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Bushnell Sky Chief II?

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#1 Moe Arif

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 03:40 PM

Anyone know anything about Bushnell Sky Chief II, model 78-5100? When were these made? How are the optics and build quality? Thanks.

#2 strdst

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 01:32 AM

Hi Moe,

I picked up a Bushnell Sky Chief III 78-5700 Made in Japan a few years ago mostly for the finder and tripod legs. The tube is plastic, however the focus knobs are metal. Optically not a keeper. Some of the early Sky Chief scopes were great, but not mine. There was nothing about this scope that even suggested the quality found in the older vintage scopes. Maybe the Sky Chief II has elements of quality. I believe both Steve Miller and Darrell Spencer (aka Desertrefugee) have some nice Bushnell glass.

Oh and awesome C-8 and accessories!

other keith

#3 bigbeck

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:50 PM

Hi Moe,

I picked up a Bushnell Sky Chief III 78-5700 Made in Japan a few years ago mostly for the finder and tripod legs. The tube is plastic, however the focus knobs are metal. Optically not a keeper. keith


I found one of these(sky chief III)in the garbage today. EQ mount,wood tripod,60mm. It was missing the diagonal. I guess I should put it back in the trash? I certainly don't want to spend 30.00 on a .965 X 1.25 diagonal if it's a junk scope.

Don

#4 Steve_M_M

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

If you find this one, I would keep it.

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#5 Steve_M_M

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:15 PM

#2

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#6 strdst

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:35 PM

Steve,

You and Gregg have nice classic Sky Chief II scopes, but weren't there later versions still called Sky Chief II (like maybe the one Moe mentions) that have a model number 785100 and probably no individualized serial number on the label and nowhere near the build of your scopes? If all II's are the same quality then Moe, ignore my first response and go for it!

other Keith

#7 greju

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:56 PM

Yes there are. This is a virtually new example from the early 80's. Although made in Japan and with an air-spaced doublet not near the quality of a Royal Astro.

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#8 greju

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:02 PM

Still a nice little grab and go scope if you can get it for the right price. This was $29.00 on the auction site if that is helpfull at all. I thought it was a good deal, others may not! Bought it for when one of the grandkids gets older. Their going to be future astronomers whether they like it or not!

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#9 greju

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:04 PM

As a matter of fact, that is whats going to get used tonight!

#10 desertrefugee

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:40 PM

You are going to like that scope. Ask me how I know :grin:

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#11 Moe Arif

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:29 AM

Well, this one is different yet. Same model number, Japan and with a circle T. The knobs are plastic - so, I'm sure mine is not as good quality as the original Sky Chief II

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#12 droid

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 05:42 PM

Hi Moe,

I picked up a Bushnell Sky Chief III 78-5700 Made in Japan a few years ago mostly for the finder and tripod legs. The tube is plastic, however the focus knobs are metal. Optically not a keeper. keith


I found one of these(sky chief III)in the garbage today. EQ mount,wood tripod,60mm. It was missing the diagonal. I guess I should put it back in the trash? I certainly don't want to spend 30.00 on a .965 X 1.25 diagonal if it's a junk scope.

Don



Don ,I haver met a scope that wasnt worth keeping ,or fixing up and passing on, yes , sometimes the eps need changed, or a finder needs found ,in one case I had to peice together a mount from bits and parts, but definately do not throw it away.
Theres an owner somewhere for every scope.

#13 greju

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:02 PM

The Sky Chief (sorry Mike)III mentioned by other Keith. This is when quality really went south, generally. Hard to believe this scope was manufactured in Japan, looks more like it came from China or R.O.C. While the OTA optics (?) seem to be nothing more than a piece of plastic the finder is quite acceptable for its size. I use the mount often as I can lift it with my little finger, takes up very little space in the vehicle, is almost as smooth as butter and most importantly stands a full 50" tall. Its stability I find acceptable and its height is perfect for small refractors. I would be happy to find one of these in the garbage as I paid 10 bucks for mine!

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#14 greju

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:03 PM

The finder scope. Before anyone jumps all over me for this, yes, I know the finderscope is not positioned properly! :). It is still just as I got it years ago, only use the mount. Actually had to go thru two closets before I found the OTA!

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#15 greju

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:04 PM

The all important focuser label! :lol:

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#16 greju

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:07 PM

The grandkids will learn how to use a GEM with this mount!

#17 Hitech

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 03:59 PM

Hi Moe,

I picked up a Bushnell Sky Chief III 78-5700 Made in Japan a few years ago mostly for the finder and tripod legs. The tube is plastic, however the focus knobs are metal. Optically not a keeper. keith


I found one of these(sky chief III)in the garbage today. EQ mount,wood tripod,60mm. It was missing the diagonal. I guess I should put it back in the trash? I certainly don't want to spend 30.00 on a .965 X 1.25 diagonal if it's a junk scope.

Don

Were you digging in the same garbage can I was? Coincidentally my Sky Chief II was placed atop a garbage can at curbside that I chanced upon on my way home one evening. Everything was there, including erector, diagonal, EP, and barlow. Mine is made in Japan and OTA is metal, metal focuser and metal knobs, even a metal dew shield. Scope works well and has the Alt/Az mount. It's a decent beginner scope or use as a guide scope.

#18 Moe Arif

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 06:39 PM

That's a great find. I keep hoping I'll find a cool vintage telescope in the trash someday :) I drove an hour to pick up my Sky Chief II. It's in great shape, came with two EPs, a moon + a sun filter neither of which were ever taken out of their plastic wrap. I'm impressed with how well-built the mount is - I wasn't expecting much. I had a brief view of couple of stars with it and they were nicely sharp. Alberio also showed nice colors. I've been meaning to take some pictures and post them here - I'll try to do that tonight. I've also been waiting for clear skies for over two weeks now but I'll do a comparison of the Sky Chief again the Sywatcher 70mm refractor that I also have and post the results.

#19 Moe Arif

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:33 AM

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures. First, the close-up of the focuser. (you can see the "before" picture at an earlier posting). Here is the "after":

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#20 Moe Arif

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:36 AM

The objective is in great condition. Inside surface was very clean and I cleaned up the outside surface gently and with great care.

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#21 Moe Arif

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:39 AM

OTA had some dirt but it cleaned up nicely. There are two very minor dents in the OTA that's almost unnoticeable (not visible in the pic). The EP tray is missing.

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#22 Moe Arif

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:45 AM

This is a well-made Bushnell. The mount is pretty sturdy, the slow motions work well, and there is very little slop. (much better than the Skywatcher 70mm I got recently). This must have been a transition scope for Bushnesll because everything else is metal except the ones I labeled. Rest of the focuser is metal as well.

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#23 Moe Arif

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:47 AM

Made in Japan for sure. Even one of the bolts says "Japan" on it. The EPs have Circle T and Japan on them.

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#24 Ragnorok

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 11:26 AM

I just "inherited" a Sky Chief Jr (as in, it's been in the house under an hour), which seems to be nearly identical to the various flavors of Sky Chief in this thread, particularly the one shown by Steve_M_M. It's a 60mm f/11.7 air spaced doublet with the neat bluish color of the first photos above, but on a alt-az instead of a GEM. Finder looks much cheaper than any of these photos. The entire thing is metal except the erect image prism, which gives every appearance of being bakelite.

It appears to be fully complete, with case, except for the "Sun filter", but from what I've read that's no loss if it's missing. The erect image prism has been broken rather badly at some point in the past, but quite nicely re-glued, such that it appears serviceable. Other than the glued prism it is in very good condition with the occasional paint chip, scuff, and scratch that one would expect on a telescope that actually saw use instead of sitting in the attic for 30 years.

The entire thing is filthy as all get-out, but I did toss in the 20mm and it does come to focus easily, so I'd say there's nothing seriously wrong with the optics that it didn't come with from the factory. I'm going to clean it up, lube it up, and set it up to see how it performs.

#25 Moe Arif

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 05:44 PM

Pictures would be great.






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