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Can you Identify this Meade Telescope?

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#26 Charlie Hein

Charlie Hein

    Voyager 1

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 08:40 PM

Well folks, please do not expect this scope to look anything like the nicely preserved specimen it was over a decade ago when the first pictures you saw were shot. Even though I'd always known that there was a big newt under the cover in the corner of the observatory, I'd never had a really close look at it until I took it out on Saturday to take some pictures so that the Board could sell the scope. I've created an album of the pictures I took so you can have a look if you like.

Here are my impressions of the inspection:

It is very much in "project scope" shape now - very dirty and in need of an overhaul/serious cleaning, although I don't think that the mount itself needs to be regreased as the RA axis feels quite remarkably smooth. The AC motor seems to run fine. I'd clean this monster up and powder coat it if it was me doing the restore. It would look very nice all polished up and painted.

To me most of the rust and dirt seem pretty superficial - the paint and any uncovered steel and iron has definitely suffered the worst for wear.

The pictures do not show it but the glass is likewise very very dirty - there are spiderwebs in the tube and a lone pine needle laying over one corner of the primary. That said, with extreme care I think the mirrors could be cleaned up nicely. There appear to be no chips cracks or scratches in either of the mirrors and a cursory inspection doesn't show any obvious thin spots or sleeks in the coatings - IMO, even if you just didn't want to bother to try and salvage them at all (which I do think could be done with appropriate care), the optics could very easily be recoated and put into A-1 shape. The tube has been drilled to allow the primary mirror cell to be moved forward in the tube, obviously to allow the scope to reach focus with a camera.

The rings turn easily with no stiffness through a full rotation. Someone has put carriage bolts in that are too long for the focuser, but the focuser itself works okay. In fact, when we tried to have a look through the scope at a distant tree, the view was suprisingly sharp even with the very dirty glass!

We also found an aluminum case with the drive corrector, the DEC motor, a DC converter and assorted other stuff.

The mirror end counterweight system is still there as well - I haven't yet been able to find the finder or its bracket, or the guidescope we have seen in some of the pictures. Nobody can tell me if they may be stored somewhere else in the building or not - looks like I have a hunting expedition ahead of me to see if I can locate those items.

Anyway, that's how it looks to me at present. Thought you might be interested in the report.


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