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How many AP Travelers

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#1 Olee

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:59 AM

I was just curious if any one knows (best guess) how many AP Travelers may have been made. What the final year of production was, highest serial number??

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#2 silverking

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:10 PM

Still grinds me that I was on the Traveler "wait" list for over 5 years and then R.C. terminated Traveler production without offering an option to move to another list.

Although the playing field has changed since production of the Traveler ended, such that scopes of a similar optical excellence in the 100mm size range are quite easily available (unlike back in the original Traveler time period) - there's still nothing quite like the physical presence of an AP Traveler!

I still want one :)

As to numbers, those who've spent any time on the AP Yahoo group site know that AP has always played the size of the "wait lists" and subsequent production run numbers pretty close to the vest, but the Traveler was in production for just over a decade...which might imply that there's probably just a couple to a few hundred of them out there.
R.C. didn't make an actual run of them every year they were officially in production, so that tends to further imply that any "guesses" should be lower rather than higher.

That's my best guess.

#3 Paul G

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

They show up periodically on Amart if you still want one. :)

Roland has posted that he isn't going to do another 4" scope since there are so many 4" out there, but if you narrow the criteria to airline portable and under f6 with excellent color correction the list is actually pretty small.

#4 Derek Wong

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:21 PM

We have a database on the AP User Group on Yahoo. These numbers are NOT verified by the folks at AP. The Traveler was made between 1991-2003 and the best estimate of the total number is ~600, with one serial number of 610 possibly seen on Astromart.

Edit: This represents a lower bound (see Charlie's message)

Derek

#5 ryderc1

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:22 PM

Mine is number 620 and was delivered in April, 2001. I may be selling it.

#6 PJ Anway

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:23 PM

- there's still nothing quite like the physical presence of an AP Traveler!


The TEC 110FL Eclipse is pretty similar physically:

The AP Traveler - 105mm f/5.8 refractor; 19" long

The TEC Eclipse - 110mm f/5.6 refractor; 19" long

#7 silverking

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:11 PM

Is it known for sure that the AP serial numbers represent actual numbers of scopes manufactured?
...or is it a "known unknown" in the words of Donald Rumsfeld :)

It does seem to make a reasonable amount of sense that the serial numbers are sequential.
I wonder if the serial numbers run up without jumping any numbers, or if he began a new multiple of one hundred for each run?

Although the Traveler was in production for 12 years, he only made a run of them every couple of years - didn't he?

Which would imply a batch of approximately 100 for each run?

I do see those Travelers on Astromart, but unfortunately Astromart has developed into a "I only ship to the CONUS" kinda place. For those in Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii there's hardly any point (there actually isn't any point) even logging in any more.

#8 Olee

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

I know of one Traveler with serial #686 if that tells us anything :shrug:

#9 Derek Wong

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

I know of one Traveler with serial #686 if that tells us anything


Yes, we can update the database. I will try to post something later here so that we can have updated numbers and share info. As far as serial numbers and actual numbers produced, no one knows. Marj said that they were trying to catalog all of the AP products, but it sounds like they are so busy that it will years off.

Derek

#10 Markab

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:42 PM

Hello,

I own a 1999 Traveler and its model is in the high 300s. Funny thing is, I've compared it many times directly with my Tak FS-102, and honestly believe for a purely visual observer, the Tak provides somewhat more contrasty images. The color correction of the AP is marginally better, especially outside of focus. Additionally, the cool-down time of the Traveler is greater than the FS-102, especially noticeable in our sub-zero Fahrenheit nights we've been having frequently in Mid-America this unusually cold winter.

I have often thought of selling my Traveler. But I cannot bring myself to do it. It is still the most portable, high performance, color corrected, well-built, and well-supported (by Roland) 4" APO. And from an artistic point of view, no other telescope looks like it! You can certainly find plenty of Chinese-clone scopes for 1/5-1/10 the cost of the Traveler with perhaps 90% of the performance. But there is no substitute for the ultimate in build quality and *magic* with this scope.

Granted, the Traveler does not bend or circumvent the laws of Physics...it does everything very well for a compact 4" telescope. It just has an emotional appeal that defies description.

#11 M13 Observer

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:50 PM

I know of one Traveler with serial #686 if that tells us anything :shrug:


Are you sure that you are speaking about an AP Traveler and not an AP130? I'd sure like to see photos of that serial number and the corresponding 105F6 on the edge of the lens set. Don't need names locations, etc, but some decent clear pictures would be really nice.

#12 M13 Observer

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:57 PM

I have often thought of selling my Traveler. But I cannot bring myself to do it. It is still the most portable, high performance, color corrected, well-built, and well-supported (by Roland) 4" APO. And from an artistic point of view, no other telescope looks like it!


I sold my first Traveler and went through some horrid sellers remorse for six months until I managed to replace it with another one which turned out to be one of the first few made. Until I sold it, I never realized exactly how much I liked and used it. It seems to me to be the ultimate 4"/105mm for size, weight, and performance.

#13 Markab

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:10 PM


I have often thought of selling my Traveler. But I cannot bring myself to do it. It is still the most portable, high performance, color corrected, well-built, and well-supported (by Roland) 4" APO. And from an artistic point of view, no other telescope looks like it!


I sold my first Traveler and went through some horrid sellers remorse for six months until I managed to replace it with another one which turned out to be one of the first few made. Until I sold it, I never realized exactly how much I liked and used it. It seems to me to be the ultimate 4"/105mm for size, weight, and performance.


+1! Agree completely. There are plenty of telescopes that can upstage the Traveler for specific things at a lower cost...but, IMHO it is the best "compromise" telescope that can do everything from wide-field to AP to planetary to daytime without ever feeling like you're missing something.

I've had seller's remorse way too many times...to me, the $5k-$5.5k price tag of a mint Traveler is worth it. And, with them showing up far less on the used market than even a few years ago, if you sell it...you may never get another opportunity to own one again. :bawling:

#14 Malabargold

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:08 PM

I have a last run Traveler, pretty sure the serial number is into the 600's.
Got it about a month before production ended

#15 Jeff Gardner

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:26 PM

My Traveler is from the last production run AP did. Shipped on 4/1/2004 serial number 105EDF688. It's a lifetime keeper for sure.

#16 RAKing

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 07:54 AM


I have often thought of selling my Traveler. But I cannot bring myself to do it. It is still the most portable, high performance, color corrected, well-built, and well-supported (by Roland) 4" APO. And from an artistic point of view, no other telescope looks like it!


I sold my first Traveler and went through some horrid sellers remorse for six months until I managed to replace it with another one which turned out to be one of the first few made. Until I sold it, I never realized exactly how much I liked and used it. It seems to me to be the ultimate 4"/105mm for size, weight, and performance.


+1! Agree completely. There are plenty of telescopes that can upstage the Traveler for specific things at a lower cost...but, IMHO it is the best "compromise" telescope that can do everything from wide-field to AP to planetary to daytime without ever feeling like you're missing something.

I've had seller's remorse way too many times...to me, the $5k-$5.5k price tag of a mint Traveler is worth it. And, with them showing up far less on the used market than even a few years ago, if you sell it...you may never get another opportunity to own one again. :bawling:


+2 :waytogo: I agree that the Traveler will not violate the laws of physics, but it shows me the best views I have ever had from a 4 inch scope -- period. Plus, the small size and easy portability make this the ultimate grab and go scope for me.

Mine is an early model. It passed through several hands before it got to me - still in near-mint condition. I'll sell everything else I own before I let this one slip away. :cool:

Cheers,

Ron

#17 Olee

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

OK we have #688 do I hear #690???? #700???

I sure enjoy using mine...mounted on an alt-az it's quick & easy to go out for a quick look or to move around the yard.

#18 M13 Observer

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

My Traveler is from the last production run AP did. Shipped on 4/1/2004 serial number 105EDF688. It's a lifetime keeper for sure.


Well, that has to be really close to the last one out the door for sure! Time to update the database I guess.

#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:12 PM

My Traveler is from the last production run AP did. Shipped on 4/1/2004 serial number 105EDF688. It's a lifetime keeper for sure.


Well, that has to be really close to the last one out the door for sure! Time to update the database I guess.


Do you see any big gaps in the database that indicate maybe each run started at 100, 200, and so on?

Jon

#20 Derek Wong

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:18 PM

Time to update the database I guess.


I think we should put the info from the database (at least for the popular models) in a post here and have people PM us if they have other serial numbers so we can give the AP group updated info and disseminate the info to CN members as well.

I would do this but I am crushed at work for weeks.

Derek

#21 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:47 PM

...Do you see any big gaps in the database that indicate maybe each run started at 100, 200, and so on?

Jon


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the the lens sets given sequential numbers early in the manufacture? When the sets are subject to attrition from anomalies, bad coatings, etc. that number is dropped from the finished list. In practical terms, if you have a run that begins with # 001 and ends with # 100, that doesn't mean there were 100 scopes produced since a number of them will have been lost to attrition.

dan k.

#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:30 PM

...Do you see any big gaps in the database that indicate maybe each run started at 100, 200, and so on?

Jon


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the the lens sets given sequential numbers early in the manufacture? When the sets are subject to attrition from anomalies, bad coatings, etc. that number is dropped from the finished list. In practical terms, if you have a run that begins with # 001 and ends with # 100, that doesn't mean there were 100 scopes produced since a number of them will have been lost to attrition.

dan k.


Dan:

I am wondering if a run begins at 200 and if it's 50 scopes, the last scope will be 250... Does the next run start at 251 or 300? That was all..

Jon

#23 photiost

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 06:45 PM

I have looked through a couple of travelers and they are excellent scopes for sure.

Anyone know why did AP stop making them?
.

#24 Tak North

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 07:03 PM

My Traveler is from the last production run AP did. Shipped on 4/1/2004 serial number 105EDF688. It's a lifetime keeper for sure.


Well, that has to be really close to the last one out the door for sure! Time to update the database I guess.


Do you see any big gaps in the database that indicate maybe each run started at 100, 200, and so on?

Jon


No need to go to all this trouble. I'm sure the NSA must already have all of this data collected.

#25 gillmj24

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:42 PM

My guess to why they stopped making them is, Same amount of figuring work for less profit margin relative to the bigger scopes (you'd cry to see what prices they actually sold for new back in the day) and at some point there became a lot more 4" APOs on the market as someone said above.

I started way too late to get any scopes from them new. But I've been fortunate enough to own a traveler or two over the years. Missing them now :bawling:






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