Thursday, May 04, 2017

Takahashi Mewlon 210 Maintenance

I've been looking for a Takahashi Mewlon 210 Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain since about 2010, but the new prices are pretty high and I didn't want to pay list price. I was able to find a used one (I am probably the third or fourth owner) on SingAstro for a pretty fair price. The downside was that it had some dings on the paint.

I had some enamel repair paint and some Canon touch-up paint for old grey L lenses (not a perfect color match for Takahashi hardware) but they suffice for now.

After a thorough cleaning (lots of black marks on the Takahashi hardware came off with the use of a rubber pencil eraser) I found several areas where there was paint loss. On the gloss-white tube, I used the enamel repair paint.

Before and after:

A large area of paint loss on the front of the tube:

A smaller area where the paint flaked off, also on the front of the tube:

 A ding on the finder bracket, and after patching with the Canon paint:

The Mewlon also came with a Vixen dovetail, but I wanted to mount it on my Mach1 mount and did not want to buy tube rings (which cost more, and add unwanted weight). I had a short Losmandy dovetail from FarPoint Astro, but it didn't have the holes in the right spots.

So I bolted the stock Vixen dovetail to the FarPoint dovetail and centered it so that I could use the Vixen dovetail as a drilling guide.

And after drilling. The second hole was not very well done; but it's not visible when clamped on the Losmandy saddle; and is definitely not visible at night!

Also, I found that the cheap reticle illuminator from a Seben reticle eyepiece actually fits in the reticle socket of the 50mm finder (not very well, however):

I did feel some grittiness when screwing in the illuminator plug afterwards; I think some metal came off the cheap Seben illuminator due to the not-quite-correct threading. So I probably have to buy the real Takahashi illuminator.

After maintenance, attaching the Losmandy dovetail, and mounting on the Mach1:

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