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Celestron C5 Registry

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#276 Jon555

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 12:55 PM

Hi, I have an old sand-cast C5 (OTA only) which I purchased second-hand from Astro-Systems in Luton on 30th July 1981 (I still have the invoice, signed J. Miller). I haven't used it for years (having some other nice telescopes) but thought I might clean it up and give it a go, as it's light and has a decent aperture.

 

I have a couple of questions I was hoping people might be able to help with...

 

Firstly the serial number is 502056, which from this thread's chart would, I guess, make it a mid-1980 model?

 

Secondly the front plate is hazy on the inside. I remember when buying it the dealer took the front plate off to clean something. As I recall it had three serial numbers engraved where they would be under the ring that holds it in place, with two crossed out and two lines to align the third one. I'm assuming to take the plate out and clean it should be trivial, but thought it was well worth asking in case there was anything I should watch for.

 

The focus knob seems smooth and the mirror looks okay.

 

I will also cover my bases by asking if anyone has any tips/tricks/suggestions for looking after it, or for anything else people know that might be of interest?

 

Oh and would it fit to one of the current computerised C5 mounts like the one with the NEXSTAR 5SE (if you can even buy that on its own), or is there a cheaper better option?
(I go to a number of Astronomy meets where people come to look through telescopes, I usually take a somewhat heavy 92mm refractor on an un-driven mount, as all my driven mounts are too heavy to carry there, but a light computerised one could be interesting if it took the C5? I tend to leave the 2" eyepieces at home anyway, due to weight issues.)

 

After this I think I will get out by old, mid/late 1980s, Astroscan and see what state that's in... :-)

 

Thanks

Jon

 

P.S. Some images - note the first image is over-exposed to show the front better, the third image shows the colour correctly.
 

IMG_5349_sm.jpg

IMG_5350_SerialNumber_sm.jpg

IMG_5351_sm.jpg


Edited by Jon555, 16 November 2019 - 01:27 PM.

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#277 Hugh Peck

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 01:55 PM

If that's a standard photo tripod thread in the base you could add a small Vixen style dovetail which would attach to the NexStar mount. They do come up for sale from time to time though not sure if it's a stand alone item for sale from Celestron. 


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#278 Jon555

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 02:15 PM

If that's a standard photo tripod thread in the base you could add a small Vixen style dovetail which would attach to the NexStar mount. They do come up for sale from time to time though not sure if it's a stand alone item for sale from Celestron. 

I have a Vixen dovetail - it came with my 92mm, but I changed it to an SB0800 (which was another option, but I had two lying around already) so I have a spare Vixen one...

Okay - not that small a Dovetail, but maybe the other mounting screws (silver) would align, as I used to use it on a very old Vixen driven mount...

Thanks!


Edited by Jon555, 16 November 2019 - 02:17 PM.


#279 Kasmos

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 03:54 PM

Jon, Just so you know, it's not old enough to be a sand cast model. The tube on the sand cast models is smooth (not a pebble finish), the corrector cell is retained differently, they had a completely metal secondary mount and the serial numbering method was different and not placed on the face of the secondary holder.


Edited by Kasmos, 17 November 2019 - 03:39 AM.

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#280 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 05:41 PM

Mid 80's is when Celestron stopped making the C5. Some were black before they stopped making them. I think 1986 was it for the C5 until in the 90's.



#281 Jon555

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 05:45 PM

How do people find the 1980-ish models for optical quality?

 

Also any comments on disassembly/cleaning?

Thanks for the comments so far!



#282 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 07:28 PM

How do people find the 1980-ish models for optical quality?

 

Also any comments on disassembly/cleaning?

Thanks for the comments so far!

They were all hit and miss. One could be super and the next a mush dog. I had three C5'S from the late 70's to around 1981 and all were ok to good at best. Had a super sharp Nextstar C5 made in 2002.



#283 Don W

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 12:28 PM

Reminder, this is the C5 Registry. Please start a new thread for discussions.



#284 Masvingo

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 06:52 AM

I’ve updated the C5 Registry and it is now at Edition 9.
 
Thanks to Pete W, drejtiv, Don W and Jon555 for the details submitted.
 
Don W – I’m still not sure how the C5 serial numbers work for 1978.  Both the format of the C8 and C5 serial numbers changed in 1978 and it’s not clear to me whether the 1978 serials still indicate the quarter of manufacture. 
 
Looking at the C8 (where we have more numbers) the last number that we have for 1977 is a 6 digit one, 3 9694 7 (3rd quarter 1977 - 9694th C8 made) and then for 1978 the serials move to 5 digits, the lowest being 1454 8 and the highest 4384 8 – it’s not clear to me whether these should be read as the 454th C8 produced in the 1st quarter of 1978 and 384th C8 produced in the 4th quarter of 1978 (ie the sequential number only refers to the particular quarter and is no longer a cumulative production number from the start of production) or whether they should be read as the 1454th scope produced in 1978 and the 4384th scope produced in 1978 (in which case Celestron would have been producing around 5,000 C8s a year at that stage – looking the 1977 serials (which only cover 3 quarters) there were at least 2,300 C8s produced in 1977 – it may be that the C8 serials changed to the ‘1978’ format around the end of the 3rd quarter 1977 when the sequential number reached 9999 which would then give an average of around 3,500 per year for 1977/78).  Then, after one 1979 number in the ‘1979 format’ the serials changed to remove the year indicator and just became cumulative in the format of 8xxxxx.  At this time, it seems the cumulative number was rebased to 0 or 1.
 
C5 serials appear to follow a similar, but not quite the same, evolution.  Up until the 2nd quarter of 1978 the serials followed the Q xxxx Y format (Q=quarter, Y=last digit of the year) (the C8s were forced to change earlier as xxxx had got up to 9999 in the 3rd quarter of 1977).  The last C5 serial of this format is 2 3902 8 (2nd quarter of 1978 – 3902nd C5 made) and then we have five 5-digit numbers all beginning with 4: #4163 8; #4165 8; #4190 8; #4311 8; and #4350 9, before the C5 format changed in line with the C8 serials to remove the year indicator and just became cumulative in the format of 5xxxxx.  Again, as with the C8, there is one 1979 serial in the format of the ‘1978’ style before the new 5xxxxx style starts.  Also, as with the C8 ‘1978’ format, it’s not clear whether these numbers should be read as referring the the 4th quarter (although this would not appear to work for serial 4350 9 as the new 5xxxxx style would have been in use by the 4th quarter of 1979) or whether the quarter identifier was dropped but the sequential numbers carried on (so we had the 3902nd C5 being made in the 2nd quarter with the old style serials, then the 4163rd, 4165th, 4190th and 4311th in the remainder of 1978 and the 4350th C5 made at the start of 1979 before the new 5xxxxx style came in.  At this time, it seems the cumulative number was rebased to 0 or 1.  Another enigma!
 
As ever, all contributions, clarifications and corrections gratefully received and remember – we love pictures too (and they help to detail the smaller changes over the years such as whether phillips or hex head screws were used for the secondary adjustment.)  The more numbers we can get hopefully the clearer the picture as regards how the serials work.


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#285 Terra Nova

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 01:59 PM

Hi James, please except my most humble apologies but I no longer have #2 3040 7 (2nd qtr ‘77). I sold it earlier this year.
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#286 Masvingo

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 02:40 PM

Hi James, please except my most humble apologies but I no longer have #2 3040 7 (2nd qtr ‘77). I sold it earlier this year.

No worries Terra, I changed the name column a while ago to show the source of the information rather than the owner (although quite often they are the one and same) partly to account for sales and also for the fact that some CN submissions are by people who know of the scope but do not own the scope, eg serials belonging to club instruments reported by club members.  I think it is good to record some indication of the source of the information though.


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#287 Masvingo

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 02:42 PM

Just a quick note to say I've corrected a typo I made in recording the sale date for C5 #501126 - my apologies, Pete.



#288 Augustus

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 03:27 PM

I used to have #502926, a fork-mounted scope with special coatings.


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#289 Brisby2

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 12:51 AM

I'm currently the owner of a 1976(?) Celestron C5 Sandcast. Serial number is #118156. It's currently fork mounted with the included tripod, wedge, and tracking motor. 

 

IMG_7872.JPG

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#290 Masvingo

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 11:02 AM

Many thanks Augustus and Brisby2 for your reports which I've now added to the C5 Registry which is now at Edition 9.1.

 

Brisby2 - based on the serial number your C5 was indeed a 1976 model, made in the 1st quarter.  Yours is a lovely looking scope, it's always nice to see an original sand-cast one.


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#291 Almasis

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 11:52 AM

Hello,

This my C5 spotting scope OTA. serial no.52995. I have replaced the original finder with a 6x30 white finder. I find the casting handle very convenient to carry safely the telescope.

Gilles

 

C5 OTA_1R.jpg

 

C5 OTA_2R.jpg

 

 


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#292 Masvingo

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 06:17 AM

Gilles, thanks for the details of your C5 Spotter which I've added to the C5 Registry which is now at Edition 10.
 
The C5 is a beautifully portable package.

#293 Augustus

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 10:42 AM

I have #502119, an orange OTA. Originally a spotter, sold the piggyback bracket a while ago


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#294 Masvingo

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 06:59 AM

Thanks, Augustus, I've updated the C5 Registry which is now at Edition 10.1.



#295 Jeff Lee

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 12:54 PM

59841 White SPotter reported to be purchased in the year 2000.


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#296 Masvingo

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 01:05 PM

Thanks Jeff, I've added it to the C5 Registry, now at Edition 10.2.




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