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.


Edmund Scientific Telescopes Experiences

  • Please log in to reply
188 replies to this topic

#176 Joe1950


    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,455
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 02 September 2019 - 03:51 AM

I';ve still got a rather trashed Edmunds 6" reflector, I believe from the mid 60s,   tube length is just about 48" so I assume the FL is similar,which would make it f/8.  1.25" rack and pinion focuser, single stalk secondary.  primary mirror has a sticker on the back that says UPCO Optics


everything ferrous is pretty rusty, everything alloy is somewhat corroded/pitted, and the otptics would need replating, but I think its resurrectable.    the cast iron eq pier mount is intact but also corroded/rusty.   it has the 120V 60Hz AC synchronous clock drive motor, but the motor and gearing are probably beyond resurrection.  any plastic bits on the mount like friction washers are toast, too.


I'd give this away to someone who wants to meet me in the santa cruz, california, area....    sorry, I lost the box of original eyepieces, they weren't very good anyways.


UPCO Optics is a kind of mystery company. Edmund mirrors with that sticker are known to be very good. 


Legend has it that UPCO Optics is a nom de plume of a gentleman by the name of Ed Bailey. He was a member of Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Astronomical Society and also had connections with the Franklin Institute, also of Phila.


The story goes that Ed made and carefully tested the mirrors at that time for Edmunds, and possibly Criterion. He was, in fact UPCO Optics. He also taught ATM mirror making classes at the Franklin institute. Paul Rini would know more if he stops by.


He was said to be very skilled and carefully tested and certified each and every mirror. The sticker certified the optics at a true 1/4 wave, which is actually very good and considered to be diffraction limited, a term that became popular after the infamous optics wave wars of the 70s and 80s. Claims of 1/8, then 1/10, 1/20 wave accuracy were ascribed to mirrors and scopes as tested by the advertising departments of various companies fighting for the upper hand. lol.gif


When the claims got to the ridiculous stage, I think the combatants dropped the specific fractions of a wave and ceased hostilities by claiming diffraction limited.



In any event, if I lived near you, I’d swing by. But 3000 miles is a little too much of a swing by drive for me. If you can’t find anyone, you may consider parting it out. The UPCO mirror, even in poor coating condition is something of a collectors item. And many would like to get some of the other parts also.


The mount is also a popular item to sell, but, of course expensive to ship. Even the clock drive, in questionable condition would get interest at the right price.


Something to consider.

Edited by Joe1950, 02 September 2019 - 03:57 AM.

  • clamchip and Terra Nova like this

#177 Roger Corbett

Roger Corbett

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 794
  • Joined: 07 Mar 2013

Posted 28 October 2019 - 06:04 PM

Say, thanks for the tip about the images.  I was clicking (tapping on it) and selecting save image.  Nope!  One has to open the image first in a separate window and then save it.  


The way I first did it, when you zoom in, it became grainy and hard to read.  In this other way, it turns out great, magnifies well.


Boy, do I remember getting those Edmund catalogs and flipping through them and wanting all sorts of the gear!  Several years back, I had Edmund clean and collimate my Astroscan.  They did an incredible job on it.  They did all sorts of extra things back them — provided a new rubber focuser roller, red eyepiece cap, an Astroscan manual, etc.  


Cost a grand total of $35 and *they* even paid for the return shipping.


Also picked up the Mag 5 star atlas to go with my Mag 6.  It was great seeing those wonderfully hand drawn sky charts and figures; even the typeface they used brought back memories — and the booklets still do.

  • Terra Nova, Joe1950 and randy_1701 like this

#178 starmason


    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 125
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:16 PM

My Edmund Scientific Model 6001 Voyager f/8 Refractor - black and silver model on Edmunds GEM (like) alt az mount and (VERY) lightweight tripod observing platform. Rank cemented doublet Optics are excellent.  Focuser is the weak point but works well enough.  1.25 inch Amici prism diagonal very nice quality.  RKE eyepieces are excellent.  As a Grab and Go system it is adequate but the OTA’s wonderful optics are a joy to observe with for both planetary, doubles and brighter DSO’s.  Daytime viewing is excellent.  Minimum color for an achromat of this shorter focal length.  Compared this to my recently sold 70mm TV Ranger and the Voyager’s doublet showed less color at higher powers than the Ranger - to my eyes at least.  Truly a treasure to be enjoyed.

Attached Thumbnails

  • A9D94CE0-5111-4C4C-88E0-C6FC0CFBCE5D.jpeg

  • mattyfatz, steve t, Bill Friend and 2 others like this

#179 KBHornblower


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 290
  • Joined: 01 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Falls Church, VA (Washington DC suburb)

Posted 11 September 2020 - 04:10 PM

My first experience with a telescope was with an Edmund 3" f/10 purchased in spring of 1958.  As an impressionable 10-year-old I was blown away by seeing Jupiter and Saturn through it.  So was my mother, who described Saturn as "a doughnut with a golf ball in the middle."  When I wanted to look at Mizar and Alcor my dad and I quickly saw what a joke the mount was.  It was impossible to go more than about 30o north with the mount polar aligned.  We turned the whole thing around and used it as if it were an alt-az sitting on the side of a steep hill.  With the help of a machinist he knew at work, he built a German equatorial mount, complete with slow motions, from scrap metal he salvaged at work.  I am amazed that they stayed with that mount for so long.  For the price an alt-az would have been fine, but at the time the conventional wisdom was that being able to follow the target with a single motion was important.  Definitely not John Dobson's opinion.


When I moved up to a 6" a few years later I gave that scope to one of my cousins who lived near St. Louis at the time.  I don't know what became of it.

  • steve t and Bomber Bob like this

#180 Chuck Conner

Chuck Conner

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 18 May 2020
  • Loc: Maryland U.S.A.

Posted 13 September 2020 - 05:57 PM

I remember that Edmund Scientific conducted a contest to name the telescope that ended up being the "Astroscan".  My contest entry ("Star Decanter") was not selected.  smirk.gif   

My entry was also not picked " Sky Ball".. I can't remember what the prize would have been. Was it one of the telescopes?


From the Edmund catalog, in the early 60's, I ordered the 6" mirror making kit which cost around $11.00 or $12.00... I also ordered a mirror mount and eye piece holder/focus assy and a book. " All About Telescopes by Sam Brown" .. I placed the order by mail on a Friday after noon and the order arrived fast that following Monday... In the 70's I ordered an aluminium tube for the scope, at the same time I placed my entry for naming the telescope contest.


I'm still using that home made  6"  scope and still have the Sam Brown book

  • mattyfatz and steve t like this

#181 PawPaw



  • *****
  • Posts: 418
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2013
  • Loc: West Central Missouri

Posted 13 September 2020 - 10:31 PM

DLuders, on 07 May 2017 - 4:02 PM, said:

I remember that Edmund Scientific conducted a contest to name the telescope that ended up being the "Astroscan".  My contest entry ("Star Decanter") was not selected.  smirk.gif  

My entry was also not picked " Sky Ball".. I can't remember what the prize would have been. Was it one of the telescopes?


There were 6 entries all with the winning name "Astroscan 2001"  so Edmund had to resort to the earliest postmark entry.  First place went to a teacher from Findlay Ohio he received a Astroscan for himself and one for his school.  Second place prize was $100 and third through fifth place all won $50.  



  • mattyfatz, steve t and Chuck Conner like this

#182 RalphMeisterTigerMan



  • *****
  • Posts: 1,430
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2016

Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:35 PM

I got into Edmund Scientific when I was about 10 years old. As I think back to the time period, many of the Telescope manufacturers charged a premium price and usually only offered one type of telescope, in different sizes. Some sold only the telescopes but not the much needed accessories.


A. Jaeger's sold all sorts of great surplus items, and everything you needed to build your own custom telescope, from long focal length "planet killers" to amazing rich field scopes. Eyepieces, binoculars and surplus military bits and equipment that the Military no longer needed but had so much of it they were probably finding it difficult to find room to put it all (remember the Warehouse from Hell at the end of Indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost Ark? With no row or aisle numbering system, how was anything catalogued or found?).


Chances are, if you needed it, A. Jaeger's probably had it! Except for complete telescope systems!


When you think about it, Edmund had just about everything! Complete telescopes, binoculars, eyepieces, barlow lenses, complete mirror grinding kits and a whole library of books on How to build. Plus all the weird esoterickbrackabrac; Weather balloons, balloons that looked like U.F.O.'s, science kits for kids, experimental lenses, prisms, lasers, I do not think I could list everything listed in their catalogue.


The point that I am trying to make is this. Starting in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, Edmund Scientific was one of the first one stop shopping for the beginner Amateur Astronomer. You could get the telescope of your choice (whithin reason), eyepieces, barlows, binoculars and not have to pay and arm and a leg for it, or you could save even more and DIY.


I remember spending endless hours perusing, brousing and studying that catalogue! WOW! Yup, have some great memories of that warehouse in Barrington New Jersey near the Turn Pike.


Ah yes, the good old days...until reality sets in and the bad memories come in from the fog.

Clear skies!


  • mattyfatz, steve t, Terra Nova and 1 other like this

#183 mattyfatz



  • *****
  • Posts: 3,304
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Boise Idaho

Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:55 PM

    My Astroscan is from 1985. It has seen every bright comet visible in North America for the last thirty five years. That PVC mount eventually broke when some movers dropped it. I ended up just screwing the socket base to a tripod with a 1/4-20 mounting thread.



  • Lewis Cason, clamchip, steve t and 3 others like this

#184 John Carlini

John Carlini

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 353
  • Joined: 10 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Northern Wyoming

Posted 23 September 2020 - 03:29 PM

As a teen in high school, I made an Edmund 4-1/4" reflector from parts sold via the catalog. I also bought the pedestal Equatorial mount with clock drive. The setup was fun to make but a real pain to haul out of the house when I wanted to observe. As a consequence, it spent a lot of time in my closet. Eventually, I gave it to my brother when I discovered light-weight rich-field refractor telescopes. I also had a set of University Optics eyepieces that I still use today.

  • steve t, Terra Nova and Bomber Bob like this

#185 skygazer66WA


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 16 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Oregon Territory

Posted 26 September 2020 - 11:42 PM

Back in 1971 while in junior high, I assembled a 6" F-8 reflector using Edmund parts, including the pier EQ mount, mirror cell, focuser, secondary mirror, 2 Kellner eyepieces, and a 28mm war-surplus eyepiece (precursor to the 28 RKE). The tube was an aluminum irrigation pipe, 7" X 50". The 6" mirror grinding kit was less than $10.


A generous older man who my science teacher introduced me to, ground and polished the mirror with a grinding machine which he built in the 1950s, using parts from junkyards, such as an axle from a 1930s Buick. I did the grunt work and mowed his lawn occasionally, and learned a lot about optics. He was well-known in my area for grinding the 24.5" mirror which ended up at the Goldendale, WA observatory, now a state park.


So, for about 80 1971 dollars (compared to $195 for the Criterion RV-6, or $200 for the Edmund 6-inch) I had a wonderful telescope which introduced me to the Messier objects and great views of the planets. Quite a step up from my 60mm refractor. 

  • clamchip, steve t, Terra Nova and 2 others like this

#186 Gil V

Gil V


  • -----
  • Posts: 1,447
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2012

Posted Yesterday, 06:00 PM

Pertaining to a complete Astroscan unit, if you minus the optical window and add a spider then that 4.25" will out-do any small size reflector easily.

Paul - that’s exactly what I did. I bought a Tasco Galaxsee at Ocean State Job Lot, threw the primary in the trash and dropped in an Astroscan primary I bought on E-bay.

Great grab-and-go scope.


The photo below is the same telescope in different versions!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 8C195434-5311-476D-9C14-FDA98E9EA193.jpeg

Edited by Gil V, Yesterday, 06:07 PM.

  • Bomber Bob likes this

#187 apfever


    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,750
  • Joined: 13 May 2008
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted Yesterday, 06:37 PM

If you Don't do away withy the optical window and just collimate, get it clean, The Astroscan will out do most small comparative scopes and with far superior ergonomics. 

  • PawPaw likes this

#188 CHASLX200



  • *****
  • Posts: 20,409
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted Today, 05:28 AM

Only had two Edmund scopes. 8" f/8 with the best mount i ever had and super optics and Astroscan that was like all fast Newts back in the day with soft and coma filled FOV's.

Edited by CHASLX200, Today, 05:28 AM.

#189 mattyfatz



  • *****
  • Posts: 3,304
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Boise Idaho

Posted Today, 10:21 AM

Only had two Edmund scopes. 8" f/8 with the best mount i ever had and super optics and Astroscan that was like all fast Newts back in the day with soft and coma filled FOV's.


Was your F8 on that fork EQ Mount? Those always looked great to me.

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.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics