Konus Motormax Equipment Review Konus Motormax 90 Telescope Reviewed by Robert Reite Specifications Type: Maksutov-Cassegrain Aperture: 90 mm (3.6') Focal length: 1200 mm f/13 Finder: 8x21mm Suppled Eyepieces: 17 and 10 mm Plossl Supplied Accessories: tripod, German equitoral mount, moon filter, terrestrial prism, assembly and operation manuals, star chart. Comments and Observations After viewing the night sky for many years with just the naked eye, a beat up pair of 7X35 binoculars, and views through a 200 mm telephoto lens on a reflex camera, I decided it was time to buy a 'real' telescope. The problem is, my budget was $300, and many people think that you have to invest at least $500 to get an optically satisfactory instrument. My interest lies in planetary observation, so I don't need a light bucket, but a scope with good contrast.
Portability is also a consideration for me as I live in a 'notch', meaning that if I want to view anything close to the horizon, I need to trek to a mountain top. So rather than go with a Newt or a Dob, I narrowed my selection to Catadioptrics. After considerable net surfing, I came across an online vendor that deals only in optical equipment.
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Among their offerings was the Konus line of Italian telescopes. After receiving the instrument I found out it was a relabled Synta telescope from China. The first task was assembly. The manuals are printed in eight different languages, oddly Chinese is not among them. The broken English translation reminded me of early Korean electronic equipment manuals. Fortunately, the diagrams are clear enough and with the photos on the outside of the box I was able to assemble everything in about an hour. After assembly, the next task was to align the finder scope.
This requires a bit of patience and a fixed object at least 500 meters away. A transmission line tower in the distance worked well for this. The first quality control problem surfaced, one of the three screws for holding the finder scope was cross threaded. I backed out the screw and rethreaded it so that it was more or less perpendicular and I was able to match up the finder with the main optics. I then switched to the terrestrial viewing port at the rear of the scope and found the second problem, the 17 mm Plossl would not fit properly into the 45 prism.
It fit fine into the opening for astronomical viewing. Removing a burr from the prism housing made things better. The third problem noted is that the image shifts position as the focus knob is adjusted. It seems to be related to the angular position of the knob. If the knob is turned 360 degrees, the image (now out of focus) is centered once again. Download Devil May Cry 4 Compressed there. With the 10 mm eyepiece, the shift is severe enough to place the image to the extreme edge of the field of view. Icon Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition Torrent. On the good side, there is no perceptible backlash in the focus mechanism, even when operating at 240X with the 10 mm Plossl and a 2X Barlow.
Naturally, the clear weather we had been enjoying for awhile turned to clouds and rain the day the telescope arrived. I had to settle for optical tests using an artificial star that I made from a surface mount LED, a 1000 ohm resistor and a 9 volt battery. To my pleasure, the scope was found to be in perfect collimation, even after the long journey from China. Actually, there are no user provisions for adjusting the collimation on this scope, the manual states that if it goes out due to rough handling the scope must be sent back to a service shop for repair. The tripod and equatorial mount are marginal at best. The vibration is such that it takes 10 seconds for the image to steady itself at high power after touching anything.
I quickly learned how to focus a quivering image, at least the vibration is all in one plane, which makes it fairly easy. Only the RA has a worm drive, the declination uses a cheaper slide for the fine adjust, so you must center the fine adjust and get it in the ballpark with the coarse adjustment. Invariably, you will find that you will have to tinker with the coarse adjustment. The 'flexible' adjustment shafts are really too stiff to provide good vibration isolation, they require a gentle touch to keep things from shaking. The scope comes with a motor drive powered by two 9 volt 'transistor radio' batteries in parallel. There is a variable speed adjustment and a polarity switch so that the drive can be used in either the northern or southern hemisphere.
The motor drive is useless for about 25% of the sky, as the counterpoise strikes the motor housing when the scope is in certain positions. To view that 25% of the sky, the motor has to be removed. It might be possible to remedy the problem by using a smaller counterpoise. The Maksutov scope is so light that the counterpoise has to be set close to the mount to achieve correct balance. Another problem with the motor drive is that the mechanical alignment of the motor is poor. It has a flex coupling and all of the 'flex' is used up due to the poor alignment. I can probably bend the bracket for a better fit, but one shouldn't have to do that.
I finally got a break in the clouds around 4 AM one morning and Mars was hanging bright in the sky. I brought the scope outside, using the protective wrapping paper for the scope body as a dew shield. The 17 mm eyepiece resolved Mars as a disk, and the 10 mm had enough magnification that I could make out the polar ice cap and some large surface detail. I was so engrossed with this view that Mars set behind the tree line before I thought to add the 2X Barlow.
I should add that there was no noticeable chromatic aberration in useful parts of the field of view. Bottom line The Motormax 90 Maksutov scope itself is a good value for the money, but the mount and motor drive are fair to poor. If I keep this scope, I'll upgrade the mount and drive as soon as I save some more money. This review is a work in progress.
If I keep the scope, I'll report more when I get some good observing opportunities. I'm looking forward to October and later when Saturn and Jupiter will be in a better position.
The Italian company Konus has been delivering product since 1979 for both hobbyist and professional users. The products are of high quality and have a very complete finish.
Additionally Konus offers excellent service. Konus has a wide range of products that will surely complement your own assortment.
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