“40 Hours of Terror” is how a Washington Post correspondent described Hurricane Dorian’s impact on the Bahamas this past September. The category 5 storm lashed at the islands with 185-mph (295-km/h) winds (tying a record) and relentlessly drove water and debris over land to cause loss of life and $7-billion in property damage. So thorough was the devastation, that recovery efforts are expected to take many years.
After the storm, survivors sought out any remains of their prior life among the debris. That’s how a Tele Vue-60 scope and accessories arrived at Tele Vue for repair. From the photos below, you can see it still bore the sand and salt that had flooded through the house that day. The owner also tells us the little scope survived a ceiling collapse.
The first step we take when any product is returned to Tele Vue for repair is to assess its optical, mechanical, and cosmetic condition. With a telescope, collimation is first on the list to test. Even with a ceiling falling on it, this little trooper was only slightly out of alignment! A partial cleaning of the objective then revealed that the encrusted sand and salt had not scratched or etched the lens coatings or glass. This was good news indeed as it made the restoration fiscally worthwhile.
Since we design and build our scopes in-house, we had no problem stripping the Tele Vue-60 apart and accessing what else needed to be done.
The scope was completely disassembled into all of its component parts for a thorough cleaning. All the anti-reflection paint needed to be stripped off the interior surfaces, including the diagonal. Due to our use of anodized aluminum, brass, and stainless steel parts, there were only a few screws that needed to be replaced.
For the Tele Vue-60, we met our goal to achieve apochromatic performance in as compact a package as possible. Since we could achieve the desired optical performance using a doublet design, including two more air-to-glass surfaces to create a triplet would have added additional weight in the wrong place, plus assembly and material costs with little performance benefit to the end-user. Designed for ultimate “on-the-go” portability, this 60mm diameter objective, 360mm focal length, f/6, APO refractor has an OTA that closes down to a mere 10″. The maximum field-of-view is 4.3° with 32mm Plössl (11x) or 24mm Panoptic (15x). The 1¼” drawtube features both a quick-focus and helical fine-focus. The OTA comes with a sliding metal dew shield and adjustable balance bar with mounting threads that fit camera tripods. A super-versatile scope, it’s wonderful for terrestrial spotting, astronomy, as a super-finder, and camera lens.
Once clean, the interior parts were re-coated with special, flat-black, anti-reflection paint. This is necessary to maintain high-image contrast when viewing — especially when targeting bright objects like the Moon, planets, and brightest stars.
After the individual parts were restored (or replaced) our scope tech said that it was “just like assembling a new scope.”
The final step was, of course, collimating the scope to our specifications. After cleaning the eyepieces and diagonal mirror, the owner once again had a compact, convenient and beautifully handcrafted “heirloom” quality scope and eyepieces for day or night observing.
While the traumatic memories of that September day will never be erased, we hope the restoration of this scope will allow its owner to get back to creating new memorable views.
Since all Tele Vue telescopes were/are built in-house, we have your scope’s specifications on hand. We still have a fair stock of new and cosmetic spare parts for discontinued models — plus the know-how to restore your damaged or vintage Tele Vue scope. Call us if you need us at 1-845-469-4551 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST.
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