Tuesday, May 21, 2002
All Equipment on this page I currently own
Click on pictures to see larger images
This is the Meade 16" Dobsonian. It came in 3 boxes which was packed fair - not worth the $55.00 they charge for packing!! Assembly is fairly easy, the mount just screws together with the supplied screws. Pre drilled holes all lined up. Since all of the reviews I've ever read about the Meade focusers are not very good I decided to buy the cheaper 1 1/4" one knowing that I will be replacing it in the future. But I don't think it is as bad as everyone says, but I will still be replacing it. They supply 2 little plastic inserts for handle grip which is only about an inch deep. You really can't get a good grip.It is very heavy which makes it even more awkward to move around this way. One person cannot pick this up -it takes at least 2!! But that is just the beginning of woe's. After we placed the tube on the mount and attempted to move the telescope the latitude bearings created a terrible creaking noise. I didn't know what it was at first but soon found that the latitude bearings were moving on the tube instead of on the plastic hubs that they were suppose to be. They only attached the latitude bearing with one bolt in the center. So I decided to take the plastic hubs off and use soft side of velcro and that helped alot but the bearings still moved. I then put 2 dry wall screws (l 1/4) size they were long enough to go into the tube but not thru it. That solved the problem. Now it moves very smoothly. The azimuth bearings rides on 8 plastic hubs which was quite stiff and sticky. So I decided to replace them with soft velcro and that helped quite a bit but it was still to stiff for me. I decided to build a mount for it which is pictured above. Now that I have the mount problems all fixed - the optics on the other hand are excellent! I have no complaints on these. First light the orion nebula showed quite a bit more cloud then thru the 12" LX200. M81 and M82 showed pretty good structure and detail. Jupiter showed up quite nicely. I wasn't expecting to see a whole lot of detail, but was pleasantly surprised of how much you can see on steady nights. I do think that the secondary is a little too big and the spider veins are not beefy enough. So if you tap the front of the scope it vibrates for a few seconds. It could use a better spider.
This is my 12" LX200 mounted on it's permanent pier, inside my 12X8 roll off roof observatory I'm very happy with the performance of this scope, but as for the forks I think they are bit too small for this big tube assembly. the forks for the 12" makes it have some vibration than when I had my 10" LX200 . Other than that detail it is a grate scope! it's Much better tha the 10". I get a lot more enjoyment and details from this scope thin I ever did with my 10" on deep sky objects.
This is my Dad's Takahashi FS102 mounted on Losmandy G11 mount with a Takahashi FC60 piggybacked. This scope is a REALLY great scope. I am very pleased with everything about it. I get great views and it gives me stunning detail on the planets. I recommend it to anyone that is in the market for a refractor. I will have a more in depth review on this scope soon.
This is the William Yang 80mm Megrez. I'm very impressed with the workmanship and quality. Very Nice Focuser!! The diagonal that is included with he package is totally worthless. It's full of color. I Star Tested last night and it tested near perfect. There is a small halo with color around Jupiter and Saturn, but the planetary detail matches that of the 60mm Takahashi and might be a bit better because of the aperture difference. Very good scope if you don't mind a bit of color.
Here is the Intes Micro Alter 703
This is the William Yang Floral Star 100mm triplet fluorite. I set this scope up side by side with my Dad's Takahashi FS102 and used the same types of diagonals (Brandon's) same eyepieces (Pentax ranging from 21mm to 5.2mm) and found that the Yang can handle more power than the Tak. But it was very close. There's a tad bit of color in the Tak, but there is NONE in the Yang. Clarity and contrast is about the same in both scopes. The Yang star tested perfect. Cosmetically it is built A-1. The 4" focuser is Very smooth but not quite as smooth as the Tak. I am very happy with this scope and will get much enjoyment viewing with it.