Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Unitron History Project

  • Please log in to reply
1450 replies to this topic

#1426 GoodAsh

GoodAsh

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 409
  • Joined: 15 Jan 2013
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:57 PM

A 9 inch Polarex-Unitron Model 900, some teaser photos: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.

Hoping to have the full story by year's end!

Dave


OMG, can't like this post enough!!!
  • jjbird and John Higbee like this

#1427 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 9789
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 06 December 2017 - 03:08 PM

Amazing! No doubt colorful but who cares?!? Looking forward to the story.

 

-drl



#1428 akman1955

akman1955

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3741
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: USA

Posted 06 December 2017 - 03:55 PM

Amazing! No doubt colorful but who cares?!? Looking forward to the story.

 

-drl

shocked.gif bigshock.gif choo-choo.gif popcorn.gif



#1429 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 17851
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:44 PM

 

A 9 inch Polarex-Unitron Model 900, some teaser photos: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.

 

Hoping to have the full story by year's end!

 

Dave

OMG what an awesome find.  That is fantastic.  Cannot wait to see the rest of the pictures and the story behind this telescope.

 

 

Breathe into a paper  bag, Johann.  Slow breaths.  Sit down, you'll stop shaking in a bit.  ;)


  • photiost, starman876, DreamWeaver and 2 others like this

#1430 starman876

starman876

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13958
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:29 PM

 

 

A 9 inch Polarex-Unitron Model 900, some teaser photos: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.

 

Hoping to have the full story by year's end!

 

Dave

OMG what an awesome find.  That is fantastic.  Cannot wait to see the rest of the pictures and the story behind this telescope.

 

 

Breathe into a paper  bag, Johann.  Slow breaths.  Sit down, you'll stop shaking in a bit.  wink.gif

 

someday you will understand young man


  • Chuck Hards and Geo31 like this

#1431 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14960
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: NOKY

Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:16 PM

Woah! shocked.gif



#1432 photiost

photiost

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2523
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Montreal, Canada

Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:23 PM

That is truly amazing !!   cool.gif 



#1433 PiSigma

PiSigma

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2340
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2009
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 06 December 2017 - 09:50 PM

A 9 inch Polarex-Unitron Model 900, some teaser photos: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.

 

Hoping to have the full story by year's end!

 

Dave

Wow. Yes, waiting to see the rest of the story.

 

Here are some more Unicorns:

Attached Thumbnails

  • Polarex 225.jpg
  • EightInch.jpg

  • jjbird, xavier, astro140 and 9 others like this

#1434 Piggyback

Piggyback

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 07 December 2017 - 05:56 AM

9 inch, wow! 10 incher somewhere? I love to hear these stories. I am content with my  3" Polarex NS-131and the Unitron 65M, though. No need to go bigger for a guy observing from a city balcony.


Edited by Piggyback, 07 December 2017 - 06:05 AM.

  • terraclarke likes this

#1435 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14960
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: NOKY

Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:44 AM

9 inch, wow! 10 incher somewhere? I love to hear these stories. I am content with my  3" Polarex NS-131and the Unitron 65M, though. No need to go bigger for a guy observing from a city balcony.

 

Agreed. I’ve gone from six to two, my 1955 62mm 114 and my late 50s 75mm 142. They fit my needs and tastes nicely.


  • Piggyback likes this

#1436 combatdad

combatdad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1874
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:42 AM

I'm currently working with the owner of the Polarex-Unitron Model 900 to make certain the story and photos I post on the UH website are complete and accurate.  First a little background.

 

The telescope is located at Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands.  Xavier (Thanks Xavier!) first pointed me in that direction to look for a 6 inch Polarex when I first started this project back in 2014, but I kept hitting dead ends.  Then in February 2015, thanks to the UH website, I received the following response on the Contact Page from Alex"

 

"I can look for hours to these impressive “giants-of-the-past”.
At home I’m living with a 2.4″equatorial electrical driven, a 3″ equatorial electrical driven and fully loaded and the 4″ pier-model, weight-driven.
By the way, the Delft University is the “home” of the Polarex-Unitron 9″ (226mm), but sadly not in operation-mode…
But it came here by lucky coincidence."

 

After several attempts to contact Alex and obtain additional information, I received some background information and a few photos but no permission to go public.  I did get an invite to visit the facility.   Over the past year I attempted contact just to stay in touch but never received a response...then just a couple of days ago Alex sent me an email telling me he found a location for the scope that will enable assembly and that he would be sending me additional photos.  He also consented to let me post a story on the telescope!

 

If you noted the date (1989) and serial number (00-1989) on the brass plate in the photo on the UH website, this telescope was being assembled right before Nihon Seiko went out of business.  I'm still confirming the story of how "it came here by lucky coincidence..."

 

Dave

 

 


  • xavier, CharlieB, astro140 and 12 others like this

#1437 combatdad

combatdad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1874
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 07 December 2017 - 03:36 PM

I was going to wait and finalize a feature on the UH website, but this amazing story can't wait...I'm just too anxious to share it with all of you!  I want to start off by thanking Alex Boot at Delft University of Technology for going the extra mile to save this incredible Nihon Seiko treasure.  I'm hoping Alex checks into CN...if not I'll be singing his praises on the UH website in the near future!

 

This is the story of how Alex came upon the Model 900 "by lucky coincidence"...in his own words.

 

"Hi Dave,
    As I can remember it was 2009. One of my Japanese students helped me to set up my 4 inch pier model here outside for a look at a part of a solar eclipse. He told me his father worked at Nihon Seiko and told me there still was some equipment stored there that looked a lot as my 4 inch. I got the phone-number of his father, still working there, but not very willing to take a look in their basement storage. “If I was interested, I had to come to see for myself”
    Nothing to lose, I made the trip but expected nothing. Nevertheless I was kindly invited there to look around. The storage looked very desolated and forgotten, and was “subject to be demolished that same year”. Nobody was sure what really was stored there. On top of a large shelf, covered with a dusty blanket, I found this beauty, with lens apart in a wooden box and clamps in a carton box, all paint was chipped. But underneath I saw the unmistakable Unitron/Polarex quality. I spend 2 weeks there to make wooden boxes out of junk material and stayed at the site-managers home on the same spot. We agreed I should buy what they had and was “helped” to obtain some “easy” shipment documents (“samples without commercial value!”) I flew back with it, to be sure everything was kept together.
    It stayed here for some years in storage until I found a very suitable place to start repainting, polishing and fitting all parts together. Now it’s getting near the end of it and its time to find a good place for “its first light”, possible Spain.
Can’t wait!"

 

Alex and I will continue communicating and I will be posting additional photos shortly.  I also have my fingers crossed that I can reach out to the Japanese student and his father and possibly garner some additional information about Nihon Seiko.

 

Dave


  • CharlieB, gelkin, terraclarke and 7 others like this

#1438 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 9789
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 07 December 2017 - 04:01 PM

That is just great. Think of all the great scopes waiting to be saved..

 

-drl



#1439 starman876

starman876

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13958
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 07 December 2017 - 04:29 PM

That is just great. Think of all the great scopes waiting to be saved..

 

-drl

A shame the percentage of those saved compared to the ones that are trashed is so low.


  • DreamWeaver and Bonco2 like this

#1440 Jim Curry

Jim Curry

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2330
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007
  • Loc: STL

Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:52 AM

Wow, what a Christmas story!  A 9" f/14.6 Uni-Pola.  Outfitted with that 60mm.  Talk about Brobdingnagian.  And we thought the 6" was colossal. This will tower over that like the 6 over the 4".  I hope it makes it into an observatory in Spain as alluded to.  There may be some pilgrimages in the making here.

 

Keep the photos and info coming.

Many thanks.

 

Jim


  • terraclarke, combatdad, Bomber Bob and 1 other like this

#1441 combatdad

combatdad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1874
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 09 December 2017 - 07:13 AM

A few more tidbits have surfaced from my ongoing conversations with Alex:

 

First of all, it was my understanding that Nihon Seiko had closed their doors in 1992 so I was surprised that someone was still around working for them in 2006 when Alex found the scope.  It turns out that Alex's contact "was the site-manager for Seiko in its glory days, but from middle 80’s this unit from Seiko was slowly transferred from manufacturing high quality “hard-ware” (this was the site where the equatorial mountings were made) into a “storage area”, last time I visited I saw a lot of engine parts of ships, so nothing to do with telescopes anymore, and it was also rented from Seiko by another company, doing something with naval stuff. So any past of telescope-making was quickly forgotten. Six months after my treasure-finding, this storage area was torn down and all in-house materials scrapped.  Can you imagine this scope on a metal junk-yard?"

 

Secondly, the site manager "told me Seiko made 5 telescopes with 8 inch lens for observatories on several spots in the world on demand."  As we've discussed in past posts, Nihon Seiko lists a Model 144, 200mm, 3000mm focal length model: http://www.unitronhi...atalog-1964.pdf, but to date none have been located.

 

I'll continue to update the Model 900 story: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/

 

Dave


  • gts055, photiost, Jim Curry and 7 others like this

#1442 starman876

starman876

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13958
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 13 December 2017 - 04:04 PM

Dave

 

Was there a reason why NS closed their doors in 92?



#1443 combatdad

combatdad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1874
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 14 December 2017 - 07:21 AM

Alex provided some additional photos which I added to the Model 900 story...photos of the 80mm x 500mm viewfinder and a Polarex Electric Focuser: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.  Scroll to the bottom of the story.

 

Dave


  • deSitter and terraclarke like this

#1444 combatdad

combatdad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1874
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 14 December 2017 - 07:33 AM

Dave

 

Was there a reason why NS closed their doors in 92?

Two reasons as I can best make out: They either couldn't, or didn't want to, compete with the Chinese products being marketed.  One of the comments made by the N-S Site Manager interviewed by Alex: "The Chinese scopes were very cheap those days and people were buying them instead of the more expensive Unitrons."  The second reason was availability of quality lenses, primarily ED and APO to compete in that market.  They couldn't find a source.

 

Dave


  • terraclarke likes this

#1445 starman876

starman876

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13958
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 14 December 2017 - 09:38 AM

 

Dave

 

Was there a reason why NS closed their doors in 92?

Two reasons as I can best make out: They either couldn't, or didn't want to, compete with the Chinese products being marketed.  One of the comments made by the N-S Site Manager interviewed by Alex: "The Chinese scopes were very cheap those days and people were buying them instead of the more expensive Unitrons."  The second reason was availability of quality lenses, primarily ED and APO to compete in that market.  They couldn't find a source.

 

Dave

 

I remember Unitron telling me they tried marketing the Chinese scopes, but could not match the quality of the NS scopes so gave up on that idea.  I think they decided to let the legend die a graceful death.  


  • Geo31 likes this

#1446 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14960
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: NOKY

Posted 14 December 2017 - 10:02 AM

I guess by then Celestron and Orion had an exclusive deal with Vixen, Takahashi and Pentax were marketing quality scopes under their own name, and the RAO/SYW/HOC makers were through as well, so Unitron had no where else to turn when Nihon Seiko closed up shop.  


  • Geo31 likes this

#1447 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 9789
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 14 December 2017 - 10:07 AM

 

 

Dave

 

Was there a reason why NS closed their doors in 92?

Two reasons as I can best make out: They either couldn't, or didn't want to, compete with the Chinese products being marketed.  One of the comments made by the N-S Site Manager interviewed by Alex: "The Chinese scopes were very cheap those days and people were buying them instead of the more expensive Unitrons."  The second reason was availability of quality lenses, primarily ED and APO to compete in that market.  They couldn't find a source.

 

Dave

 

I remember Unitron telling me they tried marketing the Chinese scopes, but could not match the quality of the NS scopes so gave up on that idea.  I think they decided to let the legend die a graceful death.  

 

Technically they are not dead, just resting :)

 

-drl



#1448 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 9789
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 14 December 2017 - 10:09 AM

Alex provided some additional photos which I added to the Model 900 story...photos of the 80mm x 500mm viewfinder and a Polarex Electric Focuser: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.  Scroll to the bottom of the story.

 

Dave

That 80/500mm finder and electric focuser (!!!) are worth a fortune in themselves!!

 

-drl



#1449 starman876

starman876

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13958
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 14 December 2017 - 10:19 AM

I want that electric focuser.  You think that is the only one in the world?

 

close inspection of that pciture and it looks like on that large gear there is a spring wound around it?


Edited by starman876, 14 December 2017 - 10:21 AM.


#1450 combatdad

combatdad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1874
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Culpeper, VA

Posted 14 December 2017 - 01:35 PM

Tore Engen has one of the few Unitron ED scopes in existence...an 80mm x 500mm that is essentially identical to the viewfinder: http://www.unitronhi...on-model-rf-80/

 

Dave


  • terraclarke likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.







Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics