Carol and I drove up to pick up the scope on 8 and 9 Sep (7.5 hour trip from the DC area). Rented a mini-van, which turned out to be an excellent idea...taking the Cave back in our Subaru Outback would have been an interesting (and difficult) proposition!
Carol's reaction on seeing the Cave was priceless...after 34 years together, my ability to surprise her has shrunk, but this did it (wide eyes, slack jaw, mouthing "OMG").
Aside from driving through some pretty rough weather in PA on the way back to DC (we cut obliquely through a 400 mile long squall line), the trip back was uneventful, and my son helped me unload and reassemble the model D in our garage.
First impressions (this scope was manufactured in 1979 - the last year of manufacture):
- Overall: great cosmetic condition (Sonotube is sound, with several small areas of missing paint
- Mount and pier; paint is good, with only small paint scrapes on several areas; both axes are bright with very minor rust
- Focuser: 2" rack and pinion with 1.25" adapter...no helical focusing feature. Marked "Japan".
- Mirrors: both the primary and secondary have bright coatings, with minor dust.
-- Primary: No label on the back. Primary is engraved with Cave Optical Company, focal length, and a 1979 date on the side (will be providing the specific info to the Cave Mirror registry shortly).
-- Secondary: One of the vanes for the secondary spider is not at a right angle to the adjacent vanes (off by 5 - 10 degrees...looks like it came this way from the factory.) Will drill the tube to reattach/straighten it out.
- 60mm guide scope: No name on the tube (looks a lot like my old Tasco 60mm). Has a .965 20mm Kellner eyepiece.
- Finder: 8X50 - works great - comes into sharp focus!
-- Declination Axis - Declination set screw is a MONSTER Allen set screw!
-- RA Axis - need to tighten the clutch - scope is "freewheeling" in RA.
-- Cradle - no "knurled disc nuts" on the two bolts coming off the rings - just wing nuts (went to two local hardware stores - a Home Depot and a "mom and pop" neighborhood shop...neither had them...so I'll be looking for replacements). Collar for the Decl quadrant slow motion on the axis (under the cradle) is held on by three machine bolts with "wing nut" heads, rather than allen head bolts.
-- Declination "slow motion": Motor works well in one direction; labors in the other. Hand paddle appears to work (need to check connections inside).
-- RA Drive: Looks like the drive baseplate (attached to the RA Axis support) is made of wood. No separate "power on" light - instead, the top of the toggle switch has a red "grain of wheat bulb" built in, which works. Drive motor is operational (watched it turn the large gear attached to the worm gear) Need to adjust the worm gear/RA axis gear alignment - it's slightly off.
So, I'm really excited to have it! Working on the above items is a lot easier with the good info the Forum provides on recent Cave maintenance. Once I finish up on those and collimate the optics, it'll be on to "first light"...wish me luck!