Jump to content


Meade Max 20" Set up

Recommended Posts


Has anyone here ever set up a Meade Max 20" before?! I have presently setting one up and have run into some trouble. I should say this is not my own but I am helping out my local University. Eventually we are putting it into a dome on top of the building, but that's going to be a whole other task in itself :(.

We have now built up the mount (pic 1), but not yet added the OTA (pic 2). The reason for this is according to the instructions we need to lift the 86kg OTA onto the dovetail mount which now sits about 1.6m high! Even with 4 of us this is a lot to lift, quite high.

The plan is to now take off all the counterweights, turn on the mount with no scope or weights, and drive it round until the dove tail is in a lower more accesable position. Then we can attach the OTA and counterweights, turn the mount on again, and return it to home. Then we can cycle the power and go through the usual balance set up etc.

Can anyone who has one of the larger autostar powered Meades see any issues with this? Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.



Pictures removed by request.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, this is basically an engineering problem. How about getting the university's Mech. Eng. people to provide a solution (the lab/workshop staff this is, NOT the undergraduates - and definitely NOT the academics :()

I'd also be inclined to assemble this in-situ, rather than do the goods-inwards acceptance/configuration elsewhere and then have to disassemble/move/reassemble it all again in its final resting place.

(Have to smile at Meade's advertisement for this. You spend $35,000 for this and they supply you with a 24mm eyepiece. C'mon guys: either don't bother or make it the whole set!)

Edited by pete_l
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are looking at engine hoist/fork lift options at th moment. Issue is getting any of these into the dome we need to install it in. Crane options are under discussion, but timing may be an issue. The reason for the test assembly is to demonstrate the size and difficulty of the final install to those who I am working for.

I have some mechanical enginers looking at it now. I should maybe say that I work for the UKATC and its our guys that are looking at it. They are proffesionals... I think! There are suggestions of crane mountings and such, but getting the dovetail plate horizontal or vertical would help a lot.

I will post some more details about how we get on, first light etc, when we get to that stage!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it strange that you have to construct the scope your self given what is being said in

video at the 1 minute 20 second mark. As said above, a little bit mean on the eyepiece front. Hope you guys can come up with an inexpensive solution to mounting the scope.


Edited by JamesM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OMG that's flippin' huge! I see your problem. Not sure if the gears would appreciate having 86kg hanging off them with no counter weights, the leverage would be huge and it doesn't look like a cheap setup! A hoist is the only thing I can think of. It's too risky even for 4 strapping blokes I'd say.

Edited by sgazer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions. I think we actually have one of those lifts somewhere on site, so I am calling in the 'heavies' (technicians) to take a look today. Think they would still rather the dovetail was lower though. Even then, once we get this up into the dome, we won't be able to get anything that size in and out again, so we need to do it by hand then.

Meade say to get 4 people to just lift it on! Guess they are all 8 foot body builders in the Meade design office!

If I do drive this round I will take off all the weights, and when the scope goes on, add the counterweights back on. I wouldn't try moving it without it being in at least close balance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so I am calling in the 'heavies' ....

If you needed someone beating up why didn't you say :(

Meade guys must be part time Marvel types!! When I go on holiday my suitcase weighs in around the 20/22kg mark, I certainly wouldn't try and lift it to shoulder height!!

Looks an absolute beauty though, can' wait to hear an account of first light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, those stickers are still all over the mount and instructions. There is also one now adoning the board in my office!

Swinging the late round to the 'zenith pointing' position does seem the way to do it. The issue was that there are no clutches on this mount, you can only move it under power. I did a test run yesterday though, and it seemed to move into position fine with all the weights off. Will do this again for the install, and support the tube on while its on. We can then add the weights so there is no out of balance forces on the gears.

The telescope is for the University of Edinburgh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe a trolley jack could be used to lift it to the equivalent height of the steps in the video? Even if it couldn't get it all the way it would mean that the people lifting it the rest of the way would only have to lift it a short distance.

Edited by angusb1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.