Meade Starfinder 6" Dob


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Brand and Model:Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
Price ($USD):$250
Type:Newtonian
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:152mm (6")
f Ratio:f/8
Focal Length:1216mm
Finder:6x30
Electric Power:NA
Mount:Dobsonian
Tripod:NA
Weight (lbs):~30 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):Tube: 7.6"x48", Mount
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
6 inch f8 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Optics :Poor sometimes fair- good (take a chance)Hey but the mirror is pyrex.
Mount :Very poor.Feet too short, brgs sticky, base too small too short and too light.
Finder and spider assy OK
Tube: The 2 in.focuser hole is probably drilled off centre .
Focusar: 2inch Plastic Terrible.
Mirror cell design Very Poor no ventilation, terrible air currents,
4 pound cast iron weight behind the mirror.(gee that was good thinking.
I think Meade needed some new designers on this one.
If this was a good scope they would still produce it.
Made in USA but i don't know about that.

Overall Rating: 1
Optics:1 Mount:0 Ease of Use:1 Value:1
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.125.15)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=594672


Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
Okay after some cooling mods etc. this Meade 6 inch f8 is fairly remarkable.
1: Remove cell, drill/bore 3 holes in counterweight 1.50 in dia.
Use rear cell as template. Move the weight to the outside of the tube.The focusar drawtube will be 1/2" further into the sonotube then it was. Using 3 spacers 1/2" thick with 1/4" holes between the mirror cell and 3 springs will put it back where it was. Buy three allen head bolts 1/4 by 3.50" long. Originals are 3.00" long. Assemble cell with the weight on the outside of the tube.This fixes the cooling issues.
2:Check focuser hole to make sure the focuser drawtube is not rubbing against the sonotube.
3: Change nylon altitude brgs to teflon. The tube will move too easy now. Add a washer or two behind the two plastic screws in the tube behind the altitude brgs.to add some friction.They'll rub against the inner box. Should move very nicely now, and tube will not move when changing eyepieces.
4: Remove 3 original feet and install 1.00 in high feet with a screws. Scope should sit nicely on uneven ground now.
These ideas of modifying this almost unuseable scope into a great scope by using your imagination. Drilling the counterweight is probably the hardest part. Even a bunch of 1/4 to 1/2 inch holes will get the air moving, but 3 holes of 1.50 in gives you an equal opening of 5.3 sq inches.Since you moved the weight back the drilled holes will lighten the weight to compensate. My 2" plastic focusar was okay, but your mileage may vary.
Clear Skies

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:7 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.125.15)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=594729


Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
By far the best bargin I've come across so far. The only downside to this scope was having to wait a couple months for it to ship this summer since it was on back order. Paying an extra $50 for a higher quality focuser, finderscope, and an extra eyepiece was well worth it. Living in an urban environment, I'm limited to mostly lunar and planetary viewings, and they're very crisp.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.43.31)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=47970


Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
As stated above this scope provides top-notch optics at a bargain. My only complaints involve the accessories and mechanics of the scope. The finder is the worst i have ever encountered. It is only a matter of time before it gets used for batting practice. The focuser also has too much plastic.and seems to rub against the hole for it when focused. I tried to remove some of the cardboard it was hitting but it still isn't perfect. Motions on the scope are jerky but not so bad to be unusable, just annoying. The 26mmSP is great and one of my favorite eyepieces. I also own an 90mm ETX and its optics are also superb. Meade seems to concentrate on producing first rate optics then throwing together third rate mounts. If they start using forethought on their hardware and mounts the scopes will be hard to beat optically and financially.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.10.226)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41233


Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
I purchased this 'scope OTA only, used. I built the mount. However, I do have a starfinder 16 on the Meade mount. It's adequate for the 16", and therefore I assume will be adequate for the 6"! However, if my 16" experience is par for the course, then you'll need to counterset nails in the nylon and teflon pads, and adjust the locations of the altitude pads to get the correct friction.

The OTA is countereweighted to allow a low center of gravity and a shorter mount. The steel weight is located in the cell, just behind the particle board that has the primary glued to it. It is held in place by the collimation bolts. This chunk of steel will radiate heat into the tube for hours creating tube currents. Luckily, there's an easy fix. Take apart the mirror cell, reomove the weight, and re-assemble the cell WITH THE WEIGHT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE CELL. The weight is simply replaced, but on the exterior of the cell, again held on by the collimation bolts. Very easy to figure out once you see the cell. Thus, the weight can no longer radiate heat into the tube.

The OTA is not vented, so the mirror will radiate heat into the tube introducing tube currents. I vented the tube simply by drilling 1" holes in the tube, one on the bottom of the tube and just behind the mirror, the other on the top, just in front of the mirror.

So, by moveing the weight to the exterior of the 'scope and venting the OTA, I now see nearly no thermal currents. Makes cool-down fast, and images look good even before cool-down.

The mirror is glued to the cell, which seems sleazy, but isn't. There are no clips to degrade the image, or pinch the mirror. I prefer glued mirrors for small optics for this reason.

The optics were a very pleasant surprise. Nearly identical difraction rings in and out of focus. This is the only 'scope ( out of 5 newts, 1 SCT, 1 refractor (Meade, Celestron and Orion)) that show difraction rings as similar in and out of focus. Jupiter showed disk like moons, and several minor bands, depsite proximity to the Western horizon. 385X on the moon yielded razor sharp images, maiking this the only 'scope I own to pass the 50X per inch "barrier". The Double Double split very easily and cleanly despite proximity to the Eastern horizon. The clarity of objects surpasses my 4" refractor (a C102).

Collimation is easy, and, at f8, the 'scope is very forgiving of minor collimation errors.

Things look brighter through this 'scope than through my 8" SCT, most likely due to the small (19.6%) obstruction, compared to the 25%+ for the SCT. Also, the 6" has nearly no cool-down time, while the 8" SCT takes about 60 minutes to produce decent images, and typicly lags well behind ambient temperatures as they drop through the night. Add to this the difficulty in observing northerly targets on a fork mounted equatorial SCT, and the 6" Dob wins hands down as the more pleasant 'scope to observe through.

The 6x30 finder is too tiny and opticly poor for my tastes. And, the short bracket holds the finder too close to the OTA. This makes it impossible to get a good position to see through the finder. I currently have it replaced with a Rigel Qucik Finder.

This is currently my favorite quick look 'scope. I find the apeture adequate for most quick targets such as the Messiers, planets, and doubles.

It is often said that the best all-around 'scope is a 6" f8 Newtonian. I must agree. Assuming that all Meade mirrors are of the same quality as the one in my 'scope, I can recomend the 'scope without hesitation.

I must add that Orion's dobs have nicer construction and engineering, but cost about $120 more. I had an XT8, but if the optics in that 'scope are any indication, Meade's mirrors are better; the Orion had significant over correction, and astigmatism in the secondary mirror. The XT8 required fewer, and less serious, modefications. But, the secondary had to be replaced, and the mirror cell modefied to correctly support the mirror. However, comparing an 8" f6 to a 6" f8 is not really fair; it's much easier to make a f8 parabola than an f6 parabola. (Yet another reason I prefer a 6" to an 8"...)

The 'scope get's an 8 due to OTA modefications I feel are necessary, and due to the poor finder bracket.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.162.115)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41231


Meade Starfinder 6" Dob
Just wanted to comment on the glue/mirror clips issue. I have owned a Meade 10" Starfinder for 2 1/2 years. When I initially received it, the mirror, which was glued on, was very badly pinched. I could see no detail at all on the planets. This required that the mirror be cut, with a flay knife, from the mount and be reglued. The reason? Glue, as used by Meade (three huge blobs with no flotation) can indeed stress i.e., pinch a mirror. I have read about others with this same problem. Clips can simply be loosened.

I do agree with the above post regarding mirror quality. My mirror is really superb and its seems this is generally true with all Meade dobs. So if you feel like rebuilding the mechanics of the scope to get at the mirror, these Meades may be perfect. If you do not want to replace focusers, finders, or deal with figuring out how to vent or balance the tube - they are not.

As always, your best bet is to try the scope you intend to buy and compare it to others. From personal experience I have found you will make up your mind for you very quickly.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.240.34)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41232

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