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Interesting find!

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#1 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

Over the last four months, I've been watching an interesting offering on one of the local sales boards. No one offered...and last weekend I decided to "pull the trigger"! I came back with something more than I expected...

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#2 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:46 PM

The label on the case...

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#3 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:50 PM

Opening the case...so far so good...a sunscreen in almost-new condition, the sunscreen holder, and three gray-painted legs in great shape (only the rubber tips need replacing!)

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#4 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:56 PM

Looking at the second layer (objective end)...finder and mount are complete with set screws; counterweight and declination axis are pristine; along with one of the three .965 eyepieces in its original container...the original Moon and Sun filters are intact and present (they are in the picture, just wrapped in tissue paper!)

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#5 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:59 PM

Going to the eyepiece end...all of the Styrofoam packing is intact, and all of the accessory slots are filled...

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#6 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:02 PM

Both of the slow motion cables are there, along with the eyepiece tray... and its light...(had to clean a little corrosion of the battery case contacts, but once done and re-batteryed, that little light burned bright!)

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#7 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:08 PM

Back at the accessory end...all the accessories are present...(Porro prism erector; diagonal; 2x Barlow; and the other two eyepieces). All eyepiece cases and accessory end caps are also there...truly amazing, after fifty years!

The equatorial head is in great shape...the latitude scale had come loose from the head, but was in the box.

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#8 John Higbee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:24 PM

I did not expect to find a complete Towa 305 set when I set out Saturday morning...but that's what I brought back. Objective lens and finder objective both look to be in great shape...and if the clouds hold off, I'll first light on the Moon tonight.

If anyone can give me an estimate on age, would much appreciate it...thanks,John

#9 sgorton99

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:48 PM

Very nice John, looks to be in fantastic shape!
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#10 turk123

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:58 PM

Nice John!!!

#11 desertrefugee

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:41 PM

1970 - give or take a year or two. Plastic focus knobs and Styrofoam inserts. Pretty tell-tale indicators. I had one just like it once. Long gone. Nice Moonwalker.

#12 roscoe

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:47 PM

I got for my son a Sears-branded (don't remember the model number) scope identical to yours a few years ago, but mine was not so complete, and not in such good shape as yours is. A very good find!
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#13 terraclarke

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:12 AM

Great find. Looks like it was hardly ever used. It should be really nice mechanically and optically and looks to be all there. We look forward to seeing it all set up and hearing how it performs. I'll bet great on both accounts.

Congrats John :)

#14 Dave M

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:00 AM

Very Nice, John.. Congrats!

#15 John Higbee

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

Thanks, Terra - and a belated Happy Birthday!

As requested, here are some pictures of the Towa:

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#16 John Higbee

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:56 PM

From the other side:

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#17 John Higbee

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:00 PM

A close up of the mount (after I took this picture, I figured out that I had to reorient the mount to put the slow motion cables on opposite sides):

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#18 John Higbee

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:03 PM

Finally, a shot of the accessory tray with light...fully stocked with eyepieces, Barlow, porro prism, and sun/moon filters:

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#19 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:24 PM

Marvelous! Are those legs more grey or silver? Were they meant to look like the aluminum that would eventually replace them? Fun to find a scope with such a novel aesthetic. Seems odd to paint the legs, rather than stain or varnish them, but I've seen these scopes on this forum, and know the paint to be original.

Very 1970s. Be sure to wear a wide tie when presenting this scope at star parties!

#20 terraclarke

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:31 PM

Nice! I love the color coded eyepieces. Just like with my Sears #6344. You will find that the green 22mm Kellner is a particularly nice eyepiece.

#21 amicus sidera

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:22 AM

Great find, John! It's rare to come across any scope of that age in such a complete state. I'm sure that it will perform every bit as nicely as it looks. :waytogo:

#22 dgreyson

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:25 PM

I have one of those tray lamps with the articulated arm although I no longer remember what Telescope it came with.

#23 John Higbee

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

Joe - the legs are painted with silver paint. Each leg has 4 horizontal scribe marks at about 5 inch intervals, filled with yellow/gold paint.

It is a pretty sharp looking scope (silver/grey tube, crackle black mount, and silver legs...definitely different from the standard classic refractor colors!)

John

#24 roscoe

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:39 PM

My Son's Sears tripod was the same color, one of the lower leg sections was so twisted/warped that it was difficult to slide the tripod together, so I made a replacement mahogany leg section. It looked quite out-of-place with all that silver (which seemed to be an amber varnish over silver paint) so ours ended up getting sprayed with hammertone silver rustoleum, which is pretty close in appearance.

#25 John Higbee

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:59 PM

Weather's finally broken "positive"...and first light (with a vengeance) today, using the sun projection screen!

Great images...a large sunspot with pronounced penumbra close to the northwest limb...a group of five smaller sunspots (two medium size with penumbras, followed by three smaller spots) to the southeast of the big spot...and a medium spot to the northeast of that group. My daughter was most impressed (and saw the three tiny spots in the second group before I did)!

Terrestrial images are razor-sharp. Looking forward to the two-day-past-full moon tonight! :refractor:

John






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