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Bushnell Sky Chief III

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#1 BigC

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:12 AM

So what is anyone's rating,experience, or opinion of this model.It is a 60mm f15 on wood legs.

http://www.shopgoodw...?ItemID=9197634

My own feeling is if the tripod legs are wood and
varnished not painted it is probably a classic of some sort. It causes one to pause when realizing the neat looking car,scope,or whatever at the mall collector display is one that was new when I was in high school!

#2 apfever

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

I have this scope, the SkyChief III, on GEM, model 78-5700.
Mine has the nostalgic flip finder. Interesting than my model 78-5700 is Towa with circle T. The one on goodwill shows no symbol.

Neil

#3 BarabinoSr

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:40 PM

Hi Bic C !! I have a couple of the Bushne11 Sky Chief III's with the same model number as the one you're considering with a 60mm diameter 910mm f/l.It was made by TOWA of Japan ,and is comparable to the Jason Model #313 Discoverer. Both of these have the flip finders. I think there's a Sears in that focal length that is also called Discoverer.
Both of mine are great performers,so if the optics are not damaged you should be getting a great instrument.I've had both the Bushnell and the Jason 313# scopes out and both performed excellently,on Jupiter and the Moon .
I also noticed that the one you're considering has metal focusing knobs and a finder ,a good feature and is an earlier version of mine.

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#4 BarabinoSr

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:42 PM

Another.Objective view.

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#5 BigC

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:59 PM

Sometimes auction fever overcomes god sense. :shocked:

#6 BarabinoSr

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:00 PM

Focuser.

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#7 greju

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

The scopes shown are completely different and most likely from different manufacturers than the Goodwill scope the OP is referring to. For the right price the Goodwill scope has a nice grab and go mount and the scope aint half bad either. Sadly, the Goodwill price has already exceeded what I would consider the right price. IIRC this one was 10 bucks.

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#8 greju

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:14 PM

Label

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#9 apfever

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:15 PM

Hi Big C,

I was a bit premature and brash in my first post, now edited. Your scope does appear to be earlier with the metal focus wheels and more natural toned wood tripod. Look for a Japanese symbol when you get it. There may be one on the focuser label that does not show. They do usually have good optics. The original eyepieces are nostalgic, but more modern 1.25" will probably be nicer in use.

Give a holler about your first light. Even with more modern ep's, I usually take a gander with original eyepieces when viewing with a classic, at least once in a session. It gives me the grins.

Neil

#10 greju

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:16 PM

A scope with a plastic tube with decent optics. Go figure!

#11 apfever

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:59 PM

What plastic tube? Maybe that zebra one is from what I've heard, the others are metal.

#12 greju

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:06 PM

What plastic tube? Maybe that zebra one is from what I've heard, the others are metal.


The plastic tube pictured in the thread above.

#13 Hitech

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:29 PM

I have a 60mm Sky Chief II that was tossed on top of a garbage can that I chanced upon a couple years back on the drive home. It has the prism erector assy' and all other parts and isn't damaged either. It has an AZ mount with varnished wood tripod and it performs well (a Circle T model). It's similar in performance to my Meade ETX60AT. The Sky Chief II has more CA compared to the ETX60AT. While being decent performers, these Bushnells and similar brands like Jason were popular department store scopes.

#14 greju

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:52 PM

"While being decent performers, these Bushnells and similar brands like Jason were popular department store scopes."

I am not sure what you mean. I always disliked the "department store" moniker. Some very nice scopes came from department stores. The Sears 6345 comes to mind! :grin:

#15 Hitech

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:49 PM

Many of those brands and models were sold/displayed at dept. stores. Back then the scopes were good performers (like the Sears and Circle T Tascos, etc.). However, just as it is today, if one wanted a better scope they ordered from the manufacturer or a photography store/supplier for the higher end stuff. Pennys/Sears/Monkey Wards didn't sell Unitron, Cave, etc.

The same goes for quality cameras. There was time when better dept. stores sold Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, Canon, etc. SLR cameras. Now even a big box store like Best Buy carries the models that are point of sale for the average consumer. If I wanted a professional Nikon or Canon digital SLR, I'd have to buy through B&H Photo or order through a specialized camera shop in my town.

One would think my SkyChief II should by all rights perform better than that cheapo/plastic Meade ETX60AT I have.... but it doesn't! And that's just the optical part of it... the Meade has the added bonus of GoTo drive and a controller! The Bushnell's tripod/mount is not that stable.

#16 BigC

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:03 PM

The Sky Chief is now in the car outside.Picked it up yesterday and became ill on the return trip.Cursory exam looked o.k.,more will have to wait. Cloudy,damp, and cool waether here .

#17 amicus sidera

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:01 PM

Looks like a nice 'scope, glad you were able to snag it... and hope you feel better soon!

#18 BigC

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:16 PM

Well this isn't turning out so good.There was no diagonal and there is no "insides" for the dec slow-motion to work,although both slow-motion handles were included..!RA motion erratic ,may be the grease? The objective is pretty nice ,clear but several small odd rings of something can be seen apparently on the interior when looking from the front at a slight angle.Mold?Drops of waters that entered while scope focuser end left open in storage then evaporated? Scope is a 60x910mm per the label.Tube has several scratches but expect that after being handled by who knows how many people in the donantion process.

Using a Meade diagonal the views seem normal and sharp.EPs are SR4 and H12.Also glass and metal 2x barlow. Only symbol is something that looks like a raindrop in a box?Wood legs in good condition.Nice smooth focuser.The finderscope is nice,full aperature and probably 6x30.

The old focusers like this one with the teeth aslant seem smoother and less play than the usual straight-across.Wish they hadn't changed.

THIS one was not a bargain after all albeit still the foundation to build a decent scope;as consolation I did also pick up a quite usuable 18" lcd computer monitor with usb 4 port hub for $5.99.

Caveat emptor!

#19 amicus sidera

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

Sounds to me like you did quite well, BigC, especially with the monitor to sweeten the deal - or at least remove some of the slightly bitter taste :grin:

I'm sure that the 'scope will respond nicely to a good cleaning and lubrication. Why not post a photo of the declination assembly, or what's left of it... maybe someone here has some parts lying around that could get it back in operation.

#20 BigC

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:29 PM

I try to not make the trip for just one item,gasoline costs too much.As it happens I was lucky to find on opening the package from the mail next day that the star diagonal bought online elsewhere was not a common 1.25 but the hybrid size and should be just perfect for upgrading the SkyChief to use 1.25 EPs!(And for all the other .965 refractors that find their way here.)

#21 amicus sidera

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:54 PM

So the new diagonal will fit this 'scope, and accept 1-1/4" eyepieces? Sounds like a plan that came together!

BTW, I know what you mean about the price of gasoline... we have had a few refineries shut down recently here in the Northeast, and talk is $5.00 per gallon by summer :shocked:

#22 BigC

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 01:12 AM

It is a Parks diagonal so it may even be contemporary.Can we call it a classic upgrade?

Now I suppose some classic 1.25 oculars are in order.

Recovering from the flu now and a bit restless but not risking going outside in the cold ,damp night to stargaze.Based on Friday afternoon's terrestial views in the warm sunshine I expect the Sky Chief to do well .There was none of that nasty purple fringing around far distant tree branches as seen on cheap refractors,although those scopes do make the night sky more colorful.

#23 amicus sidera

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

Aak, the flu! Don't blame you for not wanting to risk the elements... thankfully, we astronomers are a hardy lot, so I'm sure you'll be up and bouncing around sometime soon :jump:

Since it's a Parks item, no difficulties appending the "classic" moniker to the diagonal at all :grin: Might I suggest some nice 1-1/4" Huygenians, to keep the vintage vibe going? I read on another CN thread some time back that the Huygenian design actually compensates for CA in refractors, although from your description of the view on Friday, it might not be needed...

Anyway, best of luck with the 'scope, and feel better!

#24 BigC

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

First time I heard anyone with something positive about H EPs.

And I remembered that I do have several Edscorp oculars that are definitely classic-their focal lenght is marked in fractions of an inch,not mm.!Came with another thrift store scope last year.A long white tube edscorp reflector ,I think 6",probably late 1950s early 1960s.

Does or does not use of a barlow affect CA?






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