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Old School 1955 Cave-Astrola Reflector Telescope

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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 32
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Ted Trieber and I have been bringing back to life a 1955 8" Cave-Astrola.  This gave me an opportunity to see the differences and similarities between a 70 year old telescope and my 2 year old telescope.  As the project proceeds, I will share pictures.  If you're a purist, please understand the refit was not to restore the telescope to original, but more of a resto-mod to make the telescope get another 70 years of useful life.

If anyone else is interested in one of the early pioneers of the hobby check out

Here are some specifics about the scope.   59.5 inch long x 9.5 inch (outer diameter) OTA.  The OTA seemed to be a hardened, cardboard like material. The inside had a very thin fiberglass like coating, maybe 1/32" thick or less.  It had completely delaminated from OTA and easily was scraped out.  When the telescope was put into my hands, the focuser was a very small 1.25" rack/pinion design.  Parts had long ago disappeared, so the focuser was not usable.  The primary and secondary mirrors were in horrible shape, I would say about 30-40% of the reflective surface was missing.  If you held the primary mirror with the reflective surface away from your face, you could watch the birds in the trees.  The OTA had at least a dozen extra holes drilled into the body.

More to follow.


Zach Williams and user reacted
Member Customer, NEFAS
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 7

I've mentioned the 1960 Amateur Astronomy Handbook I have, and the type of equipment sold back then. I've attached a Cave-Astrola ad to this. Keep in mind the difference in construction. ALL of these were made by hand. And the prices are for 1960. A new car was about 1500 back then.