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digital_davem

Prinz 660 3" refractor finder mounting bracket

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My recently acquired classic prinz 660 seems to have lost its finder at some point. Does anyone no whether the finder shoe is a propriatary or standard fit?  It is kind of like a giant oversized flash hot shoe but tapered rather than straight.  I need to get some kind of finder but I have no idea what the fitting is called or whether there is anything available for it these days.

Thanks

Regards

Dave

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Probably the easiest way to overcome the problem would be to unscrew the existing finder shoe and fit a Skywatcher finder shoe. Then I'd fit a 6X30 Skywatcher finder and you'll be up and running.

Mike :-)

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You have a lovely scope there! Keep an eye out on ebay for an original bracket if you can. If not a Tal would be a nice substitute although not exactly common either. Failing that, the Skywatcher wil do the job perfectly well.

You'll probably have to drill a couple of new holes for either the Tal or SW shoes, and the shoe itself may need some work to match the different curvature of the tube.

Edited by Roy Challen
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You have a lovely scope there! Keep an eye out on ebay for an original bracket if you can. If not a Tal would be a nice substitute although not exactly common either. Failing that, the Skywatcher wil do the job perfectly well.

You'll probably have to drill a couple of new holes for either the Tal or SW shoes, and the shoe itself may need some work to match the different curvature of the tube.

Hmmm... I suppose that might work but I don't really fancy drilling it. I wonder whether there is something that can mount into a standard 1/4" whitworth tripod socket - I could get a third tube ring with a tripod foot.

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If you are handy with tools you could shape the Tal finder bracket to fit the Prinz shoe, ie cut a taper to fit, then add a couple of small securing screws. The reason I mention Tal finders is that they do pop up every now and again, and are of very good quality. The bracket itself is good too.

A third tube ring would work too, but I think it would spoil the clean look of this scope. But I suppose it could be removed at some point in the future when you find a better solution.

Edited by Roy Challen
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Probably the easiest way to overcome the problem would be to unscrew the existing finder shoe and fit a Skywatcher finder shoe. Then I'd fit a 6X30 Skywatcher finder and you'll be up and running.

Mike :-)

I have obtained a lightweight Celestron Starfinder Pro red dot bullseye finder. It is disappointing cheap and plasticky which seems out of place on such a scope but if it does the job... It shipped with for different (plastic) mounting plates, none of which seem to be remotely suitable. I have also got a skywatcher plate which is reasuringly solid metal. It has two mounting holes and two bolts. Unfortunately, the original mounting plate is secured only by a single tiny (3mm long) almost grub screw, way smaller than the SW plate bolts. So if I'm to fix the SW plate to the original hole, I'll to find a tiny skinny screw 4x longer than the original and fit it with a big washer or something so it doesn't fall straight through the hole in the SW plate.  It all seems a bit impractical. 

I'm now considering other options - like sticking the SW plate on with hot melt glue or a sticky pad maybe. Alternative, I wonder if it might be easier to attach a plate to the focuser unit instead.

Does anyone know whether the stock mounting shoe used to be a common design or is it unique to this telescope?

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I like what Roy says.

The Tal finder is very good,and it has that 'Retro' look to it that I feel would fit in with your classic Scope.

 Good luck with your re-furb. :smiley:

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I like what Roy says.

The Tal finder is very good,and it has that 'Retro' look to it that I feel would fit in with your classic Scope.

 Good luck with your re-furb. :smiley:

Forget EVERYTHING I have angst over! I just don't have an innate Mr Fixit mindset. I have by pure chance found a solution.

In retrospect it is perfectly obvious but I just don't have the right kind of imagination or resourcefulness. Still, dumb luck can come to you aid sometimes. 

I have a bag of junk - old camera bits I've collected but never had a use for, that I have been encouraged to throw away as we don't have space for it. Being congenitally lazy, I have collected the bag of junk but just left it lying around waiting to be taken to the dump. In that bag is an old zoom slide copier gadget. It uses a rotatable T mount that has two thumb set screws to lock in place. And as it happens, those set screws are exactly the right thread, the right length and the thumbscrew is a nice big head on the end that is exactly the right size for the countersunk hole in the Skywatcher plate... I needed to use needle nose pliers to tighten it in place as there is no slot for a screwdriver. It works perfectly. The finder is now installed and aligned. Yay!  Thankfully, no drilling required and I can keep the original plate and screw safe for posterity.   I doubt that single screw would be strong enough for a heavy optical finder but the Skypointer pro reticle finder only weighs about 100g - fragile but light.

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Thanks very much for everyone's suggestions and tips. Got there in the end. :laugh:

I now have a working classic 3" long-focal length f/16 achromat refractor converted to the modern 1.25" barrel standard, tube rings, mounting bar, two new eye pieces, a diagonal and a modern finder for £166 in total. And as a bonus I still have all the original 0.965" bits plus some parts of the original EQ mount and a lovely wooden coffin. The only money I wasted was £20 on the unnecessary 0.956 to 1.25 adapter which the new visual back made redundant. Not too bad, I think.

I wonder how much a new one of these would cost if they were still made today. 

The main remaining problem being the camera tripod and the pan and tilt head. It's strong gear for photography but marginal for this long scope.  I guess maybe a Skytee or at least an AZ4-2 is on the wish list. Time to save some pennies...

Thanks again

Dave

ps

And learn how to use it, of course!

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Good result. I'd keep looking for a finder though to bring the scope back to original state.

From what I can find hunting for info on the internet, the 660 originally shipped with a 6x30 straight through. I suppose there is a slight chance that one of those might be turned up somewhere.

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Thanks very much for everyone's suggestions and tips. Got there in the end. :laugh:

I now have a working classic 3" long-focal length f/16 achromat refractor converted to the modern 1.25" barrel standard, tube rings, mounting bar, two new eye pieces, a diagonal and a modern finder for £166 in total. And as a bonus I still have all the original 0.965" bits plus some parts of the original EQ mount and a lovely wooden coffin. The only money I wasted was £20 on the unnecessary 0.956 to 1.25 adapter which the new visual back made redundant. Not too bad, I think.

I wonder how much a new one of these would cost if they were still made today. 

The main remaining problem being the camera tripod and the pan and tilt head. It's strong gear for photography but marginal for this long scope.  I guess maybe a Skytee or at least an AZ4-2 is on the wish list. Time to save some pennies...

Thanks again

Dave

ps

And learn how to use it, of course!

Forgot to mention the best bit - the lens cap made from the tin lid of a finnish licorice container :grin:

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