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Need help restoring CAVE-Astrola Model B

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#1 bstone

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 12:24 AM

Hi,

  my wife and I have just inherited her dad's CAVE Model B, F7.   Her dad bought it new in the late '50's or early '60's and didn't use it more than a few times.  It's in good shape but it needs cleaning up.   I can see a few numbers on the back of the mirror but the serial number is behind the mirror mount so we aren't sure exactly when the mirror was made.   We will add the mirror to the registry as soon as we can see all the information.   We have to round up a few more parts from his estate but I think everything is there.    

  I'm not an amateur astronomer (yet) but have contacted some local people that are and they seem pretty jazzed to help out.   I'm pretty good with restoring old bikes etc. so I'm mostly looking for help with "best practices" and how to avoid pitfalls that an inexperienced restorer might face.   I will post pictures as we go.  

 

THANKS!

   BradCAVE Astrola.jpg.png

 

 


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#2 John Higbee

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 03:13 AM

Congratulations!  You'll find a lot of Cave enthusiasts here, and all the advice you could want on this topic.  

 

What's the main mirror diameter?  Please post more pictures as you take them!

 

Recommend you take a look at the Cave-Astrola.com website...sort of an one stop shop on Cave history, products, and restorations...

 

www.cave-astrola.com

 

John 


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#3 starman876

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 08:37 AM

Great scope. Restore it and enjoy.  You will get lots of advice from the people in this forum.


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#4 bstone

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 11:03 AM

Thanks guys!  The mirror is 8".   I'm trying to add some pics here but the paperclip icon isn't available.   What's the trick?  
 
My first question is how to simply remove and clean the mirrors. I've read the thread here https://skyandtelesc...or-your-optics/ and it makes sense, but I thought I would bounce the procedure off you first.   My plan is to first mark the orientation of the mirror mount feet in the tube, then simply back out the bolts on the outside of the tube, rotate the mount so the feet clear the rivets holding the end trim on the tube and pull out the entire assembly.   If that's right, would it be the same procedure for the secondary mirror?  There is so much dust and debris in here!   It was wrapped in blankets and stored in a commercial storage locker since 1976!  

 

 

more soon,

   Brad 



#5 mdowns

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 11:26 AM

Brad,are you using the 'More reply Options' to the right of the green post tab? If you use that you will get a more involved reply window that has a ' choose file and add attachment' button where you can upload pics.If you need help just pm me.      Michael


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#6 bstone

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 12:28 PM

Great THANKS.   Here are some additional pics......  Note the price tag still on the aiming scope!   There is a notation of-   F/7   16     8     -visible on the back of the mirror.    Another portion of the mirror reads-   56 "  foc    -before more is obscured by the mount again.   

 

The wiring looks a little shaky.   There is a huge glob of solder on one portion, which was wrapped in electrical tape when found.   I'll replace the cord of course.   I've seen where people have used a grounded cord, adding the ground to motor mount.  That sounds like the way to go unless someone has run into problems doing that.....   the motor and gearing look really clean.   

 

I'll start the disassembly process today.  

 

thanks,

    Brad 

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#7 dhferguson

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 01:24 PM

Hello Brad,

 

The wiring within the (RA) motor enclosure is ancient and ungrounded. It needs to be replaced for your safety. Ground the wiring to the case.

 

Also, on the Dec axis (the one that makes a "tee" with the axis on which the motor enclosure is mounted), that piece of metal sticking out is part of a tangent arm assembly. Did the mount come with another motor and/or additional hardware that wasn't installed on the mount? If so, there might also be a small hand controller originally wired to the mount with pushbuttons to control the mount (these are called slow motion controls).

 

Best,

 

Don


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#8 ccwemyss

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 01:45 PM

I see the casting lugs with holes for the tangent screw on the end of the cradle, but not the screw or the rider. That would be a threaded rod and piece that it goes through, which bolts onto the "piece of metal sticking out." (The tangent arm.) Then there would either be knobs for the ends of  the threaded rod, or a motor that connects to it. So when the rod is turned, the rider moves along on it, causing the tangent arm to pivot and slowly move the Dec axis. The assembly that bolts the rider to the target arm is meant to slide in the slot on the end of the tangent arm, so the straight-line motion of the rider on the threads is adapted to the movement arc of the pivoting arm. 

 

Chip W. 


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#9 bstone

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 02:29 PM

Thanks!  This makes sense.   It looks like there is evidence of something being attached to the arm at some point (the paint looks disturbed).   I also grabbed the controller shown in the attached pic.   I know there are some additional pieces of the scope (including the focuser and objectives) stored away with a relative.  We will be traveling to retrieve these items in the next few weeks so I'll definitely be on the lookout for an additional motor and/or jackscrew-like assembly.   If anyone has a pic of the assembly I can send it along to my sister-in-law.   It may not have been obvious to her that it went with the scope.   

 

many thanks to all! 

   Brad  

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#10 bstone

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 07:51 PM

Here are pics of the mirror.   Writing on the back says 56" focal length  16.8 sph or sp lambda....    

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#11 macdonjh

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 12:20 PM

bstone,

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights.  Cave scopes are really cool and look handsome and VERY classic when restored.  There are lots of restoration threads here.  You have a good project.

 

For that mirror, I suggest running water gently over it for a while to loosen that crud and to see how much of it will wash off.  There are mirror cleaning threads here, too.  You might be surprised to find you don't need to recoat it.  However, if it does need recoating, cleaning it first is nearly free and then you'll know for sure you're spending your money wisely.

 

Good luck.


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#12 icomet

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 12:58 PM

Aaah. A speckled paint job. Neat, and probably an older scope.

 

Clear Skies.


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