Jump to content


Photo

Schaefer mount

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 gary12345

gary12345

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012

Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:26 PM

I put up a post in the equipment section before I saw the mounts section.
Anyway what is it worth? If you have any idea let me know.
everything works perfect. Have two counter weights for it.
I used it two years then stored it. gear is in pristine shape. Drive corrector is working perfect. I put this up two or three years ago here and asked the same question. But I forgot what it was.
I live in the states very little now. I come to check on my home here every year or two. And I am back now for one month then gone for 1.5-2 years so I doubt if I will sell it. But just curious.
If the moderator can delete the post in the equipment section I would appreciate it.
Thanks

Attached Files



#2 TxStars

TxStars

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1391
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Lost In Space

Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:52 PM

They show up on Astro-Mart from time to time.
1k - 2.5k depending on exact model.

#3 gary12345

gary12345

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012

Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:21 AM

Ok, thanks.
I'll put it on e-bay in a few days.

#4 TheBigEye

TheBigEye

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 50
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2006
  • Loc: New Mexico, USA

Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:18 PM

I was a personal friend (and customer) of Bill Schaefer's back in the 70's and 80's. I sometimes purchase and restore his mounts, when I can find them. Yours looks like a 9" mount built on the "large casting" set. You could verify that by measuring the diameter of the RA gear. The mount you have has the anodized RA gear, which is almost certainly a Byers gear. Later mounts had the maker's surname "SCHAEFER" integrated into the Declination shaft casting. I can't see that from your photo angle. Your mount appears to use the older Hurst "CA" model motor on the RA axis. Some of these mounts had dual motors - one on each end of the worm shaft. Again, I can't tell from your photo if this is the single or dual motor version. The Dec motor cover is missing. That's not good as it can allow dirt and metal filings to get into the motor. If you have a working drive corrector, that's a good thing. Your drive corrector appears to be the dual axis version, which adds value. Bill had drive correctors built by a number of different individuals. The motors and drive correctors are VERY reliable. I have several Schaefer mounts here with date stamped Hurst motors from the early 1980's that still work flawlessly. When picking up an older Schaefer mount, I usually find that internally, the ancient grease has been transformed into a sticky glue. I usually do a full mechanical teardown on them, which includes cleaning - and sometimes replacing - the RA and/or Dec shaft bearings. Time consuming, but not a big deal.

Schaefer mounts are fairly rare on the market. They are definitely "old school" but extremely stable, reliable mounts capable of carrying very heavy payloads. I currently have a very heavy (125 pound) 17.5" Newtonian mounted on a 9" Schaefer similar to yours. A modern commercial mount capable of carrying such a heavy payload would cost upwards of $10,000.

BTW, the other poster who listed the price range between $1000 and $2500 is pretty close to the mark. Judging by the limited info I have, I'd say the value of yours falls about midway in that price range. The mount should probably be serviced as described above. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions. Good luck with selling your mount.

Attached Files



#5 Space99

Space99

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 220
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2008

Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:08 AM

Hi Chuck,
I apologise, not try to hijack the original message but I would love to know/see how this mount work internally.
It would be beneficial for all of us to learn of old-school engendering :)
"I usually do a full mechanical teardown on them..." Chuck if you could post pics it would be very helpful. Or perhaps describe how the bearing/worm wheel support works.
How about the clutch?

Thanks.
Regards,
Mick.

#6 Space99

Space99

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 220
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2008

Posted 11 August 2012 - 07:30 AM

Bump...... :)

#7 Space99

Space99

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 220
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2008

Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:06 AM

Anyone can chip in ...... ?

#8 gary12345

gary12345

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012

Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:35 AM

Hey thanks for the info. I know it is stable. I used it with a 12.5 inch. I like to tell the story. I was at the Texas start party and put a c-8 on it and left after drifting it in and came back one hour later and the guide star was still perfect.
If I cannot sell it I think I will keep it. I am into photography now and have a canon 500mm f4 lens. Has anyone used a canon lens for astro work?

#9 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5788
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:38 PM

Anyone can chip in ...... ?


My AT9 could handle an 8" refractor with contemptuous ease. Not even a focus wiggle in use. Once the clutches were adjusted, finger-tip motion across the sky. Stop pushing and the RA motors take over.

Imaging would be a bit of a chore, but for the visual astronomer who owns a heavy scope, it would be a real bargain.

Attached Files



#10 Peter D.

Peter D.

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 216
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Central New York

Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:17 PM

Jeff,

Wow, that's one heck of a pier. I think you need a taller observer's chair!

Pete
Pete

#11 Datapanic

Datapanic

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3312
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:50 PM

Hi Gary,

You might want to post about your mount over in the Classics Forum - you'll get a lot of interest!

#12 TheBigEye

TheBigEye

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 50
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2006
  • Loc: New Mexico, USA

Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:45 AM

Hello: That looks like a Schaefer AT-9. (The "9" is the diameter of the main drive gear in inches). Ed Byers, famous precision gear maker, was the only manufacturer during that time that anodized his gears AFTER the gear was cut. By so doing, the hard anodizing was applied to the friction surfaces of the gear teeth, making them more durable. It's a good bet that you have a Byers drive gear on the RA. Your AT-9 is equipped with the older Hurst CA-frame synchronous motors, indicating that this is an earlier version (70's or early 80's) of the AT-9. Nothing wrong with that - the old Hurst synchronous motors are very durable and reliable. I noticed that the cover is missing from the Dec motor. That will allow the motor mechanism to get fouled with foreign material. If the Dec motor still works, you'd do well to carefully remove any foreign matter and get a cover put on it. Contact me if you need a cover, I might have a spare one laying around.

Usually these old Schaefer mounts need servicing. The 30 year-old grease inside has turned into a sticky "glue" and sometimes, the ball bearings will be rusted and need replacing. I never know how much work will be involved unitl I tear down the mount. I sometimes rebuild Schaefer mounts for others, offer advice to those who want to do it themselves, or I'll purchase them outright and rebuild them. Demand and resale value on these old school mounts is not very high. Everybody wants GOTO these days. But if you like the simplicity of star-hopping, excellent tracking, and the most stable GEM platform possible, Schaefer mounts like yours are diamonds in the rough. There's really nothing like them out there for large/heavy payloads. Good luck!

- Chuck






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics