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  1. #1
    GunMonkeyINTL's Avatar
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    Default Meade SN-10 first light



    Well, I ended up buying the SN-10 I asked about last week (sorry to all of you on the mid-atlantic coast for the cloudy skies this weekend- my fault). Depsite the negative reviews on the mount, the deal was too good to pass up:

    SN-10 UHTC
    LXD55 mount w/ hyper-tune (w/ the maitenance DVD)
    Orion 9x50 finder
    Billet dovetail (+ the original cast one)
    dew shield
    Orion Lasermate Deluxe
    Drawtube extender, two 1.25" adaptors
    Canon bayonet adaptor
    110v outlet / 12v car power adaptor
    = $400

    Everything was in great shape and the optics were surprisingly clean. Not sure I would have done the deal if I wasn't able to pick it up in person.
    Unfortunately, the weather sucked this weekend, so I spent my time tuning it up. Centered the finder. Chucked the collimator in my lathe to collimate it, then collimated the scope- which wasn't too far off, incidentally. Mounted my 4.5" on the extra DT.

    Finally, this morning we got some clear skies. I usually get to work 2-3 hours early, so I had plenty of time buffer to set it up and have a quick look at Jupiter. The only 1.25" EPs I have right now are 20mm (51x) and 10mm (101x) Orion Ultrascopics, and a Celestron 2x Barlow which brings my 10mm EP to 203x. I can already tell I'm going to want some more magnification, but the mags I get with these EPs are only a little higher than they are with my 4.5", so I was able to get a pretty good before/after comparison between the two.

    Where Jupiter was just an oatmeal-colored disk with two vaugely dark bands in the 4.5". The 10" showed me red bands, with a distinct bulge in the southern band, as well as varying strips of color throughout the rest of the disk. The biggest difference, however, that I noticed was the appearance of the stars as I was moving to Jupiter. The 4.5" showed me bluish-white, yellowish-white and a few redish-white stars, but the stars in the 10" were as distinctly colorful as dougnut sprinkles. I guess I didn't fully know what to expect from a larger apeture but, at the very least, the colors are worth the price of admission.

    Any recommendations on a high-mag EP? Based on recommendations I've read here, my scope should max out somewhere around 2.5mm (400x). I'm thinking a 4mm/3mm (sans barlow) would do well, but I'm not sure what design. I've been told that my scope is more optimised for low-mag/wide-field (254 x 1016mm), and that I'd have to choose my planetary EPs very carefully.

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  3. #2
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Default

    My gut feeling is that you will get very very little use out of any eyepiece that gives you 400x...Maybe two nights a year...

    Personally since you do have a barlow I'd look for a 8 mm eyepiece and see just home many times you can even get up to 300-350x on a normal to good night using that barlow... ...

    I'm in Maryland and believe me its a rare night when I can use 300x on anything except the moon..NO matter what Telescope I happen to be using .

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

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  5. #3
    MG1962's Avatar
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    Default

    Rather than high power I think I would be more inclined to look at getting a lower power wider field eyepiece. As Bob mentioned high mag observing nights are a rare bird indeed
    Celestron SE8 - 25mm and 15mm
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    Epic II ED. Baader Hyperion 21 mm 17mm plus 14 and 28mm tunning ring

  6. #4
    samgray1's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the excellent, well written report.

    I agree with Bob. 250X is about as high as you will be able to use on anything close to a regular basis.
    Name: Sam
    Equipment:
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    12” Collapsible Dob w/Telrad, Explore Scientific 30mm 82*, and 20mm, 14mm, & 9mm 100* EPs, Tele Vue 4X Powermate & Paracorr T2, 2" Lumicon UHC and ND13 (
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    ) Filters, 2" Astronomik OIII filter, dew heater system, and Nikon Action 7x50 EX Extreme ATB 6.4* binoculars & Celestron 15x70 binoculars.

    I'm enjoying learning the sky by star hopping; just charts, my binoculars, and my Dob!

  7. #5
    GunMonkeyINTL's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice on the focal lengths.

    w/ a 2x barlow, I'd be looking at an 8/4mm (127/254x), or 6/3mm (169/338x).
    I also want to find something in the 26-32mm range for low-mag.

    For the 8mm or 6mm, what designs/features should I be looking at for planetary performance? Plossl, ortho?

  8. #6
    jb32828's Avatar
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    Default

    I highly recommend:

    GSO 2" ED Barlow Lens. (I own this, its a Very good barlow for the money)
    Bobs Knobs as replacement collimation screws for the secondary mirror. (I have them on my SN-6)
    As for eyepieces, I recommend going to a star party or becoming a member of your local astro club first. Look through other scopes and eyepieces...most members will be accomodating and let you try one of their eyepieces in your scope...and I would figure out first what you like seeing in an image and what bothers or doesnt bother you. Frankly, eyepieces are very subjective...there are a few hundred different eyepieces on the market at any given time, and there 12 billion unique eyeballs on the planet. Find something you like among some other astronomers, and do some research on the used market. I happen to like Televue eyepieces, but I happen to also be cheap so I wait around for the eyepieces I want to sell on the used market.

    Congrats on the scope...Glad the mount is working. You can sure see a lot with 10". Enjoy it.
    --- Jason ---
    Meade SN-6,
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    XX12g, Orion ST-80
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