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Ceph and Cass

Meade 8" ACF OTA

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I've finally found what I think is going to be a good replacement and upgrade for my broken 6SE OTA. A fellow on another forum has agreed to sell me a nearly new Meade 8" SCT with ACF optics deforked from a broken LX setup. The sweet part is that the cost is less than a new C6 OTA. It will not come with anything other than a visual back - no rings, no dovetail and no diagonal. I'll mount it on my EQ6 with the rings and dovetail that came with an 8" newtonian I got a few years back. Either the original 1 1/4" diagonal from my 6SE or a 2" Celestron SCT diagonal which I have should work ok.

I've not had a chance to use any Meade products before, I hope it all works out.

Wish me luck.

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I'll wish you luck as nobody else has, excellent scope, nothing wrong with Meade optics.



Now keeping an eye out for second hand WO bino viewer - patience will be rewarded eventually. They must be OK since they are rarely offered.

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Hi folks,

I now have this replacement for the defunct SE6, a Meade 8" SCT ACF optical tube. This was acquired thanks to Stacy, a CN member.

I picked up the scope from the post office late Monday afternoon. The box was a bit beat up but thanks to good packaging all was well inside. Lots of bubble pack kept things in good order. The scope is in pristine condition, there are no scratches or smudges to be found anywhere on it. If the previous owner ever used this telescope it does not show it.

On Tuesday I found some means of mounting it on an EQ6 using a vixen dovetail and inexpensive rings from an 8" newtonian and had a 'first light' with it last night. I made a dew shield from black craft foam from WalMart. First off, the scope is perfectly collimated, again thanks to the previous owner. Second, the cheap rings and small dovetail are not the best mounting choice, this is a somewhat heavier instrument than my 6SE and so I ordered an ADM wide dovetail for the bottom and an ADM narrow one for the top. I did this as soon as getting back inside on Tuesday night.

Tuesday was unseasonably warm here with high winds, thus the atmosphere was somewhat 'muddy' and unsettled but that didn't stop me from getting the scope out along with my box of eyepieces. I did not have any specific observing goals other than to see what sort of horse I had bought. I first looked at whatever galaxy might be visible - very nice thank you. I then looked at some open clusters - this was a treat. The view was very bright and well resolved despite the slight atmospheric haze. I then went for some of my favourite targets, globulars - now I know why I wanted a bigger SCT. These were more resolved than anytime through my AR152. Next up were a tour around looking at doubles - here is where things went south a bit. Difficult splits were not any easier than in the refractor, but to be fair the seeing was not the greatest, a lot of flickering in and out of focus. I'll try these again when seeing is better. The moon did not rise before I called it a night so I can't comment on contrast and crater detail at higher magnifications.

I put a 2" SCT diagonal on the back of the scope and had a go with all my eyepieces. ES68-34, ES68-28, ES82-18, 9 Nagler, 5 Radian and Hyperion MK IV 8-24 zoom. The scope produced pin point stars to the very edge of the field of view of my eyepieces. I tried Saturn with the Nagler and the Radian but the seeing was not up to the magnification those eyepieces provided. That's for another time. I tried the scope with the zoom, nothing adverse happening there but I preferred the wider and brighter views through the primes. The increased aperture enabled finer resolution and deeper views than with the 6SE and the AR152. My favourites for the night were the ES68-28 and the ES82-18. I think I'll be looking to get a 13 or 14 mm eyepiece sometime just to get a bit more out of the scope. There is a very slight bit of image shift when focussing but nothing to worry about, otherwise focusing is smooth and predictable. This OTA does not have a mirror lock option.

I wanted a CAT a little bigger than my 6SE for planetary, lunar and globulars. I think I'm going to be happy with this one. It's not so big as to be a problem lifting it and mounting it and my EQ6 is quite happy with it on board. The fit and finish is first class and it's a 'pretty' thing (my wife's comment). This might just be the instrument that will push me towards a set of binoviewers! Next opportunity I'll put it on a Duo-T paired with a short tube 80 just for giggles.

Finally, thanks to Stacy at CN for letting me to acquire this very nice telescope!

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Congrats on your new scope Patrice! When I upgraded from the 6SE to the 8, it was the resolving of globs even from my light polluted suburb that impressed me the most.

As you already have some ES in there, I can recommend the ES82 14 and 11mm - I bet they'd be even better with your ACF :cool:

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I think you should do well with that. My only grumble with my Meade is what you get for the money new. Secondhand they are difficult to beat for value but they are not so cleaver as imaging scope as far as I can tell, mainly due to the focal lengths. I found with mine that the bolt on bits were way below what I expected to see from a 4000 quid outlay, so then changed all of them costing over another 1000 pounds. The AFC is a plus point and you also have additional aperture, I don't see how you can loose.


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