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My little refractor on an old mount !

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28 replies to this topic

#1 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:00 AM

While waiting for my new Vixen GPD2 to arrive from Japan I decided I needed an astronomy restoration project to keep me busy. Here she is:

This is my 'Gaunt Equatorial Telescope Stand' made by Thomas Gaunt, Optician and Jeweller, Melbourne circa 1885. She is certainly no lightweight:
The triangular pier stands 41" tall and weighs in at 137lbs
The iron and brass equatorial mount is a relative lightweight at 82lbs
The single counterweight is a featherlight 35lb

I will be restoring the mount to its former glory over the next few months and once complete she will scan the heavens from Jindabyne, Australia.

Being a bit of a brute of a mount, she needed something equally hefty to carry, luckily I was able to buy a mint condition Istar Perseus AT150 F10 and although they had an age difference of 125 years, it was a match made in heaven. :bow: :bow: :bow:

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#2 johntrob

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

Very nice setup and view

John

#3 mikey cee

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

You are one lucky rat that's all I can say!! :shocked: Mike

#4 Agatha

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:21 PM

Everything in that photograph is beautiful. Enjoy. :)

Best, Linda B.

#5 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:56 PM

Thank you for the replies, yes we are lucky to have found this piece of paradise with view that can never be built out.
I have now dismantled the mount and have am doing a DIY thread for those interested in the 'Old Girl'
So the Refractor has gone back into hiding for a little while. :( :( :(

Here is a pic of a morning storms that passed by a while back.

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#6 thomas68

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:09 PM

That is from your deck? You are very lucky!

Tom

#7 Sky Muse

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:36 AM

It's hardly "little", but a beauty nonetheless. The Istars are unique and most compelling.

#8 chboss

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:28 AM

Beautiful mount and scope!

But I wonder if the GPD2 is able to handle the weight and especially the lever of the Istar.... looking forward to your results.

best regards
Chris

#9 Kunama

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:04 AM

Beautiful mount and scope!

But I wonder if the GPD2 is able to handle the weight and especially the lever of the Istar.... looking forward to your results.

best regards
Chris

Thanks guys, I love the combination!
Hi Chris, the GPD2 is not for this scope, it will carry my Vixen R200SS F4 Reflector for AP. I bought this mount with a view to building a large refractor one day. Then by chance the Istar Perseus in mint condition became available at a great price so I bought it for the Gaunt Mount.

#10 chboss

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

Ah OK I am relieved to hear that... anything else would have been a surprise. ;)

I would love to hear how your Istar performs.

best regards
Chris

#11 nightfisher

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:45 AM

That is one very nice setup in a superb location............not at all envious ...well maybe a little

#12 Kunama

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:32 AM

The refractor is having a little rest in its case while I recommission the mount, after 2 days of intensive disassembly and polishing things are starting to look promising: Gone from this:

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#13 Kunama

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:34 AM

To this: 37 lbs of brass and bronze hidden under a gazillion coats of various black paints gathered over 135 years!

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#14 chboss

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

Wow you uncovered a real GEM under the layers of paint!

Do you plan to paint it or give it just a clear coat?
Would be a shame to hide the metal again.

best regards
Chris

#15 snommisbor

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:29 AM

I'll be following your other thread. Looks awesome. And what a great view you have, even when it is cloudy you still have something great to look at.

#16 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

All finished more info in the DIY threads.

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#17 Sky Muse

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

Capital!

#18 m9x18

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!!! :bow:

#19 idealistic

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

Who would paint over that brass?? Thats a looker for sure. Worthy of a fine refractor!

#20 csrlice12

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

That's not just a mount, it's a work of art...and a piece of history...Thanks for sharing it with us..

#21 Ron Luxemburg

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

Please post a final photo with the scope on the mount! that would be awesome to see. Beautiful!

#22 Kunama

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 07:01 AM

Please post a final photo with the scope on the mount! that would be awesome to see. Beautiful!


At the risk of repeating myself, having already posted it a couple of times here is my little 300 lb baby:

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#23 nirvanix

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:16 PM

I hope you're going to wear a lab coat when you look through that. And maybe tease up your hair a bit. :)

PS - it's gorgeous.

#24 Spyke

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

That is a FANTASTIC end result! I'm so jealous...

Ant:cool:

#25 Kunama

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:47 PM

Having now had some time behind the eyepiece of this combination ..........
I am thrilled to bits to say the least.

The 135 year old mounts axles move so very smoothly, in fact, so smooth is the action that a 1/4" movement of the focuser has the tube moving on its own. I have just begun gathering the required bits and pieces to install slow motion controls to the mount.

The Istar Perseus At150 F10 coupled to a 2" diagonal and Vixen's lanthanum eyepieces gives superb views, I have also installed a Baader Semi Apo filter, although this is actually not necessary on anything but the very brightest views.

A sliding tube weight system with brass weights is in the works as is a new finderscope using some vintage mounting rings.

The counterweights for the current setup are powdercoated weight plates.

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