None of us were at the level of refiguring glass optics (back in the day). One or two people did mess with repositioning the baffle tube--because they had to. I'm not sure what was involved but it was beyond my abilities. Adding fans is fairly frequent even then. Several people developed tools for tightening the lock nut directly above the mirror, which was the single most effective mod most of us made. It allowed the C14s to hold collimation all sky.
The technique that several of us used to flock the *tube* (not the baffle tube) was to buy a flocked kendrick dew shield and adapt it to the interior of the C14. For C11 owners and others, the outward push of the dew shield mounted internally was sufficient to hold it in place. But if you get a C11 flocked dew shield and put it in a c14 it droops. So largely guided by a good friend who is an engineer we used some bag expanders (used in the fall to open up large bags to hold leaves) and a thin line of RTV to get the C11 flocked dew shield inside for a good tight fit.
The procedure is described here.
At that time, back in 2006, I decided to install an internal dew heater. This was after many failed experiments with externally mounted heaters. To my knowledge I was the first, but you never know. I was surprised to read that someone else in this thread had done it. Nice to know I'm not alone.
My efforts to put enhanced coatings on a c8 were a failure. Not something to do myself. I shipped it off to have done. The recoater botched the remounting of the primary mirror. The scope was impossible to collimate in terms of getting the secondary shadow centered on an out of focus star on both sides of focus. Planets were fuzzy and I didn't like it. I knew if I sold the scope people would be blaming the central obstruction for the next forty years. Being a many of many scopes I did the obvious thing which was to leave it in the garage and play with my other scopes instead. Finally I decided something needed to be done and that I had to face the fact, if I destroyed this scope trying to save it, that would be no great loss.
So I pulled the primary and spent a few very frustrating hours trying to remove the mass of RTV which the recoater had put not just under the mirror but in the center hole. Razors, knives, wire drawn tight in an attempt to slice it, solvents--I read a lot of stories on the internet about just how bad removing RTV can be. Let me tell you it's bad. I was defeated. Finally I packaged the whole thing up in a box and sent it to Celestron with a history of what had happened. I finished by saying "Let me know what to do. If there is nothing that you can do then it might be best to toss it."
For a fee, they offered to replace the entire optical set! I said yes and it came back with Chinese optics and man I LOVE THIS C8. It's 2015 optics in a 1988 body. The performance of this little c8 was so good I knew that my plans to sell it were over. Very nice capable scope. I haven't bothered to mount the dew strap internally because on a c8 power consumption is so low it doesn't matter.
Lately I've been playing with the apos and I said to myself: why is it my C14 has a nice Astro-physics visual back, my apos have Astro-physics visual back, why, on my c8, am I playing with this light-duty adapter AP makes for the c8s and 9.25s? So I had this part custom made, and now can use the C8 with Astrophysics ADA2003A visual back on it. The clearances are identical to the clearances of the AP visual back for c8s. This is really nice, and it makes the mechanics of using the rear end of the c8 exactly the same as using the CFF that rides on top of it. Now you may wonder, why, if I insist on having a classy astro-physics visual back, I also have that $3.00 piece of plastic on there as a fine focus knob. The answer is, I think it does a better job than the Feather touch focuser. I love FT focusers but am not keen on what they've come up with for SCTs.
Edited by gnowellsct, 25 April 2019 - 10:22 PM.