I wanted to purchase a 1.25” to 2” eyepiece adapter. I was going to purchase Meade version but then noticed a similar one by Orion Telescopes. They also had a more expensive version that was better centered called the Precision Centering Adapter. I decided to order that one.
I also decided to get a collimator. Again, I was thinking of going with the Meade model especially since it has an adapter too. But, again I went with a Orion version called LaserMate Deluxe II Telescope Laser Collimator.
Finally, I decided to get a case to hold all these accessories. The carrying case for the ETX had spots for many things but figured another one would be nice to have. I went with a Orion Large Deluxe Accessory Case.
In the future, I will get a light shroud and a cover to leave the telescope out at night to cool down.
I also wanted some option to store the telescope. Due to its size, I figured a case would be too expensive assuming anyone even made one. But, then I found forum post that mentioned using a Dewalt tool case. I got one of those and will now be able to store it safely and without worry about dust.
The eyepiece adapter arrived so decided to try again to see Saturn. The adapter worked fine and Saturn was bigger but still a little disappointing. I figured I should work on collimating next. But, the moon was out so looked at that. Wow, that was very cool to see it up close. I decided to try taking some photos using the iPhone through the eyepiece. Definitely need to do some more research but some images did come out. I posted them on the wiki under observing sessions.
Since I own the Meade ETX-90EC, I was thinking my next telescope would be Dobsonian. This was mainly because of the cheap price for the large mirror. I decided to get the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Plus. I figured 8” was a good step up and liked the accessories this model had. So, it was on my purchase list but something else always came up in the budget.
But, I was also monitoring Craigslist for any used telescopes. Most were cheap models or really expensive ones. I figured if I was going to spend a few thousand dollars, I might as well purchase new. But, a used Meade LightBridge 10” went up for sale. The owner said it was used once and wanted $400. I confirmed the new price was $700. I was a little concerned if there might be something wrong with the mirror since used and not sure how to check it out. But, figured worse the risk. I meet the seller and everything looked okay through it was still in parts from his last move. I purchased it.
I got it home and that weekend, unpacked it and reviewed the manual from Meade’s website. The assemble wasn’t bad and the initial assemble of the device was already done. In addition to the included accessories, there was a zoom eyepiece and an extension. There was a moon filter too. But, the 1.25” to 2” eyepiece adapter was missing along with a cover for the eyepiece holder. But, in general it all looked fine for a used device.
I did have some issues getting the red dot viewfinder to align. I had a hard time figuring out how it was supposed to work. Finally, it starting moving.
I saw some articles about Saturn being at opposition so figured this would be a good time to take the LightBridge out and try it out. Friday night was still cloudy but the weather forecast called for a much warmer weekend. Saturday night looked great. I put the telescope in the garage and waited until 10:00 PM and the kid’s bedtime. The red dot viewfinder worked great. I assumed I needed the eyepiece extension but never could focus with it. So, took it out and there was Saturn.
But, I was a little disappointed. I wasn’t expecting Hubble images. I could see the rings but didn’t seem much better than the ETX. Also, Mars was nearby and we I looked at that, it was just a bigger white dot. I let the kids see and they enjoyed it but not what I was hoping for with a 10” mirror.
After thinking about it, I realized I was only able to use the included 26mm wide angle eyepiece. Without the adapter, I could try the eyepieces I had to for the ETX. Then also realized I hadn’t align it.
So, it was interesting but just brought up a bunch more questions.