Assembled and operational, a punch list of little items required before it can be called finished…
I still have an 8″ solar filter on-hand, leftover from the Meade LX50 I used to have many years ago. A quick inspection to insure it is in usable condition (take no chances with solar filters) and a fit check… It fits the restored C8 perfectly.
Shall we see what the Sun looks like today?
Over-processed! The seeing was atrocious…
Restoring an Orange Tube Celestron C8
It looked horrible! The paint was coming off everywhere with heavily corroded aluminum underneath. Most of the screw heads were small balls of rust, with hopefully enough remaining to fit a screwdriver to and remove. For a precision optical instrument this small telescope was not very encouraging.
On the bright side the optics looked to be in decent shape. While there was some dirt and mold on the corrector, the primary looked almost perfect. Not bad considering the condition of the metal parts. Maybe, just maybe, this telescope is salvageable.
The telescope in question is an old orange tube Celestron C8. Thousands of these little telescopes were manufactured in the 70’s and 80’s. It was the C8 that set the standard for amateur telescopes at the time. The C8 is still in production forty years later, but the tubes are no longer painted orange as they were originally. Compact, yet offering decent performance, these telescopes were well regarded and hold a special place in the memories of many amateur astronomers. I have seen these little orange telescopes at dozens of star parties, even bolted to the side of huge professional telescopes for use as finders.