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