Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:45 PM
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?
Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:12 AM
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!
Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:25 AM
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.
Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:14 AM
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.
(RV-6 with it's big brother)
Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:00 AM
Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:02 AM
Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:51 AM
Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:34 PM
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.
Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:33 AM
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!)
Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:43 AM
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...
Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:14 AM
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:
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.
Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:16 AM