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New Focal Reducer for ACF telescopes


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#1 MistrBadgr

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

I have mentioned this in the LS section, but thought I would do so in General Discussion as its own topic because it works for LX-90, LX-200 and LX-800 ACF scopes as well as my LS-8. 

Just browsing through items on an on-line store, I saw where Meade now has a 0.5X focal reducer for sale that is custom designed for the ACF telescopes. It is listed as being associated with the LX-800 series.

It is not devoid of any coma correction.  It has the right amount to flatten the field "way out there" to work with the corrections built into the ACF for normal viewing.

If I read things correctly, it is built for visual viewing and is not limited to imaging.

I plan on getting one for my LS-8 in order to allow me to get wider items in the field of view.  I just need to save my pennies for a little while.  The price is $399.

If anyone gets one before I do, I would be interested in hearing how well it works for them.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:56 PM

I may have an "OOPS" here.  I finally started finding more information at other stores, where I could not originally find the new focal reducer.

I had originally found the reducer on Optics Planet, which called it an f/5 reducer, which I guess it is, but not the 0.5X I had assumed.

On Astronomics, I finally found the item with a little different description.  It says it is for the f/8 LX800 ACF scopes only.

I am not sure why it could not be used on any of the other ACF scopes unless there is something about the fittings on the LX800 scopes that is different.

Going from f/8 to f/5 makes this a 0.625X reducer and not a 0.5.  Hopefully, more details will come out soon.

Astronomics is taking orders, but states a date of 03/31/2012 for recieving them.

Optics Planet and Telescopes.com are listing the item for purchase.  (may be the same situation as Astronomics)

I am sure all of the stores will have them fairly soon, assuming there isn't a glitch in the process.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:27 PM

I recieved some information on the LX-800 focal reducer.

The LX-800 OTAs are built differently than the other Meade SC scopes.  They are baffled differently and are different optically.

The new focal reducer will work and fit onto the LX-800 ACF scopes ONLY.

I did find a way to get a little more than a 2 degree TFOV with my LS-8 ACF.  I remembered I had a Hirsch f/6.3 focal reducer that I picked up somewhere just to play around with.  I put it on the scope, then screwed on a broad band light pollution filter built for an SC that I recently purchased from the Factory Outlet.  I used a two inch diagonal next, then an inexpensive 32mm 70 degree eyepiece.  I got in all of the Pleiades with room around them when I inched the eyepiece outward in the diagonal.  I had a little astigmatism I suspect from pulling the eyepiece out of proper alignment.

The extra correction in the standard focal reducer apparently came in handy with the extra field of view.  I could not see hardly any swelling in stars near the edge.  I am not a good judge of tack sharp anything anymore due to developing cataracts.  Stars have points on them without a telescope.

I was a bit surprised that I did have enough focusing room to bring this contraption into focus, but it did do it.

What I put together will work well for having some fun with faint fuzzies but not for demanding activities.  I am going to look around for about a 1 1/2 inch spacer to thread on after the focal reducer and before the diagonal.

I did have a bit of a problem with a black spot trying to show up in the middle of the image due to the whole image being too large to go through the pupil of my eye.  In darker circumstances than the location I had to use, things would probably be better.  For most wide field observing, the amount of fuzzy dark in the middle of the image was not enough to spoil the fun....just enough to let me know that it was there.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#4 AtTheEyepiece

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:41 PM

I use a C 6.3 reducer on my LS8 ACF, and seems to work fine.

John




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