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Celestron C8 Registry

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#76 DouglasR

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:11 AM

Thank you Joe. Very interesting about the tripod, good info. I have been observing for about 40 years, but mostly with small refractors and small newts. I picked up an older C8 here on CN classified about 2 months ago, and I don't know why I didn't get an SCT before this. I love it. I know it doesn't have the bells and whistles most of the scopes have today, but it gives great views and is remarkably easy to use. I had a Tasco 9TE and a couple of Edmund Scientific scopes years ago, I wish I still had them. Thanks again,
Doug

#77 Masvingo

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 05:01 AM

Thanks Doug, always good to get another number, especially when it comes woth motor dates as well. :waytogo:

I like the locked triangle tripod, amazingly light and yet very rigid. This post by Neil (apfever) has some interesting info on dismantling the tripod legs - well worth a look.

And welcome to the Classics forum!

James

#78 DouglasR

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 05:29 PM

Thank you James. The tripod does seem very sturdy, yet remarkably light. I was really wondering about the sales date of my new (or old) C8, especially since the more I read about them, the more interesting it gets. I like the way your chart is laid out. I'm sure it's a lot of work to put together, but it's easy to read.
Thanks again, Doug

#79 Masvingo

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

Hi all

Time for another update, I've added the recent submissions from Blake (2 C8s), John and Douglas as well as a few numbers picked up whilst surfing, mainly from classified ads but also a posting by pico in the Cats & Casses forum.

As before, because of the file size limits I've only shown a low resolution image of the top part of the list in the attached image but there is a link to the full register below:

Celestron C8 Registry

My very grateful thanks to all the contributors

James

(Edit > helps if I actually attach the image!! :foreheadslap:)

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5783435-c8 serial 5ccc.gif


#80 Blake Andrews

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:43 AM

Hi James,

You're quite welcome. Thanks for coordinating this project.

If I have an opportunity to pull drive covers, I'll send along any date codes that I might find, as well.

Based upon the data that you've been able to accumulate, have you been able to develop a sense for Celestron's production of the C8 from year to year? Having this parametric would allow me to develop different models to attempt to estimate corresponding eyepiece production of early Celestron eyepieces.

Cheers!
Blake

#81 Masvingo

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:59 PM

Hi Blake
Yes, if you do ever pull the drive covers I’d be very interested in the motor dates.

Regarding annual production numbers, unfortunately it is difficult to come up with numbers that are reasonably accurate as I don’t really have a sufficient quantity of numbers yet to identify the end of year serial numbers, and for the later ‘8xxxxx’ style serial numbers there is even more of a problem due to a lack of reliable production dates. Whilst motor dates fix the earliest date that a unit could have been manufactured, there is evidence from some of the dates on the registry that the motors either sat in the manufacturer’s stock or Celestron’s stock for a while before being used. As to reported sales dates, these are not always known either, and even for those that are known there are some discrepancies as noted below:
  • S/Ns 814103 and 814836 have reported sales dates of Jun 82 and Jul 82 respectively, however S/N 815888 also has a reported sales date of Jun 82 yet is 1,785 units later than the other Jun 82 unit.
  • S/N 816685 is reported as May 83, S/N 818679 is reported as Jul 85 but S/N 824733 is reported as summer 83 whilst 831082 is reported as late 85. It may be that whilst S/N 818679 has a reported invoice date of Jul 85 it was produced much earlier (probably sometime in 83) and was held in stock for a while.

I have, however, come up with the following table which gives a rough indication.

In preparing the table, I have assumed that, for the 1970s, the serial number at the end of the year lies halfway between the last known number for that year and the first known number for the following year. This produces an initial average rate of 345/yr for the first 3 years of production (as the date style serial numbers only came in in mid 1972 and production started in 1970 it has not been possible to get rates for each particular year); 547 in 1973; 1276 in 1974; 2115 in 1975; and 2313 in 1976.

The lastest 1977 serial number (394637) is only for the third quarter at which time a total of 9463 units had been produced from the start of production (ignoring any special numbers such as Leo Hanzl’s C8) and would equate to 2,176 units in 1977 alone up to that point. Assuming another 400 odd for the remainder of the year or an increase of 200 over the previous year gives a figure of around 2,500 to 2,600 total for 1977.

A different date type serial (xxxx8) was used solely for 1978. Assuming that they started from 00018 and went sequentially and that the reported serial of 31xx8 is the latest serial number for that year suggests that at least 3200 were produced in 1978.

The new 8xxxxx series appears to have started in 1979 and unfortunately does not have a date code. Going by some of the reported sales dates and omitting the ones that seem out of step, this gives a rate of 4,014/yr for the period up to May 80; 4,168/yr for the period May 80 to Nov 81; 4,347/yr for the period Nov 81 to July 82: 4,874/yr for the period July 82 to Nov 85 and 8,244/yr for the period Nov 85 to July 86 - which was the height of the Halley craze when they were churning out ‘scopes as fast as possible.

Because of the discrepancies noted above, it is difficult to break down production rates for the period July 82 to Nov 85 with any certainty, but looking more closely at the numbers does suggest that production numbers dropped off quite a bit in 82/83 (anyone know why?) but then picked up to rates similar to the 8,244/yr for the later period (Nov 85 to July 86) but this effect is hidden when the rate is averaged over the full period.

Any insight into the above would be most welcome.

James

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5784162-C8prodnos.jpg


#82 Blake Andrews

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:50 PM

As to reported sales dates, these are not always known either, and even for those that are known there are some discrepancies as noted below:

  • S/Ns 814103 and 814836 have reported sales dates of Jun 82 and Jul 82 respectively, however S/N 815888 also has a reported sales date of Jun 82 yet is 1,785 units later than the other Jun 82 unit.
  • S/N 816685 is reported as May 83, S/N 818679 is reported as Jul 85 but S/N 824733 is reported as summer 83 whilst 831082 is reported as late 85. It may be that whilst S/N 818679 has a reported invoice date of Jul 85 it was produced much earlier (probably sometime in 83) and was held in stock for a while.


Thanks, James.

Your analysis is very insightful and helpful. Based upon your data it appears that by 1986, Celestron had produced roughly 40,000 C8 telescopes of one sort or another. This will be helpful as I try to estimate the number of eyepieces Celestron made for sale to the aftermarket.

I do have one error to report. My scope, #824733, the all-black Super C8 Plus with Starbright Coatings, was actually purchased in the summer of 1984. I found one of my original receipts going back though some old paper work. Hopefully this will set straight some of the confusion.

Thanks, again!
Blake

#83 Masvingo

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:52 AM

Hi Blake, thanks for the note re the purchase date, I have amended the high res image of the registry accordingly.

I would say that Celeston probably produced around 50,000 units by the end of 1986 - there were at least 9,800 using either the original sequential serial numbers or the date style numbers, at least another 2,200 using the 1978 only style serials (or maybe at least 3,200 if they started from number 0001 8 rather than 1000 8) and then another 36,600 or so, using the 8xxxxx serials by July 1986 a giving a total of at least 48,600.

James

#84 greju

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

Thanks for your time and research with this registry! :bow: I notice you do not have number 001. IIRC it has been discussed in this forum and is now on display at Celestrons headquarters.

#85 Masvingo

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:39 PM

Thanks greju, it's an interesting challenge trying to make sense of it all.

One of the challenges has been number 1 which, from what I've been told by the former owner, CN 'greedyshark', is actually production number 577! The discrepancy appears to have been caused by Celestron's original policy of putting the serial number on the mount as the first C8s produced were complete OTA and mount assemblies. However, after a while they also started selling OTAs only and the C8 on display at Celestron is, I understand, the first C8 OTA sold by Celestron and the tube was given serial number 1 as a consequence. The mirrors and corrector plates of all tube assemblies were numbered separately and this is where the production number of 577 comes from. When I was told this it cleared up the mystery of why this C8 did not have the axial focuser which the first 125 C8s had.

At some later time the tube was then mounted on a fork mount.

James

#86 greju

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 03:41 PM

Thanks for correcting my often failing memory. I could remember that faceplate with the 001 number and thought it was on the mount.

http://www.cloudynig...4279131/page...

#87 joerbiker

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:53 AM

James,
Congratulations on a job well done. Here is my addition to the date: JoerBiker C8 on Flickr

I'll take a look at the motors tomorrow and let you know the dates on those.

Thanks again,
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#88 bremms

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:16 PM

Serial # for my sand cast is 4 2854 4. Good original condition. Don't think I'm going to ever sell this one. Best optics of any C8 I've had by a good margin.

#89 Masvingo

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:41 PM

Great! :waytogo: Thanks for the new numbers, Joe and Marc. Now that work has calmed down a bit I'm hoping to get an outdated list out in the next few days.

James

#90 Masvingo

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:34 PM

Here’s the latest version of the registry with grateful thanks to rdandrea, TOM KIEHL, joerbiker and bremms for contributing details of their C8s.

As before, because of the file size limits I've only shown a low resolution image of the top part of the list in the attached image but there is a link to the full register below:

Celestron C8 Registry

Once again my very grateful thanks to all the contributors

James :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5994848-c8 serial 6d.gif


#91 rdandrea

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:29 PM

Wonderful service. Thanks for keeping these records.

#92 Masvingo

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:43 PM

Thanks for your kind words. It's an interesting challenge trying to make sense of Celestron's serial numbers!

#93 bremms

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:01 PM

Thanks!

#94 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:29 PM

Thanks James , Keep up the good work, PS. Just for the record , and not to sound "nit picky" my last name is spelled ...KIEHL ,not KIELH.... Thanks Tom :grin:

#95 joerbiker

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:17 PM

James,
Here is an older numbered scope (34568) that recently popped up on eBay .

The numbers look close for it to be a 1978.

#96 Masvingo

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:00 AM

Oops, sorry Tom, my apologies! Finger trouble, the table should be corrected now.

James

#97 Masvingo

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:29 AM

Thanks for the tip off, Joe. :waytogo:

That's the highest 1978 number I've seen so far. So probably at least 3,456 C8s made in 1978, although I'm wondering whether the 1978 sequence might have started in late 1977 as the latest 1977 number I have is for the 3rd quarter, 3 9463 7, and if they were at number 9,463 in the 3rd quarter I would guess they would have reached number 9,999 before the end of 1977.

James

#98 ivancast09

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:32 PM

Hello everyone. Yesterday I came up on a well worn c8. I picked it up because I thought it will make a good project. Plus really gratifying when its all done and see first light. The focuser is what really needs to be changed asap in order for it to function. Everything else is working as it should.
My question is,the only obvious ser# I see is on the fork Mount. It says ser# 181. The ota itself has no ser# all the pics I've seen has the ser# on the secondary mirror holder/ collimation screws by the corrector plate. Was this a common thing? The secondary mirror holder dose not say celestron. Its just black and smooth minus the scew holes and screws.
Every one I have seen has the ser# there by the corrector plate. And says celestron on it.
Also I know that the the fork mount is early 70's era because its two tone and the forks have circle cut outs when casted. Ser#181 on the fork mount would that date the ota as well? I'm guessing 181 must be a very very low serialized telescope.
Anyway, I hope somebody can clarify some question on dating my new to me c8 project.
Thanks
And clear skies from OC california.

#99 Masvingo

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:26 AM

Hi ivancast09

Great, thanks for your number, another early one, around 1970/71. Can you post some pics please? :photo:

Other than when the ota was sold separately, Celestron did not start placing the serial number on the secondary holder until 1979 - up until then it was on a plate on the mount base.

Does yours have a visual back arrangement similar to Tinky, Tim's C8 #135, which appears to be a transitional arrangement between the very early axial focuser and the 'regular' C8 and has a circular black plate bolted to the rear cell?

If you take the corrector out, I'd be interested to see whether the number marked on the edge of the plate matches the base serial # 181.

James

#100 Blake Andrews

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:51 AM

Hi All,

Another interesting C8 listing on e-Bay. This one appears to be a transition scope (post tri-color / sandcast), with a Celestron Pacific plate on the base of the motor. The serial number appears to be 10718.

The eyepieces are also interesting. Two of the three have yellow round JTII stickers. One is clearly marked Oval-M (aka Circle-M).

I assume that the serial number infers that this scope was the 71st C8 manufactured/sold in the first quarter of 1978? If so, this would help me pin down when Oval-M eyepieces sporting the round yellow JTII stickers were offered.

Here's the link...
LINK

Cheers!
Blake


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