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6" reflector- Does anyone know what this is?

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#1 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 08:20 PM

Saw this on Craigslist. Listed from a person also selling a Skychief III, so may be the same era. Person knows nothing about it other that its a 6" "reflector and it works".

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#2 ngc7319_20

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 08:46 PM

Perhaps a 6" F/4 Richest Field Telescope (RFT) by Cave, Parks, or Telescopics (all companies in southern California) from the 1970's or 1980's.  Could be also home-made from commercial components.


Edited by ngc7319_20, 02 May 2022 - 08:47 PM.

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#3 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 08:59 PM

Perhaps a 6" F/4 Richest Field Telescope (RFT) by Cave, Parks, or Telescopics (all companies in southern California) from the 1970's or 1980's.  Could be also home-made from commercial components.

I thought about that. It does look like an F/4 and don't remember many faster newts from that era. Its possible its newer, but I kind of doubt it judging by the focuser (maybe .965?).  No markings on the scope at all.

 

$50 for the Skychief III (with mount) and this scope, so I'm willing to take a gamble for $25.


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#4 MisterDan

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 09:28 PM

I thought about that. It does look like an F/4 and don't remember many faster newts from that era. Its possible its newer, but I kind of doubt it judging by the focuser (maybe .965?).  No markings on the scope at all.

 

$50 for the Skychief III (with mount) and this scope, so I'm willing to take a gamble for $25.

I wouldn't even call that a "gamble!" lol.gif   Good for you!

 

Best wishes.

Dan


Edited by MisterDan, 03 May 2022 - 08:43 AM.

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#5 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 09:37 PM

I wouldn't even call that a "gamble!" lol.gif   Good for you you!

 

Best wishes.

Dan

Ha ha. Yeah, a hamburger and shake is that much these days..

 

Well, I'm going tomorrow to take a look. I'll put it in writing here, but if I had to guess its from a woman in her 70s+  selling what was her late husband's, maybe after having sat in the garage or closet for a long time.   I've only had email exchanges and there is always something sad when a stargazer passes on, but that aside it could be one of those "get a load of the deal I got!".

 

If not, then I'll enjoy the Skychief and write off my $25..   wink.gif


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#6 jsiska

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 10:15 PM

Wish there were photos from the front with the cap off and from the other side of the tube. I realize the lady said it is a reflector; however, because of the central bulge in the dust cap, I'm wondering to myself if that Is that really a reflector or is it a Schmidt-Newtonian? Meade made a 6" f/4 Schmidt-Newtonian that kind of looked like that back in 2003.


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#7 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 10:51 PM

Here's the info I have so far:

 

1. 6" (with something close to an 8" outside diameter)

2. Has "both mirrors" (I asked to insure the secondary was present)

3. It is being sold by someone who is also selling a SkyChief III (with original mount)

4. There are no markings on the tube and I'm not sure how much the seller knows about telescopes.

5. Both scopes were "picked up at flea markets quite a few year's ago"

 

Probablies:

1. Does not have a 2" focuser (1.25 or .965)

2. Has some sort of home made looking vixen rail

3. Is likely close to F/4

 

Likelies:

1. Guaging by the verbage in the emails I am guessing the seller is retirement age and likely female (Pat could also be Patrick).

2. Its probably a "clean out the closet" sale. Like a yard sale, price it to go away.

 

Could be's:

Home made from commercial pieces, or at least home modified (like the mounting rail).

 

Here is the Skychief being sold by the same seller:

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Edited by Maxtrixbass, 02 May 2022 - 11:35 PM.

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#8 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 05:56 AM

Gonna be coma heaven without a Paracorr.



#9 deSitter

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 06:19 AM

Ha ha. Yeah, a hamburger and shake is that much these days..

 

Well, I'm going tomorrow to take a look. I'll put it in writing here, but if I had to guess its from a woman in her 70s+  selling what was her late husband's, maybe after having sat in the garage or closet for a long time.   I've only had email exchanges and there is always something sad when a stargazer passes on, but that aside it could be one of those "get a load of the deal I got!".

 

If not, then I'll enjoy the Skychief and write off my $25..   wink.gif

Any one component - tube, spider, focuser, mirror cell is worth $25! 

 

-drl


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#10 steve t

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 07:54 AM

The focuser looks like it was made by Nihon Seiko and was sold by University Optics back in the 1970's.

 

Edit: for spelling


Edited by steve t, 03 May 2022 - 08:00 AM.


#11 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 09:29 AM

Last bit of looking around before I head out to see it in person. Found this from a 2016 post here. Looks a lot like it. Feedback from the owner was positive.

 

 

Chicago Optical 150mm 648mmfl f4.25 Newtonian

 

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#12 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 07:53 PM

OK, picked it up and have some more info, but really am not sure what it is.  If I had to guess, its at ATM project from the 70's (?) either from some sort of kit or using commercially produced pieces.

 

It is a newt, probably f/4 ish

**

edit: Got a reponse in the ATM forum on the numbers; 23" (584mm) fl which would make an F/3.84 mirror (no wonder its hard to collimate..). Thought was the other number was a serial number, probably from a commercial maker.

**

Secondary seems kind of large (maybe because its a faster scope?)

 

The tube is fiberglass with gelcoat (I worked in a boat shop as a teenager...). Its a good shape and cleaned up well.

 

The primary seems thick to me and has S174  23" written on the back in black ink. Anyone know what the numbers refer to? The coating is free from obvious blemishes. Haven't pinhole tested it. Secondary is likewise in good condition.

 

The focuser is 1.25" and is really nice in the gearing, but horrible in that it does not have a screw to tighten the eyepiece (not missing, more of a "squeeze" design). I would say its a touch wonky in its mounting (either replaced or hinting at a DIY project)

 

The mirror cell is a combination of wood and metal. The "basket" that holds the mirror is metal, the piece it attaches to is wood.

 

The optics? I'd say very good, but collimating a fast scope is truly a pain and I may still be a touch off, especially with the current focuser. I have no way to quantify, so qualitatively its rather hard to establish a yardstick. With a 18mm eyepiece and barlow giving me a (roughly) estimated 75x the image is rather sharp. There is coma as is to be expected, at least during the day I detect a softening around the outer quarter. Image seems bright and well contrated considering the larger secondary.

 

So I guess maybe I can get some input from ATMers if my DIY project seems correct and if the mirror was likely home ground or was purchased (and of course what the numbers mean).

 

 

Really though, for $25 I have no complaints. I'm going to replace the focuser and find a way to attach a vixen rail... Oh, the rings...I just can't tell. This wasn't run off an assembly line, but if an amateur  created these rings the work was quite good.

 

(The Skychief III was in great shape and worth the trip/price alone. Clean the dust and tune up the mount and it will be good to go.)

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Edited by Maxtrixbass, 03 May 2022 - 09:58 PM.

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#13 ngc7319_20

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 09:56 PM

"S174" is probably a serial production number for whoever made the mirror.  23" is probably the focal length in inches, making it F/3.8.  

 

The metal part of the mirror cell ("basket" as you call it) looks like Telescopics or Cave.

 

Sometimes heavy modern eyepieces slip out of these old slip-in compression-style eyepiece holders.  You can probably pick up a second hand Meade 2"  rack and pinion or similar focuser for under $50.

 

Yes the fast focal ratio requires a large secondary mirror.

 

Great find!


Edited by ngc7319_20, 03 May 2022 - 09:56 PM.

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#14 sdedalus83

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 10:02 PM

If it’s a Cave, the primary will probably be signed on the edge - etched into the glass.

 

The mirror cell and spider both look like very high quality and the tube alone is worth more than the price. I’d certainly like to have one like it for my Cave 6”.


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#15 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 10:04 PM

 

 

"S174" is probably a serial production number for whoever made the mirror.  23" is probably the focal length in inches, making it F/3.8.  

 

The metal part of the mirror cell ("basket" as you call it) looks like Telescopics or Cave.

 

Sometimes heavy modern eyepieces slip out of these old slip-in compression-style eyepiece holders.  You can probably pick up a second hand Meade 2"  rack and pinion or similar focuser for under $50.

 

Yes the fast focal ratio requires a large secondary mirror.

 

Great find!

Dang. Its now leaning back toward a "Richest Field" Cave. I can't believe I may have gotten a Cave for $25. If so, those scopes were sold without rings (I saw a catalog that they were "lap held") which would explain the "aftermarket" fabrication of rings.

 

I am not familiar with Telescopics. Was that a quality producer like Cave also made in the US in the 70s?


Edited by Maxtrixbass, 03 May 2022 - 10:05 PM.


#16 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 10:42 PM

If it’s a Cave, the primary will probably be signed on the edge - etched into the glass.

 

The mirror cell and spider both look like very high quality and the tube alone is worth more than the price. I’d certainly like to have one like it for my Cave 6”

 

Do you have pictures of your Cave 6" you can post here?



#17 clamchip

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Posted 03 May 2022 - 11:11 PM

It sure looks like it might be a Star Instruments mirror:

https://www.cloudyni...of-the-details/

 

Robert


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#18 MisterDan

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 12:03 AM

It sure looks like it might be a Star Instruments mirror:

https://www.cloudyni...of-the-details/

 

Robert

Indeed!  -Good eye, Robert. waytogo.gif

 

Best wishes.

Dan


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#19 Maxtrixbass

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 12:45 AM

It sure looks like it might be a Star Instruments mirror:

https://www.cloudyni...of-the-details/

 

Robert

From your thread:

>RogerRZ, on 03 Apr 2022 - 6:08 PM, said:

    If Star Instruments made regular newt primaries, there sure isn't much evidence of it on the interwebz.

 

>I got a 6" RFT OTA from them in Nov of 1978.

 

So, this OTA I have could be this from a similar era? Their website is rather, umm, high end. Safe to assume the mirror I have is likewise? Would the whole OTA be from SI, or just the mirror?

 

and its likely SI74 (as in Star Instruments 74...not S 174)?


Edited by Maxtrixbass, 04 May 2022 - 01:03 AM.


#20 deSitter

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 03:55 AM

If you've never collimated a fast Newt before, yes, it's extremely demanding. Also, the secondary offset cannot be ignored. Nice scope!

 

-drl



#21 ngc7319_20

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 04:28 AM

Dang. Its now leaning back toward a "Richest Field" Cave. I can't believe I may have gotten a Cave for $25. If so, those scopes were sold without rings (I saw a catalog that they were "lap held") which would explain the "aftermarket" fabrication of rings.

 

I am not familiar with Telescopics. Was that a quality producer like Cave also made in the US in the 70s?

Telescopics sold parts for ATMs as well as Galoc eyepieces and a small line of RFT Newtonians -- though their RFTs had aluminum tubes.  They sold the same cast aluminum mirror cells that Cave used -- but I'm not sure who actually made them.

 

Cave used fiberglass tubes from W R Parks.   These usually had pressed-on cast aluminum end rings, but I don't see them on your scope.

 

These were all companies in Los Angeles area.



#22 CHASLX200

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 05:47 AM

OK, picked it up and have some more info, but really am not sure what it is.  If I had to guess, its at ATM project from the 70's (?) either from some sort of kit or using commercially produced pieces.

 

It is a newt, probably f/4 ish

**

edit: Got a reponse in the ATM forum on the numbers; 23" (584mm) fl which would make an F/3.84 mirror (no wonder its hard to collimate..). Thought was the other number was a serial number, probably from a commercial maker.

**

Secondary seems kind of large (maybe because its a faster scope?)

 

The tube is fiberglass with gelcoat (I worked in a boat shop as a teenager...). Its a good shape and cleaned up well.

 

The primary seems thick to me and has S174  23" written on the back in black ink. Anyone know what the numbers refer to? The coating is free from obvious blemishes. Haven't pinhole tested it. Secondary is likewise in good condition.

 

The focuser is 1.25" and is really nice in the gearing, but horrible in that it does not have a screw to tighten the eyepiece (not missing, more of a "squeeze" design). I would say its a touch wonky in its mounting (either replaced or hinting at a DIY project)

 

The mirror cell is a combination of wood and metal. The "basket" that holds the mirror is metal, the piece it attaches to is wood.

 

The optics? I'd say very good, but collimating a fast scope is truly a pain and I may still be a touch off, especially with the current focuser. I have no way to quantify, so qualitatively its rather hard to establish a yardstick. With a 18mm eyepiece and barlow giving me a (roughly) estimated 75x the image is rather sharp. There is coma as is to be expected, at least during the day I detect a softening around the outer quarter. Image seems bright and well contrated considering the larger secondary.

 

So I guess maybe I can get some input from ATMers if my DIY project seems correct and if the mirror was likely home ground or was purchased (and of course what the numbers mean).

 

 

Really though, for $25 I have no complaints. I'm going to replace the focuser and find a way to attach a vixen rail... Oh, the rings...I just can't tell. This wasn't run off an assembly line, but if an amateur  created these rings the work was quite good.

 

(The Skychief III was in great shape and worth the trip/price alone. Clean the dust and tune up the mount and it will be good to go.)

Same focuser like on my 826. I love it. I can twist the eyepiece in or out for fine focus.



#23 CHASLX200

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 05:50 AM

It sure looks like it might be a Star Instruments mirror:

https://www.cloudyni...of-the-details/

 

Robert

I had a center bolt that held my 6" F/4 mirror in my Star Instruments back in 1978.  Tube is a Parks.



#24 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 08:58 AM

Dang. Its now leaning back toward a "Richest Field" Cave. I can't believe I may have gotten a Cave for $25. If so, those scopes were sold without rings (I saw a catalog that they were "lap held") which would explain the "aftermarket" fabrication of rings.

 

I am not familiar with Telescopics. Was that a quality producer like Cave also made in the US in the 70s?

I’m pretty certain it’s not a Cave. The Caves had a smaller diameter tube with end-rings and a different focuser. It looks like an ATM homage like mine.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 04 May 2022 - 09:19 AM.

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#25 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 09:15 AM

Also Cave mirrors are scribed on the side and typically have a Pancro coatings label on the back. No magic marker.  The scribing includes a name, date, and serial number, as well as the F-ratio and focal length in inches. For instance mine says:

Cave Optical #R672714
F4.5 26 13/16" F.L. 6-2-67

and my name.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 04 May 2022 - 09:17 AM.

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