Tarus New Member
- Skill Level
- Time with Product
Sep 12, 2007
- User Notes:
Eclipse Mak 6 OTAPros:
Very good optics and contrast for Moon, Planets and DSOsCons:
Poor focusing mechanics spoil what would be an excellent unit.Comments:
I wanted a 6" compound telescope for planetary work. As I had read good reviews on the Eclipse Mak 6, I decided to buy it from a local Internet dealer at a very completive price.
My first impressions were that the little Mak was a well-built unit that looked and felt solid to the touch. The optics performed well on my first look at terrestrial views with a good sharp image and flat field.
My first stellar views were quite impressive but I noticed some slight coma on bright stars due to mis-alignment. The session was cut short due to clouds. A Cheshire eyepiece was used to re-align the optics for the next session. The next night was more comprehensive as I had better weather but another focusing problem was evident. When I slewed to a new object the focus had drifted out by quite a margin, and this was a problem through the whole session. After talking to tech support about the problem, he informed me that he had never had this type of problem. So after several emails,I had come to the conclusion that the mirror cell was sticking and I got the go ahead to strip the unit down. I found the focusing mechanics where covered in the Chinese equivalent of grease, i.e. black glue and the coiled spring had dislodged itself from it's stop. I cleaned off the glue, re-lubed with lithium grease and reinserted the spring. This made a huge difference to the focuser as now it was silky smooth and there was no focus shift.
Now I could give the Mak a good test and I must say the optics are very good. My only complaint is the narrow field of view which is not great with my 1-1/4” eyepieces. But my 2”-32mm WA works very well with the Mak and shows a nice wide flat field and star images are sharp and clean to the edge. M27 was a lovely sight and seemed brighter than when viewed through my Celestron C8-N, probably because the Mak has superior contrast. The Moon shows good contrast and detail but as it was low in the sky I cannot comment further.
Optically this is a fine scope let down by a poor mechanical focus assembly.
flux New Member
- Skill Level
- Time with Product
Nov 29, 2006
- User Notes:
The Eclipse Mak6Pros:
High contrast and resolution; Lunar/Planetary views and good for DSO; Virtually no image shift.Cons:
Limited by approximately 1.25 degree FOV; I'd prefer better coatings on the meniscus lens.Comments:
I obtained a Mak6 in the UK about a year ago through Ebay after reading a review in a popular astronomy magazine that was quite favourable, rating it highly for optical quality in a telescope that was compact and therefore easy to mount and use in a setting that required it to be easily moved before and after use.
I took delivery of the Mak6 about a week after placing my order and was impressed with the build quality and general feel of it and my initial impression was that it was a competent but unexceptional performer. At this point the inevitable bad weather hit and anything more than very hurried glimpses of the Moon and Planets had to wait for some months.
When the weather eventually improved It became apparent that collimation was slightly off and that slightly de-focused stars had a triangular shape the corners of which seemed to 'flare' outwards as focusing was attempted. This of course was ruinous to the resolution of fine detail with double stars being worst affected. It scraped through on the Moon/Planets as these seemed least affected.Obvious now!
I then contacted the only UK Eclipse dealer at the time to see what could be done. I won't go into any more detail other than to state the obvious, that as important as the quality of a telescope is, the quality of the back-up available should things not be right is equally important. I didn't get any more replies from the dealer when his suggestion that I loosen the retaining screws on the front meniscus lens didn't help. Happily it seems that this situation has improved for Eclipse, in the USA at least.
And my Mak6? I had some choices, the first was that I would very carefully attempt to collimate the telescope myself, getting as much information as possible from the internet (thank you Orion, USA and astro.geekjoy). I eventually became quite good at collimating this telescope but it never seemed to be good enough.
I then came across the Eclipse web-site and Christian le Fleur was very helpful and encouraging, suggesting that I return the telescope to Canada to be evaluated and repaired or replaced. Unfortunately getting it to them was to be at my expense and I had developed a serious illness which left me unable to find the nearly $200 it would have cost.
So, choice #2 was that I would investigate further as it had become obvious that there was a mechanical aspect to this telescopes problems. Collimation could be spot on and a glimpse of what was possible could be had only for a turn of the focuser to ruin it again, and over the course of a few weeks things were getting worse. Attempting to correct for this led to over tightening of the Primary adjustment screws and the triangular out of focus stars etc!
So I had nothing to lose and carefully dis-assembled the telescope and found that a locking collar on the threaded screw that moved the primary mirrors cell up and down was loose and meant that the mirror was fine but the mirror cell was moving around in relation to the Meniscus and eyepiece position. In other words,correct positioning of these optical components was just about impossible.
It's amazing that something so simple should take so long. I secured the locking collar with the tiny set screw that was very loose and immediately everything came together as it should and I have a 6" Maksutov Cassegrain that makes sense, is consistent in what it does and works beautifully. Eclipse finally delivered a very fine telescope and given that it cost me the equivalent of $5oo for the version with 2" accessories and with the education I received along the way I can't complain.Sort by