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1899 4" f/16 Cooke Photovisual Apo refractor

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#26 Chuck Hards

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 05:31 PM

It's funny, I actually first talked to Bart some 25, 30 years ago, when he was involved with roto-molding, IIRC, about possibly mass-producing my fiberglass Dob design.  At the time I didn't know he was interested in antique scopes.  He pokes his head in here every once in a while, great guy!

 

And he's the expert.  I really have no special interest in antiques, my interest is much more narrow, but I can appreciate the workmanship in both the originals and the restorations.  Thanks for another fascinating thread, Peter.  


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#27 tim53

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 06:46 PM

Gloss black and shiny brass is stunning and the scope must have been magnificent right off the line.  Green evokes an aged patina, to me it only works with darkened, aged brass.   Will never have the "wow" factor of black and newly-polished brass.  

 

A gloss black and shiny brass restoration would look stunning next to a fully restored Model T.  wink.gif

Like a Center Door Sedan with the oval rear window. 


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#28 luxo II

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

Peter, congratulations - seeing that scope brings back memories of the slightly larger one I restored at school many decades ago. Many similarities particularly the OTA and the drive, though yours has a somewhat smaller (simpler) mount; the parts of the one I worked on were mostly some sort of bronze, incredibly hard, and silver steel. It also appears yours has verniers on the setting circles, too. Threads of screws etc were the "RAS thread".

 

The school one I restored was in quite good condition the original livery was a off-white (cream) painted OTA, lens cell and focusser gleaming polished metal, with the mount in dark green with polished bare metal trim. Counterweight was black.


Edited by luxo II, 03 April 2020 - 06:54 PM.

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#29 Kokatha man

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 07:20 PM

I'm looking forward to showing the telescope off to guests. I plan to acquire a period correct smoking jacket, glass of sherry, monocle on a chain, a learned astronomy book from the era and an English accent so I can properly wax on about the wonderfulness of the 120 year old Cooke telescope!

 

Can you imagine? A guy born in Italy, raised in Canada pretending to be English... Edwin Hubble would be proud... :-)

Egad! - what the duce?!? Ladies wear their monocles with chains my good fella - a gentleman has a cord...I can see one's going to have to brush up on one's manners, my good man! lol.gif

 

Glad to hear someone like you has purchased it Peter - it seems as if Richard has had that on the market for yonks! waytogo.gif


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#30 Piggyback

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 12:57 AM

Peter, you have done it again and like so many others I am electrified. Congratulations and looking forward to your daily dose of restoration reports.

Spent time this morning reading Neil English's "Classic Telescopes". Page 39: "Privately owned Cooke Photovisual refractors, as you might expect, are as rare as hens' teeth. Having looked through a 4-inch f/18 sample, this author can tell you the images of Mars it served up in a recent opposition were nothing short of breathtaking, easiest the finest view of this small planet I have seen through any telescope."


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#31 Dave1066

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 01:47 PM

Congratulations, what a telescope, I had wondered who would end up with this magnificent beast! Glads its getting the attention it deserves. I Have read this thread with keen interest and will keep doing so! :)



#32 oldmanastro

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 05:56 PM

Wonderful and beautiful instrument. It could not have ended up in better hands. Congratulations.



#33 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 06:32 PM

I'm touched by the enthusiasm regarding the Cooke restoration! Given the level of interest I'll post in greater detail than I was intending to. You can probably tell I get as much of a kick out documenting the effort as doing the restoration work.

 

As I mentioned earlier, it's the drive that attracted me to the telescope. And I love the tall cast iron, heavy as heckfire pier. Tripods do not move me as much.

 

The drive seems to run well, but it could use some cleaning. I'm inclined to take it apart completely to ensure it's really clean and well lubed, but the priority right now is the finish on the mount and OTA components.

 

Here are some closeups of the drive:

 

IMG_1705.jpg

 

IMG_1674.jpg

 

IMG_1673.jpg

 

IMG_1728.jpg


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#34 Kokatha man

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 07:20 PM

All the teeth I can see here look pretty good still Peter..?

 

Everything looks pretty good actually in these last pikkies tbh & those brass ball governor weights must look cool in operation - I'm only surprised that there's not some sort of bell that chimes when the weight is almost at the end of its' travel..! :lol:


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#35 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 08:59 PM

All the teeth I can see here look pretty good still Peter..?

 

Everything looks pretty good actually in these last pikkies tbh & those brass ball governor weights must look cool in operation - I'm only surprised that there's not some sort of bell that chimes when the weight is almost at the end of its' travel..! lol.gif

A bell would be handy! The weights, as I have them oriented on the wire/holder, fall off with a loud clunk when they touch the pier! Rotating them 180 degrees on that holder would help.

 

There is a lot of backlash in one part of the gear train that merits attention, but overall this part of the drive system seems to be in good shape.


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#36 jcruse64

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 09:33 AM

That drive is really cool! I hope you post a video of it in operation, when you are finished. It would be neat to watch it roll through its paces.



#37 Mike Spooner

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 09:34 AM

A bell would be handy! The weights, as I have them oriented on the wire/holder, fall off with a loud clunk when they touch the pier! Rotating them 180 degrees on that holder would help.


Duct tape. Don't leave home without it... Oh yeah - don't leave home. wink.gif

Mike Spooner

Edited by Mike Spooner, 05 April 2020 - 09:37 AM.

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#38 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 09:45 AM

That drive is really cool! I hope you post a video of it in operation, when you are finished. It would be neat to watch it roll through its paces.

Here are a few links to a few short videos of the clock drive operation. This video, taken by the previous owner shows the overall operation:

 

http://laserlineopti...oke_drive_2.MP4

 

The next video illustrates how the RA slow motion works via the planetary gear arrangement actuated by pulleys on the east and west sides of the drive:

 

http://laserlineopti...oke_drive_1.MP4

 

At first I could not figure out why the pulleys were there, then Bart sent me a photo of his 6" Cooke in operation with rope leading to the mount in the observers hands. Aha!


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#39 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 10:00 AM

Rotating the pulleys sped up and retarded the rate of rotation of the linkages to the worm via a complex planetary gear train, but the pulleys as well as what looked like a hinged mounting bracket were a mystery. Here is a photo of the area in the event the video posted earlier disappears.

 

IMG_1681.jpg

 

After Bart's revelation the pulleys and brackets were no longer a mystery. Rope is wrapped around the pulley and through what turned out to be rope guides. Here is an image of a lady observer working the RA slow motion.

 

IMG_1777.jpg

 

And here the rope wrapped around the pulley and the guide holding it in place:

 

IMG_1780.jpg

 

Now it became clear what the clip on the pier was for! What I have to do now is find some period correct rope...

 

IMG_1782.jpg

 

Here is a picture of a mount from a Cooke catalog illustrating the drive rope and pulley arrangement. In this model the rope runs down to another pulley at the base of the pier, probably for making the rope easily accessible from both the east and west sides of the telescope.

 

Cooke drive catalog.JPG


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#40 tim53

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 11:06 AM

Perhaps restoration window sash cord would be appropriate?  https://www.amazon.c...0/dp/B003T82A30


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#41 jcruse64

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 01:18 PM

Here are a few links to a few short videos of the clock drive operation. This video, taken by the previous owner shows the overall operation:

 

http://laserlineopti...oke_drive_2.MP4

 

The next video illustrates how the RA slow motion works via the planetary gear arrangement actuated by pulleys on the east and west sides of the drive:

 

http://laserlineopti...oke_drive_1.MP4

 

At first I could not figure out why the pulleys were there, then Bart sent me a photo of his 6" Cooke in operation with rope leading to the mount in the observers hands. Aha!

Thank you; again. extremely cool! But, these are just teasers, lol. When you have it all refreshed and operational, let us have a video, with the clock drive running, and using the rope run the RA slo-mo, and backing out to see the weights in relation to the pier, and the scope as it slowly moves. Really nice setup!


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#42 Kunama

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 03:58 PM

Glad to see this beautiful scope is going to be given another lease of life Peter.

 

I don't think that is another pulley at the base of the pier, looks more like a weight that the cord passes through, to keep a bit of tension on the cord, like one finds on curtain pull cords.... 


Edited by Kunama, 05 April 2020 - 04:01 PM.

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#43 oldscope

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:19 PM

Found it.  It's in Book 2:

 

attachicon.gifRefractor_Dude.jpg

Your photo is a Bausch, Lomb and Saegmuller telescope. These were not too common. I don't think B, L & S were particularly successful in the astronomical telescope business. Saegmuller was small potatoes compared to W & S, with the exception of the large refractors he made for Chamberlin and for Manilla Observatories. W & S and the Clarks probably made 10 telescopes for every one of Geo. Saegmuller's. And after he went in with B & L, it all dried up for them.Bausch_and_Lomb_Telescope.jpg

 

Bart F.


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#44 tim53

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:24 PM

Thanks, Bart!  I've wondered for decades who made that scope.  


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#45 stubeeef

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:27 PM

I'm following this one! Would make a great magazine article.



#46 oldscope

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:44 PM

It's funny, I actually first talked to Bart some 25, 30 years ago, when he was involved with roto-molding, IIRC, about possibly mass-producing my fiberglass Dob design.  At the time I didn't know he was interested in antique scopes.  He pokes his head in here every once in a while, great guy!

 

And he's the expert.  I really have no special interest in antiques, my interest is much more narrow, but I can appreciate the workmanship in both the originals and the restorations.  Thanks for another fascinating thread, Peter.  

bigblush.gif Aw, stop it guys. There are folks who've forgotten more than I'll ever know. But with regard to polishing and more importantly, over polishing, here is something to think about. Rarely did the actual manufacturers polish to a high mirror "perfect" finish. Much more important was a good quality lacquer or paint job. It kills me to see antiques polished to within inches of their poor lives, especially when fine detail and information is lost. 

Here is a perfect example that I posted recently to the ATS Forum; I found it in an Ebay ad for an OTA. Very sad.

image.png

 

The problem for antique dealers is that they feel the need to 'gussy up' their wares to get more money from saps who don't know what they are buying, yet the dealers cannot afford to do the job right. It takes a lot of time and knowledge and effort. Rare is the telescope that carries a price tag that can justify a high quality restoration. Peter's telescope is absolutely worth the effort. Many simply are not.

 

Bart F.


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#47 oldscope

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:48 PM

Glad to see this beautiful scope is going to be given another lease of life Peter.

 

I don't think that is another pulley at the base of the pier, looks more like a weight that the cord passes through, to keep a bit of tension on the cord, like one finds on curtain pull cords.... 

Clever lad. That is precisely what that is.

 

Bart F.


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#48 oldscope

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 09:59 PM

Thanks, Bart!  I've wondered for decades who made that scope.  

Funny story. At last year's NEAF (or maybe two years ago), Ioptron brought out their ingenious patented new design. It looked familiar to me though. Here's theirs. Look familiar? When I showed the B, L & S design from a hundred years ago, they were aghast. But they still have their patent. Heh.

 

Bart

 

Ioptron, same as Bausch and Lomb.jpg

 

Bausch_and_Lomb_Telescope.jpg


Edited by oldscope, 05 April 2020 - 10:00 PM.

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#49 TG

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 10:56 PM

One of the first things I did was to disassemble the objective and measure all the radii and thicknesses, mainly for historical purposes.

IMG_1784.JPG

4PV Cooke objective data.JPG


Any idea about the glasses used? Would be fun to simulate in OSLO.
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#50 Mbinoc

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 11:08 AM

What a amazing instrument. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

 

The drive mechanism is really interesting. What does a scope like this one actually weight with that cast iron base?

 

Just imagine what it would cost to make something like this today.


Edited by Mbinoc, 06 April 2020 - 11:15 AM.



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