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Thread: Need help! Meade eyepiece

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    Default Need help! Meade eyepiece



    **Please recommend a replacement eyepiece for much better close-up views

    **I bought a used Meade telescope for my son. It appears to be an older model that back to 2001.

    The model is DS-70
    D= 70mm
    F = 700mm f/10
    The eyepiece is MA 25mm

    When we look at planets, they appear tiny, and not much closer than seeing them without a telescope.

    What type of eyepiece can I find to replace this?

    Thank you!

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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    How much are you looking to spend? A 7mm X-Cel LX would give you significantly closer views of planets and usually run about $64 apiece.
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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    The quick answer to your question is that the rule of thumb is the f ratio of the scope works out to the same number for the focal length of the highest magnification eyepiece that will be reasonably satisfactory. So for you a 10mm is about the practical limit. That will give you 70x. At that magnification you should be able to see the rings of Saturn and the cloud bands of Jupiter. As to optical style of eyepiece — wide field, high eye relief, and so on — that gets personal. I prefer orthochromatic oculars for planets. I find them quite sharp and contrasty. You might also consider a zoom, which obviously will give you a range. Many of those go to 8mm which might work out on nights of good seeing. Plossls are also fine and a 10mm can be had for between $20 and $40.

    And keep in mind that the more you magnify the view the more you magnify any flaws in the scope as well as the unsteady air in the atmosphere. Often a less magnified view is the sharper one.

    But there is more to it. Here are a few links to some great explanations of telescope and eyepiece matching:

    A Treatise on Optimizing Planetary Views

    http://www.astronomyforum.net/telesc...eyepieces.html

    And here's a good on-line spreadsheet for doing eyepiece math:

    Eyepiece Calculator

    But don't lie awake from information overload. If you can get to a club event you'll be able to borrow some eyepieces and try them out.
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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    Thanks for replies - can I find anything with good views for $50 or less?

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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    Quote Originally Posted by newto2016 View Post
    Thanks for replies - can I find anything with good views for $50 or less?
    Well, a 10mm plossl, as I mentioned above, should be OK. I don't know about how the zooms in that price range are; you can get a Celestron for about $60. Perhaps someone can comment on their quality. Take a look on Ebay and here in the classifieds for used stuff. I see a used Celestron 10mm plossl on Ebay right now for $25.

    And keep in mind that your views are not going to compare to the photos you see in magazines. Those images record more than your eye can see and are taken with equipment more sophisticated than yours. What you have is a good way to start exploring the sky. If you and your son become more interested, you might want to move up to a dobsonian. The Zhumell Z8 is a terrific deal at around $400 and will show you leagues more than you'll see through the 70mm.

    Do also try to hook up with a local club and attend one of their star parties. They'll show you how to get the most out of your scope and you'll have a chance to look through some other equipment.
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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    The Meade 8-24 zoom EP is great for the price IMO.

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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    All of us have been in this situation before, wanting more magnification. In the end, you'll find that as you boost magnification, viewing becomes more difficult. Anticipate a dark target that is hard to locate and that moves across your field of view fairly quickly. Add in the fact that any problem with the mount will be amplified dramatically, so you could see a 'jiggly' view, worse when people walk beside the tripod. High magnification eyepieces are a challenge, and a fairly common cause for people to be unhappy with their new telescope, because optical defects are more obvious. In an effort to reduce the number of scopes returned, manufacturers will often not include a high magnification eyepiece in their kit, so defects are not magnified.

    That said, I'd be wanting a higher magnification eyepiece, too. The challenge is to choose one that will both match the quality of the equipment you already have and be useful for many years to come. So you want something that won't be inadequate if you like the hobby and decide to upgrade equipment later. If you choose a plossl, it's hard to go wrong, and they tend to be fairly inexpensive. If you are serious about the hobby and want something better, I'd be looking for one that has a wider apparent field of view (AFOV), which translates into easier target finding and more immersive viewing. Because high magnification is more frustrating, I'd be looking for an eyepiece in the 11mm range, which will keep you just above the recommendation to stay above an exit pupil of 1mm (700/11=1.1 mm). If you go below that number, expect to be disappointed. Check out the used market, there are lots of bargains out there.

    When you bump into those kind of practical viewing challenges, remember to give yourself every advantage. Planetary targets are best seen high in the sky when you don't have to look through a lot of tangential atmosphere. This time of year the ecliptic in the early evening tends to be fairly low on the horizon so evening planetary viewing isn't great -- spring season is better. However sometimes in the fall planetary viewing can be spectacular if you're prepared to wake up at 3 am as the high ecliptic rotates into view.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    Even a simple plossl EP would be an improvement over what you have. You could get a couple plossls and economy barlow and stay close to your budget with used gear from ebay that would serve you well. But I would invest a little more and get a better single EP like the X-Cel. I would probably choose the 9mm, I think the 7mm is pushing it a little too much, but the 12mm would be a good option and possibly see more use than the 9mm just not quite as much magnification as I would want for planetary viewing. I think you could push planetary viewing to a 9mm EP with your f/10 scope fairly regularly, but on those times when the 9mm is too much the 12mm would still be good, so it's a toss up between those two of the X-Cel line that I would recommend.

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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    I am normally a Meade guy, with both telescopes and accessories, but I did buy some eyepieces on time when I was short on cash and trying to set a young person up with a scope and eyepieces. I think an eyepiece from that group might just be what you are looking for, or at least consider. Just about any of the major on-line vendors will have an economy set of Plossles of some sort that may have their name on them, and most are pretty good. However, I have not personally used those but have used the Value-Line Plossles that Astronomics sells.

    These pretty much are no frills, including an aluminum barrel, instead of something chrome plated. They are also not parfocal, which means that when you switch from one eyepiece to another that you have to re-focus the scope. The higher priced Plossles at least claim to be parfocal. These eyepieces do have good coatings on them and I found the optics to be as good as any mid-range Plossl eyepieces out there. Within the various focal lengths, everything from 25mm down to 4 mm are priced at $22.95. The one that will probably benefit you the most for planetary use is the 9 mm. The 6 mm might work under some circumstances, but it is easier for weather, other atmospheric things, imperfections in the scope and in your eye to keep you from seeing anything more. They even have a 4 mm, but by then, the distance between your eye and the eyepiece gets so small that many people cannot stand to get that close.

    The 32 and 40 mm eyepieces cost more at $32.95. I personally do not see a big need for a 40 mm, but some people really like those. With all factors considered, I think a 32 mm Plossle with an Apparent Field of View (what it looks like to you in the eyepiece) of 50 degrees, it one of the best finding eyepieces out there.

    What I used for years with small refractors and reflectors was a 32 mm, 20 mm, 12 mm, and 9 mm for most viewing. I would step down from eyepiece to eyepiece with a change to about 2/3 of the previous focal length to keep from loosing the object by jumping too far. When conditions seemed really good or if I was going after tight double stars, I would add a 2X Barlow and the 15 mm Plossl to the line-up. Below the 9 mm, I would put in the Barlow and the 15 mm eyepiece to give me the equivalent of 7.5 mm. Then, I could drop to the 12 mm, or even the 9 mm with the Barlow as I felt the need.

    For the Moon, you can go pretty high on magnification sometimes....more than with any of the Planets. But, eventually, all you do is magnify fuzz that gets dimmer andget less contrasty as you go up in magnification. Most likely, the 9 mm eyepiece is the best one for what you are wanting to do with Planets as an over-all planned purchase. I would recommend at some point that you pick up a 32 mm to help you find things easier. It will pull in about as big a chunk of the sky as you can really get, with a reasonable amount of contrast. the 40 mm can get a bit more sky, but you start loosing out on contrast. Then, maybe pick up the 20 mm as a step in between the 32 and the 9 mm.

    With a reasonable set of Plossles, I used a Meade NG 70 which is 70 mm diameter with a 700 mm focal length, to find and split all 100 double stars in the Astronomy League's Double Star List, from a light shot back yard. Some of them were pretty hard and took two different tries in different years to get them, but it is possible. You can do a lot of science with the scope you have. Certainly, larger diameter and more expensive ones can do more, but the scope you have, assuming there is not something wrong with it, is a really good one for you and your son to enjoy.

    Hope this helps,

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    Default Re: Need help! Meade eyepiece

    Quote Originally Posted by newto2016 View Post
    **Please recommend a replacement eyepiece for much better close-up views

    **I bought a used Meade telescope for my son. It appears to be an older model that back to 2001.

    The model is DS-70
    D= 70mm
    F = 700mm f/10
    The eyepiece is MA 25mm

    When we look at planets, they appear tiny, and not much closer than seeing them without a telescope.

    What type of eyepiece can I find to replace this?

    Thank you!
    Sounds that you are looking for a good planetary EP. I would second Wingsfan's suggestion on 7mm X-Cel LX or it's tween Meade HD60.

    Other good options are Zhumell Z 6mm and Dual ED 8mm. All of these EPs come out on used market quite often under $50 on CloudyNights and Astromart classified. And buying used is the best way to stretch you $ in this hobby.

 

 

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