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Feckermania

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#1 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:29 PM

Hi, group,

I'm Jim, and I'm a Feckerholic.

Group: "Hi, Jim!"

:lol:

So, Monday night, the guy who sold me the "mother of all Feckers" (per Caveman), a 1958 6" f/15 Fecker Celestar Maksutov, phoned me to say he was coming past my town on the way to an auction, and he had a 4" Fecker, and did I want to look at it?? :jump:

So, yesterday afternoon, I found myself loading a 4" f/10 Fecker Newtonian into my trunk for a short ride home!

This one has a green speckleware paint job, which provides a nice contrast to the blue speckleware 6". (Doesn't match my sofa as nicely, though, I must admit! ;))

It was stored for some time in an outdoor shed, and because it's an open-tube Newt, it harbored a bit of insect and arachnid life inside. All the paint is good, inside and out, but all the optical surfaces need a good cleaning, and likely recoating. The drive motor runs, and turns the worm and drive gear, but it doesn't turn the scope, so evidently the clutch material is shot (I'll need to pull the motor to get at it).

While it needs more cleanup than the 6" Mak, being a Newt, the work should be much more straightforward. I suspect that Lew won't be the only guy on this forum Feckering around with Mars come December! :grin:

So, why would a guy with a six-inch Fecker have any interest in a four-inch? Well, size isn't everything! Plus, a small Fecker is easier to handle! :roflmao:

FWIW, this one is serial number 185 (a bit of a puzzle to me, because I understood that the 4" Feckers were numbered in the 200's and 400's). It's evidently an early model, as the RA slow-motion is the cam-type that rotates the entire clock drive around the shaft, as opposed to the later slo-mo that works off the worm gear.

These two Feckers should keep me off the streets for a little while....

Clear skies,

Jim

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#2 clintwhitman

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:22 PM

Nice James your so stoked!! Gnarly Fecker mania!!! And wow I can really see how that 6" could be a grunt to move around!! These must be like an east coast Cave I never see these out west A guy just called me and said he wants me to come an saturday and get a 12.5" cave out of his garage!! So you can come help me move it and you will never complain about your 6" again!! :bow: :bow: Really cool scopes There is a rumor that Lew has one of these in woodland hills but I have been to 2 or 3 star parties with him and never seen it I think he just made it up to impress us Caveman.. :grin:

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#3 clintwhitman

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:36 PM

By the way Jim the 6" is still the Mutha of all The FECKERS I have seen that is a great piece of telescope. How is the star test on it and Is it hard to collminate? :bow:

#4 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:20 PM

By the way Jim the 6" is still the Mutha of all The FECKERS I have seen that is a great piece of telescope. How is the star test on it and Is it hard to collminate? :bow:


Very astute question, sir.

I've had it out "as is" for views of the Moon and Jupiter; quite good high-power views (lowest power is 90X, as it's f/15). Have not done a star test yet. I will be "opening it up" soon to clean up the optics a bit and--most important--install a baffle tube around the tertiary (internal diagonal) mirror. It's a complex instrument optically, and collimation is pretty complicated...thankfully I have access to very helpful advice from some experienced guys on this forum, including Lew and Ron R. You have to disassemble the optics, and collimate it one element at a time, using a remote bullseye target with a peephole in the center. Some of the disassembly/reassembly work is definitely a 2-man job. It's built like a tank, though, so once collimated and put back together, it should hold for a long time. This is a 1958 model, though, so it's time...

Because the 6" is quite usable as is, I'll probably start work on the "little Fecker" first, since working on a Newtonian is much more straightforward, as you well know.

As for Lew, he has posted photos of his little Fecker on CN, so I believe him! (Sounds like a violation of the TOS, though, doesn't it! :grin:) I sure wish I was within driving distance of Mt. Pinos, it sounds like you guys have way too much fun!

Clear skies,

Jim

#5 Lew Chilton

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:51 PM

Hey, Clint! I really do own a Fecker. It's not a figment of my imagination. Here's a recent picture. Can you spot it?

-Lew

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#6 Lew Chilton

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 10:07 PM

Jim, congrats on the acquisition of your Celestar-4! Green? Boy, that's a new one on me!! Can you take some closeups of the mount and serial number on the fork trunion plate? I'll bet there are other Feckerites who'd like to see them.

Thanks, Lew

#7 clintwhitman

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 11:53 PM

See the photo looks like a cartoon he drew it to try to fool us now I supose your going to start talking about a telvue 102 or some some really wierd base with a long pole sticking out LOL :yay: :yay: :yay: :silly: :yay: :yay: :yay:

#8 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 01:38 AM

Jim, congrats on the acquisition of your Celestar-4! Green? Boy, that's a new one on me!! Can you take some closeups of the mount and serial number on the fork trunion plate? I'll bet there are other Feckerites who'd like to see them.

Thanks, Lew


Thanks, Lew.

It's an aqua or blue-green, I guess. Not GREEN-green, but very different from the more common deep-blue speckleware paint.

I read somewhere that there was a Fecker ad that showed multiple speckle colors available, but apparently only the blue and green were actually produced.

I hope I've downsized my photo enough not to anger the CN photo-cops, but not too much to ruin the resolution. Photoshop is not my strong suit...

Jim

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#9 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 01:47 AM

Fecker logo/serial number

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#10 Lew Chilton

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:31 AM

Jim,

Here's the trunnion name plate with serial no. of my Celestar-4. A definite difference!

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#11 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:12 AM

Jim,

Here's the trunnion name plate with serial no. of my Celestar-4. A definite difference!


Yeah, I thought I saw the "red dot" on the trunion plate on the earlier photo you posted of your "little Fecker". Much like the name plate on my Celestar 6.

Not sure whether I like the red or b&w plate logo better...kind of nice to have one of each (as with the blue and blue-green paint jobs), I guess.

I see yours is a "400 series". I had read somewhere (probably a posting on the yahoo oldscope group) that the Celestar 6 scopes all had "600 series" serial numbers, and the 4-inchers were either in the 200's or 400's. So mine does not fit this pattern, evidently an earlier model. Yours is evidently from one of the later batches.

Apparently the Celestar 4 was introduced in late 1957, the 6 in 1958, and Fecker was bought out and Celestar production ceased by 1959. So, all of these scopes were apparently produced within an 18-month period.

Apparently the Celestar 4's were produced in batches of 25 or so, with minor changes with each batch. I assume the RA slo-mo knob on yours connects directly to the worm gear, rather than rotating the entire clock drive, as mine does. Apparently this was the biggest functional change in the brief evolution of this classic. We've obviously found another interesting cosmetic change as well.

I have seen estimates of "less than 500" Celestar 4's made, as well as "less than 200". Obviously, if all the 4's were in the 200 or 400 series, there could only be 200 of them....but my serial number 185 kind of knocks out that theory. AFAIK there are no documented serial numbers in the 300 range. More research needs to be done...

Apparently all of the known Celestar 6's have 600-series serial numbers. The lowest-known number (mine) is 614, the highest (IIRC) is 639....so the best guesswork has a total production of about 50 Celestar 6's.

The 4's sold for about $200 (IIRC); the 6's started out at $500 and were quickly bumped up to $600....a LOT of money in 1958.

So....when are we gonna organize a "Feckerpalooza" star party?? :grin:

Clear skies,

Jim

#12 clintwhitman

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:56 AM

OK OK Lew I belive you! But the next time we meet under the stars you had better have that thing in you trunk!!! If I can drag around a 10" Cave you can drag out the 6" Little Fecker. Is 6" small? (darn it!) :lol: Clint

#13 clintwhitman

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:58 AM

By the way what that wierd base with the pole stickin out of it?

#14 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:11 AM

OK OK Lew I belive you! But the next time we meet under the stars you had better have that thing in you trunk!!! If I can drag around a 10" Cave you can drag out the 6" Little Fecker. Is 6" small? (darn it!) :lol: Clint


Actually, Clint,

Lew's "little Fecker" is 4". That is small. :lol:

But Lew is to be commended for "safe Feckering". Notice that he has put "protection" on his little four-inch Fecker.
:roflmao:

Jim

#15 paul

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:27 AM

But Lew is to be commended for "safe Feckering". Notice that he has put "protection" on his little four-inch Fecker.
:funny:
Oh man that cracked me up!!
I gotta stop reading this stuff at work!!!

#16 clintwhitman

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:33 AM

I think Fecker Threads are the best threads out here. I am going to find one just so I can start a thread

#17 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:04 PM

Every Fecker owner should have a copy of "Andy's Wonderful Telescope" :grin:

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#18 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 02:46 PM

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

#19 mikey cee

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 02:49 PM

Andy's not using much protection there! :smirk:Mike

#20 paul

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:10 PM

Thats just not right!!!!!!!!!!

#21 Lew Chilton

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 08:31 PM

Clint, thats the base of my 8-inch Treckerscope next to my 4-inch Feckerscope. The pole sticking out of the Treckerscope is just an illusion. It's a Bogen autopole directly behind the Trecker base.

------------------------------------------------------------
Jim, perhaps we can start a Feckerscope registry. Ours would be the first 3. I know there are quite a few out there. As more are gradually reported, we could create an Excel spreadsheet listing owner, instrument, size, serial no., etc.

We could announce our intentions on CN an AM.

#22 RRavneberg

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:10 PM

The early Fecker Celestar 4" Newtonians were green. They went to the blue paint with the second generation mounting, I believe. And I think all the Celestar Six Maksutovs were blue.

There are several of us who have both the Celestar Six and the Celestar 4" Newtonians. It's a bit of a disease, I agree.

I have seen Celestar 4" scopes numbered in the 100s, 200s and 400s. All the Celestar Sixes I've encountered have been in the 600s. No 300s or 500s have popped up in the past few years, as far as I know.

Here are my two "kids," #411 and #639.

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#23 twhite

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:11 PM

Treckerscope, Feckerscope, Schmeckerscope. I saw Lew's photo with the raincoat on his Fecker and I almost fell out of my chair. Then that book cover. Wow.

Geez, you guys are killing me... :roflmao:

#24 RRavneberg

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:13 PM

And my latest ... built up around a 4.5" f/15 Fecker achromat and a cache of unrelated Fecker components (with a bit of elbow grease in between).

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#25 RRavneberg

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:16 PM

Celestar 4 Advertisement

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