I am at the end of a lovely week vacation with my kids in the Blue Hill Peninsula in Maine, where we rented a small late 1800s farmhouse in a very quiet and dark spot. After much testing and thinking I selected for this trip the 1980's C90 as my vacation telescope. It has been doing very well mounted on an old heavy duty Quickset tripod and with a Vixen fine motion adjustment tool. I have not been seeing anything really special (except maybe for seeing for the first time for me a dark band on the exterior of Saturn's ring) but after temperature adjustment the views have always been really pleasant and enjoyable. I have been also fooling around with Deep Sky Stacker and my Sony NEX5N: nothing to show yet but I feel I am making progress to finally get some beginner's DSO shots.
I took one telescope for my vacation
Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:38 AM
We made an antique/junk hunting trip to the Searsport/Stockton Springs area and in a rather dilapidated but immensely interesting shack store my son spotted a wooden box.... The tag price was an exorbitant $25 and I initially tried to pass it: we bought a 1930s table fan and a book, then moved on. We checked other stores that were much fancier and way less interesting, then the telescope gravitational pull overcame my weak resistance (and my son's lobbying for a 1915-20s toaster: who else has a kids that are nuts for antique vacuums and antique toasters?) and we came back. I bargained to pay $20, and we also got the antique (and nice, I must admit) toaster plus some tools I can put to use.
The box is restorable and the set seems quite complete, with 4EPs, diagonal, old-style Porro prism and a sun filter.
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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:47 AM
Another interesting thing is that one previous owner attempted to restore the draw tube focuser, that evidently had lost at some point the felt liner. Besides using a truckload of sticky and messy duct tape, he/she even used a piece of medical bandage to build up the diameter of the tube! Some patient use of GooGone took care of that, then I bought some velcro and using the fuzzy side on the inside of the focuser I restored the draw tube functionality.
I must say that although inept, the previous attempt to restore indicates desire for caring, which probably contributed to preserve this old instrument. So, thank you to whoever did this.
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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:57 AM
And the last problem was flagged by some electrician's tape holding the dew shade... : small camshells on the rear edge of the flint. Also the lens orientation was not correct. All I could do was some cleaning. Optically, I would presume the effect is minimal. The lenses have some coating that seems in decent shape, but I presume it is old and at a star test I got the impression of good resolution edge to edge, but with a small degree of stray light around the stars. I would think this is consistent with the age and the class of the scope. The small finderscope has I think an etched reticle on the rear EP lens.
I could not find any maker's mark, and a quick Google and forum "Monolux 10766" search did not identify anything. Has this model been seen before? Would you agree that based on color, paint and leg style (folding out, not sliding in) it could date to the late 1950s? Any info or link to more information on this model would be appreciated.
Edited by DMala, 04 August 2017 - 11:01 AM.
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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:58 AM
$20? Great score! I predict you'll like the views. The wood cabinet layout is identical to the Stein Towa, but based on the serial number, I bet yours was made by Astro Optical (or, its earlier name, Astro Service Center) -- like the S/N 11282 that I had for a while:
Yours is the earliest one that I have Registered.
* Posted before I saw your lens photo.
Yes, I think yours is a late 1950s model.
Edited by Bomber Bob, 04 August 2017 - 11:01 AM.
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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:04 AM
Thanks Bob! So you think that "10766" is the s/n not the model number.
Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:06 AM
Yes, that's the serial number. At that time, Towa didn't use them, but AO did.
CharlieB has an Asahi-made Monolux in this style, and it's a longer S/N than these AO versions.
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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:55 AM
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Posted 04 August 2017 - 01:42 PM
We made an antique/junk hunting trip to the Searsport/Stockton Springs area and in a rather dilapidated but immensely interesting shack store my son spotted a wooden box.... The tag price was an exorbitant $25 and I initially tried to pass it: ...
then moved on. We checked other stores ...then the telescope gravitational pull overcame my weak resistance .
. and we came back. I bargained to pay $20,...
Classic retrograde motion.
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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:49 PM
Everybody can get a second chance... at least prior to going in long term storage! I looked at Mizar and few others in Ursa Major:
- The Airy disks are well rounded and symmetrical
- At the edge of the disks I noticed small notches, that I guess may be due to the clamshells on the flint (which I have blacked out)
- Contrast is excellent, stars in focus are pinpoints, the background sky is quite dark, and once in focus there is very little light scattering even at high mag with a 5mm OR eyepiece.
So I would say that optically this Monolux 10766 is quite good, although I wish I could have looked at some planet to verify the surface detail visible. But my beloved trees keep these views all to themselves.
The tripod with folding legs and no EP tray is quite treacherous, the sliding tube of the focuser actually allows fast and quite precise focus....but it wants to slide out due to the weight of the diagonal and EP. So I can now see how mounts and focusers later stayed for the most clear of these features.
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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:53 PM
And for completeness of documentation on a rather uncommon model, here are some details of the accessories, which are however unremarkable:
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