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Vintage Reflector OTA - Commercial or Homemade?

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#1 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:14 PM

Here is a vintage telescope OTA that I would estimate was made around 1920 or so. Is this something that was made by a commercial firm or would it be something that was homemade? I rescued this from being sent to the scrap yard. It currently has a mirror just under 10 inches in diameter. I have the secondary holder but the secondary mirror is missing. It appears that the secondary fell out of the holder and  put a small chip in the primary mirror. The current primary mirror is not original to the OTA. Someone removed the original primary cell and replaced it with a cell and mirror that bolts to the back of the end ring in order to increase the size of the primary mirror. The OTA has lots of brass fittings on it. The focuser is designed to be replaced with a plate camera, which came with the OTA, along with a set of brass eyepieces.

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  • vintage_ota_1_small.jpg
  • vintage_ota_2_small.jpg
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#2 Supernova74

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:42 PM

I would definitely say home made to to precarious to be nothing else really,very industrial looking definitely not eye candy is it?



#3 ram812

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:47 PM

I'd call it "Steampunk"grin.gif. Be a cool resto project, though. Depending on the ding in the primary I think it would be great yard art if un-usable. Great catchgrin.gif

CS, Ralph


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#4 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:48 PM

The rectangular eyepiece/camera bracket is made of aluminum and I think it would be difficult for an amateur to manufacture such a bracket that is curved to match the tube. The finder scope was also replaced. The end caps on the steel tube are made of brass.


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#5 MikeTahtib

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:49 PM

I would definitely say home made to to precarious to be nothing else really,very industrial looking definitely not eye candy is it?

A little paint and polish and it will be beautiful.


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#6 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:52 PM

I am thinking of fixing it up and converting it to a Dobsonian.


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#7 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:58 PM

This telescope was being used as an early astrograph. A prime focus glass plate holder that replaced the secondary mirror came with the brass eyepieces.


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#8 ram812

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:58 PM

Depends on the amateur😉. And how much effort you'ld like to expend (Effort=$). I still (Being me) would plant it out front on a pier, a real conversation getter around my neck of the woods. Everything on that could be reproduced with relative ease if you dig out the right folks to help. Do you hang at an astronomy club? Might be someone eventually that knows more specifics will post up. If you could pull the primary and take pictures for posting that may help,too😁.
Ralph
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#9 Supernova74

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 01:59 PM

A little paint and polish and it will be beautiful.

Mike haven’t you heard that saying cannot polish a t——d



#10 Supernova74

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 02:01 PM

I am thinking of fixing it up and converting it to a Dobsonian.

Well if all fails I suppose you could make an oversized periscope for a submarine lol 



#11 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 02:06 PM

I have a home machine shop so I can fix just about anything that needs to be fixed on this OTA.


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#12 Supernova74

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 02:10 PM

I have a home machine shop so I can fix just about anything that needs to be fixed on this OTA.

Well thay say never judge a book by its cover don,t they do you know what the mirror is like you never know might be s gem!?



#13 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 02:30 PM

Congratulations!  Very rare catch - 100 yr old Reflector - few survive to the present.

 

My Opinion:  Commercial Scope, not ATM.  

 

I'd go to town with that scope!  Don't judge it by its current appearance.  You probably have a better workshop for dealing with metals than I do (since I have just a few hand tools).

 

My Tinsley 6 when I got it:

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S99 - Original Condition.jpg

 

My Tinsley 6 now:

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S72 - Restore COMPLETE (OTA Full LS).jpg

 

I scavenged antique surveying equipment for the small brass finder, rings, and Dorian Column bases.  I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I did figure out that brass gets HOT when you Dremel it too much / too fast!

 

I recommend contacting the Antique Telescope Society at:  http://oldscope.org

 

They're very helpful folks!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 27 March 2021 - 02:48 PM.

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#14 starman876

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 03:00 PM

It almost looks like the tube is Brass. oops, the end caps are brass, must read each post. I see many comercial parts on that scope unless someone had a machine shop in their basement.  


Edited by starman876, 27 March 2021 - 03:03 PM.


#15 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 03:14 PM

Home made around 1930.



#16 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 03:45 PM

Here is the primary mirror. The aluminum coating is scratched up from someone trying to wipe the mirror with a cloth after the secondary hit the primary. The secondary was a small rectangular flat about 1/8 inch thick. I inspected the large scratches where it hit and I don't see any chips to the primary glass so I think the mirror just needs to be recoated.

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#17 starman876

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 04:12 PM

Send it to OWL. Have them test it and then a recoat if it tests OK.


Edited by starman876, 27 March 2021 - 05:31 PM.

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#18 William Whitaker

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 04:16 PM

I love that worm drive focuser.


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#19 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 04:31 PM

Home made around 1930.

I don't think so, CHAS.  The brass end rings & the pairs of slender rods supporting the secondary holder closely resemble my Tinsley...


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#20 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:03 PM

The back of the mirror has a sticker with "Hard Beral Coating" and the company name is P. A. Clausing, of Skokie, IL, which would probably date the replaced mirror to the mid 1960s.


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#21 clamchip

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:14 PM

It may not be that old with the aluminum parts and I don't see a access door in the

tube for a primary cover necessary with a silvered mirror.

It amazes me the skill of these early amateurs. It seems almost a requirement for astronomy 

back then unless you could print your own money.

 

Robert


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#22 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:20 PM

Here is the current mirror cell. This cell appears to have been added at a later time. There are mounting holes for a more conventual mirror cell in the brass end cap.

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#23 starman876

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:33 PM

I don't think so, CHAS.  The brass end rings & the pairs of slender rods supporting the secondary holder closely resemble my Tinsley...

I agree with you JW.  too many high quality parts unless the guy was really rich and could afford to have anything made. 



#24 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:34 PM

My 1930's Tinsley Catalog offers both traditional silver mirror coatings and aluminum coatings using the "new" PANCRO process (See The Physical Review, Feb 1, 1933.)

 

And, my Tinsley has an aluminum tube - not cheap back then.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 27 March 2021 - 05:38 PM.

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#25 starman876

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:35 PM

Here is a vintage telescope OTA that I would estimate was made around 1920 or so. Is this something that was made by a commercial firm or would it be something that was homemade? I rescued this from being sent to the scrap yard. It currently has a mirror just under 10 inches in diameter. I have the secondary holder but the secondary mirror is missing. It appears that the secondary fell out of the holder and  put a small chip in the primary mirror. The current primary mirror is not original to the OTA. Someone removed the original primary cell and replaced it with a cell and mirror that bolts to the back of the end ring in order to increase the size of the primary mirror. The OTA has lots of brass fittings on it. The focuser is designed to be replaced with a plate camera, which came with the OTA, along with a set of brass eyepieces.

you got pictures of the plate camera and eyepieces?




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