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What classics do you want before you die?

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#101 SteveGR

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 02:54 PM

I'd like a 6-8" refractor in a dome.  The first observatory I ever saw as a kid had a 6" Jaegers F10 homebuilt in an Ash Dome that really made an impression.  One of these days, maybe.  It wouldn't make a lot of sense where I live now, way too much light pollution, strictly narrow band for Astrophotography, would need a dark site.


Edited by SteveGR, 11 May 2021 - 02:56 PM.

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#102 Corcaroli78

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 03:11 AM

Hi Forum,

 

i have been thinking a lot on this thread. There are many classic scopes that interested me and some i would say are affordable but not necessarily available, and some almost impossible to get, so here is my short list:

 

  • CZJ APQ 100 /640: beautiful short refractor. One of the top Zeiss refractors ever made. At least i touched one :-)
  • CZJ 100 / 1000 amateur telescope: seen only in catalogues.
  • Meade LXD75 SN 10": i dreamed a lot with this big reflector looking at the ads in S&T in the early 90´s.  To me, it looked massive, so professional... It is printed in my memories. I think is not impossible to get one these days..

Clear skies!

Carlos


Edited by Corcaroli78, 12 May 2021 - 03:12 AM.

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#103 dave253

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 04:49 AM

An original orange C8, a Unitron 4” alt az. 



#104 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 05:39 AM

An original orange C8, a Unitron 4” alt az. 

I would love a pre 1973 C8 with super sharp optics. 


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#105 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:42 AM

"CZJ 100 / 1000 amateur telescope: seen only in catalogues."

They do pop up from time to time here in Germany, and they run about 2500 to 3000 for the OTA.

They are also a popular "scam" scope, going for about 1500.
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#106 Jacques

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 10:46 AM

I already have it. The Vixen 102M is my humble classic. Gets heavily used too smile.gif


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#107 SteveGR

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 11:11 AM

I already have it. The Vixen 102M is my humble classic. Gets heavily used too smile.gif

That makes it the best kind of classic then.  I wish I could say that my scopes get heavily used, but my state is heavily clouded and I often don't have the energy on the nights that are not.


Edited by SteveGR, 12 May 2021 - 11:12 AM.


#108 bjkaras

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 04:38 PM

I used to dream of getting a Cave 10” or 12.5”. I finally got a Parks 10”, which is essentially a Cave clone, so I’m happy. I always wanted a 6” refractor too, and finally got one of those as well. You always want bigger, because aperture is king, but I’m happy with what I have. A 10”’Newt on a heavy mount is about the largest thing one person can easily handle alone, and I can fit it unassembled into my car. Nuff said.


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#109 woodsman

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:22 PM

A Blue and White Celestron.  Pretty much anything that had a very long focal length.  Perhaps a C4 or C6.  I'd love to have a C16 or C12. 


Edited by woodsman, 12 May 2021 - 08:22 PM.

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#110 JIMZ7

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 10:32 PM

200" Mount Palomar.


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#111 Stevencbradley

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 10:50 PM

Classic...I guess an older TV, AP, TAK or Zeiss 100mm (or so). As you can see, I'm not greedy. I don't necessarily want the biggest--only the best. Seriously, though, I have several nice scopes, and the only one really missing is an 80-100mm mid to short focal length top quality refractor.
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#112 Faber

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 01:14 AM

Perhaps the very rare Pentax 150SD, a huge a beautiful refractor, not only for supposed good performance but because it’s beatiful and evocative of past years. A good sky, a dome and a cup of tea: I could spend Nights snd nights forgetting many daily problems.
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#113 JIMZ7

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 01:24 PM

200" Mount Palomar.

To quote my own choice. Did you know that astronomers at Palomar while observing had to wear a helmet & sit in a chair strapped with a seat belt. Astronomers would fall out of seat thus get injured. Using a Discovery 12.5" f/5 Dob here at home was a "Wow" factor. What do you call a 200" scope???

Jim


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#114 clamchip

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 03:25 PM

If I got to look thru the eyepiece I would like nurse Mendy standing close by.

Robert

 

 

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#115 starman876

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 06:38 PM

nurse mandy gets to do all the fun stuff


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#116 SteveGR

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 01:13 PM

To quote my own choice. Did you know that astronomers at Palomar while observing had to wear a helmet & sit in a chair strapped with a seat belt. Astronomers would fall out of seat thus get injured. Using a Discovery 12.5" f/5 Dob here at home was a "Wow" factor. What do you call a 200" scope???

Jim

If we are playing with that class of instrument, then what about the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea?  For the dedication, they made an eyepiece for it so Princess Sayako could look through it.  Huge telescope, with an actual eyepiece in the best observing location in the Northern Hemisphere... I'd take that. smile.gif  I wonder, at 8.2 meters, is that the biggest telescope that has been looked through with an eyepiece?
 


Edited by SteveGR, 20 May 2021 - 01:16 PM.

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#117 jkmccarthy

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 04:50 PM

To quote my own choice. Did you know that astronomers at Palomar while observing had to wear a helmet & sit in a chair strapped with a seat belt. Astronomers would fall out of seat thus get injured. Using a Discovery 12.5" f/5 Dob here at home was a "Wow" factor. What do you call a 200" scope???

Jim

I was a graduate student in astronomy at Caltech 1982-88 and from first-hand experience[*], I can confirm that the observer's chair in the prime focus cage did at one time have a seat belt.   But I've never heard of a helmet requirement.  However there was / is a requirement to empty one's shirt and jacket pockets prior to climbing inside, so there's no risk of anything falling out while up above the primary mirror ... (the primary's protective mirror cover is closed during all trips by personnel into / out-of the prime focus cage, of course, but it's a prudent rule nevertheless).

 

The bottom of the chair is attached to a semi-circular tube (supported at each end by bearings in a yoke-mount arrangement) so it can be raised or lowered in elevation by a hand crank.  The two diametrically-opposite yoke supports are in turn attached to a circular racetrack around the inside circumference of the cylindrical cage, such that the chair can be rotated 360-degrees around the optical axis and be locked at any azimuth by the observer --- when the telescope is being used at a large zenith angle, it's most comfortable for the observer to be oriented with gravity at their back in the seat (as in a recliner chair), rather than having to support one's body weight over the guide eyepiece with gravity pulling one forward ....

 

pfpedestal.jpg
 

This Russel W. Porter hand-drawn illustration gives a sense of the space, and the yoke-mounted semi-circular tube I mentioned can be seen below the man's left elbow.  It appears he is guiding by translating the photographic plate-holder assembly in X and Y (at the prime focus -- notice the white lines and arrows marking the beam path to the prime-focus field of view) to keep the guide-star centered, but with more modern instruments located at prime focus, obviously guiding (in the rare cases it needs to be done visually) is performed with a push-button hand-paddle to move the telescope in R.A. and Declination. (Behind the plate holder assembly against the inside wall is one of the yoke bearings I mentioned earlier).   Over the end of the prime focus cage in this illustration is the original hand-rail / guard-rail to assist one in getting in or out of the cage, and into a dogleg-shaped-catwalk elevator that moves along a track attached to the inside of the dome near the dome shutters.  By my time there, this hand-rail / guard-rail had been redesigned to better facilitate overhead crane lifts of heavier equipment in and out of the cage for mounting onto the prime focus pedestal.  Here is what the redesigned version looked like, with its larger horseshoe-shaped opening in the center, directly above the prime focus pedestal):

 

gallery_363526_16547_10112.jpg

 

(Incidentally, the individual in the grey suit-jacket visiting the prime focus cage in the photograph above, Caltech Emeritus Professor of Astronomy Jessie Greenstein, was 85 years old at the time (1995); see: https://www.tommcmah...-telescope.html )

 

The most recent pictures I've seen of the Palomar 200-inch Hale Telescope's prime focus cage show no hand-rail / guard-rail over the end whatsoever, which I interpret to mean that there is not longer any need for anyone to be in the prime focus cage at night with their eye at a guide-eyepiece --- today's prime focus instruments have all had video guide-camera capability and/or auto-guide capability for many years now.  Riding the catwalk-elevator to the prime focus cage at the top of the 200-inch telescope is necessary only for equipment installation, care, and feeding, so the topmost hand-rail / guard-rail has been removed and replaced by two steel cables:

 

gallery_363526_16547_14032.jpg

 

(The photo above, taken in the summer of 2003, shows Valdosta State University (Georgia, USA) senior undergraduate astronomy-major Melissa Williams sitting in the prime focus cage next to the Large Format Camera, which consists of six 2048 x 4096 -pixel CCDs, covering a roughly circular area, 25 arcminutes in diameter at a scale of 0.18 arcseconds per pixel. The camera is liquid nitrogen cooled. Source:  http://www.astrometr...ges/200310.html )

 

Thanks for indulging my reminiscences here -- the 200-inch definitely is a one-of-a-kind classic marvel of 1930's engineering.

 

        -- Jim

 

[*] In the early 1980s, my graduate faculty advisor at Caltech had an observing run on the 200-inch to observe galaxies using the first CCD-based faint-object spectrograph available at Palomar, dubbed the PFUEI (for "Prime Focus Universal Extragalactic Instrument" -- briefly described starting on page 5 of the PDF conference paper found here:  https://authors.libr...ech.edu/101955/ -- the acronym PFUEI was literally pronounced "phooey" : - ), which did not have a video guide camera for remote guiding from the control room nor any auto-guide capability, and therefore my advisor needed an assistant to perform this function manually at the off-axis eyepiece in the prime focus cage, along with a few instrument-configuration changes over the course of each night.  (Obviously I was a more-than-willing eager volunteer for this 3- or 4-night assignment.   The target galaxies being faint, the nights requested were "dark time" -- i.e., new moon or crescent moon phases.  A once-in-a-lifetime experience, to be sure ... even if all I got to see through the guide eyepiece were random stars near the target galaxies ....).


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#118 jkmccarthy

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 06:14 PM

P.S.   Although I could no longer find this anywhere on-line via Google, I was able to locate on my hard-drive this brief video produced by Caltech to commemorate the late Prof. Greenstein's return visit to the 200-inch Hale Telescope in 1995 (which he used very often during his long career with the Caltech Astronomy Department, most notably for his research on white dwarf stars).  So I decided to upload it to vimeo.com so that I could then share it via this link with anyone here who might be interested.   Apologies in advance for the video's low (VGA?) resolution as well as its severe mpeg compression artifacts (this was originally posted on-line more than 15-yrs ago) ....

 

https://vimeo.com/553112785/c2f21b3837

 

(N.B.  Copyrights presumably held by the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA)


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#119 Kasmos

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 07:54 PM

The prime focus observer's chair.... talk about being into telescopes!

 

Another way to put it, you know you are really into telescopes... when your part of the central obstruction.

 

BTW, Love those Porter drawings!


Edited by Kasmos, 20 May 2021 - 07:55 PM.

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#120 jkmccarthy

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 08:31 PM

[...] BTW, Love those Porter drawings!

So as not to hijack Chas' thread anymore than I have already, let me just offer this link to the Russell W. Porter materials in the Caltech Archives:

https://digital.arch...=caltech:images

 

... and for any further follow-up discussion about them, this link to a CN thread started by user serrurier following an in-person visit 2 years ago to same:

https://www.cloudyni...ginal-drawings/
 

(And I can't resist sharing a link to this PDF of the Porter 200-inch drawings booklet, "Giants of Palomar", that was [and my still be] sold in softcover in the Palomar Observatory museum / gift-shop for many years:  https://authors.libr... of Palomar.pdf   ... Enjoy ! - )


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#121 Kasmos

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 09:50 PM

So as not to hijack Chas' thread anymore than I have already, let me just offer this link to the Russell W. Porter materials in the Caltech Archives:

https://digital.arch...=caltech:images

 

... and for any further follow-up discussion about them, this link to a CN thread started by user serrurier following an in-person visit 2 years ago to same:

https://www.cloudyni...ginal-drawings/
 

(And I can't resist sharing a link to this PDF of the Porter 200-inch drawings booklet, "Giants of Palomar", that was [and my still be] sold in softcover in the Palomar Observatory museum / gift-shop for many years:  https://authors.libr... of Palomar.pdf   ... Enjoy ! - )

Thanks for those Porter links. Just the other day I was wondering where there might be some good examples of his artwork.


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#122 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 08:11 AM

Thanks for those Porter links. Just the other day I was wondering where there might be some good examples of his artwork.

If you ever go to Stellafane Chris, be sure to visit the museum in the basement of the Hartness house. There is a nice display of Porter’s wonderful original illustrations, both drawings and water colors.


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#123 starman876

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 09:08 AM

I was a graduate student in astronomy at Caltech 1982-88 and from first-hand experience[*], I can confirm that the observer's chair in the prime focus cage did at one time have a seat belt.   But I've never heard of a helmet requirement.  However there was / is a requirement to empty one's shirt and jacket pockets prior to climbing inside, so there's no risk of anything falling out while up above the primary mirror ... (the primary's protective mirror cover is closed during all trips by personnel into / out-of the prime focus cage, of course, but it's a prudent rule nevertheless).

 

The bottom of the chair is attached to a semi-circular tube (supported at each end by bearings in a yoke-mount arrangement) so it can be raised or lowered in elevation by a hand crank.  The two diametrically-opposite yoke supports are in turn attached to a circular racetrack around the inside circumference of the cylindrical cage, such that the chair can be rotated 360-degrees around the optical axis and be locked at any azimuth by the observer --- when the telescope is being used at a large zenith angle, it's most comfortable for the observer to be oriented with gravity at their back in the seat (as in a recliner chair), rather than having to support one's body weight over the guide eyepiece with gravity pulling one forward ....

 

pfpedestal.jpg
 

This Russel W. Porter hand-drawn illustration gives a sense of the space, and the yoke-mounted semi-circular tube I mentioned can be seen below the man's left elbow.  It appears he is guiding by translating the photographic plate-holder assembly in X and Y (at the prime focus -- notice the white lines and arrows marking the beam path to the prime-focus field of view) to keep the guide-star centered, but with more modern instruments located at prime focus, obviously guiding (in the rare cases it needs to be done visually) is performed with a push-button hand-paddle to move the telescope in R.A. and Declination. (Behind the plate holder assembly against the inside wall is one of the yoke bearings I mentioned earlier).   Over the end of the prime focus cage in this illustration is the original hand-rail / guard-rail to assist one in getting in or out of the cage, and into a dogleg-shaped-catwalk elevator that moves along a track attached to the inside of the dome near the dome shutters.  By my time there, this hand-rail / guard-rail had been redesigned to better facilitate overhead crane lifts of heavier equipment in and out of the cage for mounting onto the prime focus pedestal.  Here is what the redesigned version looked like, with its larger horseshoe-shaped opening in the center, directly above the prime focus pedestal):

 

gallery_363526_16547_10112.jpg

 

(Incidentally, the individual in the grey suit-jacket visiting the prime focus cage in the photograph above, Caltech Emeritus Professor of Astronomy Jessie Greenstein, was 85 years old at the time (1995); see: https://www.tommcmah...-telescope.html )

 

The most recent pictures I've seen of the Palomar 200-inch Hale Telescope's prime focus cage show no hand-rail / guard-rail over the end whatsoever, which I interpret to mean that there is not longer any need for anyone to be in the prime focus cage at night with their eye at a guide-eyepiece --- today's prime focus instruments have all had video guide-camera capability and/or auto-guide capability for many years now.  Riding the catwalk-elevator to the prime focus cage at the top of the 200-inch telescope is necessary only for equipment installation, care, and feeding, so the topmost hand-rail / guard-rail has been removed and replaced by two steel cables:

 

gallery_363526_16547_14032.jpg

 

(The photo above, taken in the summer of 2003, shows Valdosta State University (Georgia, USA) senior undergraduate astronomy-major Melissa Williams sitting in the prime focus cage next to the Large Format Camera, which consists of six 2048 x 4096 -pixel CCDs, covering a roughly circular area, 25 arcminutes in diameter at a scale of 0.18 arcseconds per pixel. The camera is liquid nitrogen cooled. Source:  http://www.astrometr...ges/200310.html )

 

Thanks for indulging my reminiscences here -- the 200-inch definitely is a one-of-a-kind classic marvel of 1930's engineering.

 

        -- Jim

 

[*] In the early 1980s, my graduate faculty advisor at Caltech had an observing run on the 200-inch to observe galaxies using the first CCD-based faint-object spectrograph available at Palomar, dubbed the PFUEI (for "Prime Focus Universal Extragalactic Instrument" -- briefly described starting on page 5 of the PDF conference paper found here:  https://authors.libr...ech.edu/101955/ -- the acronym PFUEI was literally pronounced "phooey" : - ), which did not have a video guide camera for remote guiding from the control room nor any auto-guide capability, and therefore my advisor needed an assistant to perform this function manually at the off-axis eyepiece in the prime focus cage, along with a few instrument-configuration changes over the course of each night.  (Obviously I was a more-than-willing eager volunteer for this 3- or 4-night assignment.   The target galaxies being faint, the nights requested were "dark time" -- i.e., new moon or crescent moon phases.  A once-in-a-lifetime experience, to be sure ... even if all I got to see through the guide eyepiece were random stars near the target galaxies ....).

Thanks for adding something to this thread that is really wonderful to sharebow.gif bow.gif



#124 pbealo

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for those Porter links. Just the other day I was wondering where there might be some good examples of his artwork.

My bedroom!

Sorry: I'm in NH. Long commute for you!

Peter

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#125 pbealo

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 12:23 PM

Mounted under the Springfield Telescope drawing, and difficult to see in this image, is copper printing plate of the drawing used to print ATM Book 1. 


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