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Manon Astronomical Telescope

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#1 Endzone

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

I got an email from my dad in Cincinnati the other day, and he wanted me to know what I wanted him to do with my old telescope I had when I was a kid. I had completely forgotten about it, so I asked him to send me the make and model. He replied with this info:

Manon Astronomical telescope [ Japan ] D = 60m/m F = 700 m/m

I remember using this instrument when I was about 13 years old in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even at that age I didn't consider it a toy, but it was a fine piece of Japanese gear to me. It was very well made and it really displayed a clear, bright, focused image of anything it was looking at. The tripod was wood, but I thought the construction was outstanding. In fact I was so impressed with it that it converted me to Japanese products for the rest of my life. Anyway, the two things I remember the most were seeing the rings around Saturn--although it appeared as one big ring. And, the 4 tiny little white dots that were the moons around Jupiter. One was so faint I had to really concentrate to see it. The craters on the moon were bright and clear.

My Uncle sent this to me in either 1969 or 1970. He worked on U.S. merchant ships, and I'm thinking he probably sent it from the Naval Base PX store in Yokuska, Japan although I'm not certain. It took 6 weeks to arrive, so it probably crossed the Pacific by ship.

I'll bet I might be right when I say the wooden case hasn't been opened in over 40 years as it just sat on a shelf in the basement of my parent's home. I live in Ft. Worth, TX, so I can't just run over there and see it. I told my dad to sell it on Craigslist, but he said he wasn't going to do that--I would have to come get it.

Anyway, I highly recommend this unit if you can find one in good shape. I don't know much about telescopes, but I know enough to know that this was a good instrument. There wasn't anything flimsy about it, and it had a great image.

My memory of it might be a little skewed as I consider 1969 and 1970 two of the best years ever in the history of America. Thanks, I just thought ya'll might find this story interesting. I understand there are still a lot of these around?

#2 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:06 AM

Thank you for writing, Endzone, and welcome to Cloudy Nights Classics!

A fine scope indeed! Do not sell it! Reintroduce it to your life. Have it shipped to you. We'll coach your dad, or a shipping company near him, on how to ship it without damage. This scope was transformative of your youth. Get it back, and I guarantee the fervor will return. Soon, you'll be posting stories of your observations here along with the rest of us!

Your question appears in this forum frequently. We know the answer. Keep your scope. For more persuading, read this thread:

http://www.cloudynig...5418261/page...

A guest appeared trying to sell a scope we'd all love to have, and was surprised, and ultimately pleased, at the fervor with which we persuaded him to keep it. 

Kept in its box, your scope will be fine forty years later. May need to re-grease the mount; we'll show you how. Let us help you upgrade the eyepieces, and the scope will be even better than you recall! 

Another astronomer is reborn by returning to his roots! 

#3 joerbiker

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:14 AM

Well said Joe, well said.

#4 terraclarke

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

Keep it for sure. Mine was the Mayflower version (1965). When I was moving around it served as my main (and most of the time only) telescope for nearly 30 years. I used it frequently. I added several more good .965 eps (unitrons and Jaegers) and kept it clean. I observed a transit of mercury with it (using a home made Mylar film over aperture solar filter), several solar eclipses, sunspots,double stars, the phases of Mercury and Venus, the changing inclination of Saturn's rings, many of the Messier objects, etc. it never ceased to amaze me. It was so easily moved around as everything broke down to fit into its sturdy wooden cabinet (solid, no veneer). The thing that amazed me most is that I could observe the smoke clouds of Jupiter (several of them) for about a month or more after the S-L impacts.

It was the little scope that could. Over the years the mount finally broke around the gear housings for the slow motions. I replaced the mount head with that of a Unitron 114, and replaced the woefully inadequate finder with a 6x30, and it still maintains a proud place in my collection. I will never get rid of it.

#5 Endzone

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Thank you all for your encouraging words. I'm curious now to see what kind of shape it is in, so I asked my mom to take a picture of it with her iPad. I'll try to post the pic when she emails it to me.

And, I'll bet all the 8 to 12 year olds around the apartment here would love to look thorugh it and see some of the planets and their features and/or just look at things that are far away. I'm curious if it would work right out of the box after 40 years. Thanks for your offer of assistance.

#6 strdst

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

Hi Endzone,

I'll fourth or fifth that the little Manon 60 X 700 is a keeper. Here is a link to my experience with one... the telescope not the woman. It is often said "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" which doesn't work in my case but neither did finding the way to a woman's heart through the gift of a refurbished classic awesome Japanese refractor. Oh well I miss them both :lol:
http://www.cloudynig...2985950/page...

#7 terraclarke

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:46 PM

Here is mine today. It remains the little scope that could and a cherished possession.

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#8 mikey cee

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

Terra like was asked earlier how do you get stuff to stick to your walls like that!? :brick: Anyways back to the OP's qustion about Shrine Manon 60x700's. Some evolve into a new life riding shotgun on a 10" refractor along side a 6" super duper finderscope. :lol: I like to look at an object in this Manon just to see what I can detect with a 60mm scope....and a down to earth reality check. They make one appreciate what they had when they started in this hobby. I'm afraid that some have lost touch thanks to aperture feaver. :smirk: Mike

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#9 terraclarke

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:28 PM

That is an amazing observatory Mike. Your 60 has quite a ride. As for my walls, I never have had a problem since I magnetized them. Just throw the stuff up and it sticks. :roflmao:

Terra

#10 Startraffic

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

Terra,
That's funny I just use my sons' gym socks. Works better than Velcro or Duct tape. :roflmao:

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898

#11 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:47 PM


I'm curious now to see what kind of shape it is in... if it would work right out of the box after 40 years


Properly stored in its box, other than being stiff from dried grease, it may be exactly as you last saw it. Exciting thought!

I'll bet all the 8 to 12 year olds around the apartment here would love to look thorugh it and see some of the planets and their features and/or just look at things that are far away.


Indeed they would, and so would you. We knew that. That's why we want you to keep it. Everyone will freak upon seeing the rings of Saturn! 

Thanks for your offer of assistance.


The classics forum is always here whenever you need help. Sooner than you think, you'll have learned so much, *you'll* be answering the questions! 

#12 Endzone

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:48 PM

So Disapointed!!

Well, I'm sorry but I left out a part of the story. And that is that I might have known what a good piece of gear this was, but I was very hard on things as a kid. I left that part out. The felt holders in the box have been removed. It appears to be missing a couple of lenses. I forgot what I was like when I was 13 years old--that I was pretty self-centered and abusive as a kid.

Well, would anyone in the Cincinnati area like to go pick it up and use it for parts or some other purpose? I'm too embarassed to charge for it. Maybe my dad would agree to this. He's a pretty easy going guy. Thanks.

Posted Image


Whoever the poster was that restored this scope, I think you did a great job.

Posted Image

#13 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:27 AM

Endzone, I hate to burst your bubble, but the scope looks to be in excellent condition, or at least very good, if there are problems not shown in the photographs. Looks as though you took better care of it than you are able to believe.

All the important stuff is present. No big dents. Nothing broken. Felts fall off with time, and are easily replaced. Missing eyepieces are no problem, as even inexpensive modern designs would be radically better than the old ones, and so are desirable upgrades anyway.

If you want to give that scope away, a caravan of grateful Cloudy Nighters will be at your father's door. But, still, I say: Keep it. Have it shipped to you. Re-live childhood memories, and start a new phase of astronomy in your life. You'll be raptured back into the fold upon seeing that all the beautiful objects hidden in plain sight are even more glorious than you recall.

As a serious adult scope head, you may, in time, want something bigger. But, re-read Terra's post of all she saw with just that scope. It will always be important to you if you let it. You will always use it, and never outgrow it. It will be a talisman in your life, an object linking youth through a not-yet-arrived old age, ever extending your vision.

Show it, and the skies, to your friends and children.

Keep it.

#14 strdst

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:59 AM

Looks about ready to restore or use as is. Lol. Losing the old eyepieces isn't a big deal. Converting to modern larger eyepieces is encuouraged here as it makes for a richer visual experience. Being embarrassed by the condition... I had a Gilbert reflector as my first telescope which at some moment in time became a mortar launcher or bazooka. I blame this on the TV show "Combat". Anyway for some reason being the dying guy gurgling out "they got me Joe" was appealing to me. I would lightly attach the metal legs to the scope and when the imaginary artillery round hit the scope ...it would fly into pieces around my bedroom.

Now that was telescope abuse. No wonder I have issues with mirror collimation! :lol: and artillery rounds

#15 Endzone

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:23 AM

Looks about ready to restore or use as is. Lol. Losing the old eyepieces isn't a big deal. Converting to modern larger eyepieces is encuouraged here as it makes for a richer visual experience. Being embarrassed by the condition... I had a Gilbert reflector as my first telescope which at some moment in time became a mortar launcher or bazooka. I blame this on the TV show "Combat". Anyway for some reason being the dying guy gurgling out "they got me Joe" was appealing to me. I would lightly attach the metal legs to the scope and when the imaginary artillery round hit the scope ...it would fly into pieces around my bedroom.

Now that was telescope abuse. No wonder I have issues with mirror collimation! :lol: and artillery rounds


Well, maybe I'm being too hard on myself. But I remember now that I ripped the felt holders out of the box because I couldn't figure out how to put the mount and the tube in the box at the same time. This was really stupid and just the impatience of a 13-year-old.

I really liked "Combat" when I was around this age. I always remember one episode in particular. Sarge and all the guys found a working shower in some bombed German building. They couldn't wait to get clean. They posted one guy as a guard out in the front of the shower room. Anyway, the "Krauts" surprised the guard and then went into the shower room. They told everybody to get dressed, but some guys still had soap up their rear ends--haha. I don't remember what happened after that except sarge and the boys always won. To this day I refuse to answer the front door if I'm in the shower all soaped down.

#16 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:45 AM

Endzone, your scope is in excellent condition. Often, the wooden box is missing altogether, yet the scope is still desirable! If the box's clamp-downs are missing, then someone from this forum will post a photograph of an identical box, so you can build exact replacements. (If you've no skill in wood working, find a star student at your local high school's wood shop!) In the mean time, we'll also help your father pack it so it will not be damaged in shipping. We haven't seen the objective lens, but if loading a mortar round into your scope damaged it, even that might be replaced. It's likely fine as is.

Think of the catharsis upon seeing, with your own eyes, that your antics as a thirteen-year-old did no real harm!

Keep it.

#17 Larrythebrewer

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

Endzone, being in Cincy, i'll speak up, I agree with everyone else thoughts about your scope. I would rethink what you want to do with it. There is a lot of knowledge on this forum to help you fix it up. If you still decide to part with it, I would be one of at least 4 people in the Cincy area that would save it
Larry

#18 terraclarke

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with what the others are telling you Endzone. You have a very easily restorable scope here. You can purchase a Vixen tailpiece that accepts a 1.25" diagonal with no vignetting. It has the exact same threads as the 0.965 threads that are on the chrome drawtube. It's an excellent scope. The OTA is thick and heavy, very rigid, and its well baffled. The objective is excellent. The mount is quite stable. You can refinish the cabinet. If its like mine it's solid wood that is something like teak or mohogonay, no veneer. My cabinet is as nice as my Unitron cabinets and it refinished beautifully with some sanding and polyurethane. Get your dad to send it to you. I can see the Cincinnati skyline from my deck and I see that scope right across the river, just waiting to go back to its original owner. You said you were rough nothing's as a kid, now you can make up for that and give the old girl the TLC and respect that it deserves. And you will have something that your parents gave you with love. I lost my parents 12 years ago and I remember them every time I look at my Mayflower scope (same as your Manon). Go for it!






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