Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Keeping it classic OR

  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 oldtimer

oldtimer

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2085
  • Joined: 13 Nov 2008
  • Loc: Lake County Illinois

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:25 PM

Just a discussion point!  Should you keep a 'classic' teescope entirely in its original configuration or detract from original design to make it better. Like what I mean is say replacing a 1.25" original R&P focuser with a new Feathertouch 2" 10-1 Crayford.. What about ditching a 6X 30 finder for a Telrad. How aout swapping out the old EQ mount for a go to mount. I guess the real question is do you have the classic to look at or look through.


  • steve t likes this

#2 Astroman007

Astroman007

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6917
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2017
  • Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:33 PM

Depends entirely on the individual owner, I'd say. No one can tell you what you want or need, though many can proffer opinions from a distance.

Case-by-case too depending upon the age and rarity of the scope. Mid to late nineteenth to early twentieth century scopes, or the classic Questars or Quantums I'd leave alone beyond a restoration to the original condition (if needed).


  • steve t, deepwoods1 and Geo31 like this

#3 wrvond

wrvond

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1367
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2014
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:35 PM

I modified my Towa 339 to accept 1.25" eyepieces and changed from a small straight through finder to a RACI finder. Finally I moved it over to a CG5 mount. However, I kept all the original parts and didn't do anything permanent. Now that I have a new(er) frac, I've moved the Towa back to it's original mount and am considering changing the focuser back to .96 size.

If I do this it'll end up being a room decoration.


  • steve t likes this

#4 CharlieB

CharlieB

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4177
  • Joined: 11 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Southern NH

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:42 PM

I almost always have my classic scopes on a modern mount unless they are displayed somewhere.  There are a few exceptions, like the Unitrons, that have excellent original mounts.  I rarely modify a scope permanently unless it won't function in its original form.  Some, I would never think of modifying.  It depends on the scope, the condition, what you use it for and the person who has the scope.  I don't often use 1.25" eyepieces, as I have very fine .965" ones and almost all of my viewing is solar, lunar, planetary and double stars, so I don't go out of my way to adapt to larger eyepieces.


  • steve t and Bomber Bob like this

#5 Augustus

Augustus

    Fly Me To The Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7631
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:44 PM

Unless it's extremely rare and as long as the upgrade improves the functionality without ruining the aesthetic, I don't see a problem. I had an RV6 I installed a Moonlite on and replaced the finder with a Telrad, both of which improved the functionality by an order of magnitude.


  • Mr Magoo, rolo, orion61 and 4 others like this

#6 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 76622
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:06 PM

My 2 cents:

 

-  Don't do anything that will prevent it from being returned to stock. 

 

-  Small mods,  swapping focusers , 1.25 inch visual backs,  are fine as long as they don't violate rule 1 above. 

 

-  Ultimately, I am the pragmatic type,  I'm an observer not a collector.  Swapping everything but the parts of the OTA for modern stuff makes little sense to me.  I might as well just go with 100% modern..  I already have that covered.  

 

What I enjoy about classic scopes are their simplicity.  When I am observing with my one remaining classic,  the Meade 310, I enjoy the fact that it performs well,  does a good job without my collection of Naglers,  Ethos's and Panoptics.  Plossls and orthos are just fine.   It's just a good 80 mm F/11 telescope on a solid mount that's not pushing the limits. 

 

Jon


  • Don W, steve t, deepwoods1 and 6 others like this

#7 Kasmos

Kasmos

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1962
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2015
  • Loc: So Cal

Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:51 PM

I agree with the last post.

 

I like leaving stuff as is, but will use a thread in 1.25" visual back or switch to another classic mount like my Unitron.

 

IMO, If you only use the objective and tube from a classic, why bother buying or having a complete kit? I can understand doing that on some of those low end (department store grin.gif ), scopes especially with terrible alt-az mounts, since they aren't worth much anyway. Then you may as well part out what you don't use.


Edited by Kasmos, 14 June 2019 - 03:51 PM.

  • steve t, Augustus and Astroman007 like this

#8 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:19 PM

I think leaving it era correct is mostly the way to go. I agree with Jon that small mods are ok as long as it can be returned to stock.

My main scope is a Meade 2080 that I use with Plössls and an Ortho. Just the same as I did in the early 90’s and the way many folks did in the 80’s (and 70’s for those with C8’s!). I was thinking about a public outreach I’ll be doing this summer and how disappointed the kids will be when I tell them my scope isn’t GOTO and this particular model has been around for 40 years. Not exactly modern! LOL!
  • Jon Isaacs, steve t, Augustus and 2 others like this

#9 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 76622
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:30 PM

I think leaving it era correct is mostly the way to go. I agree with Jon that small mods are ok as long as it can be returned to stock.

My main scope is a Meade 2080 that I use with Plössls and an Ortho. Just the same as I did in the early 90’s and the way many folks did in the 80’s (and 70’s for those with C8’s!). I was thinking about a public outreach I’ll be doing this summer and how disappointed the kids will be when I tell them my scope isn’t GOTO and this particular model has been around for 40 years. Not exactly modern! LOL!

 

Your just another Bumm. . 

 

In this case that refers to CN member Marty who goes by the handle Bumm. 

 

Marty bought a C-8 in 1977 (I believe) and that's still his only scope.  Mr Impetuous , he'll almost certainly buy another scope if he is reincarnated. 

 

Jon


  • bumm, bbqediguana and Augustus like this

#10 Tenacious

Tenacious

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Northern KY

Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:55 PM

I agree with most of the sentiment to preserve a scope to its time frame of manufacture, especially if it is rare.  OTOH, I made an exception for a Tasco 10TE-5 a few years ago because of its condition.  While it has good glass, the rest was in very neglected shape: missing finder, counter weights and shaft, original EPs, scarred and dented tube, frozen mount, etc.   It was headed to the dumpster.  I don't feel too bad about my mods and substitutions, especially since I couldn't find some replacement parts.                 Now, even if some of those parts jumped in my lap, I probably wouldn't undo my alterations.  I like how it is now much better than if it was original.  I should update my restoration thread.


Edited by Tenacious, 14 June 2019 - 05:02 PM.


#11 Don W

Don W

    demi-god

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 22835
  • Joined: 19 May 2003
  • Loc: Wisconsin, USA

Posted 14 June 2019 - 05:06 PM

I agree with 'modernizing' your scope as long as you can return it to it's original state. I have an 80mm Selsi that has a Vixen 1.25" visual back. I also put it on my Celestron AVX mount for observing.

 

I have two Brandon 94s. One is in very good to excellent original condition. The other has been repainted, the dew shield is slightly out of round and parts are missing from the focuser. Optics are excellent. I'm working on adapting a GSO or Lunt 2" crayford focuser to it. It would still be able to use the original.


  • Jon Isaacs, Mr Magoo and Astroman007 like this

#12 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 798
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 14 June 2019 - 05:21 PM

Your just another Bumm. . 

 

In this case that refers to CN member Marty who goes by the handle Bumm. 

 

Marty bought a C-8 in 1977 (I believe) and that's still his only scope.  Mr Impetuous , he'll almost certainly buy another scope if he is reincarnated. 

 

Jon

LOL! That is awesome! My first "real" scope was a C8, and then 30 years later I wind up back with an 8" SCT (admittedly sleeping with the enemy: Meade) and in between I went through just about every major type of scope going. There's just something about a fork mounted SCT that "fits" with me - same with the simple Ortho and Plössl eyepieces - I just prefer them to more modern designs. Finally, I still use paper atlases to navigate the skies versus anything computerized (which is ironic, since I am a computer programmer and have written my own astronomy program! LOL!). People are weird and so am I! smile.gif


  • Jon Isaacs, steve t, bumm and 5 others like this

#13 wrvond

wrvond

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1367
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2014
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 14 June 2019 - 06:32 PM

Devil’s Advocate here: I just purchased a shiny new Takahashi refractor (in theory) but I don’t care for the finder, so I have replaced it with a guide scope. Naturally I really like the Feather Touch focuser so I’m putting one of those on too. Along the way I change tube rings, spray flock the interior, remove some baffles because I read on Cloudy Nights that would increase my FOV and eliminate vignetting. I also read that I can drill holes in the mount and tripod to make it lighter.
So now it’s 30 years later and I’m posting photos in the Classics Forum. Is Terra going to like my post?
  • steve t, dgreyson, Augustus and 2 others like this

#14 rcwolpert

rcwolpert

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2358
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2012
  • Loc: South Hutchinson Island, Florida

Posted 14 June 2019 - 08:58 PM

As you can see, the answers cover the entire spectrum of possibilities, and it seems to be totally an individual choice. I feel that if the scope is mostly for display, then leave it completely original. I use mine for observing, so I want the best performance while being as easy as possible to use. This might include better eyepieces, better finder, and more sturdy mount. Observing time is limited, so I want to make the most of it. There are certain scopes that you should never modify, like the Questar.


  • bumm, dgreyson and Astroman007 like this

#15 dgreyson

dgreyson

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • Joined: 06 Nov 2012
  • Loc: South Carolina

Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:09 PM

I do both. First I restore it to like new condition or as close as I can get. And then I use it awhile to get the classic flavor of it. Then I store the original parts and upgrade to current items to make it easier and more usable. I can always revert it to originality if I want to, just to look at it or sell it on. I try not to do anything that cant be undone.

I have a unitron 128 with the right equatorial mount and all the works. But I dont have a unitron compatible clock drive. So I put it on a sturdy Orion mount that has a clock drive and then it's merely a good 60mm acromat scope for the night. But when I'm done, and put it back into the unitron case, its instantly a unitron 128 again.
  • rcwolpert and wrvond like this

#16 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14150
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:17 PM

I've got a herd, so I don't need to modify any original classics.  Dave taught me how to make mirrors, so now, even more so, if I feel the need to modify an original to suit my needs, I can instead sell it and make one that suits my needs.

 

Having said that, I can't seem to modify my Springfield that I built in 1981!  So maybe I'll just make another one.

 

-Tim.


  • rcwolpert and dgreyson like this

#17 roscoe

roscoe

    curmudgeon

  • *****
  • Posts: 10044
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2009
  • Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT

Posted 15 June 2019 - 07:30 AM

Well..... my vintage 77mm Swift is a very nice achromat.    If you like pinhole EP's and a wobbly mount, that is.....

It is twice as useable with a screw-in 1.25 visual back, a good diagonal, some modern EP's, (Ultrascopics) a better mount (a Polaris) and a sturdy tripod.

 

I've still got all the original stuff, in case I want to return it to stock, but as I tend to use my scopes much more than display them, I wanted a scope that is sturdy and reliable to set up and use.

 

Also, my Swift is built from two basically parts-grade scopes, never in my ownership was a complete kit, so it is more a collection of old parts than a display model.

Which also describes an ATM 60mm I also observe with..... which uses more modern, but still .965, diagonal and EP's, and parts from several manufacturers.

 

I guess I fit right into the 'resto-mod' version of vintage scope use.

 

Only thing is..... the charcoal grey of the Polaris against the beige-and-tan of the Swift just doesn't please my color palate.   so mostly I take it out when it's dark, so I don't notice....

Oh! The sacrifices we make......


  • rcwolpert, Piggyback, wrvond and 1 other like this

#18 Mr Magoo

Mr Magoo

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2684
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Indiana

Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:55 AM

I like to keep them pretty stock. I do think though if you can put a Byers drive on one and improve the tracking and make it more user friendly that it makes sense. I also think that a focuser upgrade is a probably one of the best upgrades to do. If Crayfords were available back in the day, I'm betting Cave may have used them. I'm considering a focuser upgrade on the Cave I'm working on. It has the mid 70's RP on it that Meade used. The Crayfords do add a bit of weight to the front end though. 



#19 bumm

bumm

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2472
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Iowa

Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:32 AM

As you can see, the answers cover the entire spectrum of possibilities, and it seems to be totally an individual choice. I feel that if the scope is mostly for display, then leave it completely original. I use mine for observing, so I want the best performance while being as easy as possible to use. This might include better eyepieces, better finder, and more sturdy mount. Observing time is limited, so I want to make the most of it. There are certain scopes that you should never modify, like the Questar.

"Bumm" here.  :)  I agree.  My old '77 C8 is a user.  I've replaced the finder scope twice, and added a "StarPointer Pro" on a rather bizarre cobbled mount.  Early on, I put a turret eyepiece holder on it.  Still, this stuff only bolts on, and I still have the originals stored away in case someone someday wants to put it in a museum or something, possibly next to my stuffed and mounted body.

                                                                     Marty


  • Jon Isaacs, rcwolpert, wrvond and 2 others like this

#20 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 19624
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:38 PM

It is best to keep them as classic as possible.  There are enough scopes on the market these days that will perform better and for not that much money.  It is not like they are still making these anymore.  Besides, a classic scope can give some pretty good views and they come in all sizes.  Classic newts are about the best bang for the buck and perform really well.   


  • Jon Isaacs, dgreyson, Kasmos and 1 other like this

#21 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:25 PM

I think if it's something fairly common, and it's going to be a user, then modifications are fine. A lot of 60mm Sears and Tasco scopes with Towa optics could be a cheap base for some fun experimentation and nobody is going to miss them.

 

The less common, more in complete original condition, and higher quality to start with (e.g., Nikons, Gotos, Unitrons, AOCs), the fewer modifications the better, and preferably reversible. Some of these don't need changes to be excellent performers. 

 

If it's uncommon and good quality, but a beater that's missing hard-to-find parts, then its a tossup for the individual as to whether to try a restoration, or partially part it out and rebuild it with newer components. 

 

Chip W. 


Edited by ccwemyss, 16 June 2019 - 11:25 PM.

  • Augustus likes this

#22 Geo31

Geo31

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11105
  • Joined: 28 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Willis, TX

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:48 AM

Your scope.  Do as you like.  But I think the sentiments here are good ones.  Like Jon said, if you replace half the scope with modern components, just buy a modern scope, right?  If the scope if all original and all there, it would be a shame to modify it, especially if the modifications cannot be undone.  That said, if you mod it, I like period-correct mods.  Better if it's a common scope. 

 

I'm restomodding an RV-6 that was a total basket case (most would have simply throw it in the trash it was so bad).  Biggest change I'm making is using f/5 optics from a C6-N (nearly period-correct) and adding a Sky Micro focuser (definitely period-correct).  The big thing is it was a total rescue scope, so it's not like I was cutting up a survivor.


  • Augustus likes this

#23 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 18 June 2019 - 06:36 PM

Here's an example of an RV6 with a bunch of mods:

 

https://newlondon.cr...6887340826.html

 

So how do you feel about something like this?

 

Chip W. 



#24 orion61

orion61

    Vendor - Clear Edge Optical

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 7024
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk

Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:03 AM

My opinion has if possible, do no harm..BUT, it is your scope. There is also a BIIIG difference if it is a mass produced scope. There will always be around. an old Clark etc nope leave it alone.. I could have modded my 1959 Mayflower 76, but it has amazing optics. My opinion is, I paid $350 for it with the original case, complete even to the cloth leg tie-down and humidity packs! I love "Elvis" Just the way it is.... The Elvis name comes from the shaky little legs lol!

Duane


  • bumm and rcwolpert like this

#25 Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 75
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Heidelberg, Germany

Posted 23 June 2019 - 02:25 PM

I am rather new to the classics, owning only a Vixen 80L and a Tasco 9T. I try to keep them as classic as possible. The only change I ,ade to the 80L was to replace the 30 mm finder with a 50 mm unit. Of course, I still have the old finder. The Tasco was different. I has the crappy alt az mount on steel legs that can drive you insane. The finder is junk, and the lowest power eyepiece was giving about 60x, all combining to make one want to drop kick it into the dumpster. When the mount broke, I put it on a GP, and bought a 25mm eyepiece to give it a wider field / lower power view, and suddenly I had a rock solid little scope that is really fun to use. It turns out that the eyepieces are the older Made in Japan ones, so the views are pretty good. Now, I am looking to mount the 30mm finder. Without damaging the tube. And I am looking for a new yoke to salvage the mount. Keep it classic!




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics