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Early Orange Celestron C11 serial numbers

Celestron classic
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#1 Jay Lawson

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:15 PM

Does anyone know if there is a pattern to the early orange Celestron serial numbers?  Do they match the C8 serial number pattern where first digit is the quarter, four digits for sequence in production, and the last digit was the year?

 

I am working on one right now that is  SN 110376 and it appears to be from the 1970's.  Could it be from the first quarter of 1976?

 

I was thinking if they did the C8's this way they might do the same for C11's.

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  • C11 sn plate.JPG
  • C11 full.JPG
  • C11.JPG

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#2 J A VOLK

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:30 PM

I believe the C11 production started around 1980


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#3 lee14

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:57 PM

That is indeed a beautiful scope, you're fortunate to have it. There does not seem to be any record of C11's prior to 1980, when the model was introduced to replace the C10. Maybe they thought half the diameter of the venerable C22 was a selling point...

 

Lee


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#4 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:59 PM

Around 1981 is when they started selling.


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#5 lee14

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 07:00 PM

On top of that, Celestron does not maintain a database linking serial numbers to the date of production.

 

Lee


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#6 Jay Lawson

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 07:10 PM

So I guess a quick internet check would have told me this.  http://www.company7....tron/index.html

 

"By 1980 the Celestron product line added the C-11 telescope to the product line replacing the long discontinued C-10. While the telescopes were offered as optical tubes or on 120 volt powered fork mounts, the C-14 included a DC powered Declination motor necessitating a Drive Corrector with matching output. The C-11 and C-14 (50 lb. OTA with 58 lb. fork) shared the same massive 26 lb. equatorial wedge and 33 lb. locked angle Field Tripod."

 

They were not kidding about the weight.  My OTA and forks come in right about 65 lbs.  Almost too much for me to manage getting on the tripod.

 

So if they started in 1980 and switched to black in 1986, I guess there wouldn't be many of the orange C11's out there?


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#7 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 07:29 PM

So I guess a quick internet check would have told me this.  http://www.company7....tron/index.html

 

"By 1980 the Celestron product line added the C-11 telescope to the product line replacing the long discontinued C-10. While the telescopes were offered as optical tubes or on 120 volt powered fork mounts, the C-14 included a DC powered Declination motor necessitating a Drive Corrector with matching output. The C-11 and C-14 (50 lb. OTA with 58 lb. fork) shared the same massive 26 lb. equatorial wedge and 33 lb. locked angle Field Tripod."

 

They were not kidding about the weight.  My OTA and forks come in right about 65 lbs.  Almost too much for me to manage getting on the tripod.

 

So if they started in 1980 and switched to black in 1986, I guess there wouldn't be many of the orange C11's out there?

Not sure how many they are out there. Friend bought a mint 1982 C11 with the worst optics i ever saw in a SCT.  I know they all  vary from bad to very sharp. If you have a sharp one then keep it.  I would love to find a super sharp C11.  The U11 was under mounted .  



#8 ccwemyss

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 10:15 PM

They started with a sequential numbering system. The first two digits are the model (C11) and the next four are the sequence number. The school where I teach has S/N 4, which was donated by a family with kids in the school. Their uncle knew someone at Celestron, and got one of the press loaners after they were done with them. It has phenomenal optics. 

 

C11SN4 - 1.jpeg

 

They came out around the time that I was working in the scope shop, and it was known then that they were somewhat variable in quality, so we didn't carry them. 

 

The donation of this one began with the dad asking me if I the school could use a large telescope. Knowing that people often describe a 60mm f15 refractor as large, I asked, "How big around is it?" He held up his hands to about 15" in diameter. So the next question was, "What color is it?" to which he replied "Orange." So I said, yes, we could probably use it (with visions of students looking through a C14). A while later I walked into the lobby and found the filthiest, most neglected C11 I had ever seen. Since I knew the orange ones were iffy, I thought, "What have I gotten myself into with this?" But then I turned it around and saw the serial number, and my jaw dropped. After many hours of cleaning, re-greasing, etc., it went into service. 

 

It is incredibly heavy, and quite a challenge to lift onto the wedge. The family actually donated an Exploradome (when they first came out, they had a very deep discount for schools) to house it, since it was too much to regularly use otherwise. Like the Orange C14, it actually works better to loosen the forks, remove the OTA, put the mount onto the wedge, and then re-mount the OTA. 

 

A few years later I had a similar experience - someone had found a large blue telescope on Freecycle and offered it to the school. I told them to bring it in and I'd look at it. Again, an absolutely filthy, run-down, scope. This one, an 8", in a crude ATM sonotube and plywood mount. "Oh no, what have I gotten myself into?" Then turn it around and there's this:

 

Dobson - 1.jpeg

 

Chip W. 


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#9 davidmcgo

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 10:16 AM

The C11 OTA separates from the forks very easily.  There are slots inside the trunnion plates and extra screws in the rear cell with their heads sticking out as guide pins.  So you set up the fork, aim it as if the scope was pointing straight up, make sure it is clamped.  Then you slide the OTA down into it, it rests on the guide pins in the slots.  They insert the 4 screws to hold everything together.  You do not need to handle all 65 pounds at once.

 

Just be super careful on screw length.  The guide pins are 1/4x20 by 0.25 socket head screw.  The screws to fix the OTA to the trunnions are 1/4x20 x 5/8” socket head.  Any longer on either can hit the primary or jam the focusing.

 

I really like the slow motion on the very earliest models with the knob sticking out the side.  That is the same as the old C10 and allows really fine movement with the RA clamp engaged.  It does affect the setting circle reading though since it is moving the RA gear directly through a clutched coupling.

 

Dave


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#10 davidmcgo

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 10:18 AM

The manual here shows how to set these up:

 

http://www.physics.m.../c14-manual.pdf

 

Dave


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#11 The Planetman

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 10:21 AM

Back in the late '90's, I had 110773.  It had the best SCT optics I've ever had.  Wish I hadn't let that one go.  I named it The Orange Blossom Special.  It definitely was special.....


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#12 davidmcgo

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 10:36 AM

I have on loan from a friend SN 110748 which doesn’t have the side RA slow motion and came with a blog leg tripod but older style wedge and the 10x40 eyepiece is plastic so probably 1983 or so.  Killer sharp optics with dead on correction..  Coatings all look brand new.

 

Really enjoyable scope to use and will still be just as good in another 20 to 30 years.  That’s why I like the older non go to stuff.  Just simple and reliable.

 

Dave


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#13 starman876

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 12:36 PM

I had an orange C11 I never should have sold.  Had very good optics.  Most of the SCT's I had that were not messed with by a previous owner and had still all the factory settings was very good.  Any SCT i bought as a special deal were always messed with and severly out of mechanical alignment.   There is a good reason why that bargain SCT was so cheap.  The  person had messed with it and could not get it to give good images anymore.  I am sure most of these SCT's gave the SCT the bad rap you hear so often.


Edited by starman876, 28 November 2020 - 02:37 PM.

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#14 ccwemyss

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 05:26 PM

Just for the record, it's up for sale on the classifieds - offer pending already at $1750.

 

Chip W. 




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