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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

Pages: 1
CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
50mm Tasco
      #5532511 - 11/21/12 03:41 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

I picked up this Tasco 66TE from Goodwill with the original cardboard box. It made the trip unscathed by the carrier and was packed quite well.

The scope had a few issues I've had to deal with. The worst was the rack for the focuser was broken into several pieces. I managed to find a lengthy piece of rack from an old parts scope and cut, filed, drilled and tapped well enough so that the focuser functions pretty well now. Unfortunately, the rack on the original had straight teeth and the replacement had angled ones, so I also had to use the pinion/knob assembly from the replacement also. They both have metal knobs, but the original ones are much nicer.

The next issue was the lack of baffling. There is only one baffle, and that is in the end of the focuser. It's plastic and someone must have used the scope for solar projection and it was partially melted. It found a metal washer the same ID and OD as the baffle and press fit it into place after I painted it flat black. The scattered light that remained after that fix was terrible, so I used some flockboard to line the whole length of the tube along with the dew shield. Wow! What a difference that made! The contrast now is about as good as my 50mm Unitron.

The last issue was that the finder had a flipped front element and one missing aligning screw.

I did some daytime viewing and the optics are pretty close to the quality of the Unitron, although the mechanical quality is nowhere near that of the Unitron. That being said, the tripod and alt-az mount are more than solid enough for this little scope. I hope to give it a better test tonight if the clouds hold off.

I have gotten very fond of these little 2" scopes and am amazed by their views. They are simple to set up and take down and require almost no cool down time.


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5532513 - 11/21/12 03:42 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Focuser

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5532518 - 11/21/12 03:44 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Nice, clean objective. Elements separated with a metal spacer ring.

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5532522 - 11/21/12 03:46 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Three great 50mm scopes:
50/500 HyScore, 50/600 Tasco, 50/700 Unitron


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5532533 - 11/21/12 03:49 PM

Good job saving the Tasco!

-Tim.


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desertrefugee
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: Arizona
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5532759 - 11/21/12 06:18 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Nice little scope, Charlie. I'm fond of the 50's myself. And, interestingly, I also picked up a 66TE from Goodwill - luckily, mine was complete and unbroken...but the box was a little rough:

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desertrefugee
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: Arizona
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: desertrefugee]
      #5532762 - 11/21/12 06:19 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Here it is posing with big brother 10TE. It actually did have a dinged dewshield (subject of a thread some time back) but I have since replaced it with a "pristine" one:

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Copernicus1473
super member


Reged: 07/06/12

Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: desertrefugee]
      #5532765 - 11/21/12 06:21 PM

Ok..call me stupid. Are you taking about the Goodwill Stores or is it an internet website?

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desertrefugee
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: Arizona
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: Copernicus1473]
      #5532776 - 11/21/12 06:27 PM

Stupid? I thought that was me for paying $12 for two slices of pizza and a bottle of water for lunch today. (Never mind).

shopgoodwill.com - A very good source for all kinds of stuff. (But the secret's out).

I've actually encountered telescopes in the brick and mortar stores themselves, but never anything worth raising an eyebrow.


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5533169 - 11/21/12 11:59 PM

Well, the first night time test of the 66TE was a real bust. The collimation is way off - star test was very bad. I'll check the objective and see if I got everything back together properly when I cleaned it. I was testing it against the Unitron 50mm and in that scope, Rigel was an easy split at about 70x with direct vision as well as Polaris. In the Tasco, I couldn't see either and the diffraction patterns looked like a comet tail. I used Antares .965 Plossls and the same prism diagonal for both scopes. Clearly, I have some work to do with the Tasco, but I have faith it will come around and provide much better views.

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desertrefugee
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: Arizona
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5533232 - 11/22/12 01:05 AM

Wow, Charlie. Sorry to hear that. But, the similarities in our acquisition of the 66TE's is, apparently, paralleled by similarities in their initial performance.

I had trouble with mine, too. But, it turned out to be a real sweetie.

I recounted that experience in one of my installments in a series of "To Fix a ....."

In this case it was an "Optically Challenged 66TE":

To Fix an Optically Challenged 66TE

Now, I'm not saying yours has the same problem, but it sounds eerily similar and, what the heck. Won't hurt to check.

Good luck!


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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: desertrefugee]
      #5533691 - 11/22/12 10:29 AM

I'll play around with flipping the elements. It may just be that I didn't get the crown & flint seated well, but I'll find out one way or the other. Thanks for the suggestion.

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desertrefugee
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: Arizona
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5568193 - 12/12/12 07:55 PM

Hey Charlie, any update on the 50? These things are almost universally very good - and I bet yours is too. Don't give up on it!

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CharlieB
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/11/07

Loc: Southern NH
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: desertrefugee]
      #5568766 - 12/13/12 07:35 AM

I haven't had much time to work on it - two jobs really limit one's free time. I did get the focuser centered but the Cheshire still shows some pretty serious miscollimation. It may be that the spacer ring is not uniformly thick, so my next experiment will be to replace it with three foil spacers. If that doesn't do it, I'll try shimming the lens elements. As unlikely as it may seem, there may even be some wedge involved, but I haven't closely measured the glass yet. There is another 50mm Tasco on Goodwill Auctions, but the shipping is ghastly from Washington state.

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Marc-Andre
sage
*****

Reged: 08/18/11

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CharlieB]
      #5569893 - 12/13/12 08:28 PM

There's another 66TE on Shop Good will at the moment.

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/viewItem.asp?ItemID=12027251


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: Marc-Andre]
      #5569971 - 12/13/12 09:21 PM

Just wanted to say that I ran across this thread and was flooded by memories: that Tasco scope is exactly the one I got from my parents one Christmas many, many years ago. How I loved that telescope: one of my fondest memories of childhood is a winter's night I spent scanning the sky with my dad. Neither of us knew anything beyond what was in the slender book that had come with the telescope, but when we found Jupiter and saw its moons in the eyepiece, it was a thrill I've never forgotten.

Thanks for posting those photos.

-- Chris


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BarabinoSr
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Slidell La
Re: 50mm Tasco new [Re: CJK]
      #5570367 - 12/14/12 06:41 AM

Hi Charlie! I hope that yours just need the objective lenses flipped! These are really great little scopes.Mine is the 6TE-5 Cosmic 50mm,and is my second. Got my first in October of 1971.Its the same as yours optically,but with the table top tripod and peep-type finderscope. Good luck with it. Gary

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