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Early Tasco (and other) Production Numbers?

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#151 mikey cee

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

The after pic. :grin: Mike

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#152 dawsonian2000

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

Nice "before & after" work, Mikey! Here are the serial numbers for my two Tasco 7te-5's. They are 760838 and 962285. From the looks of them, I will consider these to be "before" images, for I have a good bit of cleaning and restoring to do on them as well. :smirk:

Thanks, Mel

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#153 dawsonian2000

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

I also have a Sears Model 6339-A with Royal Astro optics. The serial number for it is 870654.

Hey Darrel! Hook us up with an up-to-date list, my good man! :jump: BTW - I copied the previous list you posted and sorted it by serial number. I was quite surprised how close some of the numbers were to one another!


Thanks, Mel

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#154 wdretired

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

I have one that's not on the list.
Wayne
Tasco
76.2X1200
No. 970407

#155 wdretired

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

I have one that's not listed.

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#156 John0z

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:13 AM

I have one similar to above - 970446. I bought it from a colleague who was returning to the US from Australia. I believe he bought it secondhand.

-John from Sydney, Australia

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#157 SteveNH

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

Here is a shot of my 20TE's label for SteveNH and other newbies just coming aboard. This was obviously before the major facelift. The rest of you can just close your eyes. :p Mike

:bow:

Hey Mike, I almost missed this! I like the way it makes those familiar focusing knobs and the label look so tiny.

Darrell, here is my latest acquisition for your list, a Royal Astro made Tasco 7TE-5. It's in need of much restoration, possibly in a later post. I wanted it mainly for the cool mount, but now can't wait to compare its optics to my R-61D f/20 (already in your list). Cleaning first. Serial no. 862713.

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#158 CharlieB

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

Sans & Streiffe 618 76/1200 SN#970322

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#159 CharlieB

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:29 PM

Here's a scope I had put away to work on later and had forgotten - too many scopes, I guess. It's identical to my Astro S-5 and other early 7T scopes. Space Scope from Research Optical Company. Probably from late 50's to early 60's. SN 019244.

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#160 madeline

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:27 PM

Charlie, do you have any more pics of this scope?

#161 CharlieB

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:25 PM

I can take some more tomorrow. Anything in particular you'd like to see?

#162 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:05 AM

Charlie, do you have any more pics of this scope?


Here are some. I'm working on the scope now, so there are a few missing things.

First: side of focuser. I have a 1.25" adapter in right now.

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#163 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:06 AM

Whole tube. The dew shield is not original - it's being repainted as is the finder.

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#164 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

Objective. It's fogged up because I store my scope in an unheated shed. This lens has some significant astigmatism, so I have been using a spare Carton 60/910.

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#165 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

Mount. The legs are being refinished.

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#166 madeline

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Thanks Charlie, I was just wanting to compare it to my 7T.

#167 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

It's almost identical to your scope, right down to the tripod legs. The earliest mounts do not rotate in azimuth, which makes it a little tougher to polar align.

#168 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

Has anyone else noticed that there are no Tascos (or other rebranded RAs) on this list that that have serial numbers beginning with 3 or 4? There are two that begin with 04, bit that's it. I can't imagine no scopes were made in those years, so perhaps the fist number does not represent the year of manufacture. I've been trying to gather as many photos of these scope along with their mounts in an effort to get some kind of timeline on these scopes. Anyone have any insight into the missing 3s & 4s?

#169 Stargoat

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

Has anyone else noticed that there are no Tascos (or other rebranded RAs) on this list that that have serial numbers beginning with 3 or 4? There are two that begin with 04, bit that's it. I can't imagine no scopes were made in those years, so perhaps the fist number does not represent the year of manufacture. I've been trying to gather as many photos of these scope along with their mounts in an effort to get some kind of timeline on these scopes. Anyone have any insight into the missing 3s & 4s?


Hi Charlie,

I have been working on compiling a database of every Royal Astro scope 60mm and 76mm along with every Tasco that I've come across here on CN, over on Amart, eBay, CL for roughly the past year. I like many of us who have been trying to see if there is a correlation between the serial numbers and the vintage of the scope. Have several hundred scopes in my data base along with photos when possible of every detail of the scopes down to the inspection tags/stickers to the mounts, OTA's, storage boxes or gift boxes...the list is endless of what I've been trying to compile on every scope.

I've bugged a lot of you fellow CN members in private many times or in this discussion group and also the folks on eBay, CL etc for extra photos and information including history if known on the scopes they have advertised for sale.

Also I've spent countless hours going thru all the archives here on CN researching these scopes. I've been trying to take all the years of research from the folks here on CN including John Siple, James Siska, Gregg aka greju, CN aka Madeline among many others and build upon it to be able to take it to the next level. I've been trying to buy or get copies of all the Tasco sales literature I can find...but not much seems to come up for sale...have only come across a couple pieces the past year. John Siple had from what I've seen the best collection of Tasco literature, but still there are many years without any catalogs etc. The instruction booklets or manuals are another good source of documentaion as well. But most of the late 50 and early 60 scopes no longer have any paperwork with them.

Along with the serial numbers on the higher end models, the wood cases had REG NO's which correspond to the first year of production of that particular model or version. The lower end scopes did not have serial numbers, but Tasco started using REG NO's on the name tags of these scopes as well. According to the Tasco 1963 Sales Catalog, the first mention by Tasco of using the REG NO found on the scopes was used to idently which version of the model you had for warranty and or to get replacement parts etc.

What I'm coming across is that in the late 50's to mid 60's, Tasco was constantly revising the models, some even changed every year in some cases. All I can say what a mess it must have been trying to keep track of all of this at Tasco.

For those of you have some of the earlier instruction booklets or fold out instructions, you will notice that in many cases the literature/pictures/illustrations are several years behind the version of the scope you have. Even the photos in the catalogs or sales brochures are in many cases the previous year or years models.

With all the said, I also have not stumbled across any Royal scope that used the 3 or 4 digit for the beginning of a serial number. What I can tell you is that in Tasco's case, scopes that begin with serial no 2 I believe are the 1962 models. And the serial no 2 ones that have cases with the REG NO 3XXXX be it a 7TE or 10TE scope, to be the 1963 and 1964 models which in the case of the 7TE is actually the 7TE-2 model.

Serial no 5 scopes just so happen to have the wood boxes with REG NO's 5XXXXX, thus these are the beginning of the 1965 models which correspond to the 7TE-5, 10/15TE-5 scopes. And 1965 was a big change over year as not all the 10TE/15TE-5 scopes had styrofoam inserts. Also it appears the instruction booklets for the early 1965 models even though they were the XX-5 version did not yet have the 1966 instruction booklets. But had possibly a one year only booklet style like the 7TE-2, 9TE-2 or 12TE-2 models. I've come across only one 7TE-5 REG NO 57300 (unknown serial no) that has this white/black 7TE-2 style booklet, but calls the model on the cover the 7TE-5.

In going over all the serial numbers in the case of Tasco, there seems to be a correlation between the serial number and REG NO's that correspond to the year of production. I don't know when Tasco's model year started, be it like the car industry used to be. For example, in the fall of 1964, the 1965 models hit the showroom before Xmas. That's what might make sense from a marketing approach to me, but only an educated guess.

Guess I've said enough for now :grin:.

Stephen

#170 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

I have been accumulating the same information. I have been linking photos, serial numbers, owners, model, objective size & f/l into a spreadsheet. I'm pretty sure that nailing down anything is going to be a monumental exercise. We have so few examples (relatively speaking) of some of these scopes and even then, there are differences between what we might think are the same scope.

For example, every photo of the RA S5 type of scope (Tasco 7T) has a mount base that cannot be rotated in azimuth. I see them with the rotating azimuth bases starting with the 7TEs.

If you look at the photos of my S5 and the two other 5-digit serially numbered 60/910 scopes belonging to Dave & Madeline, the badges are glued on the focuser (later models are screwed on). Look at the two Space Scope 60/910 scopes (serial # 016985 & 019244) and you'll notice the badges are also glued on, but there is a raised area on the casting for the badges to be glued to.

There are a number of these minor differences that could possibly give clues to dating, but it will take close examination of many scopes, mounts & boxes to see any patterns emerge. My Astro S5 dates, according to its former owner, John Siple, from 1958. That date seems to have no correlation to the serial number.

#171 mikey cee

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:32 PM

This project has really become a can of worms. I don't know if we'll ever figger it out. :crazy: I just can't help but believe there aren't individuals in Japan working on this same can of worms too. To dang bad we can't have some Japanese friends here on CN but they are almost entirely nonexistant. Maybe it's a language barrier. :shrug: Who knows. Funny how we have compadres in virtually every other part of the world. Just seems odd that's all. :confused: Mike

#172 Stargoat

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

I have been accumulating the same information. I have been linking photos, serial numbers, owners, model, objective size & f/l into a spreadsheet. I'm pretty sure that nailing down anything is going to be a monumental exercise. We have so few examples (relatively speaking) of some of these scopes and even then, there are differences between what we might think are the same scope.

For example, every photo of the RA S5 type of scope (Tasco 7T) has a mount base that cannot be rotated in azimuth. I see them with the rotating azimuth bases starting with the 7TEs.

If you look at the photos of my S5 and the two other 5-digit serially numbered 60/910 scopes belonging to Dave & Madeline, the badges are glued on the focuser (later models are screwed on). Look at the two Space Scope 60/910 scopes (serial # 016985 & 019244) and you'll notice the badges are also glued on, but there is a raised area on the casting for the badges to be glued to.

There are a number of these minor differences that could possibly give clues to dating, but it will take close examination of many scopes, mounts & boxes to see any patterns emerge. My Astro S5 dates, according to its former owner, John Siple, from 1958. That date seems to have no correlation to the serial number.


Your not kidding about a monumental exercise :tonofbricks: My main concentration has been on the Tasco models of Royal Astros and the Towa one for my spread sheet. Have well over 200+ 60mm and 76mm Tascos documented. I have some groups of serial numbers with 10 to 15 or more of each beginning digit and as the serial numbers ascend within each group of serial numbers, there are very definite commom traits.

Indeed there are so many variations of the Tasco version of the 60mm scope from the earliest one I know of with serial no 12043. It has the white porcelain knobs for the slow motion cables and the instruction booklet says 228X. So this is possibly pre 7T 304X booklet scope..maybe first Tasco 60mm model introduced to the US market in early 1958 and would predate Dave & Madeline 7T models.

There are off top of my head 9 or more versions of the Tasco 60mm scopes instruction booklets beginning with the 228X booklet. Next there are two different 304X booklets. Then there are at least three versions of the 7TE 304X model booklets. Next the 7TE-2 booklet. Then we have the early 7TE-5 booklet and finally the most common 7TE-5 1966 dated booklets.

When you look at these instruction booklets along with the sales catalogs or brochures plus going back and looking at the serial/reg numbers associated with the instruction booklets of these scopes, the revisions of the different models for the most part all fall into distinct groups that can be be traced back to the literature that has dates.

The instruction booklets show a progression of the Tasco 60mm models. This is what has helped me to try and link the dates of the Tasco lineup over the years to the serial/registration numbers.

It will be tough to pin down the dates for the earliest models, there just are so few of these left to get a good sample. But at least there is a much larger sample of the Tasco brand early 60's scope to documnent from. For me, very definite patterns have emerged from my documentation. Of course there are exceptions which must be related to suppliers in Japan and or even if Tasco in the USA was involved in the final product. The other factor is when we look at these 50+ year old scopes, one has to consider what has been possibly replaced or upgraded over the years by the owners. Original untouched scopes are the gems to help document all of this. I think since Tasco was the biggest importor of these scope, that there was a method to the madness with the serial numbers, at least on their brand of scopes.

Stephen

#173 CharlieB

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:06 PM

I'd love to see that 7T with the 12043 SN It's the only one near the 11925 I own. I would suspect this scope would have the same characteristics as the S5.

I think that the manufacturer doled out the SNs, rather than the importer (in most cases). There are too many scopes of different brands with close serial numbers for me to think otherwise. Of course, there is always the fly in the ointment oddball serial number that casts doubt on any theory.

As Mickey Cee mentioned, there are probably Japanese classic nuts struggling with the same issues. It would be interesting to know what proportion of output the Japanese scope builders exported in relation the their domestic market share.

#174 CharlieB

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:43 PM

Here's a new addition to the growing list of Royal Astro rebrands. A 1968 Sears 6339-A - ser. #870545. I have been keeping an Excel spreadsheet with as many RA scopes and linked photos and notes as I can find. Anyone who wants a copy, please let me know. With the photos, it's too big to post.

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#175 dawsonian2000

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:00 AM

Hey CharlieB!

Our Sears 6339-A refractors are only 109 serial numbers apart! :cool: Mine has serial number 670654.

Mel






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