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my new(?) Criterion RV-6

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#1 Mkofski

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:40 PM

Well, after over a year of lurking in the Classic Telescope forum, I bid on and won a RV-6. I bid because it was almost local and it was cheep (under $90). I picked it up on Monday and on Tuesday started planning my first restoration. I do have an old Sears 60mm refractor but haven't used it much. The next oldest scope I have is a orange C8 from the mid 70's.

I'll be looking over some other threads about restoration of the RV-6 and working on it over the next few weeks. It is in surprisingly good shape. I haven't removed the primary yet but it looks great gazing down the tube.

I couldn't wait to complete the restoration for first light so I mounted he rings on a Vixen dovetail and mounted it on my iOptron zEQ25 to give it a try tonight. I was completely blown away! Views of the Moon are the best I've seen with ANY scope (250X). Took a quick look at Venus which was fairly low in the Southwest and M31 which was nice and high. The best I've seen either of those without a camera.

I mainly bought the RV-6 to clean it up and sell it... after one quick session, I think I'll keep it. I may leave it mounted on a modern mount, but the OTA is a keeper. The only issue I have to address now is that the collimation is so good that I HATE the thought of taking the mirrors and focuser off to repaint it. I think I may just keep it like it is, warts and all.

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#2 turk123

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

Hi Mike

I wouldn't be afraid of breaking it down to restore it. Sooner or later you will need to know how to collimate a scope. We can help you do that (with a laser or two) but I would not fear the unknown. It is not that hard and you already know what you need to get it back to. Collimation should be something every good classic scope collector needs to know. You might as well learn that technique now.

Nice scope by the way!

#3 Mkofski

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:06 PM

Hi Mike

I wouldn't be afraid of breaking it down to restore it. Sooner or later you will need to know how to collimate a scope. We can help you do that (with a laser or two) but I would not fear the unknown. It is not that hard and you already know what you need to get it back to. Collimation should be something every good classic scope collector needs to know. You might as well learn that technique now.

Nice scope by the way!


I know you are right, I need to learn how. Well, if I get stuck, I'm in central Indiana, maybe I can get you to come down and help.

Mike

#4 turk123

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:15 PM

When you pull the main cell, just mark it's orientation. Same with the secondary. Tape one of the vains and write down which hole it goes to. That will save you some time.

#5 Mkofski

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:18 PM

Thanks for the tips. I'll use it a couple of nights and then year into it.

#6 bremms

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

That looks nice. I would clean it up and use it as original. Original nice condition is better than fully restored to me.

#7 terraclarke

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:16 PM

I agree. It has character. Clean it, lube and tighten things up, fix anything that's broken and keep its character.

Nice find Mike.

#8 youngamateur42

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

A great scope you've got there, I wouldn't restore it. But I would take it all apart, give it a thorough cleaning, and re assemble. The collimation on these are pretty easy. The mirror cell is adjusted by three nuts, I found these adequate but I eventually replaced them with wing-nuts and the motion is much smoother, collimation doesn't take more than a minute. The on thing that really makes these scopes shine is by replacing the fastners that hold the mirror cell and secondary spider to the tube (on the outside). It looks really sharp and I don't think it'll impact the originality of your scope, it's a gem, don't get rid of that, I have one, but I restored it. The scope you have has those awesome lunar lander legs :waytogo:

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#9 Mkofski

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

Marc & Terra,

I think that sounds good. The RA drive doesn't appear to work and the neither axis will lock so the mount will need work. I'll tear into it soon. Event the paint on the OTA isn't all that bad. There is one chip about the size of a dime at the primary mirror end tha needs some attention.

Mike

#10 Mkofski

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:51 PM

Thanks Jason. I saw some of the post about your RV-6. Sure looks good - thanks for the tips. The only thing I see with the scope I don't like much is the focuser. I may need to add a modern one and keep the original around.

Mike

#11 Mr Magoo

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:48 AM

Congrats on the RV-6 Mike. I own a RV-6 and a RV-8 that I've restored and I would be glad to help you with anything you need to do with them. I'm just down the road in Franklin, IN. I'm also a member of the Indiana Astronomical Society. If you have never heard of us or been out to visit, you should come see us. PM me for more info if you like and we would love to meet you.

#12 amicus sidera

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:15 AM

That's a fine scope, Mike; I think that the longer you use it, the more you will like it. Criterion put some fine workmanship into those instruments; also, if there's a more archetypal amateur telescope than an RV-6, aside from perhaps a 4" Unitron, I'm unaware of it.

#13 terraclarke

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

That's a fine scope, Mike; I think that the longer you use it, the more you will like it. Criterion put some fine workmanship into those instruments; also, if there's a more archetypal amateur telescope than an RV-6, aside from perhaps a 4" Unitron, I'm unaware of it.


I would say that the 4 inch Unitron was the archetype- the subliminal driving image residing in the deep subconscious, linked to wants and desires, usually unfulfilled I might add, in the case of the big Uni.

The 6 inch F8 reflector, typified by the RV6 was the stereotype representing what most of us either had or could realistically aspire to have.

I'm just playing with you here Fred. :grin:

#14 greedyshark

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:09 PM

Nice find, Mike. Like Ken, I own both the RV-6 and 8. Simplicity in design combined with stunning optical performance.

Charles

#15 Mkofski

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:10 PM

Fred,

After one night out I can say I'm very impressed with the views. The seeing wasn't great last night but it still did a great job on the moon and Ok on Jupiter. It's a keeper. I'll need to rebuild the mount but other than that and some cleanup, I'll probably leave it as it. I can't believe how lite it is.

Mike

#16 dgreyson

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:53 PM

definitely a keeper.

#17 Gil V

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:21 AM

If you have any questions, ask away. I have a clutch and worm gear for an RV-6 that I'd be willing to part with if needed.

#18 A6Q6

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:41 PM

Hi Mike, the RV-6 was a big part of my life back in the 70's. It impressed my brother-in-law on Saturn back then and that's saying a lot!

#19 Mkofski

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:43 PM

If you have any questions, ask away. I have a clutch and worm gear for an RV-6 that I'd be willing to part with if needed.


Gil V,

Thanks for the offer. I'm going to get into the mount in a day or two and see what I find. After I get it taken apart I'll know better how it should work and what, if anything, is wrong. Need to pick up some cork gasket material as I assume that that, at least, needs replaced.

Mike

#20 Bonco

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:58 PM

Nice find! Cork is easy to find in craft shops. Remove the old cork and try to find replacement cork that is close to the smae thickness. Cork comes in a sheet and you'll need to use an exato blade or something similar to cut out a donut ring. Keek the old cork even if it's in pieces to make the replacement the same diminsions. For me the only difficult thing to remove on dissasembly is the spider. It's very easy to end up with bent vanes. I'd suggest you don't remove it unless absolutely necessary. Collimation of the RV6 can be done without any collimation devices. It's very tolerent of minor colimation errors. Good luck, Bill

#21 orion61

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:31 PM

I still have my RV6, needs recoated now, I ground down my large Primary clips, so instead of about 6 or 8 defraction spikes I have 4 now and it has helped contrast. Don't be surprised if it gives that C8 a run for the Money on Planetary!
Larry Beach

#22 GeneT

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

A RV-6 is a true classic. Maybe think about keeping it.

#23 Mkofski

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:23 PM

Bill,

Thanks for the tips. My plan right now I'd to just clean up the tube not removing the spider or primary. Looking down the tube, the primary looks great. I just started getting into the mount. I am going to repaint the pier and mount, replace the cork if needed and re-grease it. I think that's about all I'll be doing.

Mike

#24 Mkofski

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:28 PM

I still have my RV6, needs recoated now, I ground down my large Primary clips, so instead of about 6 or 8 defraction spikes I have 4 now and it has helped contrast. Don't be surprised if it gives that C8 a run for the Money on Planetary!
Larry Beach


Larry,

You are right about the planetary performance. My C8 still needs collimated. Be only had it out 2 time since I got it back from you and neither time in good seeing. I do like the RV-6... it is a little long for me but on a short mount and tripod the eyepiece isn't in too bad a position. I used it on my iOptron z25 mount which is quite short. Looks funny on that little mount but does work well.

Mike

#25 Mkofski

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:36 PM

A RV-6 is a true classic. Maybe think about keeping it.


Gene,

I'm real impressed with the performance on the Moon and some doubles I checked out the only night I have gotten it out. I rarely have a scope more than a year but this one could very well be a keeper. I'll continue using it on a modern mount. The iOptron zEQ25 I have is only about 3 feet tall (tripod and mount) and is a good size for the RV-6. I'll get use to the focuser. The only thing I'd like to change on the scope are the rings. I'd like to get some rotating rings. I am keeping everything as original as possible.






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