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Craigslist, ebay and other Vintage Telescope Finds

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#1801 Bomber Bob

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 05:43 PM

I'm glad you got the TRAQ 545 - and at a fantastic price!!

 

Towa lenses are very good, and the mounts & tripods can be tightened up to hold steady at higher powers.

 

My first big scope was a Tasco (Towa) 80x1200 (a 339 with slight modifications), and I logged thousands of happy hours with it.



#1802 BigC

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:56 AM

The Traq is minty.But had to  reverse the head in the mount base as the pointer was on the side opposite the elevation marks.Hope to check it out on the stars tonight. Have pics and will post after resizing.



#1803 bdaniele79

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:55 AM

A nice find in Netherlands....a Polarex 50/700  :) 

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#1804 CharlieB

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 12:44 PM

A nice find in Netherlands....a Polarex 50/700  :)

attachicon.gifIMG_20151215_183955.jpg

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Very nice.  It's one of my favorite 50mm scopes, and they are hard to come by.  Yours has the swinging finder like my 40mm Unitron, and mine did not come with a wooden case.  I'm pretty sure mine is from the very late 1970's or eraly 1980's.



#1805 TexasSky

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:39 PM

Hi all!.....well I promised myself no more telescopes......but darn it, a taco 19te observatory telescope came up on eBay......these seem to be pretty rare, so I snagged it......looks to be in "OK" condition.....missing box, eyepiece tray, and the coveted light pen though!....Ill post some pics when I get it......will probably need a light restoration....if you do a eBay search on taco 19te and then select "completed listings" you should be able to see original add.....

bob



#1806 Chuck Hards

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 06:25 PM

Between CL and eBay, about a half dozen of these original-series grey & black DX8's came to market this past late summer through fall.  I grabbed one that I hoped was the best combination of low serial number and good condition of the lot.  It's been sitting in the shop since I got it, but with some time off work for the holidays, I dug it out.

 

Condition is very good, just a few small paint chips.  The finder is in great shape, just a tad dirty.  Main optics look pristine, in fact the whole telescope looks hardly used.  The DEC lock knob would pop-off when loosened and I suspect this is the reason it didn't get used much, if at all, by the original & previous owners.  Examining it revealed that not enough of the knob shaft threads were making it into the receiver hole on the DEC clutch.  Only two threads were engaged when it was tightened-down, so once loosened to move the scope in DEC, it popped-out and of course the scope wouldn't stay aimed.  I chucked the shaft in the mini lathe and reduced the diameter for about 3/8" of an inch beyond the end of the threads, so now the entire threaded section engages the DEC clutch and it works as designed.  It appeared to be a factory flaw, the shaft had not broken-off but the shoulder was just too close to the threaded portion.  Problem solved.

 

The laser says it's collimated, but of course that's not precise, so a star test will still be needed, and it's just socked-in here tonight.  Too many other projects on the workbench to set up for autocollimation tests at the moment, maybe in a few days.

 

But the good news is that, on daytime targets at least, the imagery is very sharp at even high powers.  It blows-away my later model blue-and-light-grey DX8.  I can't help but think that the optics, as a complete system, are much, much better than my later model Dynamax.

 

I had reasoned that a very low serial number might indicate a unit produced before the Celestron lawsuit forced Criterion to switch their corrector plate figuring method.  Buying a DX8 is always a crapshoot with very poor odds, but judging by my terrestrial tests, this may be a reasonably good way to at least hedge one's bet with these things.  I won't pronounce the optics "good" or better until I've done some actual testing, but the initial views are very promising.

 

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#1807 CHASLX200

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 06:47 PM

Between CL and eBay, about a half dozen of these original-series grey & black DX8's came to market this past late summer through fall.  I grabbed one that I hoped was the best combination of low serial number and good condition of the lot.  It's been sitting in the shop since I got it, but with some time off work for the holidays, I dug it out.

 

Condition is very good, just a few small paint chips.  The finder is in great shape, just a tad dirty.  Main optics look pristine, in fact the whole telescope looks hardly used.  The DEC lock knob would pop-off when loosened and I suspect this is the reason it didn't get used much, if at all, by the original & previous owners.  Examining it revealed that not enough of the knob shaft threads were making it into the receiver hole on the DEC clutch.  Only two threads were engaged when it was tightened-down, so once loosened to move the scope in DEC, it popped-out and of course the scope wouldn't stay aimed.  I chucked the shaft in the mini lathe and reduced the diameter for about 3/8" of an inch beyond the end of the threads, so now the entire threaded section engages the DEC clutch and it works as designed.  It appeared to be a factory flaw, the shaft had not broken-off but the shoulder was just too close to the threaded portion.  Problem solved.

 

The laser says it's collimated, but of course that's not precise, so a star test will still be needed, and it's just socked-in here tonight.  Too many other projects on the workbench to set up for autocollimation tests at the moment, maybe in a few days.

 

But the good news is that, on daytime targets at least, the imagery is very sharp at even high powers.  It blows-away my later model blue-and-light-grey DX8.  I can't help but think that the optics, as a complete system, are much, much better than my later model Dynamax.

 

I had reasoned that a very low serial number might indicate a unit produced before the Celestron lawsuit forced Criterion to switch their corrector plate figuring method.  Buying a DX8 is always a crapshoot with very poor odds, but judging by my terrestrial tests, this may be a reasonably good way to at least hedge one's bet with these things.  I won't pronounce the optics "good" or better until I've done some actual testing, but the initial views are very promising.

 

attachicon.gif001.jpg

I wonder if any of these D8's had good optics?



#1808 Chuck Hards

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:25 PM

You and everyone else, Chas.



#1809 fjs

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:35 PM

Sounds encouraging though.



#1810 Chuck Hards

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:43 PM

Frank, I think it's going to perform MUCH better than my blue one, just because at high power, I get crisp detail on far-away terrestrial targets.  The blue one goes soft once you get above only about 50X; high-power daytime views don't produce any kind of recognizable image, it's truly awful.  A grove of trees at 1/4 mile is just a green blob.

 

But this one has my attention.  Night-time views and a Ronchi on the bench will reveal all, but I can already tell it's a couple orders of magnitude better than the blue one.


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#1811 CHASLX200

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:50 PM

Frank, I think it's going to perform MUCH better than my blue one, just because at high power, I get crisp detail on far-away terrestrial targets.  The blue one goes soft once you get above only about 50X; high-power daytime views don't produce any kind of recognizable image, it's truly awful.  A grove of trees at 1/4 mile is just a green blob.

 

But this one has my attention.  Night-time views and a Ronchi on the bench will reveal all, but I can already tell it's a couple orders of magnitude better than the blue one.

Sounds like it could be a winner. I had two very bad  Meade 2045's that looked ok at 50x on land objects. But at 150x or more at nite on the stars, total mush.



#1812 mfalls

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 11:19 PM

Purchased a Tasco 11T 4 1/2 inch Newtonian  to educate my grandkids .

 

Excellent view of M42 with the original  Huygens 20 mm eyepiece. 

 

Downside is .965 eyepieces and the useless finder.


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#1813 BigC

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 10:38 AM

Purchased a Tasco 11T 4 1/2 inch Newtonian  to educate my grandkids .

 

Excellent view of M42 with the original  Huygens 20 mm eyepiece. 

 

Downside is .965 eyepieces and the useless finder.

Quick! Go to Bill Vorce's telescope-warehouse.com and buy the Meade 25 MA in .965-it will GREATLY increase the ease and quality of the view.Also consider the Meade 40mmMA in .965 and Bill's re-purposed bino eyepiece the 8mm .965.These  with and without a decent glass-lensed barlow in .965 will really bring out the full potential of the 11T.


Edited by BigC, 08 February 2016 - 10:39 AM.

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#1814 A6Q6

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 10:58 AM

  Buying a DX8 is always a crapshoot with very poor odds, but judging by my terrestrial tests, this may be a reasonably good way to at least hedge one's bet with these things.  I won't pronounce the optics "good" or better until I've done some actual testing, but the initial views are very promising.

 

attachicon.gif001.jpg

I really like the case the DX8 came in.  Looks more professional than the regular Kmart foot locker Celestron  provided for their SCT's.

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Edited by A6Q6, 08 February 2016 - 11:05 AM.

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#1815 tim53

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 11:06 AM

While not a telescope, I was pretty delighted at the Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 120 film camera I bought at the swap meet yesterday.  I paid $70, and it's probably worth about that, considering it looks new.  It looks so new, in fact, that I didn't think it was older than about the 60's, but it looks like it was probably made before WWII, between 1937-40.  

 

It's got B and T settings, so if I can find one of my cable releases, time exposures would be pretty straightforward.

 

But I did find others on ebay for quite a bit less.  Not a great bargain, but a cool addition to my collection of vintage camera gear.  I may even fiddle with it piggyback on a scope one of these days, for hoots.

 

-Tim.

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#1816 mfalls

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:17 PM

"While not a telescope, I was pretty delighted at the Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 120 film camera I bought at the swap meet yesterday.  I paid $70, and it's probably worth about that, considering it looks new."

 

Good for you!  Small, lightweight foldout camera with an excellent lens for medium format piggyback astrophotography. I tried to find a Nettar several years ago. In like new condition, no pinholes in bellows, clean fungus free lens ( if I remember correctly)  I could not find one for under $200. 



#1817 Ben H

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:27 PM

Rod Mollise ain't dead yet, but if he were, he'd be rolling in his grave at all the DX8's we've bought.  :lol:

 

I still say they're way more attractive than any orange tube.


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#1818 mikey cee

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 10:39 PM

Ben H, on 08 Feb 2016 - 3:27 PM, said:

Rod Mollise ain't dead yet, but if he were, he'd be rolling in his grave at all the DX8's we've bought.  :lol:

 

I still say they're way more attractive than any orange tube.

I've always thought so too! :waytogo: Mike



#1819 mfalls

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 10:02 AM

 

Purchased a Tasco 11T 4 1/2 inch Newtonian  to educate my grandkids .

 

Excellent view of M42 with the original  Huygens 20 mm eyepiece. 

 

Downside is .965 eyepieces and the useless finder.

Quick! Go to Bill Vorce's telescope-warehouse.com and buy the Meade 25 MA in .965-it will GREATLY increase the ease and quality of the view.Also consider the Meade 40mmMA in .965 and Bill's re-purposed bino eyepiece the 8mm .965.These  with and without a decent glass-lensed barlow in .965 will really bring out the full potential of the 11T.

 

Purchased the 8mm Konig, 25mm MA, and the Japanese made Meade 2 power model 134 barlow. Even purchased a blemished 40mm MA despite the narrow field of view. . 

 

Now to figure out a lightweight functional finder without having to drill additional holes.



#1820 terraclarke

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 10:11 AM

Telrad. If you don't want to use the sticky tape, they have long, wide zipties at Lowes in the electrical section.
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#1821 BigC

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 10:54 AM

 

 

Purchased a Tasco 11T 4 1/2 inch Newtonian  to educate my grandkids .

 

Excellent view of M42 with the original  Huygens 20 mm eyepiece. 

 

Downside is .965 eyepieces and the useless finder.s or

Quick! Go to Bill Vorce's telescope-warehouse.com and buy the Meade 25 MA in .965-it will GREATLY increase the ease and quwe'ality of the view.Also consider the Meade 40mmMA in .965 and Bill's re-purposed bino eyepiece the 8mm .965.These  with and without a decent glass-lensed barlow in .965 will really bring out the full potential of the 11T.

 

Purchased the 8mm Konig, 25mm MA, and the Japanese made Meade 2 power model 134 barlow. Even purchased a blemished 40mm MA despite the narrow field of view. .

Now to figure out a lightweight functional finder without having to drill additional holes.

 

Wow! Someone took my advice.I have all those things you bought and it is like night and day compared to the original H and SR eyepieces.Enjoy.

 

You can also fasten  one of those cheaper red dot finders using the long plastic ties.A 6x30 optical finder is another thing Bill can sell you. The Telrad is bulky,kind of pricey, but very effective and uses easy to find ,inexpensive AA batteries.I have at least FOUR Telrads (don't like moving things from scope to scope). The Telrad made finding things with my Dob so much easier and faster,and the same for other scopes .After you decide on ,and install a finder,I suggest holding off on any more purchases until you use what you have now;you can find free star charts online.Try to take out a comfortable yard chair or something because sitting is usually better than standing while viewing.


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#1822 Rich3756

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 02:29 PM

Attached File  f7.jpg   295.58KB   39 downloadsFlea market find this morning, $30. I didn't need another 60mm scope but for the price it would be disrespectful to leave it. Need some help to identify (Towa)?, name tag is gone, parts stripped and polished, other parts painted a metallic black. Scope has a 60mm lens and the tube is 700mm long, qualiity seem a step up from the cheep scopes. The best feature is the Vixen 36.4 X 1 1/4 adaptor fits.

 

 


Edited by Rich3756, 12 February 2016 - 02:31 PM.

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#1823 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 07:01 PM

While y'all were napping, I nabbed the Stein Optik 60x800 from Seattle Goodwill sold on eBay:  Asahi style focus knobs, wood case with wood & felt inserts, old style bino erector, and the better grade Towa eyepieces with removable label caps.  It looks nastier than the 4380 or 6336, but I'll get it spiffed up.  For $33, I couldn't pass on it.  I'd rather have the Royal 60x1200, but this old Stein went for 91% less.


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#1824 BigC

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:46 PM

While y'all were napping, I nabbed the Stein Optik 60x800 from Seattle Goodwill sold on eBay:  Asahi style focus knobs, wood case with wood & felt inserts, old style bino erector, and the better grade Towa eyepieces with removable label caps.  It looks nastier than the 4380 or 6336, but I'll get it spiffed up.  For $33, I couldn't pass on it.  I'd rather have the Royal 60x1200, but this old Stein went for 91% less.

Good catch, Bob. With probably a dozen each of classic and modern 60mm I am trying to stop buying any more--unless it's a bargain!?! Goodwill shipping and refusal to ship are problems.



#1825 apfever

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 05:13 PM

Well it was a no brainer that fell into my lap very close to the girlfriends house so we picked it up together. I told her not to freak because there was no way the tube alone would fit in the truck even with the entire back seat to itself door to door.

 

This 12.5 OTA set came up the same time as the $1000 Cave in Aspen. I tried for the Cave but was about an hour or so behind the buyer, and I gladly let it go to pick this up for about 1/10 the cost.  I'll put a string on it for more detail later.

 

Original owner was seller. He bought all the parts individually through Cathy at S&S Optica, including the 16" X 76" Parks fiberglass tube. His best recollection was early 1980, but if that doesn't fit any parts please let me know. The crazing on the tube is very minimal and light, and all the holes are free of crazing lines. The mirror is Coulter :undecided: but their ATM seem to have been better than what they hid in their own scopes. From what I've experienced, Coulter put more care into what they sold to ATM building substantial scopes. It's 12.5"  F6.1, f=75.8", 2" thick edge, but I haven't fine tested the written number yet. I'll put this one on the Foucault bench. It needs coating but the glass should looks fine.

 

The focuser is a tall Meade (5.5" tube O.D. to focal plane) and I can take that down to 2-1/16" with my Tectron 2" focuser. I'll have to shim the tube since I don't have an extra 3+ inches to move the mirror back. It was built correctly for the tall focuser. In fact, it was built with exceptional engineering. Owner/builder was a NASA aero engineer. In fact he got a chuckle out of "Yes, I acutally AM a rocket scientist".  He was a delightful individual. The cell is Novak 9 point. The spider is awesome with correctly done dual PINNED tensioners each vane and the tensioners clear the primary edge for thin vane only obstruction. I'll be able to reduce the 2.5" secondary down to a hair over 16% obstruction with large 100% illuminated field. I'm still crunching the secondary and ray trace for my preference. I have a matched 2" extension for the focuser to give at least 3" of travel without vignettles when racked in. The 6X50mm RA finder is an absolute beauty of Japan construction.

 

 

 

 

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