I've embarked on a project to put my one-owner 1975 Cave-Astrola 8" f/7 back into operation. This is pretty much my "one true telescope", bought when I was in high school by saving lawn mowing money for a couple of years, and it's still my only telescope of any size.
- Has the declination worm drive, no tangent arm
- Dual power cords into the housing
- Rotating rings
- Steel pier tube, which I gather may be unusual for the date of manufacture
- Gray and black original color scheme
At the starting point here, it's not quite stock...
- Has a Meade add-on 60mm guide scope (I think purchased from Cave) from ~1977-1978
- Extra counterweight rail to make up for the 60mm and cameras
- Williams Crayford type 2" focuser replaces the awful original spiral one that you couldn't adjust without the OTA moving
- Primary cell moved forward a bit less than 2" to handle the focuser height (secondary size is just barely enough now)
- 50mm finder relocated a bit to accommodate the larger focuser base, and also because it toppled long ago and broke the finder mounting screws out of the tube. (ouch)
Overall it's in good shape, having been stored in benign indoor conditions for nearly its whole existence. There's a little rust on the steel pier and chrome dec shaft, and some moderately corroded hardware, but that's about it. The counterweight comes off the shaft fine despite a bit of rust there. Oh, and the AC wiring scares me, we'll get to that...
Caveat: this is not going to be a "p scopesut it back to factory original" project. </me puts on asbestos underwear!!> Some things are gonna get modified to improve function and rigidity, sloppy parts are going to get machined, some things replaced. I've a good mind to convert it to DC steppers to gain a useful slew capability. It might get a new larger RA drive and "go naked", you have been warned. Tube color is up for grabs but it will not be Pink.
The "before" photos will come in the next post after I figure out the media album UI on this board.
Hi Dave: another Cave-A-Holic here, I don't know about others, but I think the 8" f7 are the perfect scope. Some guys have their 20+ inch scopes, yes they give great deep sky views! Myself I love the changes of the Planets, the transits of Jovian Moons, and Saturn's ring system.
A great Cave mirror makes my heart go thump....bump.....thump! the colors match my 1974 8-F7 perfectly. I have chosen to allow My scope to stay stock, allowing age to allow small cracks, scratches (UM we dont call those things scratches! we call them MEMORIES) Everything looks great. My 1974 is as it is, marks, fine cracks...er Memories. my 8"F7 happens to be of fantastic figure, so far only slightly bettered by a Tac of close to the same size and f- Ratio. The 1970's offered different optical qualities, some ok/some great/and then the thud... lucky enough the Quality was still decent. I had the chance to take out my newly recoated 8"F7 against decent quality 8" F10 and F 6.3 scopes, the Meade EMC scopes did fairly close, the F 10 Celestar came the closest, but nothing short and stubby touched thie Caves Quality! I just wish I had brought my cameras. most of the SCT's did better than I thought they would, but the Cave shined through....
Great job, keep up the good work. Some of us like to keep things original, others are mmmm unique. as long as those wonderful mirrors are cared for, who cares, personally A Marvel Spiderman scope might be pretty cool!!! With thanks, and love for keeping her close to stock (she is your's) the more Caves the Happier I am. God Bless and enjoy your special baby!
With love from Orion61 AKA Larry "DUANE" Beach....