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A Sad Find


Les Ewan
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HI All,

I was clearing out a old shed(at last)at the bottom of the garden and came across a old neglected friend among the old strimmers , lawnmowers and mummified rats ?.It was my first Newt(the empty tube anyway),its a Astro Systems  6" F8 on a sturdy and rather unusual altazimuth mount. British made ,and when I ordered it from Astro Systems back in 1978 I had to wait several weeks while they constructed it!

The tube is fibre glass, and although well made the mount looks like its made out of odds and ends(most of which was also retrieved).The 8X40 finder which I no longer have was made from a cut off binocular barrel.The focuser was helical that twisted but  most of it is now missing.It was supplied with a rather good 20mm Kellner which I sometimes still use.I saw Halleys comet with this scope back in 1986 I remember I sent the mirrors down to northern England to be re-coated especially for the event.

It was my main instrument until I bought my Siberia 6" f8 Newt on a driven equatorial in 1994(which is safely packed away in its wooden crates in the house).

I cant bring myself to put this old scope on the skip,I still have the mirrors stored somewhere once clean I may reunited them with the tube.

Regards Les.

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It could be quite fun to get a 40 year old newt up and running again.  If you want another helical focuser perhaps you could pick up one for a Flextube Heritage 130P from Astroboot.  It's the sort of thing they sometimes have.  They'd probably have enough bits to make another finder from binocular bits, too.

James

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I am really amazed at the quality and size on telescopes available to us ordinary folk these days compared to the Victorian astronomers. 

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1 minute ago, lenscap said:

I love that one-piece secondary support. Proper engineering!

None of the fiddly bits of tin or wire we use these days.

Oddly, as I mentioned it above, I believe the flextube Heritage 100 also has a single secondary support.

James

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26 minutes ago, lenscap said:

Does a single support give a single diffraction spike?

Depends what you mean by "single", I guess.  There will be a spike either side of a star, but it's all a single optical effect really, which is why a spider with three vanes will produce six apparent spikes, assuming no pair of vanes are aligned with each other.

James

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Yes.  Most Newtonian telescopes seem to have four vanes which theoretically give 8 spikes but if accurately made the four pairs of spikes line up and you see four spikes.

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I think I may have made that telescope, I recognise the non standard focus mount. In the early days of AstroSystems we had GRP tubes made by a local firm. Eventually we were able to acquire seamless extruded aluminium tubing so GRP was abandoned.

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7 hours ago, Alfian said:

Coincidentally there is an article in the new issue (July) of AN on a similar theme. Renovation (upgrade?)  would be good though I suspect it would be very much a labour of love. 

Why I bought a SW 12 inch OTA was because to restore my Dark Star 1980s dob 12 inch, mirrors, focuser, cell - it was cheaper to buy a whole new tube. Before the Chinese boom in optics, restoration was the reality. In a way good, in a way sad the easy option...

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10 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I think I may have made that telescope, I recognise the non standard focus mount. In the early days of AstroSystems we had GRP tubes made by a local firm. Eventually we were able to acquire seamless extruded aluminium tubing so GRP was abandoned.

HI Pete,

If by chance you did make this scope the I apologize for getting it in such a state but I did get about 15 years of enjoyable use out of it.Ive not been up in the loft yet to retrieve the mirrors.

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I regret getting rid of my first scope. It was a cheap 60mm frac but as a kid I thought it was great. Every now and then I look on eBay for one. Has to be exactly the same though.

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I still have my first scope - a Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ MD.  I replaced the motor drive with my own more accurate version and used a webcam to image Saturn, complete with rings.  The image was a bit small but the rings could be clearly seen.  It was a revelation I shall never forget!  Though in spite of a better motor drive I still had problems with tracking.  I think that was about 8 or 9 years ago, before I found SGL.

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On 21/06/2018 at 13:00, JamesF said:

Oddly, as I mentioned it above, I believe the flextube Heritage 100 also has a single secondary support.

James

Mine has three, James, I'm just wondering if you're thinking of the 130p? I've got a feeling that one does?

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57 minutes ago, Gina said:

I still have my first scope - a Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ MD.

Me too Gina, at least I still have all the bits of the 130EQ ota. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the 130EQ, with perhaps not so much love. However I recently decided to do a number on it and if that doesn't work out then it will definitely be going elsewhere.

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Here’s my offering:

A late 1980’s Orion Optics 8” Schmidt Newtonian with a 4” reflector guidescope that’s been in storage for about 30 years. A cautionary note, if you plan on storing a reflector for that long, don’t store it upright somewhere damp. After about 20 years the blob of sealant holding the secondary gave up the ghost sending it clattering onto the primary (good job it is an F4), they are both a bit second hand now. 

This scope was part of the rig that drove me to distraction in the days of film astrophotography, I would love to see what it would be capable of with a CCD on the end of it. Maybe I’ll restore it as a retirement project and make it my widefield scope.

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1 minute ago, Demonperformer said:

You don't see too many 4" reflector guidescopes nowadays.

I had a 4-inch reflector guide-scope from Fullerscopes on my 10-inch Newt in the 80's. A truly dreadful piece if kit: no collimation screws and you achieved focus by sliding the eyepiece in a poorly made eyepiece holder (no focuser as such). It's good to see kit come on some much since then.

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It was the collimating screws on the 8” secondary that were a source of frustration, the whole thing was clamped through a hole in the corrector plate, so adjustment of the 3 smaller screws tended to rotate the flat. You could count on the fingers  of one hand the number of times the scope was properly collimated when I used it?

 Can’t think why I bought a refractor when I got back into this hobby...

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