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Astro-Physics Serial Numbers

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#1 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:49 AM

Hi all,

 

I will be acquiring an older AP 130 pre-Starfire (my first AP scope) and I'm wondering if there is any way to research the scope based on the serial number (85205).

 

Thanks Brian


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#2 lee14

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:54 AM

Yes indeed. Just give the company a call, their records are impeccable.

 

Lee



#3 t.r.

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:07 AM

Exactly...call AP, I know Paige is quite adept at researching serial numbers!

#4 sunnyday

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:33 AM

+1

 

Yes indeed. Just give the company a call, their records are impeccable.

 

Lee

 

 

Exactly...call AP, I know Paige is quite adept at researching serial numbers!

+1 



#5 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:38 PM

Thanks all. I sent a message and heard back from Christine very quickly. I guess I was looking at the number wrong. Here is her response.

 

It is likely 50828.

I do not have production notes on this one.  In looking at an old notebook Roland kept records on, it was sent for coating in April 1987.  My guess is that it shipped shortly thereafter.

 

I'm told the scope is pre-Starfire so I'm wondering if anyone knows what type of glass they were shipping in 1987?

 

Thanks Brian



#6 rkaufmann87

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 02:58 PM

Again, ask AP. 



#7 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:04 PM

Again, ask AP. 

I did ask AP about the type of glass used. Her answer was,"I do not have production notes on this one".



#8 Rich V.

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:12 PM

Perhaps this Thomas Back article may shed some light:

 

http://www.csun.edu/...n/tmb/tmb1.html

 

Rich



#9 LLEEGE

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:16 PM

This might be helpful....

http://www.csun.edu/...n/tmb/tmb1.html



#10 LLEEGE

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:17 PM

Perhaps this Thomas Back article may shed some light:

 

http://www.csun.edu/...n/tmb/tmb1.html

 

Rich

You beat me to it. lol


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#11 LLEEGE

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:19 PM

Pictures my help. Cell, focuser, tube, etc..



#12 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:40 PM

I haven't taken possession yet but here are the photos I do have.

 

Thanks

Attached Thumbnails

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#13 Wildetelescope

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:43 PM

Thanks all. I sent a message and heard back from Christine very quickly. I guess I was looking at the number wrong. Here is her response.

 

It is likely 50828.

I do not have production notes on this one.  In looking at an old notebook Roland kept records on, it was sent for coating in April 1987.  My guess is that it shipped shortly thereafter.

 

I'm told the scope is pre-Starfire so I'm wondering if anyone knows what type of glass they were shipping in 1987?

 

Thanks Brian

This was the time they were still  using a specialized combination of flint glasses in their triplets. Typically the serial numbers for the old starfires read something like SF(Aperture)(Focal ratio)(#made)  So that yours a 5 inch F8 and the 28th one made in that series, at least that is how my 127 mm and 152 mm scopes made in the 1989 time frame read.  Did you see the SF with your number?  86-87 time frame was when they made the first batch of 5 inch F8 triplets.   If you go to the Astrophysics website, they have a section with old magazine ads that let you sort of track the evolution of their scopes.  That together with the Back article are the primary documentation of the evolution of the AP scopes.  It is pretty fascinating how quickly things evolved during the mid to late 80s.  One thing is for sure, you have a certifiable piece of history!  Congrats!  Visually, you will be hard pressed to find a better view. 

 

Cheers!

 

JMD



#14 Wildetelescope

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:50 PM

I haven't taken possession yet but here are the photos I do have.

 

Thanks

Interesting.  I do not see any marking on the lens cell labeling it as an Astrophysics.  Both of my later ones have Astrophysics Starfire enscribed on the front of the Lens cell along with the focal length.   Maybe someone with experience with the older ones could chime in?  Did you send the photos to Marge?   Pretty sure those green bits of paper are not original too.

 

JMD


Edited by Wildetelescope, 13 January 2020 - 03:52 PM.


#15 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:51 PM

Thomas Back's article was an interesting read. Seems like this scope would have been made from the "NASA" glass? Also sounds like ED glass came after 1987.

 

Question, is AP's introduction of ED glass synonymous with the begining of Starfire line?

 

Thanks Brian



#16 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:00 PM

I sent the photo to Christine and she just verified the serial number as 50828.

#17 Wildetelescope

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:32 PM

Thomas Back's article was an interesting read. Seems like this scope would have been made from the "NASA" glass? Also sounds like ED glass came after 1987.

 

Question, is AP's introduction of ED glass synonymous with the begining of Starfire line?

 

Thanks Brian

Great that Marge confirmed the scope!  As per Back's article, the first ED scopes did not come out until the early 90s.  They were using the Starfire name before that.  There is a lot of history on the AP site if you dig around a bit. The scope looks to be in pretty good shape.

 

JMD



#18 wjbanjo

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 06:49 PM

You might try to  read through the related  threads in the  Classics section  on CN . There's a lot of  helpful information concerning early A-P Scopes. Bill



#19 TG

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:24 PM

Even the pre-ED Starfires had the serial number start with SF so OP's scope seems to be the initial single short-flint A-P design. The second iteration used two short-flints, initially oil spaced and then air spaced. Roland has not revealed the design though I don't understand why not as the glasses used are no longer available and the secondary color correction is inferior to modern triplets.

Tanveer

#20 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:41 PM

Even the pre-ED Starfires had the serial number start with SF so OP's scope seems to be the initial single short-flint A-P design. The second iteration used two short-flints, initially oil spaced and then air spaced. Roland has not revealed the design though I don't understand why not as the glasses used are no longer available and the secondary color correction is inferior to modern triplets.

Tanveer

 

Are you suggesting the lens cell is a doublet design? The current owner describes it as a triplet.



#21 Brian A

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:45 PM

I just want to mention that I think the person I’m getting the scope from is a knowledgeable and honest person and gave me a vary fair deal on the scope. I just want to learn as much as I can about the scope before I take possession.



#22 Mike Spooner

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:26 PM

If it's the original NASA glass melt, I thought there was an article in Telescope Making about Roland's triplet - issue #28 rings a bell but my memory may be fickle. I'll have to dig through my old magazines - probably should anyway as I have an 8" boule of the glass stashed somewhere for a couple of long focus lenses ... someday.

 

Anyway, I thought the article had a prescription but again I could be subject to some time related brain fog.

 

Mike Spooner



#23 TG

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:12 PM

Are you suggesting the lens cell is a doublet design? The current owner describes it as a triplet.


Apologies for not being clear. The first StarFire designs had two short-flints and likely one crown. It was initially an oiled triplet but in the second run it was air spaced and said to be almost as good as the Ed triplets.

#24 Alan French

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:13 PM

Roland's articles on his original "super-planetary" design.

 

"Sky & Telescope," October, 1981 (Vol 62, No 4), Gleanings for ATM's, "An Apochromatic Triplet Objective," pages 376 - 381.

 

"Sky & Telescope," April, 1982 (Vol 63, No 4), "Revised Triplet Design," pages 411 - 412. (A correction to the previously published design.)

 

Mike Spooner's recollection is correct. Roland also has an article, "Design and Construction of a Super Planetary Telescope Objective," in "Telescope Making" #28. 

 

Roland was also spoke on the topic at Stellafane on August 2, 1986.

 

Clear skies, Alan


Edited by Alan French, 13 January 2020 - 11:20 PM.

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#25 Alan French

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:40 PM

Apologies for not being clear. The first StarFire designs had two short-flints and likely one crown. It was initially an oiled triplet but in the second run it was air spaced and said to be almost as good as the Ed triplets.

The design used a crown and a flint, plus an abnormal-dispersion or "short-flint" as a center element. Essentially the two flints synthesize a flint that is a good match to the crown element.

 

Clear skies, Alan




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