Meade Starfinder 10" EQ


 Info  Votes  Messages  More Stats  Up One Level
Vote
Page 1 of 2 Next

Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Rather good optics, but mount and drive are basic. Overall it's good value, considering the price. Not exactly portable, however; a permanent site is recommended.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.31.1)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40062


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Did allot of research on this scope before its purchase and found everything Ive read to fairly accurate. First of all this is a fairly big scope and yes it does fit in the back of the car in the back seat with the mount in the trunk.

The pier with counterweight and OTA is about 100 lbs. Breaking the system down for transport takes about 5-10 mins. Once the system is broken down things are much more managable for transport. Setup and alignment is about 10-15mins. Once setup balanced and polar aligned it tracks quite well. The mount for the OTA is adequate but I wouldnt put anything bigger on it.

The optics are very nice. Got clear crisp pinpoint stars with very little coma. Checked collimation and it was very close once the primary was installed. Compared views in fellow observers 4.5" meade and the difference was dramatic as one might expect. Contrast was also nice the observing site was west of Austin aprox 20 miles with considerable sky glow around. I did choose to paint the inside of the ota with Krylon Ultra Flat black paint and then brush down and blow the inside of the ota out with air to remove any loose paint before putting in the optics. You can protect the outside of the ota by wrapping it in cling wrap prior to painting. This was done due to Meades paint on the inside is not very dark. Big difference once the Krylon was applied. Oh if you choose to do this take care that all paint dust is brushed and blown out of your tube prior to installing the optics. I wrapped the outside of my ota in plastic kling wrap from the kitchen to protect the outside of the tube and painted the inside of the tube.

As far as cool down of the optics did not notice a problem there. Scope is in the shed outdoors and the 30min drive the image was stable after setting up. Now what I dont like. The focuser is plastic. What a piece of junk. Should be run over by the car. Probably cause a flat. Its very rough and should be replaced at your earliest oppertunity. It needs to be replaced by one from JMI or a crayford focuser. I tried a friends 4.5" and its focuser was worse. The focuser for the 10" binded in places due to drilling errors by meade. When it does work it wasnt smooth. This is probably the best thing you can do for the scope. I tried a JMI focuser on a 16" meade talk about smooth. Worth the dollars especially when working with high power. Second the finder is too small. Have to lay your head on the tube to see out of it almost. Lastly the plastic straps that hold the tube on could stand replacement or modification to make a more sturdier way to hold the tube. Overall this is a good scope for the money. You get tracking, capability for basic astrophotography and very good optics. Id recommend it but budget some extra dollars to do some upgrades. Rich rhmc@austin.rr.com

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.82.239)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40063


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Received this scope in three boxes. One for the pedistal/mount, optical tube assembly and lastly optional eypiece. First of all this is a big scope but it does fit in the car well. OTA goes in the backseat and the mount in the trunk. Together it weighs about 100 pounds. Not bad to transport once the OTA and counterwight are seperated. The pier is adequate but would not put a larger scope on it. Setup time is about 5 to 10 mins including polar alignment.

The optics are superb. Right out the box found colliamtion to be very close to text book. The stars are crisp, pinpoint with very little coma at the edge of field. After looking trough the scope I chose to remove everything from the optical tube and paint the inside Krylon Ultra-Flat black. Wrapped the outside of the OTA in plastic wrap to protect it. After the paint dried brushed the inside of the tube with a soft brush and blew out any residual paint. Put the OTA back together made a huge difference in contrast. Really worth the time. Compared this scope to a meade 4.5" reflector. The 10" blew the 4.5 out of the water as expected.

Things I didnt like. The focuser is JUNK. Should run over it with a car. Probably cause a flat. Budget enough dollars for a nice one from JMI. There really worth the dollars. The meade focuser is feels very rough and is all plastic. Binded in places hard to focus at high power. Tried my friends focuser on his 16" meade where he installed the JMI and its ultra smooth easy to focus and rugged. Next the finder is servicable till you can get something else. Too small and mounted right by the tube have to almost lay your head on the tube to use it. Lastly the rings to hold the tube to the saddle are substandard and really not up to the job. The OTA not little and you need more support.

So is the whole thing worth getting. Yes it is. With a little work and a little extra money for a good focuser this scope will be top notch. Superb optics, stable mount and it does track well if you take the time to balance the scope. Good platform for basic astro-photography. Rich rhmc@austin.rr.com

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.82.239)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40064


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
I have a 10" Meade Starfinder that has a AC Drive. I don't know how good the DC drive works. But, my AC Drive works just fine. The mount is very stable, especially with the 25 pount counterweight that comes with it. Other than the fact that the telescope weighs about 100 pounds and is awkward to move around once it is set up. My starfinder has excellent optics, it just made my 8" SCT's optics look inferior. I had originally purchased this telescope for a friend of mine, he was going to pick it up from me in a couple of months, but couldn't come up with the money, I was going to sell it to another friend, but I decided to take it out to a dark sky site and try it out one time before I got rid of it. Once I tried it out, I was so impressed with it, I decided to keep it. It is now the telescope I take out the most, as since I don't have a great investment in it, I leave it in my trunk most of the time. My only complaint about it is that it takes about 10 minutes to set up and take down, also, the focuser is a pile of crap, I replaced mine with a 2" Parks focuser, and have no complaints with it. The finderscope is such a piece of junk, that I felt it wasn't worth anything, not even for a child, that I introduced it to a Louisville Slugger to put it out of its misery. I added a Telrad and a 8x50 finderscope to it along with a Manual Declination Control. I now enjoy this telescope very much. I don't think anyone can go wrong purchasing one of these, as the combination of price and aperture can't be beat. The only thing you have to do is to replace the focuser and finderscope.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.23)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40065


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Poor finder
Desperate focuser
Good mirror
Secondary mirror hard to adjust for collimation
Mount good

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.194.74)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40066


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Excellent optics, mediocre mount. Good price.
1. Optics are excellent, with good views of lunar and deep space objects. Planetary observing requires a short focal length eyepiece, since the focal length of the mirror is only 1140 mm. Coma is not noticeable, and images are very good.
2. The mirror must be moved forward for photography (unless the focusser is replaced with a shorter model). An extension is required for eyepiece viewing in this mode, and the fully illuminated field is reduced in size (not really noticeable, however).
3. Polar alignment is difficult, due to the mount, which lacks fine adjustment mechanisms. Tracking is OK once alignment is achieved.
4. A permanent site is recommended. The scope and mount are too large and heavy for easy transport, and good polar alignment takes some perseverence.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.23.182)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40067


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Mount isn't stable and the motor hardly track. Many of the bolts have a tendancy to come loose.

Overall Rating: 4
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.248.158)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40068


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Over-all, this is a good scope. Opticaly, it's quite good, Star test doesn't really indicate any outstanding aberations to my fairly un-trained eye. But, I have seen bad star tests, and this scope wasn't one of them.

Images are very bright and resolution is great. I easily resolve 2 arc sec.s, I haven't tried less yet. Galaxies and clutsers are noticebly more resolved and brighter than in my 8" dob.

The tracking is a little finicky; tighten the clutch (which requires a screw driver and some diss-assembly) too much and the scope becomes a little stiff in right assention. To little and it won't track.

The mount is stable enough; jiggly while you touch the scope to focus, but steadies in less that a second.

The stock focuser does work, but I reccomend replacing it with a better focuser. There're lot's out there, and nearly all are better than the piece-o-poo focuser Meade supplies.

The steel-strap tube rings are workable, but definitely awkward. Given an EQ mounts ability to put the eyepiece in some pretty strange places, this is a bit of a hinderance as turning the tube to re-position the eye-piece is quite a chore. They can also slip, making balacing a little tricky. I'm replacing them with Parallax rings, but this is a very expensive upgrade-- $185 at the time of this writing (Aug 2000).

Magellan II proves to be finicky too. I'm still trying to get that working right. The declination motor is an incredibly cheap little plastic thing. I managed to strip it's little toy car transmission already. I'll put a JMI on it, I think.

There are no fine alt-az adjustments, so accurate polar aligning is difficult. But, this is only necessary if you intend to try astro-photography with it, as I do. I'm currently trying to design some sort of fine adjustments to the alt-az axes.

It takes about 15 mins to set up, and fit's easily in my Honda Civic. The EQ mount being the nasty part. The optical tube is one of the very few 10" tubes that will fit lengthwise in the back seat. This greatly influenced my choice.

In light of the scope being realisticly usefull only for visual observation (without significant modifications), I'd get a dob and tracking platform instead. But, there's a catch. The mirror support assembly is completely different than Meade's Dobs. It's an open aluminum mount, and as such, cools very quickly, collimates easily, and holds collimation quite well. This is incredibly important. Enough so that I can't recomend a Meade dob. Eventually, I'll build a Dob base for it for nights when I don't want to lug the EQ mount. Beleive me, this will be often, and you should really consider this if you get this scope. It is not difficult to transport, but it is a pain. Enough so that I usually take my 8" dob instead. But, the views are great, and it's the biggest aperature Newt I can fit in my car. So I still like the scope. Ultimately you'll be happy with the scope, but I fear the "I don't feel like lugging that thing to my dark site" syndrome will get even the most resolute of you. It got me, but luckily I have another scope. I can't stress enough this point: get a scope you will realisticly feel like lugging out to you car. This one is not one of them. Or at least be prepared to get a nice little scope for those nights when you would like to do some quick observing in the backyard. I never thought I'd feel that way, but I do!

A very good scope, just be prepared for it's awkwardness!

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.160.79)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40069


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
It is the best of scopes! I like it.

It has largest apperture from moveable and easy to assemble scopes. It is best in $/diameter (I mean first class in quality devices).

It has large field of view. Lets you photograhy (and has the best of focus ration to do it).

Ernest

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.163.2)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40070


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Very good optics and a quite good mount combined with the magellan II dual axis drive its a very good scope. The one flaw, I can see is the focuser, which isn't too good, but with a bit of craftmanship, one can improve this. And if I like, I'll buy a JMI focuser in the next future.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.202.12)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40071


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Not bad at all for the price. Reasonable value for money

The mount is adequate without being anything sensational. The motions are somewhat too stiff for my liking.

The mirror is very good- Hard to fault really for F4.5 the star images are virtually test book. Good contrast indicates a smooth surface.

The finder would not come to focus at infinity -had to be replaced. Replacement also replaced because of same problem.

Drive broke down during warranty- replaced. Now performs quite acceptably for visual use.

Hard to collimate secondary mirror because adjustments are difficult.

No too bad overall, if only Meade could get quality control and customer service right they would have a good package here.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.17.56)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40072


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
This scope is well worth the money. I have had many enjoyable nights observing in the past 6 years since I purchased this scope. It is the biggest aperture that I would recommend for manageable portability and has all the features you would look for in a basic equatorial telescope.
I feel a big problem with this telescope is that most people expect more from a telescope of this size and they forget about how little they had spent.
I had not even looked through a telescope larger than a 60mm cheapo before I bought and saw first light through this telescope. I was amazed at the view I was seeing even in my urban backyard. Then I took it to my first star party at Mt. Pinos, CA and I was very satisfied with my purchase.
When I looked through other telescopes that were there I started thinking something was wrong with my telescope. They had much wider fields of view. I borrowed a few eyepieces and used them in my Meade and I knew that the main optics were just as good as theirs but the eyepieces were a problem. I then asked how much they paid for the four eyepieces I borrowed and it added up to almost as much as I paid for my whole outfit.
In the years I have owned it I have added a larger finder and changed some of the hardware for convenience (hex nuts on the leg attachment studs and allen bolts in the drive clutch). I only recently purchased better eyepieces ($200.00 for a set of three). Also, I had to replace the nylon bushings on the RA axis (don't even think about astrophotography with this mount).
I give praise to Meade for their technical support and customer service. When I originally ordered the telescope there was a 6 month backorder. I called them once a month and they were very cooperating in giving me the most recent status of my order (I received the telecope in only 4 months). I have called them with numerous questions since and have always spoken to a very friendly and helpful staff. My most recent call about tracking problems resulted in them supplying me with replacement bushings at no charge even though the unit is long out of warranty.
Overall I give this telescope the 6 rating because it cost 60% of what telescopes of comparable size sell for. For the price you pay it is a definite 10.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.207.216)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40073


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
this was my first telescope. extremely pleased. large aparture, low price. meade optics. can't go wrong. A+++ -MAC

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.188)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40074


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
I call it "My Little Pony" and if you get one, note that it takes a bit to move it around, whether from your car or when on the saddle itself. This gal doesn't need jewelry, she has a telescope to accessorize... Correct on the focuser, will be upgrading but if you're a newbie like me you may not notice it unless you get to use something with a 2". The saddle straps absolutely suck and am searching for something cheap to replace it with so I can spend the money on eyepieces. Views out of it are nice, painting the inside of the tube seems like a good idea. Overall a good tube but if you are looking for something mobile this probably isn't it. :)

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.206.197)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40075


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
I like this scope. It is a good value in the current telescope market. I replaced the focuser with a JMI DX3, WOW! what a difference that made! Also, painting the inside of the tube with flat black spray paint improved the contrast by some 25%, mainly around the edge of the field of view. We built a dewsheild that extended 10in. from the end of the tube which not only keeps dew off the secondary, but also helps with contrast by keeping out any stray light from entering in near the bottom of the focuser. I had to tighten the screws on the clutch because it would not track properly. There is some noticable coma which is common in all fast newtonians. This is the tradeoff for the wide FOV. Overall, a decent scope for the money.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.201.186)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40076


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
When I looked through Jupiter through this scope I could only see about 3 cloud belts. It stunk. Even my Starhopper Dob does better than that. At about 100x the Starfinder image was blurry. The scope was collimated, and focused. With a breath the whole the shook making it impossible even to see those three cloud belts. The tracking went off frequntly and the scope was not a pleasure to use. I advise not to buy this scope. I is not very portable either. You are much better of with an 8-inch LX200.

Overall Rating: 3
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.19.246)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40078


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
ok...easy deal...the scope is good...if it was perfect..then what the hell would you have to tinker with...thats one of the fun things with scopes...peplace the usual stuff..telrad finder CHEP..good focuser..$100..JMI ok but not the end all...a focuser is kinda like a fly reel....uniersity optics good source to replace...and most of there stuff is made in the USA!!!!.. ok..a couple of other tricks...the straps..replace the bolts with wingnuts...much easier...always keep clutch tight...i will eventually cut hole in clockdrive housing to get to clutch...but the most important thig..or gizmo to buy for the scope...AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IT HAS BEEN STRESSED.... a fucking laser colliminator...from orion 69 $ !!!!! dont worry about the focuser....get a laser...............with a short focal length relector...with that large of a mirror...you will never get it perfect with out a laser!!! and when you do....just think with the extra money you save you can buy some a great eyepieces..that with futher blow away anything the overrated cassi's can do...boo who rate it a 9? ...depends how much LSD the operator has had!!!

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.29.63)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40079


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
I bought a Meade and let me tell you, I have had nothing but problems with this Dob. I should of bought an Orion.

Rating 1

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.140.131)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40080


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
I've had my Starfinder two months now and it is without doubt a work in progress. Replaced the focuser with a JMC, replaced the finder and added a Telrad and Meade #55 manual declination control. I've found collimation to be a problem and even with a laser still not sure.
Still I really enjoy this scope, having had nothing larger than a 6" before the 10" is an eye opener so to say.
The drive works great once the scope is balanced and while some don't think the mount is up to the large OTA I've found at star parties that it's at least as stable as some more costly mounts, nothing does well when the wind blows.
So plan on making some improvements, eyepieces really seem to make a diff, the price is great,and the seeing is worth it.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.87.235)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40081


Meade Starfinder 10" EQ
Star test, bout as good as you would expect from an f4.5 budget Newt. focuser is trash, see JMI to sort that out, get a decent 2" on it. Mount does the job but is a mare to move, check the g-box out as the clutch can slip. Mirror cell needs 9 pads, you can tell the corners have been cut! Overall tracks well if set up properly (hint: LEVEL THE SCOPE AND BALANCE IT!.

Light bucket with good resolution. Learn to dial in the setting circles and it will keep you happy for years! It always more impressive to find an object with a scope then to let the thing find it for you.

Wot else . . Loose the steal straps, got tools? Use them! This is a scope for tinker`s. Buy a telrad and laser collimater. Trust me, move the scope 3 feet it goes!

Buy one if you want to have a scope to observe with on clear nights and to modify on cloudy nights! This thing is ace for the money, I use it more then my Vixen 102M GP, ETX90EC, 8"LX200. When I was at uni I prefered it to the 16" LX200 I used to use.

Wot can I say . . . . It`s been emotional . . ..
Grass_snake_man@Yahoo.com

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.13.73)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40082

Page 1 of 2 Next

[Click Here to Login]
Don't have a login? Register!