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A Mystery Scope!

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#1 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:09 PM

I picked this one up locally this morning. It is an 8" f/8 with fiberglass tube, a nice mount and a Cave stand. It had a label on the mount, but it's gone now and I'm not sure what it is but it is definitely interesting!

Edit: I changed the photo to show the complete telescope

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#2 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:11 PM

The mirror has been stored inside and has its own box with mounts inside it to keep it safe.

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#3 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:13 PM

The mirror itself has no side markings, but the surface is sweet with no scratches and very good condition.

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#4 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:14 PM

The back of the mirror has "Clark" written in pencil as well as focal length info and a sticker from Morvac Optical Coating of Signal Hill, California.

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#5 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:17 PM

The cell is a 9-point suspension work of art. The mirror is secured by a cork-lined ring with set screws and then a ring (not shown) screws on top of the mirror to secure it in place. There is no indication of who made it.

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#6 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:19 PM

The OTA is interesting, there is no viewfinder nor any holes to indicate one was every installed! The focuser is a huge 1.25" with motor controlled focus.

The end rings have three ears to attach the tube covers and the mirror and its cell with nice knobs. The second ring from the top secures the spider and secondary.

The tube is made out of fiberglass.

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#7 actionhac

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:22 PM

Looks like the label just went missing. Go over the site with a magnifier? trunk of you car? freeway?

Look at the taper on that mirror and the beautiful edge.

Robert

#8 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:23 PM

The tube has rotating rings, which seem a little nicer than the Cave design. It looks like there are teflon blocks instead of 3/8" rods between the inner and outer rings. There are 6 spacer bars as well.

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#9 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:24 PM

It's something else! More pics coming :)

#10 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:27 PM

The stand itself is definitely Cave, with some heavy duty 5/8" levelers where the caster wheels would go. Unfortunately, 2 of the knobs are missing.

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#11 Mike Conley

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:31 PM

Wow, that looks great. Can't help you with identification but Congrats on the find.

Mike

#12 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:31 PM

A polar alignment scope is mounted to the RA housing. It is a 50mm objective with an Astrola 26mm Kellner that has an illuminated reticule.

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#13 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:34 PM

A pair of Hurst motors drive the slow motion control on both axis. Pack rats got to the wiring and cut some so I will need to figure out what goes where.

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#14 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:38 PM

The circles have illuminated magnifiers and you can also see some status lights as well as an electrical junction board. Below the status lights is a plug for some control box that is not present. The shaft housing show very nice welds.

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#15 tim53

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:43 PM

Now THAT puppy is MUCH BETTER than if it had turned out to be a Meade RG!

I could be way off here, but it looks a little tiny bit more refined than a homebuilt made from components from elsewhere. Translated into English: :grin: It looks like it was made by some limited-production outfit for someone in particular.

Do you know who the original owner was???

And now... ...and the more I cogitate and compare, the more goosebumpy I get for you:

...I bet it's an early Schaefer, or a scope based on his designs to some degree.

Check out the pics on this page for comparison:

Bill Schaefer Project

This is cool!

-Tim.

#16 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:45 PM

It also came with a nice selection of accessories. First, there is a 32mm, 24mm and 8mm EFL Brandon Vernonscope set of eyepieces with their metal storage cases. An Astrola 6mm Triplane without the base, a "30x" 1.25" with a "BL" mark inside a triangle, what looks like a Cave barlow, an older brass ocular with double crosshairs, a polarizing filter and a soft brush in a brass tube.

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#17 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:47 PM

Closeup of the Brandons...

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#18 reddog15

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:59 PM

Closeup of the Brandons...

Those EPs are a find unto their own :bow:

#19 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:59 PM

Now THAT puppy is MUCH BETTER than if it had turned out to be a Meade RG!


Heh! I was thinking last night, what if it's another Cave! Well, I guess that would be better than a Meade, but it would be nice if it were a Meade, that would be something different. This is definitely different!

I could be way off here, but it looks a little tiny bit more refined than a homebuilt made from components from elsewhere. Translated into English: :grin: It looks like it was made by some limited-production outfit for someone in particular.


I don't think this is homebuilt at all. The machining is very professional and all the knobs and even the counterweight have cross-hatched grips cut into them. It is unusual there there is no finder or guidescope mounted on the OTA. There are 4 bolt holes on either side of the focuser and another pair on the front side of the upper rotating ring that could have mounted something.

Do you know who the original owner was???


The seller sold this to me for the original owner. Unfortunately, she is out of town for the weekend, but I think I can get more info when she comes back. She did mention that the owner was in his 70's and that another astronomy friend of the owner might go in shock if he sees this scope here on Cloudy Nights!

And now... ...and the more I cogitate and compare, the more goosebumpy I get for you:

...I bet it's an early Schaefer, or a scope based on his designs to some degree.

Check out the pics on this page for comparison:

Bill Schaefer Project

This is cool!


I feel the goosebumps! I looked at several Schaefer telescope pictures and it does look very much like them. I sure wish that label wasn't missing! It was nowhere to be found when I picked it up.

But after looking closer at it, I did find some dates! I popped off the covers of the Hurst motors and found 1964 and 1965 stamped on the windings!

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#20 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:12 PM

Here's a closeup of the latitude adjustment knob and workings.

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#21 tim53

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:15 PM

Hm...

If the scope were built in the mid 60's, I doubt it's a Schaefer. He would have been using patterns well before that time.

What makes me curious, though, is the way the primary is stored in a box separate from the rest of the scope when not in use, the use of the Cave pier and legs (and even the eyepiece holder on the pier), the way the mount attaches to the pier via a machined flange rather than screws through the pier into the pier cap, and the focuser (though it's bigger than the Schaefers, it's base is machined - does it rotate?).

I was going to suggest the finder may have been attached to the rotating rings, but I see you've already suspected such.

It'll be interesting to hear what you learn when you contact the original owner!

-Tim.

#22 mikey cee

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:17 PM

Why would someone who was a commercial telescope builder use a refractor/cassegrain rack and pinion focuser? Looks like a lot more work involved to mount it but then I'm just a refractor freak. :confused:Mike

#23 reddog15

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:17 PM

well it definitely looks like one of Bills :bow:

#24 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:39 PM

Here's a pic of the focuser hole, a ring attaches it to the base and the focuser can be rotated if the ring is loosened up a little.

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#25 Datapanic

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:44 PM

The spider and secondary holder. The secondary looks like it's a 2.1".

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