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A Brand New Infinity 60, 60mm by 800mm FL AZ Refractor


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#1 MistrBadgr

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 09:21 PM

I decided a few weeks ago to pick up one of the current offerings that Meade has in introductory scopes, the Infinity 60.  I did a search on eBay and found one that was being sold by one of the vendors as "refurbished."  There really is not a setup for refurbishing these scopes, considering they are one of the most inexpensive scopes one can buy.  I inquired to see of there was anything going on with the Infinity 60 that would cause a defect that someone could fix and then put back out for sale.  The reply that I got back was that there were no issues with the Infinity 60.  Therefore, I made the purchase on eBay for the "refurbished" scope for $53, delivered to my house.

 

When the scope arrived, what I found was that, somehow, a hole had been punched in the box, all the way through into the area where the optical tube was.  There was plenty of space inside and the scope was undamaged.  The refurbishment seemed to be someone putting a piece of thick shipping tape over the hole in the box.

 

It was a week or so until I could get to actually taking the scope out of the box and putting it together.  It took, at most, five minutes to open up the tripod, install the little triangular pan that you put lenses on, install the optical tube in the fork mount, get the eyepieces and 2X Barlow out, etc.  I did not need to use any kind of tools, just my fingers, to put it together.

 

I had just a few minutes outside with it, before clouds moved in completely, but I did manage to take a look at the Moon.  I found the scope to be sharp as a tack.  The diagonal that comes with it is what is known as an Amici, which is has a correct image prism in it, so the image is not only right side up, but left and right are correct, rather than being reversed.  The two eyepieces are 26 and 9mm MA (three element achromatic eyepieces), which is better than the standard Huygens (two element eyepieces) that normally come with a scope like this.  It has the same red dot finder that other Meade entry level scopes have.  Inside the box is a disk with the AutoStar program that can show a star map on a computer.  I have not looked at exactly what comes on this disk yet, but I will at least look at its files, in case there is anything else of interest.

 

Giving the Moon a quick look before the clouds rolled in, the 26mm view was nice and crisp with good contrast.  The 9mm view was also nice and will be good for someone actually studying the moon.  Putting in the Barlow with the 9mm eyepiece, gives the equivalent of a 4.5mm eyepiece.  This last combination gives a view that is at the very ragged edge of what the scope can do with the Moon, or may actually be going a bit far.  However, I think all the information that can be gleaned from any particular crater can be gained with this combination.  Some contrast is lost and the image is big enough that you can see the end of the resolution capabilities of the scope.  I do not think the magnification was so great that any actual detail was lost.

 

I will do more with this scope "as-is," right out of the box and will report back as replies to this post.  Right now, I am very pleased and impressed with the product and think it is well worth the money in comparison to what I have experienced from other 60mm refractors that I have purchased.  In fact, though I will need to check it out more to verify this, this is probably the best little refractor I have purchased, straight out of the box.

 

Bill Steen


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

#2 E Sully

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 11:34 AM

I hope you enjoy it Bill.  Reminds me of my first scope, a 1973 Sears 60mm refractor.  It was a great scope for me to start viewing the sky.



#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 12:52 PM

Thanks, Ed!  It is shaping up to be a really nice little scope.  I hope to do a number of things with it and report back to the forum.  I think there needs to be a strong support system for a youngster (or anyone else for that mater) going out with a scope beyond just looking at the Moon and planets.

 

At some point, I want to do a project of some sort similar to the AL Double Star List with this scope and write it up giving some clear instructions on how to find the objects as well as background information.  However, before that, I plan on doing a set of pictures through the eyepiece and probably of the Orion Nebula.  I want to do ones with MH, MA, and at least Plossl eyepieces in the full range of them that I have available.  I want to show the differences between the different kinds and focal lengths.  I ordered and received a bracket that attaches to the eyepiece itself and will hold my little pocket digital camera.  The camera has a ten second delay function that I hope I can use to cut out wiggle from pushing the button.

 

Bill


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

#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 08:25 PM

I have done some more with the scope and thought I better write it down.

 

In the past, I did not like the little fork mounts with the little stabilizing bar that you can use to make fine vertical adjustments.  Looking at this new one, the old ones had metal on metal where the fork actually touched the fitting on the optical tube.  The amount of drag that held the scope in place was either too much or not enough.  It made using the stabilizing bar necessary and fiddling with that would just drive me crazy.  With this new scope, plastic is involved in the fittings on the scope.  The combination seems to be much better.  I found that I could fine tune the amount of pressure on the contacts with the thumb screws and get it just right.  If I loosen the screws, the scope is lens heavy.  But, with proper adjustment on the thumb screws, It is held just fine.  The additional weight of an eyepiece, even a fairly heavy one, does not seem to bother the scope at all.  I have found that the only time I actually needed the little stabilizing bar was when I attached a bracket to a 32mm 4000 Plossl and mounted my little pocket camera to the eyepiece.

 

The focuser is plastic, but seems to be working well.  It looked to me that the draw tube was sticking out too far and that there might not be enough of it inside, on the other side of the bottom gear to keep the tube from sagging.  However, when I took the focuser off, there was still another half inch of draw tube left sticking inside the focuser body.  So there is enough room.

 

Doing an initial star test, the optics seemed to be a bit out of collimation, but not much.  I decided to try out my 4000 series Plossles with the scope.  With the 32mm, I was getting some vignetting, centered on about the 2 o'clock position.  The general shape of the field was about like the moon, two days after full.  Checking out the focuser, and the cut on the end of the metal tube, things looked to be as they should.  The only internal thing I do not like is they use only one support strip above the draw tube and use the lower gear in the rack to hold things in place.  It seems to work, but I don't particularly like it.  Fortunately, this is on an AZ mount and does not have to turn side ways, like on an equatorial.  The problem ended up being with the little black plastic eyepiece holder on the end of the draw tube.  The ID of the hole in this piece is a little bigger than I think it should be on the threads on the draw tube.  There is some slop there, allowing that piece to move some.  I carefully positioned some teflon tape on the draw tube threads to get as close to two rounds as I could without any overlapping to start a third layer.  Threading the eyepiece holder back on, then experimenting with the 32mm eyepiece, I found that tightening up the holder such that its two retaining screws for holding the diagonal were straddling straight down was the perfect position.  The vignette situation is completely remedied.   I have not put a collimator on the scope, but judging by the pin point stars that night, the scope is really close to perfect if not dead on.

 

As far as star tests go, the images of Sirius, inside and outside of focus were exactly the same.  It looks as if they hit the spherical aberration target exactly and the objective is dead on.  I now have seven scopes made by Sunny that are all well within an eighth of a wave error for spherical aberration and may very well be inside a twentieth.  Whatever the error is, they are all well within what I can detect, using images in Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes, by Bruce Suiter, as my guide.

 

The tripod is very light, but surprisingly sturdy.  Compared to the ones I have had in the past, the three leg braces do not just attach to the triangular pan, but go all the way to the middle and attach to each other with a small central piece.  The pan has three screws, one through about the middle of each leg.  It all make a fairly solid rig if the legs are splayed out, putting tension on the attachment fittings.  There is a little high frequency wiggle when making an adjustment, but it goes away fairly quickly.  I will most likely make a fairly heavy eyepiece caddy to fit inside the pan to give some weight in the middle, then use some vibration blocks I made, using pieces of wood and layers of computer mouse pad under each leg.  It should work out well.

 

Looking at the Orion Nebula and the trapezium, I have never been able to see the fourth star in the Trapezium from my back yard with a 60mm refractor.  I can see it winking in and out, but mostly being in, with this scope....and that was with the 32mm eyepiece.  I did not even have to go up in power to see it.  With the 32mm Plossl and the scope's 800mm focal length, the power was 25X.  With the 50 degree field of view in the eyepiece, the true field of view is two degrees.  I could pretty much see the whole of Orion's Sword.

 

I have looked at a few double stars, but have not had time to search out any real challenge objects.  Clouds have been moving in each of the three times I have had the scope out.  I do not think there will be any problems getting the splits on stars a good 60mm refractor is supposed to be able to get.

 

I am not going to try and kid anyone and say this will match something like a Zeiss Telementor or any similar premium scope on a nice heavy mount.  But the optics are good and this little scope is a very good value for the entry level price a person pays for it. Every part of the scope, eyepieces (though the bodies and barrels are plastic), the amici diagonal, etc. work like they should in a very functional way.  If anyone has a desire to pick up a little, inexpensive 60mm refractor to play around with and just have a some fun, this one is a good way to go.

 

Bill Steen


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

#5 Philip Pugh

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 01:56 PM

Thanks, Ed!  It is shaping up to be a really nice little scope.  I hope to do a number of things with it and report back to the forum.  I think there needs to be a strong support system for a youngster (or anyone else for that mater) going out with a scope beyond just looking at the Moon and planets.

 

At some point, I want to do a project of some sort similar to the AL Double Star List with this scope and write it up giving some clear instructions on how to find the objects as well as background information.  However, before that, I plan on doing a set of pictures through the eyepiece and probably of the Orion Nebula.  I want to do ones with MH, MA, and at least Plossl eyepieces in the full range of them that I have available.  I want to show the differences between the different kinds and focal lengths.  I ordered and received a bracket that attaches to the eyepiece itself and will hold my little pocket digital camera.  The camera has a ten second delay function that I hope I can use to cut out wiggle from pushing the button.

 

Bill

I hope that this is not merely seen as "plugging" but I am finishing the sort of book that will help a beginner with their first 'scope. I think there's a lot of beginner books that discuss thins like the Big Bang, without telling you how to focus on an object. I hope my book hits the target!



#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 05:52 PM

Hi Phillip!

What is the title of your new book?

Is it on the book shelves now?

 

Thanks,

Bill


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

#7 Philip Pugh

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 03:44 PM

It is called "Being an Astronomer". I am currently on the 3rd pass of checking but will need at least another one.

 

I have stalled a bit as I am now writing for Best Binocular Review: https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/



#8 MistrBadgr

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 05:35 PM

Phillip,

 

I understand all the passes on a book.  My wife is in the final stages of a book.  They are doing the final touches before it goes to print.  It seems like it will never end.

Let me know when this new book is out and I will buy one.

 

Bill


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