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 Post subject: Meade ETX-90 (90mm Maksutov)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 1255
Location: Bolton
I bought a share in one of these along with three of my colleagues at work back in 2001: they were quite expensive at the time!

It's a very compact package, with a small optical tube in an integral fork-mount, and so can easily be carried around in a small bag or back-pack (I had it in my hand-luggage when I flew back from California!). The Autostar hand-controller gives it Go-To capabilites, although we did find the early firmware was a little tricky to use at first. We also bought the electric focus-motor, which can be useful for planetary imaging, but is not essential for general use.

The optical tube has a built-in flip-mirror, which is great in theory: an eyepiece and camera can both be attached at the same time, and once the target is centered in the eyepiece, the camera can be switched in. But in practice, the design of the fork-mount means that the camera will soon foul the mount if you try to point it anywhere near the "polar" axis, so it's often necessary to fit the camera to the eyepiece port anyway.

The 90mm f/13 optics are not much use for wide-field objects, but are great for planetary observing/imaging, especially with a Barlow lens for extra magnification. My very first observation with this 'scope was of Jupiter and Saturn (through a motel window in California!) and the "wow-factor" was considerable.
A stable (non-"whackery") mount is essential when operating at high magnification, so we adapted a lightweight surveyor's tripod:
http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Hand+Tools/Lasers/Professional+Tripod+Aluminium/d10/sd2811/p27705
to support ours.


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