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12.5" F6 Cave

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#1 65&Counting

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 03:16 PM

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?

 

Many thanks!

    Rich

CAVE AND I.jpg


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#2 tim53

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 03:29 PM

Congrats on the find!  judging from the paint scheme, it looks like it's from the 70s.  Parts do show up from time to time in the classifieds, and you could put a want ad out for them.  None of those makers seemed to want to go to the effort to prime anything in those days, so flaking paint is a common feature.  When you do go to paint, use a self-etching primer.  


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#3 Mr Magoo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:47 AM

Hi Rich. Is there no inscription on the mirror? Do you have the original mirror cell? The original would have certainly been that thick. 

 

Buying off of eBay can be a gamble. Like Forrest said, "You never know what you're gonna get.” Did you have the big dude shipped?

 

Good luck and have fun with it!


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#4 Stevegeo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:11 AM

That's an amazing scope.. well built.. and I'm very impressed.  I hope it performs as well as it looks.

You didn't mention where you are located.... may we ask?


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#5 rolo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:31 AM

I remember seeing that auction, I believe it was in South Carolina as pick up only.


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#6 Mr Magoo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:14 AM

I remember seeing that auction, I believe it was in South Carolina as pick up only.

Yes, I thought it looked familiar. The Dec hand box was shown in the auction so I would ask them to please locate it so you don't have to make a new one. 

 

There is this focuser for sale on CN Classifieds. https://www.cloudyni...focuser-in-box/ This is what my 1975 Cave had on it sans the Meade label. It is super minty and has the 2" adapter which is often missing. 


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#7 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:50 AM

My back hurts looking at it.  Looks to be a 1976 or later build.  That mount is maxed out for that big OTA.  I would love one, but never gonna lift that tube into them tiny holes into the saddle anymore. If i was 14 again i would be all for it.


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#8 Jeff B

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:44 AM

Welcome and congrats!

 

Now let's see some pictures of the Starliner beast. waytogo.gif


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#9 rolo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:47 AM

My back hurts looking at it.  Looks to be a 1976 or later build.  That mount is maxed out for that big OTA.  I would love one, but never gonna lift that tube into them tiny holes into the saddle anymore. If i was 14 again i would be all for it.

Were you taking steroids at 14? No way I could have done it.


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#10 tim53

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:52 AM

The trick to saddling-up a big heavy ota is to stand the tube up on end and line the saddle up with it without the counterweight on.  Then add counterweight and swing the scope up for use.


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#11 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:53 AM

Welcome to cloudy nights

  You have come to the right place

        Chas is right about the beast and how it can affect your back

              But in the  garage and at the  ready on wheels makes it all do-able

                     Good luck and feel free to post more pics


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#12 tim53

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

Welcome to cloudy nights

  You have come to the right place

        Chas is right about the beast and how it can affect your back

              But in the  garage and at the  ready on wheels makes it all do-able

                     Good luck and feel free to post more pics

Yes, the wheels make all the difference. I can wheel even this monster in and out of the garage by myself (Cave Transportable Observatory 12.5" f/7 on 2 1/2" shaft mount):

post-6788-14074265021826_thumb.jpg


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#13 starman876

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:23 AM

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?

 

Many thanks!

    Rich

attachicon.gif CAVE AND I.jpg

what a great scope to have.   I always wanted to try one of those while I could still handle one.  Should provide great views once completed.


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#14 CaptKirk

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:36 AM

My back hurts looking at it.  Looks to be a 1976 or later build.  That mount is maxed out for that big OTA.  I would love one, but never gonna lift that tube into them tiny holes into the saddle anymore. If i was 14 again i would be all for it.

I always loved how they referred to it as "transportable."


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#15 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:39 AM

Were you taking steroids at 14? No way I could have done it.

No. But i had a 10" F/10 i had no problems with. Since anything and everything was a thrill at that age i could have mounted up a 20". Now that i have had it all and seen it all the thrill is gone and maybe gone for good as i plan to sell it all for cheap soon.  Just done all i can do after 43 years and no wish to do it anymore.


Edited by CHASLX200, 16 June 2019 - 10:40 AM.

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#16 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:42 AM

I always loved how they referred to it as "transportable."

The weight of the tube is not bad as i can bear hug it and pick it up. It is lifting it up high and trying to line up the ring studs in two tiny holes in the saddle. It is the wide OD of the tube that makes it hard to grab and hold while getting it on the mount. 8" is easy, 10" is starting to heavy, 12.5" is too much and a 16" forget it.


Edited by CHASLX200, 16 June 2019 - 10:42 AM.

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#17 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:47 AM

The trick to saddling-up a big heavy ota is to stand the tube up on end and line the saddle up with it without the counterweight on.  Then add counterweight and swing the scope up for use.

I did that with a 12.5" F/8 Newt. I would roll the end of the OTA standing up on a dolly and i was lucky the holes matched the ring studs. Just a lot of extra work and i sold the scope soon after i got it back in 1991.  I just have no more wish for any big scopes.  The 6" ED is just way too much work to use and it has just been sitting so it will be sold soon.

 

I will just keep the 90mm W/O and a 8" Meade that i can roll out the door on the AP 800 and leave it at that.


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#18 rolo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:16 AM

I truly loved my 12.5" f/6 Cave and I really miss it. Easily rolled in and out of the garage for viewing and planetary imaging. There will always be a special place in my heart for it.bawling.gif  

 

I cut 6" off the pier making it easier to reach the eyepiece and 10" off the front of the tube to lighten it and rebalanced it by sliding up the rings.

Attached Thumbnails

  • CAVE.JPG

Edited by rolo, 16 June 2019 - 11:18 AM.

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#19 starman876

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:22 AM

I truly loved my 12.5" f/6 Cave and I really miss it. Easily rolled in and out of the garage for viewing and planetary imaging. There will always be a special place in my heart for it.bawling.gif  

 

I cut 6" off the pier making it easier to reach the eyepiece and 10" off the front of the tube to lighten it and rebalanced it by sliding up the rings.

Great looking scope Rolo.waytogo.gif


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#20 65&Counting

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:00 PM

Hey Everyone - thanks for all the replies and suggestions!

 

Yeah, this is the one from S.C. on eBay and it was within driving distance (Jackson, Tennessee) to home base - but still a long drive for me though I'd forgotten just how majestic the Smoky Mtn drive was - well worth it.

 

Most Caves seem to come up (when they do) way out west and too far to pick up.

 

To make it worse I have BAD psoriatic arthritis but got tired of being house bound and always wanted a Cave so here it is! It's a delight to look at even without a mirror/cell. I'm super happy with it and doubt the orig mirror cell is around anymore but they're looking. Giddy actually :-)

 

Yeah, the eBay listing was an honest mistake (though a doooozie) - they were cleaning out a rental storage bin and a box clearly said "12" Cave Astrola mirror + diagonal" and there was a 12.5" mirror/cell and diagonal in the box - just not a Cave and not for this scope. Ouch.

 

So at least I have a 2" thick 12.5" mirror (around F7-8) that can be refigured to F6 with its cell. They were really nice and included the Dob tube/altaz mount along with boxes of misc stuff - old motors and finder parts - great fun though no Cave parts.

 

The Dec controller is there - its the one for my Star-Liner that disappeared over the years and likely got pulled out on the move 30+ years ago that led me here.

 

I will take pix of my Star-Liner - it's a beaut and in mint condition (sans the controller I hope to find). At least it has a mint stored primary and secondary! The only thing I changed on it was the pedestal tube - it was too thin and the screws would strip out on tightening (bad design and should be like the Cave and screw into the post cap). I had machined a larger diameter steel tube thicker that holds the set screws OK.

 

See any orig guiding refractor/guidescope or weights gimme a shout!

 

Thanks again all - great to be on Cloudy Nights!!!


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#21 65&Counting

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:26 PM

Quick question.

 

I'm mechanically inclined but not electrically.

 

So mechanical question for the pros here - I'd long read (on CN) about this scope being 'undermounted' and my first impression was absolutely based on my 2" shaft Star-Liner and my old-timer general experience.

 

I know bigger/well designed is generally better but almost all the 'undermount' I currently see is coming from the R.A. gearset/clutch which seems way too small and where 90+% of stray motion is coming from - the Dec doesn't wobble at all. Putting this much weight on a 4.25" R.A. gear seems nonsequitor? Would a 12" Byers gearset fix a lot of this?

 

My age 15 brain would say 1.5" shafts won't take you past an 8" or 10" scope...... but now that I'm looking at one with my 65 brain I'm not so sure? 1.5" cold rolled steel in thrust bearings isn't generally going to move?

 

Thoughts appreciated.


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#22 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:42 PM

Everyone of these 1.5" shaft mounts were not that great on any of the scopes i had, same for my 2" Shaft Starliner mounts. They will hold a 8" fine, but you have that slop in the clutch and the drives. I have owned around 15 of them over the years. The last 1.5" shaft Cave mount i had was so bad i gave it away. Even with a 6" RV6 the image would dance for 5 seconds after being touched, something was very wrong with that last 1.5" Cave mount i had, Guy i gave it to said it had a bent shaft.  That 12.5" needs a Cave 2.5" Shaft Cave Observatory mount. But they are hard to find and heavy.


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#23 65&Counting

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:52 PM

Everyone of these 1.5" shaft mounts were not that great on any of the scopes i had, same for my 2" Shaft Starliner mounts. They will hold a 8" fine, but you have that slop in the clutch and the drives. I have owned around 15 of them over the years. The last 1.5" shaft Cave mount i had was so bad i gave it away. Even with a 6" RV6 the image would dance for 5 seconds after being touched, something was very wrong with that last 1.5" Cave mount i had, Guy i gave it to said it had a bent shaft.  That 12.5" needs a Cave 2.5" Shaft Cave Observatory mount. But they are hard to find and heavy.

Appreciate the voice of experience - I'm going to play with this (and maybe add a 12" Byers setup) and will post the findings - so long as I can return it to 'orig' all is well.


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#24 Bonco2

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:42 PM

I felt that my 10 inch f/6 Cave was under mounted with the 1.5 inch shafts.

Bill


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#25 John Higbee

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:27 AM

Welcome to the club!  John

 

P1010055.JPG


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