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Been pondering over SCTs recently, with a view to using them as high res spectroscopes, given the F10 nature of the setup. I know a lot about the Celestron range (not the HD ones), having borrowed, looked through and had access to C8, C9.25 and C11s. However, I have seen quite a few Meade SCTs, like the EMC and given they are also native F10, and can be picked up quite cheaply these days (OTA only - not interested in the mounts), I wondered what people's experience of these is, as I have not really had any time with them? I know they were very popular a while back, but how do the OTAs themselves stack up?

Cheers

Matt

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I've had a look at the meade SCTs myself and as far as I can tell it's only the coatings that are different if there better or worse I'm not sure but I will be following this post closely.

Richard

Edited by Richard Hather

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I have looked through a 10" Meade which gave poor images of Jupiter compared to my 8" Celestron, but when I defocused, I noticed it was WAY out of collimation. I offered to collimate it, but they were nervous about anybody fiddling with this university telescope. When collimated, they can perform well, I gather. Not sure there is any systematic difference between Meade and Celestron optics. Meade OTAs tend to be a lot heavier than the equivalent aperture Celestron

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Never looked through a Celestron version but the optics in my Meade are spot on.

Focusing can be an issue with the standard focuser, worth upgrading to something better.

Dave

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Some time ago a reasonably well known astro equipment reviewer confided in me that over the many years he had been testing scopes he had found Celestron SCT's consistently optically slightly better than Meade SCT's. I've looked through good examples of both brands personally but when I've owned SCT's myself I've always gone for Celestron.

 

Edited by John

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2 minutes ago, John said:

Some time ago a reasonably well known astro equipment reviewer confided in me that over the many years he had been testing scopes he had found Celestron SCT's consistently optically slightly better than Meade SCT's. I've looked through good examples of both brands personally but when I've owned SCT's myself I've always gone for Celestron.

 

I have heard this before, but there is a caveat that Celestron OTAs produced in the run up to the passage of Halley's Comet in 1986 are more variable in performance. It is said that QC was a bit more lax at that time. I am not sure if this is myth or reality. ALl I can say is my C8 (bought in 1995) has worked perfectly for over 21 years so far.

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The infamous "Halleyscopes" applied to both companies I believe. Production QC was reduced to meet consumer demand. That was when both brands used USA based production facilities. All for a comet that turned out to be rather an anti-climax :rolleyes2:

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So the post Halley Meades stack up pretty well against the post Halley Celestrons then, which reinforces what I have gleaned from the internet so far. I guess it is all down to the quality and price of a second hand item as and when I get round to sorting out this aspect of my interests. For either option, I have a Baader Diamond to plonk on the back, so the mechanics of the specific brand's focusers should be leveled out. Interesting times, thanks :)

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4 minutes ago, MattJenko said:

So the post Halley Meades stack up pretty well against the post Halley Celestrons then, which reinforces what I have gleaned from the internet so far. I guess it is all down to the quality and price of a second hand item as and when I get round to sorting out this aspect of my interests. For either option, I have a Baader Diamond to plonk on the back, so the mechanics of the specific brand's focusers should be leveled out. Interesting times, thanks :)

The SCT's I was referring to were all post-Halley era including the Celestron ones that I've owned (2x C8's and 3x C5's).

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My heart is kind of set on a C11, having had access to one via my local society and other people recommending theirs. Seeing some second hand Meades at very attractive looking prices did tinkle my skinflint senses though :) 

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I owned a C11 & sold it. It was just 2  to big a lump, to keep setting it up all the time.

I would go for a C9.25 if U can get one. I think this is a better OTA. Bigger is not

always better , as I found out.

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Take your point about size. I have handled both and the C11 is noticeably bigger, however this future state of mine also includes a fixed setup along the line, so for its intended use as a spectroscope, the bigger the aperture the better, without touting the prospect of a C14/Meade12/14 and the bottomless money pit opening.

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35 minutes ago, Grotemobile said:

I owned a C11 & sold it. It was just 2  to big a lump, to keep setting it up all the time.

I would go for a C9.25 if U can get one. I think this is a better OTA. Bigger is not

always better , as I found out.

I think the C9.25 has a slightly slower primary, which means correction of spherical aberration is a bit easier. They are excellent scopes for planetary, but if flux is needed, a bigger bucket is better

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Members of my club have C11's and also C8's and a C9.25. Their C11's hardly get used compared with the smaller aperture ones. The C9.25 seems like a "sweet spot" to me in a number of ways.

 

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1 hour ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I think the C9.25 has a slightly slower primary, which means correction of spherical aberration is a bit easier. They are excellent scopes for planetary, but if flux is needed, a bigger bucket is better

That is Y I got the C11. The trouble is I live in a town. My C8 HD performs better

because of this. Have to move to the country. Love to get a C14 HD. No point in

getting a bigger bucket really.:confused: .

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In general older Meade mounts are not up to modern standards of tracking and slewing accuracy.  The build and design quality on many Meade mounts was pretty shoddy and a friend of mine just stopped dealing in Meades because he had so many returns.   However, AFAIK virtually none of the returns related to the OTA or optics.

I know several people who have Meade SCTs and are full of praise for their optical quality.

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