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TASCO 20TE telescope

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#1 zozobra


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Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:26 PM

First of all I am new to this site.  I have had small telescopes for about 15 years, each being a bit bigger than the previous one. Recently I had the opportunity to buy a TASCO 20TE telescope.  I figured this was certainty big enough to do what I want to do, that being seeing the planets  perhaps in some detail and with some color.  So it now stands in my garage.  It came with a box of lenses and a small brochure but no instructions or manual.  My problem is that it is HEAVY, particularly the base,  so there is no way I can move it outside when I wish to use it.  I have some hopes of leaving the cast base outside covered (as I think it may have been at times) and move the actual telescope and pieces that allow it to be trained on an object in the house.  I have yet had no luck in finding any documents that show how it may be disassembled.  The actual telescope tube can easily be removed but the pieces to which it is attached do not appear to be easily removed ad I do not want to force anything..


Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 markb


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Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:58 PM

Congrats on a great purchase.

Check the classics forum on CN.

There is apparently a registry for these unusual scopes, see


As a place you might get started with some information.

I have a backyard Pier made by gentleman who was flooded out during Katrina. Construction of a basic Pier of a design similar to the Tasco pier but in aluminum is not difficult as the materials can be obtained off eBay, just make careful measurements of your existing, presumably steel, post before you start ordering aluminum posts.

Mine has three low feet made of bent aluminum strips formed into a very narrow triangle, about 2.5 feet long simply bolted to the 4 foot high aluminum tube, with a machined, removable, adapter for a vixen gp base.

You may, depending on the Tasco design of the connection between the base and mount body, be able to replace bolts with knob bolts and then remove and replace the Mount body on the replacement pier tube.

I had gotten a pier extension from a Orion which was wonderfully made but impossibly heavy due to the steel tube. I matched the ID of the steel tube to a replacement aluminum tube off eBay, carefully drilled holes for the original adapter plate, and painted the aluminum tube with pickup truck bed liner paint. The paint took three weeks to cure but is indestructible and attractive.

Another way to do this is to set an aluminum or steel post of identical inside diameter to your Tasco post hardware outside in a permanent location, and use the knobbed bolt idea to make the mount head removeable.

I would not leave a classic pier like this outside, given the rarity of the scope.

Sorry about all the capital letters, my voice dictation insists on putting them there.

#3 deepwoods1


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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:01 PM

My first thoughts are WOW! That is a really rare scope. I see less than a handful known here. Clearly there‚Äôs more out there waiting to be found. Keeping it intact and in its current state of preservation would be paramount to a collector. If you want something more portable, sell this and get something else with portability in mind. Oh, some pictures please, so that we can drool. 

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#4 Russell Smith

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:21 PM

Yes, pictures please.
Would love one of the 20 te's.
Congratulations on a great find and welcome.

#5 Astrojensen


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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:51 PM

These scopes are so rare, that a collector might want to pay enough for it, that you could purchase a modern instrument that was both bigger and more powerful AND much more portable.



Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

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#6 Stargoat



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Posted 20 June 2019 - 03:40 PM

First congrats on a rare Tasco telescope.  A few have showed up here on CN and over on Amart thru the years. I can't recall any of the other 20TE's that had an instruction booklet. One may of had the instruction booklet for the 15TEA that was the only other Tasco pier mounted model. So maybe Tasco just used those instructions until they printed a 20TE manual...that is if they ever did.


Here is link to the Tasco 15TEA Instruction Booklet.


The Tasco 15TEA has a different and smaller mount closer to the Tasco 10TE.


But the pier may be similar though not as big or tall as the 15TEA.


If you do a search here on CN for 20TE current and in the archives, you will come across several that other CN members have owned or still own.


Maybe a past or current owner can give you detailed instructions for taking the mount off the pier. But all the counter weights and CW bar must be removed first from the mount. Then there are 3 silver hand knobs the secure the base of the mount to the top of the silver tube of the pier.


I would like to see what small Tasco brochure that came with the scope. That will tell me what date range the scope is from. First mention of the Tasco 20TE is in the ©1963 sales catalog introducing the 1964 line-up of scopes. See attached pictures of the ©1963 Tasco 1964 catalog cover and 20TE page. Enjoy!!


Look forward to more photos.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Tasco1964CatalogFrontCover.jpg
  • Tasco1964CatalogPage19_20TE.jpg

Edited by Stargoat, 20 June 2019 - 03:44 PM.

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#7 zozobra


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Posted 22 June 2019 - 03:58 PM

First of all I would like to thank all who have responded to my post!  I really appreciate it.  From what I read I found a very rare telescope that must be cared for.  I have studied the 15TEA instruction booklet to the point I understand how I can disassemble the telescope to the point I can move it to a location it can be used.  I will take some photos of it when it is moved.  The only thing I really would like to do is paint the lower base support.  Over the years some

of the textured black paint on the base is gone.  In my experiences with original items (antiques, original cars, clocks, etc. ) often times the originality and value are destroyed by refurbishing the item.  I assume that is not the case with the lower portion of the base.  


I have taken photos and then reduced them of the only document I got with the telescope, a product lineup and price guide for TASCO telescopes by TASCO SALES, INC., copyright 1970.  I will post those once I determine how to post photos.   

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#8 Marc-Andre



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Posted 22 June 2019 - 05:07 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!


You might also wish to consider a wheeley bar  for the pier that would allow you to roll it out of and back in the garage.  Others may be able to  relate their experiences with wheeley bars and tall pedestals.  Here's an example of one that sold in the CN classified ads last month;  https://www.cloudyni...r-losmandy-g11/


I built this one last year for my scope; 




Here is a link to a commercial Scope Buggy.

Edited by Marc-Andre, 22 June 2019 - 09:32 PM.

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#9 tim53


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Posted 22 June 2019 - 06:40 PM

Thing about that he 20te is that it might be pretty too heavy for wheels bars. I tend to put my scopes on dollies such that I hold the telescope at the mount so I can stop it from tipping over if a wheel hits a rut or a rock. 

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#10 markb


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Posted 22 June 2019 - 11:03 PM

$1295 in 1964!!! Equivalent to about $10000 now as I understand it.

Federal minimum wage was 1.15 - 1.25.

Median family income, unadjusted, was about $6000 a year

No wonder they are so rare.

#11 Chuck Hards

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 11:27 PM

It's the Holy Grail for Tasco collectors.  

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#12 starman876


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Posted 23 June 2019 - 02:08 PM

A scope we all hope to find in some attic somedaywaytogo.gif

#13 zozobra


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Posted 24 June 2019 - 01:01 PM

Here's a shot (I hope) of the telescope nameplate with serial number.  I really did not know it was serial number 3 until you mentioned how rare it is.  This is a learning process in bringing in photos, etc. so excuse if I did it wrong.


I also have uploaded the tasco ales brochure from 1970.
tasco 1970 1
Album: TASCO sales brochure 1970
3 images


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#14 terraclarke  Happy Birthday!



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Posted 24 June 2019 - 01:31 PM

Congratulations! You have acquired a rare and wonderful beast! Now you must prepare to tame it. ;)

#15 zozobra


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Posted 24 June 2019 - 02:37 PM

Let's see if I can tell up from down.  One more try at the serial number.

tasco 20TE Sn

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#16 shredder1656


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Posted 26 June 2019 - 05:04 AM

Congrats on your purchase.  I have went through so many scopes (in a short amount of time), it really is kind of ridiculous.  I had the 10te, and wish I would not have let it go, BUT it did go to a friend.  So, in that regard, it is a good thing.  Don't let this one go. 


Maybe I missed these questions being asked by someone else, so if I did, my apologies. 


Do you have any pics to post?  I, for one, would enjoy seeing your prize. 


Where do you live?  Maybe, there is someone that frequents this site that lives near enough to you to give you a little hands-on help. 


Do you know anything about its previous owners?  Considering its rarity, that might be interesting.


Again, congrats!!!

#17 photiost



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Posted 26 June 2019 - 06:21 PM

Very nice ~~~ Enjoy !!

#18 Piggyback


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Posted 27 June 2019 - 01:43 AM

Must be pleasant to own this kind of monstrosity. Enjoy and congratulations on a great find!

#19 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 09:51 PM

Here's Albert's 20TE thread from five years ago, and he links to MikeyCee's 20TE thread.  Not too many of these, one of the rare 4" scopes.  



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