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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600
      #5772489 - 04/02/13 10:08 AM Attachment (63 downloads)

This scope arrived yesterday and I was stunned by its build quality. I have fives other 50mm scopes including two other 50/600 Tascos (bothe 66-TE's). While this scope outwardly resembles the 6T and 66-TE, it is several cuts above these scopes. Its build is every bit the equal, or maybe even better, than my Unitron 105 (which it resembles a great deal). I have never seen one of these scopes before, but there must be more out there somewhere. I hope you all don't mind if I post a lot of photos.

I'll start with the case, which is also in excellent shape.


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772492 - 04/02/13 10:09 AM Attachment (35 downloads)

Box tag. Interesting lettering for Tasco.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772494 - 04/02/13 10:10 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

Contents of the box, minus the accessories. The block of wood holding the fork doesn't appear to be original.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772498 - 04/02/13 10:12 AM Attachment (44 downloads)

The assembled scope. The peep sights work very well. The pull-out focuser is very much like the Unitron 750.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772501 - 04/02/13 10:15 AM Attachment (33 downloads)

This scope is significantly heavier than the 66TE. The tube is thicker and the focuser is much heavier. It focuser also threads into the tube - something I've not seen in any Tasco 50mm. The chrome is in superb condition.

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772508 - 04/02/13 10:17 AM

Cute little scope. I like it. But I am still holding out for a little U127. The focus on your Tasco in fact seems to function in the same way as the one on the U127. BTW, I wasn't aware of the U105 unless it was one of the guide scope series?

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772512 - 04/02/13 10:18 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

The inner sleeve is threaded into the focuser and is solid, heavy brass. There is no slop at all in the sleeve.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5772523 - 04/02/13 10:23 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Quote:

Cute little scope. I like it. But I am still holding out for a little U127. The focus on your Tasco in fact seems to function in the same way as the one on the U127. BTW, I wasn't aware of the U105 unless it was one of the guide scope series?




Here's the 105.


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772526 - 04/02/13 10:25 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

Beautifully machined knobs that need a spanner.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772532 - 04/02/13 10:27 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Even the wing nuts are wrinkle finished and with stainless steel bolts that are threaded on each end.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772535 - 04/02/13 10:27 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Bolts.

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772536 - 04/02/13 10:28 AM

That's a pretty little Uni (your 105). Right in between the 127 and the 114. 50x700?

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772538 - 04/02/13 10:30 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

More machined knobs for the yoke.

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Dave M
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772540 - 04/02/13 10:31 AM

Nice little scope..

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772542 - 04/02/13 10:32 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Pretty clean objective.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772543 - 04/02/13 10:33 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Unusual (for a Tasco) cell. The top unscrews.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772545 - 04/02/13 10:34 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

to reveal...

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772547 - 04/02/13 10:35 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

a cemented doublet (which was installed backwards).

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772549 - 04/02/13 10:36 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Eyepieces of unknown manufacture.

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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
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Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772550 - 04/02/13 10:36 AM

A most interesting telescope. I particularly like the sliding focuser.

Rich (RLTYS)


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772553 - 04/02/13 10:37 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Erecting prism - the only piece that has been broken.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772554 - 04/02/13 10:38 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Diagonal - bakelite and nice chrome.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772555 - 04/02/13 10:39 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

The whole enchilada. There appears to be no provision for a safety chain, but it doesn't really need it.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772561 - 04/02/13 10:43 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Original instruction sheet. I would welcome any insight as to the manufacturer of this scope. I haven't found a similar scope in any of the available online catalogs. I don't think it's a Royal Astro product, as I have a 500 RA from around the same time (late 50's). I don't think Tasco imported scopes before 1955 as they started the business in 1954 importing fishing gear. So this scope probably dates between 1955 and 1958. The original owner had it as a boy and he was born in 1945.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5772565 - 04/02/13 10:47 AM

Yes, it's very smooth and has the fine focus mechanism just like the Unitron 750. My 105 has the coarse focus tube pull out and the fine focuser stays connected to the tube.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5772576 - 04/02/13 10:50 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Yes. 50/700. It's a later scope from the early 80's, I think. The finder doesn't swing like the older 50mm.

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772731 - 04/02/13 11:55 AM

I love small, well made scopes. They are so cool. You got a beauty there Charlie.

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gelkin
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/22/10

Loc: Western, MD.
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5772919 - 04/02/13 01:13 PM

Very interesting little scope Charlie. Congrats on a wonderful buy.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: gelkin]
      #5772979 - 04/02/13 01:32 PM

Thanks. I hope I can find out more about it, but information is very thin.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5784050 - 04/07/13 03:21 PM

Well, I had a chance to test our the optics of the Terrastro cemented doublet. With the rest of the scope so well made, one would expect a good objective, but this one was awful. No sharpness as all, regardless of which side was facing the sky. Couldn't even do a decent star test. Fortunately, I had a spare Tasco 50/600 objective that is very good, and the cell screwed right onto the tube. You have to wonder why so much attention was lavished on the scope mechanics and so little on the objective.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6009498 - 08/06/13 01:31 PM

One last small chapter on this little Tasco. The objective had some major optical flaw and was worthless, so I decided to experiment with it just in case it had been cemented together incorrectly. I put it into a pot of water and heated it up slowly. After about ten minutes, I was able to slide the two elements apart. I cleaned off all the Canadian balsam with some alcohol and the flint & crown were clean as could be. I tried flipping the crown, but it was very obvious the surfaces didn't mate. I then tried the old rotating lens process and just stuck three very thin pieces of foil as spacers in lieu of glue. I stuck it back into its cell and screwed it back onto the tube. I was greeted with a sharp, contrasty image! I then rotated the two halves back into their original alignment and the image was even better. It had to have been the balsam that was causing the problem, or perhaps there was a bit of wedge between the glued halves. In any case, I am very happy with the end result. Has anyone else experienced this kind of problem before?

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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6009581 - 08/06/13 02:19 PM

Great news Charlie. I'm glad it was a happy ending (and a happy beginning) for such a wonderful little scope.

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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6009849 - 08/06/13 04:32 PM

Too bad the folks who put the instruction sheet together couldn't get it mounted properly for a photo. Oh well live and never learn. Mike

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terraclarke
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Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: mikey cee]
      #6009881 - 08/06/13 04:47 PM

Quote:

Too bad the folks who put the instruction sheet together couldn't get it mounted properly for a photo. Oh well live and never learn. Mike




Same people must have assembled the objective as well.


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6009920 - 08/06/13 05:06 PM

That's actually the model designed for below-the-horizon viewing.

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strdst
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/23/08

Loc: Oregon Territory
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6041129 - 08/23/13 01:41 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

Hi Charlie,

Mine arrived yesterday (eBay high bid) With it came thunder and lightning, clouds and rain. Always a good sign!

Here she is with my recently stripped of bad coatings Swift 839 on a Tasco 7te-5 mount... clouds and rain, lightning and thunder...


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6041351 - 08/23/13 07:43 AM

Those a good looking pair of scopes you have there. That Terrastro sure is a solidly built scope, isn't it? And it packs up into as small, easily transportable case. Perfect grab & go. Let me know how the optics are. Was there any indication of the age of the scope?

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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
*****

Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6045427 - 08/25/13 03:47 PM

Nice find. This is a late 1950's, early 1960's Tasco scope. I think the maker is early Mizar, although they weren't called Mizar then. I had one similar to this several years back and it was built like a tank compared to later Tasco offerings. Optically it was very sharp. It's a keeper.

I later used mine as a piggyback guidescope on a larger 3" refractor. It served well and was eventually replaced by a 50mm early Asahi-Pentax refractor - one of the few small scopes of that period that could beat the little Tasco's optics.

Best regards and clear dark skies,

MikeG


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6045499 - 08/25/13 04:41 PM

Thanks for the great information. I thought it might be from around that vintage, but wasn't sure. Not only are they well built, but they are very portable in that little box. I would love to find one of the Asahi scopes (as well as a couple of other 50mm scopes).

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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6053084 - 08/29/13 06:09 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Hi Charlie,

Here are a couple of pics of my old Tasco of similar vintage.

I haven't looked at these in many years, so this will be a trip down memory lane. New relevant information might be revealed.

...

Ok, new info already. Scratch what I said about Mizar. I was completely wrong!

It was Towa, not Mizar that I was thinking of.


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6053085 - 08/29/13 06:11 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Another - mounted on a vintage Towa small EQ mount. I purchased the mount and OTA seperately. When I bought the OTA, the only included accessories were the finder, diagonal, and an eyepiece or two.



Edited by Glassthrower (08/29/13 06:13 PM)


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6053098 - 08/29/13 06:20 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

Here is a shot of the Tasco OTA. As you can see, it was part of a lot of small refractors that I had at the time. Yes, it is a sickness, I am aware of that.

Notice, it had the same Alt-Az mounting brackets as your 50mm Terrestrial-Astro tube. I removed those, covered the holes and repainted the tube. I mounted it on a small EQ using a clamshell.

The top two scopes were junkers. Later Taiwan and China-made scopes with dubious optics and lots of plastic parts. The top one was branded "Simmons" and the second one from the top was branded "Meade Polaris". The third, green, scope is a vintage Sears 60mm that had really good optics and few plastic parts. That one ended up with another CN member. I don't recall where the others are now.


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6053105 - 08/29/13 06:22 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Another shot of the Tasco rig, showing the tripod.

Edited by Glassthrower (08/29/13 06:23 PM)


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6053109 - 08/29/13 06:26 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

The same Tasco, showing a close-up of the mounting arrangement.



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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6053195 - 08/29/13 07:09 PM

The best part about that mount is the 60mm clamshell. It's easy to mount onto a Vixen dovetail and use it on many other mounts. Now if I could just find one just like it that fits a 50mm scope...

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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6054364 - 08/30/13 12:40 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Quote:


The best part about that mount is the 60mm clamshell. It's easy to mount onto a Vixen dovetail and use it on many other mounts. Now if I could just find one just like it that fits a 50mm scope...





I had this same problem because I also owned a few 50mm scopes that I was particularly fond of, especially the Asahi-Pentax (which you also see branded as "Jupiter" occasionally). I wanted to use it with my old Japanese GEM mounts, but couldn't find a ready-made solution to fit the configuration. I found two ways to work around this :

1) simply put a shim the inside of the OTA into the clamshell. You can make a rubber o-ring to build up the diameter of the tube and put that around the tube and then clamp the clamshell around the entire thing. This works, but might have a little play in it.

2) Or, scrap the idea of a clamshell and put generic 50mm split rings (the Scope Stuff used to sell for super-finders) on a Vixen-compatible accessory bar. I'm not sure if Scope Stuff still sells those - this was many years ago.

See this photo. It shows a similar arrangement of split rings, accessory bar, and Vixen SP mount. If there is any play in the diameter of the split rings, just use shims to snug-up the difference.


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Reged: 04/07/05

Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6054382 - 08/30/13 12:47 PM

The bottom Vixen tube is mounted to the SP head using split rings bolted directly to the head with no dovetail bar involved.

The piggyback Pentax tube is mounted to the larger Vixen via a generic Vixen-compatible accessory bar and 60mm superfinder split-rings with nylon adjustment bolts. Once I had the 50mm Pentax tube centered and locked into the split finder-rings, I'd leave it there and just use the generic accessory bar as an adhoc dovetail. I could mount it directly to the SP mount head without using the larger Vixen scope underneath it, if needed.

Total cost wasn't much either. There are 50mm vintage clamshells of the same type, from the same period. But they are a little harder to find, because most smaller tubes like that were mounted onto Alt-Az mounts, and the brackets mounted onto the sides of the OTA were more popular (and cheaper to make) than the clamshell arrangement.

Best regards and clear skies,

MikeG


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strdst
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Reged: 03/23/08

Loc: Oregon Territory
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6063583 - 09/04/13 11:43 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

As I posted in page 2 of this thread, (by synchronicity), while CharlieB's thread was active, another same vintage terra/astro Tasco 50X600 scope appeared on eBay. I bought it primarily for the mount and tripod in the event the optics were less than advertised back in the day. As found, they are good but certainly not crazy good.

I have a few 50 mm scopes. A Swift 838 which is fine to crazy good and the others. The others mostly came on tabletop tripods and optically have been surprisingly poor quality. The older scopes are quite well made mechanically. very heavy OTA construction... and will fit the Tasco yoke quite well. Except the Sears which is of a much more recent vintage and doesn't conform hardwarily.

Only one objective stands out as pretty darn good. Anyone wanna guess which scope it is attached to?


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mgwhittle
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6064080 - 09/05/13 10:15 AM

I say the Stellar. Those focus knobs are a beautiful piece of machining. You would think if that much work went into the focus knobs, then the lens got some serious attention during polishing.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6064098 - 09/05/13 10:24 AM

My guess, too. Looks like it might be a Asahi-Pentax rebrand, although I've seen some very nice Orbits, too.

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greju
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/13/05

Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6064581 - 09/05/13 02:33 PM

Tasco.

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strdst
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/23/08

Loc: Oregon Territory
Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: greju]
      #6065440 - 09/06/13 12:02 AM Attachment (2 downloads)

The Stellar has a great build with a smallerized version of the Asahi Pentax 60mm focuser. The first paint to come off of the tripod hub or tiny metal tabletop legs was when I put it together for the first time. I don't think it had ever been used nor had it's objective messed with.

Same for the Orbit/Scope scope which also appeared to have not been used. Both telescopes have a ring spacer for the lens, they are assembled properly (not flipped crown or loaded backwards) I can't say that the lenses weren't rotated and mis-aligned as there are no index marks but I doubt it. Both telescopes produce soft focused images. Inside and outside of focus stars are not round but variations of oval, egg, or maybe like something like you see through a microscope while examining pond water.

Which leaves the Tasco and the Sears...

Here is a comparison of the Stellar focuser and the Asahi Pentax.


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greju
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065456 - 09/06/13 12:25 AM

If you say Sears your credibility with me will be forever gone.

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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065457 - 09/06/13 12:26 AM Attachment (4 downloads)

The Tasco has the nice sliding focuser, cemented lens (mine is crown out) and it produces in focus stars with diffraction rings only on one side of the airy disc. Out of focus stars are close to round but not quite, The optics are much better than the Stellar and Orbit.

And then there is the Sears. Not old, or pretty. An ota that weighs 3/4 of the others. Plastic focus knobs, coarse threaded everything, and an objective that produces a really fine image

So after collecting 4 scopes I now have all the parts to make one nice one. I just can't decide between putting the Sears objective into the Stellar or the Tasco.

Here is the Sears label...


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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: greju]
      #6065463 - 09/06/13 12:35 AM

Quote:

If you say Sears your credibility with me will be forever gone.




Oh well. Just lost the cred I never knew I had

Is it too late to say Tasco?


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greju
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065465 - 09/06/13 12:37 AM

I guess I should have read the whole thread again before I guessed. The cemented doublet should have given it away.

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greju
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065475 - 09/06/13 12:44 AM Attachment (3 downloads)

Your cred is still good with me. I still think there is Circle T and then there is Circle T. Notice on both the picture below and on your Sears the top of the "T" extends to the circle. On other Circle T's, like the one Glassthrower included, the "T" fits inside the circle. Just speculation for now.

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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065476 - 09/06/13 12:53 AM Attachment (2 downloads)

So in an attempt to regain some respect and trust here I want to share some weekend photos of trying out the new Tasco Terra/astro scope on a tabletop tripod. Here is one of eggplant doing some solar observing. Janet, my cat refused to even look having read all the warnings here in the forum about the danger of using the old eyepiece filters. I figured with a mere 50mm objective the chance of the glass solar filter breaking was pretty low and besides eggy was on the menu for dinner anyway

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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065478 - 09/06/13 12:56 AM Attachment (2 downloads)

another...

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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6065484 - 09/06/13 01:04 AM Attachment (4 downloads)

Hmmm, so much for solar observing.

Ever notice how pervy eggplant can be?

BTW eggplant grilled for LUNCH is even better than waiting till dinner!


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Glassthrower
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6066318 - 09/06/13 02:57 PM

The telescope in that last photo is pointing in the wrong direction....

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madeline
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6066338 - 09/06/13 03:07 PM

It's pointing to high.

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Glassthrower
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6066461 - 09/06/13 04:09 PM

Quote:


I just can't decide between putting the Sears objective into the Stellar or the Tasco.





Put it in whichever one has the best build quality. Some of those old Sears objectives are awesome. Speaking of which, ask "Awesome Lenny". I think he was one of the folks in here, years ago, who had a killer Sears rig that star-tested right up there with the best Unitrons of the period.

I never liked the look of their color-coded eyepieces, but the objectives were darn good on average - until the plastic-parts era dawned, and then everything went downhill.


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CharlieB
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6066657 - 09/06/13 06:27 PM

At one point, I put a great Tasco 66te objective on my Terrastro because the cemented objective was so bad. As I mentioned in my post, I decemented the lenses and air spaced the elements. It made an incredible difference and it's now as good as the 66te objective. I had nothing to lose by trying that.

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madeline
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6066680 - 09/06/13 06:44 PM

Charlie, that's a very good point to make. I had some experience with that on old camera lenses.

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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6068695 - 09/07/13 11:24 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:


I just can't decide between putting the Sears objective into the Stellar or the Tasco.





Put it in whichever one has the best build quality.






For now I'm going with the Sears lens and cell, on the Stellar tube and dew shield, on the Tasco mount and tripod. I can switch swap with the Tasco tube and cool focuser whenever. If I want to make two scopes I'll need another vintage 50mm yoke though.

I had to adapt the Sears cell (which had a black threaded dew shield), for the white Stellar dew shield to slip onto. I used a flat file to remove the threads and made a snug fit.


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strdst
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Re: Very unusual Tasco 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6068700 - 09/07/13 11:28 PM Attachment (3 downloads)

The reason I went with the Sears lens cell for the Sears objective is because the glass is much thicker than either the Stellar, Orbit, or Tasco (cemented) lenses.

Anybody know why that would be? They are all 50 X 600.

Stellar...Tasco...Sears


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strdst
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Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6068726 - 09/07/13 11:53 PM

Quote:

One last small chapter on this little Tasco. The objective had some major optical flaw and was worthless, so I decided to experiment with it just in case it had been cemented together incorrectly. I put it into a pot of water and heated it up slowly. After about ten minutes, I was able to slide the two elements apart. I cleaned off all the Canadian balsam with some alcohol and the flint & crown were clean as could be. I tried flipping the crown, but it was very obvious the surfaces didn't mate. I then tried the old rotating lens process and just stuck three very thin pieces of foil as spacers in lieu of glue. I stuck it back into its cell and screwed it back onto the tube. I was greeted with a sharp, contrasty image! I then rotated the two halves back into their original alignment and the image was even better. It had to have been the balsam that was causing the problem, or perhaps there was a bit of wedge between the glued halves. In any case, I am very happy with the end result. Has anyone else experienced this kind of problem before?




Hi Charlie,

I hope I didn't hijack too much of your thread.

I might follow your lead on the separation of the Tasco cemented lens set although mine isn't terrible, it isn't as good as it could be.

What kind of foil did you use to space the lenses? I suspect anything, (including Reynold's Wrap), bought at Costco is three times as many or three times as thick as similar products sold at other stores. Just want to be sure.

And how did you manage to cut and stick them to the flint? Were you a microsurgeon in a past life? I recently replaced a loose foil tab on the Swift objective after I removed the coatings with acid. The tiny speck of elmer's glue that I used to keep it in place added enough thickness to affect the image quality, which is diffraction patterns on one side of focused stars.

I seriously am asking about your proceedure for doing it right.


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CharlieB
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Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: strdst]
      #6069065 - 09/08/13 08:55 AM

I used self-adhesive aluminum tape. I cut a piece 2mm wide, peeled back part of the backing tape, then turned the tape sticky side up. I then cut off 3mm long pieces with a fresh razor blade while holding the cut spacer down with a needle. Then I carefully transferred the cut piece to that flint. Try it few times on something else for practice, though. This tape is very thin, so one layer works fine. If you PM me with your address, I'll send you some of the tape I used.

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strdst
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Re:Very unusual Tasco Terrastro 50/600 new [Re: CharlieB]
      #6086975 - 09/17/13 10:38 PM Attachment (2 downloads)

Thank you Charlie, you are most generous!

I got the foil that you sent me and although I'm anxious to space a few lenses I need a clear, calm night to view so I know if I'm improving things or not. I want to re-space the Tasco Terrastro 50mm, a Swift 60mm, and a Swift 50mm for starters... How did all of these telescopes get into my house anyway? Oh yeah the UPS guy. Maybe I should start locking up when I leave

For now I'm set up with the Sears lens and cell, On a Stellar tube, focuser, and dew shield, on the Tasco Terrastro mount, on Sears wooden tripod ,which all fits in the wood Tasco case. Depending on how good the Tasco Terrastro lens is (after cement removal and foil spacing), everything may become original Tasco again.


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