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  1. #1
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    Default How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?



    I just recently got out my 6" 1995 vintage Meade Starfinder dob again and started looking up after a long time being out of the hobby. I read a few reviews and such and have decided I should fix up and improve the telescope I have instead of investing in a new one, mostly for financial reasons and the fact I can't justify a new scope in my mind ! I'm pretty sure I would greatly benefit from a better quality 25 mm eyepiece though so I've determined I should probably start there. The MA Meade 25mm eyepiece looks like it's seen better days as shining a flashlight through it I can pick up all sorts of discrepancies in the lens or the coatings. The lens was in the dob focuser in the closet for a number of years instead of being tucked away safely in it's canister.

    I was reading about some modifications that certain individuals have done like removing the steel counterbalance weight just behind the Pyrex mirror, inside the tube and moving it outside to the back. That person was saying that because of the chunk of metal behind the mirror it has trouble cooling down and causing air currents inside the tube for a long time . My question, is this a real problem with the Meade Starfinder Telescopes ? I know in theory if it's moved to the back of the tube outside it would (should) improve the cool down times, but since this telescope has a Pyrex mirror that's about an inch thick, is the mirror cooling down itself the real main reason for bad air currents and by the time the mirror cools down would the steel counterbalance be at ambient temperature too and cause very little problem ?

    Also can anyone tell me where and how many holes to put in the closed sonotube for ventilation ?

    The Meade starfinder is a 6" F8 (1216mm) dobsonian about 1995-96 vintage. The main mirror looks in good shape after cleaning it up with no discernable spots or marks on it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    I think an eyepiece upgrade is a good idea. I wouldn't go too crazy on the scope itself. They were very well designed and they really don't take that long to acclimate. Personally I wouldn't drill holes in my sonotube. Mine is the 10" version and is usually ready for use in about 30 mins. Much better than my SCT's which can take a couple of hours to acclimate. Hope you get some clear skies to bring it back to it's former glory.
    Mark
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  3. #3
    kmp142's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    I own the 10'' starfinder .as such these older scopes have very good mirrors . I purchased a 2'' crayford focuser from orion and installed it and let me say that this is about the best thing I could have done . I also put the roler bearings in the base to replace the Teflon pads which makes the scope 100% more enjoyable. I only plan on buying a 9x50 right angle finder scope next from orion for roughly $100 when I get the spare money and to make a rolling base for transport . I may have put a few extra bucks into getting this girl up to date but the trade off is worth every penny because you just don't fing good optics like this anymore .

    I love my dob and my upgrades have helped me learn everything about my scope . and made it virtually a whole new viewing experience for me
    Meade 10" starfinder
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  4. #4
    bradamber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    Re: I purchased a 2'' crayford focuser from orion and installed it and let me say that this is about the best thing I could have done .

    I would have thought that there was not a real benefit from putting a 2" focuser on a 6" dob because of the aperature and the focal length being a F8. Am I mistaken thinking this way ?
    I can see it would be good on a larger aperature and shorter focal length scope.
    If it's a big gain for this scope than I could see justify buying a 2" focusser plus a 2" eyepiece in the 25mm/50x magnification. Oh it might be hard to get it pass the wife (lol.)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    some of the smaller 130 goto scopes come equipt with 2'' focusers . just simply gives wider fov and greater eye relief .
    it will work just fine . plus its mainly the benefit of a smother focuser over the old rack and pinion that that meade has .
    it comes with the 1 1/4 adapter so you can still use all of your 1 1/4 eyepieces .

    the only thing I had to do was add a spacer between the tube and focuser (I used 1/2'' hard foam and cut the whole out)
    this gave it the right amount of back focus and it looks like it was put there factory
    Meade 10" starfinder
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    zeq25 gt mount
    to many eps to list and enough mosquitos to carry all my equipment away

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    the new orion starseeker and the celestron 130slt are both 5'' reflectors that come with 2'' focusers so 2'' will definitely work on your 6''

    you wont regret it once you've looked through a 2'' ep in that dob

    but like I mentioned you wouldn't have to be in a hurry to buy any 2'' eps because you can still use you 1 1/4 till you do .
    the smothe operation of the crayford will be justifiable by itself
    Meade 10" starfinder
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    zeq25 gt mount
    to many eps to list and enough mosquitos to carry all my equipment away

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  7. #7
    bradamber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    Okay, thanks for the advice. I'll put a 2" Crayford focusser on and save up the pennies for a 2" eyepiece later on. I think with some other replies and yours of coarse, I'm best to invest in a focusser and a better right angle finder scope in the 50mm range sooner than later. It's quite a bit to take in all at once. I'll just take it slow and take one bite at a time. Available equipment sure has changed since I last looked in the mid 90's.

    By the way is a slower Pyrex mirror on par, worse or better quality than a new faster lime soda mirror (I think that's what they're called) in your opinion if the mirror coating is still in great shape ?
    It's so easy to be seduced by something new and improved.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    I just did a little at a time on mines as well .

    as far as mirrors go I have a friend with a newer 12'' dob and the mirrors on mines keep up well with his .
    he has had an issue with some minor pinholes on his mirror (nothing major) but my 90's mirror still looks like the day it was made.
    the views through my mirror are sharp,crisp,and bright .

    id say the coating on mines has stood the test of time
    Meade 10" starfinder
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    zeq25 gt mount
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    Brad, if yours is indeed a mid 90's scope, you already have a very good focuser and a great mirror. It wasn't until the late 90's that Meade began putting on the cheaper focuser.
    Mark
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  10. #10
    bradamber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to improve my Meade 6" Starfinder dob ?

    I'm pretty sure I bought the telescope in 1994. The manual is dated 94 and my wife and I bought this house and moved from Waterloo to Listowel in September of 95. I had it out in the backyard in Waterloo, so it's 94 or summer of 95 at the latest. Was going to include a picture of the focuser but not sure of how to reduce the size for forum viewing just yet. It's 1 1/4" focuser with gloss black plastic body with flat black aluminum tube and rack & pinion gears along with all the workings are metal. The focus wheels are plastic.

 

 

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