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Telescope Production Runs

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#1 midnitexplorer

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:10 PM

How many of a specific model of telescope would a manufacturer produce per year or in the life of the model # ?

#2 mustgobigger

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:21 PM

i guess it depends on the telescope.
my tinsley only 100 were made over 3 or 4 years.
my sears 6345 90mm some where between 300 - 600 over 2 years.
the big question is how many of these vintage tasco, sears,
pentax, goto, and others are still hiding in grandma's attic. :shrug:

#3 Gil V

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:58 PM

This was over thirty years ago, but at Criterion, we targeted two Dynamax scopes a day, with two assemblers a day. We probably shipped 15 scopes a week.

RV's were built in batches of 21 scopes, I'll take a wild guess and say we shipped maybe 40-60 scopes per week.

This is just from memory, and it was a loooooong time ago, but it is as much as I can remember about factory output.

#4 amicus sidera

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:06 AM

Edmund Scientific's Astroscan probably holds the record for highest number of any one specific telescope produced: somewhere around 100,000 have been made since 1976, the year it was introduced. It's still in production, and looks like it will be for the foreseeable future, so there's no telling what the final number will be.

Fred

#5 Masvingo

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:53 PM

And as for the venerable C8, from the serial number data we have collected in the registry, production in the mid 70s was of the order of 2,000 per year rising to over 3,000 per year by the end of the 70s and to between 4,000 and 5,000 in the first half of the 80s. By 1986/7 as production was ramped up for the Halley craze production levels appear to be considerably in excess of 5,000 per year.

#6 MtnGoat

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 06:52 PM

Edmund Scientific's Astroscan probably holds the record for highest number of any one specific telescope produced: somewhere around 100,000 have been made since 1976, the year it was introduced. It's still in production, and looks like it will be for the foreseeable future, so there's no telling what the final number will be.

Fred


Wow, that's gotta be a record for a non dime store scope. I have to say, I was dubious for a long time till I ran across a can't let it slide by deal on CL, and got one for $25. For what it is, it's a lot of fun, and I can see why they're still selling.

#7 midnitexplorer

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:04 PM

Heres an interesting read from 1995 between Meade and Weidy
http://www.secinfo.com/dR7Km.88d.u.htm

#8 orion61

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 03:22 AM

Celestron used to produce 100 scopes a Week

#9 terraclarke

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 09:48 AM

Fred, how close is the Edmund company of today to the Edmund of the 50s, 60s, and 70s? Is it the same ownership? It seems so different when you compare the catalogs, of course there has definitely been a huge wain in war surplus materials and also in hobby science building and experimenting in general and ATMing in particular. Is it essentially the same company or did some other company buy it just to get the rights to the hugely successful Astroscan? Are the Astroscans still made here in the USA?

#10 highertheflyer

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 11:01 AM

Owners of Untirons/Polarex have been searching for years to find a database on them.
For most of the information has been from memory or hearsay with hard facts not available!
Seems the company simply withered slowly away with those in the know no longer here for us.
So I'm assuming the records rest in some dusty closet somewhere, if at all.
I've tried for years to find owners of Unitron 510, 5" Photo Field Telescopes and know of only 4, all in the USA, including the one once strapped to the belly of the Harlan Smith Telescope in Texas.
It would be nice if, here on Cloudy Nights, a database could be established for not only the major manufacturing company's, but of the smaller and less known ones.
Jim

#11 terraclarke

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 11:22 AM

Great idea Jim. One of the biggest stumbling blocks I see is that Unitron, unlike many maker/marketers did not attach serial numbers to their scopes which makes them hard to date. It seems all our dating has to come from stylistic changes and is very general. A few of us do have original correspondence as well, (I have it for my #114), but not a lot of that even seems to exist.

Terra

#12 snell1

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

Terra, I have the original "Janicke report" on Norman Edmund from when he passed away, I can send you that if you are interested, (almost) everything about the original edmund company and telescopes.

#13 terraclarke

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

PM sent

#14 orion61

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:11 AM

Terra, I have the original "Janicke report" on Norman Edmund from when he passed away, I can send you that if you are interested, (almost) everything about the original edmund company and telescopes.

If you wouldn't mind I'd love to get a copy of that material from you.
The optics of the Astroscan are nothing like the older ones, At least in the ones I have looked through or owned.
One way they used to produce the high numbers was by using a Spherical mirror and build the figure up by the coatings.
I have seen some mighty nice Edmund Astroscans from the early 80's.

#15 mikey cee

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:14 AM

Owners of Untirons/Polarex have been searching for years to find a database on them.
For most of the information has been from memory or hearsay with hard facts not available!
Seems the company simply withered slowly away with those in the know no longer here for us.
So I'm assuming the records rest in some dusty closet somewhere, if at all.
I've tried for years to find owners of Unitron 510, 5" Photo Field Telescopes and know of only 4, all in the USA, including the one once strapped to the belly of the Harlan Smith Telescope in Texas.
It would be nice if, here on Cloudy Nights, a database could be established for not only the major manufacturing company's, but of the smaller and less known ones.
Jim

What ever happened to that Unitron 510 on the cover of Sky & Telescope for Feb. of 1972?? The guy was in Norway, Finland or Sweden somehere. He had it permanently mounted in his ROR observatory. I used his observatory style to build mine. His name was Carsten Deboritz I believe. It's been a long time. :confused: Mike

#16 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:16 AM

Fred, how close is the Edmund company of today to the Edmund of the 50s, 60s, and 70s? Is it the same ownership? It seems so different when you compare the catalogs, of course there has definitely been a huge wain in war surplus materials and also in hobby science building and experimenting in general and ATMing in particular. Is it essentially the same company or did some other company buy it just to get the rights to the hugely successful Astroscan? Are the Astroscans still made here in the USA?


Hi Terra, well the original Edmund retail line, including telescopes, was sold off in 2000, and became Edmund Scientifics, with the original owners concentrating on industrial and scientific optics; to their credit, the new owners of the retail business seem to have retained a great deal of the "flavor" of the old catalogs, but of course their astronomy offerings aren't as comprehensive as was the case back in Edmund's 1950's-1970's.

The Astroscans have been made in China for at least a decade now, and while the early examples had some problems, that seems to have been rectified and the ones that I've seen recently are pretty good optically... certainly good enough for most casual observers, which appears to be their intended market. Much as I like them and sing their praises, they're definitely a niche instrument.

Fred

P.s. I just updated the Edmund Scientific telescope history (the "Janicke report"?;I'm flattered! :grin:); the latest version in .pdf format is available here.

#17 highertheflyer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:23 AM

Jim [/quote]What ever happened to that Unitron 510 on the cover of Sky & Telescope for Feb. of 1972?? The guy was in Norway, Finland or Sweden somehere. He had it permanently mounted in his ROR observatory. I used his observatory style to build mine. His name was Carsten Deboritz I believe. It's been a long time. :confused: Mike [/quote]

Gosh, that Unitron 510 would be a great find!
As many years have past since that Sky & Telescope cover, I am hopeful that someone here on CL can post a picture of the scope and perhaps find out more.
Hope it has not been cannibalized and remains intact,
Jim

#18 mikey cee

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

Owners of Untirons/Polarex have been searching for years to find a database on them.
For most of the information has been from memory or hearsay with hard facts not available!
Seems the company simply withered slowly away with those in the know no longer here for us.
So I'm assuming the records rest in some dusty closet somewhere, if at all.
I've tried for years to find owners of Unitron 510, 5" Photo Field Telescopes and know of only 4, all in the USA, including the one once strapped to the belly of the Harlan Smith Telescope in Texas.
It would be nice if, here on Cloudy Nights, a database could be established for not only the major manufacturing company's, but of the smaller and less known ones.
Jim

What ever happened to that Unitron 510 on the cover of Sky & Telescope for Feb. of 1972?? The guy was in Norway, Finland or Sweden somehere. He had it permanently mounted in his ROR observatory. I used his observatory style to build mine. His name was Carsten Deboritz I believe. It's been a long time. :confused: Mike

The year was 1974 not 1972 sorry about that. He had a pier mounted 5" Photo Equatorial!! Does anyone in Europe or Scandinavia know of the present status of this article?? ;) Mike http://www.shopatsky...digital-issu...

#19 highertheflyer

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 03:00 PM

I've concerned that as years go by, the history of larger Unitrons can be obscured simply because fewer Uniton folks are available,telling their story today.
This for their history's with Unitron's towards its demise is one that is deeply needed for those interested.
I look at those older folks following Unitrons through the good times and the bad, to once again assist me please!
Barry Simon has Unitron history projects and I take my hat off to him.
I've asked time and time again if there are those remaining and have been concluding that Unitron/Polarex mixes were combined for purchasing the 5 and 6 inch scopes per the menus and customers requests.
The one I have has much the same items offered for buyers in Australia, with a Untiron 510, a 60mm photo and 40mm 10 power finder.
It's positioned on a 510 mounted field tripod with a 110v geared drive mounted on the heavy yoke between the tripod legs...
My joy would be to find a Unitron employee working the 1960's to 70's, bringing to light the later phases of the Unitron's heritages.

#20 midnitexplorer

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 11:26 PM

We'll put Jim. This however holds true for all the "classic" scopes. Excuse me for my lack of memory, but somewhere here there is a CD book about the history of Celestron. I'd love to have one, but the format discourages me and it is not available in print. It is very hard to track down any concise collaborated info on different scope manufactures which I find amazing considering the amount of product that was produced.

I love the trinkets of info such as Gil V's earlier post regarding Criterion, who was an employee there.

My hats off to James for compiling the C8 production list.

Im developing an interest in the Tasco evolution, simply because lots of information is so sparse. Funny how we wait for so long to start keeping track of easy information that is long gone.

Perhaps considering this forum we may develop some manufacturer registration posts, with different levels of technical info such as the C8 registry. Be nice to have some kind of spread sheet design where members could access to enter particular columns of info and link it to corresponding reviews , site pictures and links.

Just a brainstorm, but Id be interested feedback.
Greg

#21 Napersky

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

I wonder how many Zeiss Items were made in about 90 years.

#22 javago

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 01:31 PM

[quote name="highertheflyer"]Jim [/quote]What ever happened to that Unitron 510 on the cover of Sky & Telescope for Feb. of 1972?? The guy was in Norway, Finland or Sweden somehere. He had it permanently mounted in his ROR observatory. I used his observatory style to build mine. His name was Carsten Deboritz I believe. It's been a long time. :confused: Mike [/quote]

Gosh, that Unitron 510 would be a great find!
As many years have past since that Sky & Telescope cover, I am hopeful that someone here on CL can post a picture of the scope and perhaps find out more.
Hope it has not been cannibalized and remains intact,
Jim [/quote]

Two years ago there was a polarex 5"for sale in Sweden.Maybe the one pictured in S&T ?.....Price was 100.000 Kronen ( $15.000 ).See photo of that 5" Polarex I saved.

Jan

#23 mikey cee

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:43 PM

It was a Norwegian amatuer and it wasn't a Polarex. :crazy: Mike

#24 highertheflyer

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:32 AM

Hi Jan and thanks for finding that photo.
What a beauty!
Would you be able to send to me or post on Photo's section of CloudyNights a higher resolution of this scope?
Jim

#25 javago

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:58 AM

Hi Jim,I don't have a better photo.....sorry !

Maybe you like the next Youtube link.....it is about the only 5" Unitron ( and a 4" Polarex,both on piers )in a private owned observatory ( 1974-1981 )in Belgium.
The once owner of that magnificant Unitron is Medard Martens and started again with skywatching in 2007.
Jan

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=HZGbE77FRIs






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