When I woke up this morning I didn’t expect to buy another! I just can’t seem to help it. It’s an addiction!
We finally got our stimulus check…note to self…use automatic deposit next year. So I had intended to buy a small apochromatic refractor with some of the money. You know, make sure we spread it around a bit and not spend it all in one place. That idea sounded good until I took a look at some bills and my wife decided to use most of it for the kitchen remodel. So only had 300 dollars left and that would not get what I had in mind. So I noticed while perusing astromart that a guy was selling a fully functional Meade LXD-75 mount and after some negotiations it is on the way to my house.
So why another mount? I’m glad you asked me that question! I currently have 7 achromatic refractors, two 60 mm, a F8.8 and an F12, 70 mm F10, 80mm F/11, 90mm F8.8, 102mm F6.5 and the 150mm F/8. I have 4 Alt/Az mounts for the smaller telescopes, an Alt/AZ for the 80mm, the AR102 is mounted on the Orion Sirius mount and the 6″ resides in it’s blue carry bag on the shelf only to be taken out for planets once in a while.
I would like to do some testing and imaging with each of these scopes. One of the projects is taking spectra of stars to show the Chromatic Aberration of each telescope. Actually being able to measure the CA would be interesting.
I am almost finished with “Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope by Neil English. In that marvelous book it gives a delightful history of the different types of refractors. It is hard for today’s amateur observer to realize that a cheapo Meade or Celestron (read trash scope to many) is as good or better than the most expensive telescopes of yesteryear. In fact a 90mm F/11 would have been considered to be a large quality telescope to people of the 1800’s. We are really spoiled!
So this new mount is to use for the refractors. Primarily visual but you can pulse guide with this mount. Astrobin has a lot of high quality images taken with an LXD-75 so it is suitable for these smaller refractors. Before I bought the Celestron ASGT in 2010 I almost bought the LXD-75. The lack of an ST-4 port to autoguide the internal chip of the ST-7E was the deciding factor on purchasing the ASGT. So I believe The LXD-75 will work even for the 6″.
Many people thought the LXD-75 was too light to image with the 6″ scopes when they first came out. Virtually every review trumpeted that “fact.” However, I did quality imaging with the ASGT mount and the 6″ scope along with the ST-7E. The LXD-75 had just as good of reviews as the Meade mount except for the missing ST-4 port. So I know it will work for the kind of imaging I have in mind.
Ok so what happened today? Well, I bought another telescope! Big surprise. I saw a lady in Kansas City had a Meade DS-90 advertised for sale for 100 dollars. I offered her 75 and she took it. I used to have a DS-2090 that featured a 90mm F8.8 telescope but gave it to a kid when I got the Celestron 6″.
However, I was not really interested in the mount as much as the scope. It is a 90mm F/11 telescope. If the optics are just ok, it should give very good views. The color should be much better than my other telescopes, except the 60 mm F12, and I am looking forward to getting to play with it. Of course it is raining tonight and all day tomorrow. In fact it has been raining on and off since May 10 and it is still raining on May 16.
The 2 eyepieces that come with this telescope are not bad just not real good. A 25mm Modified Achromat and a 9mm Huygens. They work but I would not call them good. Still great discoveries were made with much worse eyepieces than this! I have 2 new eyepiece adpators on the way from a guy in Ariaona so that my Meade 90 F/8.8 and the new Meade will both accept 2″ eyepieces and diagonals. A quality dielectric diagonal and good eyepieces really help the performance.
The couple I bought it from indicated that they had never figured out how to even put it together. Most of the parts were still in the original unopened bags. They won it in a contest then couldn’t figure out what to do with it. The only issue that I have found so far is 2 of the 3 tripod legs won’t stay extended without some kind of help. I remember having this issue with my old DS 90. Finally took off the crappy levers and just added small c-clamps, that worked better anyway.
After reading the book on refractors I am really pumped about achromats! They are relatively cheap and a lot of fun. With the premium refractor bias of many observers today the achromat is a great deal!
So now that we have pretty much spent all of our stimulus money I won’t be buying anything else real soon, err, unless you know someone that has a real cheap Meade LXD-750 mount…