Review - Meade Smartphone Adapter
Posted: 2 October 2018
Meade sent me their Smartphone Adapter. I used it with my Apple iPhone 8 Plus.
Instructions for use are included with the Adapter. Note that there is a misprint in the otherwise clear instructions. The instructions say to use the included 20mm eyepiece, but there is no eyepiece supplied with the Adapter. You have to supply your own eyepiece(s). The instructions do state what eyepiece dimensions are usable with the Adapter: 1.3" diameter, 0.5" vertical gripping area. Unlike all of the other smartphone adapters I have used over many years that have an adjustable clamp to grip the eyepiece tube, some supporting both 1.25" eyepieces and 2" eyepieces, the Meade Adapter has a fixed circular hole that holds a 1.25" eyepiece using three nylon screws. The Adapter comes with three extra eyepiece holder screws, which is nice.
The Meade Adapter has adjustments for phone size and camera placement. The maximum phone size supported is 3.25" width and 0.5" thickness. There is a vertical adjustment to maximize the field-of-view that is viewable with eyepieces of different eye relief.
I tested the Adapter using a Meade 1.25" 26mm eyepiece (left) and a Meade 1.25" 9mm eyepiece (right):
Unlike with clamp-style adapters, it is necessary to remove the eyepiece rubber eyecup in order to insert the eyepiece into the Adapter hole. The clamp-style adapters can sometimes "wobble" a little bit, even when fully tightened. The Meade Adapter is firmly attached to the eyepiece using the three screws, resulting in no wobble. When swapping eyepieces I only had to loosen one of the three screws to remove/insert the eyepieces. Depending on the diameter of your eyepieces, all three screws may have to be loosened in order to have the eyepiece centered in the Adapter hole. You can use a Barlow Lens or other accessory to increase magnification.
When swapping non-parfocal eyepieces, it will be necessary to refocus using your eye. That means you need to remove the phone from the adapter or rotate the phone camera away from the eyepiece. Doing either requires loosening a bolt on the Adapter. Use caution however as the same bolt that allows the rotation also loosens the phone grips, which could let the phone slip out.
Smartphone astrophotography using the Meade Smartphone Adapter: 12" LX600.
Smartphone astrophotography using the Meade Smartphone Adapter: ETX-125 Observer Telescope.
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