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What did you do to your Scope/Mount Today?

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3868 replies to this topic

#1 orion61

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 06:44 PM

Here is a chance to show off, or tell us about your newest repair, Mod or restoration. Now that Winter is upon us, some of us take the opportunity to

fiddle with those rusty Bolts, Put that new motor on, or even pull that whole mount apart because of the old GOO or grease doesn't want to work in the freezing temps.

 

I haven't been able to do a lot, but I did apply some clear Epoxy to my Mayflower Wooden Box to stop the lamination from peeling away in several spots.

It also leveled it out. I tried Wood Putty but with the lod flexing it just cracked.... This is here to stay.. I have found out that if I want to lay down a surface that looks like GLASS, I know what to use!

I also repaired one side joint with Elmer's glue and a  Ratchet type, strap Tie down! Those work GREAT when you don't have a clamp large enough!

Someone had stained the box Dark at some point so I put a fresh cote of Stain on the box, those scratches are covered again. That old box that looked like it was junk and falling apart, now looks like it is ready for another 60 years protecting my baby.....

I just have never LOVED a Telescope more in my life, even at $300.00 including shipping, I feel it was a superb bargain!

THANK you ALL here for peaking my interest in these Beautiful Vintage Japanese Refractors!!!

YOUR TURN! What cha do to your scope?

 


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#2 havasman

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:06 PM

Built a wiring harness to connect the 12v 5HA and 12V 14AH Duracell Ultra AGM batteries to the NOKO Genius 750 trickle charger and a wooden rack to stack 'em on while charging. The little battery rides, fixtured securely, on the XT10i scope base to power the secondary heater and fan. The big one goes in a beer cooler eyepiece warmer/rack I built out of plywood, dowel, Scopestuff heater bands, a homemade 3-channel rheostat and copper plumbing fixtures. That one WORKS.

Next up: reconfigure the fan suspension with soft springs, silicone and little bitty bungee cord and probably replace the fan with a smoother type.


Edited by havasman, 06 January 2015 - 08:06 PM.

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#3 Chuck Hards

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:14 PM

My first project of the year was supposed to be the Ordway Tasco, but some missing hardware put that one on the back burner while I await a couple of shipments. 

 

So I went to my pile of scopes awaiting their turn at refurbishment, and selected a Shrine Manon 60x700mm.  I have two, but one is complete while the other was missing a part or two.  Well, the OTA was completely done in only 3 days, including a total main tube & dewcap flocking, so I decided to just do both of them.  A fellow CN member has the missing piece of the other mount.  I'll tear-down the other OTA on the weekend.  Most of the painted mount parts only need a good cleaning.  Both tripods will be completely broken-down, however.  The wood legs will be sanded and re-shellacked, new tips added.  The leg braces and trays will probably be re-painted.  Even so, it's not a huge project and I expect both to be done before spring, including the wooden storage boxes.

 

The Ordway Tasco is next, by then I should have everything I need.  This year I'm sticking to my resolve of only one project at a time (the two Shrine-Manons are counting as one because they are nearly identical, and are small scopes) since more gets done and I'm better organized.  Too many bins of parts increases the risk of misplacing something or one of the cats carrying something off.  It happens!  I find tools and screws all over the house, have learned to secure stuff that's not for kitties.

 

After the big Tasco, we'll see.  That's months from now, at the earliest, maybe early summer.  Anything can happen between now and then.

 

I don't get much shop time during the work week, sometimes none at all, and when working my second job, it can be two or three weeks between telescope restoration sessions, so progress can be slow at times. 

 

I'll post pics of the two Shrine Mannons when done.  I think one is earlier production than the other, there are slight differences between them.


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#4 amicus sidera

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:34 PM

That old box that looked like it was junk and falling apart, now looks like it is ready for another 60 years protecting my baby.....

 

Isn't it a wonderful feeling to repair something that truly deserves it?  :ubetcha: 

 

No recent repairs here to speak of, but I did finally get proper, well-fitting dust caps for several classic finderscopes, thanks to the folks at AgenaAstro.com. Last real project was modifying a Celestron 9v-battery-powered drive motor by adding a shaft extension, so that if desired I could swap out the original and use it drive any of my Edmund scopes in the field without having to lug a drive corrector and 12v battery along. I'll probably never use it, but it was just something that I've always wanted to do.  :) 


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#5 havasman

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 05:01 PM

probably never use it, but it was just something that I've always wanted to do.  :)

 

 

:waytogo:



#6 PJ Anway

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 08:33 PM

We've been experiencing sub-zero weather here on the north coast and so,  I figured it was time to overhaul my Losmandy G-9. Tore it down completely - cleaned, re-lubed, re-assembled and adjusted.  I'm now ready to observe - if it ever warms up. 



#7 Lew Chilton

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 02:37 AM

I've been adding Baader Click-lock eyepiece and accessory holders to all my refractors, including my Swift 839 and Celestron/Vixen C-102. They're much better than set screws or even compression rings. And the mods are easily reversible.


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#8 havasman

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:52 PM

Today I ordered a 2"W 1/4"thick 36"L strip of Sorbothane (50 Duro) and bought a Noctua NF-P12 cooling fan and Kingwin FPX-001 4 channel fan controller. The Sorbothane strip will encircle the bottom of the OTA and damp the mounting of the very quiet fan which will run in Ultra Low Noise mode. Yet to be bought are a set of weak springs of the correct length and some lightweight bungee cord with which I'll "tune" the springs away from common resonances. The fan will hang from the springs.

The Orion fan vibrated badly so I removed it, suffering the tortures of the **** from the lack of cooling. This should bring the scope back nicely.

The added weight may, coincidentally, just about offset the top end weight added by the previous Astrosystems spider/holder/secondary/heater upgrade.

I told a friend the other day I don't know how I ever had time for a job and this is why. This is better.


Edited by havasman, 08 January 2015 - 04:52 PM.


#9 quality guy

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 01:52 PM

First of all, I love the idea for this topic. I have been doing some updates on my 10" Cass. Tinsley, fans, dew heater, temperature probes for optics and air monitoring. Replaced bearings, larger dec. shaft, syn. grease, focuser (added a 14" Mathis RA w/ planetary worm drive and 10" dec drive - 1983). Will take pictures and post soon. To me its still a vintage 50's 10" Tinsley Cass. but the upgrades have kept the scope active for me and its just the right thing to do for these classic instruments.


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#10 Chuck Hards

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 09:23 AM

Last night I removed the tripod legs from the two Shrine Manon mounts and will disassemble them today, maybe start on sanding the wood down for refinishing, and stripping the metal parts for a repaint.  This will take from one to two weeks for both sets.

 

I also got OTA #2 on the workbench and began taking it apart for an objective cleaning and parts repaint.  OTA #1 is completely finished.

 

I'm taking in-process pictures so there will be material for a restoration thread when I'm done.



#11 rcwolpert

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 10:09 AM

Last night I worked on a saddle and rings to mount my 80mm Mayflower to my new (for me) LXD-75 with Autostar. Now I'm finally set to do some observing with the one scope I really love. Since moving into a new place in CA and into a new condo on the ocean in FL at the same time back in September, my observing (and posting) has really suffered. I've lost the convenience of just walking out my door to observe, but I'll be traveling to darker skies, so I should have much better views.

 

- Bob


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#12 Chuck Hards

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 10:50 AM

Bob, now you have the agony of deciding which scopes will reside at the condo, and which at the house across the country!


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#13 clamchip

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 11:22 AM

I have a couple newt tips.

The large gap under focusers should be plugged to keep bugs (insects) out. In this photo you can see I effectively closed the door on the mischievous acid secreting monsters with a simple piece of self-adhesive weather stripping.

Photo 2 I bought a PVC cap at the hardware store and cut it to fit the tube. This was to be a platform for a modern crayford flat flange focuser. It can give you more choices  when selecting a focuser to have a flat surface depending on what's in your junque box.

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#14 Andy Taylor

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 12:07 PM

Installed a serial to USB converter inside my Autostar handbox.

 

Now have a USB socket instead of the rubbish phone type connector.

 

No more dangling dongles  :grin:

 

Bluetooth next...



#15 rcwolpert

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 12:46 PM

Bob, now you have the agony of deciding which scopes will reside at the condo, and which at the house across the country!

 

Chuck, you are so right!!  It's agony because no matter where I am, it seems the the part I need is always at the other place!  I have the Unitron, Swift, Vixen, and C-11 (with Losmandy mount) in Florida. I was able to use the Unitron for a few observations of the Moon and Jupiter when in FL the last few weeks. Here in CA I have the 80mm and 60mm Mayflowers, but I had no mount that would track. So I recently purchased the LXD-75 at a very good price just to get the most use of the two scopes while I'm still in CA. It doesn't help that my residences are at opposite sides of the country. I'll be very happy when this transition time is over!

- Bob



#16 figurate

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 06:14 PM

It's a riddle, wrapped in a mystery (mounting), inside an enigma... 

 

I have been pondering how to proceed with two different 1" shaft mounts, both part vintage, partly my own DNA. One is a counterbalanced alt-az using a recycled declination shaft mounted in two hefty pillowblocks. That one sits on a sturdy industrial tripod with a geared, locking elevating head. Should be ideal for my medium-sized refractors.

 

The other is more unusual, a roller-bearing equatorial using very nicely machined and anodized aluminum parts. The good features (steel threaded inserts in the RA housing for the supporting bolts, for example) are interspersed with things that are not so smart, like a dec shaft that is too short, no provision or shaft extension for a drive, and some others. My guess is it is a machinist-built example and the maker didn't have a lot of scope time under his belt. That being said, it is just the thing for my 5" f/10 refractor and my Mak; both of those overload their current mountings by a little bit. I am fabricating two adapters to mount the RA housing solidly inside the U-shaped base (another deficiency), but in the process, realized that the two cutaways in the side of that base are a perfect match for my 'two-porthole' modified pier legs, originally from a meade. What are the odds.     

 

Fred

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Edited by figurate, 15 January 2015 - 06:16 PM.

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#17 Vesper818

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:19 PM

I scrounged a few plumbing bits and a mailing tube to test the Edmund f20 achromat
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#18 choran

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:28 PM

Waxed some wooden tripod legs and used them observing from 2AM until about daybreak.  Very nice views of Jupiter, and Io emerging from the face of the planet at about 3am.

Stayed up long enough to get a look at a very low Saturn.


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#19 Chuck Hards

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:34 PM

Removed all the old paint from the two Shrine Manon eyepiece trays, right down to clean metal.  Sanded them with 180 grit then gave them a good coat of etching primer.  Fresh wrinkle grey color coat goes on tomorrow.


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#20 SpaceNetworks

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 01:15 AM

I purchased a white 6x24 finder from Don Rothman for my recently acquired Vixen 60L.  It looks very much like the finder in a photo I came across of another Vixen 60L in its original packaging.  Tonight I mounted the finder in the green bracket.  A little felt along the front edge of the bracket keeps the finder snug but with enough play to align it with the objective using the screws.  Very pleased with this solution for a missing part.



#21 aa6ww

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:48 AM

I always use winter time to clean up all my eyepieces and filters and put layers of wax on my Optical tubes so every things ready for spring time.

 

 ...Ralph



#22 AllanDystrup

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 07:13 AM

Made a pair of small templates (one with a small central hole + a "gunsight" on semitransparent paper) to put in the clear dustcaps for my SkySurfer 1x finder, thus making it useable as a daytime sun finder.

Works great!

SunSight.jpg

 

Allan

(PS: i miss more pics in this thread...)


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#23 BarabinoSr

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 07:15 AM

You guys have some great ideas for improvements! Bob, I like your idea regarding the addition of the weather stripping to protect the optics, and I'll be looking over some of my reflectors to make those improvements to, like my RV-6. Also, my friend Mel has designed an ac powered uinit to run   battery operated small scope drives on  an AC- to DC operation.He is able to connect his unit by wires into the the  battery compartment of said drive with out the need for batteries being there. He has converted one of the Celestron box drives that fit the mounts of the Jason #313 Discoverer  using his device. Fred, that pedestal certainly looks solid and well constructed and should hold your scope very well.

   I have a couple of projects that I need to get started on.One is going to be a Jaegers  long focus 4" refractor which should go nicely on my pillow block mount .The other is the continuing work on my VSC Astronomical Journals, which date back to  the year 1970.  Gary(G :cool: )


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#24 Chuck Hards

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 02:15 PM

Got the wrinkle grey on the Shrine Manon eyepiece trays/tripod braces today.  Will cure them in the oven when I get home then set them aside.  Came out great!  I also finished removing the old paint and rust from the other leg brackets and got a good coat of primer on them.  They'll get the wrinkle grey finish coat in a day or three.  Making good progress and taking lots of pics.  I'll probably start a thread on this project soon.


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#25 figurate

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 11:23 PM

Thanks, Gary. I'll try to wrap up phase one on that project this weekend, the industrious folks here are a good incentive.

 

Fred




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