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Rick Towns

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Everything posted by Rick Towns

  1. I had a 10" SCT (Meade 2120) for many years. The LX6 mount was not GoTo, so I bought an LXD75 mount and a dovetail bar and put the 10" OTA on it. It worked very well for visual use.
  2. I replaced the LX drive and forks on my 2080 for an LX6 drive and forks - now I have a hand controller and dual-axis drives.
  3. Hi everyone, I have owned a variety of Meade scopes in my life, including a 2120 LX6/Premiere, a 2080 LX3 and my current scope a 2080 LX6 Premiere. I did not know the actual year of manufacture for any of these scopes, as I bought them all second hand. There appears to be next to no information on the Interwebs correlating the Meade serial numbers with the year of manufacture. To remedy that, I'm gathering all the Meade 2080/2120 serial numbers I can find, along with the year of manufacture (if known) and tabulating them onto a webpage: http://deepskies.com/Meade_LX_Registry.aspx The goal is that if we gather enough examples of serial numbers and years, in the future people will be able to purchase a nice mint used LX-series scope and figure out what year theirs is from by checking this registry. It does appear (so far!) that Meade's serial numbers were sequential and that the serial number does indirectly relate to the year it was made. So, if you happen to have a Meade LX, LX2, LX3, LX5, LX6 or Premiere kicking around and you are interested in participating, shoot me a PM (or reply here) with your serial number and year of manufacture (if known). You can also include a picture of your scope if you like. I'm also gathering serial numbers for the later scopes: LX10, LX200 Classic, LX100 and LX50. I even have one LX80 on the registry! I've also put together a crude spotter's guide, as the early LX scopes (LX, LX2, LX3, LX5, LX6 & Premiere) don't actually have their model type inscribed anywhere on the scope! Thank you! Rick in Canada (eh!)
  4. Interesting... my wife described me that way earlier today! Perhaps that's why I love my Plössls! LOL!
  5. I went that exact same way. I go rid of my "wide field" eyepieces and went to Plössls and Orthos because I actually prefer the narrower field of view and the tight eye relief ont he shorter eyepieces does not bother me. I also hear you about the OCD part - my Plössls are a GSO 32mm, a Meade 26mm and then Tele Vue 20,15,11 and 8mm. The lone Ortho is a Fujiyama 6mm (my scope is a Meade 2080 8" SCT - so this eyepiece collection gives me all the various power steps I'll need... no Barlows required or wanted). But the OCD side of me says... "Rick... you wanna replace the 32mm and 26mm with Tele Vue 32mm and 25mm Plössls, don't ya?" I likely will do so before the summer. Good luck! And, no... you're not mad (either that, or both of us are! LOL!). Cheers! Rick in Canada (eh!)
  6. I went through a similar situation recently. I went from a 10" Meade SCT down to an ED-102 APO as the 10" was becoming too much hassle to lug around and set up and tear down. I got a simple EQ-5 and put the ED-102 on it. I thought it was PERFECT! Not too heavy, I could even move the whole rig assembled around the yard without too much hassle. Looking at Sirius I was thrilled to see the "Pup" (Sirius-B) which is something I had never gotten around to bagging with my 10". However, the fun wore off the first time I looked at M13. It was much dimmer and less resolved than in the 10". The APO glass simply couldn't overcome physics. Sure, the views of double stars and open clusters were beautiful and crisp - but anything faint wasn't better - it was a lot worse! I used the ED-102 for 5 years, and I still think fondly about how easy it was to use, and the "snap" of the focus. But I wound up selling it and replacing it with a plain-jane Meade 2080 8" SCT. Mine has good optics, and the views through it are nice and sharp. Proper collimation and cooling are required to get the best views, which I don't mind. I made my own DIY version of a Lymax cooler, so cooldown times are around 15-20 minutes depending on how bad the temperature difference is and I am already quite adept at collimating it. The views of M13 are much MUCH better! And at 12.5 lbs, the 8" SCT OTA really isn't that much bigger/heavier than the 4" APO OTA was. The effort to set it up and pack it up are pretty much equal. What I gain at the eyepiece is simply so much more. Just food for thought (nom, nom, nom....).
  7. I really like the look of that - it reminds me of an old Celestron Ultima 2000 that I should have bought, but didn't. (Would up buying a 10" Meade SCT instead - which I dearly loved!)
  8. No, I don't regret it. I had a mix of eyepiece designs and brands ranging in FOV from 42° to 70°, but none of them were of premium quality (think: Orion, BST, GSO, Meade, etc). Not crappy, but not top shelf either. I wanted to get a "set" of premium glass, and I decided to purchase some Tele Vue Plössls. I am not a big fan of wide FOVs - I personally find them a bit distracting. I like being corralled into the object of interest. I also have a very high tolerance for tight eye relief - so this was the perfect solution! Since 8mm is the smallest TV I could get, I also picked up a 6mm Fujiyama Ortho to give me high power when the skies permit. No regrets - I've been observing with my new set for 6 months now and not once have I wanted to dig through the boxes and pull out my GSO SuperView!
  9. I used to have an ETX-90/EC that originally would slew directly towards the ground when I tried to attempt the initial 2 or 3 star alignment. I downloaded and applied a firmware update and that resolved all the issues. Well... it still sounded like a coffee grinder when slewing, but the alignment and GoTo's were accurate! I'm not saying that is the fix for you, but it could be an idea if other efforts don't pan out.
  10. Er... the only vintage glass I have is my 1982 Meade 2080 that is my main telescope. That's... uh... 34 years old. I dunno if that's vintage... or just classic... or antique. Hopefully not antique, because I am considerably older than the scope!
  11. Hi! My apologies for the newbie question, but is there a way to find the first unread post within a topic? I see there is an "Unread Content" link, but that seems to show me a list of ALL unread posts across all threads. Please let me know if I am missing something obvious (likely!). Thank you very much! Rick
  12. First scope was a Sears 40mm *REFLECTOR* - it was a long tube, with a tiny mirror at the bottom, and a plastic (!) secondary that was square. It had spindly little wooden legs - man was that thing wobbly! I did look at the Moon and Jupiter with it, but not much else. This is when I was just 8 years old. Many, many years later, I got to borrow a friend's Meade 4.5in EQ Newt, and it was awesome! So I bought one myself. That only lasted two years, and then I moved up to a C8. I've had various scopes since then, but I have wound up back at an 8" SCT (this time, a Meade 2080) - I just love the 8" SCT format. Perfect for me!
  13. Maybe he stacks them all and gets 3000x from a TV N31! LOL! Lot's of eye relief at FULL POWAH!!!! (to quote Jeremy Clarkson!)
  14. Personally, I am not a Barlow guy - I just have a nice spread of eyepieces that cover all the magnification ranges that I am interested in with my scope. Truthfully, most of the time you only need 3 eyepieces: low, medium and high power. I wound up with 6 which give me 63x (32mm), 100x (20mm), 133x (15mm), 182x (11mm), 250x (8mm) and 333x (6mm). If I were just to use 3, I would probably go with the 32mm, the 15mm and the 8mm. But to each their own. When I started building this eyepiece set, I decided I wanted "minimum glass" between my eye and the sky, which meant only 4-element eyepieces (Plössls and an Ortho). I feel adding a Barlow (especially a 3-element APO Barlow) just turns my 4-element eyepieces into 7 element eyepieces. Many people are very happy with more complex eyepieces and lots are very happy using a Barlow. As others have said, perhaps a Barlow would make sense for you if it provided you and additional magnification or two that you want. But, if it were me, I'd buy more eyepieces.
  15. Here are my Plössls and lone Ortho. I love all these eyepieces.
  16. Well, I am going to wander around at the next star party that I attend to see if I can take a peek. Thank you for your input on this!
  17. Both the BST Planetary and the Orion Edge-On Planetary have kidney-bean shapes that I chase around the periphery. This happens whether in my living room or out under the stars when I am fully dark adapted. That is why I keep coming back to Orthos and Plössls because I don't have any of these issues. Plus, I like to have my eye "in there" close to the lens, versus hanging back with the BST & Orion. So I guess I was wrong earlier when I said it was black outs and not kidney beans... it is the beans! LOL!
  18. The only thing I'll add is that my dining room (and house) were dark and I had two filters on my diagonal to cut the glare of the street light to usable levels.
  19. You are right - I am seeing a blackout.
  20. That is the funny thing - so far, I find Orthos and Plössls more comfortable to the longer eye relief ep's I have. Maybe I'm a freak? LOL!
  21. It was cloudy last night so I set up my scope in the dining room and aimed at a street light down the road. I then got out my new Fujiyama 6mm Ortho and my old Tanzutsu 6mm Ortho that it replaced. I was surprised by how much closer I had to get my eye into the Tanzutsu in order to see the entire field of view. The Fujiyama doesn't have fantastic eye relief (4.9mm) but it must still be within my threshold of "comfortable" and the Tanzutsu must have near 0mm! Perhaps 2? Regardless, the difference was quite noticeable. For fun, I also tried an Orion Edge-On Planetary 5mm, which has 20mm of eye relief. The views through all 3 eyepieces were very similar (Fuji being the best/sharpest, Tanzutsu second, Orion a little softer, but it is 1mm shorter and a more complex design), but the comfort on all of them was different. With the Orion, I was barely touching the eye cup with my... um... face (?) and I had to move my head around to avoid black outs. So I had to hold my head perfectly still over the sweet spot to get a good view. With the Fuijiyama, I can press my eye socket (yeah, that's better!) gently against the eye cup and easily find the exit pupil. After just a few minutes of observing a spider egg sack on the street light, I overwhelmingly preferred the view through the Fuji over the other two. I also have a BST UWA Planetary (9mm) that I see a kidney bean effect unless I hold my head just in the right spot. So, I think I may have figured out why I prefer Orthos and Plössls to other designs - at least at shorter focal lengths. Or I need to maybe try some higher quality long eye relief glass? Perhaps a TV DeLite or an ES 82 would not have this same issue with locating and holding the exit pupil? Thoughts?
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