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  1. #1
    Hunnicuttz's Avatar
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    Default Can I upgrade the Focuser on my telescope?



    Hi guys I just bought my first telescope. It is a used Meade 114 EQ-DH4 which uses the .965" eyepieces but I have bought a 1.25" eyepiece kit with an adapter and I am not getting clear images with the new eyepieces. I think the problem is the adapter because it doesnt let the eyepiece get down in the focuser like the .965" does. Can I get a new Focuser for my telescope that would use the 1.25" eyepieces? If so, where can I get them and how much are they? I just got my telescope and dont want to upgrade to a new one just yet. Please help!

  2. #2
    AustinPSD's Avatar
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    If you're handy, and with a little luck, you might be able to replace the focuser.

    Unfortunately, Meade chose to use the 0.965 rack-and-pinion focuser on their starter line, and compounding that, the focuser has a non-standard round, rather than rectangular base.

    Here are a collection of low end focusers from ScopeStuff that might work:

    ScopeStuff

    They also have a rack-and-pinion version that is about half the cost of the Crayford models:

    ScopeStuff

    You may find that an aftermarket/replacement focuser costs as much, or more than what you have already invested in this telescope...
    Last edited by AustinPSD; 12-03-2009 at 01:53 PM. Reason: link dropped during post

  3. #3
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    Awesome! I like the price of the second one I also found some inexpensive ones on ebay but not sure if they will fit my telescope or not. I am going to call Meade and see what they suggest. I just dont want to come out of pocket for more then what this telescope is worth. I might just have to sell it and upgrade to a newer model.

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    I called Meade and talked to a guy that said that I can't upgrade the focuser and that I need to buy a new one. I think he was just trying to get me to buy a new one

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    AustinPSD's Avatar
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    Not to speak badly of Meade, but they'll almost certainly be of no help on this issue, for a variety of reasons. Meade itself does not sell component or upgrade parts.

    It would help to do a couple of things:

    If you have a digital or cell phone camera, and can take a couple of good, clear images of your focuser assembly that show the shape of its base and post them here that would help.

    If I recall correctly, the focuser on your scope has a circular plate as a base, curved to match the exterior curvature of the optical tube, and uses two screws, one "on top" of the focuser, and a second diametrically opposite it to attach the focuser to the tube.

    The other thing would be to get approximate measurements of the centerline (i.e. where it lines up over the secondary mirror), and the base plate of the focuser.

    These don't need to be high-precision measurements, but you'll need them in order to judge if an aftermarket focuser will fit in place of the existing OEM unit.

    Most aftermarket focusers use a rectangular base plate, with four mounting holes, one in each corner of the base plate. You would almost certainly need to be able to drill new mounting holes to equip the scope with an aftermarket replacement. You will also need to carefully center the replacement focuser's barrel over the center of the existing hole the the optical tube.

    The usual case is to use self-tapping screws to mount the new focuser, securing its base to the telescope's optical tube. This is done by drilling very small pilot holes, precisely centered in the baseplate mounting holes.

    If you decide to take this on, you'll need the mechanical skills, access to a Dremel or small precision drill, some tape or nylon "ty-wraps" to use as temporary clamping material for placing the new focuser, and an appropriate screwdriver for removing the old focuser and installing the new one.

    The opportunity also exists to enlarge the opening in the optical tube to take advantage of the larger diameter of a new 1.25" or 2" focuser, but this is not absolutely necessary, and increases your risk unless your skill level/luck is high.

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    Here are some pics of my Focuser.

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  8. #8
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    Well, tell us more about yourself in chapters.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5;
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    127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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    Default

    Dont get me wrong here .... I love meade products , But , like austin was saying , it would be cheaper and easier using the scope you have for a while and saving your astro-dollars for a larger scope with a better quality focuser already installed .....I have one of the smaller meade scopes as well and i leave it set up in the lv. rm. by the back door as a grab and go scope ...They are Great scopes with the exception of the focuser issues ....
    16in Night sky
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    F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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    classic Big-mac , Meade eye pieces with a few odd balls thrown in ...
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    Please stand in front of one ...

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    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Looks to me like you could just screw off the top piece and replace it with one which would take 1.25 eyepieces. I bet somebody makes one. The tube looks big enough. Certainly the hole in the OTA is big enough, so no dremel work needed.

    Is the focuser nice and positive?

    That is a nice scope.
    Last edited by WWPierre; 12-04-2009 at 05:38 AM.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5;
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    127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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