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Why we love the orange Celestrons

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#26 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:52 AM

Chas, what about using wheels or a dolly with your 800 mount and 6" so all you need to do is roll it outside?

 

How about a large aperture Takahashi Mewlon?

It would never fit out the door, the legs are too wide and the pier is way too tall. I made a mistake getting the 62" pier as it is 8" higher with the base and legs and i gotta stand on a 5 gal bucket just to get the dovetail- rings in the saddle and then the OTA.  I have a feeling i am gonna be selling it all with 3 piers and all the trimmings  It is around a 8 to 10 trip scope out the door so it will never be used really.



#27 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:53 AM

A couple of 1972 models. I still own the rough one cause it has the best SCT optics of over 40 C8's I've tested. My AP130GT is afraid of itlol.gif and the TeleVue 102 is terrified of itscared.gif

Love to go toe to toe with my super good Meade 826.



#28 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:56 AM

About 20 years ago, I had a 1982 C-11 that was, without a doubt, the best SCT I've ever seen or owned.  I called it The Orange Blossom Special. 
I had it at the Twin Lakes Star Party one fall and the sky was perfect.  Saturn was steady as a rock.  Several people looked through her and remarked at how crisp and contrasty Saturn looked.  It was nearly refractor like. 

One of our club members, an ophthalmologist by profession, had his 12.5" f/5 Lightspeed set up close by.  That scope has a really nice mirror and contrast out the butt (he still owns it).  Anyway, believe it or not, The Blossom was much better on Saturn.  And a couple of well experienced observers verbally noted that.....
Now John didn't like to be out done, so what does he do?  Packs up the 12.5" Lightspeed, goes home (he lived about an hour away from our site) and brings back his 16" f/5 Lightspeed the next day- yes he had two of them at the time....
But the funny thing about it, the seeing wasn't the best on that Saturday night, so we really couldn't do a comparison like the previous night.  And there were still remarks being said about how much better Saturn looked through Blossom than the Lightspeed.
We were never able to get together to see if the 16 was better or not. 
Anyway, I had a moment of stupidity, sold it to fund a nice Meade 12.5" for my first observatory.
I now have a black tube Fastar C-14.  It's a really good one, but like I said earlier, I have never looked through any SCT that was as good as Old Blossom....and may never again....

I know for a fact there are some freaky, insane, good SCT's out there in every size and year. Finding them is the hard part.


Edited by CHASLX200, 14 July 2019 - 08:57 AM.


#29 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:01 AM

A couple of 1972 models. I still own the rough one cause it has the best SCT optics of over 40 C8's I've tested. My AP130GT is afraid of itlol.gif and the TeleVue 102 is terrified of itscared.gif

Beautiful C8.  Got to love them. 



#30 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:03 AM

About 20 years ago, I had a 1982 C-11 that was, without a doubt, the best SCT I've ever seen or owned.  I called it The Orange Blossom Special. 
I had it at the Twin Lakes Star Party one fall and the sky was perfect.  Saturn was steady as a rock.  Several people looked through her and remarked at how crisp and contrasty Saturn looked.  It was nearly refractor like. 

One of our club members, an ophthalmologist by profession, had his 12.5" f/5 Lightspeed set up close by.  That scope has a really nice mirror and contrast out the butt (he still owns it).  Anyway, believe it or not, The Blossom was much better on Saturn.  And a couple of well experienced observers verbally noted that.....
Now John didn't like to be out done, so what does he do?  Packs up the 12.5" Lightspeed, goes home (he lived about an hour away from our site) and brings back his 16" f/5 Lightspeed the next day- yes he had two of them at the time....
But the funny thing about it, the seeing wasn't the best on that Saturday night, so we really couldn't do a comparison like the previous night.  And there were still remarks being said about how much better Saturn looked through Blossom than the Lightspeed.
We were never able to get together to see if the 16 was better or not. 
Anyway, I had a moment of stupidity, sold it to fund a nice Meade 12.5" for my first observatory.
I now have a black tube Fastar C-14.  It's a really good one, but like I said earlier, I have never looked through any SCT that was as good as Old Blossom....and may never again....

I have heard more stories about excellent orange SCT's then any other SCT.waytogo.gif


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#31 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:04 AM

Bought my (smooth) orange C8 in '77. Its optics are exceptional, and still as clear as the day I brought it home. Motors died years ago, so I de-forked it, and it now has its own un-motorized Orion SkyView Pro. I only observe from home, so it's my G&G. I also use it for visual while doing AP. Makes those long AP sessions a pleasure. waytogo.gif

 

Makes one wonder why once you have a really good one why let it go?



#32 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:05 AM

great  scope here are my reasons

 

like you can see Tharsis volcano region on mars

small  clouds on Jupiter

clouds on venus (UV light) 

 

attachicon.gif mrs0918.jpg

 

attachicon.gif Capture 7_8_2018 9_15_03 PMc8red.jpg

 

attachicon.gif venc8uv2.jpg

Great pictures



#33 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:06 AM

My mid-1970s orange C5 Astro makes a great display, but is actually more useful on a Polaris mount:

 

attachicon.gif C5 Astro Restore S22 (Tabletop Wedge).jpgattachicon.gif C5 Astro Restore S08 (OTA on Polaris).jpg

 

It's also much lighter on the Polaris, which puts it in the same g&g category as my FL80S, and both challenge my Questar.

 

This Jupiter image from 2018 only hints at what this SCT can do.  It's out of focus, and that's my fault.  I didn't wear my reading glasses.  And, my old laptop didn't have the resolution of my new one.

 

attachicon.gif C5 - Jupiter (GRS) 20180609V03S11.jpg

Those are awesome looking scopes and  great pictures.



#34 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:09 AM

I’ve had all the Orange Celestrons except the C14.

With regards to the orange... I think it’s just the novelty of it Lots of scopes are black, white, blue or even red but nothing besides the original Celestron SCTs and a handful of rare Vixen imports they sold are orange, let alone the same shade of orange. And there’s the thrill of many of recreating childhood/youth experiences or wishes.

The 90 is a really nice little scope. I regret selling mine. However, without a wide field of view or much real estate on the tube for a finder, it is rather hard to use for DSOs. And the Astro fork is IMO pointless as it is ridiculously overmounted and inconvenient if you tote it around on a wedge/tripod and have to power it. A C5 is equally portable in that circumstance.

The 5 is in a weird no-man’s land. It’s the rarest of the orange Celestrons, the most inconvenient to put on a non-fork mounting, and it has a large central obstruction. The overly hefty nature of the fork/tripod/power pack issue still applies. If you must have an SCT in that size range I’d really get a newer C5 or C6, not an orange C5.

The C8 is just perfect.... perfect portability and size, usable for just about anything. I have always regretted selling them and sooner or later a new one finds its way to me. I just got a new one with special coatings in mint condition.

The C11 is still pretty portable - particularly as an OTA only - though a Dob is probably better if you drive to dark skies as any mounting is going to be heavy and annoying to set up - hoisting the forks of a big SCT on to a wedge can be backbreaking, as well. Plus the view is getting a little claustrophobic and finding stuff manually can be a challenge as a result. You really need something smaller with a wider field of you have a C11.

The C14 to me only seems to make sense if you have an observatory. Too big, too long in focal length, and too long of a cool down time otherwise. Even a garage really doesn’t do it.

The C14 provide me my first views of planets beyond Jupiter.   Great scope to use on faint fuzzies.   Many moons around Saturn are visible with a C14. 



#35 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:10 AM

Hey  I am new to the orange tube genre...........but a memory...I was in the library in 1982  I found a national geographic magazine dated 1980 with a pic of Saturn on the cover from Voyager. I was intrigued  by an ad for the orange C-8 in there. I had never seen  a C-8  before or an SCT stye scope for that matter.  I still have that magazine but it set me on a path to get an SCT. Ultimately in May of 1984  I bought the Meade 2080LX2.

 

Last fall   I was lucky enough to buy a deforked college astronomy class/club  owned 1979 C-8 for 150.00

.....it has these anti mirror flop posts installed, two Losmandy bars on it  a telrad and other finders  and even some notes written in pencil on the orange tube. It has great views.

 

A few months  ago a 1973 sand cast  became available locally  and I bought it. I have only tried it once and it needs collimation and I need to learn about it and spend more time with it. Admittedly the 1979   die cast is simple and great to use.

 

below are pics of the die cast student modified C-8

 

Finally   the last pic is      the C-8s squared

I bet you are enjoying those orange C8's. They just look so special.


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#36 The Planetman

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 10:59 AM

Makes one wonder why once you have a really good one why let it go?


I had a real dumba#* moment....plain and simple....

#37 terraclarke

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 11:36 AM

I never liked the orange refractors, not one bit! I always thought they looked ludicrous, but I love all the short squat pumpkins. I’ve had the C90, C5, two C8s (my present 2nd qtr 1977 smooth finish, and a 1982 textured finish), and a Meade 10” MCOG. I agree with Zane, the C8 is just perfect, and I love it on it’s mount. Where else could you get 8” of aperture in such a portable package. It’s a whole little portable observatory. Mine is my only SCT. It’s a keeper!

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#38 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:06 PM

I never liked the orange refractors, not one bit! I always thought they looked ludicrous, but I love all the short squat pumpkins. I’ve had the C90, C5, two C8s (my present 2nd qtr 1977 smooth finish, and a 1982 textured finish), and a Meade 10” MCOG. I agree with Zane, the C8 is just perfect, and I love it on it’s mount. Where else could you get 8” of aperture in such a portable package. It’s a whole little portable observatory. Mine is my only SCT. It’s a keeper!

They are very hard not to love.  waytogo.gif


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#39 kansas skies

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:24 PM

I bought my late-seventies orange-tube C8 after reading a thread in the Classic's forum regarding the restoration of Joe Cepleur's Salt Encrusted Margarita. Since my first "real" telescope was a black Super C8 that I purchased new shortly after their introduction in 1984, I was familiar with the C8's capabilities. Then again, since my Super C8 was the only C8 I had considerable experience with, I didn't know how an older orange tube version would compare. And, since I let the Super C8 go quite a few years ago, I only had my memories of that scope as a reference. I do remember that it had what I considered to be exceptionally good optics.

 

The particular C8 I finally settled on was a pristine example that appeared to have seen use very seldom, if at all, prior to being stashed away and forgotten. It was listed on ebay as local pickup only. Being about fifteen hundred miles away, that really wasn't an option. I contacted the seller and offered to pay for the shipping, but he informed me that he wasn't ready to ship at that time. Still, his price for the scope was a little higher than what was seen in other ads, so he wasn't having much luck selling. What intrigued me about this scope (other than the scope being essentially new) were the accessories that were being offered. There was quite an assortment and most were still in their original packaging and had never been opened. As it was, I gave up and decided to look for another. As luck would have it, he finally gave in a few weeks later and relisted with shipping as an option. IIRC, he added around 75 to 100 dollars for shipping. I bought it as soon as I saw the ad come up. He then did something I've never had an ebay seller do prior or since - he called me on the phone for advice on how to pack. Not being an expert myself, I was only able to offer a few suggestions. The C8 and accessories then arrived a couple of weeks later in three separate boxes via UPS with no damage whatsoever.

 

After cleaning the haze from inside the corrector, I learned the art of collimating a C8 (something I had never done with my original Super C8 as it never seemed to need it). It took me a few attempts before getting it right, then a few more before the collimation finally settled in and stayed put, but I found collimation to be the most important part of getting the most from my newly acquired C8 (or any scope for that matter). As for the scope's capabilities, I have to say that I'm not at all disappointed. Whether it is the equal to my original Super C8 is hard to say, but I do think their optical capabilities would have been very similar. I do know that both have presented wonders of the universe I'd never seen before and my life can only be richer for the experience.

 

As a final note, since purchasing my orange C8, I acquired a 12" Meade LX200 OTA with very good to excellent SCT optics as well. My most memorable experience with that scope was of one particular occasion on a night of exceptional clarity where I felt like I was taking a "spacewalk" through the Trapezium. The E and F components were not only visible, they were actually bright. On another night (again of exceptional clarity), I had both my SCT's out. Saturn was visible and favorably placed for observation. At 600x in the 12" Meade, Saturn was huge and the detail was popping. The Encke Gap was displayed as a very thin, but very distinct tiny line completely around the outer edge of the ring system. Due to the excellent seeing conditions, I bumped the magnification in the C8 up to the maximum I could achieve, which was around 533x to 566x and found that other than just getting dimmer, the image did not fall apart at all. I was amazed to see that the Encke Gap was just barely visible as well. Although not steady as I was seeing in the Meade (it was somewhat broken and popping in and out), it was definitely there in the C8 as well.

 

I could go on and on about the merits of my orange tube C8, but I think the most positive endorsement I can give is that when the time comes to pare down my collection and all others are gone, the two scopes that I will keep to the end are my Celestron C8 SCT and my Celestron/Vixen C80 refractor.

 

Bill

 

 

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#40 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:39 PM

I bought my late-seventies orange-tube C8 after reading a thread in the Classic's forum regarding the restoration of Joe Cepleur's Salt Encrusted Margarita. Since my first "real" telescope was a black Super C8 that I purchased new shortly after their introduction in 1984, I was familiar with the C8's capabilities. Then again, since my Super C8 was the only C8 I had considerable experience with, I didn't know how an older orange tube version would compare. And, since I let the Super C8 go quite a few years ago, I only had my memories of that scope as a reference. I do remember that it had what I considered to be exceptionally good optics.

 

The particular C8 I finally settled on was a pristine example that appeared to have seen use very seldom, if at all, prior to being stashed away and forgotten. It was listed on ebay as local pickup only. Being about fifteen hundred miles away, that really wasn't an option. I contacted the seller and offered to pay for the shipping, but he informed me that he wasn't ready to ship at that time. Still, his price for the scope was a little higher than what was seen in other ads, so he wasn't having much luck selling. What intrigued me about this scope (other than the scope being essentially new) were the accessories that were being offered. There was quite an assortment and most were still in their original packaging and had never been opened. As it was, I gave up and decided to look for another. As luck would have it, he finally gave in a few weeks later and relisted with shipping as an option. IIRC, he added around 75 to 100 dollars for shipping. I bought it as soon as I saw the ad come up. He then did something I've never had an ebay seller do prior or since - he called me on the phone for advice on how to pack. Not being an expert myself, I was only able to offer a few suggestions. The C8 and accessories then arrived a couple of weeks later in three separate boxes via UPS with no damage whatsoever.

 

After cleaning the haze from inside the corrector, I learned the art of collimating a C8 (something I had never done with my original Super C8 as it never seemed to need it). It took me a few attempts before getting it right, then a few more before the collimation finally settled in and stayed put, but I found collimation to be the most important part of getting the most from my newly acquired C8 (or any scope for that matter). As for the scope's capabilities, I have to say that I'm not at all disappointed. Whether it is the equal to my original Super C8 is hard to say, but I do think their optical capabilities would have been very similar. I do know that both have presented wonders of the universe I'd never seen before and my life can only be richer for the experience.

 

As a final note, since purchasing my orange C8, I acquired a 12" Meade LX200 OTA with very good to excellent SCT optics as well. My most memorable experience with that scope was of one particular occasion on a night of exceptional clarity where I felt like I was taking a "spacewalk" through the Trapezium. The E and F components were not only visible, they were actually bright. On another night (again of exceptional clarity), I had both my SCT's out. Saturn was visible and favorably placed for observation. At 600x in the 12" Meade, Saturn was huge and the detail was popping. The Encke Gap was displayed as a very thin, but very distinct tiny line completely around the outer edge of the ring system. Due to the excellent seeing conditions, I bumped the magnification in the C8 up to the maximum I could achieve, which was around 533x to 566x and found that other than just getting dimmer, the image did not fall apart at all. I was amazed to see that the Encke Gap was just barely visible as well. Although not steady as I was seeing in the Meade (it was somewhat broken and popping in and out), it was definitely there in the C8 as well.

 

I could go on and on about the merits of my orange tube C8, but I think the most positive endorsement I can give is that when the time comes to pare down my collection and all others are gone, the two scopes that I will keep to the end are my Celestron C8 SCT and my Celestron/Vixen C80 refractor.

 

Bill

Another loved Orange C8.  Great story.


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#41 terraclarke

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 02:47 PM

Another loved Orange C8.  Great story.

This is a great thread! Thanks for thinking of it. waytogo.gif


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#42 Tom Stock

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 02:54 PM

I had an 8" LX90 for awhile, sold it, and saw an orange c8 on craigslist.  Grabbed it for $150!  First look thru it was horrible.. ghosting, etc.  Then I left it out for a couple hours and collimated it.  First look at Jupiter blew me away.  Guess my LX90 wasn't so good after all!



#43 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 02:57 PM

I had an 8" LX90 for awhile, sold it, and saw an orange c8 on craigslist.  Grabbed it for $150!  First look thru it was horrible.. ghosting, etc.  Then I left it out for a couple hours and collimated it.  First look at Jupiter blew me away.  Guess my LX90 wasn't so good after all!

All brands of SCT's are all over the board or map when it comes to optics.  Once can be great and another a mush dog.


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#44 ShaulaB

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 03:09 PM

Our wonderfully sharp 1974 Orange C8 out-performs our 1996 C8. Pure love.

I got a pre-owned Orange 4 inch Mak last year, and it is a hit at outreach events, where there are also 16 inch Dobs and a C14 close by. Visitors tell me its view of the Moon is the best.
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#45 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 03:31 PM

Most of the Orange Celestrons were very good.  Does anyone know if anything changed in the way they were made?


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#46 Bonco2

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 03:46 PM

Makes one wonder why once you have a really good one why let it go?

I think I bought mine in 1973. I liked everything about it except the optics. Sent it back to Celestron for evaluation and collimation. Came back with no noticeable improvement. At the same time I had a RV6 and a Cave 10 inch f/6. Particularly for planetary use the C8 was in third place. Soft views and poor contrast. I appreciated it's aperture and convenience but not it's performance. Soo that's why I let it go.
Guess I just got a bad one because so many report good results. I give Celestron a lot of credit for its innovation that changed the field in so many good ways. Astro photography really bloomed with the C8 type design. It's very camera friendly due to the short tube and large aperture.
Bill

#47 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 03:51 PM

I think I bought mine in 1973. I liked everything about it except the optics. Sent it back to Celestron for evaluation and collimation. Came back with no noticeable improvement. At the same time I had a RV6 and a Cave 10 inch f/6. Particularly for planetary use the C8 was in third place. Soft views and poor contrast. I appreciated it's aperture and convenience but not it's performance. Soo that's why I let it go.
Guess I just got a bad one because so many report good results. I give Celestron a lot of credit for its innovation that changed the field in so many good ways. Astro photography really bloomed with the C8 type design. It's very camera friendly due to the short tube and large aperture.
Bill

8" of aperture in that short tube is pure heaven.    


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#48 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 04:57 PM

I think I bought mine in 1973. I liked everything about it except the optics. Sent it back to Celestron for evaluation and collimation. Came back with no noticeable improvement. At the same time I had a RV6 and a Cave 10 inch f/6. Particularly for planetary use the C8 was in third place. Soft views and poor contrast. I appreciated it's aperture and convenience but not it's performance. Soo that's why I let it go.
Guess I just got a bad one because so many report good results. I give Celestron a lot of credit for its innovation that changed the field in so many good ways. Astro photography really bloomed with the C8 type design. It's very camera friendly due to the short tube and large aperture.
Bill

Some people just can't buy there are soft or even worse very bad SCT's  out there.


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#49 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 06:33 PM

Interesting how one person in every thread about SCT's has always has to repeat the same bad things about SCT's.   Like a broken record.


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#50 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:21 PM

Yes  I love the orange tubes................. and if it is okay   I need suggestions and would like to clam on to this thread like a barnacle on a sloop for a fragmant of time  since I am seeing so many c-8's

 

so  I have been motivated by this thread to set up the sand cast C-8   and I have been looking at these pics trying to figure out the prefered way  or proper way to mount the wedge to the tripod.

 

So my sand cast    came with a die cast wedge and tripod.     I notice I just have one single bolt through the center of the die cast wedge to the diecast era tripod    there is a big washer and a smaller washer... There are three holes available for bolts to go through  I ask permission of the OP   to ask     What is the proper way to mount this? Thanks in advance....

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