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Classic C8 transfer to an GoTo Mount

Celestron Mount
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#1 Marianne @/Astro_Limno

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:27 PM

Hello!

 

I recently purchased a used Celestron C8 (vintage 96-99 Celestar 8 deluxe?) with a very heavy fork mount with tracking only. Yes, given the demand for telescopes it was a bit of an impulse purchase. The mount is far too heavy for me to move safely and comfortably.

 

My two options are now are to sell the telescope "as is" probably for less than I paid for it, or to defork it and mount it to a GoTo. It's my impression that the telescope itself is excellent, but with this mount, I'm not going to use it. I am also not willing to spend more than $800 on a GoTo mount and am considering the Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial GoTo Telescope Mount. If I spend more than $800, I might as well get a new telescope.

 

My telescope experience is less than a year, but am very mechanical (in addition to having a very mechanical husband) so I think I could put a dovetail on it and successfully remount the C8.

 

But? Is it worth it?

 

 

 



#2 jeffreym

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:03 PM

It is.  You will need something like this (radius blocks will be necessary as shown).

https://www.highpoin...tron-c8-sct-vc8

 

Have fun

Jeff


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#3 alphatripleplus

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:43 PM

If you are certain the optics are good, I would suggest deforking it. There are a number of options for how to remount the OTA, and which one you choose may depend on how you expect to use the scope.


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#4 macdonjh

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:43 AM

It is.  You will need something like this (radius blocks will be necessary as shown).

https://www.highpoin...tron-c8-sct-vc8

 

Have fun

Jeff

jeffreym has suggested my preference.  However, if you're uncomfortable drilling holes in your telescope, there is an alternative: https://www.telescop...s?keyword=rings

 

These are actually a little too big, I think you need rings closer to 220-225mm ID.  There are other places to get rings: Agena Astro and Parallax come to mind.  The Parallax rings are nice, but they are expensive and heavy.

 

Just like with the radius blocks, you bolt either a Vixen or Losmandy style dovetail to the rings and then install your scope on whatever mount you decide to buy.


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#5 fewayne

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 12:23 PM

Losmandy also carries a kit for this, about the same price, with the advantage of more holes in the rail so you can use it for other things, and also their signature laser-etched scale on the side of the dovetail so you can write down and reproduce the balance point: http://losmandy.com/images/DC8.jpg

 

As for "is it worth it", my knee-jerk response is "of course", but then I'm an astrophotographer so a C8 on a goto mount is worth a lot to me whereas one on the Celestron fork would be pretty much useless. In fact I'm thinking of buying a friend's C8 with exactly the same setup, specifically because I now have a mount that can carry it successfully.

You refer to telescope experience, so I assume that you already have something -- if your existing mount has a Vixen or Losmandy saddle, these kits would let you use that. But if you have to acquire a new mount anyway, yeah, definitely go for the goto. You won't be sorry. Of course as a photog I reap the benefits of plate solving, so for me it's polar align and "go there", the system cycles through shooting and image and slewing till I'm dead nuts on.


Edited by fewayne, 28 February 2021 - 12:32 PM.

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#6 Marianne @/Astro_Limno

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 01:26 PM

Losmandy also carries a kit for this, about the same price, with the advantage of more holes in the rail so you can use it for other things, and also their signature laser-etched scale on the side of the dovetail so you can write down and reproduce the balance point: http://losmandy.com/images/DC8.jpg

 

As for "is it worth it", my knee-jerk response is "of course", but then I'm an astrophotographer so a C8 on a goto mount is worth a lot to me whereas one on the Celestron fork would be pretty much useless. In fact I'm thinking of buying a friend's C8 with exactly the same setup, specifically because I now have a mount that can carry it successfully.

You refer to telescope experience, so I assume that you already have something -- if your existing mount has a Vixen or Losmandy saddle, these kits would let you use that. But if you have to acquire a new mount anyway, yeah, definitely go for the goto. You won't be sorry. Of course as a photog I reap the benefits of plate solving, so for me it's polar align and "go there", the system cycles through shooting and image and slewing till I'm dead nuts on.

Thank you! I do have am 8" Dobsonian and a Celestron 130 mm Reflector on a GoTo with Alt-Az. From what I can tell, the OTA is in really good condition and have observed with it, even with the ancient tracking. I do some astrophotography, but honestly it's only with my iPhone but I get what I would consider decent enough results for me.

 

Here's my twitter review.

https://twitter.com/...7529806848?s=20
 



#7 Marianne @/Astro_Limno

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 01:29 PM

jeffreym has suggested my preference.  However, if you're uncomfortable drilling holes in your telescope, there is an alternative: https://www.telescop...s?keyword=rings

 

These are actually a little too big, I think you need rings closer to 220-225mm ID.  There are other places to get rings: Agena Astro and Parallax come to mind.  The Parallax rings are nice, but they are expensive and heavy.

 

Just like with the radius blocks, you bolt either a Vixen or Losmandy style dovetail to the rings and then install your scope on whatever mount you decide to buy.

Thank you so much for your suggestions. This is extremely helpful.



#8 Marianne @/Astro_Limno

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 01:41 PM

It is.  You will need something like this (radius blocks will be necessary as shown).

https://www.highpoin...tron-c8-sct-vc8

 

Have fun

Jeff

Thank you. This is super helpful.



#9 jeffreym

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:24 PM

jeffreym has suggested my preference.  However, if you're uncomfortable drilling holes in your telescope, there is an alternative: https://www.telescop...s?keyword=rings

 

These are actually a little too big, I think you need rings closer to 220-225mm ID.  There are other places to get rings: Agena Astro and Parallax come to mind.  The Parallax rings are nice, but they are expensive and heavy.

 

Just like with the radius blocks, you bolt either a Vixen or Losmandy style dovetail to the rings and then install your scope on whatever mount you decide to buy.

I don't think tapping new holes is necessary.  There should be three pan-head screws, two on the visual back end and one opposite on the corrector end.  These are NOT the flush mounted screws.  These have domed heads. The radius block kits are meant to work with these three mounting points.  If yours does not have these, then rings might be your best option.

Jeff
 

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#10 moonrider

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:44 PM

ADM has exactly what you need. I did the same with a 1984 Super C8+ Polaris some years ago. I purchased the parts from DSP , a vendor here. Bolt on no drilling. Came with riser blocks and Vixen dovetail. Very high quality.



#11 PJBilotta

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:56 AM

FarPoint also has exactly what you need - a C8 Vixen dovetail bar with radial blocks for a whopping $37.95, free shipping. https://farpointastr...ct-new-version/

 

I just used one of these today to move my old de-forked C8 riding on a classic Super Polaris, to a dovetail configuration on a Nexstar Evolution mount. Easy, peasy, and 10 lbs less with go-to capability. The rear radius block has widely slotted holes so it fits almost any Celestron or Meade OTA, no new holes required (though you may need slightly longer mounting screws from your local hardware store).


Edited by PJBilotta, 01 March 2021 - 03:06 PM.

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#12 jcj380

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 10:33 AM

I deforked my ancient C8 a few years ago and put a Vixen rail on it.  No drilling needed.  I think I got the radius blocks from Farpoint IIRC but I only needed one for some reason.

 

My mounts really couldn't handle the weight of the C8 plus finder, so I abandoned the project and sold the rail.


Edited by jcj380, 01 March 2021 - 10:37 AM.


#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:41 PM

FarPoint also has exactly what you need - a C8 Vixen dovetail bar with radial blocks for a whopping $37.95, free shipping. https://farpointastr...ct-new-version/

 

 

Good catch. That looks like one of the most economical solutions out there. 


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#14 DSOGabe

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 03:45 PM

It is definitely worth it. I deforked my old LX6 when the clock drive died. Got a Vixen dovetail bar placed on it and bought a AVX mount for it. 



#15 Brent Campbell

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 11:23 PM

Celestron sells a losmandy dovetail which has built in radius blocks for a c8.  You can get it at agena Astro for approx 40 bucks.



#16 Heitman

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 02:13 PM

That's what I did with my Celestar 8. Used the ADM dovetail with the blocks, mounted to an 8SE mount. Fit perfectly.

Tim 



#17 TxStars

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 03:55 PM

Just make sure the rear screws near the primary do not protrude too far into the tube and contact the mirror..




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