Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe


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

Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
After two months of use, I have the following comments and opinions about the M703/deluxe. Optically, the scope is excellent and star tests (allowing 60-90 min. for thermal stabilization) are consistent with the claimed 1/8-wave rating. There is no evidence of astigmatism or false color. All three mirrors on this model have a 98% claimed reflectivity (silver + protective overcoat), and the corrector has a broad band AR multicoating.

A small fan (12V or AC adapter powered) is mounted on the rear of the OTA, but so far I've not seen any real advantage when using it. Air is drawn through a series of holes in the front around the cell of the corrector, through a filter, and exits at the rear. To reduce tube currents, baffles are spaced away from walls of the main tube slightly to allow better air-flow. The deluxe-model M703 has low-expansion mirrors, so the fan may not make much difference unless the temperature differential is extremely large. The OTA is well baffled, and when I've compared views with a typical 8 inch SCT, contrast in the M703 is much better on low brightness objects.

The finder scope is of average quality, with a reticle and illumination port (but the illuminator is not included). A nylon carrying case with hard inserts in the end panels is supplied, and it's small enough to meet the carry-on size restrictions of most airlines. The OTA has a steel, press-on dust cover for the corrector, and a machined aluminum screw-on cover where the diagonal attaches. There is a standard SCT thread so that most commonly-available accessories can be attached. The supplied 2" mirror diagonal is machined from aluminum and has internal threads to suppress reflections. The clamping screws press against a brass collar so that they don't mar eyepiece barrels when tightened.

The OTA has a quick-release bracket for the finder, and an accessory bracket that runs the full length of the tube. This bracket has a slot to accomodate a piggy-back camera or a sliding counterweight for exact balancing.

There is a dovetail mounting rail on the bottom, and an adapter bracket is included that fits directly on Takahashi, GP, or similar GEMs.

Mechanically, the scope shows its Russian origins. Paint is hardware-store quality and not up to par with powder-coated finishes on top-quality American or Japanese products. Screws are slotted and chromed-plated, not the phillips-head stainless steel or brass one would expect. When the scope is moved, the baffle rings and their spacer springs make tiny clicking noises inside the tube as the weight shifts. At first, I mistook this sound for loose hardware rattling inside the OTA! It was a while before I got used to this noise. On the positive side, there are no plastic parts, and everything is very sturdy.

Overall, I've given this scope an "8" rating. This is based on average of a "9" for the optics, and a "7" for the fit and finish.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.162.238)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38658


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
Ditto to other comments. Optically superb (can see airy disks around stars at 100x!). I have found that the fan greatly shortens cool down time and precludes the development of tube currents that were a problem in a C8 I owned previously. Focuser is excellent. Replaced finderscope with a UO 8x50 RA Amici unit that works great.

While attempting to fine tune collimation (a push-pull secondary cell), all three if the "push" screws' slots broke and two of the three "pull" screws stripped even though I was not torquing any of them hard at all. Replacements were difficult to find. (If all of their fasteners are of this quality you'll never get ME on any Russian space stations!) Finally got it all fixed and re-collimated (perfect star test) and am happy again. This is not a scope for those who are "mechanically challenged" because if it gets broke, you'd best be able to fix the minor stuff. "It's not just a telescope, it's an adventure."

Dew shield is huge metal tube that screws on the front of the OTA and is the best I have ever used. It has 5 baffles. The inside of it is "flocked" with a flat black material. NOT ONCE have I had to defog / defrost the corrector. Amazing!

Too heavy for my old GP mount. Now have a GM-8 and this is a really nice set up. Wish it came in an F12 version with a little more focal length.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.178.1)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38659


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
Sold as OTA only - I have mine on a Tak EM-1 mount which is adequate for visual use. A bigger mount is needed for photography. Optics are excellent (star tests 1/6-1/8 wave after cool-down), but the mechanics are not quite up to par with Tak or AP. This is a very sturdy scope with no plastic parts. My biggest complaint is the lack of smoothness in the focuser mechanism.

I compared this scope to an AP 7" EDF, and both had similar resolution, but the refractor had prettier images with slightly more contrast. It easily outperforms most 8" SCTs in terms of contrast and brightness.

For $2500, it's not a bad deal considering its portability and optical quality.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.162.141)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38660


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
Optically, the scope is excellent. Star tests show that a lot of work has been done here (No real evidence of optical errors. Realy matches 1/8 lamda patterns) !!! No Focus Shift!!! great baffling (forget stray lighting)!!!!
Very Bad Screws !!!! Besides the mechanics it seems that somebody is NOT doing it only for the money he loves hi-fi optics.

9,5 for Optics
8 for mechanics


Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.137.106)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38663


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
Optically, the scope is excellent. Star tests show that a lot of work has been done here (No real evidence of optical errors. Realy matches 1/8 lamda patterns) !!! No Focus Shift!!! great baffling (forget stray lighting)!!!!
Very Bad Screws !!!! Besides the mechanics it seems that somebody is NOT doing it only for the money he loves hi-fi optics.

9,5 for Optics
8 for mechanics


dedoussis@dedoussis.com

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.128.27)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38664


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
Superb optics. Can resolve Epsilon Lyra at 70x. Great for deepsky as well, especially using F/6.3 reducer meant for SCTs, it provides pinpoint stars across a larger field.

The finder is not very good and should be replaced.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.207.188)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38665


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
Optics:
Superb and refractor-like. Initial collimation from ITE absolutely "right on" but couldn't resist the temptation to learn how myself. Was relatively easy to collimate once I got started. North Star works great. Call Mike Palermiti for some coaching first and do it exactly like he suggests. "Micro-turns" of the phillips head screws at the secondary are best. Don't over-due it! Relax and take your time.

Mount/s:
Using the Meade LXD 650 for visual work only and is probably comparable to the Losmandy GM8 in terms of general stability. Also used it a few times on the Giro II Deluxe "double head" from Tech2000 when the Meade went in for servicing. What a slick altaz mount and a great buy itself. Wonderful for setting up side by side scope comparisons.

Ease of Use:
Modest weight is easy to set in dovetail clamp. Once you get it balanced, just make a pencil mark on the track and it sets up in a jiffy! Because of the relatively light weight, it's easy to move around the yard for better views around the trees. It transports nicely in the soft-sided, cushioned case.

Value:
Worth every penny. Contrast the price with that of a 5 or 6" refractor plus the extra light from the 7".

Other:
Haven't used the fan for cooling. I just take it out several hours before I plan to use it. Also do a lot of early am observing so I just set it up under a waterproof scope cover before I go to bed the evening before. Tube currents haven't been a problem like others have reported. Construction quality is superb and "beefy". Finder scope is a 10x50 Intes in a double ring mount and works great. (I prefer a right angle finder scope with corrected image and just purchased a 9x50 with an interchangeable lens from Stellarvue. Looking forward to trying it out to keep from "standing on my head" looking toward the zenith. Also have ordered another finderscope from Lumican to compare with the Stellarvue.)

Sales/Service
I purchased the scope new from Mike Palermiti at ITE. He is wonderful to deal with, generous with his time and advice, and the post-purchase service just simply couldn't be better!

Qualifications:
This rating is based on three years of experience as an observer. I have two Apo's (3" and 4") and the M703. I really enjoy resolving globular clusters and, of course, the M703 is by far and away the best of the bunch. When the seeing is good or better, planetary views are excellent. I have also had the pleasure of viewing with others using a variety of scopes in this size range. I wouldn't wouldn't swap the M703 for anything I've looked through under 8" (Although I must confess, I covet an MN86 on a G11 - but that's in another life!)

At 64, I am resolved to the idea of having this scope from here on out because of it's weight and ease of use. Despite my "aperture fever", I'm realistic enough to know that unless you have a permanent observatory, you'll have more fun with a scope you can carry and set up easily and quickly. The M703 is a solid 10 in my book!

If you're thinking of purchasing one of these (or an MN) please feel free to contact me, David Hourdequin,
E: davidrh@dnet.net

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.238.95)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=450597


Intes Micro Alter M703 deluxe
For over 20 years, I've observed through many first-rate instruments (AP, TV, Tak, Questar, custom Newts), so I'm particular about optics. I wanted something that came closer to the sweet spot between power and portability, so I bought this scope to have an excellent, well-ventilated, seven-inch optical train that was light and compact. I also needed it to play well with a GM8 mount. Finally, I wanted a great value. I've withheld judgment for two years so that I could give a fair and complete appraisal, but now I'm sure--the Intes is a great scope. On one occasion, I compared the image of Jupiter to a friend's Televue 5" and was pleased to see the image in my scope was at least as good as his. M11 at 72x opened up into a cascade of bright needle points across a wide field, and I've always been impressed by the sharpness across the scope’s field, even at low power. The interior of the tube is well-baffled, especially compared to most other cassegrains, but like any f/10 catadioptric, the Intes can't reach the contrast of the top newts and premium refractors. Light transmission isn't as efficient either, but that's true of all Maksutovs. Still, my scope's resolution is excellent, and the contrast and brightness are good. Collimation is easy and holds reliably. Ventilation brings out the best in this scope (or any sizeable reflector). I turn on the fan 30 minutes before sunset and leave it on. Makes all the difference. Don't buy any large, closed-tube reflector without a fan!! I'm a Losmandy fanatic, so I put the tube on a GM8 mount (I like the GM8 because it's beautifully built and light). The combination works like I'd hoped, but I would not risk the tube on anything less than a GM8. Contrary to past complaints, the scope's finish is excellent, but the finder is a poor piece of Russki pig iron. Looks like war surplus from Afghanistan. Fortunately, the finder is detachable, so take it off and replace it. The focuser is relatively stiff, but acceptable. Despite the qualms, the tube is well-crafted and optically competitive with the most expensive instruments. My eyepiece selection performs superbly with this scope and includes a Tak 50mm, TV 25mm plossl, and a TV 2.5 powermate. Clear skies!

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.113.174)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=590190

Page 1 of 1

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