New Telescope For the TAA

Back in April I purchased a used 12.5″  f/6 Newtonian telescope for the TAA. It was built by the Cave Optical Co. in 1964. Cave was the premiere telescope maker in the US from 1950-1980. Their telescopes were the benchmark for all Newtonian and Cassegrain Telescopes at that time. They are still in use at many universities, colleges and observatories today. Amateur astronomers dreamed of owning one of these scopes. Back then they cost almost as much as a car.

The scope I purchased had been well cared for by its previous three owners. I suspect that it sat mostly in the garage because of its size and weight . The counter weight alone is 100 lbs. The scope has all of its parts and the drive motors work perfectly . It has two motor drives, one for the declination and a slow motion on the right ascension. It has large 6″ machined setting circles on each shaft. This telescope was state of the art back then and is still today. The only difference between telescope then and today is that today the scope would have digital setting circles and would be connected to a computer. The same scope is still being made by Parks Optical today (Parks used to make the mounts for Cave). Look at the price. http://www.parksoptical.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_115&products_id=461&pname=12.5+f%2F5+Observatory+System

I have just spent the last two weeks dismantling the mount, cleaning and buffing all of its many parts. Here are some before and after pictures. We hope to install the scope in the dome of the Arthur Pursell Observatory this week. I think that it is beautiful and can’t wait to use it.

First light coming soon!

Astrola brand before

Astrola brand before

After Cleaning

After Cleaning

Right side before

Right side before

Right side after

Right side after

Left side before

Left side before

Left side after

Left side after

Front before

Front before

Front after

Front after

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Author


Greg Eckes

President

I am a retired music teacher. I make custom violins and violas. I play violin in the Tulare County Symphony and fiddle in the Tule River Bluegrass Band. I like camping and astronomy.

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