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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
C8 question
      #6036488 - 08/20/13 01:12 PM

I've been scouring the forums looking for info to help me make a decision on whether or not to trade in my current scope. I have a C8 with the special coatings I believe. From another thread here it looks to date near 1980. Serial number 803100 .
It has the standard tripod and a wedge. I don't have any motor control equipment but the scope is fitted with motors. Obviously this puts me in manual mode for viewing.
So my delima is now that I'm interested in AP and having a scope that tracks so my kids can enjoy the sky without loosing an object every few seconds, is it time to let this one go?
My budget won't afford me any more aperture, but is a newer scope of the same size a better performer? Is this scope worth investing more money into with a new mount?
Looking forward to your opinions.


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Ham Radio
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Reged: 09/18/09

Loc: Baxter, Mn
Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6036667 - 08/20/13 02:41 PM

If the motors are working on your scope, and you get a close alignment then the scope will do fine for keeping things in view for you.

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bremms
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Ham Radio]
      #6036746 - 08/20/13 03:22 PM

Newer C8 won't really be much better and will cost a lot more.
Previous poster is right on the money. Plug the motors in, if they are spinning, you should be good to go. You will need to know how to polar align the scope. It will track fine for visual use that way.


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Joe Cepleur
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Re: C8 question new [Re: bremms]
      #6036837 - 08/20/13 04:06 PM

When I got my first vintage C8, I thought the motors were broken, but they were fine. Here's how to test them:

Plug in the scope and look up from the floor at the underside of the base. The two motors are easily visible (little round gizmos). Each has a tiny, clear plastic window, through which you should be able to see the motors spinning. Unplug and re-plug while looking in the windows; you'll see the rotors stop and start. You may need a flashlight if the windows are in shadow.

If that doesn't help, plug in the scope, lock the Right Ascension clamp (or both clamps, if you are uncertain which clamp that is), and walk away for a few hours or an afternoon. If upon your return the scope is pointing in a new direction, the motors work. If the scope has not turned, ask here.

You would not benefit from a new optical tube. I have not yet dabbled in astrophotography, but I've promised myself that when I do, my first trials will be with my vintage C8. Astrophotographers say things have changed a lot for the better, but the vintage fork mount was state-of-the-art at the time, so it would suit me for old-school trials.

I worry about all the excitement over astrophotography, not because I'm at all against this amazing new art, but because it distorts people's sense of the equipment they need. If you sold your vintage C8 for the latest astrophotography rig, you would lose an ideal scope for visual use, yet hardly make a dent in the cash needed for your new scope. (Even excellent vintage C8s are embarrassingly inexpensive relative to new scopes.) Better to keep and use the vintage C8 and add a modern astrophotography scope and mount than to lose what you already have in exchange for essentially nothing.

That said, I'm a visual guy. I'm sure the astrophotographers will have far more to say, but if you want a scope that tracks the skies for your children, you already have exactly what you need.


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Falcon-
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6036950 - 08/20/13 05:24 PM

I think I would get a new mount and keep the C8 OTA. It is quite easy to de-fork the C8 and add a dovetail (and equally easy to re-fork the mount to restore it to original). This is what I have done with my Orange C8, de-forked with dovetail for easier use on my modern mount, but with fork intact waiting to receive the C8 once again

What mount to get with AP in mind will depend on your budget. A Celestron Advanced VX or iOptron ZEQ25 should be sufficient for visual with the C8 and good for AP with camera lenses and wider field scopes (people have had success with a C8 on that class of mount for AP as well, but it is more work and may have mixed results).

If your budget can afford it an Orion Atlas EQ-G, Skywatcher EQ6, Celestron CGEM, or iOptron iEQ45 would allow for AP though the C8 easily.

With deep-sky AP it *always* pays to get the best mount you can afford. A poor telescope on a good mount will give better results then an excellent telescope on a low-end mount.


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SteveNH
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6037070 - 08/20/13 06:19 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

I'm not a hard core astrophotographer, but it seems to me you'd be trading apples for oranges if you got rid of your C8. As others have said above, the drive motors will do a great job straight off the power outlet even without frequency control. My C8 is close to your vintage (807390), and has proved to be an excellent instrument both for the kids in outreach sessions, as well as a fine portable visual scope. For me, precisely like Joe says above, I would never recover its full value if I were to sell it off.

Your C8 on a fork mount is a very capable instrument for lunar and planetary astrophotography as well, where you'd be using a webcam type camera like the old Philips SPC-900NC or a ZWO ASI120-MC and shooting video that would be stacked. Critical tracking requirements are relaxed because of the video, although a frequency controller does help. But for many deep space objects, more precision in tracking would be required, and an optical system with wider field coverage and brighter than what an 8" f/10 offers is usually preferred. This would get you more of the Andromeda Galaxy and Veil Nebula, for example, in the field of view. That typically means getting a high quality fast refractor on a substantial GEM mount, like the Celestron CGEM that I got, used for around $1000 (mount only). As Falcon mentions above, this would also be the class of mount that would easily hold your C8 for narrow field deep space astrophotography (especially with the f/6.3 reducer), although many have used it on its original fork mount for excellent shots of planetaries like the Ring and Dumbbell Nebulae, as well as globulars like M13. It all depends on what you want to shoot, and the time and money you want to invest in this separate hobby, or branch, of amateur astronomy. If you plan to do planetary photography, upgrading would usually mean more aperture, as the shots below will illustrate:


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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: C8 question new [Re: SteveNH]
      #6037411 - 08/20/13 10:36 PM

Thanks so much for the great replies. it's comforting to know my old Orange C8 still holds it's own compared to the newer ones.
I should have stated that I do not have any of the control hardware. Not even a power cord. I'm sure they can be had, but since I truly despise the rigid tripod I have no intent on getting them.
I had been looking at the CG5-GT mount but after some research here it appears to be less than adequate for my needs.You guys have recommended some mounts so it looks like I have some more research to do.
I will say that go-to is a must. AP is probably a long time down the road for me at this point.The majority of my scope time is viewing with family.
Keeping my current scope is my preference. It may also enable me to pick up a 100mm or so refactor for 4x4 trips that require more portability. One thing at a time though!
Can anyone tell me how much my OTA weighs?


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Joe Cepleur
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6037516 - 08/20/13 11:49 PM

Quote:

I truly despise the rigid tripod




For your own sake, be sure you understand it before you despise it. Celestron's Locked Field Tripod is a *great* feat of engineering. In exchange for not being adjustable in height (which is no loss, since you can always rotate the eyepiece down if necessary), it is stiffer and better at dampening vibrations than far, far heavier tripods. The legs are made of straight lengths of spring steel, and are forced into their curvy positions with the fittings at their tops and bottoms. Pre-tensioning the steel creates the stiffness and dampening properties. It is among the finest and most misunderstood tripods available. It is far lighter to schlep into the field than anything else you'll ever have.

Power cords are easily obtained on eBay.

If astrophotography is "a long time down the road" just now, you already have everything you need. Learn to use it. When you truly understand it, and why it is so sought after even thirty-eight years later, then you'll be ready to consider buying new gear.

GoTo is fine if you want it, but if you've ever watched people fuss with their GoTos without getting them to work, you'll appreaciate that you could just as easily learn the skies and find plenty to see with the scope you already have. That would also make you a better astronomer. Join your local club. People there will teach you how. Your vintage C8 will teach you, if you let it!


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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6037578 - 08/21/13 01:14 AM

Joe, I appreciate your candid reply. It does have me rethinking my position and considering all my options. Admittedly I have ZERO experience with go-to set ups.

I can see that you truly have an appreciation for the C8 tripod! Can't say that I will ever share it with you. By reading your sig it looks like our scopes are of nearly the same vintage.


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orion61

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Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6038633 - 08/21/13 03:58 PM

Hi 5RNS: FIRST of all welcome to the Forums!!
Gary Hand at Hands on Optics, sells them for about $20.00 shipped. If he is out I have an extra one.
You have one of the best tubes on the Market right now.
As many here will attest to, those old Orange tubes are a Passion of mine, and I have refurbished quite a few, one from Joe here. Nobody has asked the question of what kind of AP do you want to do?
If it is just Planetary, with a power cord you are set as far as the scope goes. If you want to take Deep Space Images then that is a different story, that scope is not that well suited.
It can be done but you would have to buy a Dual axis drive corrector & a Dec motor.. It's just not worth it.
For having fun with the kids, and neighbors, and for Lunar and Planetary Imaging all you need is a ccd Camera about $50-75.00 used. The software can be found for free.
You already have one of the best compound (Mirror Lens) scopes ever made.
Please feel free to PM me for more detail, I can even set up a time to call you, I will do anything I can to help you out..
Heck for a couple hundred bucks and some searching you can even find an after Market Computer for your scope! The JMI Max and MiniMax are great and accurate, I have used one on my Orange C8 since the 80's!
All the best of luck, and be assured "There are no dumb questions here" We are all friends and have been where you are at one point..
Again,
Welcome to the Forums!
Larry


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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: C8 question new [Re: orion61]
      #6039077 - 08/21/13 08:16 PM

Larry, Thanks for the warm welcome and your offer to help.
I have learned quite a bit in from this thread.I'm really happy to know I have this great scope already. I just need to add a little more equipment and a lot more knowledge and I will be set!
Let me clarify my AP comment.I mentioned it more as a qualifier for what a new mount should be capable of. If i were to invest in a new mount I would like to have AP capability. Someday I may actually have time to explore that part of the hobby.For now it will be just viewing.
So what is it I need? I see the cord is readily available but is there something I'm missing? A control box? Some sort of regulator?


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rdandrea
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6039895 - 08/22/13 10:52 AM

Quote:

So what is it I need? I see the cord is readily available but is there something I'm missing? A control box? Some sort of regulator?




For visual, if the motors are working, just the power cord.


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tim53
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Re: C8 question new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6039983 - 08/22/13 11:41 AM

Even for AP, all you'd need to add is a drive corrector and dec motor. Especially for planetary.

For DSOs, the camera and guider gear is likely to cost a few $K, so factor that into your future goto plans.

The old spur gear drives are surprisingly accurate. For hoots once, I measured the PE of a few of my mounts. The orange c8 I had at the time had an error of about 22 arc seconds. Of course, it was erratic, not periodic, but that's still amazing for a spur gear drive. For comparison, my Nexstar 9.25GPS has a worm gear drive with a periodic error a bit worse than 22 arc seconds. In addition, the error is rather jumpy, with spikes as bad or worse than the spur gear drive. Of course, the 9" has PEC and an autoguided port, whereas the 8" doesn't. Still, you'd have to invest in two cameras, a guidescope, and probably a laptop for controlling everything.

If I were starting out, I'd first learn what I can do with my existing setup. You can spend months playing with the c8 and a webcam or piggyback dslr (or even slr) before you run out of interesting targets, or the rest of your life if you discover you enjoy the capability and simplicity of a basic system.

Tim


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orion61

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Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: C8 question new [Re: tim53]
      #6041864 - 08/23/13 01:09 PM

Since you are new to Astronomy, I would learn to "crawl" before you try to "run".
Learn the basics like rough Polar Alignment, Learn the Constellations, and where larger brighter objects are.
Download the information for the Kochab clock,
(Google this and everything will be explained)
Also learn "How to Collimate a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.
Your scope is capable of opening a World of wonder for you and your Kids. You have the perfect scope for User Friendly,
"IF" you do your homework before using. I have seen so many people, some in my own Family get frustrated by purchasing a scope, taking it out at night, pointing it straight up and expect to see Hubble like images. When all they see is Stars they get frustrated.
One thing I can promise you is we will all "bend over backward" to help you learn to enjoy the Hobby.
I believe I speak for everyone here when I say, we are here to help our new members avoid frustration, and remember no matter how silly a question may seem to you, we have all been there and are thankful to the folks that spent time with us.
Larry


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Glen A W
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Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: C8 question new [Re: orion61]
      #6042067 - 08/23/13 03:28 PM

Seems funny that the C8 is not considered a prime AP scope, since it was what everybody lusted over for AP when I was young. Get a focal reducer.

The newer C8s are not as good. They are cheaply made and the focusers are coarse on some of them. The ones from the early 70's up until the early 90's suit me much better. It would be worth it to get a decent mount and switch it over if it suits you. I do not agree that the CG-5 is inadequate. I use a Vixen 10.4 on one just fine, for AP and just about everything you could do with a scope. There is a big difference between a perfectly usable scope/mount setup and one you can lay your tired head on at 3am without shaking it!

Good luck with that scope. Glen

Edited by Glen A W (08/23/13 03:30 PM)


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6042291 - 08/23/13 05:31 PM

I know someone else who is getting herself a new/old vintage orange tube C8. Should be arriving in a week or so.

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tim53
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6042305 - 08/23/13 05:37 PM

There's one in astromart auctions right now. I know the seller, so I shouldn't be the one posting about it.

-Tim.


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: tim53]
      #6042307 - 08/23/13 05:39 PM

Mine is "in the bag" (or the packing crate) as we speak. I'm pretty stoked. Always wanted one. By the way Tim, it was your thread on Tinky that made me take the plunge. I had been looking for a nice early one for the past year at a reasonable price, and when I looked at how beautiful your restoration job was, I said to myself, I have to have one, and weirdly, one came up the next day and I jumped on it. It appears to be in very nice shape too.

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rdandrea
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6042459 - 08/23/13 08:53 PM

Quote:

Mine is "in the bag" (or the packing crate) as we speak.




Are you sure? It has at least two mirrors. Maybe three if it has a diagonal. Are they all in your purse?


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6042488 - 08/23/13 09:09 PM



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bremms
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6042597 - 08/23/13 10:14 PM

Gotta have one C8 in the stable. I'm partial to the sandcast after the fuzzy suede paint. Congrats Terra!

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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: C8 question new [Re: bremms]
      #6042716 - 08/23/13 11:46 PM

Update.....
I'm set to order the power cord I need. Then it's off to put some of the stuff I have learned recently to use. Big thanks to orion61 for tutoring me along via PM's.
I've actually owned this scope for nearly 15 yrs. Little did I know what a wonderful scope it is, I have a new found enthusiasm for it and can't wait to give you guys an update once I get going.


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6042718 - 08/23/13 11:47 PM

Thanks Marc. I thought the same thing. It's supposed to arrive next Thursday. Pictures will be forthcoming.

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Datapanic
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6042806 - 08/24/13 01:07 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

Quote:

I've been scouring the forums looking for info to help me make a decision on whether or not to trade in my current scope. I have a C8 with the special coatings I believe. From another thread here it looks to date near 1980. Serial number 803100 .
It has the standard tripod and a wedge. I don't have any motor control equipment but the scope is fitted with motors. Obviously this puts me in manual mode for viewing.
So my delima is now that I'm interested in AP and having a scope that tracks so my kids can enjoy the sky without loosing an object every few seconds, is it time to let this one go?
My budget won't afford me any more aperture, but is a newer scope of the same size a better performer? Is this scope worth investing more money into with a new mount?
Looking forward to your opinions.




I would hold on to it as it does make an excellent AP scope, even without a lot of gizmos to bring it up to current standards. After all, people were taking great film photos with C8's 30 years ago way before digital cameras and autoguiders came into play.

The picture below of M13 was taken with a Canon T3i at prime focus with just a clock drive running for about 20 seconds through a Cave 8" Newtonian - no other guiding. This should give you an idea of what the C8 is capable of doing.

Resale values of 80's C8's are kinda low, so once again, I say hold on to it and see how far you can take it, then get something BIGGER!


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orion61

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Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6042971 - 08/24/13 04:51 AM

Hi Terra:
I always knew you would slip to the Dark side,
Glad to see you venture in the CAT Family.
I cant wait until we see your first impressions.


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: orion61]
      #6043169 - 08/24/13 08:46 AM

Thank you Larry. It will be my third reflector, first SCT. I love my little Russian Mak, and recently got my 6 inch Newt back that I made while in high school. This will be my largest scope. I always wanted something of 8 inch aperture and this will be reasonable for me in terms of weight and setup. I am going to de-fork it (saving the fork mount of course) and put it on my recently acquired Meade 826 eq. Mount which I will also use for my 6 inch reflector.

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rdandrea
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6043517 - 08/24/13 12:28 PM

Quote:

Thank you Larry. It will be my third reflector, first SCT. I love my little Russian Mak, and recently got my 6 inch Newt back that I made while in high school. This will be my largest scope. I always wanted something of 8 inch aperture and this will be reasonable for me in terms of weight and setup. I am going to de-fork it (saving the fork mount of course) and put it on my recently acquired Meade 826 eq. Mount which I will also use for my 6 inch reflector.




I think you'll like it. Does it come with the tripod? If so, don't be so quick to de-fork it--try it as is for a bit. They track very well and with the fork there's no weird observing angles.


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6043532 - 08/24/13 12:35 PM

No, doesn't come with the tripod (that was broken). A wedge is available, and I was thinking of making an adaptor to use the fork mount with or without the wedge on a heavy duty steel surveyors tripod. From what I understand, its rather easy to de-fork and re-fork them. I was told that the mount/drive works quite well. Should I get the wedge?

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rdandrea
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6043568 - 08/24/13 12:55 PM

Quote:

Should I get the wedge?




I think so. Gives you more options.


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6043704 - 08/24/13 02:11 PM

Thanks. I'll look into that then. I was thinking the same thing.

Terra


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rdandrea
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6043720 - 08/24/13 02:22 PM

How badly broken is the tripod? Can it be welded? The C8 tripods are really quite light and make for easy setup.

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tim53
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6043726 - 08/24/13 02:25 PM

Remember, too, that an old c8 with synchronous spur gear drive can't track in altaz mode, so you'll need the wedge (unless you can find one of Tuthill's "wedgepods").

The setting circles are big enough to put objects in a low power field pretty easily.

All around, the original c8 was a nice portable package. I. My view, the sct design doesn't scale up very well, such that 10" and larger scts aren't any easier to use in the field tha. Comparable newts - they're just more compact (and even then, not by a lot).

Tim


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bremms
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6043730 - 08/24/13 02:26 PM

Wedge for sure. You can even set it on a sturdy table do a rough alignment and plug in the drive. They are really god all around scopes. Biggest thing is, portable aperture. Mine has very good optics and even does well on planets. I hope yours is good. Most of the pre 82-3's scopes were at least good. Collimation collimation collimation.. Very important to get it spot on for good images. The fork mount is very nice.
I still prefer my 6" F10 Jaegers and big reflectors, but it's not bad.


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orion61

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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6044169 - 08/24/13 08:15 PM

I still believe the C8 (and Meade 8) if figured properly, are the best one size fits all scope ever made, You can disagree
but never change MY mind


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Joe Cepleur
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Reged: 03/18/10

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Re: C8 question new [Re: orion61]
      #6044326 - 08/24/13 10:16 PM

+1

Larry's advice is the best. I can vouch for that, because he is one of the folks who taught me a hunk of what I know.

One last comment on the Locked Field Tripod:

Quote:

learn to "crawl" before you try to "run"




In astronomy, one also learns to "carry." Whether you carry your scope from the shed into the backyard, or from the parking lot hundreds of feet into the field, you carry your gear. The Locked Field Tripod is designed for carrying. Comparing the tripod to a Meade 2080 of similar vintage, the Celestron Locked Field Tripod weighs almost nothing. The Meade, for a scope of similar weight, weighs a ton, and is no steadier and no better at dampening vibrations. Maybe it's not even as good. Carry your scope a few times, and you'll appreciate what you have, the ultimate lightweight, steady tripod. As part of a total package, it excels.

Come to think of it, is your tripod steady? Does it require some effort to pull it together under tension? I have seen one that was used for years without ever having been adjusted correctly. If yours is unsteady, if it flops around at the slightest touch, surely you would hate it, but we can help you fix that, too. When assembled and adjusted correctly (there are set screws for each leg in the hub), it is ultra-lightweight and shockingly strong and steady.


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Joe Cepleur
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6044336 - 08/24/13 10:23 PM

Quote:

I know someone else who is getting herself a new/old vintage orange tube C8. Should be arriving in a week or so.




Terra, you rock! Welcome to the club. You've always stayed at 3" refractors, saying larger ones were awkward to lift. The base of a C8 is heavy, but bear hug it, and you'll be fine.

The C8 is perfect for you. You're it's ideal buyer, the person who wants a seven-foot long, 8" refractor, but knowing that's impossible to move, buys the ultimate mini super-scope instead. You'll love it!


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5RNS
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Datapanic]
      #6044429 - 08/24/13 11:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I've been scouring the forums looking for info to help me make a decision on whether or not to trade in my current scope. I have a C8 with the special coatings I believe. From another thread here it looks to date near 1980. Serial number 803100 .
It has the standard tripod and a wedge. I don't have any motor control equipment but the scope is fitted with motors. Obviously this puts me in manual mode for viewing.
So my delima is now that I'm interested in AP and having a scope that tracks so my kids can enjoy the sky without loosing an object every few seconds, is it time to let this one go?
My budget won't afford me any more aperture, but is a newer scope of the same size a better performer? Is this scope worth investing more money into with a new mount?
Looking forward to your opinions.




I would hold on to it as it does make an excellent AP scope, even without a lot of gizmos to bring it up to current standards. After all, people were taking great film photos with C8's 30 years ago way before digital cameras and autoguiders came into play.

The picture below of M13 was taken with a Canon T3i at prime focus with just a clock drive running for about 20 seconds through a Cave 8" Newtonian - no other guiding. This should give you an idea of what the C8 is capable of doing.

Resale values of 80's C8's are kinda low, so once again, I say hold on to it and see how far you can take it, then get something BIGGER!




That's a great shot! Thanks for sharing.


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5RNS
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6044446 - 08/25/13 12:08 AM

Quote:

+1

Larry's advice is the best. I can vouch for that, because he is one of the folks who taught me a hunk of what I know.

One last comment on the Locked Field Tripod:

Quote:

learn to "crawl" before you try to "run"




In astronomy, one also learns to "carry." Whether you carry your scope from the shed into the backyard, or from the parking lot hundreds of feet into the field, you carry your gear. The Locked Field Tripod is designed for carrying. Comparing the tripod to a Meade 2080 of similar vintage, the Celestron Locked Field Tripod weighs almost nothing. The Meade, for a scope of similar weight, weighs a ton, and is no steadier and no better at dampening vibrations. Maybe it's not even as good. Carry your scope a few times, and you'll appreciate what you have, the ultimate lightweight, steady tripod. As part of a total package, it excels.

Come to think of it, is your tripod steady? Does it require some effort to pull it together under tension? I have seen one that was used for years without ever having been adjusted correctly. If yours is unsteady, if it flops around at the slightest touch, surely you would hate it, but we can help you fix that, too. When assembled and adjusted correctly (there are set screws for each leg in the hub), it is ultra-lightweight and shockingly strong and steady.




Packing gear isn't an issue,my other hobby is powerlifting ... I haven't noticed any problems with the tripod or it's adjustment. It's more like a lack of realizing it's capability.


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orion61

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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6044496 - 08/25/13 01:02 AM

Actually the Meade adjustable Field tripod is quite a bit
more sturdy. I have had one set up right next to my C8s
locked silver tripod and dampening time was about 30% less with it.
In my opinion the Meade is about the best one out there.
It is also a nearly direct copy of the Criterion Dynamax "Golden Tripods" from the 70's
But for the weight of it the Celestron tripods are VG.
especially if you are packing gear away from your car!
Also thank you very much for your kind words, remember I am only a phone call away for you. I left my number in one of our PM's.
Larry


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5RNS
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Re: C8 question new [Re: orion61]
      #6044558 - 08/25/13 01:45 AM

I saw your number there and I'm sure I may need it eventually.Thank you. I just ordered my cord about an hour ago. Now the waiting game begins.

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Joe Cepleur
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6044710 - 08/25/13 05:58 AM

Quote:

Packing gear isn't an issue, my other hobby is powerlifting ...




Years ago, I sold backpacking equipment. A huge guy walks into the store, maybe 300 pounds of solid muscle, to buy an outfit for a wilderness trip. He asks for the most comfortable sleeping pad we carry. I show him that, at about three pounds and too big to fit in the pack, and a backpacker's foam pad at maybe twelve ounces and small. I explain that the big pad is meant for use in base camp or maybe car camping. He grabs the big one an responds, "You got some straps I could use to tie this to my pack? If it fits with the pack, I don't care if it's made of lead!"

Another power lifter? I appreciate your good fortune!

Larry, I remember now you told me about the special virtues of Meade's tripod for the 2080. Still, I find in my C8s, any wiggling comes more from the wedge than the Locked Field Tripod. Maybe that's not really true? Maybe the wedge is solid, but its length provides more leverage for wiggling the tripod? I'll increase the tension on the tripod and see if that helps.


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Joe Cepleur
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Re: C8 question new [Re: tim53]
      #6044732 - 08/25/13 06:38 AM

Quote:

All around, the original c8 was a nice portable package. In my view, the sct design doesn't scale up very well, such that 10" and larger scts aren't any easier to use in the field than comparable newts - they're just more compact (and even then, not by a lot).




A member of my club had a good year, so he traded his modern Meade 8-inch SCT for a 12-inch. It's a lot bigger and a ton heavier, but to his surprise, is not a radical improvement when viewing most objects here on the Northern East Coast. It certainly resolves more stars in a cluster (actually, it's stunning in that regard; this improvement is worthwhile in itself), but in general, and despite careful collimation, objects are not appreciably brighter or even radically more detailed. Maybe it would be better in the ideal skies of New Mexico or Arizona, but for our location, the 8-inch is magical, giving most of the benefit for less of the cost, weight, and hassle. We have to jump to the club's 18-inch Dob to see a big difference on extended dim objects.

The take-away for the OP is that the C8 he already has is a deceptively potent, portable package. Not perfect in every way, no, but the with all the right trade-offs for a superb all-around, practical telescope.


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6044818 - 08/25/13 09:09 AM

Hi Joe,

Thanks for saying that I rock. But "Always stayed at 3 inch refractors..."? Don't know what gave you that impression? Maybe because I have three F15 and F16 classic 3 inch refractors but my favorite telescope is actually my modern 4 inch F 11 refractor (had it out at our club star party last night) and I also have modern 5 and 6 inch refractors, (I just dont talk much about them in this forum). My cutoff is 30lbs for the OTA and 5 feet for the length of the OTA generally (although I am currently building one that will be closer to 6 feet long. I have never owned a scope larger than 6 inches in aperture though and am looking forward very much to the C8.

As far as mounting the C8, I just ordered a set of ADM radius blocks and a long Vixen rail. Next week I am going to my friends machine shop and will be making an adapter plate to put a Vixen dovetail jaw on the vintage Meade 826 mount that I bought for my 6 inch reflector. It has a very nice clock drive and will be more than capable for the C8. I may also make a sliding counter-weight for the C8 if It seems to be needed for use on the GEM. I am very partial to GEMs and will for the meantime de-fork the C8 and safely store the fork mount. (I will definitely get a wedge however.)

Thus are my present plans for the C8, however I am very interested in looking into the Tuthill Isostatic mount for the C8 down the road.


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Joe Cepleur
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6044967 - 08/25/13 10:58 AM

Gosh, Terra;

I coulda sworn you yourself said you liked smaller aperture refractors because you could more easily lift them. Maybe ya did, and I misunderstood that did not mean you used them exclusively. Certainly makes more sense to be realistic about size and weight, not aperture. And that is where the C8, like you, rocks!

But, getting back to the OP's original question, you are an experienced observer with preferences honed over many years. For a newcomer, I say, "Begin by using what you have as it is," especially when that scope is a vintage C8!

I've never deforked a C8, but I've heard, and hope you have, too, that it is easy to scratch the tube against the screws attaching it to the forks if you don't something exactly right. Maybe we should start a new thread for that.


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orion61

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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6045040 - 08/25/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

I saw your number there and I'm sure I may need it eventually.Thank you. I just ordered my cord about an hour ago. Now the waiting game begins.



Another accy you need to look into is a Celestron F6.3 Focal reducer and field Flattener.
It does 3 important things, reduces the magnification so finding Deep Space objects is easier thats one.
I dramatically reduces the field curve in the F10 SCT, thats 2
Also seals the tube from dust.3
Oh yes it drastically reduces exposure time for Prime focus Astro photography!
Try and find the original Made in Japan version. I like them better, don't know if the coatings are better, or if they are better optically. I could see a slight difference in sharpness between the 2 I had. I kept the MIJ and sold the other one..


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orion61

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Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6045047 - 08/25/13 11:46 AM

My C8 and Meade 7" Mak are getting the most use out of my Stable of scopes. It has to be a pretty good Night of "seeing"
for my C14 to really show off, And you think that Meade 12" is heavy, try the C14 Compustar. It is close to 190 lbs total
WOW.. BUT when the seeing is right Holy Smoke does it Rock!
Later Dudes and Dudettes.


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tim53
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Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6045066 - 08/25/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

Gosh, Terra;

I coulda sworn you yourself said you liked smaller aperture refractors because you could more easily lift them. Maybe ya did, and I misunderstood that did not mean you used them exclusively. Certainly makes more sense to be realistic about size and weight, not aperture. And that is where the C8, like you, rocks!

But, getting back to the OP's original question, you are an experienced observer with preferences honed over many years. For a newcomer, I say, "Begin by using what you have as it is," especially when that scope is a vintage C8!

I've never deforked a C8, but I've heard, and hope you have, too, that it is easy to scratch the tube against the screws attaching it to the forks if you don't something exactly right. Maybe we should start a new thread for that.




The "remedy" is very simple. Just loosen the screws holding one fork arm to the base by a few turns. This will allow you to move the fork a quarter inch or so at the tube mounting point, which is more than enough room to get it out without scratching it. I make sure the tube is cradled in something soft, on a table, when you do this. Don't want things swinging around when you take the screws out.

-Tim.


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Brian RisleyModerator
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6045075 - 08/25/13 12:06 PM

I have the Meade and 2 Golden Pyramids. Don't have one of the locked triangle (been 30 years since I last used one). I do prefer the newer CPC one over the Meade and GPTs, but it has only recently become available. I actually put a CPC tray on my Meade (Much better as a stiffener IMO), so it may be a bit closer to the CPC now, but still has the weaker bottom struts.
Brian


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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: tim53]
      #6045534 - 08/25/13 05:09 PM

Thanks for the tips Tim. You da man here. What you've done with Tinky is amazing. I know who to ask if I have questions, (and I probably will).

Terra


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bremms
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6045951 - 08/25/13 08:54 PM

Tim's got the proper method. I like to take one arm off and slide the tube out with the brackets then remove the fork brackets from the tube. I have a set of tube rings for the C8 tube but like the bolted on dove tail better. Mine stays on the fork.

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terraclarke
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Re: C8 question new [Re: bremms]
      #6046845 - 08/26/13 11:45 AM

Looks like I'm getting an older Celestron Wedgepod for my C8. I'll use it on that for a while before I decide if I truly want or need to de-fork it and mount it on the Meade #826 GEM. The wedgepod looks like a nice stable and portable solution as I am only interested in visual observing with it.

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A6Q6
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6046960 - 08/26/13 12:50 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

Hi Terra, I hope you get a good C8, they seem to be hit and miss, I never realized how good a SC could be because the ones I looked through had soft images. Then I Picked up an orange tube C5 at a pawn shop for only $100.00 last winter and it wasn't until this summer that I saw that the optics were fantastic. I have had a Quantum Six for over 30 years so I know what good optics can do. Anyway, you will really be impressed if you get a good one. Good Luck

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rdandrea
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Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6047006 - 08/26/13 01:24 PM

Quote:

Looks like I'm getting an older Celestron Wedgepod for my C8. I'll use it on that for a while before I decide if I truly want or need to de-fork it and mount it on the Meade #826 GEM. The wedgepod looks like a nice stable and portable solution as I am only interested in visual observing with it.




Good move. Using the fork on a wedge has some real advantages.


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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

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Re: C8 question new [Re: orion61]
      #6047169 - 08/26/13 03:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I saw your number there and I'm sure I may need it eventually.Thank you. I just ordered my cord about an hour ago. Now the waiting game begins.



Another accy you need to look into is a Celestron F6.3 Focal reducer and field Flattener.
It does 3 important things, reduces the magnification so finding Deep Space objects is easier thats one.
I dramatically reduces the field curve in the F10 SCT, thats 2
Also seals the tube from dust.3
Oh yes it drastically reduces exposure time for Prime focus Astro photography!
Try and find the original Made in Japan version. I like them better, don't know if the coatings are better, or if they are better optically. I could see a slight difference in sharpness between the 2 I had. I kept the MIJ and sold the other one..




I will add it to the list. After giving myself a quick education on what it does it looks like a must have.


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tclehman1969
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Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6053517 - 08/29/13 11:07 PM

The old C8 is an awesome scope! You've done good in selecting that. It's a good mix of aperture and size for portability sake.

As for AP, it is a fine scope for that as well. I have a C8 from mid 80's that is a great workhorse. I have since deforked it, but in its early days, I was getting 5 - 8 minute exposures with no drive corrector and piggyback photography. Now, admittedly, that was on the Byers drive which was pretty dog-gone good, I think most old C8ers will agree. And for AP, there is a great YouTube video that goes into astro photography without a driven scope at all. Instead just a series of very short images on a DSLR stacked in a computer.

If you defork the scope, I learned a little trick to defork. When deforking loosen the two bolts where the fork attaches to the drive base on one of the forks. That way, when removing the screws from the tube end of the forks, you can wiggle the lose fork arm out of the way and not scratch the tube.

Anyway, great system and really you are set for a long time of enjoyment without getting carried away with equipment...don't get GAS: Gear Acquisition Syndrome. There is no question there is some great equipment available out there for astro photography, and many take some amazing images with it, but you don't have to break the bank to get some absolutely great images. Today, I have the same C8 deforked on a Atlas EQ-G and I'm still doing piggyback photography. I use a DSLR and use a 50 mm, 17-50mm, 50-150mm and a 80mm refractor. And this is great for a lot of deep space objects. When I image I like to put these objects in context with a bit of the area around them, so wide field work is great. Realistically, for me, anyway, there will be times when I image DSOs through the scope, but that will be rare.


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5RNS
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Reged: 08/19/13

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Re: C8 question new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #6054784 - 08/30/13 05:10 PM

Update......
I received my new power cord yesterday. Today i assembled the scope and mount,plugged it in and...........IT WORKS! At first I expected to hear something and didn't. So I zeroed the RA wheel and now I see she's purring right along.

While going through my gear I found my receipt from when I traded my 4.5 reflector in on it. 1993! Twenty years later it's like I have a new scope all over again.

And in keeping with new scope tradition, monsoon weather here.


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