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Restoring my 8" f/6 Springfield

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#51 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:34 PM

The Fundyscope was published in S&T in the early '90's, about ten years after your RTMC sighting. I'm thinking '91, '92 maybe, I was just looking at it a few weeks ago. But I recall it as having a horizontal OTA. A tilting flat on a polar axis reflected horizontally to a standard Newtonian primary, which reflected it back through a hole in the flat, to a stationary eyepiece. Didn't look too practical to me, a regular Newt of similar size on a GEM seems much easier to setup and deal with, and a stationary, perfectly horizontal eyepiece has to be at exactly the right height to not be a pain in the neck.


You know? That might have been it. Or something similar. Biggest drawback is that the flat would have to have a minor axis as big as the primary. But the tilting single flat would only have to pivot less than 45 degrees either side of the celestial equator. Since the ota would double as the polar axis, the scope could be pretty light and compact. That's what I remember about the one I saw.

I'll have to dig up my digital copies of s&t and look up the Fundyscope.

#52 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:12 PM

Closest thing I remember to what you describe is the Porter telescope that showed up at the '74 RTMC. Last I saw of that it's now in the Hartness House museum, but obviously that's not what this guy had.


You mean the Simpson (and Porter, allegedly) 12" Springfield? I donated that scope to Stellafane's Hartness House museum in 2007.

Posted Image

-tim.

#53 DAVIDG

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:25 PM

Tim,
I think Jeff is referring to the Porter Polar Cassegrain which is on the left side of your picture sitting on the yellow stand. Here is a link to a better picture of it http://chesmontastro.org/node/7356
- Dave

#54 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:33 PM

Hi Dave:

Oh, OK! I had forgotten about that one. When I was there in '07, I never did get a look through the polar cassegrain on the back wall of the clubhouse. Wanted to, though.

Very cool.

-Tim.

#55 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:34 PM

Also, been meaning to ask you. Is the guy who was making Springfield castings still offering to? I wouldn't mind building one to Porter's original specs someday, just to say I did!

-Tim.

#56 Chuck Hards

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:17 PM

[quote name="tim53"][quote]I'll have to dig up my digital copies of s&t and look up the Fundyscope. [/quote]

August 1992, page 212.

#57 Jeff Phinney

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:57 PM

Hi Dave:

Oh, OK! I had forgotten about that one. When I was there in '07, I never did get a look through the polar cassegrain on the back wall of the clubhouse. Wanted to, though.

Very cool.

-Tim.


Yup, that's it!
As a 17 yr old kid, I got such a thrill looking through that scope knowing that it was one of many telescopes built by Porter. Didn't take much to get me excited back then, but I felt honored having had the opportunity to do so.

Not to stray off the subject, but about 12 years after that I salvaged/saved a large number wooden patterns that were being stored in the Caltech machine shop, many of them from the 4" sight survey scope that Porter had designed. I was told at the time that if no rescued them, they were in serious danger of being used in a bonfire at someones beach party. I have no idea if Porter actually had a hand in the fabrication of any of those patterns, but I wound up taking home as many of the patterns I could fit in the trunk and back seat of my '73 Datsun 510. From there they proceeded to sit around in my office for at least another 15 years, and forgive me if I'm not recalling his name correctly, I passed them on to John Briggs who I assume donated them to the Hartness House where it appears they are today. I was extremely pleased when I saw those photos of what I assume to be those very patterns.
Hal Petrie, who was Palomar Observatory's chief engineer at the time, was kind enough to make copies of the original design drawings that went along with the survey scope. If anyone feels ambitious, I still have those.
Also have a few patterns for the 8" F/1 Schmidt Porter designed, but nothing I believe to be useful.

#58 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:14 PM

This reminds me of a late friend of mine who I met when I went back to work for Meade in fall 1981 after I'd been laid off the MX Missile program. His name was Dale Chesnut. He was a retired optician, mostly made eyeglasses in his later years before coming to Meade to work as a machinist. They didn't really treat him well, IIRC. He was starting to have vision problems and wasn't fast enough. But the kindest man you'd ever meet.

He did the machine work on my Springfield when I rebuilt the mount in the mid 80s, using an old Logan 11" flat belt change gear lathe he had.

Anyway, he told me about working in the optical shop at Caltech in the 40s. He knew Porter's wife, who worked at the local post office. And he met Porter a couple times, but didn't get a chance to talk to him. One meeting he described was kind of funny. He was in the optical shop, and Porter came through to see the facilities. All the opticians looked on in horror as he walked into their clean room with a lit cigar.

I think I would have liked Porter. I sure like his innovative designs.

Does anybody know the fate of the Springfield from ATM II designed by Porter and built by Ferson in 1935? I can't believe there aren't any pics online of it.

-Tim.

#59 Jeff Phinney

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:16 PM

Dale Chestnut?!?!?!?! That name seems so very familiar to me, but I can't recall why.

#60 Chuck Hards

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:39 PM

Posted Image

The focuser is a bit rough, too. Not sure if it's adjustable, though.


I have one of those focusers. I parted-out a vintage 50mm Astro-Physics guidescope that used it. It's definitely a Jaegers; the objective cell was clearly also a Jaegers. The only adjustment I've found possible is pressing the focuser knobs tightly together before tightening the setscrews. Either Roland or the original owner also installed a pair of nylon setscrews for the drawtube.

The nice thing about it is that the knobs can easily be replaced with custom knobs made from something like brass or wood. Hint...hint... ;)

#61 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:02 PM

Dale Chestnut?!?!?!?! That name seems so very familiar to me, but I can't recall why.


He seemed to know Max Bray pretty well, too. And there was a GEM he and a friend designed that he had a 4" achromat OTA on (that he made the optics for himself). Had very porteresque conical axes.

But it really was spelled "chesnut" with only the one "t".

-Tim.

#62 DAVIDG

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:06 PM

Okay, so help me remember...

In the early 80s at RTMC, there was a guy there who was trying to sell a small newtonian - like a 3", that had a fixed eyepiece. I took one of his flyers home with me, but I haven't seen it in years so don't know whether I might have lost it.

It was interesting in that the OTA doubled as the polar axis, with the primary at the bottom, with a couple flats near the eyepiece feeding light to it. The first was outside the OTA and could be rotated in Dec. The second was on-axis and had a hole in it for the light cone to go through, and the eyepiece was at the north end of the OTA. It was very nice and compact, and sat on a table top, IIRC.

Anybody remember this scope?

-Tim.


Hi Tim,
I found your mystery scope in Telescope Making #20 from 1983. It was made Edward Pasko of Santa Maria CA. Here is a picture of the page. Holding the page open is one of the original slits from the Hale spectrohelioscope I'm restoring to be installed at Stellafane and an ash tray copy of the Palomar 200" mirror sold at Corning.

- Dave

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#63 tim53

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:38 PM

I think that's the one!

I used to have all the issues of TM until all my magazines were burned in our attic fire in 2001.

-Tim.

#64 tim53

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:11 PM

He patented it:

Ed Pasko's stationary eyepiece telescope

-Tim.

#65 Chuck Hards

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:21 PM

Holding the page open is one of the original slits from the Hale spectrohelioscope I'm restoring to be installed at Stellafane and an ash tray copy of the Palomar 200" mirror sold at Corning.

- Dave


Wow Dave, that's only the second one of those 200-inch ashtray replicas I've ever seen. Here's mine:

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#66 Chuck Hards

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:32 PM

He patented it:

Ed Pasko's stationary eyepiece telescope

-Tim.


It's just a Fundyscope with the optical axis aligned with the polar axis, and a Coude' mirror feeding it.

#67 tim53

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:46 PM

Yep.

#68 Bill Griffith

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:52 AM

Tim,

Thanks for bringing your 1981 Merit Award RTMC Springfield to the dance at JSF! :bow:

Many amateurs considered veterans have never had a chance to look through an instrument of this design. Hence the lines were pretty long for a view!

The sky quality and Perseid's will be a night to remember for a long long time!

You were instrumental in many ways to another successful "Woodstock for Astronomy Geeks" gathering.

Thanks!!!

Bill

#69 Jeff Phinney

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:02 PM

Holding the page open is..... an ash tray copy of the Palomar 200" mirror sold at Corning.

- Dave


Wow Dave, that's only the second one of those 200-inch ashtray replicas I've ever seen. Here's mine:


I so badly want one of those.

#70 mustgobigger

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:44 PM

one of those ashtray's on ebay right now

#71 Chuck Hards

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:33 PM

How many people, I wonder, have been tempted to grind one into an actual mirror? They are probably not strain-free, but still, it would be darn cool.

#72 dgreyson

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:13 PM

There are no telling how many of those are still floating around. Is it inscribed with anything to tell what it is or is it only those of us who recognize the patter that know what it is I wonder.

#73 Chuck Hards

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:56 PM

There are no telling how many of those are still floating around. Is it inscribed with anything to tell what it is or is it only those of us who recognize the patter that know what it is I wonder.


Molded around the circumference on the top side, it reads:

CORNING GLASS WORKS. REPLICA 200 INCH PYREX TELESCOPE DISC.

And it does appear to be genuine Pyrex.

I've seen pictures of the original box. I believe that they could be purchased as a set, to be used as coasters or ashtrays, or individually. The diameter is 3-5/16".

#74 Jeff Phinney

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:08 AM

Brian,
Thanks so much for the heads up, but it's getting a little to rich for my blood. Looks like word got out. Currently $50 as of this posting and still 5 days to go.

Thanks again, Jeff

#75 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 01:52 PM

Fifty bucks??? What, does it include one of Russell Porter's cigar butts or something?

I took a 20-year accumulation of ATM-related aluminum scrap to the recycler's this morning. $235, including one bag of crushed cans. While there I noticed somebody had brought in a Celestron 50mm refractor OTA. I asked them if they were going to just throw-out the lens and plastic cell, could I have it? They said "go for it". So I took out the three screws holding it onto the tube and brought it home. The objective is in perfect shape, glad to have saved it from the landfill. For some reason, we don't recycle glass here.






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