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Lafayette Arcturus (Mod F-385) 76mm-910mm f/12

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47 replies to this topic

#26 fjs

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

Very nice! I didn't know they made a short version.

#27 Piggyback

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:18 AM

I've removed the focuser and added WD-40 to both sides of the inner and outer parts of the helical focuser.  Confident that it's getting where it needs to, but certain all the volatile elements of the grease are long gone and it will take awhile to travel what has to be a very long thread length.  What I've gained in movement is a real smooth turn of the wheel (which says this will be very nice when working right), but only about a 1/16th of an inch of travel outward.  The focuser only allows about 5/8" of an inch of total movement so I won't have to soak forever.  Travel and rotation is limited by a set screw in a slot that is about 5/8" long.  I removed that and there is rotation of most everything in the housing, but really I need to continue to soak and work the wheel with that set screw in place, gaining a bit at a time.  I expect to free up at some point, and not really in any rush.

 

There are two tiny set screws on opposite sides of the wheel in the back of the focuser and I thought removing them would release the wheel for better access.  Didn't.  Now I think they simple hold the whole mechanism in place and when the threads are released I'll be able to extract the assembly from the housing by removing those two set screws. 

 

With that plate that was made for the tripod yoke to mount on a flat surface, I think this may have been used as a sight seeing kind of scope.  No idea why the dew shield is cut in the manner it is, but all pictures of these I've seen are cut that way.

 

 

Hope, your Lafayette focuser wheel is unstuck by now. I cleaned and relubed mine many years ago and it is working like a charm. The pic was taken after I finished my restoration work.

 

 

Lafayette Arcturus nach Restaurierung Helicoid Fokusierer_1red.jpg


Edited by Piggyback, 18 April 2017 - 05:28 AM.

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#28 DMala

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:10 AM

Any luck with the dried up grease removal?

 

I found PB Blaster to be incredibly effective where WD40 could not make it for rust, other oxydation deposits, and old grease. It used to be available at Tractor's Supply :

 

https://www.zoro.com...CFY-CswodlYQH3g

 

Apply, let it sit overnight using gravity to settle it where desired, and then try to move  the stuck parts. Use gloves and do not breath it in for long! Good luck


Edited by DMala, 18 April 2017 - 11:13 AM.

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#29 Stew44

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:04 PM

Not yet does it freely move.  I likely will change break fluid.  PB blaster sounds interesting.  Still not in any rush, it will get there.



#30 strdst

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:05 PM

Here is what your Arcturus will actually look like when all grow'd uplol.gif

 

 

 

 

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#31 strdst

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:40 PM

Here is the long and short version...happy together. Both fine telescopes!

 

 

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#32 Bonco

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

What these posts about small classic refractors tells me is there were several great alternatives to Unitron back in the day for a premium telescope. Unitron ruled not only because their telescopes were among the best but more so because their marketing prowess eclipsed other manufactures. I'm glad I have a classic Lafayette along with my Unitron/Polarex.

Bill


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#33 Stew44

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:10 PM

Well, it is the short one and I think it's growth is permanently stunted as to f/ratio.  grin.gif



#34 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:38 AM

The optics of my Royal, Swift, & Yamamoto refractors are every bit as good as Nihon Seiko.  BUT, the mounts & tripods are another story.  The only mount I have that competes with Unitron is my Goto, but it was expensive, and tough to find compared to the others.  IMO, the Unitron Model 128 is still the definitive Classic 60mm EQ.  I don't think that will ever change.


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#35 Stew44

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:56 PM

The optics of my Royal, Swift, & Yamamoto refractors are every bit as good as Nihon Seiko.  BUT, the mounts & tripods are another story.  The only mount I have that competes with Unitron is my Goto, but it was expensive, and tough to find compared to the others.  IMO, the Unitron Model 128 is still the definitive Classic 60mm EQ.  I don't think that will ever change.

Very well said!  Give Edmund Scientific too credit for their simple beefy, solid, functional mounts.  No frills, and they provide good support for their optics.


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#36 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:26 PM

For a brief time, I had my Lafayette Galactic on a Sears 6344 mount:

 

Lafayette F-384 Galactic On Sears 6344 Mount.jpg

 

Made a great looking kit, but those hollow metal legs... not so good for damping vibrations, and I replaced them with wood legs (that I use now with the much heavier KES EQ).


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#37 Stew44

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:54 PM

The inner draw tube of the focuser has come free and now rotates around inside the wheel and housing.  It and the wheel are connected and rotating it does nothing.  This is held in a non-rotating manner by a large set screw that goes through the housing and rides in a slot in the draw tube.  It limits focuser travel to roughly .75-1".  So now working on the wheel to housing thread set.  I believe the small brass set screws are simply there to provide some friction for the wheel.  If they are tightened down the wheel can be locked.  Again slow and steady, but not too much farther to go now.  One step at a time.  smile.gif


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#38 strdst

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:52 PM

My 1400mm fl (long) version of the Cap'n Crunch wheel house Royal Astro version of an awesome 3" refractor... oh where was I going with that... oh yeah, the focuser. My Lafayette doesn't do this but my other scope can be wheel spun out to a point where the whole works falls out of the tube. There must be a stop missing but I can say this... I was kinda under the scope kneeling on the ground as my cat had claimed my observing chair and well, having that heavy focuser wind up in my lap was only good for the focuser! lol.gif


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#39 Stew44

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 09:02 AM

With the long draw tube removed you can see the slot inside on the tube end.  Also the slot set screw is flush with the housing.  And that is encouraging that with the set screw removed the whole works can come out.   I've got the wheel past 180 degrees of movement now.  So really focusing on getting fluid into the joint where the wheel meets the housing and letting gravity do it's thing.

 

P4230338.JPG

P4230339.JPG


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#40 clamchip

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 10:46 AM

You can check the results when you get it freed up but usually the red fiber works

best when clean, dry, and free of oil and grease.

To clean the red fiber they may be loose and you can remove them and use hot tap

water and dishwashing soap like Dawn. Some of the citrus dishwashing soaps can be

surprisingly destructive to our telescope parts so I'd stay away from citrus.

I would mark the pads before removal so they can be returned to their original positions

especially any pads that have grub screw adjusters behind them.

If the pads are cemented in place don't disturb and use the dishwashing soap and clean

the whole focuser.

 

Robert


Edited by actionhac, 23 April 2017 - 10:49 AM.

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#41 hubblejim

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 04:41 PM

I have this model also. Does anyone have any ideas or help on restoring the mount?  The numbers on the RA and DEC setting circles are in pretty bad shape.  The OTA is in good shape. 

 

Thanks,

 

Jim



#42 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:01 AM

Are the setting circles like these, with markings printed on rather than engraved?

 

P71 - Setting Circles.jpg

 

Not sure how they were made, but you have to be careful cleaning away old grease & grime, or they'll start to come off!  I soaked these in a cheap green or orange cleaner from the Dollar Tree, then wiped them gently when I restored my Sears 6336 mount, but it was still touch & go.



#43 woodsman

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 08:44 PM

Here is what your Arcturus will actually look like when all grow'd uplol.gif

Holy CRAP!  I haven't been to these forums in quite awhile and that Lafayette is simply fantastic!  Now I Need one.  LOL  a



#44 woodsman

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 08:47 PM

Here is what your Arcturus will actually look like when all grow'd uplol.gif

Holy Crap!  That is one fantastic scope.  Where can I get one!!  LOL

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#45 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 09:42 PM

Holy Crap!  That is one fantastic scope.  Where can I get one!!  LOL

Here:  LINK



#46 oldmanastro

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 10:53 PM

Pics continued:

attachicon.gifP4080292.JPG

attachicon.gifP4080293.JPG

attachicon.gifP4080294.JPG

attachicon.gifP4080295.JPG

 

Oh and looking for a better way to free up the focuser.  If anyone know how to disassemble this focuser I would love to hear about it.  wink.gif

Both the Arcturus and Galactic were very complete outfits including orthoscopic eyepieces for high power and even a Herschel wedge. These were truly high quality performers. Congratulations on this one. It looks super.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido



#47 woodsman

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 12:23 PM

Here:  LINK

Yes thanks Chuck!  I talked to him last night.  I like his.  I would prefer the longer one though, but I sure do like either one.  The focuser wheel is just ultra cool!  



#48 Terra Nova

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 12:48 PM

Here:  LINK

That thing is gorgeous! Yes a grand is a lot for a 3” refractor but that one is primo, complete, cool, and rare!! If I were still adding scopes I’d be on the road rather than typing this!

 

simply put, just WOW! waytogo.gif waytogo.gif


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