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Classic Scopes at Stellafane

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#1 CharlieB

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:33 PM

I'm bringing an assortment of old scopes to Stellafane this year - probably the Swift 831, Lafayette 384, Unitrons 127 & 105, SPI 523 and maybe the Mayflower 816 if I can get a case built by then. If there's room left in the Element, I'll stuff a few more small scopes in.

Anyone else going to be there? And what are you bringing?

#2 pbealo

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:47 PM

Charlie,
Look for me camping in Sue's Field near the tower of babel (why that is there is beyond me...).

Not sure yet what I'm bringing.

Peter B.

#3 CharlieB

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:00 PM

I'll be camping in the same area, I guess. Not sure how that works. I've never camped there before.

#4 roscoe

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:10 AM

I've never been to Stellafane, maybe this is a reason to make it up to VT this year! If I do come, I'll bring my little flock of classics, too.
R
Also, weather and time permitting, I'll be attending the Conjunction in Northfield, MA and Arunah Hill, also in MA, same little flock....

#5 bob midiri

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:00 AM

Russ your that close to Stellafane and never been there!!! I live in SE Pa and only seen the Liberty Bell once in my lifetime...I guess things in our own back yard arent as appealing. I hope to run into you guys at Stellafane. Ill be mainly on telescope judging field for optics, entering a 10"F5.2 dob... I might bring my Monolux with me

#6 pbealo

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:53 PM

I'm thinking of bringing my 10x80 Schneider binoculars from WW II. Is that classic enough?? Ralph Dakin cleaned and collimated them for me back in 1983, I still have his postcard offering to do the work. He had seen them at Stellafane that year when I last brought them.

Our own Bob M. gave me the idea when I saw his monocular version for sale at a very reasonable price.

Peter B.

#7 Chuck Hards

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:56 PM

Stellafane (and NEAF, for that matter) would be a week-long road trip there and back, for me. Never been, but hope to, once retirement is upon me and I have spare time to burn.

Have fun, all of you attending. Post lots of pics!

#8 herrointment

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:21 PM

A real "shot in the dark" here folks.......I have a mount that I'm told won for the builder, a Mr. Alan Bell, a First Place for Craftsmanship and a Third Place for Mechanicals at The Stellafane Convention in 1985. The Stellafane website has this listing.

So I'm wondering if anyone remembers this mount at the convention from 30 years ago?

A couple of photos to jog those brain cells....

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#9 herrointment

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:23 PM

Like I said, a long shot but it doesn't hurt to ask, right?

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#10 Bob Myler

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:50 PM

Don't remember seeing it - but THAT is a beautiful piece of work.

#11 herrointment

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:33 PM

Dr. Clay Sherrod had a massive eq mount made by the same fellow and the resemblance is amazing... LINK

#12 dawsonian2000

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:45 PM

Don't remember seeing it - but THAT is a beautiful piece of work.


Indeed a sweet mount! Looks like it was built yesterday!.

Mel

#13 dawsonian2000

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:01 PM

I'm bringing an assortment of old scopes to Stellafane this year - probably the Swift 831, Lafayette 384, Unitrons 127 & 105, SPI 523 and maybe the Mayflower 816 if I can get a case built by then. If there's room left in the Element, I'll stuff a few more small scopes in.

Anyone else going to be there? And what are you bringing?


Hi CharlieB!

Myself and Gary Barabino (a.k.a. G :cool:) will both be attending Stellafane for the first time this year. I will be bringing my Coulter 10" f/5.6 fork mounted Newtonian, and my Carton 100mm/1300mm refractor. The refractor will be sitting atop my homemade tripod called the North Star II. I will be entering my 10" Newtonian into the mechanical competition.

As for Gary, I am not certain as to what he will be bringing. I will let him respond to that. In any case, with this being our first time making the trip, I will be hitting you up via PM for any insight you can provide to us southern boys. :grin:

Mel

#14 herrointment

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:45 PM

Wow, Mel! Stellafane!

You're going to hear "thank you" from a lot of people there.

#15 roscoe

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:06 PM

Russ your that close to Stellafane and never been there!!! I live in SE Pa and only seen the Liberty Bell once in my lifetime...


I know....it's embarrassing! Trouble is, there's a lot to see/do during the day there, and as we have a farm, if it's nice weather, there's always stuff that needs doing here, and if it's not good weather....Scopes don't handle rain well....
Both Northfield and Arunah are about an hour drive, so I'm more likely to make a one-evening trip to those events.

#16 roscoe

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:15 PM

One thing you should bring is a warm jacket and some long pants....if it's a really clear night, even midsummer it can easily be in the 50's later in the evening.....I've been at Arunah Hill in Western Mass in August and jeans and a hooded sweatshirt wasn't enough to keep shivers away.... and that was the evening of an 85 degree day! Better to have them and not need them than turn into a popsicle.....

#17 CharlieB

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:06 PM

I'm bringing an assortment of old scopes to Stellafane this year - probably the Swift 831, Lafayette 384, Unitrons 127 & 105, SPI 523 and maybe the Mayflower 816 if I can get a case built by then. If there's room left in the Element, I'll stuff a few more small scopes in.

Anyone else going to be there? And what are you bringing?


Hi CharlieB!

Myself and Gary Barabino (a.k.a. G :cool:) will both be attending Stellafane for the first time this year. I will be bringing my Coulter 10" f/5.6 fork mounted Newtonian, and my Carton 100mm/1300mm refractor. The refractor will be sitting atop my homemade tripod called the North Star II. I will be entering my 10" Newtonian into the mechanical competition.

As for Gary, I am not certain as to what he will be bringing. I will let him respond to that. In any case, with this being our first time making the trip, I will be hitting you up via PM for any insight you can provide to us southern boys. :grin:

Mel


I'll also bring a couple of Tascos you may not have seen before in the flesh (or maybe you have) - the 50mm Terrastro and the 50mm Deluxe as well as a 60/910 1957 7T. I can't wait to meet you guys and see that Carton and Coulter.

#18 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:10 AM

10x80 Schneider binoculars from WW II... Ralph Dakin cleaned and collimated them for me back in 1983, I still have his postcard offering to do the work. He had seen them at Stellafane that year when I last brought them...

Peter B.


Ralph Dakin belonged to my club, long before I joined. I'd love to learn more about him. We still have his 10" Newt.

Magical mount! Would love to attend Stellafane, but may not happen this year.

#19 Geo31

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

10x80 Schneider binoculars from WW II... Ralph Dakin cleaned and collimated them for me back in 1983, I still have his postcard offering to do the work. He had seen them at Stellafane that year when I last brought them...

Peter B.


Ralph Dakin belonged to my club, long before I joined. I'd love to learn more about him. We still have his 10" Newt.

Magical mount! Would love to attend Stellafane, but may not happen this year.


Seriously???

I personally knew Ralph and was a member of his home club (Rochester Academy of Science Astronomy Section). I don't specifically remember the first time I met Ralph (it was 40 years ago), but I was all of about 13 and he was around my current age (53). He always had time to talk with me, even at Stellafane where he had an unending queue of people who wanted to talk with him.

I'd been to his house back then and he sold me a nice 4" fast acromat and cell (he had a bunch for sale that were from Bausch & Lomb where he worked) and he gave me a 6" brass gear set he hobbed himself. I still have the gear set and WILL use it for an ATM project before I die.

Ralph was an incredible,soft-spoken man who spoke with authority (he was incredibly knowledgeable). I consider myself blessed to have personally have known him. I bought a Dakin Barlow because of my history with Ralph.

My very first post on CN was a response to someone referring to the Dakin Barlow and asking who he was as a man.

My last house outside Rochester, NY was about a mile from where Ralph lived.

I'd love to hear more about his 10" Newt.

We also had George T. Keene in our club, but while I met him, I can't say I knew him.

#20 Geo31

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:02 PM

Oh, and I know how Ralph ended up in your club...

Ralph's wife (Helen I believe) was originally from Maine, and when Ralph retired they moved to Helen's hometown in Maine.

Ralph passed in 1995.

Interestingly enough, I got the ages exactly correct above. Ralph was 40 years older than me and was my current age when we met.

#21 pbealo

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:52 PM

I believe in naming scopes. Two of mine are named after Ralph and Helen. http://www.chachka.n...instruments.htm

I knew Ralph from Stellafanes and Vernonscope antigue telescope auctions. I first met Ralph at an auction in the early 70s. As a kid I had no money so only bid on one thing: a scruffy barlow. After I won it for maybe $5 this guy (who later turned out to be Ralph) tapped on my shoulder and told me it was a prototype 3X Dakin barlow that he had made. I still have it.

Much later when he collimated my 10X80 binoculars, my wife and I drove up to Maine to pick them up and had a nice visit. It turns out that Helen went to college at the "Rochester Antheneum", which morphed into the Rochester Inst of Tech where my wife and I attended.

Still later, I learned of Ralph's death when I was told by another CN member that a number of books from his library were at a local used book store. I of course snapped them up! A couple were inscribed by Henry Paul to Ralph, thanking him for his photo contributions to them, and another from Geroge Keene also thanking him. I would LOVE to see or own an actual telescope that he built!!

Peter B.
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#22 Geo31

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 09:21 PM

Interesting note about Ralph and Stellafane. Turns out he made it to the convention at Stellafane for over 45 consecutive years. He started attending when he was in high school. I don't know exactly how many he actually went to.

#23 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 09:49 PM

Wow, George, and now pbealo, too; what a story, and where else we should meet but on Cloudy Nights?!

If Ralph worked for Bausch & Lomb, presumably in a high position, he likely knew the optical engineer Stanley Brower, another founder of our club. Put that together with a wife from Maine to find the beginnings of the Central Maine Astronomical Society. I'll have to speak with some of our long-time members to see whether that's what happened.

His telescope deserves a thread of its own, as do many others in our club's possession. It's a Newtonian with an absolutely stunning mirror. Ralph did not make it, but it had been his. If Ralph passed in 1995, perhaps his scope went to someone else who later gave it to the club. So many holes in my knowledge of my club's history. I'll see what I can learn, and will report back.

Lots of fun finding that Cloudy Nighters I've known for a while, from far across the country, knew Ralph Dakin!

PM me to arrange a trip to see Ralph's telescope!

#24 ccaissie

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 04:51 AM

Um, no.

Ralph was part of a group near Sebago, long before we created CMAS. Lenny and MAx acquired his 8" Newt which we have in the Club.

We've got piles of his stuff.

C

#25 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:24 AM

CCaissie's history of Ralph Dakin is official! He's the founding member of our club whom I contacted regarding the history of our Dakin gear. I don't know whether members of our club will get to Stellafane this year, but it sounds as though the fans would flip if we brought Ralph Dakin's scope.

I'm still fascinated to learn more about Ralph Dakin. Amazing to think one astronomer could be known all over the country.






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