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Eclipse Mak 6


russ
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A very brief preview of this nice sized Mak. I'll add to this thread as I get accustomed with it over the coming months.

Wasn't planning on buying one of these, in fact i had no intentions of buying one. But this came up on Ebay, i placed a stupid bid and to my amazement....i won!

And it also helps me solve a problem. I already i own an Intes-Micro M603 but had decided I couldn't afford to keep it. So the Eclipse happily takes it's place as a cheap immitation that i can afford to keep.

The slight worry with the Eclipse is the almost complete lack of info or reviews available, other than the one in Sky@night mag. Fortunately S@N seemed to love it, so that was at least hopeful. And if it was trulely bad, people would have been bitching on the forums by now. Or it's a case of no one has bought one yet.

Anyway mine arrived Thursday morning, all well packaged in its original box. Complete with finder, diagonal and two eyepieces (the standard 10mm and 25mm). And it's only 8 weeks old :shock: Condition is 'as new' Previous owner said he only used it twice and I totally believe him.

First impressions are very good indeed. It's feel solid, almost Intes solid. It's pretty weighty too, approx 6kg. It's finished with a nice white enamel (no lacklustre Synta paint job) and black trim. The back end looks a carbon copy of the Intes, including a standard SCT visual back (something Synta should have done with the Skymax). Looking down the front end is like looking down the Skymax. The secondary is a spot on the corrector like the Skymax, unlike the Intes which uses an SCT style secondary. The focus feels very smooth indeed, again just like the Skymax. And finally the finderscope is a thing of beauty, finished in white enamel with a really chunky finder bracket.

Overall fit'n'finish is a league up from the Skywatcher Skymax and Orion Starmax/Apex. And the inclusion of that SCT visual back is a massive improvement over the Skymax visual back.

Overall, without looking through the scope, the Eclipse easily has the beating of the Synta Maksutovs. Lets hope it extends to the optics and focus mechanism :?

First light:

A very bad night to try out a new scope. Seeing 2/10, transparency 2/10. Only really Jupiter to see and thats well past it's best now. In fact by the time it's dark Jupiter is already setting. To make matters worse it was hot day and sky was still boiling away even by midnight.

The focuser: smooth, very smooth but sadly a fair bit of image shift. I've never used a Skymax 150 (and we've all heard the nightmare stories with that) but the Eclipse couldn't hold a candle to the focuser on the Skymax 127 or even my Intes. I would say it's comparable to a Celestron C8, perhaps as bad as a Meade SCT.

Optics: Collimation is slightly off and I didn't have time to play. That said, in the rare and fleeting moments good seeing, the Eclipse showed some good detail on Jupiter. Stars appeared tight and nicely round, no flares or ghosting. Much nicer than a view through the Newtonian. It also responded well to the Celestron focal reducer bringing it down to f8.6, greatly improving the FOV and brightness of the view. M27 was an easy object that showed it's shape nicely. M13 was an absolute delight, as was M92.

Sadly that where the night ended. Looking promising on the optics front, less so with the focuser. An SCT Crayford will be a must now.

More to follow......

Russ

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Nice report Russ. I looked at one of those a while back but it would have been new and my Intes came up secondhand for the same money.

As you say, the lack of reviews are a big factor for me. It does sound like you go a good deal....

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Well done Rus, sounds like you got a good buy. Will be interested to hear what you make of it in better seeing

The image shift is a nightmare for imaging cos it makes things so difficult when focussing but have never found it much of a problem visually. BTW I bought a large (2" dia) knurled knob which fits over the standard focussing knob on the NS8 which makes a huge difference to fine focussing. Cost £20 which is a bit cheaper than a crayford!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 9 years later...

Sorry to drag up an old post.  I have been offered one of these scopes, as I'm on the lookout for a cheap mak.  The chap who is selling it has been very honest about image shift and has eliminated most of it by engineering a new focus shaft for it.

Was there anymore to report about this scope or does anyone else have experience of it at all please?

Thank you in advance.

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