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Orion's 127mm Mak-Cass

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#1 Blair

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 10:05 AM

I just bought the OTA version. I am really pleased with it. The comments made in the three reviews here on Cloudy Nights are true and convinced me to buy the scope.
On a night when 4 mag stars were hard to see by my eyes I was able to go to 205X with my 7.5mm ultrascopic on the Double Double and it was easy to come to a nice and clear focus. Rasalgethi (a colorful double star) in Hercules was very nice at 205X as well. I have this mounted on Orion's Skyview Deluxe mount and even at 257X it settles down quickly after focuser adjustment. This is a very easy scope and mount to move around. I highly recommend this scope. I can't wait to see Mars through it. Orion is running a web only special on this scope on a mount at the moment. Clear Skies. :jump:

#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 12:23 PM

I agree with you, Blair, it is a good scope! I had always been impressed with Maks, and decided to buy the 127 as soon as it came out. It did not disappoint. I expected the resolution to be good, but the contrast to be less. In fact, the contrast was quite good, enabling me to see more detail (on the FULL Moon!) than I expected. The view of Mars recently was as good as what I saw in a 6" Newtonian the last time Mars was around. And best is yet to come on that one.... I can hardly wait!

I still think about getting a refractor sometimes (the diffraction rings can bury faint companions on tough doubles), but a good inexpensive achromat would be huge.... to big for the astroview mount. The Mak focuser does have quite a bit of backlash (and Orion said they would be happy to look at it), but SCT's seem to have the same problem. I wish there was an external focuser that I could buy for it. Guess I will have to make a fine focuser for it.

#3 Blair

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 12:33 PM

Hi,
Was the backlash problem there from the start or did it occur after some use. I just got the scope last Saturday and last night was my first use of it and I did not notice a "backlash" problem but then I may need a definition of what backlash means. Thanks. :question:

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 01:12 PM

I guess your's is pretty good. Maybe I should return it and have it checked out. When I got it, I noticed that when I turned the knob through best focus, and then turn the other way to fine focus, I had to go over half a turn before it started to change focus. So I have that much backlash. I have seen that on SCT's before, so I know that's normal to some degree. I guess I just got used to the helical focuser on my old newtonian.

#5 Blair

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 01:25 PM

The next time I use my scope I will watch real close and see if I have that problem. Being it was the first time I used the scope I was so busy checking out how it performed visually that I may have overlooked it.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 01:27 PM

Haven't noticed it yet on mine Kent, will check it next time I use it. Which will probably a week from now (rain rain rain...) :(

Mine seemed to be a little 'stiff' in the beginning, like the shaft attached to the knob was bent a little. Just tried it; seems to be gone now and going quite smooth..

#7 Blair

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 01:28 PM

Now, that I think about it, that big of problem I would have noticed. If I do have that problem it is not that bad. I would have noticed half a turn. But will still pay attention to it next time I get to use the scope which may not be for a few days because of the weather.

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 04:48 PM

Thanks for the replies on that.... They say you can tell how good a scope is by how much it "snaps" into focus. And this one does do that! It really pays to focus carefully for the best images. Focusing by moving the mirror may not be the best way to get a fine focus. That's another reason why I would like an outboard focuser, either rack and pinion or helical.

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 06:25 PM

Hey Blair! Now that you have the 127 Mak, how do you think it compares to refractors?
And I noticed you like the Double-double, how would you compare that to the refractor?
Are the diffraction rings much more of a problem for faint companions? I want to know!!!

#10 Blair

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 07:10 PM

hello,

I've only been able to use the Mak one night so far because of weather and looks like for another week thanks to tropical storm Bill. The only refractor I will be able to compare it to is a 90mm f/11 Meade Polaris which is not a Chinese objective but probably Vixen made. Will let you know when the weather improves. :tonofbricks:

#11 Blair

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 09:50 PM

Hi Jeff,
I also have a Stellarvue 80mm/720mm older scope which is not made now but is similar to the 80/9D model. I pushed it a little past its Dawes limit (195X) and it split the Double Double very nicely with a diffraction ring that was barely noticeable around the brighter one of each pair where the diffraction ring was very noticeable in the Mak at 205X. In fact, I returned the Mak because of this as I found the diffraction ring too distracting.

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 10:53 PM

Hey, guys,
If anyone wants that Mak that Blair returned, Orion is selling it in the clearance section for only 424!

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 10:55 PM

Oops.... I just noticed that Blair bought the spotter version!
But it's still a great deal on the full mounted version!

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 04:28 AM

Blair,

Did you retrun you MAK, if so....why?


#15 Bob Pasken

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 07:32 AM

I thought the Dawes limit for a 3.1" scope was 1.45" (4.5/3.1) and I know the double-double sperations are 2.2" and 2.4"

#16 Blair

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 09:27 AM

Not mine ... it hasn't got there yet ... due to be delivered tomorrow the 10th

#17 Blair

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 09:36 AM

I returned the Mak because it really didn't out perform my Vixen or Carton (the previous owner wasn't sure but it is not Chinese made) made 90mm f/11 that I bought on Astromart for $140 for the OTA and I really do not need the portability of the Mak. I use the 90mm on Orion's AZ-3 mount and its ready to go when I am. I can split the Double Double very nicely and track it fairly easy on the AZ-3.

#18 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 08:36 PM

I did the prescribed "fix" for tightening up the focus.... and it worked! Now it focuses with very little backlash. Just ran the focuser all the way, back and forth a couple of times. What an easy fix! And it makes it worth being on this board.

Thanks, guys,
Kent

#19 RobertED

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 09:09 PM

I've had my 127mm Mak-Cass for about 3 weeks now,and have had it out only twice(weather,mosquitos,etc.).I observed the Moon on both nights.The atmosphere was fairly steady and I must say that I was really impressed with the quality of both the scope,and the lunar images!!!I used a 9mm and 26mm plossl and was really pleased!I'm happy with the fine focus controls...no noticeable focusing issues.I've ordered the EQ-3 drive motor,and if it behaves...I just might order the full aperture solar filter!!So far, I love it!!!

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 05:15 AM

Well, finally the weather was good enough to do a little moon observing last night. Still much moist and high cloud vapors but the moon was visible.

Later that night (around 02:00) I had my first views of Mars; they where disappointing due to very bad seeing conditions; high foggy clouding, but hey it's been-more-weeks-than-i-want since i last used my scope! Seeing Mars made me thinking about the motor drive too Robert.... i keep on spinning that wheel...

This reminded me to check the focus backslash issue. There is none as far as i have noticed. So i guess i was lucky or you just had a little bad luck with your scope Kent.

Kent; what article discribes this fix, i've no problem with it now but if i get a problem with in the future; what article describes this fix? I haven't stumbled upon it yet..

#21 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 01:37 PM

Peppe, it was a post somewhere on this forum (I forget where), sorry if I confused that. I saw Mars on the 11th, and was a little disappointed. I thought conditions were good, clear, no wind, fairly dry..... but I guess the rapid temp change created lots of turbulence. Next time, I will try a less than ideal night.... maybe I'll get lucky.

I did get a good view of Mars in the Mak last month, and it looked good, very crisp. Saw a large polar cap and the dark areas south of Chryse. I am having to learn Martian features now.... great fun!

#22 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 01:51 PM

By the way, I use the single axis drive controller, and consider it a neccessity. Works good, I can sit there and stare.... more convenient than a dob (at high power anyway)! I usually only do a crude polar alignment, and that works fine.

This scope is no galaxy killer. But it does well on things that need a little magnification; planetary nebula and brighter diffuse objects are good, globular and diffuse clusters are very good (I think the resolution helps here). Of course, lunar/planetary is well above average, too. I would be interested in hearing your observations on this.

#23 RobertED

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 08:17 PM

Here's an update from my last post!!I took my 127mm ota on vacation to Stowe,VT with 9mm and 12.5mm orthoscopic oculars.Only 3 nights(each around 3:00 am )did I enjoy semi-clear views of Mars that week.The 9mm gave approx 171x mag.I was quite pleased with the views!!No problem seeing the South Polar Cap and some gray surface shading close to the cap.I could not determine any recognizable shapes or features,though.Because I was sleeping shortly before observing,my eyes were still a little goopy and the 'floaters' really got in my way of observing any fine details..All in all,I'm quite happy with my Orion StarMax 127mm.See my Mars photo in the Gallery section....this was taken when I got the ota home,put it on the EQ-3 mount, and turned the drive on.I did receive the single axis drive motor shortly before leaving for vacation.I was roughly polar aligned and it seemed to track pretty well!I'm still uncomfortable having to load 'batteries'into my drive motor!!!

#24 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 06:08 PM

Not bad Robert! That's almost how I see it visually, but on a good night, I see the dark areas a little more well defined. On a not-so-good night, that picture resembles what I see. Focusing is pretty critical, and the sharp pictures are usually made of multiple frames. But I think that's a good first shot!

#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 08:17 AM

Nice shot!
Got me just about the same views; i fiddled a bit with filters; really does help, you should try it.
Did not bother to watch Mars from a dark site until now; all backyard observing. I will try a dark location soon..


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