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Early Tasco (and other) Production Numbers?

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#1 desertrefugee

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:42 PM

Related topics seem to go in waves, so in keeping with that tradition, I thought I'd open up an item for discussion.

The Tasco 10TE is often discussed here, and I don't believe I've yet heard a disparaging word about it. But, it is discussed quite frequently and I guess I'm wondering how many of these Tasco-branded instruments there might be out there. For that matter, I also wonder how many 10TE's were produced relative to the other, frequently discussed, models. Like the other Royal product, the 7TE. If similar Towa-produced numbers are known, as they apply to the 66TE, 9TE, 14TE and others, we'd be a bunch of happy collectors.

So, is there a source of production numbers that anyone has uncovered? Better yet, it sure would be nice to get the Royal Astro numbers directly since they were also branded by Sears and others.

Sort of a long shot, but I am sure I'm not the only one who'd be interested in knowing (even if only approximately) what those populations were and how they stacked up, relative to one another.

Judging by the frequency with which the 10TE pops up here, it would almost seem as though it is at least as common as the 7TE, but I'm not sure conversation on a forum is a good metric for judgment.

#2 stevenk

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:17 AM

Darrell
I have a collection of actual Royal Astro Opt..models
The 76mm 1200, the 60mm 1200 and an 80mm which I have lent to a friend.

Both the 76mm and the 60mm are stowed away as I consider them quite valuable as they are in near mint condition. I will get the numbers for you as soon as I can. I am also interested to see whether the serial number conventions were preserved.

I have actually posted on these 2 before on this forum about 2 years ago I believe. I will try and find that post for you also

All the best

Steve

#3 gts055

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 08:56 PM

Hii Darrell, the serial of my "Royal Astro Optical" 76mm f1200 is 272086. A friend of mine also has a 76mm f1200. The ID tags are identical apart from the different serial numbers. The interesting difference is that his has a much longer optical tube and no draw tube, but his does have a focussing rack maybe 4 times the length on my version. My version has the short optical tube with a long draw tube and a short rack. His mount has no azimuth scale, while mine does. His dec shaft is exposed while mine is not, but the mounts have common features. I see pics both types here very often. I will get the serial of his and try to get some pics. Mark

#4 desertrefugee

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 11:49 PM

Steve and Mark, thanks for the feedback. And Steve, a "collection" of these instruments is to be commended - particularly as they're not re-branded. I don't believe I've seen a 76.2mm f15 without a drawtube. That would be an interesting item to study a bit further. In any event, mine sounds much like the one Steve has and sports serial number 770591.

Thanks again, guys.

#5 stevenk

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:09 AM

Here you go Darrell
By the way it's Mark's model that doesn't have the draw tube.

Here are the serial numbers and links to the photos for each of mine. I will be getting some photos of the 80mm over the weekend

The 76mm 1200
http://www.cloudynig...?Number=1239165
http://www.cloudynig...?Number=1239149
Serial Number 740483

The 60mm 1200
http://www.cloudynig...p?Number=561083
http://www.cloudynig...p?Number=561085
Serial Number 262017

All the best
Steve

#6 rathbaster

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:01 PM

Mine is labeled:

D=76.2mm f=1200mm, No. 971401 Japan

It has a 0.965" drawtube.
I got it with a GEM that had the motor bracket (but no motor) so I've generally assumed its a 15TE from later when they were not on the pillar mount.

Posted Image
Page from a 1968 Tasco catalog for reference

-Joe

#7 DrewBKing

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:09 PM

If we are all sending in our Tasco serial numbers, I'm game.

No. 770442

#8 desertrefugee

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:52 PM

Joe, that 971xxx number is not consistent with the more common 770xxx/740xxx series numbers. This seems to also confirm your suspicion that you've got a 15TE, although I had assumed those were simply 10TE's with an RA drive. Maybe not. And then, there's Mark's Royal 3" f15 which is a 272xxx number.

I suppose it's possible that there's no rhyme or reason at all to the numbering scheme. (However, I tend to think the series numbers do mean something). If there IS a system, it's not yet readily apparent - nor can we infer any production quantities from such widely separated base numbers.

Interesting nonetheless.

#9 strdst

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:30 AM

Hi Darrell,

I've got two more to add to your confusion.

Tasco 10te 76.2 X 1200 (Royal Astro) #070180
Mayflower 76 X 1200 (Royal Astro) #770734

other Keith

#10 gts055

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 07:52 AM

Hii Darrell, the number on my friends long tube Royal Astro Opt 76mm f1200 is 741117. This has no draw tube. Mark

#11 gts055

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:28 AM

Hii Darrell, here is a pic of the ID plate on my short tube Royal Astro Opt with the long draw tube. Regards Mark

Attached Files



#12 desertrefugee

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:49 AM

Thanks for the numbers, guys. Like I said above, there appears to be no real system to the numbering with even a Mayflower fit right in with the Tascos. This could mean that they were serialized at Royal before being branded elsewhere.

Anyway, this little table shows the widely scattered numbers used:
------------------------------------------------
76mm 1200fl Royal Astro Optical
------------------------------------------------
070180....10TE..................Keith S. (US)
770734....Mayflower............Keith S. (US)
770442....10TE..................Drew (US)
770591....10TE..................Darrell (US)
770875....15TE..................Preston (US)
272086....Royal..................Mark (Aust)
741117....Royal...(no drawtube)........(Aust)
971401....15TE?.................Joe (US)

-----------------------------------------
60mm 1200fl Royal Astro
-----------------------------------------
262017....Royal.................Steve (Aust)

#13 Preston Smith

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:02 PM

My 15TE Number is 770875.

But since the only difference between the 10TE and the 15TE is the clock drive I don't believe the model number should have any impact on the production number.

#14 JamesE

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:52 PM

Hey Darrell,

I am going to take a guess that the first numbers are either a regional or company designation number. There seems to be a few distributors for Royal scopes and it is possible that may be one way to track it.

I suspect that if Galakuma was able to chime in with some pics, it might show that locally sold (Japanese) Royal Astro scopes in then 76-80mm range, would have a different numbering system then US or UK scopes. I am not to sure about Oz scopes because I read somewhere they were the first market outside Japan for these scopes.

-------------------------------------------------------
On a similar but different topic, I am still wondering if a 'tell' or 'fingerprint' on scope production is on the small details of a scope, to help determine the manufacture, distributor or assembler of the scope.

For example there seems to be a fairly vast difference with the mounts but all the OTA's seem to be the same. Or, if I had a few different 76mm's I would look at how the OBJ cell was machined or what screws were used where and what thread size was used around the scope. Even the knurled finder screws might have some differences. I would assume that once a few of these little things were discovered then the number system might reveal itself.

Of the Tasco's, I have a complete 10TE, a complete 7TE and a focuser from another 7TE. A couple of examples of differences I have come across is the knurl focus knobs are different from one focuser to another and the rough draw tube is of different length between the three focusers.

My question would be is the glass, one company, the mechanics and machining another company and Royal Astro just the assembly plant. Or is it reversed, is Royal the machining and glass and distributes to other companies.

Anyways, just a few random thoughts.

James

#15 stevenk

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:33 PM

Darrell

I think you may have missed some numbers

The 262017 is the Royal 60mm 1200 - you may have cited it twice.

Also The 76 1200 Royal its number is 740483- also belonging to me

All the best

Steve (Australia)

#16 desertrefugee

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:18 PM

Whoops! These numbers are already dispersed enough without my introduction of error. Adjustments made.

Thanks Steve. (Sorry for the mixup).

#17 stevenk

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:33 AM

Darrell
No Need for apologies at all - this is a great idea and interesting how no one thought of it before. I am keen to see the pattern of numbers

All the best

Steve

#18 desertrefugee

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:26 AM

Here's an updated listing:

------------------------------------------------
76mm 1200fl Royal Astro Optical
------------------------------------------------
070180....10TE..................Keith S. (US)
272086....Royal..................Mark (Aust)
740483....Royal..................Steve(Aust)
741117....Royal..(long OTA)........(Aust), (no drawtube!)
770442....10TE..................Drew (US)
770591....10TE..................Darrell (US)
770734....Mayflower............Keith S. (US)
770875....15TE..................Preston (US)
971401....15TE?.................Joe (US)

-----------------------------------------
60mm 1200fl Royal Astro
-----------------------------------------
262017....Royal.................Steve (Aust)

#19 mare_balticum

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 12:29 PM

Hi!

Her's the serial of my (gone) Tasco 7TE-5 (60/1000 mm): 762118

#20 mikey cee

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:20 AM

Darrell......For what it's worth mt Tasco 20TE has #910806. :smirk:Mike

#21 mikey cee

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:28 AM

Darrell...Also my Royal 76mm has a #970311. :smirk:Mike

#22 BarabinoSr

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:57 PM

My Tasco 10TE Serial Number:#170574

#23 droid

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:14 PM

my 7TE5 is #760652

#24 strdst

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:14 PM

My new 10te is 570327. For another number to record, there is one for sale on Astromart right now. It has serial number 970427 (which is quite close to Mike's #970311). It has square wood legs on the tripod.

#25 strdst

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:28 PM

Here are my two 7te5 serial numbers.

761356

961793 (edited)

I have edited this post. I had used the registration number on the case and not the serial number on the scope. I had put 57500 and realized that was the same number as Beth in Arkansas gave for hers. I had wondered how Preston knew it was a 7te5 by the serial number only! Now I know it wasn't a serial number! It's OK Preston... You still da man!

other Keith






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