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Mystery scope and it's value.

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#1 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:37 AM

I thought I found the scope of the century. It looked like a pristine Cave-Astrola f5 12.5 mirror. It is not. I sent a picture to PiSigma who immediately noticed it had a machined mount unlike a Cave’s sand cast mount. The gentleman who owns it is not an astronomer. He bought the house from a family member who was the original owner of the scope. Jim, the new owner, bought the house and the entire observatory out back, scopes, equipment and all. He did not know what he had.

I acquired 3 two more pictures today and talked to jim for quite a while this evening. He described the “legs” on the mount and then it hit me, it is a Parks observatory quality F5. In the picture you can see it is in pristine condition from being well taken care of and its location high above the desert in the mountains. The base has been mounted into concrete inside the observatory and the three legs are not shown in the picture. They are parks legs. The tube we believe is aluminum but Jim will verify that tomorrow. The tube is just over 15” in diameter and about 6 feet long making it the F5. If you look at Parks website, the exact scope is still being sold today for $13941.00 :roflmao: . Also included are the hand controllers, a third “reflector” finder, and boxed of goodies including cameras eyepieces and who knows what else. There is also a 10” meade SCT in the observatory.

Jim is 82 years old. The original owner past away 1 ½ years ago. He is now selling the house and wants to get rid of it all. He is not goiong to give it away but he has no emotional attachment to any of it. He also will sell the observatory building if someone wants it.

OK, so what is the scope worth? I will be helping him find a buyer and will eventually place ads on CN and Astromart. I don’t know all the rules here and this is not an ad. I just need help placing a value on it. I’m not so worried about the “extras” as I believe all that will be thrown in with who ever buys the scope. Did these Park scopes have something on the caves especially if this is 12 or 15 years old?

Anyway, here are the pictures sent to me.

Turk

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#2 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:39 AM

Another pict:

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#3 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:39 AM

Last one:

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#4 bob midiri

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:42 AM

All I can say is WOW :foreheadslap:, what a beautiful scope. Some person is going to be quite happy with that scope. Sorry I can't help with a value, but it is a great find. bob

#5 TxStars

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

That scope also looks a lot like the Reasearch Grade Meade that was sold back in the 80's though it was f/6.
http://www.astromart...ified_id=799726

#6 tim53

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:57 AM

Hi Turk:

That's a Meade 12.5" Research Series Newtonian, made in the early 1980s. I helped build the non-functional prototypes in 1979.

The castings are sand cast. The patterns were made by modifying Cave castings so they didn't say "Astrola" and adding the thrust bearing surfaces between the RA and Dec castings at the north polar bearing.

The tube is "fiberlite", which is a resin-impregnated paper tube. Very stiff and lightweight, but not quite as strong as fiberglass.

That one has at least a couple of nifty accessories - the RFT guidescope (4.5" it looks), and the accessory shelf on the pier.

Price should be comparable to a late-70s Cave, similarly equipped, I would think. So maybe between, say, $800-$1200?

Parks bought the Cave patterns, I believe, and made some changes to them over time. I thought I heard recently that they're no longer in business. In any case, the list prices for their comparable 12.5" Newtonians were somewhat - how should I put this - dreamy?

-Tim.

#7 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:59 AM

Hi Turk:

That's a Meade 12.5" Research Series Newtonian, made in the early 1980s. I helped build the non-functional prototypes in 1979.

The castings are sand cast. The patterns were made by modifying Cave castings so they didn't say "Astrola" and adding the thrust bearing surfaces between the RA and Dec castings at the north polar bearing.

The tube is "fiberlite", which is a resin-impregnated paper tube. Very stiff and lightweight, but not quite as strong as fiberglass.

That one has at least a couple of nifty accessories - the RFT guidescope (4.5" it looks), and the accessory shelf on the pier.

Price should be comparable to a late-70s Cave, similarly equipped, I would think. So maybe between, say, $800-$1200?

Parks bought the Cave patterns, I believe, and made some changes to them over time. I thought I heard recently that they're no longer in business. In any case, the list prices for their comparable 12.5" Newtonians were somewhat - how should I put this - dreamy?

-Tim.


You nailed it Txstar and Tim! The owner talked about the hole pattern in the legs and I assumed it matched the Parks. I just pulled a picture off the web of the Meade with the hole patterned legs, Chrome pedestal AND the 4 inch finder!

See below:

#8 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:01 AM

I believe there was some controversy about the quality of the mirror with these meades. Does anyone have any info on this?

#9 Dave M

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

Thats nice, ide be interested in it if it was in Ohio. :grin:

#10 bierbelly

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

I'm more impressed with the wood panelling in the room behind it...is that the observatory? If so, unusually high quality workmanship.

#11 Darren Drake

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

I had an 8 inch F/6 meade from that era and the mirror was surprisingly good. I once had it set up next to an AP 10 inch apo and someone said the lunar view was better that night through my Meade. Not sure how that coulda happened but it was just one night...

#12 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:37 PM

Thats nice, ide be interested in it if it was in Ohio. :grin:


I ran across the gentleman while I was doing some research. I thought I had a way to bring it to Ohio, but alas, it fell through. The scope is located in southern California up at about 5000 ft.

The whole roof of the observator slides back. It is also for sale!

Turk

#13 tim53

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

Hi Turk:

Hm... I'm in So Cal, as are several other CNers. I might be interested in the observatory, but if we're going to talk "sales" we should take it to the Swap and Shop forums.

It would probably be okay to talk about the observatory here, particularly if you have exterior shots and could give dimensions, and are interested in getting suggestions as to its value.

When in doubt, though, ask one of the mods.

-Tim.

#14 turk123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

I have no info on the observatory other than the pictures above. Let's keep inquires off this thread and to a PM to me for now. I cannot place an ad yet as the owner is still recovering from the price drop from $13,000 to $700!

#15 Dave M

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

Thats nice, ide be interested in it if it was in Ohio. :grin:


I ran across the gentleman while I was doing some research. I thought I had a way to bring it to Ohio, but alas, it fell through. The scope is located in southern California up at about 5000 ft.

The whole roof of the observator slides back. It is also for sale!

Turk


I cant ever catch a break on a nice scope like that, they always show up on the west coast, certainly rarely ever in Ohio. :(

#16 TxStars

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

Meade Research Series Newtonians I have looked through.
12.5" (2) marginal (3)good (1)great
10" (4)good (1)great
8" (4) marginal (16)good (5)great

#17 bierbelly

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

Interesting that the estimated "value" would be in the sub $1000 range. You can't even buy a mount today that would carry that monster for less than $1000, probably not less than $2000. Then the rotating rings, other mounted scopes, etc. If somebody walks away with that for less than a grand, they've stolen it. Even if the original Meade mirror ain't great, pull it out, send it to Swayze for refiguring and voila, you've got a top notch big eye.

#18 gelkin

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

I agree with Tom. Alot of good stuff there for a grand. I bought one several years ago for more than that, in pieces. The pieces were all there but rough. Many enjoyable hours later it was restored. Moderate quality mirror so plan on a refigure, just in case.

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#19 turk123

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

That's a great restore Gelkin.

I talked with the gentleman in California about it's value and he was quick to say, "I think I will just keep it here and sell it with the house". He's putting the house on the market and including the observatory and telescopes as part of the listing.

I do not have the address, but if any one wants it I could get it. He lives in Santa Barbara county. the house is at 5000 ft elevation so I assume the mountains east of LA.

He is not interested in breaking it apart or even looking through the boxes of stuff. A bit set in his ways! :grin:

#20 tim53

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

He could still do better by selling the scope and maybe the observatory before selling the house. I doubt they add anything to the real estate value unless a potential buyer happens to be an amateur astronomer.

Look, I HATE that beautiful, sometimes even well equipped classic scopes don't fetch higher prices, especially when I have one to sell! The the simple truth is that people these days want goto wizzbang electronic gizmology, and the classics ain't that. Some can be converted, at cost, but then they're not pristine anymore.

Another good example would be an orange tube C-8, or a Meade 2080. Even one of these beauties in mint condition isn't worth more than a few hundred dollars. There are just too many of them out there.

But like I said, if it were me I'd sell the scope and observatory before putting the house on the market. Get pics of the observatory and advertise it. Ask $2K for the scope, but be prepared to take less, is what I'd do in that situation.

-Tim.

#21 tim53

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

Maybe tell us a bit more about the house? :grin:

#22 The Planetman

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

.....

Look, I HATE that beautiful, sometimes even well equipped classic scopes don't fetch higher prices, especially when I have one to sell! The the simple truth is that people these days want goto wizzbang electronic gizmology, and the classics ain't that. Some can be converted, at cost, but then they're not pristine anymore.

Another good example would be an orange tube C-8, or a Meade 2080. Even one of these beauties in mint condition isn't worth more than a few hundred dollars. There are just too many of them out there.

.....

-Tim.


Tim, you hit the nail square on the head concerning the classics. I recently advertised a little Meade 826. When I posted it on our club board, one relatively new member quickly responded and asked "how accurate is the pointing?"
I had to explain that it was a classic telescope...1980 vintage, pre-goto. I think it blew his mind!
An older member of our club who appreciates the older scopes bought it for a quick rollout scope.
Sadly, the classic scope does not retain its market value. But it certainly retains its sentimental value with many of us....

#23 t.r.

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Many of us drooled over the magazine advertisements of these in the 80's!!! The paneling however is fake cedar. :p

#24 bierbelly

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

.....

Look, I HATE that beautiful, sometimes even well equipped classic scopes don't fetch higher prices, especially when I have one to sell! The the simple truth is that people these days want goto wizzbang electronic gizmology, and the classics ain't that. Some can be converted, at cost, but then they're not pristine anymore.

Another good example would be an orange tube C-8, or a Meade 2080. Even one of these beauties in mint condition isn't worth more than a few hundred dollars. There are just too many of them out there.

.....

-Tim.


Tim, you hit the nail square on the head concerning the classics. I recently advertised a little Meade 826. When I posted it on our club board, one relatively new member quickly responded and asked "how accurate is the pointing?"
I had to explain that it was a classic telescope...1980 vintage, pre-goto. I think it blew his mind!
An older member of our club who appreciates the older scopes bought it for a quick rollout scope.
Sadly, the classic scope does not retain its market value. But it certainly retains its sentimental value with many of us....


What is lost in this entire evaluation is that all of this stuff used to be hand made, at least for the most part. It took time and expertise. Modern machining and manufacturing techniques have replaced humans as experienced optical technicians. I don't know the totality of the processing, but wouldn't be surprised if run of the mill optics are now entirely prepared, from rough out to polishing, by machine. Likely the reason the Celestron HD is expensive...maybe they're actually having people do the final figuring, testing and polishing again.

#25 PiSigma

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

Heck with the house, I want to know what's in the "boxes of stuff".

What if there is a complete set of Meade RGs in there. :bigshock:






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