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Cave-Astrola found in a dusty corner!

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#1 Dave_L

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 12:28 AM

Any old timers recognize this? I think it is a Cave-Astrola circa 1950's through 1980's... I plugged it in and the light came on! I think it still works! Any thoughts on this old scope?

 

Cave Astrola 1.jpg

 

Cave Astrola 2.jpg

 


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#2 siriusandthepup

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 03:51 AM

Yup, looks like an 8" f/6 or f/7.

 

Haul it to the driveway and try it out!

 

Looks to be in mostly very good condition, should clean up well.


Edited by siriusandthepup, 12 July 2019 - 03:54 AM.

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#3 DLuders

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 04:48 AM

On the Cave-Astrola website  http://www.cave-astr...opes/index.html   , there is a Cave Mirror Registry.  If you see some numbers on your Mirror Cell, you can determine its approximate date of manufacture.  thinking1.gif 


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#4 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 05:13 AM

Looks like a nice slow 8" Cave made around the mid 70's i would say. Should have killer views.



#5 apfever

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:05 AM

Far from 70's.

 

That's an early one, more collectable on that basis alone. The saddle (cradle the tube sits in) is the short version. Cave went to a much longer saddle later but that short one works fine and has nice nostalgia - I have one. Mines a 1958 10" F7. 

 

Can you get a closer picture of the end rings on the optical tube?  Early versions had specific domed end rings that are simple bands riveted at the ends. 

 

BE CAREFULL when mounting the tube on the saddle.  I suggest you move the counterweight to the end of the shaft for extra support. You may need more weights.  You don't want the scope to flip around and smash the tube into the ground or the mount/pier due to insufficient counter weight. If your tube is 10" diameter (an 8" mirror), then you are probably OK with the weight shown for balance. If the tube is around 12" diameter (a 10" mirror) the weights should probably be doubled.


Edited by apfever, 12 July 2019 - 06:08 AM.

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#6 Senex Bibax

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:23 AM

Found in a dusty corner of where?


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#7 shredder1656

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:40 AM

Found in a dusty corner of where?


Took the words out of my mouth.

I started inspecting the "dusty corner"(s) of my own house, just in case. LoL
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#8 dgreyson

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:38 AM

Nice Astrola dude! Are there any accessories that came with it?

All you need now is a Unitron refractor and a pair of penny loafers and you're set for retro.
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#9 Terra Nova

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 09:07 AM

waytogo.gif That’s a fixer-upper that deserves some fixin’ up! 


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#10 tim53

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 09:20 AM

Far from 70's.

 

That's an early one, more collectable on that basis alone. The saddle (cradle the tube sits in) is the short version. Cave went to a much longer saddle later but that short one works fine and has nice nostalgia - I have one. Mines a 1958 10" F7. 

 

Can you get a closer picture of the end rings on the optical tube?  Early versions had specific domed end rings that are simple bands riveted at the ends. 

 

BE CAREFULL when mounting the tube on the saddle.  I suggest you move the counterweight to the end of the shaft for extra support. You may need more weights.  You don't want the scope to flip around and smash the tube into the ground or the mount/pier due to insufficient counter weight. If your tube is 10" diameter (an 8" mirror), then you are probably OK with the weight shown for balance. If the tube is around 12" diameter (a 10" mirror) the weights should probably be doubled.

All the 8" saddles are about a foot long.  Based on the paint scheme, which looks original, it's 1970s.  But the mirror should be dated.


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#11 roscoe

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 09:36 AM

So I right away checked all the dusty corners around here, just in case..... all I found was a half-plastic Towa 60.  I left it there.....

 

That's a real nice find!  An 8" scope is a nice blend of big enough to see stuff, and small enough for normal humans to carry.


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#12 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:05 PM

All the 8" saddles are about a foot long.  Based on the paint scheme, which looks original, it's 1970s.  But the mirror should be dated.

It was made in the 70's for sure i would just about bet.  I had the same scope made around 1972 but it was all gray.


Edited by CHASLX200, 12 July 2019 - 06:06 PM.


#13 starman876

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:51 PM

I had one like that. Should be a great scope.  Was a mistake to sell the one I had, but you learn from your mistakes.  


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#14 PiSigma

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:00 PM

Definitely not early. The early mounts did not have ASTROLA cast into them. The paint scheme is late 1972 or later. Looks like an 8" f/8 to me and that is a sweet configuration. Mirror should be engraved on the edge.


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#15 Jeff B

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:29 PM

Found in a dusty corner of where?

A dusty room.



#16 Jeff B

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:31 PM

The scribe on the edge of the mirror will tell all.



#17 Dave_L

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 11:47 PM

Thanks for the many responses! I work in a national park and I do some outreach astronomy. I found the old Astrola in a storage area in one of the campgrounds. This scope was used as part of public astronomy programs in the park. It was covered in dust and a little deer mouse was living inside the wooden crate. At the national park we have been using "GoTo" scopes for years and I have a feeling that this old scope was forgotten after we got shiny new "GoTo" technology. I see no reason why I can't dust it off and bring it back to life...

 

And Tim, yes, I can absolutely get a closer picture of the end rings on the optical tube and see if it has those specific domed end rings/riveted at the ends that you speak of.

 

And Dluders and Jeff B, yes, I will definitely scout for numbers on the mirror and reconcile with the Cave-Astrola mirror registry.

 

I will give this old scope some love and attention and let her mirrors once again gaze upon the heavens! Should I post a new topic when I make more progress? Thanks again everyone for the encouragement. 


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#18 roscoe

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 07:31 AM

Dave,

 

As you have some astronomy experience, getting this one back online should be a fairly easy project.  A couple of hours of cleanup, and set it up and see how it works, it might be fine as it is!

 

Just be VERY gentle cleaning the crud off the mirrors, the coating scratches incredibly easily ( google 'telescope mirror cleaning') for info if you're not familiar with the process)

 

If the mirrors are in bad shape, there are re-coating services available to get them back to new-performing.

 

You can certainly stay with this thread, a bunch of us are already following it, we'll be awaiting updates!


Edited by roscoe, 13 July 2019 - 07:35 AM.


#19 starman876

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 10:14 AM

Should be a great restoration project with wonderful results.  



#20 Dave_L

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 11:31 PM

I will stay with the thread and post some updates. Stay tuned and thank you again! 


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#21 CaptKirk

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:22 PM

Far from 70's.

 

That's an early one, more collectable on that basis alone. The saddle (cradle the tube sits in) is the short version. Cave went to a much longer saddle later but that short one works fine and has nice nostalgia - I have one. Mines a 1958 10" F7. 

 

Can you get a closer picture of the end rings on the optical tube?  Early versions had specific domed end rings that are simple bands riveted at the ends. 

 

BE CAREFULL when mounting the tube on the saddle.  I suggest you move the counterweight to the end of the shaft for extra support. You may need more weights.  You don't want the scope to flip around and smash the tube into the ground or the mount/pier due to insufficient counter weight. If your tube is 10" diameter (an 8" mirror), then you are probably OK with the weight shown for balance. If the tube is around 12" diameter (a 10" mirror) the weights should probably be doubled.

Definitely not enough weight for a 10". Nice that it has rotating rings! I always regretted not springing for those but I was just a high school kid in the 70s and buying my 10" pretty much cleaned me out!



#22 Mr Magoo

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:59 AM

Took the words out of my mouth.

I started inspecting the "dusty corner"(s) of my own house, just in case. LoL

Seems like every basement, garage, attic, closet, and "dusty corner" in CA has an old telescope in it!



#23 CHASLX200

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 05:17 AM

Seems like every basement, garage, attic, closet, and "dusty corner" in CA has an old telescope in it!

Mine don't.




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