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GOTO refractor telescope

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#1 JanS

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 06:56 PM

I recently inherited a 78mm GOTO (Japan) telescope. I have all the original documentation, as well as tripod & wood case. However, I notice this forum has very little (1 posting) information on this line of classic telescope. Since my web searches continually return with 'go-to' telescope sites, perhaps you can direct me to a forum with more information? Thanks in advance

#2 Richard McDonald

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 09:23 PM

Here you go:
http://www.goto.co.jp/index-e.html

They still make telescopes, but mainly focused on professional optical gear such as planetarium projectors.

#3 JanS

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 10:10 PM

I appreciate the information on GOTO Inc. site, but thats not really what I was looking for. I'm interested in sharing or conversing with other GOTO (amateur series)users. I was suprised that none (or so it seems) of your community has (or uses)GOTO amateur telescopes. Are they uncommon? I know the unit I have was purchased in Japan, and most of the instructions are in Japanese, I just didn't think it would be difficult to find other users.

#4 Vesper818

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 11:54 PM

http://www.cloudynig...r=1&postmarker=

http://www.cloudynig...ker=#Post747641


http://www.cloudynig...r=1&postmarker=

http://www.cloudynig...r=1&postmarker=

Hello Jans!

Possibly, these discussion threads could help. All deal with vintage 60-100mm Japanese manufactured refractors, written by enthusuastic small-scope owners. Many of the manufacturers and brands overlap, and all are similar in apearance and design.For myself, I have a Sears "Orbit scope, F11, complete with wooden box and tripod. It awaits restoration, but will be worth every effort because of the quality of the objective. I hope these links help. You might post a photo of your new scope; someone may very well recognize it.
They are wonderful scopes.You are fortunate to have one!
Carol W.

#5 trainsktg

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:33 AM

I appreciate the information on GOTO Inc. site, but thats not really what I was looking for. I'm interested in sharing or conversing with other GOTO (amateur series)users. I was suprised that none (or so it seems) of your community has (or uses)GOTO amateur telescopes. Are they uncommon? I know the unit I have was purchased in Japan, and most of the instructions are in Japanese, I just didn't think it would be difficult to find other users.


Welcome!

The GOTOs don't appear too often because they are rare, excellent, and when aquired get held on to. I tried purchasing one similar to your's on eBay a while back and I stopped at $750. I think it went for around $950, not including shipping.

When they become available, they go quick.

Just because there are few here, doesn't mean they aren't drooled over. A pic would be great.

Keith

#6 JakeJ

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 09:10 AM

Hi Jans -

Goto's are fairly rare, and considered by many to be superior to Unitron telescopes.

The only thread I can remember recently regarding a GOTO scope was here: GOTO 6" refractor

Congratulations on aquiring your scope. Would you mind posting some "show and tell" pictures of it? I would love to see it.

-Jake

#7 Vesper818

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 08:13 PM

http://www.astromart...ified_id=398495

Another GOTO refractor on Astromart, no mount, no go-to.

#8 JanS

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 10:54 PM

Thanks for all the kudos, my father took meticulous care of everything he owned. After he passed away in September, I brought the scope home. When I get the opportunity to put it together, I'll take post some photos.

I notice people having model #s for their GOTO scopes, but almost all of my information is in japanese. The only english material is blueprints (provided by GOTO) of the scope, mount and finder. I do know its a 3" (or 78mm) 1300mm scope, and on one folder is described as a 'Moon Watch Telescope'. While the blueprints make construction easy, I think I'll have to track down an interpreter.

#9 DarkCurrent

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:09 PM

Hi Jan,

I can help if you need some of the documentation translated. I used to do it professionally. Feel free to pm me.

#10 JakeJ

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 11:25 AM

http://www.astromart...ified_id=398495

Another GOTO refractor on Astromart, no mount, no go-to.


Carol -

I noticed that one too. Too bad that it has been painted black.

-Jake

#11 JanS

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 07:40 PM

Hi Jan,

I can help if you need some of the documentation translated. I used to do it professionally. Feel free to pm me.


I appreciate the offer, and I may just take you up on it. I noticed, on closer inspection of the blueprints, my father recorded the mount # as 106. I also notice most of the documentation (and the telescope) show the logo "GOTO Tokyo"; I thought the company was GOTO Optical Mfg, was the logo always different?
Anybody have any information or ideas?

#12 JanS

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 09:44 PM

Hi Jans -

Goto's are fairly rare, and considered by many to be superior to Unitron telescopes.

The only thread I can remember recently regarding a GOTO scope was here: GOTO 6" refractor

Congratulations on aquiring your scope. Would you mind posting some "show and tell" pictures of it? I would love to see it.

-Jake


Ok, but please be kind. I haven't seen this scope assembled since I was in my early to mid-teens (a while ago). This is also a first for uploading images to the net, so I hope it works.
I put 3 images at Yahoo plus a pic of the plate on the outside of the case (sorry for any reflections). Let me know what you think. Thanks!
http://ca.pg.photos....insky/my_photos

#13 DarkCurrent

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 12:05 AM

The label shown in the picture you posted says "Goto Optical Research Labs Corporation", "Setagaya (Ward), Tokyo"

Then a list of license numbers. The last line is not completely legible because of the reflection. Due to the extreme difference in Japanese and English syntax this renders the visible fragment essentially untranslatable. The lettering and character set used is out of date, but I guess you already know that.

I would love to see the contents of the manual if you could find a way to scan it and send to me. Also if you have any specific questions about the scope you think the manual might answer I'd be happy to try and help you find it.

#14 Barry Kawa

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 06:34 AM

I used to have one of those same Goto Optical telescopes, I notice in the picture you don't have the counterweight shaft and counterweight.
I bought mine, a 75mm F-17.5, at a Tokyo telescope store sale a few years ago for about $75 U.S. It was in fair shape on a clearance table, missing the countweight and the finder.
I cleaned the optics and collimated it, and had fun testing it against my Borg 76 ED-L F-10 and a Takahashi FC-76 I used to have.
The Goto had excellent optics, but wasn't as well baffled as my other scopes. The Borg 76 ED-L and Takahashi had much better contrast and a much sharper snap-to focus on planetary images. Plus, the old Goto mount wasn't as smooth as the Takahashi EM-2 mount I was using with my other OTAs.
I contacted Goto Optical here and they will still service their old scopes. But I decided against the $500 U.S. charge the company wanted for basically cleaning the equatorial mount and OTA and lens and focuser. They didn't have a replacement finder and I could never track an original one down here.
It was tempting to drive out to the Goto factory, I don't live too far from it, and drop off the scope and get a history lesson about the company.
But I decided the Borg was so much sharper and easier to set up.
I did find out through a Japanese astronomer that the 75mm model was sold mostly for school use. The documentation in the wood case showed that mine was made about 1962.
At a used telescope store in Tokyo recently, I saw a Goto Optical 75mm F-15 triplet APO OTA that was made in the early 1980s. They wanted about $1,500 for the OTA, the wood case and the finder, kind of expensive.
The Goto scopes and mounts here are collector's items, they seem to sell quickly. From looking at the ads in the Japanese astronomy magazine, Tenmon Guide, the company got out of the amateur astronomy telescope market around the mid-1980s.

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Barry Kawa
Yokohama, Japan

2001 Questar Astro
1981 Questar Duplex
Borg 76-ED-L, 76ED, 76Achro, 65mm, 60mm

#15 JanS

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 06:32 PM

Such a doofus :foreheadslap: I got so wrapped-up with the worm gear control, I forgot to put on the counterweight. Along with the original "Star Finder" (6x18), there's also 3 eyepieces (6mm,9mm,12.5-25mm), an erecting prism, a star/sun diagonal, a sun projecting screen, & an item they call a sun glass (not sure I'd trust it). By the way, I'm honoured anyone would test it against a Borg ED or Takahashi scope. Either of those are far more expensive than this thing.

#16 JanS

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 06:37 PM

The label shown in the picture you posted says "Goto Optical Research Labs Corporation", "Setagaya (Ward), Tokyo"

Then a list of license numbers. The last line is not completely legible because of the reflection. Due to the extreme difference in Japanese and English syntax this renders the visible fragment essentially untranslatable. The lettering and character set used is out of date, but I guess you already know that.

I would love to see the contents of the manual if you could find a way to scan it and send to me. Also if you have any specific questions about the scope you think the manual might answer I'd be happy to try and help you find it.

Since I don't have a full size scanner, I going to have a friend of mine scan the material early next week. When I get it posted to Yahoo I'll let you know. Thanks :)

#17 Barry Kawa

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 07:20 PM

Jan,
It was fun testing my former 1962 Goto against two great modern APO refractors. A fairer test would have been the late 1970s-early 80s Goto triplet APO F-12 or F-15 version against the Borg ED-L or the Tak FC-76.
Glad to hear you have the counterweight shaft and counterweight, those could be hard to find. Those Goto Huygenians should work well with your long focal-length scope, although without a motor drive, it's amazing how fast planets will zip through that narrow field of view.
Any Goto eyepieces, even Huygenians, are worth a lot. I see the Goto Huygenians priced at more than $50 U.S. here in Tokyo for ones in poor condition.
Unfortunately, I don't have the skill to restore a scope, so ended up selling my Goto and my 4-inch F-15 Unitron to a placed called CAT used telescopes in Japan. The CAT store owner drove two hours to buy them from me, my wife wanted the extra storage space and wondered why I had so many scopes.
But here in Japan, used scopes don't bring a lot. I got a grand total of about $700 U.S. for both my Unitron and my Goto, painful, but too difficult to sell both scopes through Astromart or e-Bay and ship to the States.
Still, if I ever see another used Goto scope for sale here in Japan at a flea market or antique store, I might buy it.
They are highly prized here as collectibles, but guess Takahashi drove them out of the amateur market when they started offering shorter tube, better APOs at a much lower price.
I know you will enjoy the Goto's excellent optics and that forgiving focal length, I always love that blue-gray color of the equatorial mount, very close to the older Takahashi mount color. Plus, your Goto is much rarer than a Unitron 3-inch scope, and it's nice knowing that the company is still in business if you ever needed to ask a question or want them to work on something.

-----------
Barry Kawa
Yokohama, Japan

2001 Questar Astro
1981 Questar Duplex
Borg 76-ED-L, 76ED, 76Achro, 65mm, 60mm

#18 Barry Kawa

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 07:22 PM

Post deleted by Barry Kawa

#19 trainsktg

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 07:56 PM

Any Goto eyepieces, even Huygenians, are worth a lot. I see the Goto Huygenians priced at more than $50 U.S. here in Tokyo for ones in poor condition.


There is a reason these eyepieces are sought after and command top dollar...

GOTO and Zeiss Huygenians will best any modern 4 or 5 element eyepiece of any manufacturer in the areas of light throughput and contrast simply because there are less elements in the design. At long focal ratios, they suffer from no spherical abberation. Field of view is their biggest drawback, hence modern designs. Interestingly, Unitron eyepieces for the most part did not meet the Zeiss level of optical excellence.

Keith

#20 Barry Kawa

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 08:39 PM

I agree, and I would never have believed it until I tried the Goto Huygenians with a Vixen 4-inch F-15 refractor. I was using Pentax SMC Orthos with it, until, just for laughs, I tried my Goto Huygenians with it, a 6mm, 7mm and 9mm. I couldn't believe the sharpness and contrast on Jupiter and Saturn, it was like not using an eyepiece at all. Although the Huygenians seemed to throw up a little more color, the performance was as good -- if not better -- than the Pentax Orthos. Since the Vixen was on a motorized mount, the narrow field of view was not an issue for planetary observing. I learned once again, in amateur astronomy, there are no ''absolutes.'' I had read for years all the critical remarks about Huygenian eyepieces, but they are excellent, if well made, if you use them in a long focal-length refractor. In a faster focal-length scope, they are easily beaten by Kellners or Plossls.

#21 JanS

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 10:19 PM

Those Goto Huygenians should work well with your long focal-length scope, although without a motor drive, it's amazing how fast planets will zip through that narrow field of view.


You're right, I remember Dad using the worm gear control constantly in order to keep the image centred. But I also vaguely remember reading/hearing about a clock drive that would fit the scope. I think my father seriously considered it, but finally let it go because we weren't as interested (at the time) in astronomy. If I remember correctly, it was some form or wind-up mechanism (with a key) that kept the target centred - probably not very accurate, but a little better than manual. Anybody hear of this? :question:

#22 JanS

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 08:29 PM

The label shown in the picture you posted says "Goto Optical Research Labs Corporation", "Setagaya (Ward), Tokyo"

Then a list of license numbers. The last line is not completely legible because of the reflection. Due to the extreme difference in Japanese and English syntax this renders the visible fragment essentially untranslatable. The lettering and character set used is out of date, but I guess you already know that.

I would love to see the contents of the manual if you could find a way to scan it and send to me. Also if you have any specific questions about the scope you think the manual might answer I'd be happy to try and help you find it.

Ok, if anyone is interested, I've posted the manual (as well as other brochures) that came with my GOTO telescope. You'll find them here with a couple of pics of the scope (sorry, forgot to put on the counter balance...later):
http://ca.pg.photos....insky/my_photos
Let me know what you think! :jump:

#23 JanS

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:07 AM

The GOTOs don't appear too often because they are rare, excellent, and when aquired get held on to. I tried purchasing one similar to your's on eBay a while back and I stopped at $750. I think it went for around $950, not including shipping.

When they become available, they go quick.

Just because there are few here, doesn't mean they aren't drooled over. A pic would be great.

Keith

Which GOTO refractor were they selling on ebay? Any one of these: (mine's the one in the top left corner) :jump:

Attached Thumbnails

  • 767077-GOTO Line-up.jpg


#24 Steve_M_M

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:08 AM

The 3" Goto on Ebay was a Hy score. Not one of the ones pictures in your manual. Here is the picture from the ad. I am in contact with the seller and hope to get better pictures of this scope and the beautiful Royal 76T he just got.

Steve

Attached Thumbnails

  • 767175-GOTO HY Score 3a.jpg


#25 Steve_M_M

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:09 AM

Here is close to your mount from a recent Ebay sale. This mount had issues like no dec worm gear, no counterweight, CW shaft issues, missing controls, etc. It went for $167.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 767177-Goto Mid Mount.jpg



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