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Celestron C8 Registry

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#876 RSX11M+

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Posted 30 December 2020 - 11:44 AM

Is there a serial number anywhere else besides the secondary? My tag was peeling off years ago and it's gone. I'm searching for the paperwork, but I don't believe the number was recorded on the invoice.

 

<Edit>. I looked all over and finally pulled a motor. It's dated 6-4 11-79? I'll just assume it's a 79. 

Motor dates are usually "close" enough to get a production year. Optics numbers (those on the secondary, corrector, and main mirror) do not always match a segment of the SN. 

 

When you are able to post photos, we can usually establish a range for the SN based upon scope features. The motor dates may not agree with production year if replaced. (rare)

 

It is not "customary" for mounts to contain serial numbers internally, at least not during this period. 



#877 brentknight

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Posted 31 December 2020 - 08:13 PM

I was given this Celestron Super C8 Plus last weekend after a friend saw my wife's Facebook post about our Jupiter/Saturn conjunction gaze.

 

It was missing the power cable (I found one on eBay) and the illuminator for the finder.  Optics and mount are very clean.

 

Med-20201228_075910.jpg

 

 

 

Serial number off the secondary, and I think the numbers off the motor (8548 as best I can tell...) 

 

Optics Serial No.jpg   Motor Serial No.jpg


Edited by brentknight, 31 December 2020 - 08:15 PM.

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#878 Russell Swan

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 08:32 AM

Thank you all for your submissions and updates since Nov 12, 2020.
 
 
Russell Swan, Astro KeithCartoonOwl, MontanaSkies, EricTheBlack, and Uranotopia - your scopes have been added based upon your comments.
 
The new Registry with these additions is offered in JPG and PDF.
 

 

 

Russell Swan - nice to see Vintage scopes maintained and in-use. It's a mixed-emotion decision to update one, as I know myself. (Vintage C8 -> Hyperstar / Nexstar+) Looks great - care to comment about any adventures adding the mounting rail?

 

Astro Keith - $50?? you didn't waste your money. If you decide to let it go, please see it gets a good home. These old C8s can deliver up unexpected results. I'm not surprised to hear you're seeing familiar objects in new ways. 

 

CartoonOwl - you're only missing the SCT thread adapter. I use Meade or Celestron parts for this, they are easy to come by. The ad-hoc dew heater is useful if you have the power, but it is rough on the eyes. wink.gif  Don't let it bother you.

 

MontanaSkies - reconditioning mirrors used to be commonly offered by Celestron. Good opportunity for a factory tune-up too. Please update us with whatever you do. Good Luck! [p.s. - I'd have a look through it before deciding on any changes]

 

EricTheBlack - Still biting those nails?   [aka: has the Eagle Landed?]

 

Uranotopia - Nice friend!   Cautionary note: be certain the screws attaching the strap to the rear cell do not protrude inside the OTA or interfere with the main mirror movement. FYI - Your OTA appears to be drilled for forks. 

Sure, I mounted a vixen style dovetail bar with curved blocks to fit the orange C8. Perfect fit. It was a little scary to attempt, but was really a piece of cake.

 

https://www.admacces...-sct-telescope/


Edited by Russell Swan, 01 January 2021 - 08:34 AM.


#879 kcoles

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 01:27 PM

Hello,

 

Pleased to find this thread (I'm fairly new on CN, having spent most of my time so far as the OP of a painfully long thread making my first mirror in the ATM forum). I have access to/use of a number of classic scopes where I teach astronomy. The first one I was curious about, and this thread has answered some of my questions. Here is one scope for the Registry, and I have a second I'll add later.

 

Where I teach (a small, state-run university campus in Pennsylvania), my predecessor bought the latest telescope whenever money turned up (a much more common event years ago than now). She was there 1968-2003 and it is quite a collection. This Celestron C8 was one they hauled up to the building roof many times for observing. By the time I came on board (in 2004) the mount had vanished from the roof. What survives is the OTA and fork base, the trunk, three eyepieces, and assorted small bits. The finder scope vanished long ago when it was on loan to another department. Having no mount I have just used it (carefully) as a demo item in my astronomy labs. But I could see the three-digit serial number and guessed it was an early one. See for yourself:

 

Colors_side.JPG

 

I hadn't paid attention to how many colors it has, but now see what "three colors" refers to. I have several more photos but will honor the posting limit with just the base plate.

 

C8_serial_no.JPG

 

Yes, that is number 107. This was, I am sure, purchased new by my university. I can't make out all of the scratched-in property number but assume it is 1970 (someday I can search through all the old purchase orders and find out for certain). While it shows signs of considerable use, the optics look good and the bearings and latches are functional. Over all the years it has sat in the trunk some foam has gotten inside the OTA. I have since put a cap in the eyepiece holder to prevent any more of that. Now that I have a C8 (late 1970s) and mount of my own, I can use that mount to take it outside and try it out. I could even see if the motors work. Would love to get a mount for the university to use with this and get it back into service (along with the Unitron, the Criterion, etc. The two Questars are already in working condition. All those are other threads!).

 

Any questions or anything I should add here, let me know.

 

Cheers,

Ken


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#880 RSX11M+

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 03:21 PM

@kcoles - That is an Axial focus Tri-Color unit still sporting it's original paint, forks and base. We expect SN 107 to have been produced between late 1970 and early 1971. Some time shortly after yours, the model was changed to a non-axial focus design.

 

Your story is the best part - knowing it's been used all these many years to bring young astronomers along. 

 

We'd love to see any documentation you could come up with, as original purchase / ordering facts for these early types have not been easy to come by. Most has come from divining on motor dates and word of mouth.

 

 While I cringe at the prospect of remounting it, I do understand the desire to keep it in use.  As you are probably aware, even non-professional disassembly of these units risks not only their visual acuity, but their very existence. It might be worth a call to the Celestron service dept. to explore possibilities before taking steps. Given internal contamination, it could probably benefit from a factory cleaning and optical tune-up. Perhaps rehabilitated in it's present form it could serve as an example of where amateur astronomy has come from?  I can tell you that mounting hardware available today does not adapt to these oldest C8s without considerable modification.  

 

Thank you for the registry entry.

 

@Russell Swan - Thanks for that comment. I expect that mounting experience being so easy is due to the new-ness of your scope. Being made in 1982, those accessories usually fit "as packaged". We don't have precise information of the date of this transition so your data point will be noted. Thank You.

 

 

I will post again with a registry update in a few days.

 

To All - Have a great holiday and a Happy New Year.



#881 kcoles

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 05:21 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean I was going to take it apart, far from it. By mount I mean the tripod and wedge that it sits on. Sometimes the term "mount" seems to mean just that, and I now gather sometimes it means this fork part the OTA sits on. My training is in science (rocks and equations) rather than engineering or telescopes; obviously I don't know the terms. Believe me, all this old gear is still here because I keep my hands off and believe in its lasting value. The students in lab always get a lecture about examining it from a safe distance and without touching it. 8o)

 

Will the mounting bolts and wedge from my late 70s C8 fit - any guesses? If so I'd love to set it up without altering anything. I would also like to see the foam out of the OTA, but am happy for advice and won't try anything myself. I'm not interested in taking apart an SCT! I hear so much about foreign ownership of the legacy companies it hadn't occurred to me that Celestron might be interested in/willing to work on an ancient one or have anyone who still does it. (Think Clark, Brashear, etc. - you get to fix those yourself now.)

 

Will sweet talk our office staff into looking for the purchase order - I think my boss tried to scan all that stuff when we moved buildings and had to clean out all the paper records.

 

A detail that may belong in the registry is that this telescope was purchased by and still belongs to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (yes, goofy name, but a good job for this astronomer).

 

Ken


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#882 kcoles

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 05:51 PM

Two more pictures (one showing that stray bit of foam).

 

Front.JPG Base_motors.JPG


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#883 RSX11M+

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 06:24 PM

...By mount I mean the tripod and wedge that it sits on. Sometimes the term "mount" seems to mean just that, and I now gather sometimes it means this fork part the OTA sits on.

...and indeed that is correct, the original "Base" and "Forks" are a mount. We would also include the tripod and wedge as mount components. The pier previously on your rooftop would also be.

Incidentally, it wouldn't be much of a project to recreate a pier if rooftop access is still possible. A permanent "mount" on the roof saves a huge amount of setup time once sky-aligned, and makes spur of the moment observing easy.

 

Will the mounting bolts and wedge from my late 70s C8 fit - any guesses?

The good news is that the wedges and tripods for the entire C8 history are compatible. Even those accessories for the NexStar 6 and 8 are compatible.

 

I would also like to see the foam out of the OTA, but am happy for advice and won't try anything myself. I'm not interested in taking apart an SCT!

While you cannot be certain what disassembly it has had at the hands of others before you, it is best to treat it as virgin while you explore your options. Certainly, looking through it would be fine.
 
 

it hadn't occurred to me that Celestron might be interested in/willing to work on an ancient one or have anyone who still does it.

Celestron, like many companies today has and does face continuing challenges. However, as recently as last year they were taking calls and entertaining special service requests, especially of notable early units. Certainly worth the price of a few phone calls.
 
 

Will sweet talk our office staff into looking for the purchase order - I think my boss tried to scan all that stuff when we moved buildings and had to clean out all the paper records.

These are often lost over time, so anything you find would be unusual, and special.
 
 

A detail that may belong in the registry is that this telescope was purchased by and still belongs to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (yes, goofy name, but a good job for this astronomer).
 
Ken



Will definitely include that.


Thanks for sharing these details. It's encouraging to see a legacy be recognized and cherished.

#884 RSX11M+

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 06:37 PM

If that foam is not adhered, it would be possible to extract it from the rear cell baffle tube opening. Perhaps a piece of string and some patience could manage it. Stick to soft plastic implements and non lint-generating string to be safe.

Try not to store the OTA with the foam contacting optical surfaces, especially those of the mirrors. Foams often have corrosive properties as they age. This is a common issue with prisms in vintage binoculars and cameras.

#885 kcoles

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 07:30 PM

Thank you for all the advice. Will check for any record of purchase on Monday. That foam (which is loose in there) does bother me - you've articulated why. Will explore ideas for safely removing it. I guess whoever lined the trunk (Celestron?) with foam never thought about it getting inside the telescope. I'm virtually certain the C8 has never been disassembled; my retired predecessor will know for sure. It's time I interviewed her about all our old equipment.

 

Recreating the pier would be fun - we have a superb machinist on staff - but we are moving out of the current building in 2023 to occupy a new one. The architects and budget turned me down on a rooftop dome. Without checking with anyone who uses a telescope, they instead included a charming balcony/patio, with the view to the east, south, and west blocked by a heat-radiating upper story of the building. So we'll continue to haul scopes out on the lawn. But that is a topic for a different forum.

 

Ken



#886 kcoles

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 11:26 AM

Here is my other C8. This one is mine, rather than my employer's. The big local club in Pittsburgh has a fundraiser at one of their two observatories (yes, amazing club!) each November. In November 2019 one of the donated scopes on offer was a C8. Having seen the quality of the old one at work, I was interested. It got no offers. They were packing it up for the annual December raffle when I expressed interest. "What should I give you for it?" The Director suggested a price that was a fraction of its likely value, so I upped the number and wrote a check. I think our club members all have too many scopes (sound familiar?) and so hadn't gone for this one.

 

The serial number is 3 220 8. From the Registry I gather this suggests 1978? but I'll let you tell me. I can see 10-77 stamped on one of the motors. (Edited to add: Label says Celestron Pacific.) I don't know who the previous owner(s) was/were. It is in great shape, very clean, has the front cover and finderscope covers, wedge, the tripod, diagonal and 25 and 40 eyepieces (there was also a 9 mm Meade eyepiece).

 

C8_kit.JPG

 

Here in the northern Appalachian mountains we have eternal clouds from November to April, so late this spring I dusted it off. I collimated it in several stages, finishing with Polaris out-of-focus in the back yard. After finding a replacement power cord online, I got the motors running by peeling back the clear cover and poking the gear with a toothpick - away they went. This past June I got up before dawn and hung my DMG video camera on the C8 and took a few quick video stacks. I'll attach small versions of two of them.

 

Like many of you, I find this scope a great combination of outstanding view quality and ease of use. At work I have access to scopes I find too complex/repair prone (computerized SCTs), too expensive to contemplate owning (Questars), or just too big so this has been a great choice for only my second personal scope (the other is a 4.25 inch Dob).

 

Mars_thumb_20_09_09.png Copernicus_20-09-09_small.jpg

 

Ken


Edited by kcoles, 02 January 2021 - 11:29 AM.

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#887 Kasmos

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 03:05 PM

Thank you for all the advice. Will check for any record of purchase on Monday. That foam (which is loose in there) does bother me - you've articulated why. Will explore ideas for safely removing it. I guess whoever lined the trunk (Celestron?) with foam never thought about it getting inside the telescope. I'm virtually certain the C8 has never been disassembled; my retired predecessor will know for sure. It's time I interviewed her about all our old equipment.

 

Recreating the pier would be fun - we have a superb machinist on staff - but we are moving out of the current building in 2023 to occupy a new one. The architects and budget turned me down on a rooftop dome. Without checking with anyone who uses a telescope, they instead included a charming balcony/patio, with the view to the east, south, and west blocked by a heat-radiating upper story of the building. So we'll continue to haul scopes out on the lawn. But that is a topic for a different forum.

 

Ken

By your serial# and knowing how the Tri-Color C8 first came out in 1970 it's a good guess that it was purchased that year.

 

As for the piece of foam. One of my C5s had a large string of dust/hair in it. I fashioned a thin tube to the nozzle of my shop-vac, carefully inserted it into the back of the scope and without touching anything, it vacuumed right out. If you choose to do something like that, don't make it air tight at the back of the scope as the suction could possibly damage the thin corrector (front glass lens). In my case, a short blast of suction removed it instantly.

 

BTW, the foam isn't in there because nobody thought of it. There is suppose to be a dust cap on the back of the scope when it's not being used.


Edited by Kasmos, 02 January 2021 - 03:12 PM.


#888 jgraham

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 03:35 PM

I have refurbished several orange tube C5s and C8s, though not as old as this one (1975ish vintage sand cast). I am always very reluctant to touch the mirrors, but it’s not unusual to find that the corrector needs to be cleaned. I was super nervous the first time I removed a corrector, but it proved to be very easy as long as you think it through and take your time. Soooo, that might be the easiest way to remove that bit of foam and do any cleaning that needs to be done inside the tube. On a scope this age the tricky bits may include stuck bolts and a stuck corrector. I’ve never had problems with the bolts, and spraying the edge of the corrector with Windex usually unsticks the stuck bits.

 

Food for thought.



#889 kcoles

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 04:02 PM

BTW, the foam isn't in there because nobody thought of it. There is suppose to be a dust cap on the back of the scope when it's not being used.

Yes, exactly, I suppose that was implicit in my remark. When I took over this equipment, most of it was sitting around in a dusty and neglected condition, as the missing caps and parts will attest. Only the two Questars were carefully stored (they were, and are, functional); I'm guessing they were the only ones in regular use by then. Because of the coming building move and how recent donations have swelled the telescope collection to an absurd size, I'm now in this process of assessing everything and getting the best ones into better shape. I will admit that it has been fun to see and/or use all this stuff without having to own it.

 

Clearly many ways to get the foam out; I'm thinking about it but won't rush into anything.



#890 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 10:40 PM

Two more pictures (one showing that stray bit of foam).

You can probably reach that foam with one of those lost nut mechanical fingers. Just be gentle.

 

Or you can carefully take the front corrector plate off, but mark it so it goes back on in the correct clock position.

 

And welcome to the club, nice find!



#891 Trickedik

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 10:03 PM

Long time lurker and first time poster to CN. I’ve been able to glean such a tremendous amount of information from CN that I finally decided make an honest go of it. Enough said on that though...

I’d like to add my 1976 C8 to the registry - S/N 1 5111 6

Date on the Synchron motors - 11 75

​As for the backstory, in 1997 I was a senior with only a few final exams standing between me and a college degree. I had spent my final year as an undergraduate working for the physics and astronomy department as a TA and general jack-of-all-trades which is to say that when I wasn’t busy studying or grading homework, I was fixing things, building stuff, and lugging around and setting up three 10” LX200s and the affectionately named Polyphemus, the school’s 18” Dobsonian, anywhere they needed to be for astronomy classes, outreach events, and star (comet really) parties. For those who don’t know or remember 1996 to 1997, it was an amazing year-and-a-half of comets – as Hyakutake faded off into the distance Hale-Bopp was up next to put on a show. Interest in astronomy was surging on campus and in the community. From December of 96’ up until the time I graduated I never missed an event, and though I did not know it at the time, my efforts would be rewarded with an incredible gift.

Shortly before “walking,” and not long after tidying up the lab and the nearby storage space for the final time, I was approached by my advisor who told me that as a graduation gift he would like to give me a telescope. Surely it wouldn’t be one of the new (at the time) LX200s and Polyphemus was out of the question! What could it be? Perhaps that white Newtonian I had come across? It looked cast aside and I imagined it had one of those secondary mirrors that looked like it had just been used in a dental office and jammed into the cardboard tube roughly, in the right place. Regardless of condition, it would be a gift from my advisor whom I admired and respected, and I already cherished it. But he immediately threw me off when he followed up with, “it’s the one in the green trunk.”

 

In all of the time spent in the storage area I had come across every manner of teaching-aide associated with biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy labs, but for some reason I had never taken a peek inside of the green trunk. As incredulous as it might seem in this community I had no idea what to expect. So imagine my surprise when I finally opened the green trunk and found that burnt-orange tube beaming back at me! Needless to say I was shocked and thrilled beyond belief. To this day I have not used my C8 without fondly remembering my advisor.

 

Not long after graduation work and school and a family and living the American dream conspired to limit the number of nights I could observe, but thanks to a recent celestial event and children of an age that they can appreciate such things, we are spending more time with our C8. Also, thanks to the members of CN and their many informative posts I’ve been able to collimate it, confidently remove and clean the optics, identify and in some cases use equipment that had been tucked away behind the trunk’s padding, learn the tripod is a locked-triangle type, find out what is missing, and fabricate a power cord and verify that the Synchron motors still work to name just a few things. So, very sincerely, thank you.

 

As to the original purchase of the C8, I never asked and always took it for granted that it had originally been purchased by the school for the astronomy department (see pic.). One last thing, and forgive me if this question is misplaced here but I have to believe that in a forum dedicated to registering C8s somebody will know the answer to a question I haven’t been able to definitively answer, what are the two rings depicted in the last image?

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#892 Kasmos

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 03:51 AM

Sand cast C8  waytogo.gif

 

I don't think the rings go with the scope shrug.gif


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#893 pekwalker

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 04:54 PM

I just purchased a Used Vintage C8 Orange Tube serial number 280977. If I read the information right from the first post of this topic, this scope was made in the 2nd Quarter of 1977 and it is piece number 809? Also, the scope has a sticker on top with the words Special Coatings. What does that mean?

 

Any help and information is appreciated.

 

Peter



#894 Trickedik

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 05:06 PM

Peter,

 

Based on the serial number provided that appears to be a correct interpretation. 
 

The “Special Coatings” sticker refers to an ant-reflective (AR) coating applied to the corrector plate to improve transmission of light through the telescope. From what I’ve been able to glean so far by reading through different forums on CN I believe that the coating is a MgF2 (Mag-fluoride) coating -a pretty common AR coating. 
 

Enjoy!


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#895 B 26354

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 05:08 PM

Actually, its piece-number is 8097. Only the last digit refers to the year of manufacture. Mine was also produced in the 2nd quarter of '77. Bought it new.  grin.gif


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#896 dgtom2

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:42 PM

Hello, I just discovered this great Community.

I just got an C8 from a Lady in south Germany near Freiburg, who dissolved the Houshold of her father, who passed away last year.

In the basement of the House she found this C8 , nearly 10 Years unused.

The Celestar 8 has the S.N. 895753.

 I think the Optics are in a good shape, need a cleaning, the RA- Motor didn't move.

We miss 3 Bolts with inch threads- this was a little problem to get them in Germany- but finally i got them to fix the Pole-Wedge to the Motorbase.

After cleaning the Gearbox of the RA-Motor with WD40 and put some new Oil in it- it works!

Also the Handbox and the Astromaster worked!

Inside the Instruction manual i found some Bills of astronomical equipments from 1998 issued to Mr. James Frederick , Mason City this was the owner of the telescope, who went to Germany after marriage with his german wife.

Also I found a lot of  astronomics writings/lists of this time from 2401 Tee circle , Suites 10/106 , Norman , Oklahoma from all these telescopes and other equipments with pricelists  and detailed descriptions of all these things..

 

That was the story behind.

 

Now I'm now waiting for better weather here in Northern Germany- only cloudy and snowing.

for first sight and collimation.

Clear Skies!

Dieter

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#897 dgtom2

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:25 PM

Now some pictures:

 

C8_3.jpg C8_2.jpg C8_4.jpg c8_1.jpg


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#898 RSX11M+

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Posted Yesterday, 10:54 AM

Thank you all for your submissions and updates since Dec 17, 2020.
 

Spatch, EricTheBlackauggie doggie, KArthur, Krowbar1, brentknight, kcoles, Trickedik, pekwalker, and dgtom2 - your scopes have been added based upon your comments.
 
The new Registry with these additions is offered in JPG and PDF.
 


As usual, the C8 registry continues to be the most active.  I've attempted to scrutinize your photos and comments to correctly identify where to place your submissions. In some instances, without photos or adequate description I've had to make uncomfortable guesses.

To submissions of the future: Please, if at all possible - include images in your submission. Examining these for subtle feature differences between years makes correct placement possible.
 


Spatch - Your scope appears in great condition. More enviable is the certainty of it's history. Truly a legacy scope.

EricTheBlack - Congratulations on taking delivery! Your images agree completely with your previous information. Never feel guilty about the good fortune of more parts than necessary.

auggie doggie - Furry rodents and telescopes don't generally mix well. Let's hope for an easier future - best of luck.

KArthur - Astrophotography of DSOs can be accomplished with these vintage C8's best by software stacking of short exposures with a modern camera. Good Planetary images may be possible with more typical cameras. Lunar photography is a great place to begin.

Krowbar1 - I've assigned a registry entry for you without a serial number. Basing an entry solely on motor date, especially in 1979, is uncertain. Better information will help me refine your entry. It can be difficult to know how to describe vintage C8s, so photos are the most expeditious means of identification.

brentknight - Nice scope there. I would request another image of your motor. There are usually several sets of numbers around these, and it appears the area not covered might have the date. However, this is only confirmational and your serial number places your entry adequately. We just like the additional information to understand production variances to assist with tenuous submissions like the foregoing example.

kcoles - Two very nice examples. Finding an Axial is a special event around here, even just a tri-color is pretty novel. You can get plenty of help with anything you require, so just ask.

Trickedik - Great scope, super back story! We should swap LX200 stories some time. About those rings - I do not recognize them, however I'd venture a guess they are elements of some kind of twist-lock-mount system. They probably apply to the base in some manner to adapt it to a permanent pier, if they indeed are for this scope. I could just make out some printing on the side in photos, but it isn't legible. More images might provide information we can research. The green steamer-trunk style case is classic Celestron.

pekwalker - Yes, based solely on the information you provided - 2nd Quarter of 1977 seems correct. Images would help assure that and might provide more details.

dgtom2 - Great scope, very clean. (now) That era instrument has some refinements not seen in earlier models. I don't personally have one of that vintage, but should think it will be very satisfactory to use. It's unusual to have so much original paperwork - keep them together if possible.
  • brentknight likes this

#899 brentknight

brentknight

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Posted Yesterday, 09:34 PM

I got a couple more pictures, but without taking the motor out, I can't see what's on the bottom...

 

SM-20210122_183852.jpg   SM-20210122_185241.jpg

 

 




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