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Can you identify this scope?

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:04 AM

I bought this scope and mount at a local auction. I really didn't pay much for it but I can't identify it at all. There are no markings on either the scope or the mount. It has an 8" mirror with the somewhat odd focal length of 27". I think this puts it somewhere around f3.5 or so. The mirror has no center spot and is immaculate. The tube is made of very heavy fiberglass sheathed in thin sheet metal that spins inside two rings attached to the mount. The end rings are aluminum as are most all of the other metal parts. the only steel parts are on the pier below the mount. The mount is all aluminum except for the counterweights. It has a 1.25 helical focuser and the secondary sits on a 4 prong spider. It also has an electric sidereal motor that (of course) has no identification on it.

i have included a couple pictures here just to see if anyone can identify the year and make of the scope. Any ideas?

p.s. I think I mounted the scope upside down on the mount.

Posted Image

#2 davidmcgo

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:00 AM

Hi,

Great find! The mount and hardware look like a Cave Astrola from 60's to 70's time frame. The focal length is not a standard for a Newtonian (they did make an f4.5 or f5 as standard, however so the tube could have been assembled from components rather than being a factory original.

Anyway, do a google on "Cave Astrola" and you should find some links to scanned catalogs and such.

Dave

#3 Don W

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:56 AM

You might find some info on the mirror itself either on the sides or back. Many makers put the mirror size and f/ratio as well as the company name there.

#4 BarrySimon615

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:15 AM

Jim,

I concur with Dave, your scope is a Cave. The Cave Optical Co. catalog that I have that was received in 1978 has photos and descriptions of their 8" scopes in two places. The "standard" 8" came in focal lengths of f/6, f/7 and f/8. These were available with the rotating rings as clearly shown in your photos. In addition Cave had another series called "Dual-Capability" reflectors which had a more accurately figured mirror with an f/4.5 ratio, and a Carle photo-visual helical focuser or a standard rack and pinion focuser. Eyepieces supplied included a 20 mm erfle with an apparent 80 degree field and either a 10 mm ortho or a 6 mm ortho plus a telenegative amplifying lens (equivalent to a 3x barlow).

This scope came in both "light weight" and "heavy duty" versions. Best way to tell what you have is to look at the finder - the lightweight model came with a 6x30 finder and the heavy duty came with an 8x50 finder. The heavy duty model also has 1.5" shafts vs. 1" shafts in the light weight model. Overall weight is 75 lbs. for the heavy duty and 50 lbs for the light weight model. Yours looks like the heavy duty model which sold new in 1978 for $775.00. The light weight model sold for $625.00.

Hope this info helps!

Barry Simon

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:34 AM

Wow ... what quick and informative replies. Thanks Dave I think you may be right. I have looked a little since reading your info and it looks like the Cave. Don, there is a square piece of glue on the back of the mirror where there used to be a tag ... but alas it is gone. I have not had a chance to try this scope out yet but will let you all know how it goes! Thanks again.

#6 Don W

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:46 AM

Usually this info was engraved into the glass. There may have also been a tag.

#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:51 AM

Yep, I have found a few examples on the web that say the Cave mirrors were date engraved around the edge. I am going to take the cell out and have a look as I still cannot find a single example of a Cave scope with this rich of a field. Although the Mount is without doubt a Cave ... I am unsure of the scope because of it's odd size. all in all .. a good buy for $200 I think

#8 Don W

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:54 AM

I do recall Cave offering such a fast scope. I'm puzzled that it only has a 1.25" focuser though since the scope was probably designed for imaging.

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 03:03 PM

Don - Got the mirror out and it does indeed have etchings on the edge. It says: Cave Optical f4.5 May-12-72 .... so I guess that answers all my questions. The mirror is in fabulaous shape but dusty. Now that I have the mirror out of the cell, what do you advise as fr as cleaning it safely? Should I use the bath and cotton ball method as described in some of the mirror making books? The last thing I want to do is ruin a mirror this old in great shape. thanks for your help.

#10 Don W

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 03:58 PM

I would put it in the sink on a couple of towels and let it soak in warm water with a little dish soap. I think this is what you're referring to. You can use the cotton balls to gently remove the tough stuff. I like to rinse the mirror in hot water first and then use some wetting agent (Photoflo) with the rinse water. You can get that at any good camera store that has developing materials. The heat of the mirror from the hot water rinse will help to evaporate the water.

#11 ngc6475

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 04:27 PM

Great find! Congratulations!

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:23 PM

Thanks Don you have been a great help. And Congratulations to Barry who got it in 1 try! I think there is enough info here to conclude that it is indeed one of the 4.5 dual capability scopes. It must be the heavy version as the mount has larger "pipes". I'd love to see the orginal catalog ad for this if anyone can point me in the right directgion. I don't know how much I will use this one as it is a bit more complicated than I am used to (I'm such a lightweight) ... but that's why we're here I guess ... to learn new things. Thanks again guys .. this is a great site.

Oh yes : Forgot to measure the distance from the secondary to the eyepice plane ... hence my miscalcualtion on the focal length.

#13 Don W

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 09:38 PM

Barry cheated, he used a catalog.

:roflmao: :lol: :roflmao:

#14 BarrySimon615

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:02 AM

Ok, I get the hint. Here is a digital image of the catalog cover.

Note to the moderators - this company is out of business, so likely a copy of the cover and the particular page this thread's participants seem to be interested in should be ok, however if it needs to be deleted, so be it.

Barry Simon

Attached Thumbnails

  • 491039-Cave Optical Catalog cover small.jpg


#15 BarrySimon615

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:08 AM

Here is the specific page with prices at the time (1978) written in. I believe many of the pages were somewhat dated as evidenced by the clothing and the hair styles. The Cave catalogs generally featured members of Tom Cave's family. I believe the young lady on the cover page is his daughter.

Barry Simon

Attached Thumbnails

  • 491041-Cave 8 inch catalog page small.jpg


#16 Don W

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:41 AM

Thanks for sharing, Barry.

#17 tim53

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 09:17 PM

Ed and Bob Beck (Enterprise Optics) used to make mirrors for Cave, as did Alika Herring. There were other opticians that I believe have their own companies now making mirrors, but I don't know them.

You might consider sending an inquiry to either Ed or Bob Beck. I remember them telling me that the individual opticians might have signed or initialed the mirrors they made for Cave.

$200 is a GREAT price for that scope.

-Tim.

#18 BCB

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 10:14 AM

Sure is.. Heck, the rotating rings ALONE cost more than that..

You did VERY well young Jedi.. :bow:

Take good care of it, and use it well.. You will NOT regret grabbing that deal..

#19 Awesomelenny

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 11:19 AM

Boy did you get a good deal. Those of us elders know what good optics the Cave's were!

Enjoy the planetary views and with that fast ratio, the dso's ought to be just gorgeous too.

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 12:27 PM

The scope is without doubt the lightweight 8" 4.5. The picture from the catalog page could be the one I have ... finder and all. Thanks for the great scans Barry. Now the only question is where can I get a plaid suit like that for my wife? :roflmao:

#21 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 09:17 AM

The scope is without doubt the lightweight 8" 4.5. The picture from the catalog page could be the one I have ... finder and all. Thanks for the great scans Barry. Now the only question is where can I get a plaid suit like that for my wife? :roflmao:


Check out your local thrift shop! :lol:

p.s.
VERY good buy ya got, there!!

Congrats,


Clive.

#22 BarrySimon615

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 10:07 AM

Actually I believe the catalog page that I posted features the correct model dual capability 8" Cave scopes but the upper picture shows the lightweight model with the deluxe 50 mm finder, not the standard 30 mm finder. If your scope has a 50 mm finder too, you got just a little bit more than the "lightweight" version of this scope.

Barry Simon

#23 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 02:22 PM

Hmmm .. you may be right ... the Finder is the same except that it has the 90 degree diagonal. I am considering selling this scope as it is a bit more than I want in a backyard scope. Since everybody has been very helpful on this thread I thought I would let you know first. Like to trade for a reasonable SCT if anyone thinks it's worth it. Shipping will be a factor but if you live in AZ., lets get together and see what we can work out.

#24 Mike Harvey

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 04:03 PM

Ed and Bob Beck (Enterprise Optics) used to make mirrors for Cave, -Tim.


Is Ed Beck still making mirrors? I haven't heard his name mentioned in years!
I once had a 12.5" f/5 from him that was simply superb.
There have been many times when I wished I still had it.

Mike Harvey

#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 03:50 PM

Sadly this scope remains unsold and since it is a little much for me to deal with it's off to storage ... thanks for all your help.


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