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By Ben the Ignorant
Why crave for long eye relief, and then restrict it with a raised eyecup? Why conceive wide fields optics only to make them narrow with same raised eyecup? My Myriads and Nirvana/TS/William clones have a rotating eyecup that resists turning firmly, they never spin unless I want them to. The Meade/Maxvision 18mm/82° and 34mm/68°, on the other hand, possess a rubber eyecup that also serves as a grippy external frame. These oversize grips offered so much leverage to the turning mechanism, they triggered it often with no will on my part.
Almost each time I handled them, the integral cup spun, reducing the eye relief and field, plus it made me doubt if I had fully seated and locked them in the diagonal. The 34mm was the worst offender, its mechanism had almost no resistance at all. That was very annoying, when you observe you want quietness, your gear shouldn't be doing irritating things of its own.
Having had enough of that, I lifted the rubber with a handy little tool I always carry in my back pocket: the Dunlop Ultex guitar pick. Ultex is plastic, but it's the glassiest pick material, dump it on something hard and its sounds almost like glass foil or stone foil, if such a thing was possible (Dunlop's more rubbery Tortex was great but it's outdated, just compare). Still Ultex is flexible, a mandatory quality of guitar and bass picks. And it won't scratch anodized aluminum.
A 1mm thick pick did the job after a 0.73mm colleague broke; not tough enough. 0.60mm's give out the most harmonics but they were too thin at first sight for this. I don't play 1mm's anymore, they mute too much harmonics, however this one got a nice alternate occupation.
Experience from many other little jobs similar to this one made me keep the broken pick when most folks would dump it right away. Never trash something until the work is over. This piece of scrap plastic proved the ideal tool, with the right curvature and bite, to remove the crystalline superglue that remained on the metal cylinder.
The mechanism is simply a stud that moves inside a curved slot. I wiped the now-useless grease, and filled the slot with a short piece of electric wire to block the stud. Sorry for the blurry shot.
No need to glue the wire, the tight-fitting rubber housing keeps it in place. I did put three drops of glue to attach the rubber to the inside metal housing. I kept the caps on, but I should have taped them to better protect the lenses against tools and glue, big sin here! I didn't use superglue, I'll wait and see if that all-purpose Pattex sticks hard enough to both metal and rubber. If it doesn't, superglue it will be. The "tire" fits the "wheel" tight enough that even no glue could do temporarily.
Did the same with the 34mm:
Interesting how the crown's edge has some green anodizing that was destined to match the green deco of the eyepiece, had it been sold under the Meade brand. It was impossible to lift that massive rubber housing with a pick, I had to do it with a screwdriver, but it inevitably scratched the black barrel, which I patched up with a black marker. These are the black smears under the wire.
There is some risk in opening a high-grade eyepiece, so don't try before you have praticed on cheap or damaged ones. It also voids the warranty, be careful. Waterproof eyepieces are obviously a no-no for that mod! Assuming one could unscrew the sealed parts, humid air would enter through the thinnest opening, and ruin the anti-fogging protection.
I hope this is interesting even if you don't get to use the tip. I didn't know what I would find in there, nor did I know how I would fix the sloppy eyecup. Simply opening a bits drawer made me notice that piece of wire, bulb switched on inside my head. I had considered drilling the frame to insert a locking screw but what an awful lot more work and risk it would be!
Somehow it escaped my mind that I also own a 24/82 Meade/Maxvision ocular that has a turning integral rubber frame and eyecup, but much firmer fortunately; I might do the same mod for it or not. And a 7mm Panorama, if a preliminary, partial takedown shows it can be done safely. I'll keep you posted.
Hello fellow watchers
Thanks to a few members on here I purchased a Skyliner 200P with BST Starguider eyepieces a while back. I absolutely love tanking the stuff out and sit in my spot all night long and enjoy gazing around.
As a member in my previous threat about the BST Starguiders suggested, I also bought myself a Explore Scientific 68° Maxvision 40mm to sweep around the night sky.
It was delivered last night and oh boy, this thing is huge! I mean I knew it had to be bigger... but that big? NICE!
Now here's the thing... As I took it out of the bag I noticed that the plastic shroud doesn't stay flat on the EP... It kind of makes a small wave... I attached a picture. Is this normal? Is this "expected behavior"? Or did I just manage to get a plum?
I saw that many people are taking apart the entire shroud to save weight and etc. but I don't think this is the thing I really want to do to a brand new EP.
What are your thoughts and experiences on this?
And another thing I just noticed... FLO and Explore Scientific are out of stock of Maxvision EP's... Did the pull the plug on producing them? I really wanted to get the whole set after holding one of them in my hands