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A Real Mystery Refractor - What the heck is it?

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#1 Preston Smith

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:17 PM

Here is a custom made refractor that was donated to a local college near my home. It was custom made for a Dr. James Gant who donated the scope back in the 80's. When the college asked about its function (when accepting it) Dr. Gant basically stated "just take it" and didn't say anything more.

- It's about 2.5 meters long
- 4" objective but it looks like a single lens in the front and rear of the objective cell
- Everything is machined aluminum - excellent craftsmanship
- Five knobs on the back - see the pictures

OK Folks, any idea what the heck this was used for? :question:

Have you seen ANYTHING like this before? :shrug:

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#2 Preston Smith

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:17 PM

Pic 2

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#3 Preston Smith

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:18 PM

Pic 3

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#4 Preston Smith

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:18 PM

Pic 4

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#5 Preston Smith

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:19 PM

Pic 5

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#6 twhite

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:28 PM

I recognize the eyepiece. It's one of the ~38mm military surplus/tank periscope Erfles that Jaegers and I think Edmund sold. I have one, and it's a really good eyepiece. I had a custom barrel made for it several years ago like the old 1.25"/2" Naglers which makes it much more useful. I have the original steel 1.25" adapter as well.

As far as the rest...? Are the other optical pieces in the middle flats, or what? The first thing that came into my mind was some sort of solar scope, but it's hard to say.

#7 jwaldo

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:31 PM

I'd have to guess it's some sort of solar scope, too. Or maybe it has an integrated cloud filter :whistle:

#8 Vesper818

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:46 PM

That off- center houses the filter when not in use? Were you able to take a look through it?
Way cool even if its just a fancy terrestrial scope

#9 Glassthrower

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:52 PM

This is a Goldbergian Model 13 anastigmatofractor.

Produced between 1901 and 1903 by a group of mad Russian immigrants from the Ukraine. They were housed in an asylum in Belfast where they used recycled pavestone shavings to grind the lenses and coated them with a secret process that involved neoprussic acid and incantations.

Interestingly enough, they used singlet uncorrected flint glass objectives because all of them were color blind.

Not worth much in terms of money nowadays, but an interesting find nonetheless.

:silly:

#10 mikey cee

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:00 PM

Nice eyepiece is right. I use it almost 100% of the time on my Jaegers' 6-inch with a 2.7 adapter. Wouldn't trade it for anything! :smirk: :smirk:Mike

#11 Preston Smith

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:02 PM

This is a Goldbergian Model 13 anastigmatofractor.

Produced between 1901 and 1903 by a group of mad Russian immigrants from the Ukraine. They were housed in an asylum in Belfast where they used recycled pavestone shavings to grind the lenses and coated them with a secret process that involved neoprussic acid and incantations.

Interestingly enough, they used singlet uncorrected flint glass objectives because all of them were color blind.

Not worth much in terms of money nowadays, but an interesting find nonetheless.



Wow! Mike, you DA MAN! :bow:

Your knowledge of classic scopes is awsome. I'm not EVEN going to try and relay this to the college. I'll just forward your response to the Physics department and let them know that this is the official response from the mediator of the Classic Telescopes Forum on Cloudy Nights and that they can correspond directly with you if they have questions on your research..... :rofl2:

#12 Vesper818

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 09:32 PM

Tony,
Is this the eyepiece you are talking about???? Military Surplus 38mm Eyepiece

#13 krehmkej

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 10:49 PM

Looks like an artillery or tank dore-sighting device to me.

#14 mikey cee

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 11:24 PM

Carol....Tony's and my eyepieces have 6 elements in them. The one you have a link to isn't even close...no cigar!! :grin: :grin:Mike

#15 twhite

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 12:30 PM

Carol -- no, definitely NOT. It looks like the one in Preston's picture above. It has a HUGE eye lens and a field lens almost 2" in diameter. You do have to use a field stop because the edge goes away rather quickly, though.

Some of you older (more classic) guys can help me out here, but I seem to recall seeing in in S&T in the 60s and into the 70s with the Jaegers advertisements. I was told Edmund sold it back in the day. It was sold with this funky 1.25" reducer thing that it screwed into -- the entire eyepiece is around 2.5" in diameter -- which also acted as a field stop. It has a built-in helical focuser (which is nice to have at the eyepiece sometimes) and the glass was from Eastman Kodak (military).

#16 mikey cee

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:30 PM

Tony....You are not halucinating. But I believe the eyepiece I have is exactly like the one in the picture. The 1 1/4"adapter that I have was only sold with this big Erfle it was not available on the King size 38mm only on the 32mm. And Edmunds and Jaegers specs were identical down to the adapter. neither one had an adapter for the 1 1/2"....that eyepiece was to mate with the giant focusers without an adapter on the 5" and 6" RFTs that you could make with the Jaegers lenses using either Jaegers or Edmund 2.7" focuser. ;)Mike

#17 twhite

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 03:33 PM

Mine looks just like that one as well... and *it* had an adapter (at least it did when I got it).

I'll post a pic later today.

#18 ngc2289

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 04:39 PM

Thats what I remember 32mm Erfle military surplus eyepiece with a 1 1/4" adapter. :)

#19 droid

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 11:15 PM

Tony ; was that the ep that was in th right angle military finders jaegers used to sell?
massive steel affairs, internal filter system, etc???

if so Ive never had one...... :roflmao:

but Ive wanted one for a long time, :grin:

#20 mikey cee

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 12:23 AM

Andy....Those big elbow finders were 8X power 48 degree AFOV scopes with 25mm dia. eyepieces and weighed in at 5 lbs. The kingsized 38mm Erfles came out of a 5x telescope with an AFOV of 65 degrees. The 32mm Erfles came from tank periscopes and had a larger 69 degree AFOV. ;) ;)Mike

#21 Jay_Bird

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 01:11 AM

Are any of the internal filters a diffraction grating? The oversized, off-center tube alignment suggests some folding of the light path in the larger diameter back end. Is this a spectrohelioscope?

#22 Preston Smith

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:34 AM

Are any of the internal filters a diffraction grating? The oversized, off-center tube alignment suggests some folding of the light path in the larger diameter back end. Is this a spectrohelioscope?


The tubes are not off-centered. When assembled the light path is straight. But the one lens on a rack and pinion is rotated back and forth across the light path (see picture). I'm not sure if it is just a lens or some type of crystal.

This was the other possibility of the scope - a spectrohelioscope. I'm not knowledgeable of their operation so I really can't comment more. But this other possibility should be considered.

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