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Meade Starfinder Mirrors

Started by Orion61, 03/20/2014 05:54AM
Posted 03/20/2014 05:54AM Opening Post
Looking for comments on the Meade Starfinder Mirrors. Have they been tested?
I had a 10" F4.5 I thought the figure was very good. I have an 8" F6 that
I plan to turn into a Dob for a free checkout Telescope for our new Astro club.
I am looking at a 12.5" Are the larger mirrors as good?

1977 Orange tube Celestron C8 JMI Computer
12" Meade LX200
7" Meade LX200 updated to Autostar
102mm Meade ED/APO on CG5 GEM
6" Celestron NexStar se
127mm Celestron NexStar SLT
6" DX6 Dynamax (dont laugh superb optics)
6" F8 Criterion RV6 Dynascope
4" B&L 4000 Portable Observatory
ETX 90 Astro Origonal 1990's
80mm Celestron C-80 refractor
Jason Comet Chaser
Posted 03/20/2014 07:19AM #1
I think it's going to be a mixed bag, some will be good while others, particularly in the larger sizes will be less so. I've seen several reports that the 16" sizes have problems with their figures, with one report at 75%.
Posted 03/21/2014 12:51PM #2
I also have 10" f/4.5 Starfinder and it too has an excellent mirror, besting my 8" f/7 Cave Astrola on Jupiter the other night. The Cave mirror dated Aug 1971 displays identically perfect star-patterns on each side of focus while the Meade is not quite so perfect but sufficient that it's greater aperture wins the resolution contest along with greater light grasp as a bonus. I've mounted my 10" Starfinder on a Starfinder-16 GEM with Parallax rings and exchanged the original 6X30mm finder with a 10X60mm and upgraded the stock focusser.
Posted 04/07/2014 04:13PM #3
I had a Starfinder 16 from 1996 that had a VERY acceptable figure. Could do some planetary work, but collimation had to be very precise to pull it off. If the mirror had been on a Novak 9-point cell or better, this would not have been such an issue. Deep sky observation was a pleasure and it was the first time ever I was able to begin resolving stars in NGC-2158 by M35.

The problem really, however, was like what Ed Ting wrote about; sticky side bearings, balancing issues, and the Indiana Jones and The Tube Of Doom scenario....How ON EARTH could one move that tube all by themselves into a 7-inch lifted truck? No, not me. And in the end, I sold it in parts because it could not be a loner's-scope.

I have used a few of the 6-inch models and liked them very much, but they are NOT as sharp as the fabled 6600 or even the Cave-like "6 series" from the late '70s. I have not seen a good 8-inch mirror yet from them UNLESS it was in a 8800 optical tube.

I would say the older, USA ones are worth seeking out. A 12.5 in a closed tube is a beast, but a manageable beast.

Just a few thoughts:

8) FS-152SV sitting in the office
grin Japanes super lucky zen observatory garden
:S Meade ETX-90 finder scope position
shocked Hino Optical Mizar 120SL observatory model
:C SR-4mm eyepiece with a 3x barlow in a 60mm refractor
8O Zeiss Victory 7x42 SFs
wink Having over 135 vintage oculars to play with
smile My life surrounded by wonderful friends and impeccable optics