Sears Discoverer 46333-A
Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:58 PM
I'm a new guy here who just got interested in these small aperture classic refractors after I had a conversation with one of your members (Jon). So, I was looking for a cheapo on FleaBay and purchased a Sears Discoverer 46333-a Model that looked like it was in fair to good condition. I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Can any of you tell me anything about that model?
Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:34 PM
The 6333-A scopes were made over a considerable period of time (late 1960s through late 1970s I'd guess). I have a 1976-78 version. It looks very similar to another CNers earlier version; the main difference being some details on the latitude scale attached to the mount head. His is brass tone and mine is black painted.
The scopes themselves were fabricated by a Japanese firm called Towa for Sears. You'll see a Circle-T symbol on the tag on your focuser when you get yours. I really like the distinctive color scheme Sears chose for these scopes. Sort of a gray-blue with teal-blue dew shade and focuser trim.
The scopes are equipped with a 0.965" "Japanese standard" focuser. In more recent times the industry has largely abandoned the Japanese 0.965" standard for eyepiece and accessory barrel diameters in favor of the 1.25" American standard and even larger 2" accessories. The three 0.965" eyepieces that come with the scope aren't bad, but likewise aren't great either, lacking eye relief in the shorter focal lengths.
There are quality vintage 0.965" eyepieces available, as well as diagonals with a 0.965" nosepiece and 1.25" tailpiece allowing use of 1.25" eyepieces with a 0.965" format focuser.
These focusers feature a manually extendable focuser draw tube segment that you'll need to slide out in order to reach focus at infinity. Optical quality is decent. All in all, these are fun and functional little scopes. I think the mount and its lack of stability is the weakest link. I use mine on a modern mount as a result.
Here are a few pictures of what you have to look forward to:
Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:16 AM
Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:14 PM
My first scope was an old Jason too, and the 6333-A was my foray into the past. The Sears/Towa scopes are considerably nicer put together than the old Jasons. Also, I wouldn't be afraid to mount it up to the Atlas (if you can figure out how to adapt the tube clamp to a Vixen doveail - I couldn't) and enjoy some nostalgia.
The mounts on these scopes really are their Achilles heel. The optics are quite good as are the OTA mechanicals.
Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:20 PM