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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061843 - 02/08/12 10:13 AM Attachment (47 downloads)

Another view of salt on the corrector. The different angle emphasizes salt that was less easily visible before. Pretty cool how all those little salt-prisms glisten in sunlight, huh?

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:53 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061845 - 02/08/12 10:13 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

Similar to the above, a different view of salt on the primary:

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:54 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061847 - 02/08/12 10:14 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

The inside of the finder's ocular has tons of salt. More importantly, it has a damaged cross-hair. Hhmmm... No way it came damaged from Celestron's venerable factory in Torrance, California, of the 1970s. Did it damage itself? Poltergeists? For the record, the finder's objective and the inside of the its tube were clean.

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 01:03 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061848 - 02/08/12 10:15 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

The diagonal is dirty, but oddly free of salt.

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:55 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061849 - 02/08/12 10:15 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

Yeah; honest -- that's dirt, not salt:

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:55 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061851 - 02/08/12 10:16 AM Attachment (40 downloads)

My precious eyepieces! Disgusting! Look at them, encrusted in salt!

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:55 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061853 - 02/08/12 10:16 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Okay, I hear ya thinkin' -- Dude, chill; there's a bit of dirt on the rubber eyecup of the one made from an old binocular; but, honest, those eyepieces are pristine! Maybe they need to be cleaned of some fingerprints and dust, but they're okay! Ain't no salt on 'em!

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 01:05 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061855 - 02/08/12 10:17 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Even the insides are clean...(!)

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:56 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061857 - 02/08/12 10:18 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

You, in the back row! Stop screaming during the lecture! Oh, sorry; what's that? You want to see a close-up of the tiniest eyepiece?

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:57 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061859 - 02/08/12 10:18 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

I've got all these great-big, shiny eyepieces, and all you care about is the tiny one that doesn't even say "Celestron" on it? Suit yourself....

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:57 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061861 - 02/08/12 10:18 AM Attachment (38 downloads)

Digiscoping! Let's try digiscoping! I'm quite proud of this image and the next, as they required adjusting the camera's manual controls. Automatic mode could not get it. The C8's f/10 optical system made for too slow an exposure, so the system got confused between the dark tube and its bright objective end. Setting the ASA at 800, the shutter at 1/60 of a second, and the aperture to 5.6 nailed this image of the secondary. It's not clear to me whether its just dirty, or the mirror is peeling. Actually, I suspect it's peeling, but don't want to believe it. Any experts know for sure, or will the verdict await the scope's pending dis-assembly for cleaning? It may be useable as it. Hate to throw money at a costly recoating...

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:58 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061864 - 02/08/12 10:19 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Refocusing through the visual back shows the salt on the corrector, as seen from the inside:

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 12:58 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5061974 - 02/08/12 11:12 AM

Now comes the spoiler alert. If you want to deduce how the scope came to be so encrusted in salt, pause at this post, because the next one reveals the answer. Hint: Although the scope was reportedly used on the coast, where it would have been exposed to salt air, that is not how it came to be camouflaged as a pretzel or a piece of smoked fish.

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actionhac
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/09/08

Loc: Seattle
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5062056 - 02/08/12 11:57 AM

Great photos Joe. Good thing is where there's salt I wouldn't think you would find dreaded glass eating/etching mold.
I recently bought a C5 that the owner sprayed with Armorall. Yes it's shiny but unusable and I have a new canoe anchor. I didn't think it was that bad when I bought it but 40X is about max magnification before image goes soft and yet it looks clean after I hit it with every chemical in the house.

Robert


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5062276 - 02/08/12 01:53 PM

To understand this scope's history, study the smoking gun. It can be seen in the first images of the recent fourteen. At the upper left corners is a prominent, narrow line of caked-on sea salt inside the tube, running from the corrector back to the primary. At some point in this scope's past, it became filled with seawater. That line shows where the salt settled after the scope was laid on its side on a table to allow the seawater to drain. The line widens just slightly near the corrector, where the water pooled as it seeped out of the tube. When the condensation from all the seawater would not dry completely, the corrector and secondary were removed to open the tube to the air. These were then reassembled incorrectly, with the corrector replaced backwards. This doubled, rather than corrected, the scope's spherical aberration, resulting in its current inability to focus. The owner at the time wrongly assumed the scope was trashed from the accidental immersion, and abandoned hope of further repair.

There are many ways this sort of damage may have happened to a scope from the coast. Someone may have fallen into a tidal pool while carrying the scope back to the car in the dark... or, the incoming tide may have flooded the scope when it was left unattended for too long... or, it may have fallen into the sea while being lifted into a boat. The tripod, mount, and wedge hosed off perfectly, although the Right Ascension motors were trashed. The finder is fairly tightly sealed, so by chance no salt water entered the objective end, but its reticle was not so fortunate. Its cross-hairs were damaged in an aborted attempt at cleaning. At the time of the accident, the diagonal and oculars were in their case, not on the scope, and so remained clean.

The seller had some real knowledge of the skies, but none about telescopes. At the time, I just smiled when she told me she had never used the finder, but had only scanned the skies with this scope. One does not "scan the skies" with a C8; its field of view is too narrow to make that at all enjoyable, or even possible. She claims to have observed in the past with experienced astronomers. They would have known how to work the scope, so she had only to look through it to admire what they found. Certainly if she had found a way to use the scope herself as she claimed, she would have known it could not focus.

I suspect, but can not prove, that the seller knows the scope's history, and was glad to have found a buyer who wrongly concluded its problem focusing was due to the furthest visible object being too close due to the confines of the forest. I have since learned that Celestron's manual for the C8 of this period says its close focus is 25 feet, so that was not the problem. This is a good lesson to me: always, always test a scope over a long vista; do not buy if the seller balks at transporting it some distance to make testing possible; download and study the manual prior to meeting the seller; and, pay less if the scope is blatantly unusable in its condition at the time of sale. My mistake. Whatever she knew, the seller emailed yesterday asking how I was enjoying the scope, knowing that my friend, the buyer for her other scope, will not arrive at her door with cash for another three days.

Having deduced this history but lacking proof of the seller's exact knowledge, I'll profess to give her the benefit of the doubt. She knew nothing, including (as neither did I at the time) that her single Brandon eyepiece went a long way toward making the sale worthwhile. Nice that the tripod and wedge are good to keep or resell, even if the optics never work. In telling me the motors did not work, the seller partially met her obligation to be forthcoming about the scope's history and problems. If she knew more, partially was not enough. More importantly and within my control, as I buyer, my caution was not enough, yet I still think the story will have a happy ending.

The scope is covered with salt, not dissolved in battery acid. The salt will wash away. The corrector can be installed correctly. I will continue this thread (or start another) detailing the scope's repair and, I hope, eventual return to service.

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/09/12 01:11 PM)


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: actionhac]
      #5062285 - 02/08/12 01:56 PM

Quote:

Good thing is where there's salt I wouldn't think you would find dreaded glass eating/etching mold.




Good thinking! A true comfort to me. Kinda like buying a Victorian home covered with ugly aluminum siding, only to find all the woodwork in perfect condition underneath.

Quote:

I recently bought a C5 that the owner sprayed with Armorall... 40X is about max magnification before image goes soft and yet it looks clean after I hit it with every chemical in the house.




Did you try denatured alcohol?


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5062288 - 02/08/12 01:58 PM

I still think you got a good deal that can be made whole again...


...but I would have gone for the Newt!

-Tim.


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: tim53]
      #5062379 - 02/08/12 02:44 PM

Quote:

I still think you got a good deal that can be made whole again...




So do I, thanks! Thanks for the vote of confidence... or celebration of my good luck in the end!

Quote:

...but I would have gone for the Newt!




I really like big Newts, and I want one someday, but it makes more sense now for this one to go to a friend from my astronomy club. He is going to build a new scope from its mirror to place atop his Atlas mount, which I'll be able to use. The mount from the sale may be fitted to one of the club's 16-inch Newts until the buyer is ready to house it in a second observatory he'll build for it, which will take time. When I'm ready for my big Newt, I may borrow one of the club's 16-inchers, or I may build a scope for our Thomas Cave 10" mirror, and build an observatory for the club on land I don't yet own.

So, all's well that ends well! This tale is not yet over. I'll follow through with a report of how well the C8 works after cleaning and proper assembly.


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Brian RisleyModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/04/06

Loc: SW Florida
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: tim53]
      #5062385 - 02/08/12 02:48 PM

Joe,
In the words of the $6,000,000.00 man -
We can rebuild him, we have the technology!

My 71/72 spent 6 months in a shallow pond (1980), not salt water, but still ruined all the electronics and something crawled over the mirrors and there is still a small water residue mark on the corrector. It then spent 22 years apart before I rebuilt it!
Is it worth rebuilding? Probably not.
(Mine was my first scope, so it has sentimental value.) Time and money spent for all of it would get you a better fork/ota. You do have a usable wedge/tripod.
(If you do ever part it out, let us know.)
Brian


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: The Plot Thickens: Fixing a Salt-Encrusted C8 new [Re: Brian Risley]
      #5062463 - 02/08/12 03:32 PM

Right now, I have three equally intelligent votes: "Be glad the salt prevented fungus from etching the glass," "It can easily be fixed," and "Cut your losses; sell it for parts and buy another."

Here's my plan:

My friend of the big Newt and I had already agreed to a four-handed optics cleaning party in honor of our new treasures. This is an excellent deal for both of us. He has an extra set of hands while working with big glass, and I get taught how to clean optics by an expert. Let's suppose I slip and destroy some of my glass (one hopes not his!). It won't be as though I trashed another friend's Astro-Physics refractor. Once the optics are removed, I'll literally hose down the metal parts. The salt should not be difficult to remove. Then I'll dry everything, clean away all old grease, and lubricate everything with the finest synthetic. After reassembling the scope, I'll truck it to the club's optician, where we'll have some fun aligning the corrector and secondary as described in an earlier post in this thread. What's wrong with any of that? Nothing!

If the finished scope works well, I'll laugh and use it. If it doesn't, I'll laugh and be surprised, but still have learned how to tear down and repair a Schmidt-Cassagrain. That, a Brandon, and a good tripod, wedge, and fork are surely worth the price paid! And, I'll be smarter next time, instead of just lucky enough.

I recall a dirty joke from my childhood: "White horse fell in the mud." There was a clean joke to go with it: "White horse fell in the sea." This scope fell in the sea, and in the ensuing efforts to dry it, the corrector got replaced backwards, or so I believe. No big deal. Maybe a blessing, since the rig did not sell for $400, $500, or more. Soon I'll know. All the worry about salt is dramatic, but it's just noise. It's salt, not sulfuric acid! I suspect not much harm was done, but will honestly report otherwise if that's what I learn.

If the optics cleaning party is fun, and in the end I have a good C8 for $250, I'll have no complaints. And, since the optics cleaning party will be fun, I'll still be chuckling even if, in the end, the C8 goes for parts to the many deserving members of this forum.

Edited by Joe Cepleur (02/08/12 03:33 PM)


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