Hi Guys - My first post and hope this is OK here. Forum is invaluable.
I just bought a 12.5" F6 Cave Transportable (off eBay of all places) and it's original but not sure of date. Pix enclosed of me and it after putting things together and playing.
The tube rings for the larger refractor guidescope are present but sans scope, no smaller finder or rings, no focuser, no tube counterweights/assembly (holes are there for it) - so it's hunt and peck time - I'm holding my breath for original parts. Shafts cleaned up with lube/crocus cloth and rotating rings nice to have! Fiberglass tube expected yellowish age but cleaned up nice and functionally perfect. All mechanicals perfect.
The greatest disappointment came when I opened the box with the primary mirror (that said Cave 12") to install and it turned out to be a near full thickness (2") 12.5" in cell (approx F7-8) for an old model Dob with a white tube 7' 5" long that got thrown in as they were clearing out a storage facility and asked if I wanted it - the answer was 'yes' of course - it has an Orion 2" focuser that fits the Cave but I'm wanting an original.
The Cave has a fully functional orig Dec/R.A. drive and all electronics work fine. And for all its beauty it's undermounted as I've read but I've always wanted one and now it's here! Flaky paint that will be restored to original.
I already have a Star-Liner 12.5" F6 that I bought around '80 new and am getting ready to 'wheely bar' it to use again. Retirement has its benefits. It has 2" shafts and is much much more stable than the Cave sans mirror. I've read some negative Star-Liner posts on Cloudy Nights that don't apply to me - finish isn't a Cave but has both drives and works great. At some point the Dec push button control was separated off the 3 wire cable and I can't find it so another project.
Cave parts I'm looking for seem mostly non-existent on AstroMart and calling around. May send the Dob mirror and get it to F6 from OWL and use it but I'd rather have an orig if possible with cell - not swapping my F6 Star-Liner mirror and it stays where it belongs. Is getting original parts futile?