This 1.25” Plössl design has a built-in cordless illuminator for use with any make or model telescope and/or off-axis guider. The cordless illuminator has an on/off switch with an integral brightness level control. It uses two 1.5 volt LR-44 button-type alkaline camera batteries or their equivalent (MR-44, SR-44, 357, etc.) Batteries are included with the eyepiece, but are not guaranteed to be charged when received, as the batteries are supplied by an outside vendor and are not covered by the Meade factory warranty. It may be necessary to purchase batteries prior to use.
The eyepiece has a dual crosshair reticle with a pair of concentric bull’s-eye circles centered on the crosshairs. (Click on the image below to see the actual crosshair pattern.) There are two micro-adjustment controls in the side of the eyepiece. Turning these moves the crosshairs and their circular field stop up/down and right/left within the larger off-axis guider or photoguide telescope’s field. This allows you to more easily center the crosshairs on a guide star without having to move the telescope and disturb the photographic composition. The movable reticle does not have central detents or index marks, so returning the crosshairs precisely to the center of the field can only be done by guesswork and is usually not very accurate. If precise centering of the crosshairs in the field is important (for centering stars using the high precision pointing sub-routine in the Meade LX200 scopes, for example), you might want to consider going to a fixed crosshair eyepiece instead of this movable crosshair version. The top of the eyepiece rotates to focus the crosshairs sharply to match your eyesight.
For guiding tolerance purposes with your particular scope, you can calculate the area of sky subtended by the small central box formed by the dual crosshairs by aiming at a star near the celestial equator. Turn off the scope drive and count how many seconds it takes for the star to drift from one side of the box to the other. One second of time equals 15 arc seconds of sky.
The 9mm focal length of this eyepiece provides reasonable guiding magnifications with both f/10 and f/6.3 focal ratio telescopes.
The eyepiece has a soft turndown rubber eyecup for eyeglass use, but a very limited 3mm eye relief. This short eye relief will vignette a substantial portion of the field for those who wear glasses while observing. It is not a debilitating drawback, as the central crosshair box usually remains visible even with glasses and the crosshair focusing mechanism has enough range to allow most observers to remove their glasses and still focus sharply on the crosshairs.
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