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Royal Astro Optics 50x500mm Table Top

classic refractor
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#1 Van Do9:3

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 05:37 PM

This RAO 50x500mm scope is from a Vermont CL ad. It arrived with the OTA wrapped in bubble but everything else was disheveled so I have attempted to organize the kit as best I can based on instinct.

 

RAO - 1r.jpg

RAO - 2r.jpg

RAO - 5r.jpg

 

The objective cover is the only plastic component in the kit and screws into the dew shield.

 

The Model No: 140130 I believe indicates Year: _1/ Aperature: 4?/ Serial No.: 0130?:

 

RAO - 9r.jpg

 

The focuser has the offset rack and pinon and extends silky smooth. However, as you'll see in the last photo, the added weight of the diagonal and eyepiece creates some slop, and is most notable when the focuser is fully extended:

 

RAO - 13r.jpg

 

The tripod mount has a stainless steel pressue plate that prevents scratching of the fork mount stock from the setting screw when the scope is rotated horizontally (very nice detail):

 

RAO - 14r.jpg

 

Assembled scope:

 

RAO - 16r.jpg

 

The objective lens is in great condition other than a scratch at the 2 o'clock position. Have not had a chance to view the night sky and see how this affects viewing:

 

RAO - 17r.jpg

RAO - 19r.jpg

 

6mm and 9mm HM labeled EPs with Moon and Sun filters. The Sun filter is heavy and has a beautiful dark brass patina . The EPs friction fit into the prism diagonal. The diagonal is the most disappointing component. Its chrome stock is heavily scratched, a screw is missing from the back, the prism is misaligned, and filmed with fingerprints:

 

RAO - 21r.jpg

RAO - 23r.jpg

RAO - 24r.jpg

 

I would like to request your help with the following:

- What  is the correct positioning of the prism in the diagonal?

- I'm thinking of cleaning the prism with a Zeiss lens cleaning liquid, perhaps soaking and then rinsing with distilled water?

- What is the best method for general cleaning of the scope? I've read Never Dull but the canister warns to not use on painted surfaces.

- Best method of tightening the focuser slack.

- I will research the flocking forum to line the OTA interior.

- Does anyone have a diagram or knows how the kit lays out in the box?

 

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide. Hope this posting is helpful to others.

 

Clear skies in the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Tenacious

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 08:08 PM

It looks great!  I don't recall seeing one before.  Are these common?   Please let us know how it performs under the night sky.

 

Your focuser looks excellent.  I wonder if it will take the vixen 1.25" visual back.


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#3 Russell Smith

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 08:32 PM

I do have a similar telescope and the vixen back goes right on.

Great find.


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#4 Van Do9:3

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 08:40 PM

Thanks Tenaciuos and Russell. I’ve only seen a couple other CN posts on a similar scope. It’s our first classic and I can see/ feel why people love these scopes. No birding and star gazing yet. Would like to first correct the prism. 

 

Will have to look for the Vixen 1.25” visual back to fit my wide angle eyepieces. Would this also help with the slack?

 

Thank you,



#5 DeWayne

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 11:35 PM

That's an adorable scope! Congrats on the find. Enjoy it. I took a stab at answering your questions. Much more knowledgeable folks than me may have better answers.

What is the correct positioning of the prism in the diagonal?

D: I've taken a couple of these apart for cleaning. Mine had four screws on the back. Remove those to access the prism. Mine had a flat steel spring to hold the prism in place, and I think there was only one way it would go in. Maybe your spring is missing? The diagonals are not hard to find if you need to replace it.

- I'm thinking of cleaning the prism with a Zeiss lens cleaning liquid, perhaps soaking and then rinsing with distilled water?

D- I used a warm water soak and rinse, then cleaned with an Orion solution that i suspect is just isopropyl alcohol. If you have a cleaner meant for camera optics, i bet it would be fine.

- What is the best method for general cleaning of the scope? I've read Never Dull but the canister warns to not use on painted surfaces.

D- i just wipe mine down with a warm wet cloth and dry it right away. No special cleaner. Goo Gone works great on any persistent sticky stuff, but rinse and dry it right away.

- Best method of tightening the focuser slack.

D- i had a similar problem. When i removed the focuser from the tube and looked inside, there where three felt pads that held the focusing tube straight,and one had worn out (I suspect the scope was left extended for a long time?) I shimmed it up with some stout furniture leg felt. Seems to be holding up.


- I will research the flocking forum to line the OTA interior.

D- is this a problem? I say don't fix it if it ain't broke.


- Does anyone have a diagram or knows how the kit lays out in the box?

D- I don't, but looks like you are on the right track! Look for photos of your scope online and you may see one.
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#6 Boom

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 12:07 AM

Here's the thread from the previous owner:

https://www.cloudyni...al-tokyo-scope/
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#7 Chuck Hards

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 02:34 AM

I have the Tasco branded clone.  You will love that telescope.  Great find!

 

 


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#8 Van Do9:3

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:07 AM

That's an adorable scope! Congrats on the find. Enjoy it. I took a stab at answering your questions. Much more knowledgeable folks than me may have better answers.

What is the correct positioning of the prism in the diagonal?

D: I've taken a couple of these apart for cleaning. Mine had four screws on the back. Remove those to access the prism. Mine had a flat steel spring to hold the prism in place, and I think there was only one way it would go in. Maybe your spring is missing? The diagonals are not hard to find if you need to replace it.

- I'm thinking of cleaning the prism with a Zeiss lens cleaning liquid, perhaps soaking and then rinsing with distilled water?

D- I used a warm water soak and rinse, then cleaned with an Orion solution that i suspect is just isopropyl alcohol. If you have a cleaner meant for camera optics, i bet it would be fine.

- What is the best method for general cleaning of the scope? I've read Never Dull but the canister warns to not use on painted surfaces.

D- i just wipe mine down with a warm wet cloth and dry it right away. No special cleaner. Goo Gone works great on any persistent sticky stuff, but rinse and dry it right away.

- Best method of tightening the focuser slack.

D- i had a similar problem. When i removed the focuser from the tube and looked inside, there where three felt pads that held the focusing tube straight,and one had worn out (I suspect the scope was left extended for a long time?) I shimmed it up with some stout furniture leg felt. Seems to be holding up.


- I will research the flocking forum to line the OTA interior.

D- is this a problem? I say don't fix it if it ain't broke.


- Does anyone have a diagram or knows how the kit lays out in the box?

D- I don't, but looks like you are on the right track! Look for photos of your scope online and you may see one.

 

DeWayne, 

 

Thank you for the advice. I’ll give these a try. Seems straight forward, yet another reason why I love these scopes. 

 

Happy New Year!



#9 Van Do9:3

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:10 AM

Here's the thread from the previous owner:

https://www.cloudyni...al-tokyo-scope/

Thank you Boom. This is great. I was hoping to get a story with the scope to know it’s history. 

 

Happy New Year!



#10 terraclarke

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 12:06 PM

That’s a cutie for sure! I was amazed that it took so long for someone to adopt it. Looks like fun!


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#11 Van Do9:3

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 01:22 PM

Thanks Terra. I think the asking and shipping prices were big factors for it not moving quicker. It’s a nice set up as a portable scope. 

 

Happy New Year!


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#12 Bomber Bob

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 01:48 PM

That’s a cutie for sure! I was amazed that it took so long for someone to adopt it. Looks like fun!

At one point, several of us were PM'ing the Seller -- right after the thread posted.  It got interesting...


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#13 Van Do9:3

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 02:48 PM

JW, 

 

Oh boy, I’ll bet it did. 

 

Happy New Year!


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#14 IanT

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 05:38 AM

Glad to see the RA went to a good home. The previous owner would not freight it to my address in Tasmania , much to my chagrin! I have had the exact same ‘scope since 1964 and simply wanted another to compare with my own. My little treasure has never failed to provide sharp images of double stars, Jupiter’s belts and Saturn’s rings. For many years I thought that it’s perfectly centered set of Newton’s Rings was a fault! Other than the wee wobbly mount, my only complaint is that the primitive little notch and arrow point finder is next to useless. I now have mine permantly fixed to a dovetail plate almost as long as itself and thrice as heavy. It looks ridiculous fixed onto a DM6 but the ultra-stable views bring back 50 year old memories as well as amusing the hell out of me. I am sure that you will get as much enjoyment out of yours as I have out of mine. 

Ian


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#15 Van Do9:3

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:05 AM

Ian,

 

Thank you for sharing your story of your RAO. It's great to hear you're still enjoying yours, a treasure for sure. I completely agree about the novelty notch and arrow point finder. Must have been a marketing gimmick; like my red bike, it feels like I'm riding faster. I'm going to try to stabilize the mount with felt? But I admit I like the mount's ease of use. I do like your Vixen set up. I'm sure you must get a lot of inquisitive looks about it.

 

Hoping to fit the mount onto a single hub tripod for taller viewing stance. I'm also thinking of making a light, portable wood case that can transform into a table top stand for our trips. My daughter and I took the scope to view 'Provolone', an albino (leucistic) red-tailed hawk at a neighboring open space. Very nice detailed viewing. Apologies for the poor, unsteady iphone image, plus it was hazy here in CO today:

 

Provolone - 2r.jpg

 

My daughter was very excited to see her feathered friend. We have not had a chance to view the night sky yet but we're hoping to catch Venus and Jupiter in the early dawn. It would be wonderful to see the features you've described. However, our sky is very light polluted and not pristine as I would imagine Tasmania is. If you don't mind, what your RAO's model number? Would be interesting to see how many were made and how many are still around. Also, if you see any components I may be missing, please let me know. Did the original kit come with a manual of any kind?

 

Warm regards,

 


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#16 Van Do9:3

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:25 AM

Diagonal update, I disassembled the diagonal and found it as DeWayne had described. I had originally thought the diagonal was all metal but the body is plastic with four brass threaded inserts at the corners to hold the screws. Cheap material with over engineered details. Perhaps the plastic body is to lighten the diagonal since the brass eyepieces add quite a bit of weight? 

 

Is the chamfer at the prism corner to accommodate its removal from the housing? It reminds me of the Japanese wet stones which have this characteristic look. The prism was cleaned as best to my abilities but there some flaws I will attribute to age and use. It fit perfectly against the tubes. The prism back is covered with a charcoal colored card board sheet, I assume to eliminate light intrusion, and protect agains the sharp corners of the flat copper sheet spring that compresses against the diagonal back plate.

 

Diagonal - 1r.jpg

 

Diagonal - 2r.jpg

 

Diagonal - 3r.jpg

 

I will post more when I receive the 1.25" visual back.

 

Clear skies,

 

 


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#17 IanT

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:32 AM

The model number of my 50mm RA is 150526. I tried to upload some photographs but they appears to exceed CN’s size limit and I am not sure how to make them smaller. I can’t remember everything that came with my ‘scope and the battered wooden box is mostly empty nowadays. A sun filter, 1x 8 or 9 mm Huygens and 1 x 20mm Kellner? A prism diagonal. The OTA with dew hood and cover. I think that’s all. Over the years I butchered the mount, drilled holes to accept an optical finder and  pulled everything apart. I took it bushwalking ( trekking or  hiking in your part of the world?) and must have abused it terribly. In spite of that it always gave sharp views.  I recall two parallel pencil marks on one side of the 2 element objective and a single pencil mark directly opposite. As a little boy I used to marvel at how the two elements fitted together so precisely by lining up the marks. It’s narrow field of view meant it was not so good on clusters or nebulae but it was red hot on doubles and planets. The skies here can be wonderful. It’s very easy to get out of the city and into really remote, dark locations. Tasmania is about the size of Ireland or Sri Lanka, but nearly half of our landmass is World Heritage Area with no settlements at all, so dark skies are the norm. We regularly see the Aurora Australis and get great  views of all 22 first magnitude stars although Capella and Vega get a bit close to our northern horizon. I must say though that when I visited friends in Arizona I was thrilled to see Polaris, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia and lots of other lovelies, all which are all invisible here.

All the best

Ian


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#18 IanT

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:36 AM

Forgot to mention that no manual came with the telescope but a Royal Astro catalogue was included and by George did that get my pulse racing! 

Ian


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#19 Chuck Hards

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:56 AM

Here is my Tasco clone.  Tests very well under DPAC.

 

003.jpg

 

004.jpg

 

 


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#20 Astrolite

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 04:47 AM

Here is my Tasco clone.  Tests very well under DPAC.

 

attachicon.gif 003.jpg

 

attachicon.gif 004.jpg

Chuck, what is the model number of that Tasco clone?



#21 Chuck Hards

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:02 AM

Chuck, what is the model number of that Tasco clone?

It's just called the 55x50.  I assume that stands for 55x, the magnification with the eyepiece provided, an HM9mm, and the aperture, 50mm.  Interstingly, it does carry a serial number.

 

I have a Swift eyepiece in the diagonal in the prior pics.

 

005.jpg  eBay 005.jpg  

 

I lump this one in with the Terrastro, another 50mm that predated the 6TE.  Both probably represented evolutionary steps toward the 6TE & 66TE.  I feel confident that companies like Royal and/or N.S. supplied smaller quantities of these scopes, before Tasco had the configuration they wanted and placed all future orders with Towa for 6/66TE.  The same design also sold under the maker's house brand, as you have.


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#22 Van Do9:3

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:30 AM

Chuck, I read your thread of the Tasco 55x50. Great find and very nice how you souped up the visual and diagonal. It looks like it means business. I noticed I'm missing the little chrome tension handle on the mount. Will have to keep an eye out for one of those. Other than the labels, they appear to be identical.

 

Had a chance to quickly view Mars and its two moons, and the Pleides this evening. Very sharp clear images. Can't wait to get the 1.25" set up and try my CZ P25x8 eyepiece.

 

Thanks again everyone for contributing to this thread.



#23 Astrolite

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 07:04 AM

I would really like to find one of these scopes. I was real close on a Hy-Score version. It was sweet except that some of the focuser parts were missing and I just couldn't see it was worth the asking price without those. Bomber Bob was kind enough to provide me with the parts I needed, but by then the woman selling the scope had decided not to sell it. The only thing I can think is that the scope must have some sentimental value to her. Here's a couple of pictures of the one that got away.

 

44954311_2019758618315188_1819349486615396352_n.jpg

 

37195269_1947189068905477_1897319609942409216_n.jpg


Edited by Astrolite, 07 January 2019 - 07:05 AM.

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#24 Van Do9:3

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 12:47 AM

Wow, the Hy-Score is a beautiful kit. Is the focuser a manual draw tube? I like that it has a real finder scope. That is a shame the listing didn't got through.


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#25 Astrolite

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 07:44 AM

Wow, the Hy-Score is a beautiful kit. Is the focuser a manual draw tube? I like that it has a real finder scope. That is a shame the listing didn't got through.

The focuser pinion shaft with knobs was missing along with the cover plate. In addition the rack on the draw tube was gone. The asking price was too high for a non working scope that I didn't know whether or not I could get parts for, so I turned it down. I mentioned it here on CN and Bomber Bob sent me the parts I needed! Unfortunately by that time the woman, for some reason, had decided not to sell it. Very unfortunate since it was in excellent condition, other than the focuser.


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