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Acquired a Meade 826 (I think)

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#1 Guy Earle

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:02 PM

Some of you may remember back in November 2018 (I barely remember dinner last night, so I'm not at all offended if you don't), I picked up a 1959 Cave Astrola 10" f/7.1, which was restored by April for it's 60th First Light. I really have fallen in love with this scope, even more than my old 16" Dob I built back in 2006. The mirror is so unbelievably good I have trouble believing the images come from a 10."

 

Flash forward to two weeks ago and I picked up another classic, a 1965 6" RV-6 Criterion Dynascope. The mirror was thoroughly coated in dust, but what is truly amazing is that it was complete, works fine, and had a box full of provenance, including letters to the original owner of shipment, extra purchases, and other items. I even have the original owner's red flashlight! But I haven't had a chance to make a thread for that, but will soon. Oh, and it was $75! 

 

My main question is, and if you can't tell I've become focused on trying to find those old classic gems when they hit Facebook Marketplace. Today was one of them. A lady posted a scope for $45, which I believe upon looking online to be a 1980'ish Meade 826. Unfortunately, it is just the tube and the pier, no legs, no cradle or anything else. I went not knowing if it was going to be complete, as she was pulling it from a storage unit as part of an estate liquidation. She believes she knows where the legs are, and I'm hopeful she will find more. I mention the RV-6 because if she can't find it I thought about making a cradle to put it on that mount instead.

 

I have a few questions I'm hoping you all might be able to answer.

 

1) This is an 826, yes? I had a 6" Starfinder EQ back in '93 and worked in a planetarium at the same time with a Meade 12.5 f/6 Research Grade, and from what I could find it seems to be a pre-version.

2) The back of the mirror has what appears to be foam on it, which has degraded. It's actually attached to the back of the mirror, which I noticed when I took it out to clean. The only thing I could find on the mirror was "47.7" inscribed on the side. Should I scrape the foam off to see what designation is on the back? I got excited when I read in a thread that some used Cave mirrors. *fingers crossed*

3) Do you all have a favorite secondary holder replacement for the 826? This pot metal one has thoroughly degraded and I'm shocked it didn't fall down on the mirror. The secondary mirror, like the primary, is in great shape though. It looks like one of the tube caps for the spider vane got sheared off, so I'll have to fix that too. 

4) I previously cleaned the Cave's fiberglass tube, but this one has top layer flakes that have come off. Is there a repair substance or technique to recoating those spots?

 

I'm hoping that the lady I bought it from finds the missing parts, but I'm not expecting to hear back. It looks like there was a counterweight system on the back too based on the holes. 

 

Thanks,

 

Guy 

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Edited by Guy Earle, 22 March 2020 - 07:05 PM.


#2 Guy Earle

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:03 PM

Some more pics.

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#3 Guy Earle

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:04 PM

The last few pics.

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#4 Paul Skee

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:27 PM

The 826 I purchased around 1980 didn't have a 2" focuser. The finder was a 6x30. It's difficult to see from your photo, but the tube was pre-drilled with holes to allow moving the primary up to prime focus. Yes, looks like possibly a counterweight may have been attached, that's about where I put mine.


Edited by Paul Skee, 22 March 2020 - 07:31 PM.


#5 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:39 PM

I need an old Newtonian myself 

 

others are talking Meade 826

 

here https://www.cloudyni...eade-826-query/

 

 

 

and here   https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10025129


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 22 March 2020 - 07:40 PM.

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#6 Guy Earle

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:48 PM

The 826 I purchased around 1980 didn't have a 2" focuser. The finder was a 6x30. It's difficult to see from your photo, but the tube was pre-drilled with holes to allow moving the primary up to prime focus. Yes, looks like possibly a counterweight may have been attached, that's about where I put mine.

Hey, Paul:

 

It looks like a 2" focuser but it's just a 1-1/4." The, I'm assuming, guidescope is a 60mm f/11 and the finder looks like an 8X50. Both of them take .965 eyepieces, and thankfully I have a few metal spares and a diagonal.

 

Guy



#7 Guy Earle

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:52 PM

I need an old Newtonian myself 

 

others are talking Meade 826

 

here https://www.cloudyni...eade-826-query/

 

 

 

and here   https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10025129

For most of the years since I started back in '93 I've used dobs, either purchased (Meade Starfinder 10") or built my own (12.5" f/6 Nova mirror and then 16" truss dob w/Discovery mirror). The last EQ I had was a 6" Starfinder back around '94 for about six months. I've just come back to them with acquiring the Cave, and now I find myself with the RV-6 and now this scope....lol


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#8 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:58 PM

I always thought that when I finally got  a Newt  it would be great if it was  a  10 inch   Cave

 

But ask Bomber Bob or Chas  or others here  and the Meade 826 they used was tops

 

When all this present situation settles down    might be fun to find one 


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#9 John Rogers

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 08:10 PM

Hey, Paul:

 

It looks like a 2" focuser but it's just a 1-1/4." The, I'm assuming, guidescope is a 60mm f/11 and the finder looks like an 8X50. Both of them take .965 eyepieces, and thankfully I have a few metal spares and a diagonal.

 

Guy

It looks like a 2" focuser with the 1.25" adapter attached.

 

Your OTA, including the mirror mount looks very similar to my RG880.  The holes in the tube toward the mirror is for the balance rail.

 

 https://www.cloudyni...nt-…/?p=8547682

 

Tim53 should be along any time.  He is our resident expert, having built both telescopes.


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#10 Marc-Andre

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 08:21 PM

It looks like a 2" focuser with the 1.25" adapter attached.

 

Your OTA, including the mirror mount looks very similar to my RG880.  The holes in the tube toward the mirror is for the balance rail.

 

 https://www.cloudyni...nt-…/?p=8547682

 

Tim53 should be along any time.  He is our resident expert, having built both telescopes.

It does look like the #680 2" focuser with the 1-1/4 thread on ring.  I expect a 2" ring will also thread on to it.  I special ordered my 6" f5 Meade with the #680 focuser in 1981.  That looks just like mine.


Edited by Marc-Andre, 22 March 2020 - 08:21 PM.

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#11 tim53

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 08:26 PM

I used to build those at Meade.  I think that was an 856, which came with the 2” focuser and the guide scope.  The mount would have also had a tangent arm dec slow motion that may have been motorized.  Coulter made all the mirrors for the early Meades.  Not Cave.  Diebel was actively working to put Cave out of business at the time, and wouldn’t have used anything from them.

 

It’s odd that there aren’t two sets of mounting holes for the mirror cell.  We drilled two sets so the owner could move the mirror forward for astrophotography with an SLR.


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#12 Guy Earle

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:36 AM

I used to build those at Meade. I think that was an 856, which came with the 2” focuser and the guide scope. The mount would have also had a tangent arm dec slow motion that may have been motorized. Coulter made all the mirrors for the early Meades. Not Cave. Diebel was actively working to put Cave out of business at the time, and wouldn’t have used anything from them.

It’s odd that there aren’t two sets of mounting holes for the mirror cell. We drilled two sets so the owner could move the mirror forward for astrophotography with an SLR.

Hey, Tim

That's crazy about Coulter. All I remember about them is when I started observing in '93 they were the big dob 13.1" red scopes. I didn't realize that they work with Meade and actively worked against Cave.

Unfortunately the only thing of the mount I currently have is just the pier. I'm hoping that as the person cleans out the storage locker the remainder of the scope will be found. If not I will have to make some rings and a plate to adapt it for the RV-6 mount.

What is this foam on the back of the mirror? I've never seen anything like that and I'm wondering if it was a foam insert that is somehow become deteriorated and stuck to it?

I'll have to try and find a 2-inch ring for the focuser because all the tiny extra bits have not been found yet.

Guy

Edited by Guy Earle, 23 March 2020 - 06:37 AM.


#13 tim53

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:11 AM

Hi Guy:

 

Minor correction.  Coulter wasn't out to get Cave, just John Diebel (president of Meade).  Coulter had been making optics sets for ATMers back into the 1960s, IIRC.  They simply supplied Meade's optics before Meade set up its own optical shop around 1981.

 

I bought a 10" Cave DK in a manner similar to yours.  The seller got it in pieces when he bought the contents of a storage unit that had gone unpaid.  The scope had belonged to the previous owner of the stuff, who had bought it from Crafton Hills College when they surplused it many years before.  First thing I saw was the mount, without the legs and OTA.  I asked the seller if he had the rest, and he found most of it over the next several weeks, including a couple Cave 6" tubes (one with optics).  

 

So there may be hope that the other parts are in a pile somewhere that just has to be excavated!  


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#14 tim53

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:12 AM

If you can scare up a catalog picture to show the seller, maybe she'll be able to find the rest?



#15 AdAstraPerAspera

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:03 AM

I posted a link to download a manual and catalog in the thread on these telescopes a few weeks ago.
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#16 Guy Earle

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 12:45 PM

If you can scare up a catalog picture to show the seller, maybe she'll be able to find the rest?

Hey, Tim:

 

Thanks for the clarification on Coulter and Cave, I was unaware that Coulter was that old a company. From what I knew back in the 90's I thought they had popped up with their dobs. I always heard their early mirrors were really good. Around that time I worked at our local science center's planetarium, and we had a 17.5 f/4.5 dob with Dob Driver. We also had a 12.5 f/6 Meade Research EQ, which is why when I sold my Meade 10" Starfinder I chose to make my first scope with a Nova Optical 12.5" f/6. That in turn I sold to make my 16" because I wanted the extra light gathering ability to use my Denk binoviewer nearly all the time.

 

So when the Cave showed up with that f/7.1 I jumped on it. I'll try and post the RV-6 I picked up recently in a thread tonight. When this 8" Meade popped up I thought I'd give it a go, as the seller had no information on the make and model. It's very interesting discovering all these details about its history. I'm hoping that I hear from the seller on additional parts. Given the fairly well-preserved nature of everything, I'm hopeful on more stuff. 

 

What do you know about this weird foam on the back of the primary? 

 

Guy


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#17 apfever

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 03:25 PM

Unfortunately the only thing of the mount I currently have is just the pier. I'm hoping that as the person cleans out the storage locker the remainder of the scope will be found. If not I will have to make some rings and a plate to adapt it for the RV-6 mount.

What is this foam on the back of the mirror? I've never seen anything like that and I'm wondering if it was a foam insert that is somehow become deteriorated and stuck to it?

I'll have to try and find a 2-inch ring for the focuser because all the tiny extra bits have not been found yet.

Guy

You don't want to put that OTA on an RV-6 mount. That tube will overload an RV-6 mount beyond belief. It would be a disaster combination. 



#18 Guy Earle

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 04:01 PM

You don't want to put that OTA on an RV-6 mount. That tube will overload an RV-6 mount beyond belief. It would be a disaster combination. 

Really? I have a '59 Cave mount but it has a curved cradle and could certainly handle the load as it is a beast. I was hoping the smaller mount of the RV-6 would be able to handle it.


Edited by Guy Earle, 23 March 2020 - 04:02 PM.


#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:14 PM

I always thought that when I finally got  a Newt  it would be great if it was  a  10 inch   Cave

 

But ask Bomber Bob or Chas  or others here  and the Meade 826 they used was tops

 

When all this present situation settles down    might be fun to find one 

I have owned around 10 Meade 8" F/6 mirrors over the years and all of them were great. Maybe it was hard to mess up a F/6 blank? Bob's 826 that was mine would go toe to toe with my APM 152ED and SW150ED.  It would do 450x and edge out the 6" ED's on pure detail on Jupiter. The ED's had a little cleaner and sharper image of the moons.  So if i had a choice today i would take the 826 due to cost and so much fun to set up vs a massive mount needed for the 6" ED's.
 


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#20 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:17 PM

You don't want to put that OTA on an RV-6 mount. That tube will overload an RV-6 mount beyond belief. It would be a disaster combination. 

You got that right. Even the 6" was pushing it. I had the 8" version of the RV and it had knock out optics, but the mount was just not up to the task.


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#21 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:43 PM

I have owned around 10 Meade 8" F/6 mirrors over the years and all of them were great. Maybe it was hard to mess up a F/6 blank? Bob's 826 that was mine would go toe to toe with my APM 152ED and SW150ED.  It would do 450x and edge out the 6" ED's on pure detail on Jupiter. The ED's had a little cleaner and sharper image of the moons.  So if i had a choice today i would take the 826 due to cost and so much fun to set up vs a massive mount needed for the 6" ED's.
 

Both of my long Newts perform way above what I paid for them.  The RV-6 is great.  The 826 is amazing.  Back in the day, I had no idea -- and, I hated Newts.  I could've bought 3 or 4 826s for what I paid for just my D&G 5" F10 OTA in 1988.  I hope to conduct some side-by-sides between my 826 and my APM 152ED on Mars (at least).  Based on what I've seen, I believe the 826 can deliver at 60x per inch; but, I know my 152ED stays sharp at 75x / inch -- and maybe 100x / inch on outstanding nights.  But yes, I'm more likely to set up the 826 than the 152 -- 5 minutes & no stress versus hoisting The Beast up to that 6' cradle...


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#22 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:54 PM

I can tell ya 450x was no problem with your 826 on my best nites on Jupiter. The last 8" F/8 Cave i had was also a easy 450x scope. All the old school Newts in the slower f/ range were all super. That was a 8" F/8 Edmund, RV8, and a older 50's Dynascope and many more. Just can't beat a Newt and no SCT came close other than that super good C8 i had.


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#23 Guy Earle

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 07:15 PM

Since April when I finished restoring it I have fallen in love with my 10" f/7.1 Cave Astrola from 1959. Spectrum recoated and it has done an outstanding job.

 

Once I get the Meade mounted it will be interesting to see them side-by-side.

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#24 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 07:17 PM

Looks insane.  When i die i want one of them to go down in the gulf with me.



#25 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 02:23 PM

Since April when I finished restoring it I have fallen in love with my 10" f/7.1 Cave Astrola from 1959. Spectrum recoated and it has done an outstanding job.

 

Once I get the Meade mounted it will be interesting to see them side-by-side.

That’s an absolutely beautiful Newtonian. You did a wonderfully job restoring it. waytogo.gif waytogo.gif




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