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Tasco 11TE-5

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#1 droid

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

Id like to hear about any reviews or storys about these scopes. By some accounts the mirrors were apparently mass produced so only average, by other accounts they were very good.

#2 hottr6

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

I don't know much about the 11TE, but I have compared Towa 114mm f/8 mirrors with Vixens.

I have tried two Celestron 114mm Newts; the Cometron CO-114 and C4.5, both presumably with Vixen mirrors. Both suck! :(

I do own a 1960s Towa (distributed by Lafayette), and this has glorious optics. It easily outperforms a very nice 90mm f/11 achro that I have. I'm trying to line it up with any sub-90mm ED doublet, and my money is on the Newt.

#3 droid

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

Well back in the early 1970s I had one, but that was 40 years ago, my memory says it was very good, but we all know how " the good ole days " memorys work, hehehehe :lol:

#4 droid

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

John Siples rose gazzette article speak highly of this particular scope.

http://www.rosecitya...g/news/2006.pdf

And uncle Rod did a review here in 2008

http://uncle-rods.bl...good-tasco.html

Got an opportunity to buy one ,soon.

Had one one in the very early 1970s , but upon returning from my stint in the US Army, found my parents had given it away.So this an oppotunity to relive those years, partly, but also to have another classic I loved once upon a time.

#5 Dave M

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

Andy, There`s one on Craigslist, Columbus Oh for $65

#6 droid

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

Already got one picked out from a fellow classic scope forum, a bit more, but in very near new condition.
I think itll be worth every penny.
And besides with out a credit card, I dont graig list. I know last of the dinosaurs, hehehehehehehehe

#7 hottr6

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

Well back in the early 1970s I had one, but that was 40 years ago, my memory says it was very good, but we all know how " the good ole days " memorys work, hehehehe :lol:

I am fortunate that I don't have to rely on memory. I still have my observing logs from the 1960s and 1970s, complete with drawings and measurements. This has helped me evaluate modern equipment. +1 for the discipline of keeping detailed records.

#8 droid

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

Heres the one Im looking at:

http://www.cloudynig...ct=42440&sor...

Looks to be almost original

#9 droid

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

Shane; were any of your observations through an 11TE? if so , would you mind sharing them, and or your impressions?

#10 Dave M

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

:cool: It looks like its in excellent shape Andy.
As far as Craigslist you dont use/need a credit card.

#11 droid

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

I do own a 1960s Towa (distributed by Lafayette), and this has glorious optics. It easily outperforms a very nice 90mm f/11 achro that I have. I'm trying to line it up with any sub-90mm ED doublet, and my money is on the Newt.


Until recently I was under the impression that Towa lenses so so, until I rebuilt the widger scope, its Towa lens is phenominal, easily the equal of my Carton and 7TE5s.

#12 rmollise

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

Id like to hear about any reviews or storys about these scopes. By some accounts the mirrors were apparently mass produced so only average, by other accounts they were very good.


http://uncle-rods.bl...good-tasco.html

Yes, the primaries are spherical. At this focal ratio, it don't matter. The little scopes could do a right good job if you equipped 'em with good eyepieces. I loved mine very much. ;)

#13 droid

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

Thanks Rod, I actually had posted this link above, but thats cool, got an oppotunity to reread the post.
I still get a chuckle about the part where you forgot to remove the scope cover....and I thought I was the only one who did that. :roflmao:

#14 rmollise

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

Thanks Rod, I actually had posted this link above, but thats cool, got an oppotunity to reread the post.
I still get a chuckle about the part where you forgot to remove the scope cover....and I thought I was the only one who did that. :roflmao:


Guess what? I STILL do that. :lol:

#15 hottr6

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

Shane; were any of your observations through an 11TE? if so , would you mind sharing them, and or your impressions?

I have both a early-80's Cometron CO-114 and Celestron C4.5, both with "Vixen optics". I also have a mid-60s Towa that was sold by Lafayette, and is probably similar to the early Tasco 11TE.

Posted Image

Both the Vixen mirrors offer similar views. When compared with my 90mm f/11 achro, the Vixens cannot produce a sharp focus, right across the FOV. This is especially obvious on daytime targets. Contrast is good in both.

When looking through the Towa, images are now not only on par with the achro in terms of sharpness across the FOV, but the Newt has an obviously deeper reach than the 90mm refractor. The Newt is able to resolve many, many more globular cluster stars than the achro. Contrast in the Towa is much improved over the Vixens, due likely to the much smaller CO.

On Jupiter, the Vixens show the 2 main equatorial belts, and hint at the smaller southern belt. The Towa show these belts easily with direct-vision, and I can make out the salmon spot.

The Vixens can resolve only 4 stars in the Trapezium, but the Towa easily shows 5.

#16 bremms

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

I know the Towa is supposed to be a spherical mirror, but my 11TR is really good. looked at the intra and extra focal images again and it's hard to tell the mirror is not parabolic. mine has a modde secondary holder for a smaller CO and a better Edmund secondary I had for years. It really snaps to focuslike my 6" F8. In fact, the images are a scaled down version of that
scope. I do have two OTA's. it would be fun to build a cheap binocular telescope.
I would dare say this little Tasco could embarrass some 2-3000$ APO's at 1/50 to 1/100 the price? Similar images? Don't get me wrong, I love APO'S ,but a 6" F 8 newt well done WILL produce better images than a 4-5 inch APO. Field is more limited, but not that much. :flame: :flame:

#17 droid

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:18 AM

Shane , your right, its ringer for an 11TE-5, NICE RIG

#18 hottr6

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

I know the Towa is supposed to be a spherical mirror, but my 11TR is really good. looked at the intra and extra focal images again and it's hard to tell the mirror is not parabolic.......
I would dare say this little Tasco could embarrass some 2-3000$ APO's at 1/50 to 1/100 the price?

I have the same impression. My Towa mirror is just so much better than the spheroidal Vixen mirrors that it is hard to imagine how this could be without a significant difference in the shape of the mirrors from the two manufacturers.

I have already suggested a challenge between the Towa and a ED achro. See here:

#19 droid

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

Should be interesting....Ive never owned an ED or an APO...so I wouldnt be much help, lol.
But would the thread with great interest.

#20 BarabinoSr

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

Hi Andy!
I got lucky with the 11TE-5 I have. It throws up good images . I did some minor work on the alignment and cleaned the optics and so far I've been very happy with it. I added a Tasco #1602 electric drive and it tracks celestial objects beautifully. I enjoyed reading the blogs on this scope by Siple and Uncle Rod,so I'm in agreement that these are for the most part great scopes. I also have the 11TR and it is as good as advertised also. Gary

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#21 hottr6

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Shane , your right, its ringer for an 11TE-5, NICE RIG

One thing to note is that my Towa came with a "low profile" helical focuser and a 0.80" secondary. This entails that the tube must be longer than later OTAs with "high-profile" R&P focusers, with 1.0" secondaries.. The difference in tube length is quite significant... about 2".

With the helical focusers, these Newts are visual-only instruments. With R&P focusers, they are dual visual/AP platforms, and have larger CO.

#22 droid

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Gary; nice scope,ty

#23 bremms

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

Took my 11TR out this evening. It showed nice images of Jupiter, very good. I tried my other OTA and it was similar. Seeing was about a 2 after 8:00 then, in rolled the clouds. Took my 4" Jaegers out for a comparo, but the seeing was so bad at that point I couldn't tell anything.

#24 droid

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:50 AM

I do have some experience with these scopes a while back I rebuilt one for a donation project, it was quite literally a cloudy nights project.
The lady and her husband were thrilled to recieve it.
I star tested it, it was a decent performer, but was always destined to move on to a good home, and it wasnt my 11TE5 from the 70s, lol.

http://www.cloudynig...rd=classics&...

#25 bob midiri

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:04 AM

I do have some experience with these scopes a while back I rebuilt one for a donation project, it was quite literally a cloudy nights project.
The lady and her husband were thrilled to recieve it.
I star tested it, it was a decent performer, but was always destined to move on to a good home, and it wasnt my 11TE5 from the 70s, lol.

http://www.cloudynig...rd=classics&...


Wow Andy I just read that thread. Awesome thing you guys did. I hope she still is enjoying her 11TR. Bob






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