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Eyepieces for DS-114 Digital telescope


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#1 rrp1501

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:47 AM

I am BRAND new to Astronomy and have just bought my first telescope, a Meade DS-114 Digital telescope. The current owner said that this telescope has only one eyepiece with it. I was wondering if anybody could direct me to what type and where to get eyepieces for this telescope. I am a retired/disabled Military Veteran and finally have time to follow a dream I had as a kid! Any help would be greatly appreciated!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:41 PM

Hello! Welcome to Astronomy!

The optical tube itself is a good honest scope that should give you a lot of enjoyment, depending on its condition.

The first item to inspect is the focuser and the size of eyepiece that it will take. If the hole for the eyepiece is about one inch in diameter, then it will take 0.965 inch eyepieces. If this is the case, the first item on the agenda is to see if you can get a holder for 1.25 inch eyepieces. The selection of 0.965 eyepieces is mostly limited to very old designs that would most likely frustrate you. I would contact Telescope-Warehouse on eBay or just about any other of the secondary sellers of telescope things. Bill Vorce at Telescope-Warehouse also has a website at Telescope-Warehouse.com. Hopefully, he will have the part you need.

What I would recommend for this scope are plossle eyepieces? The Meade 4000 series super-plossles are what I use with scopes that are the caliber of the one you have. They are generally cheap enough for a beginner to purchase at least singly without too much heartburn, but are good enough to last a lifetime, if need be. There are nicer and fancier eyepieces out there, but these will get the job done with your telescope.

Here is what I am purchasing for my grandchildren as they get old enough and my sisters grandchildren. These eyepieces are not toys. They are very good ones that are well worth the money. I am purchasing these for kids because I do not want them frustrated with cheaper ones that simply do not give them what they need to get them started with astronomy. I do not want them discouraged and am willing to spend a little more money to get them what will do the job, even if some of them end up damaged and have to be replaced.

In your case, probably the first one to get will be a good finder eyepiece, that can give you a really good wide field of view. You need to have the wide field as the first eyepiece to aid you in finding the object. If you cannot find what you want to look at, there is no need for other eyepieces. What I have been purchasing for my kids and grandkids is the Meade 4000 series 32 mm plossle. With your scope, you will have about 18X and a 1.8 degree wide chunk of space in your view. This is enough for finding things. I personally prefer around 2 degrees, but you will not get there without going to 2 inch eyepieces, which can be very expensive. I don't think you want to go there with this scope. Most telescope manufacturers supply a 25 or 26mm eyepiece for this purpose. The view through them is a little prettier, but having the wider field of view with the 32mm is worth sacrificing the prettiness factor a little.

After that, I would pick up every other one, that gives you roughly 60% of the width of sky in the view. You step down about that much each time until you get to the magnification that you need. You might get lucky with bigger steps, but you can also loose the object easier and have to start all over.
I would get the 20mm, then the 12.4. After that, pick up something like the Meade Model #126 2X shorty barlow. You stick this in between the focuser and the eyepiece to double the power. This gets you all the way from 18X with the 32mm eyepiece to about 147X with the 12.4 mm eyepiece and the 2X barlow. One very expert observer that I know insists that all anyone needs is three eyepieces and a barlow or two, like I have described.

If you want something in between the 20mm and 12.4mm, get the 15mm. This will also give you 7.5mm when using the barlow, which can be nice at times when you really want to frame in an object a little better. If observing the moon, you can sometimes use a 9.7mm with the barlow and push the scope all the way to 188X, which is right on the very ragged edge of what I believe this telescope is capable of under the best conditions. These last two are pretty much nice eyepieces to have, but not as necessary as the others.

For most objects, other than the moon or panets, you will use medium powers, maybe up to 100X. The higher powers can be (but not always) useful for planets, the moon, and double stars.

Well, this is probably enough for now. If I confused you, holler back and I will try again.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen

#3 rrp1501

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:30 AM

Hello! Welcome to Astronomy!

The optical tube itself is a good honest scope that should give you a lot of enjoyment, depending on its condition.

The first item to inspect is the focuser and the size of eyepiece that it will take. If the hole for the eyepiece is about one inch in diameter, then it will take 0.965 inch eyepieces. If this is the case, the first item on the agenda is to see if you can get a holder for 1.25 inch eyepieces. The selection of 0.965 eyepieces is mostly limited to very old designs that would most likely frustrate you. I would contact Telescope-Warehouse on eBay or just about any other of the secondary sellers of telescope things. Bill Vorce at Telescope-Warehouse also has a website at Telescope-Warehouse.com. Hopefully, he will have the part you need.

What I would recommend for this scope are plossle eyepieces? The Meade 4000 series super-plossles are what I use with scopes that are the caliber of the one you have. They are generally cheap enough for a beginner to purchase at least singly without too much heartburn, but are good enough to last a lifetime, if need be. There are nicer and fancier eyepieces out there, but these will get the job done with your telescope.

Here is what I am purchasing for my grandchildren as they get old enough and my sisters grandchildren. These eyepieces are not toys. They are very good ones that are well worth the money. I am purchasing these for kids because I do not want them frustrated with cheaper ones that simply do not give them what they need to get them started with astronomy. I do not want them discouraged and am willing to spend a little more money to get them what will do the job, even if some of them end up damaged and have to be replaced.

In your case, probably the first one to get will be a good finder eyepiece, that can give you a really good wide field of view. You need to have the wide field as the first eyepiece to aid you in finding the object. If you cannot find what you want to look at, there is no need for other eyepieces. What I have been purchasing for my kids and grandkids is the Meade 4000 series 32 mm plossle. With your scope, you will have about 18X and a 1.8 degree wide chunk of space in your view. This is enough for finding things. I personally prefer around 2 degrees, but you will not get there without going to 2 inch eyepieces, which can be very expensive. I don't think you want to go there with this scope. Most telescope manufacturers supply a 25 or 26mm eyepiece for this purpose. The view through them is a little prettier, but having the wider field of view with the 32mm is worth sacrificing the prettiness factor a little.

After that, I would pick up every other one, that gives you roughly 60% of the width of sky in the view. You step down about that much each time until you get to the magnification that you need. You might get lucky with bigger steps, but you can also loose the object easier and have to start all over.
I would get the 20mm, then the 12.4. After that, pick up something like the Meade Model #126 2X shorty barlow. You stick this in between the focuser and the eyepiece to double the power. This gets you all the way from 18X with the 32mm eyepiece to about 147X with the 12.4 mm eyepiece and the 2X barlow. One very expert observer that I know insists that all anyone needs is three eyepieces and a barlow or two, like I have described.

If you want something in between the 20mm and 12.4mm, get the 15mm. This will also give you 7.5mm when using the barlow, which can be nice at times when you really want to frame in an object a little better. If observing the moon, you can sometimes use a 9.7mm with the barlow and push the scope all the way to 188X, which is right on the very ragged edge of what I believe this telescope is capable of under the best conditions. These last two are pretty much nice eyepieces to have, but not as necessary as the others.

For most objects, other than the moon or panets, you will use medium powers, maybe up to 100X. The higher powers can be (but not always) useful for planets, the moon, and double stars.

Well, this is probably enough for now. If I confused you, holler back and I will try again.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen



Thank you very much Bill! WOW! You haven't completely confused me, but I never figured anyone would give me such good information. I found a set of Zhumell 1.25" plossl eyepieces, 32mm, 12.5, 6,4 and a 2X Achromatic Barlow lens. It also has a set of filters in it. They aren't to expensive, so I'll try to get them for now. The Meade users manual for DS telescopes says that this scope can take either .965 or 1.25" eyepieces. This should keep me busy for awhile. I borrowed my Pastors telescope, a StarExplorer, and watched the moon the last couple of nights. That was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen! This is going to be GREAT!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:48 PM

At some point, you may want to pick up something like a 20mm to fill the gap between the 32mm and the 12.4. That is a pretty big leap and you can loose your object fairly easily if you are not careful. You will also find that some things will be a bit small for the 32 and you will want to magnify them a little more, but going all the way to the 12.4 will be too much.

Looks like you are already having fun, so I don;t need to tell you to have some!

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
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#5 rrp1501

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

At some point, you may want to pick up something like a 20mm to fill the gap between the 32mm and the 12.4. That is a pretty big leap and you can loose your object fairly easily if you are not careful. You will also find that some things will be a bit small for the 32 and you will want to magnify them a little more, but going all the way to the 12.4 will be too much.

Looks like you are already having fun, so I don;t need to tell you to have some!

Best Regards,

Bill Steen


Thanks again Bill!!!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#6 rrp1501

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:25 PM

Hello! Welcome to Astronomy!

The optical tube itself is a good honest scope that should give you a lot of enjoyment, depending on its condition.

The first item to inspect is the focuser and the size of eyepiece that it will take. If the hole for the eyepiece is about one inch in diameter, then it will take 0.965 inch eyepieces. If this is the case, the first item on the agenda is to see if you can get a holder for 1.25 inch eyepieces. The selection of 0.965 eyepieces is mostly limited to very old designs that would most likely frustrate you. I would contact Telescope-Warehouse on eBay or just about any other of the secondary sellers of telescope things. Bill Vorce at Telescope-Warehouse also has a website at Telescope-Warehouse.com. Hopefully, he will have the part you need.

What I would recommend for this scope are plossle eyepieces? The Meade 4000 series super-plossles are what I use with scopes that are the caliber of the one you have. They are generally cheap enough for a beginner to purchase at least singly without too much heartburn, but are good enough to last a lifetime, if need be. There are nicer and fancier eyepieces out there, but these will get the job done with your telescope.

Here is what I am purchasing for my grandchildren as they get old enough and my sisters grandchildren. These eyepieces are not toys. They are very good ones that are well worth the money. I am purchasing these for kids because I do not want them frustrated with cheaper ones that simply do not give them what they need to get them started with astronomy. I do not want them discouraged and am willing to spend a little more money to get them what will do the job, even if some of them end up damaged and have to be replaced.

In your case, probably the first one to get will be a good finder eyepiece, that can give you a really good wide field of view. You need to have the wide field as the first eyepiece to aid you in finding the object. If you cannot find what you want to look at, there is no need for other eyepieces. What I have been purchasing for my kids and grandkids is the Meade 4000 series 32 mm plossle. With your scope, you will have about 18X and a 1.8 degree wide chunk of space in your view. This is enough for finding things. I personally prefer around 2 degrees, but you will not get there without going to 2 inch eyepieces, which can be very expensive. I don't think you want to go there with this scope. Most telescope manufacturers supply a 25 or 26mm eyepiece for this purpose. The view through them is a little prettier, but having the wider field of view with the 32mm is worth sacrificing the prettiness factor a little.

After that, I would pick up every other one, that gives you roughly 60% of the width of sky in the view. You step down about that much each time until you get to the magnification that you need. You might get lucky with bigger steps, but you can also loose the object easier and have to start all over.
I would get the 20mm, then the 12.4. After that, pick up something like the Meade Model #126 2X shorty barlow. You stick this in between the focuser and the eyepiece to double the power. This gets you all the way from 18X with the 32mm eyepiece to about 147X with the 12.4 mm eyepiece and the 2X barlow. One very expert observer that I know insists that all anyone needs is three eyepieces and a barlow or two, like I have described.

If you want something in between the 20mm and 12.4mm, get the 15mm. This will also give you 7.5mm when using the barlow, which can be nice at times when you really want to frame in an object a little better. If observing the moon, you can sometimes use a 9.7mm with the barlow and push the scope all the way to 188X, which is right on the very ragged edge of what I believe this telescope is capable of under the best conditions. These last two are pretty much nice eyepieces to have, but not as necessary as the others.

For most objects, other than the moon or panets, you will use medium powers, maybe up to 100X. The higher powers can be (but not always) useful for planets, the moon, and double stars.

Well, this is probably enough for now. If I confused you, holler back and I will try again.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen



Bill, Well the telescope arrived this morning and it is in pretty good shape, I think. Everything is there. The eye piece rubber cup has got a hole or tear in it. Looks like someone tried to pull on it while it was still screwed in! The biggest problem I see so far is that the mirror is REALLY dirty. There was no dust cover with it when it came. You can see like a thick layer of I think dust on it. Any clues on how to clean it? Thanks again ! Ramon
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#7 MistrBadgr

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:27 PM

Hi Ramon,

I just now saw your post, but I cannot give you a good reply now and will have to get back to you. There are some posts on cleaning mirrors farther back in time, but I will try to answer you either tomorrow evening or the next one after that. I want to look at a website or two to get a name of a product or two.

By the way, when you get the eyepiece kit you wrote about and get your telescope set up, try comparing what you see with the 12.4 mm eyepiece with the barlow, which gives you 6.2mm equivalent, with the 6.4mm eyepiece that comes in the set. With ones I have worked with, the combination will give you a better image than the 6.4 mm eyepiece. The plossle design seems to start hitting its limits around 8mm. It would be interesting to find out how this works out with the Zumell eyepieces.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen

#8 rrp1501

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:19 AM

Hi Ramon,

I just now saw your post, but I cannot give you a good reply now and will have to get back to you. There are some posts on cleaning mirrors farther back in time, but I will try to answer you either tomorrow evening or the next one after that. I want to look at a website or two to get a name of a product or two.

By the way, when you get the eyepiece kit you wrote about and get your telescope set up, try comparing what you see with the 12.4 mm eyepiece with the barlow, which gives you 6.2mm equivalent, with the 6.4mm eyepiece that comes in the set. With ones I have worked with, the combination will give you a better image than the 6.4 mm eyepiece. The plossle design seems to start hitting its limits around 8mm. It would be interesting to find out how this works out with the Zumell eyepieces.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen


Will do Bill! Hoping the Kit comes today. When you say the plossl design starts hitting it's limits around 8mm, do you mean 8mm plossl might be the lowest where the amplification is noticeable or improved?

May God Bless and Keep you,
Ramon Poisson
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#9 rrp1501

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:08 AM

Will do Bill! Hoping the Kit comes today. When you say the plossl design starts hitting it's limits around 8mm, do you mean 8mm plossl might be the lowest where the amplification is noticeable or improved?

May God Bless and Keep you,
Ramon Poisson


Bill, guess what? The eye pieces came today, but once again fate gets me. The telescope listing had said that it accepted both .965 and 1.25" eyepieces. I just figured it had an adapter for it, but NO! They don't fit. I have an adapter coming, should be here in a few days. I can tell you the eyepieces seem to be very well made and solid. Compared to the eyepiece that is in the telescope, these are like Cadillacs or Mercedes Benzs'. Can't wait to see how they work.
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#10 MistrBadgr

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:51 PM

Ramon,

I was wondering if you had both of the adaptors or if only one was on the scope and the other one lost.

Yes, the .965 eyepieces are normally very inexpensively made. The ones you bought are much, much better and will give you much better views.

Al Nagler, who took the plossl design and reworked it into the basic modern eyepiece, insists that about 8 mm focal length is the limit that a four element plossl can go down to and stay within the basic tolerances, whatever those are. What I have found is that the view in plossles with shorter focal lengths than that are not quite as good as using one that is longer and then using a barlow to get down to the effective short focal length. The differences that I have noticed is the image of the short focal length is a little fuzzier and less contrast. The 6.4 mm plossl that you have will have an ok image...nothing really bad. The 12.4 mm with a good barlow will just be a little bit better.

Cleaning your mirror:

You need to have some things on hand. I normally like to have some kind of plastic tub to set in the kitchen sink, just to contain what I am doing. I like to have a small amount of a simple dish washing liquid, such as "Joy." Do not use anything with oils or skin conditioners in it. Just a simple soap or maybe a surfactant of some kind. I normally purchase a new roll of Viva paper towels. They are about the softest around. There may be other brands that are really soft, but Viva is definitely acceptable. I like to have a can of compressed air around. Pick up a bottle of distilled water if you do not already have one.

First off, I would put a small piece of tape on the edge of the mirror holder that is attached to the rear end of your telescope, and another one on the telescope tube by the first piece of tape. I do this to make sure I get the right screw holes lined up when I go back together with the pieces. Sometimes, the holes are not exactly 120 degrees apart as they go around the scope.

Carefully remove the screws and maybe put them in a little dish or some other container. If they roll off of a table they can be really hard to find.

Carefully pull off the mirror mount (holder) from the end of the telescope. It may be stuck or it may slide right off. It just varies with the particular scope. The main thing is to not drop the mirror mount or react when it pops off the tube and end up damaging the mirror surface with the edge of the tube.

When you get the mirror mount off, you will see the mirror and the three rubber stops that hold the mirror in place. I think there is one screw in each of the stops that has to be unscrewed. Take those pieces off and the mirror should then be loose and can be picked up by the edge. Keep fingers off the mirror surface as finger prints can leave body acids that can damage the coating over time as well as leave smudges that you will not like.

What I like to do at that point is to take a can of compressed air, like you might use to blow dust out of a computer keyboard. I generally take the mirror outside and gently blow off what dust I can.

Run water into the kitchen sink and adjust it until the temperature is roughly room temperature, which will be about what the mirror is. You do not have to get out a thermometer and get it down to the "Nth" degree, you just do not want it really hot or cold. A rapid change in temperature puts extra strain on the mirror and aluminum coating.

I then run a reasonable stream of water over the mirror (not to fast) to sluice off any more particles, if I can. I then stick the plastic tub in the sink, start filling the tube and put the mirror into the water with deliberation....just don't plunk it in there.

When there is an inch or two of water over the mirror, stop the water flow. Drip in a couple drops of the dish washing detergent and swirl it around with your hand, but don't touch the surface of the mirror yet.

Then, take a piece of the Viva paper towel and tear it into fourths. Then fold it up, stick it into the water to get it really wet. Slowly and gently stroke it once over the mirror, then discard. Take another piece of paper towel and do the same with the next swathe across the mirror and discard. Keep going with pieces of paper towel until you have stroked the whole surface.

Take the mirror out of the pan, turn on the water and rinse off the mirror, holding it at maybe a 45 degree angle to the water flow.

Then, hold up the mirror in some light and look at the surface to see you got it clean. If not, set the mirror down, mirror side up on a piece of paper towel, dump the pan of water, then repeat the cleaning process. If you happen to remember the orientation of the mirror the first time, in terms of the strokes you made, turn the mirror 90 degrees for the second time.

If, after two attempts to get the mirror clean, you still have a spot or two that is questionable, I would just leave it alone. Better to have a little spot on the mirror rather than a big scratch.

Whenever you are satisfied with the mirror or have reached the cleaning limit, hold the mirror over the sink at a 45 degree angle, pour demineralized water over it to sweep off any dissolved impurities in normal tap water. Let all of the water drops run off that will.

You can then take little pieces of paper towel and carefully touch any water droplets on the mirror with the corner of the piece to absorb the water. For tiny droplets, you might be able to blow them off the mirror with compressed air. If you happen to have a can of some hydrcarbon material that has liquid in the can, make sure you hold the can verticle so that you do not squirt liquid all over the mirror. It can leave a patina on the mirror that will require you to clean the mirror again.

Set the mirro asside with a clean paper towel laid over it to let any remaining moisture to evaporate.

Next, you might want to wash the three stops that hold the mirror in place with soap and water. Rinse them off with demineralized water, dry, and let them dry for an hour or so.

You will probably need to clean the secondary mirror as well, which requires undoing the central screw or nut that you should be able to see from the front end of the scope. The main thing is to remember the parts as you take out the secondary mirror and use common sense. If you want me to, I have a long tube scope like the one you have in storage. I can get that out, study it a little, and coach you through, if needed.

I would then take a regular kitchen sponge, get it moist. and wipe out the inside of the telescope tube. I would not use paper towels for this. They tend to leave little white particles sticking to imperfections inside the tube.

When everything is dry, put the primary mirror back into its mount. When you put the rubber pieces back into place to hold the mirror, do not put them in tight on the mirror. This will pinch and warp the mirror (not permanently, just as long as the pressure is on) I normally will leave enough space between the rubber piece and the mirror surface to slide a business card between the two. You want the same rubber pieces close enough to hold the mirror and keep it from moving around, but you to not want them to push or strain the glass. Again, the mirror can be warped. The surface of the mirror is accurate to within a few millionths of an inch. Just a very little bit of strain can hurt the image.

Put the mirror mount back onto the scope and reinstall the screws. If you took out the secondary mirror, put it back in reverse order to the way you took it out. After that, the telescope will need to be collimated (internal component allignment), which we can go through. I have written and posted about that process in the past, but it may be so far back in the files that you cannot find it.
I would keep something over the ends of the telescope to keep dust out. Plastic bags can work well. If you do that, you should not have to clean the mirror more often than once per year. It is normal to have some dust on the mirror. You do not want to clean the mirror too often, you run the risk of scratching the surface every time you clean it. You can live with some small scratches, but it is better not to have any more than you can help. They are worse than a little dust. Cleaning too often can simply wear out the surface. Getting the mirror recoated will cost maybe $50 to $75 if you ever need to do that.

Well, hope this give you an idea of how to clean the mirror. Let me know if something I am saying confuses you. When you get things cleaned up, we can talk about colimation.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen

#11 MistrBadgr

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:52 AM

Ramon,

One other thing you might consider doing while you have the mirror(s) out: You will see a bevel going around the outside of the mirrored surface. This bevel must be there while the mirror is being ground into shape to prevent pieces of glass from chipping out of the mirror, at least causing a lot of additional grinding if not completely ruining the mirror.

This bevel ends up being aluminized with the rest of the mirror surface. It reflects light around in a way that causes a little bit of loss in contrast. What I like to do is to take a "Sharpie" or some other black permanent marker and blacken that bevel. I do not use one of the fine tip markers. It is too easy to make a mistake and end up blackening part of the actual mirror surface. I use the flat side of a bigger marker. Touch the 45 degree bevel only and work around the mirror. One coat is normally not enough to blacken completely. I make one pass, let it dry, then put on a second pass. You can also do the side of the mirror, but it is not as important as that bevel.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen

#12 rrp1501

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:39 PM

Ramon,

One other thing you might consider doing while you have the mirror(s) out: You will see a bevel going around the outside of the mirrored surface. This bevel must be there while the mirror is being ground into shape to prevent pieces of glass from chipping out of the mirror, at least causing a lot of additional grinding if not completely ruining the mirror.

This bevel ends up being aluminized with the rest of the mirror surface. It reflects light around in a way that causes a little bit of loss in contrast. What I like to do is to take a "Sharpie" or some other black permanent marker and blacken that bevel. I do not use one of the fine tip markers. It is too easy to make a mistake and end up blackening part of the actual mirror surface. I use the flat side of a bigger marker. Touch the 45 degree bevel only and work around the mirror. One coat is normally not enough to blacken completely. I make one pass, let it dry, then put on a second pass. You can also do the side of the mirror, but it is not as important as that bevel.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen



That's great Bill! I'll venture into cleaning that mirror in the morning after I get some Distilled Water. I found a replacement mirror on ebay through "Telescope Warehouse" that has the mount. just has to be put back on the telescope. I'm pretty sure there will have to be some collimation after this, but hey, for $20 I figured I couldn't go wrong. Thanks for the tip with the Sharpie also. I'm going to take the telescope out tonght in the backyard and do some viewing. It should be pretty clear tonight. This is going to be GREAT!!!! Thanks again Bill!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#13 rrp1501

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

Well Bill, I tried to clean the mirror and there is no way that is coming clean! It looks like it was sitting in a barn for about 20 years and all the crap in the air just accumulated on it! I got the new Mirror's today and what a difference! When I was starting to put the new one in the tube, I was sweatting so much, it dripped on the mirror!!! UGHHH! It dried to a blue haze on the mirror so luckily I gave that a quick cleaning since I had everything out. Then the new mirror and mount for the tube wouldn't go into the tube all the way so I was a little worried. I changed the mirror's out on the two mounts and now have a telescope with a new Primary and secondary mirror, and dust caps for both ends. Now on to collimating the mirrors. I have a collimation eyepiece on it's way but any help is appreciated! Oh, also, I can not get my Hand set to seem to work. It is an 494 AutoStar hand set and I ended up with it giving me a guided tour and that was it. It displayed stuff like ; ATLANTA, 84 DEGREES; Just couldn't figure it out last night. It will give what looks like coordinates once in awhile and if I press GO TO, the scope motors move the telescope, I guess, to view what ever is at those coordinates? How do I reset this thing and start all over with it. OR can I buy a new Audiostar handset and download programs to it? I appologize for all these questions! I'll check back later.
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#14 MistrBadgr

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:45 PM

If your scope has a 494 handset, you should be able to use another 494. More than likely, the contacts in the your handset are corroded. You might be able to take the handset apart and clean them. You can also most likely use a 497 handset, which would be more expensive. The AudioStar is a new version of the 497, at least by the looks on the outside. I believe it would most likely work also, but without actually hooking it up to your mount, I would not want to say so with any certainty.

Will the arrow keys allow you to move the scope around?

As far as collimation goes, the first thing to do is to make sure the secondary mirror is centered in the main tube. A simple way is to cut a length of a pencil about the right distance from the tube wall to the secondary mirror holder. Measure around the tube and mirror in different places and adjust the spider lengths by turning the nuts on the outside. You might want to measure the diameter of the tube in different directions to make sure the tube is round and stays that way as you make adjustments to the spider.

There is a little offset that can be used to get the position dead on, but with your f/8 scope the amount is so small that it can be ignored.

The next step will be to center the secondary mirror in the view of the focuser. You can eyeball it, but your collimating eyepiece will be a big help. You make adjustments by adjusting the center screw in the secondary mount and the three that go around it. The center is turned in one direction and the smaller ones in the other. You can rotate the secondary mirror with your fingers to keep it perpendicular to the focuser tube. At this point, do not worry about what you see in the secondary mirror. It might even be better to do this with the primary mirror removed. The secondary mirror should end up being exactly at a 45 degree angle to the focuser tube. If it is, it will look exactly circular through your collimating eyepiece.

The next step is to look at the mirror and rotate it with your fingers until the rear of the optical tube looks as closely aligned as you can get it. If the end of the telescope does not look centered, then make an adjustment in the screws. You will have to loosen the center screw a tiny bit, then tighten up the slack with one of the smaller ones. Rotate the secondary mirror to realign the rear of the tube in the view and see what your adjustment did. I cannot tell you exactly what kind of adjustment it takes to get what movement in the image. Just fiddle with it until you can see which way things go,

When you get the rear of the scope centered in the secondary mirror, then install the primary mirror. You will then see the view out the front of the optical tube, or should. Odds are, it will not be centered. You will again have to make screw adjustments. This time with screws on the back side of the mirror mount. I believe there are three screws that push the mirror forward and three that pull to the rear. These screws alternate as you go around the circle of them. What you will do is to make a little move, see how that affects the alignment of the view, then make another adjustment. Continue until you get the view out the front of the scope centered.

The final adjustments take place outside at night with a reasonably bright star. I will talk you through that, if you want after you get the scope put back together and you are ready to take it outside. I do not want to hit you with too much at a time.

Let me know if this is confusing and I will try again.

Bill Steen

#15 rrp1501

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:43 PM

If your scope has a 494 handset, you should be able to use another 494. More than likely, the contacts in the your handset are corroded. You might be able to take the handset apart and clean them. You can also most likely use a 497 handset, which would be more expensive. The AudioStar is a new version of the 497, at least by the looks on the outside. I believe it would most likely work also, but without actually hooking it up to your mount, I would not want to say so with any certainty.

Will the arrow keys allow you to move the scope around?

As far as collimation goes, the first thing to do is to make sure the secondary mirror is centered in the main tube. A simple way is to cut a length of a pencil about the right distance from the tube wall to the secondary mirror holder. Measure around the tube and mirror in different places and adjust the spider lengths by turning the nuts on the outside. You might want to measure the diameter of the tube in different directions to make sure the tube is round and stays that way as you make adjustments to the spider.

There is a little offset that can be used to get the position dead on, but with your f/8 scope the amount is so small that it can be ignored.

The next step will be to center the secondary mirror in the view of the focuser. You can eyeball it, but your collimating eyepiece will be a big help. You make adjustments by adjusting the center screw in the secondary mount and the three that go around it. The center is turned in one direction and the smaller ones in the other. You can rotate the secondary mirror with your fingers to keep it perpendicular to the focuser tube. At this point, do not worry about what you see in the secondary mirror. It might even be better to do this with the primary mirror removed. The secondary mirror should end up being exactly at a 45 degree angle to the focuser tube. If it is, it will look exactly circular through your collimating eyepiece.

The next step is to look at the mirror and rotate it with your fingers until the rear of the optical tube looks as closely aligned as you can get it. If the end of the telescope does not look centered, then make an adjustment in the screws. You will have to loosen the center screw a tiny bit, then tighten up the slack with one of the smaller ones. Rotate the secondary mirror to realign the rear of the tube in the view and see what your adjustment did. I cannot tell you exactly what kind of adjustment it takes to get what movement in the image. Just fiddle with it until you can see which way things go,

When you get the rear of the scope centered in the secondary mirror, then install the primary mirror. You will then see the view out the front of the optical tube, or should. Odds are, it will not be centered. You will again have to make screw adjustments. This time with screws on the back side of the mirror mount. I believe there are three screws that push the mirror forward and three that pull to the rear. These screws alternate as you go around the circle of them. What you will do is to make a little move, see how that affects the alignment of the view, then make another adjustment. Continue until you get the view out the front of the scope centered.

The final adjustments take place outside at night with a reasonably bright star. I will talk you through that, if you want after you get the scope put back together and you are ready to take it outside. I do not want to hit you with too much at a time.

Let me know if this is confusing and I will try again.

Bill Steen



Bill. I can control the movement, sometimes, with the arrow keys. Maybe I accessed a different program in the handset? Do you know if you can download the software of the Meade Site for a handset, either 494/5/7? Seems like the most expensive part is the USB to serial connector and it seems like the connectors for the 497 and all is the cheapest way unless I can get this handset going. But if I can download the software, that would be better.
Well, here goes. Going to try to clean the contacts and see how that goes!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#16 MistrBadgr

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:54 PM

Ramon,

The only handset that I know you can download the program for is the 497. I do not know anything about the 495, but I have not seen any downloadable file for it. I know the 494 cannot be changed be downloading a program into it.

I don't know what the price of a 494 handset is, but the list price for the 497, the last time I saw one, was $150. The AudioStar has replaced it, I think, and it is listed for $150. The cheapest replacement is to look for a 494 handset on eBay, I think. But, I am thinking you should be able to clean the contacts on the handset you have. At least enough to make the arrow keys work.

Bill

#17 rrp1501

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:26 AM

Bill, if you can't download into a 494 what is the #506 cable and Astrofinder software that I keep seeing on ebay? Is that just a program that you load onto your computer? I know that the #506 cable and software is $39.99 on ebay. The only catch is, you have to have a serial port to USB adapter for your computer, which is another $50.00. I thought that the program was to be downloaded into the hand set, that's what the cable's are for? Or is the cable only to attach from your computer to your motor drive on the telescope and operate it from there? I tried to find out from MEADE Customer service, but they said that the telescope I have is out dated and not made anymore and they can not service one, even give directions on what to do over the phone. Maybe I'll just have to keep an eye out for a 494 handset. The only thing CS would tell me is that since my scope came with a 494, that is the only type I can use on that scope. I can't even use a 495, according to them. And I thought I was going to save money getting this "Used" telescope! Should of bought a new one! A thought just popped into my head, could all this be a power supply problem? I am using a battery pack with 10 AA batteries? They are brand new, so I figured that that has not been the problem? I can get a power adapter, if that's the case. If not, there is a 494 on sale for $39.99 on ebay right now. I'll check back later tonight. I have to go be the line judge at my niece's school volleyball games tonight. Hey, I get into the match for free! And you can't get any closer to the action! Heck maybe we should be talking on the phone!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson

#18 MistrBadgr

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:37 PM

Hi Ramon,

The computer setup with the 506 cable is to run the telescope from the computer. The 494 cannot be upgraded without changing out chips in it. I believe it would be cheaper just to buy a new one. I do not think Meade is set up to change out chips in handsets or even sell them to you to change out yourself.

The folks in customer service are really up on the newer scopes, but not on the older ones. There is been a lot of change in the people working in customer support over the last few years and I do not think any of them were around when your scope was built.

Bill Steen

#19 rrp1501

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:38 PM

Hi Ramon,

The computer setup with the 506 cable is to run the telescope from the computer. The 494 cannot be upgraded without changing out chips in it. I believe it would be cheaper just to buy a new one. I do not think Meade is set up to change out chips in handsets or even sell them to you to change out yourself.

The folks in customer service are really up on the newer scopes, but not on the older ones. There is been a lot of change in the people working in customer support over the last few years and I do not think any of them were around when your scope was built.

Bill Steen


Ughhh! That's understandable. From the sounds of it, this scope has been around for awile.!
May God Bless you and Keep you!
Ramon Poisson




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