Category Archives: Vintage Classic Telescope

Fecker Celestar 6

Fecker Celestar 6

Fecker Celestar 6

 

This is an ultra rare telescope from the late 50′s. Apparently there were only a few made and a scarce handful are known to have survived. This one makes thirteen as of the last count. I purchased this in November, 2016 from an Ebay seller who said it was from the estate of a long time amateur astronomer in Memphis.

When the scope arrived it appeared to be in great shape. Testing under the night sky showed that it had great optics. There are a few minor specks and flaws on the mirrors but no serious problems.

img_9135-smallThe eyepieces are clearly marked J.W.Fecker and have focal lengths of 32mm,16mm and 8mm. The finder eyepiece is marked 1.00″ and also has the Fecker brand on it. They are all in superb condition, except for the finder eyepiece; the once present cross hairs are no longer there. The eyepiece turret seems to be like new except for a little tarnish. The clock drive works perfectly. The beautiful original Zolatone paint is in good shape over nearly the entire surface.

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There was a lot of rust on many screw heads so I removed and cleaned them. The finish on the legs had perished so I cleaned them and put a coat of polyurethane on them. The metal brackets on the legs were highly rusted. I cleaned and painted them. The leg chains were heavily rusted so I removed the rust. It is a beautiful telescope.

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I love the fact that this scope completely unique and has many fascinating attributes. And it is in almost original condition. I made a video about the scope if you are interested:
Brass Tinsley on Equatorial Mount

Tinsley Equatorial Mount

Recently I acquired a nifty classic Tinsley Telescope mount. It came in pieces I had to assemble. I loved doing that! It also came with a telescope. So, through several iterations I ended up with three Tinsley telescopes. Two had been through a restoration process and one was mostly original. Even though the restorations were very nice, I value the original one the most. I decided to strip the paint from one of the restored scopes and reveal the lovely brass so that it would fit nicely on the equatorial mount. The thing is beautiful, in my eyes. It needs a tripod of its own. Right now it sits on a tripod I made for Unitron 4 inch scopes. Eventually, it will probably have one of its own.

Here are some pictures. There is a video about the mount itself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUK8mLjWqHs

Tinsley Equatorial Mount

Tinsley Equatorial Mount

Brass Finder

Brass Finder

Right Ascension Drive

Right Ascension Drive

Declination Setting Circle

Declination Setting Circle

Right Ascenscion Setting Circle

Right Ascenscion Setting Circle

Three Tinsleys, the middle one is nearly all original

Three Tinsleys, the middle one is nearly all original

 

Questar Telescope

IMG_5227 smallAt last, after many years of wanting a Questar, I finally own one. Now I know what all the hyperbole was about and am guilty of going over the top myself when describing mine. It is simply the best telescope I own on several levels. Don’t get me wrong; a bigger aperture scope will out perform my little Questar. But, as any Questar owner will tell you, it is impossible to get more performance in any other similar sized scope. Pound for pound, it is the most bang for the buck. And it is astounding to hold a small piece of sheer perfection in your hand.

It seems to me that a Questar demands a fine mount. The scope actually performs well on a nice Bogen Tripod and the Questar folks sell an elegant mount (for a lot of money). But, as an amateur machinist, I wanted to make my own. I wanted a suitable tripod and wedge befitting a Questar, so I modified a wonderful little Celestron CG4 tripod and made a carefully crafted pier and wedge to go on top.

You can see my Questar and its mount at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5wmX1QYvZU

Tinsley Telescopes

I recently posted a couple of videos about classic Tinsley telescopes.

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The smaller scope in this picture is a Tinsley 3 inch. Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtQRkQebbKk .  I had to repair the mount as shown in the video but otherwise the scope is all original.

The larger scope in the picture is a Tinsley 4 inch refractor. It is nearly a complete superficial restoration. The basic scope, focuser and objective are all original, as is the wonderful mount. All the paint is new and the finder is a replica I made. Please watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmz_Wg58iVw .

Here are some shots of making the replica finder rings on the 4 inch for those interested in machining.

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Vintage Classic “GOTO Kogaku” brand telescope

I recently posted a video of this beautiful 80mm “GOTO Kogaku” telescope.IMG_3399 small

The reason for the use of “GOTO Kogaku” (rather than simply “Goto” is to disambiguate this from the very common computerized “Go To” Telescopes that proliferate everywhere. There is no computer with this telescope other than the user’s brain. If you are searching for “GOTO” brand telescopes you may wish to try the term “GOTO Kogaku”.  The video is at http://youtu.be/uoQs326-h00 .

Please check it out!