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Chicago-style 12.5" Convertible F16 Cassegrain/Newtonian

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#1 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:53 AM

so what do you do when a good telescope buddy calls you up and says "I have a surprise for you!". Of course, you get stuck at work and cant make it over to his house until the next day. What did I miss? A local ATM looking to move had gifted his 12.5" convertible scope to someone who could do good by it, and by fortunate chance my name came up. Though primarily an ATM, I have a fondness for classics, especially ATM scopes and very especially those with a local connection! This scope was made at the Adler Planetarium optical shop by none other than Ken Wolfe, who is renown on Chicago telescope history for his great work. I got into the hobby after being gifted a 12" mirror almost 15 years ago! I also have an 8" f16 cass done in the same shop, so I was(and am) overjoyed at getting the chance to be this scopes next Steward!

Darren Drake already posted his recieving the scope, here is my car loaded up with it for the trip to my house...

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#2 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:59 AM

The mirror is 12.5", but the tube is a massive 16" diameter. While that seems oversized, at least there is room in the interior for adding things like baffles and fans...

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#3 lee14

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:04 AM

Nice one indeed!

 

Lee



#4 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:04 AM

Next up was what to mount it on??? Originally the plan was to build a Berry style refractor mount for something very simple, but leave it to the ATM community to get all excited and want to contribute! Darren and I had spent an afternoon at the shop of JP Astrocraft a few weeks ago and though he made very nice premium large dobs, he had made a huge gem mount for a 10" newt of his own back in the 80's and 90's,  When he heard about the Cass, he generously offered the mount so we could get first (2nd) light asap...

 

Here is my car, once again loaded to the gills, this time with just the mount. Its quite the feeling knowing it might be time to invest in a trailer....

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#5 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:12 AM

I spent yesterday converting the mount to accept the larger tube... New thicker longer straps and a longer heavier counterweight were just what the Dr. ordered! Here it is ready for 2nd light...

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#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:37 AM

What a beast! And the mount does it justice. The telescope, I mean. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark



#7 William Whitaker

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:43 AM

Just too cool! I look forward to seeing the scope set up. (That last image didn't come through)

I never lived in or near Chicago, but when I was 11 I visited there with my Dad who was on a business trip. Outside of Dad's business responsibilities, I got to set the itinerary for the fun stuff. And you can believe the Adler Planetarium was on there!

I had heard there was an ATM optical shop there. But I never got to see it. After all, who listens to an 11 year-old kid???  But I had also found out that they sold Brandon orthoscopic eyepieces there, And in that era when Brandons were highly respected eyepieces, I took my hard-earned paper-route money and bought a 24mm Brandon to use on what was my first telescope, an Edmund 4 1/4" Newtonian.

 

Oh, the excitement was palpable! So I can sense your excitement with your new acquisition (from essentially the same place!) Congratulations! And congratulations on your new level of stewardship!

 

BTW, I still have that 24mm Brandon. I may have been a kid, but I knew how to handle optics. In fact, I began then some of my obsessive traits like always making sure my hands were clean, never touching the glass and keeping cleaning to an absolute minimum. So that eyepiece is still like new. It and a 16mm that I added a couple of years later live in their own small Pelican case along with a Dakin barlow. I only wish the telescope had fared as well.


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#8 Terra Nova

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:52 AM

I love hearing these classic remembrances as much as I do seeing the pictures of classic scopes of that bygone era when I was coming of age as an amateur myself. Thanks for sharing! 


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#9 Russell Smith

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 11:02 AM

It's really great the scope and mount will live on and get star time.
I was born in Chicago and grew up close by in Indiana. I remember field trips to the city and Planitarium as a child.
Congrats
Russ
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#10 Tyson M

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 11:28 AM

Wow amazing scope and suitable mount for sure.  Looking forward to hearing about this one.

 

Thanks for sharing.



#11 starman876

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:25 PM

another wonderful project.  I hope the images when viewing will be wonderful.



#12 LukaszLu

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 04:36 PM

It is unbelievable that there are places in the world where you can find such gems ... Amazing!



#13 starman876

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:15 PM

It is unbelievable that there are places in the world where you can find such gems ... Amazing!

they come along here in the USA very often.  You just have to decide which one is worth the time to fix up.


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