Apogee Right-Angle Finder Conversion Kit

OK, everyone hates the stock ETX finder. Meade isn't going to change it on the 90mm ETX scopes, so what's the alternative? The Daisy red-dot and Rigel QuickFinder sights are an enormous help, but somethimes you just need a low-powered finder. If you're looking for something near the zenith, you'll end up with a crick in your neck, and if you're looking for something near the celestial pole, you're SOL (straight out of luck) with the standard finder.

There are a few outfits that sell right-angle conversion kits for the stock Meade finder; I chose the Apogee because I was able to find it on sale at the Pocono Mountain Optics website for $39.50, considerably less than elsewhere.

The kit provides a new tube and diagonal; you remove the objective and eyepiece from the original finder and screw them onto the new tube. It's very easy, with no threading problems noticed.

The new finder now has an image that is reversed from left to right, the same as in the ETX itself. This seems like a small point, but if I was searching for a faint object by slewing my scope with the MicroStarII+, I'd always have to remember the views were different. I'd invariable slew to the wrong side, meaning I had to change direction and wait for the gear backlash to be taken up. That's no longer a problem.

What is a problem is that the new finder eyepiece is now higher up and pointing towards the observer. This makes it harder to use with a low eyepiece like Meade's 9.7mm. I've had to clean more than one noseprint off the new finder eyepiece! Still, with the QuickFinder and the right-angle finder, I have no more beefs about trying to find things with the ETX.

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