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Cave 6" f6

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#1 GilATM

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 02:15 AM

This is a craigslist find from several years ago that I have worked on periodically.   It has a very nice mirror that was apparently refigured by Alika Herring.   It may been have made for Ron Ezra, an early engineer at  Meade.  

 

It has some custom electronics - including, I think, a voltage stabilizer that was mounted inside the pier.   

 

I am uncertain what year or exact model it is, my best guess is a Student deluxe A, but it has a motorized tangent arm for the Dec drive that I don't see on any of the catalog descriptions.    It is all polished aluminum.  Any  ideas?

 

I have also attached an image of Jupiter taken this week from this scope.   (The drive rates are very slow - I suspect the scope was used for photography.)   - I just realized this picture is the scope without the tangent arm attached - I will post a more complete pic tomorrow.

 

Gil

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  • 2021-09-06-0743_4-RGB-Jup_lapl4_ap41 r1 r1.jpg

Edited by GilATM, 10 September 2021 - 02:19 AM.

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#2 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 05:53 AM

Looks later 70's made. I have the same focuser on my Meade 10" RG.



#3 firemachine69

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 06:25 AM

That's a mighty nice scope. Should give that counterweight shaft a polish, though. waytogo.gif



#4 jsiska

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 07:41 AM

Wow, very nice.



#5 GilATM

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 02:19 PM

That's a mighty nice scope. Should give that counterweight shaft a polish, though. waytogo.gif

Lol. That picture was older than I thought!    

Today's version:

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#6 GilATM

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 02:32 PM

Looks later 70's made. I have the same focuser on my Meade 10" RG.

I was going to ask about the focuser.  It has a large tube, but then reduces down to 1 1/4" with a permanent looking step down ring.   Confusing.   there a camera connection adapter?

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#7 rfic1

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 05:02 PM

Very nice and Interesting. That looks like a 1” shaft mount. Surprised to see rotating rings. I am not aware Cave produced a 6” lightweight deluxe with rotating rings. The did make a 8” lightweight deluxe that had 1” shafts with rotating rings.

The only 6” that I was aware of that had rotating rings was the Model A Deluxe which had 1.5” shafts. 

When Herring was making mirrors I do not recall those Meade focusers being available  Don’t think  Meade even existed.

Probably a replacement at some point.   


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#8 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 06:27 PM

Very nice and Interesting. That looks like a 1” shaft mount. Surprised to see rotating rings. I am not aware Cave produced a 6” lightweight deluxe with rotating rings. The did make a 8” lightweight deluxe that had 1” shafts with rotating rings.

The only 6” that I was aware of that had rotating rings was the Model A Deluxe which had 1.5” shafts. 

When Herring was making mirrors I do not recall those Meade focusers being available  Don’t think  Meade even existed.

Probably a replacement at some point.   

They were a miss match of everything in the late 70's. All diff types of tubes and mounts combo's.

 

There should be a 2" ring with that focuser for 2" eyepieces. Meade had them focusers in my 1978 Catalog.


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#9 GilATM

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 09:04 PM

Interesting about the focuser - I did find it in an old catalog and yes needs a 2" adapter.  

 

Re: model - I suspect it was a custom request.   The rotating tube mechanism is great - much better than others I have used.   The tangent arm drive is also something I do not see available in any of the 6" models.

 

Gil



#10 icomet

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 09:43 PM

I was going to ask about the focuser.  It has a large tube, but then reduces down to 1 1/4" with a permanent looking step down ring.   Confusing.   there a camera connection adapter?

I have the same one on my 1979 10" f/6


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#11 Kasmos

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 09:48 PM

In case some folks didn't notice, that focuser has a faded Meade sticker on it.


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#12 GilATM

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 09:49 PM

Yes, it says "Meade Japan"
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#13 clamchip

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 10:18 PM

That is one of my favorite focusers, very well made. I have a 1.25" version on my 1957 Cave and when I 

finally found the correct focuser for it I could not bring myself to replace it. And it remains that

way today.

Robert

 

post-50896-0-77242900-1519255506.jpg

 


Edited by clamchip, 10 September 2021 - 10:32 PM.

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#14 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 09:16 AM

That’s a gorgeous Cave you have there!



#15 geovermont

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 10:53 AM

A beautiful and clearly high-functioning scope. Would you mind posting a couple more images of that tangent arm setup? Such a thing might be useful on a future scope I'm thinking of. The idea is of course simplicity itself, but there are many ways to implement it.


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#16 GilATM

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 11:21 AM

The electronics are also a bit confusing.    For instance the hand controller has six buttons.   The bottom four slowly move the RA (larger pale buttons), and the Dec (next row up), but I can not observe any changes from the top two.  Any ideas?

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by GilATM, 11 September 2021 - 11:22 AM.

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#17 GilATM

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 11:24 AM

There is also this strange plug socket in the RA housing.  It is closest to the camera,  above the toggle switch.   Any ideas?

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  • 20210910_112705.jpg

Edited by GilATM, 11 September 2021 - 11:26 AM.


#18 GilATM

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 01:03 PM

A beautiful and clearly high-functioning scope. Would you mind posting a couple more images of that tangent arm setup? Such a thing might be useful on a future scope I'm thinking of. The idea is of course simplicity itself, but there are many ways to implement it.

Ok.

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#19 GilATM

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 01:04 PM

And this one.

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#20 geovermont

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 07:46 PM

Thanks for the closeups!



#21 bjkaras

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 09:40 PM

Lol. That picture was older than I thought!    

Today's version:

It looks like it started life as the Student A Deluxe, but was tricked out later. They weren’t offered with rotating rings, dec drives or  a 2” focuser. It’s a real beauty though.


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#22 tim53

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 11:37 AM

This is a craigslist find from several years ago that I have worked on periodically.   It has a very nice mirror that was apparently refigured by Alika Herring.   It may been have made for Ron Ezra, an early engineer at  Meade.  

 

It has some custom electronics - including, I think, a voltage stabilizer that was mounted inside the pier.   

 

I am uncertain what year or exact model it is, my best guess is a Student deluxe A, but it has a motorized tangent arm for the Dec drive that I don't see on any of the catalog descriptions.    It is all polished aluminum.  Any  ideas?

 

I have also attached an image of Jupiter taken this week from this scope.   (The drive rates are very slow - I suspect the scope was used for photography.)   - I just realized this picture is the scope without the tangent arm attached - I will post a more complete pic tomorrow.

 

Gil

Ron Ezra was one of Cave's employees siphoned off by John Diebel around 1977 to a) start Newtonian production at Meade, and b) put Cave out of business.  

 

I vaguely remember Ron talking about a 6" he'd built for astrophotography while at Cave.  This might be it.  Does it have his name on it anywhere?  I still have a 4.25" f/5 OTA that I bought from Ron, probably in 1978 when I was working at Meade.  Ron made the optics himself for it while at Cave, but it's signed by him (something like "Ron Ezra, Midnight Optical", but I should pull the mirror out and look again).  it had a 2.1" Secondary, and the focuser had been cut and machined to shorten it and allow swapping out a helical drawtube into the base for prime focus photography with a SLR.  I haven't used it in years, since I've gone digital and have bigger and faster scopes for wide field imaging.  But it's a nice scope.


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#23 apfever

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 12:05 PM

The electronics are also a bit confusing.    For instance the hand controller has six buttons.   The bottom four slowly move the RA (larger pale buttons), and the Dec (next row up), but I can not observe any changes from the top two.  Any ideas?

The bottom 4 may be for slewing, while the top 2 are for centering. 

Slewing buttons will move the scope faster, you can actually see the scope move.

Centering buttons can be so slow you won't see the scope move, and you might have to hold them a long time to see the image move very slowly.

 

Any slop in the gears can take the centering buttons a while to reach contact movement. You might have a long pause while the motor takes up gear slack, then the image will suddenly start very slow movement. 

 

Then again, they might be for the cigarette lighter. 


Edited by apfever, 17 September 2021 - 12:06 PM.

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#24 GilATM

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:53 PM

Ron Ezra was one of Cave's employees siphoned off by John Diebel around 1977 to a) start Newtonian production at Meade, and b) put Cave out of business.  

 

I vaguely remember Ron talking about a 6" he'd built for astrophotography while at Cave.  This might be it.  Does it have his name on it anywhere? 

Very interesting.   The mirror, reading around the edge says:  "Cave   35 7/8   Ron  R2082-104N   35 7/8 F.L.   NULL REFIGURED BY ALIKA K HERRING    ANAHEIM  JUNE 23, 1975 "     On the back, in pencil perhaps - it says Ron Ezra.

 

The motor drives are very slow - so I suspected it was used for manual guiding.    The mirror has exceptional contrast  - certainly better than the mirrors I have made.    


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#25 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:54 PM

Very, very nice!. Your reflector has features that I wouldn't have suspected would come with a scope of that era. So it actually has a dec-motor and a sophisticated dual-axis drive comtroller. I love how it came with a much longer tube to act as a light-shield. So when I read the old ads from Sky and Telescope magazine, your scope would definitely have to be the "deluxe model" that you could order.

 

If it really is an Alika Herring mirror, this baby really should perform! I would love to hear how it does on the Moon and the Planets! Good-luck.

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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