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New (Old) Scope


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I've been lucky enough to be given a 1990's?? Orion LX200 8" Newtonian by an old friend whos' sight is sadly failing.



The mount is fitted with motor drives and I have two handsets (both vintage compared to my Meade ETX controller)



So hear my pleas for help...

  • There is a polar alignment scope (Which I have no idea how to use).
  • Should I attempt to clean the mirror (I think I know the answer to this one (NO!))
  • How useful is that type of pier stand (I'm thinking about levelling issues at Wymeswold)


More questions to follow probably.

Thanks in advance

Edited by stovesy
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Looks like a nice bit of retro kit.

I can't help you with the polar scope. I only ever use Alt Az.

Cleaning the mirror. Depends how bad it is I suppose but probably leave it alone.

I've not been To wymeswold but looking at your pics it looks like the feet have height adjustment on them, so provided you don't put it on boulders you should be ok.

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The best guy to ask would be PhilJ, he has just restored one of these, and it works a treat.

Send him a pm and ask his advice.


Don't clean the mirror until you are sure what you are doing, you can do more harm than good. You will be amazed at how dirty a mirror can be and still return good views.

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You did really well getting that nice piece of kit.

That pier should be really solid.


Post a picture down the tube so we can see how bad the mirror is. It might be ready for re-aluminizing after all this time, in which case the aluminizer would  do the cleaning and save you a job.

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Well done Peter yours is a bit later than mine and mines a 1996 one. From the length of the tube its an F6 like mine, I am really impressed with the lunar and planetary views these scopes give. You can get the date from the serial number scribbled in pencil on teh side or rear of the mirrors. The last 2 digits give the year and the other digits are the day and month plus the number for that month sometimes I think :)


Its later than mine and its the posh one with vixen style EQ mount and the Skysensor goto, which was very good in its day.


Cleaning the mirror, do it only if its covered in muck and gives a fogged image, if it gives a good image dont bother. If its early 2000 which I suspect it is, the mirror coatings may be a bit milky and this wont come off with washing, the only way to restore performance is to get it realuminised. I got mine done direct at OO for just under 80 notes. I dropped the mirrors off with them in Stoke and thed done it in a week. Good service.


The piers are great on hard surfaces but dont do too well on grass/mud/boggy ground/ quagmire like Belper :D . If the ground is going to be a bit soft take 3 blocks of wood with you and put these under the feet to stop sinkage, works OK with mine. I quite like the pier on mine, same as yours, its simple, light weight and I used my Giro 111 altaz mount on it last night and it was superb, dead stable, no faffing with tube rotation either.


I see it has the OO wonky tube rings, I changed mine as they were awful to use, they werent round and just wouldnt release the tube until too late, so having to spin the tube for repositioning the eyepiece meant loosing balance and goto calibration cos it invariably shifted the mount.


The focuser looks to be a slight step up from the one that was on mine, they are a bit agricultural but work OKish. I changed mine for a SW Crayford and have motorised it. If ever you want to change focuser the new OrO one they fit to their new line of scopes is good but expensive.


Hope that helps, if you need anymore advice just give me a shout.



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Gent's, thanks for the advice.


I'm going to have a few sessions with it, and hopefully get some first-hand assistance.

I've yet to get the motors etc. working but that's en evening with a multi-meter.


Dead right about the tube rings - they have to be frighteningly loose to get the ota to rotate.

The focuser is a bit pants too. Both theses items I think are on the 'to replace' list.


I did manage to get a fab view of Jupiter last night - no polar alignment, just using the manual so-mo controls.


Am looking forward to developing this set-up.


Catch you all soon. 

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Yeh. It actually doesn't seem too bad.

I'm heading down to the imaging workshop at wymeswold so I'll bring it along for an expert eye once over.

Will have a mess with the drives at some point next week. Get them powered up and see how things go.

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