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Found in field: Astrola Cave 12 1/2" f/6 (I think)

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#901 germana1

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:18 PM

Wow that's a very touching story and an excellent Restoration on the Cave I followed this thread from the start and it looks wonderful.
Pete

#902 rlinsocal

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 04:52 PM

Dan, who would had ever thought this "found in the field" scope would go this far and have this history tied to it...
I will never hear the end of this from my wife, thrust me.....
makes me even happier we got it in your hands sir.
Rich and Janet in Riverside

#903 sgorton99

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:52 PM

Very, very awesome story and thread Dan! I just reread this from start to finish tonight. I appreciate it even more now that I have my own classic Cave.
Steve

#904 Datapanic

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:14 AM

A Couple More Updates - Warren's widow put me in contact with someone who is writing a book about Warren Estes and his telescopes. Neither myself nor the the author are allowed to say much about the book except that it is a True Crime (non-fiction) book and the author wants to include this telescope's history. Of course this telescope is only a small part of Warren Estes' life and I guess we'll have to wait until it's published to know what it's all about!

I did find out some more neat stuff. First, the author had nice sample signatures of Warren's that were sent to me for comparison. The signatures closely match and I am very sure that the signature on the back of the mirror is genuine. Second, as you may recall from the first or second page of this long thread, there is "McGrath" scribed on both the primary and secondary mirrors. Well, the author said there was a Nellie McGrath who belonged to the Riverside Astronomical Society at least in 1966. The author is going to go over their notes and let me know any other info that is found. Still don't know if McGrath had this telescope before or after Estes, but I am sure eventually everything will fall into place :)

Have a Happy New Year, folks!

#905 John Jarosz

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:58 AM

Over the years I have always wondered what happened to telescopes owned by individuals in bygone years. This Cave was a huge scope for it's day. It is fascinating to see the history after the original owner passed on.

While this scope was expensive, it was a complete scope (in essence) when it left Cave. I also think about the extremely complex ATM scopes shown in S&T in the 50's & 60's, or the scopes shown at Stellafane, and what happened to all of them. Those ATM scopes had hundreds of hours of work invested in them and they were made by people who were not famous - or even well known - just individuals with a love for the sky. With the restoration, this scope has turned into an ATM project of sorts. There has to be lots of stories similar to this out there waiting to be discovered.

Great thread.

John

#906 Datapanic

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 09:19 PM

The author of the book about Warren Estes sent me an email last week letting me know that the book has cleared her attorney and is going to print. I guess non-fiction needs to be triple-checked to make sure everything is true. The book should be out in the next 6-9 weeks!

I'm quite proud to say that this scope is the epilog of the book. I know about as much as you do as to the content of the book, but I can't wait to get a copy and find out more about Mr. Estes.

When I know the title, ISBN number and all that, I'll let you know. Meanwhile, since it's Monsoon season in southern Arizona and almost every night is a Cloudy Night, I've been re-doing some images I had taken when I first finished the scope, now that I've figured out Registax. Here's an image of Jupiter taken with a 2.5x Barlow and a Phillips SPC900 webcam:

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#907 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 05:10 AM

Wow! Impressive.

Rich (RLTYS)

#908 CAVEMASTER

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:46 AM

:scratchhead:
Book? tell us more of this book.
OH! great looking Cave there.
v/r
Danny

#909 Datapanic

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:56 AM

:scratchhead:
Book? tell us more of this book.
OH! great looking Cave there.
v/r
Danny


Danny - The book is a non-fiction true crimes work about Warren Estes. That's about all I know! The author is restricted by the publisher to disclose anything about it.

#910 Datapanic

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

So it's been cloudy just about every night since the beginning of July and that provides time to think about making things better in the Telescope Shop. That said, one thing that's bothered me about using the Horsetrail Cave is that with its 100lbs of Counterweight, it's kinda heavy to move around. There was no way to avoid that 100lbs without installing a longer Declination Shaft.

Soooo, I went out and bought a 38" piece of 2" Stainless 304 round bar at a place called Industrial Metal Supply here in Tucson and then took the old shaft off and brought the Dec Shaft Housing, the Cradle, the 2" Shaft Collars, the Dec Circle and the original 28" Dec Shaft to an 'Old School' machine shop called Western Drawn, also located in Tucson.

The goal was to have a longer Dec Shaft so that less counterweight was needed to balance the scope out.

I picked up the new machined shaft this morning and put it all back together. I was able to get the OTA off the Mount by using a couple of saw horses and maneuvering the mount so the OTA rested on the saw horses. Then it was just a mater of removing the counterweights and rolling the mount away. Putting the OTA back on the mount was just the reverse - line up the mount to the OTA, install the 2 knobs that hold the OTA to the Cradle and add the weights back on.

Jon the machinist did a great job! The Cradle end needed to be reduced to 1.5" and the shaft itself needed to be reduced from 2.000" or so inches to 1.99-something inches so that it could fit in the Dec Shaft and the other stuff could slide on. Apparently, Stainless 2" bar is exactly 2" while Cold Rolled Steel is slightly less. When he was done, everything fits nice and smooth.

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#911 Datapanic

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 09:36 PM

One thing about using the scope that has concerned me a lot is that sometimes the various fasteners would loosen up for some reason.

Unlike the later Cave mount design, The Dec Shaft to Cradle connection is only held together with two relatively small set screws. The original shaft had a small indentation on the 1.5" end so that as long as the set screw wasn't loosened up too much, the Dec Shaft wasn't going anywhere. But, what if it did? The Dec Shaft and its 100lbs of Counterweight would slide down and out and then the Cradle and OTA would have nothing securing it and would also go flying. That would be very bad!

So, I thought long and heavy and decided that safety overruled original design and went with a center bolt through the Cradle into the top of the Dec Shaft, just like the later mount design. The original Dec Shaft was not drilled and tapped for this, so Jon did that to the new shaft and drilled the bolt hole through the center of the Cradle as part of the job.

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#912 Datapanic

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 09:43 PM

After putting it all together, I experimented with how much counterweight would be needed...

With the longer shaft, I was able to take off 50lbs of counterweight and only use 50lbs total! The longer shaft added 9lbs of weight so the net loss is 41lbs! That's a big difference!

This also allows to add something like a 4.25" or 6" long focus guide scope piggy back on the Rotating Rings, cameras and other equipment and being able to balance it out.

Next up is to get some steel counterweights machined to replace the 25lb Olympic Plates. Then, maybe a new paint job and I'll polish up the shaft as well. :)

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#913 Cerberus

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:20 PM

Wow... Just wow. It definitely found its way to the right home.

#914 PiSigma

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:06 PM

Some very worthwhile mods Dan. 41 lbs. lighter, that's huge!

#915 khendrix2

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:11 AM

What an incredibly awesome story! I just read all 46 pages and I'm truly inspired and amazed by the magnificent transformation that the Horsetrail Cave went through. Congratulations on a job very well done!

#916 FlashGordan

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:25 PM

After four hours of reading, I'm totally blown away at the things people will throw out just because it isn't perfect anymore. I'm even more blown away at the transformation from a diamond in the rough to the Hope diamond. Makes me want to go out and find a old ratty telescope and try to bring it back to life. Excellent story!!!

#917 kd4pbs

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:48 AM

This has been a most interesting thread, and Googling Warren Estes, and finding out what this book was written about has made this story come alive indeed! So, it would seem that your wonderful Cave was owned by a very popular person, at least in the mind of some ;)
I loved your post you wrote about Warren and the author of the book, and have added that to my "gotta read" list. You have one special scope there, my friend, and it's amazing how an inanimate object has tied all this together.
Imagine if it were true...
Wow!

#918 Datapanic

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 01:12 PM

I suppose it's time to address the book.

I have avoided mentioning the book because, after discussing it privately with some of the folks here on CN's Classic Telescopes forum, I decided that it was too controversial to bring into the discussion. Most people were indifferent or at least receptive to consider the possibility, but there were also folks who are very much against any possibility of the book being true.

Myself, well, I read the book but I have also been privileged by the author to know much more about information and evidence that was withheld for whatever reasons - I can't talk about it except to say it gets much more convincing and complicated.

Finally, I wouldn't want this thread to get poisoned by going off on a tangent about an aspect of Warren Estes and this scope that really isn't related to what this forum is about. I'm happy enough just to be able to enjoy using it. I am still digging around into its history before and after Warren Estes owned it, but not really finding out much about it after he died. I have found some information on McGrath and have a few theories about it based on reading through the Riverside Astronomical Society's newsletters from the beginnings up until 1980 - they have the newsletters available on DVD.

Anyway, I'm sure some discussion about the book and this scope will make its way here, but please try and keep it minimal and avoid any controversy.

#919 tim53

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 02:11 PM

I'll only say that, if the book were remotely true, it would have made the national news.

Tim

#920 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:15 PM

I searched this thread for every instance of the word "book," yet can't piece together the story. I see that Warren Estes is the subject of a true crime book. Is the book in stores now? I could not find it on Amazon, where I looked hoping to learn more.

#921 Larry Geary

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:27 PM

You never did tell us the name, ISBN #, etc of "the book". I've looked on Google and Amazon and have come up empty.

#922 tim53

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 12:14 AM

There's a good reason for that, IMHO.

-Tim.

#923 Datapanic

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 12:49 AM

To put it simply, the topic of the book has nothing to do with the topic of this thread and discussing it here on CN would be sensitive in nature and result in some measure of controversy - CN's TOS do not allow that and we don't want that. Therefore, I will not be posting anything about the book!

#924 jblaschke

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 01:30 PM

Wow, Dan. I just completed reading all 47(!) pages of this thread over the course of several days, and I have to say I am speechless (well, not really, as I apparently have words enough to write this post!) :lol:

It boggles the mind how someone could just dump a telescope like that, but I've found that people who have no interest in particular hobbies often view the trappings and equipment of such as useless junk. My father is very guilty of this type of thinking. Perhaps we amateur astronomers should take this as a cautionary tale and make accommodations for our telescopes and other astronomy equipment in our wills.

You've done a spectacular job, as everyone else on this thread has said. Saving that Cave was a Good Thing. :applause:

I restored my long-neglected Meade 645 back in '08, and was feeling pretty proud of the job I did. After reading this thread, I feel like my project is the equivalent of "Pull the foil back on the tater tots before placing TV dinner in oven..." ;)

#925 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 04:50 PM

Uuummmmmmmmmmmmm.... tots!!


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