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1950 George Carrol 8" F20 Refractor and Mount

Discussion in 'Vintage Telescopes & Equipment' started by clintwhitman, Aug 31, 2015.

1950 George Carrol 8" F20 Refractor and Mount

Started by clintwhitman on Aug 31, 2015 at 3:34 AM

18 Replies 3642 Views 3 Likes

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  1. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    As some of you might know I have found a historically significant large refractor. The telescope is complete and was rescued back in the 1980s from a decrepit observatory by John Ponds. I only have a couple photos John gave me of the original location and scope condition. The telescope had been vandalized in its observatory by kids and the concrete pier was damaged and the mount / scope fell over against the dome. This was a restitution started in the 1980s by John and never really finished. John was busy building his 10 Zeiss. I will be documenting the restoration completion of this rare old True Classic refractor as time / health permits. There have been some Emails and conversations with the Stony Ridge Observatory SRO and they are really interested in my progress. One day this incredible 8" F20 will be up on Mnt Pinos for CSPAMP either at 10 or 11????
    So I have some requests and questions.
    Any one have any George Carroll Equipment Photos? The scope is still on OG condition for restoration to original condition but any photos would be helpful! Yes I have the 5" F4 Finder!!
    Will a 8" F20 be an APO?
    (aveman
    1950s-Carroll-8-F20-otim.jpg
     
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  2. PeterT

    PeterT Active Member

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    Wow, I'll be watching this thread for sure ! Very interesting. :D
     
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  3. Crow Haven

    Crow Haven Well-Known Member

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    +1 What a great project, I'll be keeping tabs on this too.:D
     
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  4. LewC

    LewC Well-Known Member

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    CARROLL, GEORGE & 4-in.jpg
    I think I took a pic of that mount when it was in Pons' garage. I met George Carroll (1902-1987) a number of times, the last time up at the Riverside Telescope Maker's Conference (RTMC) in Big Bear, California. Let me search around in my backup drive for a picture of him to post here. (I always like pictures - don't you?)

    Ah yes, I found one. It's a picture of George in front of one of his 4-inch refractors at the RTMC. I think this particular one belonged to the Los Angeles Astronomcial Society (LAAS). If so, it was originally built for Les Mawhinney, who was president of the LAAS in 1952. On behalf of the LAAS, Mike Simmons and I went over to Les' house to take possession of it after he donated it to the club in the late 1970s. I have a picture taken on that occasion somewhere...
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
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  5. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    Awesome Lewis, Very good photo of GC, I agree a picture in a post says a thousand words.
     
  6. Derek Wong

    Derek Wong Member

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    Hi Clint:

    It is nice to see you here! Are you saying that Stony Ridge Observatory may be interested in permanently mounting the 8"? That would be amazing! What about John's 10" Zeiss? We are trying to keep that in LA but the main holdup is finding somewhere to put it.

    As far as an 8" f/20, it will not be an apo. However, it will have the same chromatic aberration as a 4" f/10, with very low spherochromatism. If it has a good figure it should be an outstanding scope. Putting a Chromacor on this scope or using filters on it will be even better but it should look quite spectacular as is.

    Derek
     
  7. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    You to Derek, It was really nice to have you and your Zeiss at this years CSPAMP. Sorry about the crowd but every other year I try to schedule so the viewing public can get to look at our old telescopes. This year the Perseid's brought out a big crowd!
    I don't know what is driving the SROs interests in the big refractor other than their founder was the builder. They asked me to keep them posted on my progress. To date I have not seen any other telescopes like the 8" from Mr. Carrol.
     
  8. Rob Wiederrich

    Rob Wiederrich Member

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    Outstanding scope Clint...are you performing the restoration yourself? What will be the final disposition of the instrument?

    Rob
     
  9. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    Well Rob it is good to see you Bro, Its hard to find guys with the same disease I have,,, LOL
    Yes I will be restoring the Two piece OTA which was damaged, This is a riveted (air frame style) aluminum tube Mr. Carroll built. He was a airframe pioneer in Texas. Also I will be working on the aesthetics of the mount. Mechanically the old gal is in incredible shape and seems like John Ponds took care of most issues. The drive system George designed is unlike any other I have ever seen. Ponds said it was the "perfect design" astronomical drive. I have not used it yet so we will see? The disposition will fall into place probably prior to me completing it. My first task is to get her done and setup on Mount Pinos!!! That will be something to see, I bet George would get a big kick out of it.
    (aveman
    IMG_20131213_093819_368sm.jpg
     
  10. Rob Wiederrich

    Rob Wiederrich Member

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    Please if you will...can you describe this mount...(any good images?) I'm truly interested in Georges design...and if John Ponds says it is the *Perfect design*...wellll.....I want to know what he knows. I am jealous...I love restoring big refractors. Please keep me posted if you can and I surely will be following this thread with great anticipation.

    Rob (Like minded cave dweller)
     
  11. Jim Egstad

    Jim Egstad New Member

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    The presence of Mr. Whitman on this site is a big reason I signed up here.

    The man knows how to tell a story.

    He needs an audience though.....so tell someone about this place!

    I'm looking forward to your work on this telescope, Sir!
     
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  12. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    Jim, Now that you are lurking around here, All is well. Thanks for the Kudos!
    Rob ditto to you, i will be Getting into the mount on this project soon, taking photos (so I can remember how to re assemble LOL) It has a weird looking system that is not like any I have seen before. John said because of its design there is zero stress or weight on the drive gears once its loaded with the 160" 9" OTA LOL Talk about a yard cannon!
     
  13. jjbird

    jjbird New Member

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    Great to join you here, Clint! I would not want to miss any details of this project.

    Julio
     
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  14. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    Really Great to see you Julio, I have been performing lately. I play Guitar, mandolin and sing up a storm. So I have been doing allot of that. But was out in the far barn looking at the mount again this morning. I will get better and get to it. Anyway Astronomy Connect is a really nice site and very laid back place for me to recover from the beating I received. CSPAMP 10 Will happen!! Again really good to see you on AC and hope to see some of your scopes pop up on here.
    (aveman
     
  15. Sky

    Sky New Member

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    Beautiful scope! Looking forward to seeing it restored.
     
  16. sbrewster

    sbrewster New Member

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    Hi, this is Steve Brewster from Stony Ridge Observatory. As Historian for SRO, my interest (and SRO's) is for gathering information about George Carroll and his many telescopes. We do not intend to acquire this 8-inch f/20 Carroll scope for the observatory. It would require a building effort that we could not afford at this time, not to mention the efforts in getting the permits needed from the USFS to build a new dome. And, mounting it on our 30-inch, would probably cause too much flexture on the tube and fork mount. There is a 6-inch f/15 and a 5-inch f/5 already mounted on the tube. All were made by George Carroll.

    Clint's 8-inch is probably the largest Carroll refractor in existence. However, there may be a 10-inch objective out there used for solar work. I'll see what I can dig up.

    As to the quality of Carroll mounts... from the hands of genius. There's a photo of a George Carroll mount that Alan McClure used for some of his excellent comet photos on the SRO web page at http://stony-ridge.org/AlanMcClure.html

    See also, http://stony-ridge.org/telescopegallery.html

    Looking forward to seeing the 8-inch up and viewing.

    --Steve
     
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  17. Bomber Bob

    Bomber Bob Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links. That Gallery has me holding up my jaw with my free hand! Incredible instruments!!
     
  18. clintwhitman

    clintwhitman Well-Known Member

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    Steve I am relived your not keen on acquiring the Carroll as I am not ready to give her up at this time,,, LOL.. Cant get over the Aircraft style riveting on the OTA and engineering of the drive.
     
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  19. sbrewster

    sbrewster New Member

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    Not to worry clint, information is all I want. Which brings up a few questions:

    1. Is there a "Carroll" or "Carroll Asronomical Instruments" label on the scope or mount?
    2. Can you say from whom you received the scope, or any other provenance?
    3. I seem to remember that you also have a finder scope that was a part of the original 30-inch. Might this make a good addition to mounting on your 8-inch?
    4. At first, the "aircraft style riveting" was something I'd never seen on a Carroll refractor telescope before. But in my research file of pictures there is a 10-inch Carroll reflector that has an aluminum tube with the same rivet pattern as your 8-inch. That picture may have originated on CloudyNights. The 10-inch has a "Carroll Astronomical Instruments" label on the OTA saying made by George Carroll 1955, Optics by Cave.
    5. As to any 10-inch Carroll objectives out there, I spoke to Sara Martin, a current member of SRO and a former colleague of George Carroll back in the days of their work at Lockheed California Company. She said that George built at least two solar spar telescopes for Lockheed with 10-inch objectives. She did not know whether they are currently in use, or where.

    --Steve
    http://stony-ridge.org
     

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