The Starfinder-FAQ

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Questions & answers regarding OTA and Optics

How well does the scope perform on planets?

The Starfinders are excellent scopes for planet watching! Even the 10" with its fast focal ratio of f/4,5 shows breathtaking details, especially, if the tube is optimized with black velvet on the inner side for more better contrast.
How good ist the qualitiy of the optics?

Quite good! We don't know anything about starfinders with not so good optics.
Is the sonotube stable enough?

It is In deed very stable! And it's thermally inert: dew on the tube is an unknown problem as well as the tube doesn't feel cold when it has temperatures below zero.
How often must the starfinder be collimated?

Once collimated, the OTA will hold collimation even after a few rides by vehicle.
Meade says maximum magnigfications ly between 400x and 600x, according to aperture. How realistic is this?

In my 3 years experience with a 10" Starfinder, I can say, that, for the 10", 456x (which I can achieve with my eyepieces) isn't the upper limit for planetary watching. Also the 6" as it is f/8 should easily reach 300x and above.
How bad is the 2"focuser really?

It works. Not more and not less. Its tolerances are too big, so it doesn't rock back and forth parallel to the optical axis. The best solution: replace it or cope with the situation!

Questions & answers regarding the mount

After moving the RA axis, it takes some time until the scope will be guided with the right velocity.

The mount isn't well balanced. Move the counterwight such that the RA-Motor moves the scope in both directions (east and west) with approximately the same ramp-up, speed and ramp-down.
Is the mount equipped with a pole finder?

No, the design of the mount doesn't allow the usage of a pole finder.
Removing the housing of the RA drive, I can see that the motor is running unsteady and jumpy. Is this OK?

The tracking motor is a controlled DC drive; the encoder wheel on the motor axis is responsible for sampling the current speed which is compared to the setpoint (sideral speed) by the internal electronics. This encoder should run with constant speed. If it runs unsteadily or jumpy, maybe, the worm is tightened too strong. Loosen it a bit by the screw You can find axial to the worm and looking at the opposite side of the motor. Attention: half a revolution of this screw may already be more than enough!