Jump to content


Photo

Criterion RV-6?

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Meadeball

Meadeball

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 342
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Midlothian, Virginia

Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

I see a lot of posts asking people to "post a pic of your (x)" or "what's your favorite (x)". I've been here for a couple of months now, and I haven't seen anybody mention the first "serious" telescope I ever owned. Back in the late 1970s, my older brother and I mowed lawns for an entire summer to save up for a like-new Criterion RV-6 that a member of the local club was selling. We owned that scope and used the heck out of it for a good 10 years. It wound up sitting in a corner of my (former) bedroom when I went away to college, and after some urging from my Dad, we sold the scope in the late 1980s and divided the proceeds. Sure wish I'd kept her now. She was like that first girlfriend ...

I'm back into the hobby now, on a shoestring budget for now. I've done some searching and found a few that are still around -- even one on ebay recently -- but I'm wondering if they're up to snuff by today's optical and mechanical standards. I know the mount was sturdy (it was always my job, as younger brother, to lug that 70-pound monster outside), but the old 120-VAC clock drive and its ornery clutch would definitely be a problem area -- especially since the scopes out there are so much older now. I've seen some pretty amazing restorations though.

Amazing, back when we bought ours, they were still selling new for only $279.95. I used to drool over those full-page ads in Astronomy and S&T. We paid the guy $150 for ours. A few years ago I paid four times that amount for a Meade 8-inch Starfinder, but its plastic focuser and paper-towel-roll tube irritated the heck out of me. Spoiled by the RV-6, I guess. I sold it for a more grab-n-go (and by-gosh metal) Orion Starmax 127.

(For those of you who aren't 47 years old, I'll offer that the RV-6 was the 8-inch Celestron of the 1970s. It seems nearly everyone had one, or had had one. You'd go to a star party and there'd be at least two or three of them there. Heck, when I was in the 11th grade, I mentioned my hobby to my Physics teacher, and he asked me to follow him into a storage area behind his office. He pulled out a key and opened a cabinet, and there sat an unassembled RV-6! Hmmm, I wonder ...)

I'm rambling here. Any owners of the venerable old girl out there? How are they holding up? Are they worth a serious look now that they're pushing AARP status? Or should I just hold on to the good memories and let this dream remain a dream?

Meade

#2 Mike B

Mike B

    Starstruck

  • *****
  • Posts: 10226
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2005
  • Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:12 AM

Hi Meade-

As an example of an old scope getting a new lease, let me offer my "LadyScope"- a 6" F8 Newtonian OTA of late 1960's vintage gifted to me by a good friend. I purchased a new EQ mount for it, and it's been a real thrill to use!

So *yes*, if you can find an old RV-6, even if the mount and/or drive is shot, you can remount it to good effect! Even with Ladyscope's old, tarnished & bugger'd coatings (yes, STILL haven't had it recoated!), she still throws up a fantastic image. So don't be afraid to give it a shot!
:waytogo: mike b

Attached Files



#3 droid

droid

    rocketman

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 7201
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2004
  • Loc: Conneaut, Ohio

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:25 AM

Seen several of em over in the classic scope forum, never owned an RV6 myself but did have the Edmund scientific 6 inch f/8 it gave phenominal images.
I passed it on as a gift to a family locally, and they still love it.
So Id have to say yes. if you can get one , grab it.

#4 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44266
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:14 AM

I have an RV that is essentially stock... I paid $125 for it. It's all there, in good operating condition but cosmetically it is unrestored.

Optically, it is probably as good as anything you can get without spending big money on a premium mirror. Mechanically, it's what it was, a 110 volt AC drive with a clutch sitting on a pier. There is no doubt in my mind that piers are the way to mount a Newtonian on a GEM, tripod legs just get in the way... The focuser is marginal but usable at F/8.

If you want an 6 inch F/8 GEM mounted Newtonian, it's a good one...

But I'll take an Asian 8 or 10 inch Dob... more capable, more comfortable.

Jon

(RV-6 with it's big brother)

Posted Image

#5 Mirzam

Mirzam

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4449
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Lovettsville, VA

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:00 AM

Here's mine--Still looking good since 1968! (Original owner).

JimC

Attached Files



#6 Mirzam

Mirzam

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4449
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Lovettsville, VA

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:02 AM

I must say that I am not a big fan of the original mount. Instead I mainly use the RV-6 on my GM-8 mount, which holds it very well.

JimC

Attached Files



#7 ed_turco

ed_turco

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1389
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Lincoln, RI

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

So totally up to snuff!

#8 rguasto

rguasto

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 808
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:51 AM

Age doesn't matter. An RV6 is still very good to excellent optically. No commercially produced 6" F8 newt would be as good today IMO - A modern focuser would be great, but... My main scope is a 1961 8" F8 Criterion dynascope and the images are fantastic. There are (commonly) quite a few RV6 up for sale. You can't go wrong IMO.

Attached Files



#9 astrogeezer41

astrogeezer41

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 102
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2010

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

What a great post on a great old telescope!

Although I never owned one, the RV-6 was the first commercially made astronomical telescope that I ever
looked at and through.

It belonged to a Benedictine monk in Richardton, ND.
It gave great performance. This was back in 1975/6.
He also had a Meade 80, f/15, refractor.

Your post brought back many fond memories.

Thanks,
Robert

#10 Meadeball

Meadeball

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 342
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Midlothian, Virginia

Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:33 AM

Thanks guys. At the very least, I have just had one damp-eyed, smiling gaze back into the past. Nice pics. I'm awash in nostalgia now, so I've placed a self-imposed ban on visiting ebay for at least the next week. :jump:

I'm gonna place this on the back burner until such time as I have a few extra bucks and want to restore something. After seeing those pics of my old girl's sisters, I know what I'm going to do. Now it's just a question of when.

Really -- thanks. That was fun. (And hey, we don't have to end it here. Anybody else got pics? Bring 'em on!)

Meade

#11 Meadeball

Meadeball

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 342
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Midlothian, Virginia

Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:43 AM

Jon ... is that a 10-inch Cave Astrola? If so, your pic has double meaning for me. The guy who sold us the RV-6 used the money (and then some) to buy a 10-inch Cave Astrola. What a gargantuan, gorgeous scope that was. Now to make this thread even more teary-eyed, I'll have to say that the main reason for this thread is because I was surfing the website of the weekly "county rag" newspaper for my little suburb a few weeks ago and noticed that he had passed away. I hadn't spoken to him in at least 25 years, but I'll never forget Byron Foutch. And the only reason we ever met him was because he posted an ad for the RV-6 in the weekly newsletter at Reynolds Metals' main corporate office, where my dad also happened to work. By that summer my dad had a new friend at work and my brother and I had a new friend at star parties. We'd always park next to Byron and set up the RV-6 and the Astrola side-by-side (you know, so they could be friends too, lol). After we went away to college we lost touch with each other. But I still remember that night when my brother drove us out to Byron's house, out in the "country" about 10 miles west of us, and he took us in his garage and there sat that shiny, brand-new Astrola. I only own a four-inch refractor now and I'm on a tight budget, but I guess deep down inside I'm a hopeless newt lover.

#12 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44266
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:51 AM

Jon ... is that a 10-inch Cave Astrola?



Actually it is a 12.5 inch F/6 Meade "Research Grade." It's very similar to the Astrola's but slightly newer. I have heard it said that after Cave went under, the Opticians at Cave were hired by Meade...

Jon

#13 Meadeball

Meadeball

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 342
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Midlothian, Virginia

Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:14 AM

Man, I thought I was the only guy up at 4 o'clock in the morning (well, granted it's only 1 on your end of the country). I stayed late at my parents house, talking with my younger brother, and then, just for fun, I drove by Best Buy and Target on the way home to laugh at the 3 a.m. shoppers. It's a cold, frosty 31 degrees here in Richmond right now -- we live near a major reservoir and things stay fairly humid around here, so it feels even colder than it is with the moisture in the air. All the cars outside (I live in an apartment complex) are covered with sparkly frost, but above, Jupiter, Orion and Sirius are putting on quite a show. I *almost* grabbed the telescope, but decided to get some sleep instead. And, of course, one hour later, I'm still cruising the forums here!!! :bangbangbang:

I gotta cut the cord here and get some shuteye; unlike many lucky folks out there, I gotta work in the morning! Thanks for the fun and good night!

One more pic:

Posted Image

P.S. Jon, oh yes, I remember the research grade line. As a teenager I subscribed to the fledgling Astronomy magazine and I used to drool over all the stuff on those two-page ads -- complete with the dude in the lab coat with the clipboard. :grin:

#14 Mr Magoo

Mr Magoo

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Indiana

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

Here are my Criterions. An RV-6 and a RV-8.

Attached Files








Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics