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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Did Unitron ever make an RFT?
      #5624349 - 01/15/13 12:53 PM

Hi friends,

Does anyone know if Unitron ever made an RFT? I've never seen on or a reference to one (discounting the little Satellite Tracker). I do know that they made spotting scopes, but I wonder if they ever made an astronomical, white-tube, rack and pinion focusing version. A. Jaegers had such objective lenses available in 1960.

I ran across a 1960 listing of one (78 mm F5) in an astronomy "pulp" Fawcett publication of that year in conjunction with an article on building a "richest field hand telescope" with a baffled tube and 1.25 inch r&p focuser- parts supplied from Jaegers Optical. So there was interest in those kinds of instruments, at least in the ATM scene at that time.

So how about it? Ever hear about a short tube (not folded) Uni in the "wayback machine"?


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mustgobigger
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/12/07

Loc: Michigan
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5624539 - 01/15/13 02:33 PM

Yes...a reflector and Refractor.
More info later when I look in my
Dealers book.


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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: mustgobigger]
      #5624621 - 01/15/13 03:11 PM

Cool. Thanks Brian, I look forward to hearing more, esp. about the refractor.

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Napersky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/27/10

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5624624 - 01/15/13 03:15 PM

"Dealer's Book" cool

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starman876
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Loc: VA
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Napersky]
      #5624713 - 01/15/13 04:03 PM

dealers book? Brian, where did you get that from? Did not even know there was such a thing.

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mustgobigger
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Reged: 06/12/07

Loc: Michigan
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: starman876]
      #5624908 - 01/15/13 06:09 PM

yes it has scopes i didn't know Unitron made.

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starman876
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Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: VA
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: mustgobigger]
      #5624932 - 01/15/13 06:27 PM

You mean like a telescope blue book?

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Darren Drake
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Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: starman876]
      #5624943 - 01/15/13 06:37 PM

They made a 50mm satellite tracker. It has a very short fl.

http://lvaas.org/mediagallery/media.php?s=20100903150158747

Edited by Darren Drake (01/15/13 09:00 PM)


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Happy-Idiot
Stuck with it
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Reged: 04/06/06

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: starman876]
      #5624964 - 01/15/13 06:55 PM

Yes they did make some Richfield scopes. They are extremely rare and very cool.

The Unitron E-758 is a 3" rich field (f/6.7) eq. refractor made in the mid-80's (with the 128 eq. mount).

And the A-755 is a 3" rich field (f/6.7) alt-az refractor from the mid-80's (with the 114 mount)

A local gentleman(kinda somewhat friend) is a BIG TIME Unitron nut and has one along with many other Unitron scopes he doesn't want to part with. He promised to sell me one awhile back but i don't want to be pushy with him ,he is old school(thats what i like most about him). We did barter some parts and later a complete 3" Richfield OTA, but i sure would love to get the whole set. I managed to make a replica with the parts we bartered, both the replica and the original OTA i have gives me pinpoint stars on a velvety black sky from center to edge. Next time he hits me up for some carpentry work i will keep him to his promise, he is a tough Unitron nut to crack.


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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

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Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Happy-Idiot]
      #5625012 - 01/15/13 07:24 PM

Wow, that is cool Happy. I would love to see one. Did you use a Jaegers objective and stock Unitron parts, cutting the tube down for your replica?

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Happy-Idiot
Stuck with it
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Reged: 04/06/06

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5625046 - 01/15/13 07:38 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Nope the lens and inner cell are original Unitron 75mm f/6.7, But the tube was cut from a parts 75mm F1200 and the focuser was from the same F1200 ebay parts buy.(i didn't destroy any good scopes for the replica). Focuser knobs are also not correct.

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terraclarke
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Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Happy-Idiot]
      #5625079 - 01/15/13 07:53 PM

It's still very cool Happy. That is neat that you were able to also use a real Unitron objective. I am sure you will be able to get exact Uni focuser wheels one of these days. Did they come with finders? I wonder if the did, if they used the finder from the 114 or 140

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terraclarke
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Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? *DELETED* new [Re: Happy-Idiot]
      #5625080 - 01/15/13 07:53 PM

Post deleted by RLTYS

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starman876
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Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5625151 - 01/15/13 08:37 PM

I still have a few of the 80mm spotting scopes that were a F6. Very nice lens. I could always take off the lens and put it into a spare 75mm tube. Does that count

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CHASLX200
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Reged: 09/29/07

Loc: Tampa area Florida
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: starman876]
      #5625172 - 01/15/13 08:47 PM

I had their short focus 3" refractor on the 2.4" mount back in the 80's. It was a great star sweeper.
I can post a pic of it if anyone wants to see it.
Chas

Edited by CHASLX200 (01/15/13 08:50 PM)


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BarrySimon615
Pa Bear
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Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: CHASLX200]
      #5625436 - 01/15/13 11:24 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

I also had the Unitron 3" f/6.7 rich field refractor. These pre-dated the Orion short tube 80's by a few years and were optically and mechanically much better scopes.

I purchased mine in 1986 from RVR Optics as part of a package deal with the 60mm f/15 equatorial refractor (#128). My thinking was I would have two tube assemblies that I could interchange on the same equatorial mount.

I brought this scope to the 1992 Texas Star Party where it was tested by Peter Cerravalo and he found it to have a very nice figure. Great little scope but I sold it back in 2001 to a fellow member of the UnitronTelescopes Yahoo Group. There is a very interesting story about that sale; see Message # 4104 on that group site for the details, but basically I was offered $1900.00 for it and I could not refuse that price. I had not considered selling it at all but that was an offer I could not pass up.

Here is a photo.

Barry Simon


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terraclarke
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Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #5625836 - 01/16/13 09:21 AM

Wow, cool little scope Barry, but that was a deal that would be hard to resist. Was that for the mount too or just the OTA?
I'd love to see a picture Chas
Johann, go for it, that would be cool. I'd do it if I had the parts.


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Happy-Idiot
Stuck with it
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Reged: 04/06/06

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #5626615 - 01/16/13 05:16 PM

Quote:

I was offered $1900.00 for it and I could not refuse that price. I had not considered selling it at all but that was an offer I could not pass up.




What a coincidence did i mention mine was for sale?

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Happy-Idiot
Stuck with it
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Reged: 04/06/06

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Happy-Idiot]
      #5626624 - 01/16/13 05:21 PM

All joking aside i had two objectives in inner cells and i sold one. I practically gave it away, i wish i would have seen Barry's selling price earlier.

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starman876
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Loc: VA
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Happy-Idiot]
      #5626660 - 01/16/13 05:40 PM

hind sight by definition is when you pull your head out of your (well you know) and see what is going on

Just being funny here and not trying to be nasty.


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Cepheus Elf
member


Reged: 08/01/10

Loc: Rainy, Cloudy Lancashire UK
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #5626677 - 01/16/13 05:47 PM

What a cracking RFT!!!! Great looking 'scope!!

Mick


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Masvingo
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: CHASLX200]
      #5626722 - 01/16/13 06:14 PM

Quote:

I can post a pic of it if anyone wants to see it.
Chas




Yes please, a picture or two would be great.

James


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CHASLX200
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Loc: Tampa area Florida
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Masvingo]
      #5626750 - 01/16/13 06:31 PM

Here is a pic of a pic. Here it is with it's bigger brother.


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Masvingo
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: CHASLX200]
      #5627598 - 01/17/13 08:30 AM

A wonderful photo, Chas with the contrast between the 2 tube lengths! Little and large!

Thanks for posting.

James


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Masvingo]
      #5627656 - 01/17/13 09:06 AM

What an archetype! Say what you will about modern optics or "aperture rules." Nothing, absolutely nothing, triggers the instinctive feeling of "telescope" like a pair of Unitron refractors, one rich field, one planetary. How sturdy are those mounts? If we could reach into the picture, could we mount the rich field onto the planetary, so they would always center the same object?

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BarrySimon615
Pa Bear
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Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Happy-Idiot]
      #5627703 - 01/17/13 09:39 AM

Quote:

All joking aside i had two objectives in inner cells and i sold one. I practically gave it away, i wish i would have seen Barry's selling price earlier.




Actually, it was not my selling price. I had no intention of selling the 3" RFT Unitron. I was sitting at the very same desk where I am typing this now, minding my own business, and the phone rings. It is Marvin Mayo on the other end of the line. He busts right in and says he wants to purchase the little scope with #128 mount and says he will give me $1500 for it. I gulp (because this offer is well above what I think it is worth at the time, albeit no longer available and getting collectible). He interprets the gulp with long pause as a "well, I think I will keep it" so he quickly says - "No, make that $1900, I will give you $1900 for the scope with mount". I quickly think about how much I have been using the scope, which was really not much; plus I have another #128 mount, so I say "Ok, if you really want it that much, I will sell it to you". The deal is done.

Marvin was a Unitron collector from everything that I have heard. He had virtually everything from the smallest finder to the 6" refractor and double and triple inventory of several things. I do not know how much of a user he was, but he sure had quite a collection. After another couple of years after this sale he suddenly stopped posting to the UnitronTelescopes group. I later heard from Clint "Caveman" Whitman (I think) that he had died in 2004. I have no idea what has happened to his vast collection of Unitron telescopes.

Barry Simon


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BarrySimon615
Pa Bear
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Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #5627717 - 01/17/13 09:55 AM

Does anyone here have "The Golden Book of Astronomy"? Not the later one but the large (approx. 13" x 10") book, first published in the mid 1950's and written by Rose Wyler and Gerald Ames. It was targeted at children probably about 9 to 12 years old with an interest in astronomy. Within the pages of this book (page 32) is an illustration of a young man looking thru what appears to be a 3" to 4" refractor. That was an inspirational picture for me and maybe many others. The artist maybe used a Unitron refractor as a model for his illustration and in turn that picture probably inspired many to covet ownership of a Unitron or similar telescope. Perhaps Marvin Mayo was inspired in a similar way.

Barry Simon


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xavier
sage


Reged: 10/31/07

Loc: Belgium
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #5627958 - 01/17/13 12:02 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

I don't know if this Polarex has anything to do with the RFT.
It's a-typical 1.25" eyepiece with the inscription Wide Scan 13mm.
Heavy and well made.
Could be an other brand eyepiece.

I tried this eyepiece and it's not bad but not the best eyepiece I've ever used.


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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: starman876]
      #5628087 - 01/17/13 01:26 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

Here's my version. Something old, something new, nothing borrowed, but something blue

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CHASLX200
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Loc: Tampa area Florida
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5628815 - 01/17/13 08:20 PM

Quote:

What an archetype! Say what you will about modern optics or "aperture rules." Nothing, absolutely nothing, triggers the instinctive feeling of "telescope" like a pair of Unitron refractors, one rich field, one planetary. How sturdy are those mounts? If we could reach into the picture, could we mount the rich field onto the planetary, so they would always center the same object?




I had a 80mm F/11 mounted to my late 50's 4" Unitron and it held the extra weight without breaking a sweat.

Chas


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Ducky62
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: The ATL
Re: Did Unitron ever make an RFT? new [Re: mustgobigger]
      #5629140 - 01/17/13 11:41 PM

Quote:

Yes...a reflector and Refractor.
More info later when I look in my
Dealers book.




I'm real curious about this Unitron RFT Newt. Nihon Seiko? Or did they source it from somewhere else? Was it shorter than f/6 ?


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