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Original Celestron C8 telescope?

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#1 blackgalactic

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 10:29 AM

This is my first time (technically second) ever posting on CloudyNights forums. So, hello everybody!

I need advice. Recently, I saw an ad go up for a Celestron C8 orange tube, supposedly vintage (that's what I've heard, at least) and it's going for around 450 dollars, tripod included. As someone who owns a telescope with a GEM mount (my first telescope is an Orion Starblast ii 4.5 in.) I don't know what to do because it's a fork mount!! While I have nothing against fork mounts, I'm a bit scared to get it because I don't know anything about them and I am wanting to start astrophotography sometime in the future, and I heard fork mounts aren't good for that! I heard of de-forking before, but I'm not sure if this specific model is capable of it?

If there's any tips I could get, it would be really appreciated. Thank you [:

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#2 mpsteidle

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 10:32 AM

If your end-goal is astrophotography, I wouldn't purchase this.  THAT SAID, this is an excellent example of a vintage C8, with what looks like very clean paint and the original very sturdy tripod.  $450 is a fine price for what looks to be a very clean instrument which will give some nice views.


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#3 lee14

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 11:31 AM

Fork mounted SCT's are perfectly capable of high quality astrophotography, as is consistently confirmed by the plethora of fine images right here on CN. However...this scope will need some additions to facilitate anything beyond the most basic short exposure pics. First, it appears to lack a declination motor, making any sort of guiding a non-starter. These were an add-on, they were not supplied with the basic scope. Additionally, a hand controller is required to enable manual guiding. It's a very nice scope, a true classic, but to set it up for astrophotography is going to take some doing. And cash.

 

Lee



#4 lee14

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 11:58 AM

Yes, it can successfully be de-forked, but it's probably a bit much for your Orion GEM. In any case, you'd have to add a dovetail plate to the lower portion of the tube. The good news is that the the tube already has predrilled and tapped holes for a standard [like losmandy] rail.

 

Lee



#5 shooze

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 01:33 PM

I'd buy that in a heart beat for $450.00



#6 blackgalactic

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 03:10 PM

Fork mounted SCT's are perfectly capable of high quality astrophotography, as is consistently confirmed by the plethora of fine images right here on CN. However...this scope will need some additions to facilitate anything beyond the most basic short exposure pics. First, it appears to lack a declination motor, making any sort of guiding a non-starter. These were an add-on, they were not supplied with the basic scope. Additionally, a hand controller is required to enable manual guiding. It's a very nice scope, a true classic, but to set it up for astrophotography is going to take some doing. And cash.

 

Lee

This might be a bit of a dumb question, but just to make sure, what exactly is a hand controller? Are you talking about the hand knobs similar to those on manual GEMs? Could you perhaps also link some examples that would work with this scope too? Thanks! grin.gif  



#7 lee14

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:32 AM

This might be a bit of a dumb question, but just to make sure, what exactly is a hand controller? Are you talking about the hand knobs similar to those on manual GEMs? Could you perhaps also link some examples that would work with this scope too? Thanks! grin.gif  

It's a perfectly reasonable question. A hand controller operates the two motors electronically, by activating buttons contained in a small box that is connected to the mount by a cable. The primary use in a scope like this one is to enable small corrections necessary during manual guiding. The scope as pictured will run without one, the Right Ascension drive is integral to the base and should operate when the cord is plugged in and switched on. Modern controllers are more complicated, they'll access the 'GOTO' functions, perhaps display object coordinates, etc.

 

Again, a hand controller isn't necessary to operate this scope, both axes can be moved manually, similarly to the knobs on your GEM. 

 

The pic here is basically what was used on a C8, whether or not they're still available new, I'm uncertain. 

 

Lee

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#8 davidmcgo

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:43 AM

The hand controllers were for the later Powerstars and Celestars.  What you would use to guide a AC drive like the scope posted is a drive corrector which took 12v DC and created a variable frequency AC from it so the motor could be sped up or slowed down.

 

And with highly sensitive digital cameras, you can get decent result without that since the individual exposures are around 30 seconds or so.  Just discard the ones where the drive gears jump.

 

Dave



#9 Tenacious

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 09:58 AM

If your end-goal is astrophotography, I wouldn't purchase this.  THAT SAID, this is an excellent example of a vintage C8, with what looks like very clean paint and the original very sturdy tripod.  $450 is a fine price for what looks to be a very clean instrument which will give some nice views.

+1. 

 

I wonder how many C8s on their original mounts are left.




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