Jump to content


Photo

Unitron 140 and the Elegance Of Design

  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 pdxmoon

pdxmoon

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2013
  • Loc: Oregon

Posted 04 August 2014 - 04:52 PM

I have been using my new to me Unitron 140 this week on Moon and Saturn.  I have followed the classic forum for a year now and purchased several Tascos, a Scope and a Sears, and I love them all. However, the one constant weak link in all of these scopes, IMHO--are the mounts.

 

It got to the point where I remounted all of my classic scopes on rings to be used on my Porta II--which is a fantastic upgrade for me.  The only Tasco I still use on the original mount is the 1000mm 7TE-5.

 

Enter my first Unitron.

 

The mount is a spectacular, simple, sturdy piece of work. It is, to put it simply, a joy to use. Whether I loosen the clutch and just nudge it, or use the geared nobs, it works superbly well.

 

My target, the Moon, also at certain times in the cycle is in a position in the sky where it is possible for me to use it straight thru, no diagonal--my favorite way to use a classic. I did this last night, with .965 eps and also 1.25, and it was a pleasure. The optics are--not surprisingly--amazing. I climbed the lunar alps last night, and what fun it was.

 

I now understand the appeal. If the optics were even a wash with my RA Tasco scopes, the Unitron would lap it in performance based on the functionality of the mount alone.

 

It was worth the money I paid for it. I could not be more delighted.

 

Attached File  unitron140.jpg   152.83KB   2 downloads


Edited by pdxmoon, 04 August 2014 - 04:54 PM.


#2 sgorton99

sgorton99

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3502
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin, Madison

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:13 PM

Nice! I love my recently upgraded 140 (now a 142), Great size and excellent quality.



#3 combatdad

combatdad

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 988
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:29 PM

Congratulations on your purchase.  The Unitron mount is a large part of the Unitron "legend"!   The alt-az mount on my 55 year old Model 114 is still perfectly smooth as is the one on my Brandon 94.  They compare well with my new Porta II I use on my SV110ED.

 

Dave



#4 akman1955

akman1955

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3378
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Alaska, USA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:23 PM

Congrats..another unitron convert :)  They are nice HUH? This is only the beginning..believe me :lol:  



#5 gelkin

gelkin

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1273
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Western, MD.

Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:02 PM

Attached File  DSC_2379.JPG   173.88KB   2 downloadsYea before you know it they are every where. :lol:



#6 photiost

photiost

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1080
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2006
  • Loc: La Belle Province, Canada

Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:38 PM

Congrats.

 

I also own the Unitron #140 and have been enjoying it for many years now.

 

The mount is nice and solid and I find it also works perfect with my PST.



#7 Jim Curry

Jim Curry

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007
  • Loc: STL

Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:23 PM

No question, my 75mm is my favoritest of my sub-6" scopes.

 

Jim



#8 Jim Curry

Jim Curry

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007
  • Loc: STL

Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:29 PM

No question, my 75mm is my favoritest of my sub-6" scopes.

 

Jim

Attached Files


  • chrisastro8 likes this

#9 akman1955

akman1955

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3378
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Alaska, USA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:16 AM

WOW! Jim and Gerald! NICE Unitrons :bow:  :waytogo:



#10 Jim Curry

Jim Curry

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007
  • Loc: STL

Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:47 AM

And, akman, you've played a role in some of my accessories.

 

The 140 class is lightweight enough to remove the OTA and maneuver the tripod out of doors.  The 4" class is significantly heavier and awkward to handle.  Because of the OTA removal it falls just below the GnG standard but it's close. On decent nights the 3" can handle 150x with aplomb on luna, 200x on doubles. 



#11 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5351
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: The Bluegrass State

Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:48 AM

Very nice Thom. Now you are a member of the Unitron club. You are going to love it. Congrats! Uni's are wonderful!  :flowerred:



#12 akman1955

akman1955

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3378
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Alaska, USA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:49 AM

And, akman, you've played a role in some of my accessories.

 

The 140 class is lightweight enough to remove the OTA and maneuver the tripod out of doors.  The 4" class is significantly heavier and awkward to handle.  Because of the OTA removal it falls just below the GnG standard but it's close. On decent nights the 3" can handle 150x with aplomb on luna, 200x on doubles. 

I agree:) I see Gerald only has one 75mm..mmmmm he needs to but another from me :choochoo:



#13 nightpilot

nightpilot

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 177
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Southern Suburbs, Chicago

Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

A nice functional scope. Looks like it will get a lot of use. Congrats.

 

Bob



#14 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2346
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Deep South, USA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:39 PM

The Unitron design is timeless, and they were built to last.  What I've found with the other import models are that the tripods are often too flimsy for the load.  I have almost identical GEMs (RAO & SYW) that are very smooth & stable; but the SYW is on a metal tripod, and it is very frustrating to use for high-power viewing, whereas the RAO on its pedestal is rock solid.

 

Can't beat straight-through viewing -- feels natural, like an extension of your own eye.



#15 starman876

starman876

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6319
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:41 PM

there are better scopes out there



#16 starman876

starman876

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6319
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:41 PM

did I really just say that?



#17 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5351
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: The Bluegrass State

Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

The Unitron design is timeless, and they were built to last.  What I've found with the other import models are that the tripods are often too flimsy for the load.  I have almost identical GEMs (RAO & SYW) that are very smooth & stable; but the SYW is on a metal tripod, and it is very frustrating to use for high-power viewing, whereas the RAO on its pedestal is rock solid.

 

Can't beat straight-through viewing -- feels natural, like an extension of your own eye.

Replace the metal legs with a set of wooden ones from Hands on Optics and you will find the #6344 mount to be more than stable. Tie the metal legs in a bundle, put them in a box and store them away until such time as you sell the scope or give it to a museum!



#18 Bonco

Bonco

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2006
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:07 PM

My Model 142 currently is my most used telescope. The telescope and mount are in perfect agreement with each other. Superb optics too.

Bill

Attached Files



#19 pdxmoon

pdxmoon

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2013
  • Loc: Oregon

Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

Terra;

 

The Sears I have is the 6333 60mm, and the mount itself is very smooth--correct there. The metal legs... exactly--the weak link.

 

I have an old pair of Celestron firstscope wooden legs I'm going to try on it. It's a great idea.

 

Thanks!



#20 pdxmoon

pdxmoon

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2013
  • Loc: Oregon

Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

Is the mount/tripod on the 114 as good as the 140?



#21 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2346
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Deep South, USA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:20 PM

I agree Terra:  With heavier wooden legs, the 6344 would be great for field use, which is one reason I'm using wood legs from a surveyor's tripod on the 4" Jaegers -- though they dwarf the tripod hub!



#22 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5351
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: The Bluegrass State

Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:35 PM

I would also add a steel Vixen triangular tray to the wooden legs. They come with a crummy circular plastic tray that attaches in the center, but the spreader is slotted for the triangular Vixen tray. That also makes it much sturdier. And you can use the plastic tray for a frisbee ;)



#23 pdxmoon

pdxmoon

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2013
  • Loc: Oregon

Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:03 PM

I've just given new life to my Sears 6333, which is a mount I actually like a great deal.  Put a pair of wooden legs from a Tasco 7TE, and the mount is rock steady.

 

Thanks, Terra!

Attached Files



#24 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2346
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Deep South, USA

Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:54 PM

"And you can use the plastic tray for a frisbee..."

 

The way the weather's been, might as well have some fun while I'm outside!

 

Nice looking legs (on the Tripod!) -- and the original tips look like they could be driven into turf pretty easily.  My Monolux is missing the caps, but the small end rods work good enough.



#25 Jim Curry

Jim Curry

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007
  • Loc: STL

Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:00 PM

did I really just say that?

We're ignoring you. We realize you're probably off your meds. :)

 

Jim








Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics