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A NOTE FROM THE CAVE: RE ED BYERS 812

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#1 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:42 PM

Well Another Classic piece of equipment comes to the cave for a Saturday session. This is a Byers 812 equatorial mount Made by Edward Byers. This is probably going to be one of the most classic mounts around if it is not already. There were 95 of these made and they almost bankrupted Ed Byers, The story is Ed made a prototype and was inundated with people wanting them, So he took orders for 100 at $995. During production he realized they cost more than that to make! He later said he should have given every one back there money plus $200 and he would have been better-off. The situation and the reason that I picked this drive for restoration are as follows, first I stole it.. I was very cheap for what it is capable of, due to its aesthetic condition. Second it will carry 65 to a 100 lbs and track to 2 arc seconds. (I didn’t think I would ever own a mount that could do that) Third reason it will carry my 10” F8 cave and a CCD setup Also I am building a 13.1” F4.5 truss reflector out of a 1976 Coulter Odyssey Mirror that will also mount on the drive. And finally It is very light for its capacity I can pick up the mount with one hand. Well just wanted to let you guys know What the Caveman is doing this weekend. The mount is coming along very well and has very tight gears and bearings. I think it had very low hours on it. The anodizing is not worn at all on the drive gears and the motors both work and sound great. Some of you guys said to paint it RED I am a big Cave fan so I painted it with that in mind, plus the industrial colors make thing look Tough and like there ready for business. It will take me another week or so to get the mounting blocks and weights going so I will keep posting. CAVEMAN clint was here!!!!!! :smashpc:

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#2 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:47 PM

The entire mount is aircraft quality aluminum with stainless bolts Awsome piece of machining. Cavemans Econo Paramount!!! :jump:

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#3 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:53 PM

The other side of things! The ascension is controlled with the knob on the back. This shows the pendulum mechanism (awesome counter weighted parts inside) indicator shows thru a Plexiglas window. :bow:

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#4 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:57 PM

The Back! This unit had been left to rot in a barn and had a family of rats living in it for some years. Thank God it was in an upright postion!!!! This kept the parts that matter out of harms way!!!

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#5 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:02 PM

Ed Byers infamous gears... minus the rat family!! :jump: This is a segmented drive You set it up on your target. Turn it on and it tracks for 2 hours when it gets to the end of it gear it turns off and a red neon light turns on inside the housing. Then you can reset the grear in like 2 minutes

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#6 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:03 PM

Last Monday after the RTMC Expo :question:

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#7 BHunt

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:26 PM

Beautiful job!
Bill

#8 kfred

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:42 PM

Nice looking little scope...

Fred

#9 Bonco

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:47 PM

A master at work !!! Love it.
Bonco

#10 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:02 PM

Guys this Gear blows away stuff people build nowadays it is truly a joy to restore and save for the future... Love it!!

#11 Glassthrower

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:29 PM

Clint, you sir are a true giant amongst men. :bow:

Sweet work.

#12 Da Bear

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:00 PM

Hello, Smithsonian...I'd like to make a reservation.....

Clint, I'm slack -jawed and drooling over this spectacular piece of history.

Da Bear

#13 Bonco

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:45 PM

Clint you need to move to Florida and restore my "classic" house. Bonco

#14 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:59 PM

Thank you guys like I said it is a joy to restore these old dudes Im sending a shot to Ed Monday!!! Ok I took a bunch of the paint off to expose the aircraft quality aluminum work they did It is reallty Awsome to work with and should not be a problem unless i leave it in a barn for 20 years!! :question:

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#15 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 07:02 PM

:lol: :jump: :lol:

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#16 Eric P

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 07:11 PM

Looks fantastic!

#17 clintwhitman

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:55 AM

Well it tracked it first star for 1.5 hours no movment noticed

#18 George N

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:33 PM

Well Another Classic piece of equipment....... This is a Byers 812 equatorial mount.....


Byers 812. I remember it well!

We had one of these mounts at Kopernik Observatory (www.kopernik.org) back in the 80’s. We had a 12.5” Newt tube (which I helped build), plus a 3” refractor for a guide scope, and Parks rotating rings. It worked great (both visual and photography) while it lasted. The weight was too much for the Dec shaft because the “polar alignment” hole drilled thru the shaft was off-center. One night the shaft snapped and the entire scope came crashing down and almost killed a guy. Our insurance paid for repairs, but later Byers agreed to do the mount repair for free since the mount had been defective. We sold the entire lot, and the current owner of the mount is still using it. I do remember that some folks had problems getting the RA sector gear to seat properly when re-setting it. It took some experience to get the hang of it. However, once properly seated the mount would track very well. I sometimes wish we had that old mount back. I liked that mount so well that I personally bought a Byers 58 (later sold to help fund my current Mountain Instruments MI-250).

#19 clintwhitman

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 02:19 AM

Awesome George someone told me about the shaft problem so I really checked it out before using this thing all night tonight Boy this beats the heck out of the Astrola bounce mount!! This is an incredible old mount tracking seems perfect and so far it is a joy to use My 10" F8 with a 3.5 Telvue centered Venus for 1 hour with no drift before I got bored and moved to Saturn!!!! I cant wait to set up the Digital camera and see if I have more work to do. :foreheadslap:

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#20 clintwhitman

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 02:24 AM

I often wondered what I was going to do with the extra Cave cradle I found I had guess I know now!!

#21 ngc2289

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:58 AM

Beautiful set-up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :drool5: :drool5: :drool5: :rockon: :choochoo: :waytogo:

#22 ngc2289

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:04 AM

Looks like you droped a allen wrench on the ground! Don't loose it! :)

#23 Robert Provin

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 05:27 PM

Hi Caveman!
I had the pleasure of working with Ed Byers during the early 80s (that's 1980s not 1880s :lol:). Brad Wallis and myself produced quite a few images using the 812 as a platform and many of these images were used in Ed's ads at the time. I also had a hand in producing some of Ed's advertisements. The Byers logo, that circular gear with armillary sphere inside is my design. The ad which I post here appeared as a full page in Sky and Telescope for March 1981. The photo of the 812 that was featured in the ad was taken by Ernie Wallis (Brad's dad) with an 8x10 view camera. The original photo is an 8x10 color transparency! The 812 is darn near a perfect mount! The only Thing that would make it better is a full worm gear to replace the sector drive! Thanks for posting the pictures of your restoration...brings back many good memories!

Robert

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#24 Glassthrower

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:38 PM

Robert,

You design logos as well! I'd say you are truly multi-talented.

What was Ed Byers like in person?

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#25 Robert Provin

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:17 PM

Robert,

You design logos as well! I'd say you are truly multi-talented.

What was Ed Byers like in person?

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

Hi Mike,
Ed Byers is a gentleman and a real sharp mind. Back when I worked with him, his drives and mounts were so far beyond all the rest, well it was pathetic! Top quality, through and through. The quality we all enjoy today in drive systems and in mounts is largely the result of the standards Ed Byers set back in the 70s and 80s. None of this went to his head though, as he always was a very friendly and rather unassuming guy. We need more people like him! As far as the logo goes, I'm just an amateur! :)

Robert


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