Celestron C8 Registry
Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:20 PM
Thanks for additional info (apologies for the delay in responding, we have our sons visiting for a few days and I've also just picked up a 1981 orange tube C5 so have been a bit distracted).
Your mount serial no. of 22908 is interesting - is it Celestron Pacific or International? It doesn't seem to fit with either the date format of the 8xxxxx format - do you know if it was bought new as a mount only?
Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:22 PM
The seller kept the optical tube and mounted it on a GEM. The serial is correct #22908. I thought I'd better recheck just in case. And the motors are 10-77. It is fitted with Roger Tuthill accessories.
If Mr. Tuthill bought the telescopes from Celestron, added his custom parts and sold them, would this explain what you are finding with this serial number?
Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:27 PM
I'm not sure what to make of that number, it has the appearance of being in the date format, especially with the last number being slightly apart from the others but would suggest a date of the 2nd quarter of 1978? I had assumed that by then they had changed to the 8xxxxx style numbers and also that it would have been a Celestron International label - I'm not sure when the change from Pacific to International occurred but the C5/C8 manual on Robert Provin's site has a date of Jan 1978 and is a Celestron International publication.
Having said that, I know of two C5 date style serial numbers which are from the first quarter of 1978, one (#135858) is apparently Celestron Pacific according to the Astromart ad whilst the other (#136588), with 11/77 motors from a CN posting has a Celestron International dust cap for the corrector although the SN label looks to be Celestron Pacific - I can't quite make it out.
So it looks as though the date formats ran on into 1978' possibly for two quarters. As they were already up to #391207 by the third quarter 1977 did they start round again at 1 when they got to 9999 (hence the 208 in your number although I would have expected that they might have produced more by the 2nd quarter)? Or did they use a separate sequence for 'scopes produced for certain retailers like Tuthill? There are instances of unusual SNs appearing on 'special' C8s, eg Larry's sandcast C8 reputed to be built for Leo Henzl, Celestron Marketing VP and another C8 that was handpicked for a dealer in 1979 but had SN 909961.
Any one got any other thoughts? Any other 1978 models with the older date format SNs out there?
Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:36 PM
Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:46 PM
(By the way, it's a pretty danged good performer. I've had it out several times. Precisely collimated, it renders ole Jove in fine detail. It also tracks quite well).
Motors appear dated February 1980:
Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:25 AM
My orange C8 has the same Celestron Pacific label and serial number arrangement as shown in actionhac's picture. The serial number of mine is "31xx 8". I might add that the drive base does contain a full serial number, but I tend to be a little paranoid about publishing details that are too specific. Still, this should be enough information with which to build a database. Notice the space between the four digit serial number and the "8". The motors on mine are also dated 10-77.
I have what I assume is the original "Celestron International" warranty card and a "Celestron International" catalog that are both dated 10/77. From this, I would assume that the switch to Celestron International probably occurred in October of 1977 and that the printed material was released at the same time.
It's possible that this odd arrangement of serial numbers was transitional and employed in the process of using up existing inventory. I read somewhere that the lone 8 to the right of the serial number indicated 1978, which I thought was a fair assumption.
I ran across a picture of a Celestron C22 somewhere on the internet showing a similar label with a four digit serial number followed by a space and then the number 72, which probably refers to a date of 1972. This would indicate that Celestron used this serial number format at an earlier time.
Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:17 AM
Thanks for that, another piece in the jigsaw, just not sure where to put it! I guess a 31xx 8 SN destroys my idea that the date style numbers ran on into the 2nd quarter of 1978! (Although it still looks like C5 Date style SNs ran on into the 1st quarter of 1978) Looks like both your number and Robert's 22xx 8 SN signify something different by the first digit but what?
Ah well, back to the drawing board! :bangbangbang:
Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:40 AM
I was reading over what I wrote here and thought I might need to clarify a couple of things. The warranty card that I mentioned is more of a stock warranty certificate and 10-77 was the printing date. There is nothing hand-written on the card to indicate when the certificate was issued. As for the catalog, the 10-77 date is both the printing date and apparently the effective date. The significance here is just to indicate that the Celestron company was referring to itself as "Celestron International" by October of 1977. I might add that I purchased my C8 a couple of years ago and this printed material was included in the purchase, so I would have to assume that if this printed material is original to my C8 (which I believe it was), that my C8 was sold during or after October of 1977. Still, it has the Celestron Pacific label, so one would be lead to believe that they either didn't have Celestron International labels made up yet, or they were using up existing inventory.
As for the odd serial number, I had assumed that the lone "8" signified the year of manufacture, but it could just as easily signify that the serial number was assigned to a C8. Investigation into how Celestron was assigning serial numbers to other models during this period might clarify this. And, if the "8" signifies the model, then my C8 might have been manufactured prior to October of 1977 and sold later.
Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:03 PM
The two C5 SN's in a date style format that show a production date in the 1st quarter of 1978 both appear to have Celestron Pacific SN plates on the base so it does look as though they were using up old inventory after the name change. One of the C5s is stated to have a Celestron International cover for the corrector although this could have been added later.
The gap before the 8 in your number is suggestive of a year indicator and if produced early in 1978 having 10/77 dated motors is not inconsistent as 'just in time' inventory control was probably not common then.
Going by the C5 numbers it would seem that it may just be coincidence that the change in number format occurred around the time of the change in name but it would be nice to have a definite date for the change. It would also be nice to have some more SNs from late 1977 and early 1978 to see if some of the mists might part.
Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:51 PM
I guess the 10-77 date on the motors would have to make that the earliest manufacture date of my C8. I find this all very interesting and wish you luck in your investigation. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds.
Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:26 AM
Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:45 AM
Celestron made this model starting in 1989 or 1990.
The serial number is 851144, the motor date is 1-83, 1983!
By 1990 Celestron had gone away from 110VAC drives and obviously were using old stock for the basic Classic 8 model. I'm assuming this is what took place. And the Classic 8 uses only 1 motor, with spur gear drive.
I know its the original motor because the previous owner had never plugged it in!
Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:36 PM
It's great to get some more 8xxxxx style SNs with motor dates. Even though the dates aren't definitive given that they could have sat around in inventory for an unknown time (7 years or so in the case of Robert's!) they do serve as a guide to the earliest date that a 'scope could have been made and other than a known original sale date there is precious little else to go on with these later numbers.
Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:18 PM
Different note - my fork on the mount is a solid casting (no holes, just the cast-in circles with two vertical lines through them). My June 76 date may thus be very close to the transition point from "pierced forks" to "solid forks".
Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:27 AM
Thanks for that, most interesting. It looks like the name change happened earlier than I originally thought. It's also good to get a closer fix on when the change in the mounts occurred. i'm hoping, if I have time, to update the SN list at weekend so this is good to know.
Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:25 AM
Here are the numbers from a scope I just acquired. The original owner said he bought it in the fall of 1976.
3 6308 6
Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:06 PM
Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:13 AM
Celestron C8 Registry
It now looks like there was a short lived SN sequence used for 1978 which bridged the ending of the QxxxxY date type format, which was already up to #9,107 (#3 9120 7) by the 3rd quarter of 1977 and the start of the 8xxxxx format which, based on production numbers, I don't think can have started before 1979, eg #801697 which was reported as being purchased from Edwin Hirsch Co in 1979. Therefore it looks like the 5 digit numbers like those reported by Robert (actionhac) (#22908) and kansas skies (31xx8) - which both have, incidentally, Oct 1977 motor dates - come from 1978 using an abbreviated version of the date sequence (xxxxY) omitting the quarter indicator.
Also it looks like the change from sand cast forks to die cast occurred sometime during the 1st and 2nd quarters of 1976, Jon's (PiSigma) C8 with sand cast forks made in the 1st qtr and John Higbee's C8 with die cast forks made in the 2nd quarter.
Also, as John has noted, the Celestron International name was at least being used from the start of 1976.
Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:08 PM
Any other questions about this one or the Ultima8, just ask.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:14 PM
Your Ultima is a 1989 model isn't it?
Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:48 AM
Here is a picture of the scope.
Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:02 PM
Thanks Rod, that's a nice looking scope, I really like the look of the orange tube Celestrons. I had picked up your serial number as 471886 from an earlier post so it's good to have the correction. The number indicates a production date in the 4th quarter of 1976 which fits in with a 1977 sale date.
73 de James