A couple of months ago, I posted about three scopes I'd gotten to help me raise funds for our public observatory. We have several scopes that already fill the niches that these might, and would like to get a modern H-alpha solar scope. I finished a modest clean-up of both the 8-inch and 10-inch SCTs, and have already found a buyer for the 8-inch. The 10-inch needs collimation before I'm ready to look for a buyer (or, I hope that's what it needs: the views tonight were very mushy!)
But the 8-inch f/8 reflector is what I'd like to write about now. I'll post photos of it below. It's looking really great, I think. Though I have not done anything like the restoration work that some of you artists have, I don't think it needed much to get it in showy condition. My wife says all the shininess reminds her of her sister's 54 Chrysler.
Everything is working fine on it: the mount is balanced well, and tracks beautifully. I got stunning views of the moon a week or so ago, and saw more detail than I expected on Mars a few nights ago, even with pretty lousy seeing. The finder scope is an older one from Orion, and the guide scope is an addition I put on there; an older Meade 60mm x 700mm. It's got a plastic focuser, and is not up to the level of the rest of the set-up, but it could be easily replaced with a better one. The coatings on the primary and secondary are not perfect, but I would not replace them yet if I were keeping it.
I added a couple of plywood rings, which I painted black, to give it pseudo-rotating rings (I bought the metal rings new from Explore Scientific). It works quite well. I also replaced many of the bolts and other hardware with stainless steel, and put some chromed knobs into extra holes that were in the tube. I chose knobs that I thought looked like tiny primary mirrors (their focal length is about 25mm).
The one thing I'm not finished with is the dual axis drive I hope to get to work with the mount. I have an AccuTrack 4000 that, as far as I know, works just fine, but I have to make a cord for the Dec motor. The 6-pin plug arrived in the mail today.
I asked in my original post about these three scopes what people thought this might be worth, and I guess I'm asking again for suggestions. I don't want to fleece anyone, but I also don't want to sell it for less than I can fairly ask for it. In my original thread, one of the folks who gave a values seemed to be saying what he would hope to pay for one, and of course we'd all love to pay as little as possible. The 8-inch sold for significantly more than the 'not worth much these days' suggestion I got. No doubt I'll end up doing other research, but this one is tough, since it's not a common kit. I can find lots of sold 10-inch SCTs on eBay to get an idea of what to ask for those, but this?
Here's the first photo: