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ASTROSCAN by Edmund Scientic Company

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#26 Chuck Hards

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:52 AM

I think you nailed it, Neil.

Technology to the rescue. This was an interesting bit of detective work. You took the process further than I did, I only spent about 5 minutes just to see if it would help.

The same techniques might be useable on some of those hard-to-read engravings on the back & side of some classic mirrors, such as from Cave.

#27 Roger64

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:46 PM

I recently acquired this scope and it doesn't have a notch as you describe. The bottom of the front glass is cut off to align it. This is the second one I have seen like this.
The serial number is 1811, the instruction booklet says "The Edmund Wide-Field Telescope". It came with a letter signed by Robert M. Edmund apologizing for the delay in shipping and it's dated 12/6/1976.

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#28 amicus sidera

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:42 PM

Never saw one like that before; great info! The fact that this is one of the 1976 run of 3000 and has a plastic emblem on the window (partially visible on your photo) would seem to indicate that the paper sticker was dropped much earlier on than I was informed. Does that plastic emblem say "Astroscan" on it, or is it just generic Edmund information?

If it does say "Astroscan", either the emblem was replaced later on, or Edmund had speedily picked the name for the instrument from the thousands of entries that its naming contest had elicited, and made up emblems with it molded in very quickly.

#29 Roger64

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:27 PM

It does say Astroscan and Patent Pend. The other one I had looked at did have the early logo.

#30 amicus sidera

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:08 PM

Wow, thanks, Roger! That it has such a low number but is marked Astroscan is very interesting. The naming contest entry deadline was November 15, 1976; doesn't seem like Edmund would have had enough time to decide on the winning entry and then have an injection mold made up, back in those pre-CNC days. More likely, the original owner sent it back to Edmund at some point to be cleaned or re-collimated (a service which they offered for a relatively small fee), and the plastic emblem was applied then.

#31 Binojunky

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:18 PM

My first reasonable cope was a Scan, made in the USA, cost a lot because the Canadian dollar was only worth about 83 Cents US,it was eventually sold to finance a Meade Starfinder 10" dob.

I then picked up a well used made in Japan version, then a new China made model, both sold to finance the ever growing need for new "stuff".
Later on I read the review of the new improved version in Sky & Telescope and Scan lust set in again so a new version was ordered which I still have and intend to keep.
They all seem to perform the same optics wise with maybe the edge going to the Japanese made version, the later ones have the better eyepieces and a red dot, also a slide on dew shield, and a set of extra felt pads, the price has dropped a lot over the years.
Competition wise the Bushnell clone made a brief and short appearance, and then there is the 4.5" Orion Starblast which I also own, the Starblast being the more competent performer of the three, however the Scan is so cute, Dave.

#32 apfever

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:42 PM

The Astroscan is currently on production hold. I talked to Edmund on the phone about a manual and the refurbish offer.

Edmund is currently having issues with the manufacturer in China, and is not currently offering the scope. I was told that it is not known if the issue(s) will be resolved and the Scan may not return to the market. Their online Scan manual went 'corrupt' and I could not download a copy which I have done before. Edmund tried to get it to load with me on the phone but had no luck and told me the file registered as "corrupted" on their own system. They are supposed to dig up a hard copy and send it to me. I don't really need that and was hoping to find an online one to make some copies for the scopes I still have.

I was told that the rebuild offer is still active. I was put in touch with the person in charge of the Astroscan operations, but it was voice mail (both times) and I requested information on the refurbish. I never received a reply. It used to cost $35 but I was the person told me they didn't know what it cost now - if actually available that is.

I think that window with the flat edge must have had the emblem put on later. It makes no sense in any way. An owner swap is always a possibility and such things usually throw a wrench in dating attempts of any brand.

#33 Chuck Hards

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:25 PM

It would be nice if they brought production back on-shore.

If they kill it, the prices for used examples will start to rise.

#34 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 09:51 AM

The Astroscan is currently on production hold. I talked to Edmund on the phone about a manual and the refurbish offer.

Edmund is currently having issues with the manufacturer in China, and is not currently offering the scope. I was told that it is not known if the issue(s) will be resolved and the Scan may not return to the market.


Thirty-eight years; it's had a good run. I think in sheer numbers (around 100,000 since 1976) it must be among the most-produced scopes, if not THE most produced. The Questar 3.5" has been in production much longer, but I wonder if it matches or surpasses the Astroscan in number of units made (excluding those made for government/war use). I'd ask over at the Questar forum, but the mere mention of a telescope as déclassé as an Astroscan would doubtless cause a number of them to swoon in horror. :grin:

#35 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

It would be nice if they brought production back on-shore.

If they kill it, the prices for used examples will start to rise.


If, as seems possible (or likely) now, the dollar loses its current position as the world's reserve currency, lots of stuff is going to have to be made here once more; that, or it simply won't be available at anything resembling an affordable price.

Prices for used Astroscans have been climbing since, oh, I'd say the beginning of last year; I agree with you fully, this could lead to even higher values, especially for clean, complete examples.

#36 Ravenous

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:33 AM

I'd ask over at the Questar forum, but the mere mention of a telescope as déclassé as an Astroscan would doubtless cause a number of them to swoon in horror. :grin:

:roflmao:
I've lurked over there in the past and they're nice guys. But I think they'd be spraying coffee over their monitors in mock horror, at least!

#37 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:59 PM

:grin: Indeed, they're fine fellows; and I'd wager that more than one of them could come up with total production numbers off the top of his head. While the marketing for them was worlds apart, they are both iconic instruments in their own rights.

#38 Eric P

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:07 PM

I'd ask over at the Questar forum, but the mere mention of a telescope as déclassé as an Astroscan would doubtless cause a number of them to swoon in horror. :grin:


The Odd Couple...

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#39 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 06:16 PM

Eric!! Great to see you posting!

That couple may be odd, but they're both wonderful :waytogo: That's your very early Astroscan with the silver-grey base and sub-600 serial number, isn't it?

#40 magic612

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 08:57 PM

Just looked at my Astroscan - serial number 21595, has the black drawtube, greater number of grooves on the focuser knobs, and a blue sticker inside. Not sure what any of that means. The lady I bought it from about 2 or 3 years ago claimed to have had it for 30 years. That would place it at early 80's, so not sure if that makes it an early Japanese one or not....??

#41 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:13 PM

Dave, that serial number would seem to place it around 1981 or thereabouts; this was during the period when Carton was first producing them for Edmund at their facility in Ageo, Japan. If you unscrew the strap knob on the side opposite the focuser, you should see the wording "Made In Japan" molded in relief around the screw hole.

Carton made the Astroscan for Edmund from late 1980/early 1981 to around 1985, when production was moved back to Edmund's New Jersey facility. The 1975-1980 models produced at Barrington have no markings around the screw hole; those made in Japan have the inscription noted above; and those instruments made after production resumed at Barrington are similarly marked "Made In U.S.A." around the lower screw hole.

#42 magic612

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:10 AM

Thanks Fred. I looked very carefully for the "Made in Japan" marking, as I had read elsewhere that that was molded into the plastic. But I didn't find such a mark on this one. (Maybe I need to look again?) Is it on the outside of the tube, around the hole? I couldn't find it there. Or do I need to remove the metal threaded insert to see it? It sure seems to have all the other features of a Carton version though. I couldn't find a "Made in USA" marking either. In fact, I didn't see any "Made in ______" markings.

#43 A6Q6

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

"Questar production(excluding those made for government/war use). I'd ask over at the Questar forum, but the mere mention of a telescope as déclassé as an Astroscan would doubtless cause a number of them to swoon in horror." If you exclude Questar production numbers Don't forget to exclude what was made for industry. Here's my orange and red duo along with something that {Questar could have had but didn't want.} The Quantum. :(

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#44 amicus sidera

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 01:16 PM

Dave, it looks like you might have one that was put together using unmarked bodies that Edmund possibly had on hand, and which were shipped to Japan; the black focuser tube certainly indicates the period of Japanese production. From information related to me by other owners, serial numbers in the 18,000-19,000 range look to be the last of initial U.S. production. As for the markings, they would be on the red plastic, and in a circle around the screw hole/metal insert; simply removing the strap and bolt should reveal it, as it's pretty noticeable.

Trouble is, there is quite a bit of " wiggle room" with this information, and unfortunately Edmund doesn't seem to have kept any pertinent historical records regarding the production changeover; almost all of it comes from the memories of former employee which I interviewed, along with whatever correlations and logical suppositions that the interested folks here on CN can make.

One possible determining factor would be the quality of the mirror; the Carton mirrors were very good, indeed (they might well have been hand-corrected, whereas Edmund's were completely machine-made), so if your Astroscan star tests nearly perfect in and out of focus, it's likely Japanese production.

#45 amicus sidera

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:07 PM

That's a very nice lineup, Harper! Those Quantums were super-fine instruments. Yes, industrial production would need to be subtracted to make for a fair comparison, thanks for bringing that point up.

#46 PawPaw

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:41 AM

Wonderful information here. Last year I picked up a early model Astroscan S/N 822 with a grey base. It is possible this was sent back in at some point for refurbishment to Edmund because there is a green sticker over part of the S/N label. I also have the original box and paperwork. The box has a stamp date from Edmund showing Oct 1977 and the UPS label showing it shipped on Nov 25 1977. As you can see the box says "Astroscan" but the Instruction manual says "The Edmund Wide-Field Telescope". If you look closely at the UPS label it cost $1.82 to ship from Edmund to Poughkeepsie NY.

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#47 PawPaw

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:42 AM

Original packing and manual:

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#48 PawPaw

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

And it only costs $1.82 to ship!

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#49 Edward E

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:23 AM

Looks like it's the year of the Astroscan. I just picked up one off CL last Friday. It is in excellent shape and for $25 bucks it could not be past up. It did not have the base or sling but did have the RKE 28mm eyepiece and owner manual. It has an round, orange tag with hand written serial # in the 41K range. I had it out last Saturday and it gave very good images, that is, when a star peaked out from behind the clouds. I will post some photos of it later.

#50 Edward E

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:03 PM

Photo:

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