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Edmund Scientific 8" f/5 (4001)

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#1 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:48 PM

Any current or previous owners of the Edmund Scientific
8" f/5 (4001) link and picture that would like to give a quick review of the performance of the scope? There is one for sale locally and i wouldn't mind looking at it for my brother if it is worth it?

#2 SATMAN

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:45 PM

I'd say go for it in 1978 they went for close to $800.00 way too expensive for me back then considering a C-8 sold for $895.00 not to many were sold I think it would be worth checking out it ,was Edmund scientifics flagship scope at the time, my experience with similar Astro products by them in this era is they produced quality instruments.

#3 apfever

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:24 PM

Brian,

Yeah I have one of those, and the 6" version, and the 6" that went to the pier when Edmund stopped making the wild fork mounted version in 6".

Several things, one is the over used term RARE. You might well be paying for the collectable aspect. These units are quite unique, very cool looking, very appealing aesthetics. They were expensive to make and this is why the 6" went to the pier. Every one was buying the 8" version and the 6" was lacking in sales. It ends up that the 6" version was produced for a short time and harder to find. Also, there were two major offers for the 8". One was with the standard focuser, and one with the photographic monster dual draw tube focuser that included the second draw tube for off axis guiding. Mine happens to be that second one with the factory installed photo focuser. Very few of these were made from the factory. Edmund sold the focuser by itself also. In fact, Edmund sold everything in sets and individual so watch the numbers carefully to be sure of what you are getting. Ready? These are all for the 8" version.

model 4001 is the complete 8" set up with standard focuser.

Model 4002 is the standard OTA only
Model 4003 is the yoke/tripod mount assembly only
model 4004 is the complete setup with photo focuser
model 4005 is the photo focuser OTA only
The photo focuser alone was part no. 72,428

That focuser alone sold for about $250 in the day.

I've seen pictures of these with and without a clock drive cover. Both my 8" and 6" do NOT have the cover. My 8" motor is bound so I can't vouch for the tracking. Collimation is my standard spring loaded screws on the primary with locking screws. The secondary is a work of art in the mounting and I've never had to mess with mine. I have all the instructions but have never neede to dink with it. As far as optical performance goes...wellll...I don't get critical on the classics for the most part though I will do a finer detail note on occassion. I know what to expect for aperture on a reflector and this one is good. That means nothing notable about lack of performance. Edmund advertised these as 1/8 wave and I don't doubt that. I have much more faith in those earlier statements from Edmund that a lot of other claims made about fancier mass produced scopes today. OK ya' all shoot me, but I WON"T make any statements about detail in Jupiter or the planets, or compare it to an apo or refractor of 5" or any other size.
Sorry, for those in the know, I meant that for a chuckle.

They run on a slip clutch for RA. Both of mine are quite smooth with perfect tention (really just a hair tight for adding gear). The DEC uses a clamping knob on one fork along with a slo mo tangent arm and those are both smooth. My 8" has a very little gear lash in RA, but as I said, the RA drive is bound.

You can scan the Mart classifieds for prices. In nice condition these run for a few hundred. I've seen up into 400's, but not sure of actual selling price. With my usual bargain hunting and gear head prusing, well, you don't want to know what I paid. Mine could use some resto clean up like most of my scopes and life in general.

I have quite a bit of original paperwork on these as well as downloaded ads and other manuals, addendums, etc.
If you have any specific questions let me know. They are currently burried in the front room pack with the OTA's out of the cradles. I'll take pictures if you like but most of you all have seen this room a ton of times already.

Neil

#4 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

Thank you Gary, thank you Neil. Now thats what i call informative! Great job.

My brother is now divorced and limited on storage space. The legs seem to splay out pretty far. The ad claims that it comes with original boxes. How is assembly? He would have to box it up after every use.

#5 apfever

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:10 PM

Those legs splay out a lot. I usually have one in the garage door and another on the street. The driveway is 150' long.

Measuring straight across from one outside foot pad to the next is 48". It is larger than ANY other tripod or pier I have. The 8" Edmund pier scope is only 46" and that is one big scope, The Unitron 150 (4" scope) is only 36". The legs are solid piece and do not collapse or fold 'up' like a tripod. They do group together once removed from the mount.

The cradle, yoke, and mount assembly is large.

Assembly is awkward for me. This is because it is quite different and I have never developed a technique for it.
I don't mess with it much. The legs are pulled IN with the bottom spreader which spreads the leg tops out till they grab inside the bottom of the mount.

One thing about this scope that is usually agreed on is that it looks so very cool. Quite unique.
If it comes with the original box then transport and storage might be easy. I don't think it would be difficult to get a routine for setup. Removing the cradle from the yoke is not difficult.

Neil

#6 amicus sidera

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

I would not hsitate to obtain that telescope... they were very well-made, stable and gave good performance. However, as Neil has stated, they can be quite cumbersome to assemble... I have devised an arrangement with elastic cords that alleviates much of the headache regarding setting the legs down, and although getting the fork mount on the legs is no job for a weakling, it becomes easier with practice.

There should be a threaded 10-32 rod included with the 'scope, approximately 8 inches long or so, with a knob on one end... this holds the fork mount onto the leg assembly prior to tightening the legs.

Besides the usual checking of mirror coatings, etc., check the four-vane diagonal holder assembly... if tampered with, it is difficult to re-align properly. Additionally, that secondary mirror is probably held on with a type of epoxy... I would check it's integrity before transporting the 'scope.

I used to see quite a few of these 8-inch Edmund 'scopes years ago, and they were all solid performers. I have the 6-inch version, model 3001 (shown in my avatar), and it is a wonderful instrument indeed.

#7 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:41 PM

Here is the scope in question. (I am not the seller nor know the seller)
My brother has been wanting a small newt for sometime now and this caught my eye being a Classics bum, but after hearing how difficult it is to setup and rip down i think a dob is better suited for him.
I am tempted myself but since i built a gameroom for the kids, once my old scope storage room,my telescope space is limited as well. :crazy:

Thank you for all the information and even though it sounds like a great scope it would have been a mistake for him to buy it. Thanks for helping with the decision. :bow:

#8 apfever

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

Stop reading this post and grab it. That is a deal! And those eyepieces are no slouch either, those RKE's are good stuff. OHHH please get that and post complete pictures and document it. That is one sweet specimen.

#9 apfever

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:08 PM

Oh, Dang, I just now read your full post.

Some one is going to get a great deal. The ep's alone are worth well over $100. It's been up for a month? If it wasn't for shipping cost across the country, I'd buy it. Only the extreme shipping cost would put it out of perspective. That is in truly rare condition.

#10 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

I'll buy it for you and ship one piece a week to lighten the initial impact of shipping costs. I'll start with the left focuser knob. By 4001 you should have a complete scope. :lol:

#11 akman1955

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:31 PM

:grin:Thats is a bargain..some needs to buy it :foreheadslap: ..john

#12 BigC

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:30 PM

If I had the funds I'd buy it in a heartbeat even though it cost a bunch to have it shipped.That is a beauty and would have put the owner well among those with bigger amatuer scopes in its day(errr. night).

An 8" f5 Newtonian is still a very respectable scope that will show you all and more that you can see with one of the ubiquitous 8" SCTs.

It would be a CRIME for this setup to be scattered to the shores of the bay by some greedy scope dismantler.

#13 amicus sidera

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:42 PM

Fear not, everyone, the 'scope is now in good hands - mine. :grin:

After reading above that neither Brian nor his brother planned to acquire the instrument, I contacted the seller, a thoroughly pleasant, thoughtful gentleman and rare individual, and arranged to pick it up today. He very kindly had the 'scope all ready when I arrived at his home, and it is indeed a beauty... exceptional care had been taken of it, and, along with the RKE eyepieces, is in superb condition... I intend to post photos when time permits.

Interestingly enough, the gentleman informed me that the 'scope had been listed on Ebay for quite some time prior to being placed on Craigslist, and that, although a considerable number of interested parties contacted him regarding the instrument, they apparently all desired that it be shipped to them, something that he did not wish to do, and with good reason... this is a very large, bulky and heavy item, that would have needed to have been packed in at least two separate boxes. I know from past dealings with the large carriers that, although one can insure the contents against damage, one is only rarely reimbursed for the shipping costs of said damaged shipment, which in this case would have run into the hundreds of dollars - not a risk that I would have taken, had I been in his position.

This gentleman also mentioned that he knew of Cloudynights.com, and I believe he said he had searched for information regarding the 'scope here. He is looking for an instrument that is a bit more portable than this Edmund model... I encouraged him to register here, as I feel strongly from our conversation that he would prove to be a most valuable member, and an asset to the forum.

#14 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:51 PM

Finally the temptation is over, it is indeed in good hands. Posted Image Now we can all look through it with your eyes. I am looking forward to reading about first light.

This post turned out to be a real winner. Incredible information on a Classic scope, that scope is now in the hands of one of our own, and maybe a new member will be joining us. :) I love it when things just fall in place.

#15 amicus sidera

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:02 PM

Thanks, Brian! I owe you a couple for pointing out the 'scope in the first place... consider me in your debt. :)

Had it out tonight and peeked through the holes in the clouds, optics appear to be very good (although seeing was mostly abysmal)... will do a proper first-light tomorrow evening, if the atmosphere cooperates.

Would you like me to post the results and photos here, or start another thread?

#16 amicus sidera

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

I love it when things just fall in place.


As the leader of the A-Team often said: "I just love it when a plan comes together!"

Not that I ever actually watched that show... :whistle:

#17 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

Post it here and you can call us even. ;) Besides it is very much on topic and it has the perfect title for anyone doing a search for information on the 4001 in the future. Without sounding too odd, the scope and mount is actually very handsome. It kind of looks like a telescope ahead of its time, reminds me of the Tucker.

#18 amicus sidera

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

Post it here and you can call us even. ;) Besides it is very much on topic and it has the perfect title for anyone doing a search for information on the 4001 in the future. Without sounding too odd, the scope and mount is actually very handsome. It kind of looks like a telescope ahead of its time, reminds me of the Tucker.


Sounds like a plan! Will have something up by Monday at the latest... and it would be good to have a single focus for this particular 'scope.

Yes, I also think it qualifies as handsome... Tucker is a very apropos comparison! It seems to be, for whatever reason, quite attractive to the ladies, and whenever I have taken the telescope out on public nights, more than a few of the fair gender have remarked that it is very striking in appearance... I hope to obtain some information on it's designer(s), have a few feelers out, more on that later.

Again, thanks! :bow:

#19 amicus sidera

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:42 PM

I have a bit of material regarding this scope, and Apfever, I believe you mentioned that you had some ephemera as well... I wonder, if explicit permission were obtained from Edmund to post this material (which I would assume is no longer of financial benefit to them), would that be allowed under the TOS here? I think it would be of historical and practical interest to those who own these instruments, or are interested in them.

#20 apfever

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:49 PM

I have no idea what the letter of the law entails. From the practical end, none of these showed a copyright. Revision dates are 1978, 1980, and 1981 on the pertinent papers to this scope.

I've recieved papers with two of these and they seem to come in pairs. One for the OTA and one for the mount. The top manual, Left Center, is an original for the OTA's, 1980. The whiter manual, Right Center, is a copy for the mounts, 1978. I thought I had an original for that too...somewhere...maybe not. The far Right is an original for the pier that these 6" OTA's went to, 1981.

The color folder, far Left, has numerous pages I've found for various aspects of these. Mostly from Edmund catalogs. The write ups and specifications are even better in these than in the manuals.

It would not be practical to post these in the string. Too many pages. A link to Mr. Provins site would be good, and I thought he had these I but didn't see them. Yet.
Let me know how you would like to proceed if any of this interest you.

It would be interesting to know what your 'feelers' might be on the designers. If one is Felix C. Blancha (d. 1987, N.J.), I'd like to know what you have. He is instrumental in at least one major aspect of these particular scopes that I am quite partial to.

Neil

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#21 BigC

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:19 AM

You do realize as custodian there are certain obligations?Lots of pictures.

That is just a beatiful setup!

#22 amicus sidera

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:28 AM

My inquiries are at the very beginning stages... I think it's fair to say that you are light years ahead of me with your knowledge and information! I have never heard of Mr. Blancha - now you have whet my curiosity :grin: As for how to proceed... will send you a PM with my thoughts.

Concerning the paper, I did retain the two manuals, one for the mount and the other for the 'scope itself, from when I purchased my 6" f6 new back in '81, as well as the little booklet "Star-Checking Your Edmund Telescope" that I believe James Mullaney wrote for them... the Mag 5 Star Atlas was also included, IIRC. I also have a fairly ragged copy of the cover of that color folder you show on the left... I wish, oh how I wish, I had saved my Edmund catalogs from that period!!

Incidentally, do you remember that they offered the 6" fork mount version with an f5 focal ratio, along with the more common f6, in their catalog for a couple of years in the late 70's or very early '80's? I do not recall the part number of that particular combination.

As far as copyright is concerned, I am positive that copyright exists for all the printed material we are discussing... I believe changes in the laws some years ago lead to a situation where there is implicit copyright in written works, whether formalized or not... whether the holder wishes to pursue the issue is another matter, of course. In any event, I know the TOS don't allow the posting of such material directly, although linking to exterior websites seem to be OK, as I have seen it done here quite often.

Finally, when you mention a Mr. Provin's site, are you referring to this site? I notice that the Edmund information there is a bit scant.

Sorry for the somewhat disjointed post... acquiring the 'scope has gotten me a bit excited :)

#23 amicus sidera

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:32 AM

You do realize as custodian there are certain obligations?Lots of pictures.

That is just a beatiful setup!


I understand my obligations fully :bow: :grin: I am charging my camera's battery even as we speak (type?)

#24 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:13 AM


Amicus,,
Lots of close up shots, finder, focuser, secondary, and especially the drive on the mount. ;)


#25 amicus sidera

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

Lots of close up shots, finder, focuser, secondary, and especially the drive on the mount.


You got it! Hopefully by this evening...


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