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Triple Nickle - Restore & More

ATM classic equipment refractor
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#51 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:23 PM

BIF:  Here's how a previous owner solved the broken focuser pinion problem...

 

ATM 5 RFT A02.jpg

 

He added a top to a Meade 2" mirror diagonal that works like a helical fine focuser (sorta like my Baader diagonal), and would slide the diagonal's long chrome tube in/out for coarse focus.

 

Compare the original big plastic knobs with the Brandon / Orion / Unitron semi-APO 80mm RFTs units -- these 2" focusers weren't cheap back in the day!

 

IIRC, Chuck posted that University Optics also sold these focusers.  And, that it wasn't uncommon for the brass pinion gear to break or come loose -- wonder if it used a tiny grub screw to hold it in place...

 

If I had any kind of welding skills, I'd re-attach that small black focus lock knob assembly.

 

My Dakin 4 has a similar Japan-made 2" focuser, but with a flat base, and no lock knob:

 

Dakin 4 - Restore S99 (Focuser Close Up).jpg

 

Both have brass helical-cut racks.  The Dakin's has slightly finer teeth -- a good thing, since I do use it often for high-power views.

 


Edited by Bomber Bob, 23 March 2020 - 06:31 PM.

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#52 Kasmos

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 07:53 PM

 

If I had any kind of welding skills, I'd re-attach that small black focus lock knob assembly.

 

 

Perhaps you can attach it with JB Weld. I've had some great results with it.


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#53 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 09:26 AM

Focuser Lock

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S28 (VG Closeup).jpg

 

This black plastic knob was in a bin with other old scope handles & such, so I assume it's from some mount.  It had a 3/8" threaded shaft about 1.25" long.  I only needed about 5mm, so I used my Dremel to prune it; then, careful end filing & polishing, so it won't scratch / gouge the 2" brass tube, plus thread clean-up.  The focuser's brass rack had a bent tooth, and I straightened it while I had everything apart.  Now, it's smooth.  Enough in-focus for my 1.25" binoviewer?  Maybe -- if I use that new AT 1.25" mirror diagonal.  I look forward to testing it.

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S27 (VersaGo).jpg

 

My camera exaggerates a bit, but this is a Big RFT.  Do y'all remember dodgeman7 on eBay?  I had him make a bunch of custom Vixen dovetails years ago, and the TN5's rings are bolted to a 14" unit with screw-head recesses (why don't more dovetails have this feature?).  Short of metal fatigue, the TN5 ain't gonna fall off -- like my JaegerMeister did one night.

 

All the functional improvements are done.  I can't add anything else to the OTA and keep it on the VG mount -- it'll have to move to one of my EQs for the binoviewer, the 60mm super-finder, etc.

 

BIF:  I don't know the exact age of that 2" dielectric diagonal, but it's Japan-made, and has an engraved serial number -- I suppose from the days when this was a "new" technology.  Despite the years, it has great coatings, and runs neck & neck with my new GSO model -- and both have more accurate colors than the much cheaper China-made ES that I bought for the JaegerMeister.

 

BIF2:  Have any of y'all used one of Sergio's serious-looking alt/az mounts?  -->    I'd like to be able to put the TN5 (plus 60mm on that Vee Base) on one side, and my AT102ED (plus Tak FC-50) on the other -- with no mishaps -- 4 views on one rig...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 04 April 2020 - 03:14 PM.

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#54 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:23 AM

UPDATES:

 

- Dovetails:  SVBONY makes these with the recesses & long slots.  Near perfect!  Wish I'd seen this thread earlier -->  https://www.cloudyni...ises-a-skeptic/

- 60mm Super Finder & RFT:  Got the hardware pending from Tom Duncan.  May not require any painting to coordinate with the TN5's blue tube.

- Binoviewer:  Nope.  Not enough in-focus.

 

Maybe a half-dozen sessions with the improved TN5, and I'm loving it.  It does best with star fields & open clusters, but is fine for casual viewing of the brightest faint fuzzies.  Good quick view scope for the Moon & planets, too.  With the CLS filter, the number of faint stars about doubles -- much richer M37!



#55 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:36 AM

^ “Dovetails:  SVBONY makes these with the recesses & long slots.  Near perfect!  Wish I'd seen this thread earlier/“

 

That’s exactly what I used with my Jaegers, 1” shaft GEM rebuild. I ordered mine direct from China off of Ebay last summer before the plague.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 11 April 2020 - 10:41 AM.

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#56 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 10:38 AM

one more:

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#57 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 11:03 AM

Thanks Terra!  Combining vintage stuff & new stuff, and keeping Classics going -- a very good thing in my book.


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#58 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 04:19 PM

Midnight Blue x 2:

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S31 (Meade Blue 60mm Finder).jpg

 

Did some lens & part switching between 2 old 60mm finders & a 1980s Meade 1.25" diagonal:

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S30 (2 Vintage 60mm Finders).jpg

 

The Orion had the better lens, so that went to the Meade, while the Meade's polar reticle & focusing eyepiece went to the 1.25" diagonal.  Now I can use it in any scope -- nice reticle pattern + slot for an illuminator.

 

Anybody recognize the Japanese maker of these two 60mm finders?   The sheer mass & styling reminds me a bit of the Vixen 50mm finder & bracket on the VMC200L...

 

BIF:  If I can't find a use for the Orion, I'll put it on our FREE thread.  (Shrinking my Collection has consequences!)

 

BIF2:  I was using the Meade diagonal in the 826's 80mm F5 RFT / Super Finder.  Now, it has that fancy-smancy reticle.  (Yeah...  my largest Newtonian is smoozing its way into Keeper status.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 15 April 2020 - 05:45 PM.

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#59 Bomber Bob

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 06:50 AM

Lousy weather last night.  I got maybe a half-hour to test the Blue 60 on the TN5, but I saw enough to like this combo.  These are good quality finders & brackets, so they're heavy -- no way this rig could ride on the VersaGo.  Both 60mm versions have cemented doublets.  When I get time, I'll DPAC them.  I would think Mizar supplied these to Meade (& possibly Orion), but it would be nice to find maker's marks.  Optics & mechanics are superior to the Tanzutsu <Z> 999VR that I gave away.




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