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SP-C102 with Skysensor

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#1 Red Giant

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:15 AM

Hello Friends, I’ve been looking for a C102 for a while and finally found one for sale about 10 minutes from my house.  When I saw it, I knew it was coming home with me for the asking price of $75.  I got it from the original owner, who said he purchased it in the 90’s.  He did inform me that the electronics did not turn on, and there was some corrosion on it somewhere.  I am familiar with the C102’s reputation, but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.  
 

I’ve never owned one of these before, and have not seen these electronics...can someone tell me exactly what all I have here?  Also, I did notice one of the clutch levers is broken and would appreciate any information on how to repair or replace it.

Jim

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#2 Red Giant

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:17 AM

A few more pix

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#3 Binofrac

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 12:20 PM

Repairing these things is generally not that long lasting. If you could find out what the thread is then you could replace the broken lever with a quick net search. Either use a decent size male knob or male clamping lever.


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#4 grif 678

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 06:05 PM

The Newton Rings guarantee a great, sharp image. I think I would have been embarrassed to give only $75 for that set up.


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#5 CHASLX200

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 06:49 PM

The Newton Rings guarantee a great, sharp image. I think I would have been embarrassed to give only $75 for that set up.

Would never find in FL for that price. That Vixen stuff was so much better than the first run China stuff from the big C in 1997.


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#6 danielgolite

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:05 PM

Jim, you got the deal of a lifetime! The eyepieces alone are valuable. This was a time when Celestron products were made in Japan and were very good quality. Enjoy and please share a report once you use it. 


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#7 photiost

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:56 PM

Thats a fantastic deal ... and that is a fantastic telescope !!

 

If the skysensor controller is not working consider purchasing/replacing it with a DMD controller something similar to this:

https://www.cloudyni...al-axis-drive/ 

 

Enjoy 


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#8 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 09:48 PM

That is an amazing deal. It looks overall to be in very good shape! Congratulations!


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#9 mfoose

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:33 AM

Congrats on the excellent deal! A Vixen 102 on a SP/GP is an amazing set-up. You even got one with a collimatable lens cell. One thing with the Skysensor goto controller is that it needs different motors then the single or dual axis controllers. I believe the skysensor used mt-4 motors and the single/dual axis controllers used mt-1 motors. Just keep that in mind if you plan on swapping things out. So, would try to get that controller operational again since it should be compatible with those motors.

 

Thankfully the Vixen SP/GP mounts are plentiful. I would put out a wanted ad for a new clutch lever.

 

Looks to be in amazing shape besides the lever and controller. Still has the tupperware, wrenches, eyepiece boxes, etc...

 

If the scope has been sitting for sometime the mount may be a bit stiff. You may want to take it apart, de-grease, and re-grease it.

 

Congrats again!


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#10 Red Giant

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for the info on the controller and the tip about the lever.  I got the telescope cleaned and ready for service now.  This is my first SP, and I’m very suprised at what a great mount it is.  The objective came out really nice, I can’t wait to take it for a test drive soon.

Is there any way to determine a date of manufacture for this telescope?

 

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#11 grif 678

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:43 PM

Whatever you do, do not tinker with the spacers in between the objectives, you do not want to lose the newton rings. The first C102 that I ever had, right many years ago, had these newton rings. I was dumb enough to listen to someone ( who was suppose to be an optical person ) who told me that those rings were there because the spacers had gotten thinner because someone may have tightened them too tight. He said that the lenses were touching, causing the rings, and that if they were not fixed, the lenses would damage each other. Because he worked in an optical shop, I believed him. He sent me some replacement spacers. I carefully removed the objective, marked the side with a pencil ( to make sure that I got the lens back together exactly like it was ). I replaced the spaces with the new ones. The rings went away, and so did the image quality. It was still good, but no way as good as it was. And shortly after that, I read where newton rings was a show of optical quality, and the rings showed that the lenses were as good as they could get. I never tried to put the old spacers back, because I tore them a little while removing them, and actually lost one of them. I eventually sold that scope, have had several of them since without the rings, and they were never as good as the first one I had.

That first C102 was the best one optically I ever owned, and I ruined it.


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#12 Red Giant

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 07:41 PM

I’m curious when this scope was produced...going through the drive controller paperwork, I found these pages...referencing Halley’s Comet positions for 1985/1986.  Does anyone know what the options that were available to purchase on these scopes...were these drives factory installed...and does it fit to be from the Halley era?

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#13 Kasmos

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 08:10 PM

I’m curious when this scope was produced...going through the drive controller paperwork, I found these pages...referencing Halley’s Comet positions for 1985/1986.  Does anyone know what the options that were available to purchase on these scopes...were these drives factory installed...and does it fit to be from the Halley era?

The original owner told you the 90s and thats probably about the best you can hope for. My SP-C80 is pretty close in design and it came with it's instruction manual which is dated 1991. Because of the placement of the finder I'd say yours is from the '94-'97 era range.There are a few small differences over the several years that they were produced and I kind of doubt that many people would know what they are and when they changed. Especially on the black ones. Stuff like the finder style and location, shape of the focuser, and size of the Celestron decal. IIRC they first sold Vixens in '83 and they were orange until about '85 and kept offering them (the black ones), until about '97 when they went to Syntas. What mount is shown in the manual? Polaris or Super Polaris? I believe they already had the Super Polaris mount by about 1985.


Edited by Kasmos, 07 May 2021 - 08:11 PM.


#14 Red Giant

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 08:23 PM

Ok sounds good thanks.  I just ran across the included drive paperwork referencing Halleys Comet positions and thought it strange to be included in a mid 90’s telescope.



#15 CHASLX200

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Posted Yesterday, 02:24 PM

Ok sounds good thanks.  I just ran across the included drive paperwork referencing Halleys Comet positions and thought it strange to be included in a mid 90’s telescope.

It is not 90's made, I say late 85 to 86.
Scope could have been old stock at a store and sat for years. Vixen would have not included the Halley stuff if made in the 90's.


Edited by CHASLX200, Yesterday, 02:26 PM.

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#16 starman876

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Posted Yesterday, 02:50 PM

Thanks for the info on the controller and the tip about the lever.  I got the telescope cleaned and ready for service now.  This is my first SP, and I’m very suprised at what a great mount it is.  The objective came out really nice, I can’t wait to take it for a test drive soon.

Is there any way to determine a date of manufacture for this telescope?

looks like the newton rings are off center. Should be an easy fix.


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#17 Red Giant

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Posted Yesterday, 06:20 PM

It is not 90's made, I say late 85 to 86.
Scope could have been old stock at a store and sat for years. Vixen would have not included the Halley stuff if made in the 90's.

I know the owner said 90’s...but as I get older I find myself saying...oh that was only a few years ago too lol.  A few CN searches seem to suggest the earlier versions had the collimateble cells and Newton rings like mine...and maybe the later versions had neither?  I’ve yet to have clear skies with it, and in the end it doesn’t really matter, but I do enjoy a good mystery here and there.



#18 Red Giant

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Posted Yesterday, 06:33 PM

looks like the newton rings are off center. Should be an easy fix.

As I’ve had time to carefully look this new telescope over, I do agree.  While cleaning the objective and rotating it, I did notice it seemed off center a bit.  I’ve yet to have a clear night with it, to even have some kind of opinion of the optical quality, but hopefully the weather will cooperate in the next few days.  A couple questions come to mind:

 

1.  How much difference in visual observing would the off center Newton rings cause?

2.  What would be the remedy to properly center the rings?


Edited by Red Giant, Yesterday, 06:50 PM.



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