciated.



#43 Martin

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Posted 11 September 2023 - 10:15 AM

Hi,

Looks like apfever posted the pics. I havent been following the thread very closely, otherwise I would have responded more quickly.

 

Later,

Martin



#44 Tom Stock

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Posted 11 September 2023 - 10:18 PM

I never remember seeing any for sale in the 90's. I just saw the Dobs.

I do, the ads were all over sky and telescope.  I bought my first meade in 1993 and the DS-16 was definitely still listed although called the starfinder 16.

 

post-4996-0-23264900-1545973111.jpeg


Edited by Tom Stock, 11 September 2023 - 10:19 PM.

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#45 cavedweller

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Posted 16 September 2023 - 08:00 PM

I do, the ads were all over sky and telescope.  I bought my first meade in 1993 and the DS-16 was definitely still listed although called the starfinder 16.

Very nice, thank you.

 

Edit: Unlike mine and the newer Ad, there are no straps on this 16".


Edited by cavedweller, 16 September 2023 - 08:29 PM.


#46 cavedweller

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Posted 16 September 2023 - 08:26 PM

I setup the mount today. While attaching the mount head to the pier, I discovered that the latitude pivot bolts were too long. Rather than a through bolt and nut, this mount uses two opposing bolts inserted one on each side. The bolts were so long that before they cinched the ears together the bolts contacted each other in the middle. A couple shorter bolts and a dab of antiseize allowed it to tighten up securely.

 

I am waiting for it to cool off outside a bit more before I bring the OTA with the primary out from the air conditioning. I have a lift table that I hope will make it easy to mount the tube.

 

Mount Bolt.jpg

 

Mount.jpg


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#47 cavedweller

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Posted 17 September 2023 - 12:38 AM

OK, got it setup. The lift table made it easy. There are issues:

 

1.) I cannot polar align it because the mount head wants to flop down as soon as I try to tilt it that way. There is too much weight for the pivot to hold up.

 

2.) There is not enough counterweight to balance on the polar axis. I will need to dig up the counterweight from my 10" Starfinder EQ mount and see if it will fit the shaft. If not, then maybe a Cave counterweight will work. Of course, this will make number 1 worse.

 

3.) The finder mount puts the finder too close to the telescope tube. Either that or my head is too big.

 

I did a rough collimation and then I glanced at Saturn, but it obviously still needs to cool down some more.

 

Next will be to get the Magellan II system working.

 

Starfinder 16 EQ Setup.jpg


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#48 cavedweller

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Posted 17 September 2023 - 03:56 AM

More issues:

 

4.) I cannot reach focus with all three supplied eyepieces. The focuser does not extend out far enough. I tried an extension, but I only have long ones that are too long. I have to pull the 1.25" adapter out a little and then pull the eyepiece out a little for it to focus. I need to buy a short extension.

 

5.) The straps do not tighten enough to hold the tube from slipping. I had it well balance but then noticed it slipped to the point of going out of balance. There seems to be unnecessary nuts stopping the straps from tightening up more. This is DeJa'Vu with what I experienced with my 10" Starfinder before I moved it onto the Atlas mount with the Parallax rings. 

 

6.) Vibrations after touching the focuser continue well past a full minute. I am observing without tracking right now, so by the time it stops vibrating, the object is drifting out of view.

 

I am waiting for the Great Nebula in Orion to rise far enough to observe. I think it is a good object to test the light collecting ability because I am familiar with what it looks like in my other scopes. I cranked up the power on Saturn and Jupiter but between the mount shaking and maybe not so good seeing, I cannot judge the optics right now. Star testing will need to wait until I can collimate better and get the tracking working. I would use Polaris, but I cannot easily get it pointing that way.



#49 CHASLX200

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Posted 17 September 2023 - 05:23 AM

OK, got it setup. The lift table made it easy. There are issues:

 

1.) I cannot polar align it because the mount head wants to flop down as soon as I try to tilt it that way. There is too much weight for the pivot to hold up.

 

2.) There is not enough counterweight to balance on the polar axis. I will need to dig up the counterweight from my 10" Starfinder EQ mount and see if it will fit the shaft. If not, then maybe a Cave counterweight will work. Of course, this will make number 1 worse.

 

3.) The finder mount puts the finder too close to the telescope tube. Either that or my head is too big.

 

I did a rough collimation and then I glanced at Saturn, but it obviously still needs to cool down some more.

 

Next will be to get the Magellan II system working.

 

attachicon.gif Starfinder 16 EQ Setup.jpg

All of them type of mounts had the worst way to try to adjust the polar axis.  Just very crude and them tiny set screws dug into the metal. At  least Starliner had a better way to do it. I always called them scopes a train wreck scope as it was a wreck before you ever took it out of the boxes. Not picking on your scope.

 

 

 

That mount is not meant for a OTA bigger than 8" really.  Would be great for my 826.


Edited by CHASLX200, 17 September 2023 - 05:24 AM.


#50 CHASLX200

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Posted 17 September 2023 - 05:25 AM

More issues:

 

4.) I cannot reach focus with all three supplied eyepieces. The focuser does not extend out far enough. I tried an extension, but I only have long ones that are too long. I have to pull the 1.25" adapter out a little and then pull the eyepiece out a little for it to focus. I need to buy a short extension.

 

5.) The straps do not tighten enough to hold the tube from slipping. I had it well balance but then noticed it slipped to the point of going out of balance. There seems to be unnecessary nuts stopping the straps from tightening up more. This is DeJa'Vu with what I experienced with my 10" Starfinder before I moved it onto the Atlas mount with the Parallax rings. 

 

6.) Vibrations after touching the focuser continue well past a full minute. I am observing without tracking right now, so by the time it stops vibrating, the object is drifting out of view.

 

I am waiting for the Great Nebula in Orion to rise far enough to observe. I think it is a good object to test the light collecting ability because I am familiar with what it looks like in my other scopes. I cranked up the power on Saturn and Jupiter but between the mount shaking and maybe not so good seeing, I cannot judge the optics right now. Star testing will need to wait until I can collimate better and get the tracking working. I would use Polaris, but I cannot easily get it pointing that way.

The mirror may need to go back some as there were holes to move it up and down.




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