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Craigslist, ebay and other Vintage Telescope Finds

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#226 Chuck Hards

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 07:53 PM



Very nice, Chuck!  Great find.  About the H 23mm .965 --  I have a very similar looking Japanese H 20mm  in .965 with the 'H 20mm' engraved upside down (tops of the letters facing outwards) like yours.  It's excellent quality.  Any idea of who made these?  They seem to be a definite cut above the Huygens ep's that were commonly supplied with small refractors.

 

I've examined it and can find no trademark at all.  It is similar in construction to a Japanese H20mm that I already have, except for the different style of top cap.  I suspect they both came from the same maker, separated in time.  Both are very heavy for their size, and amazingly sharp in medium-to-long FL telescopes, narrow field aside.  I suspect brass is used for most of the parts, with chrome plating and anodized top caps.  Far too hefty to be aluminum.

 

H20H23_zps016aa76c.jpg



#227 Chuck Hards

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 08:05 PM

Teaser:

 

Some of you know that I love f/20 achromats.  The color correction, visually, is virtually indistinguishable from a top-shelf APO of shorter f-ratio.

 

I finally found a classic Japanese 60mm f/20 OTA.  It's supposed to be here this week.  It will be a "big brother" to my 50mm f/20 & the 40mm f/20 still under construction.  

 

 

 

Stay tuned.


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#228 DocFinance

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 12:38 AM

I can't blame you, I'm always on the lookout too.  Can't argue with a long focal ratio.


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#229 jjbird

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 08:45 AM

Teaser:

 

Some of you know that I love f/20 achromats.  The color correction, visually, is virtually indistinguishable from a top-shelf APO of shorter f-ratio.

 

I finally found a classic Japanese 60mm f/20 OTA.  It's supposed to be here this week.  It will be a "big brother" to my 50mm f/20 & the 40mm f/20 still under construction.  

 

 

 

Stay tuned.

 

Either Goto or SPI


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#230 BigC

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 10:27 AM

Teaser:

 

Some of you know that I love f/20 achromats.  The color correction, visually, is virtually indistinguishable from a top-shelf APO of shorter f-ratio.

 

I finally found a classic Japanese 60mm f/20 OTA.  It's supposed to be here this week.  It will be a "big brother" to my 50mm f/20 & the 40mm f/20 still under construction.  

 

 

 

Stay tuned.

 Me,too.An 80mm f20 would be nice;Monolux is the only one I've seen cataloged although there were likely others.


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#231 Chuck Hards

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 11:38 AM

It arrived this morning. I'm on "vacation" from the day job all week, but working at the part-time gig. I will be home later today for the unpacking. Going to be a long day!
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#232 DocFinance

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 02:56 PM

Just got a Jason 311 in last night.  I opened it today and it is pristine, complete with warranty card, etc.  It's never been unpacked except to show it for ebay.  I'll follow up with a thread of "opening " pics ASAP.  

 

Cost: less than a family meal.  My daughter will certainly get more out of it.

 

Update:  First light will have to wait a little - one of the tripod leg pieces isn't drilled all the way through (oops).  I'm going to have to finesse a bit through there to save the finish, too.


Edited by DocFinance, 17 October 2014 - 09:20 PM.

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#233 Chuck Hards

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 10:30 PM

Just got a Jason 311 in last night.  I opened it today and it is pristine, complete with warranty card, etc.  It's never been unpacked except to show it for ebay.  I'll follow up with a thread of "opening " pics ASAP.  

 

Cost: less than a family meal.  My daughter will certainly get more out of it.

 

Nice!  Can't wait to see the pics.

 

I've got a 3" Meade (Towa, I believe) on the way.  The last of the pickle-jar purchases.

 

I unpacked the 60mm f/20 OTA today.  Very nice objective, collimatable cell.  Already started cleaning it up.  I relined a pair of Orion tube clamp rings with thicker felt (now they fit the tube perfectly) and test-mounted it on the Edmund mount.  

Don't get too mad at me, it's not going to be a faithful restoration.  I plan on installing a new 1.25" focuser...or even a 2-inch!  :)

 

There are two tube baffles that will have to be removed and enlarged, then replaced.  The stock field of 100% illumination is only a few millimeters!  Even with .965" eyepieces, it's inadequate.  I wonder how common this is with imported "classic" refractors?  Not a good thing.  Funny I never noticed before, I only thought about it when I decided to go with a larger focuser.


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#234 Steve_M_M

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 08:49 PM

Here is the formally $200 Dynamax from IL.  It ended up costing $350, but should make a nice addition to the telescope room.  It's in amazing condition.

Attached Files


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#235 Steve_M_M

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 08:54 PM

I have owned seemingly ever telescope out there...but never the Dynamax 8.  The look is already getting much attention from everyone who walks in the front door.  The eyepieces were like new...and off to Mr. Gorton for his collection.

 

Tim was wondering about the optics which look like they may have been scrubbed with a scouring pad.  Actually though, they cleaned up to like new condition.  The views through the scope were atrocious.  Worst I have ever seen.  I am now doing some testing with adding cork support, rotating the corrector and aligning the secondary.  It's looking much better!

Attached Files


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#236 DocFinance

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 09:29 PM

Here are some Jason 311 pics.  Tonight isn't going to be first light because one of the tripod leg pieces isn't drilled all of the way through.

 

The neon green tag that's taped over on the box is from Service Merchandise, so I've got PROOF that this is a "department store telescope."  If I could pay for it with paper route money I would.

 

More pics when I can.

 

Attached File  end of box.JPG   110.07KB   0 downloadsAttached File  box stuff 1.JPG   110.82KB   0 downloadsAttached File  box stuff 2.JPG   111.42KB   0 downloadsAttached File  full box.JPG   95.92KB   0 downloads


Edited by DocFinance, 17 October 2014 - 09:33 PM.

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#237 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 02:05 AM

Pics of the 60mm f/20.  Here it is mounted on the Edmund 5/8" shaft mount.  Gosh, that's a long tube!

 

Pay no attention to the basement clutter behind it.  Much of that stuff is my ex-wife's, still waiting for her to decide what to do with it- after four years!  Then I can finally finish that room and fill it with telescopes.  I'll claim the RC airplanes and telescopes.  Anything wicker or in a box is probably hers.

 

006_zps0b30af7c.jpg

 

Those who guessed SPI were correct.  No. 060306.  Can anyone date this telescope?

 

003_zpsb06210e8.jpg

 

With the hybrid diagonal and 16.3mm Galoc.

 

002_zpsa460832c.jpg

 

Another view.  That's my "sort-of" home-made tripod, in which I cut new, longer wood, but restored and re-used the hardware from an old tripod that had reached the end of the road.

I may mount my 50mm f/20 OTA on this one, something like a Unitronish arrangement of two refractors on one mount, one slightly smaller than the other.

 

004_zps57f9bcd6.jpg

 

The Orion tube rings fit perfectly when I replaced the paper-thin Orion felt with some thicker, adhesive-backed material, cut to the proper size.  BTW, the old felt peeled right off with a little encouragement from a heat gun.  The finder has a very nice achromatic objective, and the crosshairs are straight and intact.  Vixen-style dovetail rail.

 

001_zpsb8e82b1a.jpg

 

The stock focuser restored beautifully, from a cosmetic standpoint, but the pads and felt that the drawtubes ride in have to be replaced or shimmed out a bit.  Too much wobble as-is.  Also the eyepiece holder itself on this telescope is very poorly engineered and I don't trust it.  I've watched heavy eyepieces slowly slide right out, despite my re-tensioning the sleeve. 

 

But as I posted previously, I want to replace it with either a 2" R&P (preferred), or a 1.25" R&P if I can't aesthetically mate the larger focuser to the tube.  We'll see what shakes out.  I have an old Astro Physics 2" R&P that would be perfect on this tube.

 

If these images are rotated, don't blame me.  I keep orienting them correctly on photobucket but sometimes it does't seem to "take".

Edit:  I see this morning that all the images are oriented correctly.  Perhaps it takes a little time for coding to propagate, for things like this?

 

This scope came in a stock wood box but it has only one complete latch, and much of the interior wood divider pieces are damaged or missing.  It only came with a partial mount, no tripod or hub, so the equatorial mount head itself is not useable.  Several eyepieces not worth mentioning in detail.  Too much missing to do a full restoration, so I don't feel badly about the focuser upgrade. 

 

Anybody know who made the SPI telescopes?


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#238 terraclarke

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 09:57 AM

That is a beauty Chuck! I love it. I would definitely keep the original focuser on it though, as it looks to be in beautiful condition; especially since you have re-worked the drawtube. Maybe you could just machine a 1.25" visual back for it? If not, I would just use the hybrid diagonal. I've used a Japanese prism hybrid diagonal on a couple of mine and it hasn't hurt anything. It works great with my vintage volcano-top eyepieces. It's just such a cool looking scope as it is.



#239 terraclarke

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 09:57 AM

And it looks great on that Edmund mount too!



#240 DocFinance

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 12:23 PM

Yep, that's a peach!  I haven't heard much about SPI over the years, but I hope we can find out more about it.

 

I'd like to find one of the 40mm f20 Cometrons.  Someday...


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#241 AstroPhys

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 02:07 PM

Anybody know who made the SPI telescopes?

Hmm, let's see, which pocket did I put that list in?:

 

http://www.cloudynig...td/#entry486374

 

 

http://www.cloudynig...d/#entry3080104

 

http://www.cloudynig...e/#entry3203849



#242 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 07:11 AM


 

That is a beauty Chuck! I love it. I would definitely keep the original focuser on it though, as it looks to be in beautiful condition; especially since you have re-worked the drawtube. Maybe you could just machine a 1.25" visual back for it? If not, I would just use the hybrid diagonal. I've used a Japanese prism hybrid diagonal on a couple of mine and it hasn't hurt anything. It works great with my vintage volcano-top eyepieces. It's just such a cool looking scope as it is.

 

Terra, the eyepiece holder itself is junk, poorly designed.  It's the "crimp" style, with the slot extending all the way back to the fitting that screws it into the drawtube.  A hose clamp would have to be used to keep a diagonal in there.  I've re-sprung it as tight as it will go, and eyepieces and diagonals still slide right out.  I have a better .965" eyepiece holder that seems to have just a slightly different thread (of course) and that would be an acceptable short-term swap if it would only thread on there.  

 

I'm thinking of a 1.25" eyepiece holder for the end of the drawtube, but I really want a 2" focuser on there eventually.  This scope would just be a killer with 2" star diagonal and eyepieces.  

 

Bottom line is that the stock .965" eyepiece holder is junk, it won't fly at all.

 

 

Anybody know who made the SPI telescopes?

Hmm, let's see, which pocket did I put that list in?:

 

http://www.cloudynig...td/#entry486374

 

 

http://www.cloudynig...d/#entry3080104

 

http://www.cloudynig...e/#entry3203849

 

 

Thanks Dan!  I just don't see these scopes much at all.  Only ever seen this one in person, and maybe a couple of auctions over the years.

 

I will probably be selling the incomplete mount.  Without tripod or hub, there's not enough to restore.  Keep an eye on the classifieds or PM me if anybody is a SPI fan looking for mount parts.

 

 

 

I got the Meade 80mm (Towa) f/15 over the weekend.   The OTA is huge in comparison to 60mm scopes!   It has a few issues but at least it's all there.  The mount looks to be a scaled-up EQ-2.  Would that make it an EQ-3?  The gears look identical to the EQ-2 so I'm guessing an EQ-2 drive will work with it if I can fabricate a motor mount.

 

The most serious problem with this one is a focuser rack with a stripped-out section of missing teeth.  I've found a replacement rack and pinion from a cheap old focuser on my spares shelf, and will be performing a transplant soon.  The stock rack has straight-cut teeth, the donor is helical-cut, and a bit longer, but the width and depth is identical, as is the pinion shaft diameter.  It should be a straightforward swap, as soon as I can find some #2 bolts.  Might sneak #4's in there, we'll see.  I may be able to transfer the Meade focuser knobs to the new pinion shaft as well, making the transplant practically invisible.

 

My conundrum with this scope is whether to replace the tiny Tasco 60mm/700mm guidescope on my 10" Cave with it, or keep it as a stand-alone refractor.  That decision depends on how soon I think I'll have my long-focus Jaegers 3" and 4" refractors built.



#243 terraclarke

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 10:18 AM

Hi Chuck. Please forgive my ignorance and don't take this question as being snide or smart 'axx' but what is the gain with a 60mm F20 to up the focuser to a 2" and use a 2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces? I just don't get it. Please educate me.



#244 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 11:20 AM

Hi Chuck. Please forgive my ignorance and don't take this question as being snide or smart 'axx' but what is the gain with a 60mm F20 to up the focuser to a 2" and use a 2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces? I just don't get it. Please educate me.

 

No problem, Terra.  I understand where you're coming from.

 

I've discovered that the telescope is choked-down by internal glare stops that are too small.  The field of 100% illumination at the focal plane is only something like 4 or 5 millimeters.  That means a significant amount of falloff with medium and low power eyepieces, especially modern ones.  No problem with single-digit focal-length orthos and Huygens, but I really don't use those much.

 

Even if the glare stops are enlarged in the tube, you still can't get much more fully illuminated field due to the long 1" diameter drawtube.

 

Unitron fixed the problem with a larger diameter drawtube, but it looks like some other Japanese makers haven't really acknowledged it as a problem.  In some people's minds, perhaps it isn't, and that's fair too.

 

I actually like to use these refractors for deep-sky.  The view through, say, a wide-field 32mm eyepiece in a 2" barrel is just draw-dropping compared to a 32mm in a 1.25" barrel.   Or using my UO 40mm 70-degree 2" eyepiece at 40X.  The views are wonderful.

 

A 2" focuser isn't a panacea, but I think most people would be pleasantly surprised to see what a 60, 70, or 80mm long-focus achromat can do in the 2" format.

 

I'm not happy with the small fully illuminated field as it came from the factory (obviously the makers were only thinking of planetary, lunar, double-stars, etc., not deep-sky) so something has to change.   I may get by with a better .965" eyepiece holder for a while, but a 1.25", at minimum, along with larger tube baffles, is definitely in it's future, and a 2" if I can make it work aesthetically.


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#245 terraclarke

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 11:29 AM

Thanks Chuck, and I can fully appreciate the move up to fully functional at 1.25". I have tried to achieve that with most all my classics.



#246 BigC

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 08:37 PM

Chuck,

   You just need  a classic hose clamp to make that focuser fully a  period item!

   And I concur that larger eyepieces let the scopes shine.As an example ,those Meade DS scopes which are bordering on classic by way of age,often had a 2" focuser that was reduced to 1.25" or even .965 in order to lower the boxed telescope set price point. Unscrew the  little  eyepiece holder and screw on  a 2" for an eye-opener.



#247 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 09:18 PM

Chuck,

   You just need  a classic hose clamp to make that focuser fully a  period item!

 

Ahhh...  No.  :lol:








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