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Mounting an Old Refractor

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#1 MAT_Blue

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 03:06 PM

I have a 30+ year-old Celestron 80mm refactor (CB80) which came with an awful mount and tripod.  I recently purchased a NexStar 6SE with the standard Alt-Az GoTo mount.  I was thinking of mounting the old refractor to this and swapping back and forth between the two scopes to observe different objects.  The NexStar is a 1500mm focal length f/10.  The CB80 refractor is 900mm focal f/11.25 but with a focal reducer, I can get it down around 450mm focal length which would be better for imaging extended objects?  Would that be useful?

The CB80 does not have the Vixen dovetail that the new mount requires.  I can buy a dovetail bar but I'm not sure how to go about attaching it to the scope.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  The scope has two rings with little rectangular slots that slide onto the mount that it came with (see pix).  The slots measure 32mm x 15mm inside dimensions.  There is one of these on each ring (although only one is shown in the pix, the other ring has the same slot.

Is it worth trying to resurrect this old refractor?  Or should I just donate to a local school or something?

Attached Thumbnails

  • CB80_RingDetail.jpg

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#2 starman876

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 03:32 PM

just drill some holes into those slots and attach the vixen dovetail to them.   The longer focal length of the refractor on that mount might make it hard to view the zenith.


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#3 msl615

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 04:29 PM

This is an excellent scope for its optics, and you will like the sharp views of doubles, etc. 

 

You have several choice for setting up a dovetail.

 

The first is similar to the note above by Starman876, except you will see that one of the rings does not clamp down to the OTA tube.. it was desinged to be held in place by the Vixen Celestron Alt-az mount itself, which slotted into those small rectangular areas on the rings that you measured.  You would drill into those slots to attach the dovetail, but would stilll have the problem that one ring has no clamping option. You also face the problem that that only way to get the rings off of the OTA, is to remove the dewshield or focuser and slide them off. 

 

A logistically easier solution (but more $$) is to buy a  set of hinged rings and attach the dovetail to them.

 

Great scope and worth the effort to find the best mounting options for you.

 

Mike


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#4 jcruse64

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:38 AM

I like the hinged rings idea. Also like your scope, and especially your avatar, lol. Go Cats!!!


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#5 MAT_Blue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:40 AM

This is an excellent scope for its optics, and you will like the sharp views of doubles, etc. 

 

You have several choice for setting up a dovetail.

 

The first is similar to the note above by Starman876, except you will see that one of the rings does not clamp down to the OTA tube.. it was desinged to be held in place by the Vixen Celestron Alt-az mount itself, which slotted into those small rectangular areas on the rings that you measured.  You would drill into those slots to attach the dovetail, but would stilll have the problem that one ring has no clamping option. You also face the problem that that only way to get the rings off of the OTA, is to remove the dewshield or focuser and slide them off. 

 

A logistically easier solution (but more $$) is to buy a  set of hinged rings and attach the dovetail to them.

 

Great scope and worth the effort to find the best mounting options for you.

 

Mike

Thanks a lot.  I didn't realize I had such a good 35 year-old scope

I ordered an 11 inch Vixen dovetail bar.  I was thinking I could shape the ends of the bar (with a grinder and/or dremel) to fit the slots on the rings, then attach the bar to my mount and then attach the scope to the bar just like it slides onto the original mount.  If I think that will work, I won't have to disassemble the scope at all.  If my idea doesn't work, I'll definitely try yours.  



#6 MAT_Blue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:42 AM

I like the hinged rings idea. Also like your scope, and especially your avatar, lol. Go Cats!!!

Thanks.  I'll look into the hinged rings if I can't figure out how to attach the bar.  GBB!!


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#7 LDW47

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:07 PM

I have a 30+ year-old Celestron 80mm refactor (CB80) which came with an awful mount and tripod.  I recently purchased a NexStar 6SE with the standard Alt-Az GoTo mount.  I was thinking of mounting the old refractor to this and swapping back and forth between the two scopes to observe different objects.  The NexStar is a 1500mm focal length f/10.  The CB80 refractor is 900mm focal f/11.25 but with a focal reducer, I can get it down around 450mm focal length which would be better for imaging extended objects?  Would that be useful?

The CB80 does not have the Vixen dovetail that the new mount requires.  I can buy a dovetail bar but I'm not sure how to go about attaching it to the scope.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  The scope has two rings with little rectangular slots that slide onto the mount that it came with (see pix).  The slots measure 32mm x 15mm inside dimensions.  There is one of these on each ring (although only one is shown in the pix, the other ring has the same slot.

Is it worth trying to resurrect this old refractor?  Or should I just donate to a local school or something?

So why don’t you post a couple of full pics of the scope from various angles so we get to see what it looks like ??


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#8 MAT_Blue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:12 PM

So why don’t you post a couple of full pics of the scope from various angles so we get to see what it looks like ??

If you look at the pix in the following thread, that's exactly what mine looks like, down to the wooden tripod, mount, slow-motion controls, finder scope, everything.  I even have the original box that it came in with all the protective foam packing (you probably don't need a picture of that! smirk.gif ).  The scope still looks brand new.

 

https://www.cloudyni...elestron-cb-80/


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#9 roscoe

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:47 PM

Those older Vixen C-80's are about the top of the heap of the mid-sized achro world, with good modern EP's, you'll be astounded at the views it'll give you!

 

My advice, look into hinged rings for it that bolt to your dovetail bar.  used ones drift through the classifieds now and then, and new ones can be gotten, too.  You'll need to know your tube diameter to size then correctly.


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#10 LDW47

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:37 PM

If you look at the pix in the following thread, that's exactly what mine looks like, down to the wooden tripod, mount, slow-motion controls, finder scope, everything.  I even have the original box that it came in with all the protective foam packing (you probably don't need a picture of that! smirk.gif ).  The scope still looks brand new.

 

https://www.cloudyni...elestron-cb-80/

I have a like new C80 but when you said CB80 I thought it was a different scope (?) thats why I asked for the pic ! I guess I have been calling it wrong all these years ? My mistake !   PS: For everyones info I changed the stock focuser to a 2” GSO Crayford from Agena Astro so that I could utilize my 2” eps, works like a charm ! Mounted it on a SW AZ and the rings are also from Agena !


Edited by LDW47, 09 February 2019 - 03:42 PM.

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#11 jcruse64

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:48 PM

LDW47, what are you using for a diagonal??



#12 LDW47

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 04:08 PM

LDW47, what are you using for a diagonal??

I have several (5) 2” dielectric diagonals, I believe the one on the C80 is also a GSO or maybe an Antares !


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#13 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:27 PM

Mine is the C-80 Firstscope       it was a craigslist rescue with scratches but  for peanuts     I am not fond of the mount either but I do love those Celestron legs  see pics          Great 80mm scope

 

I also put some rings on it and a vixen bar   and now it plays well with all my vixen style mounts and it is a quick an easy scope on the alt az...

Attached Thumbnails

  • Firstscope80.jpg
  • Firstscoperingknob pic3FullSizeRender (90).jpg
  • FirstscopeandLabsFullSizeRender (88).jpg

Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 10 February 2019 - 08:14 AM.

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#14 LDW47

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:36 PM

3C41377C-457B-4E53-994C-A7B1028F8AA9.jpeg

LDW47, what are you using for a diagonal??

Here is the 2” on my C80 ! It is an Antares diagonal !


Edited by LDW47, 09 February 2019 - 06:37 PM.

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#15 LDW47

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:39 PM

Mine is the C-80 Firstscope       it was a craigslist rescue with scratches but  for peanuts     I am not found of the mount either but I do love those Celestron legs  see pics          Great 80mm scope

 

I also put some rings on it and a vixen bar   and now it plays well with all my vixen style mounts and it is a quick an easy scope on the alt az...

Now put a 2” diagonal and focuser on it, you will love it even more !


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#16 MAT_Blue

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 05:01 PM

Mine is the C-80 Firstscope       it was a craigslist rescue with scratches but  for peanuts     I am not fond of the mount either but I do love those Celestron legs  see pics          Great 80mm scope

 

I also put some rings on it and a vixen bar   and now it plays well with all my vixen style mounts and it is a quick an easy scope on the alt az...

That is exactly what I have.  It's a CB-80 "FirstScope".  Says it right on the box.  I have the very simple instruction manual that came with it but it's worthless except as an artifact.  Very basic instructions.  I also have all the original packaging from Celestron.


Edited by matheissen, 10 February 2019 - 06:06 PM.


#17 MAT_Blue

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 05:17 PM

Mine is the C-80 Firstscope       it was a craigslist rescue with scratches but  for peanuts     I am not fond of the mount either but I do love those Celestron legs  see pics          Great 80mm scope

 

I also put some rings on it and a vixen bar   and now it plays well with all my vixen style mounts and it is a quick an easy scope on the alt az...

BTW, do you remember what dovetail bar and rings you used?  I bought an 11 inch dovetail bar from Agena and was going to see if I could do something with the existing rings.  I have a set of rings on my wishlist at Agena in case I need them.  They are:
https://agenaastro.c...e-ring-3-5.html

I measured the OD of the scope at 3 9/16", which is close enough, I suppose, for these rings advertised as 3.47 to 3.54 inches.

 

The main reason I wanted to keep the CB-80 was to use it as a short-focus scope for use with an ASI224MC camera.  I figure with a 0.5 focal reducer, I should be able to capture all of M31 and similar sized objects with it.  Something I don't think I could do with my 1500mm focal length NexStar 6SE.  I'm figuring the focal reducer will turn it from 910mm to 455mm focal length.


Edited by matheissen, 10 February 2019 - 06:06 PM.

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#18 MAT_Blue

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 05:54 PM

Here are some pix of the box and the instruction manual.  Looks like Celestron couldn't figure out if it was a "CB-80" or "FirstScope 80".

Attached Thumbnails

  • CB80Box.jpg
  • FirstScope80.jpg


#19 MAT_Blue

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:05 PM

Now put a 2” diagonal and focuser on it, you will love it even more !

So how do I go about installing a 2" focuser on this scope?  Seems like I need that before going with a 2" diagonal and eyepieces, which sound like a good idea.  It would also mean doing something with the finder scope since it's mounted on the stock focuser.



#20 LDW47

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:18 PM

So how do I go about installing a 2" focuser on this scope?  Seems like I need that before going with a 2" diagonal and eyepieces, which sound like a good idea.  It would also mean doing something with the finder scope since it's mounted on the stock focuser.

Buy a 2” GSO single speed focuser from Agena for about $150, take out the three screws, remove the existing focuser, install the 2” and secure with the three screws ! It fits perfectly, took me about 20 minutes ! If you need some info Agena is great to supply their knowledge ! Just make sure you have the ID of the tube to match the proper size focuser !


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#21 LDW47

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:26 PM

That is exactly what I have.  It's a CB-80 "FirstScope".  Says it right on the box.  I have the very simple instruction manual that came with it but it's worthless except as an artifact.  Very basic instructions.  I also have all the original packaging from Celestron.

If you have any knowledge of refractors you sure don’t need much of a manual to operate that scope and as well who needs a finder scope to find all the great things in the night sky if you have / get a low power 2”ep ie. 40-32mm ? Just use a planisphere and one of the highly rated apps not hard to locate DSO’s and really enhances / expands your skills surfing on those great seeing nights !


Edited by LDW47, 10 February 2019 - 06:36 PM.

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#22 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 09:08 PM

BTW, do you remember what dovetail bar and rings you used?  I bought an 11 inch dovetail bar from Agena and was going to see if I could do something with the existing rings.  I have a set of rings on my wishlist at Agena in case I need them.  They are:
https://agenaastro.c...e-ring-3-5.html

I measured the OD of the scope at 3 9/16", which is close enough, I suppose, for these rings advertised as 3.47 to 3.54 inches.

 

The main reason I wanted to keep the CB-80 was to use it as a short-focus scope for use with an ASI224MC camera.  I figure with a 0.5 focal reducer, I should be able to capture all of M31 and similar sized objects with it.  Something I don't think I could do with my 1500mm focal length NexStar 6SE.  I'm figuring the focal reducer will turn it from 910mm to 455mm focal length.

 

Hi   well I got the rings here on C/N used about 20 dollars    same for the 7 inch? Vixen bar  see pics  I am sorry I dont know the make    I like how they break apart so I dont have to unscrew the lens to get them on  ya know?      I just pulled them out and put them on   to show you for the pic      the  big brother to the C-80   the C-102 Fluorite  closest to the camera has its original rings but that is just a basic Vixen bar from stellavue  35 dollars or so new online

Attached Thumbnails

  • c-80ringspic3IMG_1297.jpg
  • c-80Ringspic4IMG_1299.jpg
  • c-80rings pic 2IMG_1295 (1).jpg

Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 10 February 2019 - 09:12 PM.

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#23 LDW47

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 09:41 PM

Hi   well I got the rings here on C/N used about 20 dollars    same for the 7 inch? Vixen bar  see pics  I am sorry I dont know the make    I like how they break apart so I dont have to unscrew the lens to get them on  ya know?      I just pulled them out and put them on   to show you for the pic      the  big brother to the C-80   the C-102 Fluorite  closest to the camera has its original rings but that is just a basic Vixen bar from stellavue  35 dollars or so new online

The Big Brother and then some, lol !


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#24 MAT_Blue

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:13 PM

Buy a 2” GSO single speed focuser from Agena for about $150, take out the three screws, remove the existing focuser, install the 2” and secure with the three screws ! It fits perfectly, took me about 20 minutes ! If you need some info Agena is great to supply their knowledge ! Just make sure you have the ID of the tube to match the proper size focuser !

Hard to believe its that simple.  Thanks for the info!



#25 MAT_Blue

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:21 PM

Hi   well I got the rings here on C/N used about 20 dollars    same for the 7 inch? Vixen bar  see pics  I am sorry I dont know the make    I like how they break apart so I dont have to unscrew the lens to get them on  ya know?      I just pulled them out and put them on   to show you for the pic      the  big brother to the C-80   the C-102 Fluorite  closest to the camera has its original rings but that is just a basic Vixen bar from stellavue  35 dollars or so new online

Wow.  I almost got a C102 Flourite but couldn't afford it   That's when I got the CB-80.  You've got some nice classic scopes there!




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