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My 1957 Mayflower 76mm

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#1 orion61

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 02:59 AM

  I was lucky enough to find a complete "Young Mans Christmas dream", come true! A 1957 or 58 Mayflower 76mm F15 (it has the white tube with the Black front cell and focus) it has the included LOONG locking chrome pull tube. Grey finished metal mount parts on the clam-shell and mount accys.. A  fellow CNer here glmorri about 6 years ago made this wonderful old girl available to me. 

  Does anyone else here have the pre "ALL GREY cell/front cell/focus hardware and white tube)?

It is the most complete vintage scope I have ever received! The Wooden case had its memories in it and I repaired those, but it still had the original cloth tie downs for the legs, Sun projection screen, original .965 eyepiece It has a fantastic Royal optical objective. Tonight Jupiter and Saturn were amazing! they are low in the sky but this scope laser cuts through the skies like nothing! Some day I'd love to find an original owners manual for her, I have the price sheet showing a price of over $400.00 new! That was a huge sum of money back then! 

  I took the whole mount apart and de greased it, cleaned, then used Super Lube cut with a tiny bit by thin Super Lube. Here in N Iowa it has to be thinned a bit or our Sub Zero Winter temps make moving mounts very hard!!!

  Even tho it is only 76mm Jupiter is fantastic and Saturn is also a treat. I would have laughed 10 years ago that a 3" refractor could show so much difference.

  How do the 3" Tasco systems of the same size compare?  I'll get pix posted soon, she really cleaned up well. Another big plus was finding a matching Grey motor drive 120V  AC for it..

  I have been away for awhile sorry about that...

cheers,

Duane


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#2 rolo

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:07 AM

I had one years ago. Very nice scope but a shaky mount made it difficult to use at high powers. Had larger scopes at the time and 3" didn't really do much for me.

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#3 CharlieB

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:28 AM

I have the Optica b/c labeled version of the same scope.   Yours is most likely an Astro Optical scope with the Mayflower branding.  It should be a superb performer optically, but Rolo is absolutely correct - a shaky mount.  The motor drive helps a lot, though.  Put it on a modern mount and you will be very pleased.

 

Charlie

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#4 CharlieB

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:39 AM

I also have the 816 Mayflower version that is a Yamamoto (SYW) and has the all-gray accents.  It's also a wonderful performer and has a single draw tube.  The mount is somewhat better, also.  This photo was from 2019 NEAF Classic Telescopes display.  

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#5 Chuck Hards

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:44 AM

   How do the 3" Tasco systems of the same size compare?  

 

The 3" RA-made Tascos are essentially the same telescope.  Yours should perform identically to them.


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#6 rcwolpert

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:48 AM

My Three Mayflowers - love them. Every one with superior optics.

 

med_gallery_211497_7358_175770.jpg


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#7 orion61

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:07 PM

I had one years ago. Very nice scope but a shaky mount made it difficult to use at high powers. Had larger scopes at the time and 3" didn't really do much for me.

Mine is SN 670332, the older brother of yours. I was told mine was a 1957 but is there any way to nail the date by Serial Number, or other? I was watching Jupiter the other night with it when my 8" just showed soup, this cut through the sky and gave me a lot of detail. I like using the smaller scopes to keep my eyes used to pick out sharper details. I jokingly call my mount Elvis for it's shaky legs lol, but if I use a stool and sit it isn't bad. She certainly takes mags impossible for some of my other scopes and virtually color free images. It runs neck and neck with my Questar. in every way even brightness surprisingly.

  Can you imagine being 10 years old and wake up one Christmas morning and finding one of these under the tree? At todays $$ with inflation I figured it up at over $4000.00!!

 

I am also interested in finding and purchasing any original manuals or paperwork on this or the motor drive etc...

CHEERS!


Edited by orion61, 18 July 2019 - 03:32 PM.

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#8 orion61

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:22 PM

My Three Mayflowers - love them. Every one with superior optics.

 

med_gallery_211497_7358_175770.jpg

  Robert did you make that beautiful Red Oak tripod? that thing is gorgeous, WOW !! Yes Charlie you are correct about mine, It is the Astro Optical version with the Royal Astro optics. I just about can't feed her enough mag. Does anybody know where I can find a new (Screw On) Dew shield and/or trash can lid? Mine looks as tho it took a tumble at one time. I don't believe my lens has ever been out of the cell, there is one tiny spot on the very edge of the objective lens between elements, I will be watching it very closely the next year or so. If it is fungus I will need to find someone who can take the lens out and clean it without chipping it. So many of these old girls have a clam-shell in them from folks pulling them apart in those tight cells and getting them wedged. But any help with the dew shield even if it is a bit pricey will be worth it. Thank you for sharing all those wonderful pictures!

  I may also be interested in a nicer wooden case since my scope is so complete and minty.


Edited by orion61, 18 July 2019 - 03:26 PM.

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#9 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:35 PM

If it is fungus I will need to find someone who can take the lens out and clean it without chipping it.

 

Ahem...  PM ole BB if you'd like.


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#10 strdst

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:59 PM

Mine is SN 670332, the older brother of yours. I was told mine was a 1957 but is there any way to nail the date by Serial Number, or other? I was watching Jupiter the other night with it when my 8" just showed soup, this cut through the sky and gave me a lot of detail. I like using the smaller scopes to keep my eyes used to pick out sharper details. I jokingly call my mount Elvis for it's shaky legs lol, but if I use a stool and sit it isn't bad. She certainly takes mags impossible for some of my other scopes and virtually color free images. It runs neck and neck with my Questar. in every way even brightness surprisingly.

  Can you imagine being 10 years old and wake up one Christmas morning and finding one of these under the tree? At todays $$ with inflation I figured it up at over $4000.00!!

 

I am also interested in finding and purchasing any original manuals or paperwork on this or the motor drive etc...

CHEERS!

I have one as well! Hmmm, what don't I have at LEAST one of? I would read the serial number of RAO telescopes as...

 

first digit year in 1960's.   6 would be 1966

second two digits aperture. 70 or 71 would be 76mm

last three digits sequence in the year.

 

I don't understand how changes in decades were indicated. I have never heard what the significance of the 70 or 71 is. I don't believe it is a decade change i.e. yours 1956 (70) mine 1968 (71). Stephen hopefully will have thoughts on that.

 

EDIT: I incorrectly was thinking my serial number for the Mayflower was 871734 but it is 770734. I had an RAO Sears that was 272XXX which was circa 1962. I have a Lafayette RAO that is 070XXX with a 1960 sales receipt. Another example is the Sears 6345 90mm. They are all 990XXX indication 1969 manufacture and I believe all (maybe 400) were offered in 1970. I had a few Tasco 10te scopes that I gave away or sold. I didn't record those serial numbers and have deleted the label photos from my library since losing them. Hopefully now some of you are as confused as I am. 

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Edited by strdst, 19 July 2019 - 12:44 AM.

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#11 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 05:01 PM

For the RAO scopes, I think Stephen (Stargoat) correlated the serial numbers with production runs / years, and that the 1st 2 digits don't refer to the year assembled, but hopefully he'll clarify it.


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#12 ccwemyss

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 05:21 PM

Mine is S/N 771531. The AOC mark is within the silver S/N area. The OTA is identical to the Tasco 10TE except for the badge. 

 

Chip W. 



#13 orion61

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:26 PM

 I was going by the Black and White hardware/tube combo on Mayflowers being made earlier than the Grey hardware and the white tubes.

  The friend I got it from guessed from mid to later 50's so my guess based on internet information was a 1957 build. My mount is Grey on the metal parts. I was also going by the form fit case for it. It is an early case comparing the joints and the fact all fittings are wooden with green felt. Also it has the original cloth leg tie down straps. I don't use them any longer for historical purposes. I did repair the case but I have always tried to do as little harm in repairs as possible. I wish everybody would do so, but if you own it, repairs go by YOUR Desire. I have seen some BEAUTIFUL custom restorations, and some horrible HACK jobs in my life. 

Thanks Bob for the offer to clean my lens my friend. Shoot me a price off line, and I'll send it to you this Winter for cleaning. I know SCT's and Maks and their mounts inside-out like the back of my hand with a blindfold on, but refractor lenses (especially ones of this quality) I won't touch.

Cheers my friends,

Duane


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#14 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:31 PM

Duane, I don't charge CNers for lens cleaning & basic checks -- including my BB's DPAC testing.  Just the shipping costs.  I've done a couple during my medical house arrest -- idle hands & all...


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#15 orion61

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:03 PM

Duane, I don't charge CNers for lens cleaning & basic checks -- including my BB's DPAC testing.  Just the shipping costs.  I've done a couple during my medical house arrest -- idle hands & all...

I have sent you a PM give me a call.


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#16 ccwemyss

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:40 PM

The box for my 816 is nearly identical to the Tasco 10TE. I used pieces from each of them as the basis for making replacements of missing pieces in each other. There were minor differences, such as accommodating the extra thickness of the eyepiece tray for the Mayflower. The brackets for the mounts are placed a bit differently, but basically the same layout.

 

Chip W. 


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#17 agmoonsolns

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:12 PM

Chip, could you post photos of the insides of your boxes/cases? I am in the middle of restoring a bunch of cases and it would help to see what yours look like.



#18 rcwolpert

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:55 PM

  Robert did you make that beautiful Red Oak tripod? that thing is gorgeous, WOW !! Yes Charlie you are correct about mine, It is the Astro Optical version with the Royal Astro optics. I just about can't feed her enough mag. Does anybody know where I can find a new (Screw On) Dew shield and/or trash can lid? Mine looks as tho it took a tumble at one time. I don't believe my lens has ever been out of the cell, there is one tiny spot on the very edge of the objective lens between elements, I will be watching it very closely the next year or so. If it is fungus I will need to find someone who can take the lens out and clean it without chipping it. So many of these old girls have a clam-shell in them from folks pulling them apart in those tight cells and getting them wedged. But any help with the dew shield even if it is a bit pricey will be worth it. Thank you for sharing all those wonderful pictures!

  I may also be interested in a nicer wooden case since my scope is so complete and minty.

 

Hi Duane,

Thany you for the very nice compliment. If I recall correctly, I sanded the legs and used the Minwax Gunstock stain. It’s possible that I used a red oak stain, it was quite a few years ago, but I’m pretty sure it was Gunstock.

Bob


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#19 Stargoat

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:30 PM

For the RAO scopes, I think Stephen (Stargoat) correlated the serial numbers with production runs / years, and that the 1st 2 digits don't refer to the year assembled, but hopefully he'll clarify it.

In general for Astro Optical scope that are pre 1960 the first digit or two digits have a mind of there own. But there is a correlation to those pre 1960 years. And also different first digit between 60mm and 76mm scopes.


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#20 orion61

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:41 PM

If someone can figure out my year I'd be grateful. Does anyone know what year Mayflower and others dropped the White with Black hardware to the matched the grey on the OTA hardware and white tube with the mount? Or who knows the date of theirs for sure? Also when did they start using Styrofoam in the case for deviders etc instead of wood?


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#21 agmoonsolns

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:44 PM

Yes, please! Answers to those questions would be very helpful and so very much appreciated!

 

If someone can figure out my year I'd be grateful. Does anyone know what year Mayflower and others dropped the White with Black hardware to the matched the grey on the OTA hardware and white tube with the mount? Or who knows the date of theirs for sure? Also when did they start using Styrofoam in the case for deviders etc instead of wood?


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#22 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:01 PM

Two of my 1964 scopes -- Monolux 4380 & Sears 6336 -- the 4380 had all wood case inserts, the 6336 had Styrofoam inserts.  Same year, different materials.  But I think by 1968, most of the imports used foam.


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#23 Chuck Hards

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:52 AM

If someone can figure out my year I'd be grateful. Does anyone know what year Mayflower and others dropped the White with Black hardware to the matched the grey on the OTA hardware and white tube with the mount? Or who knows the date of theirs for sure? Also when did they start using Styrofoam in the case for deviders etc instead of wood?

The colors may not correlate to production years per se, but what was available from their supplier(s) at the time.  A relationship has never been definitively proven, as far as I know.


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#24 ccwemyss

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:58 AM

Chip, could you post photos of the insides of your boxes/cases? I am in the middle of restoring a bunch of cases and it would help to see what yours look like.

The 10TE and 10TE5 are out on loan. The Mayflower box is still being worked on (repair interior shipping damage, replace missing parts, replace top veneer). Here's what I have.

 

Mayflower 816 interior:

 

Mayflower 816 - 1 (1).jpg

 

Mayflower 816 accessory box cover (in progress): 

 

Mayflower 816 - 1.jpg

 

Box for the 10TE-5 I got from Dionigi (may have originally been a 10TE or 15TE -- some of the interior was missing or broken, so this is after the reconstruction). There is a piece that I added between the accessory box and the front to hold the flexible shafts and keep the accessory box from moving:

 

10TE5 - 2.jpg

 

Interior of the rebuilt accessory box:

 

10TE5 - 1.jpg

 

Chip W. 


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#25 agmoonsolns

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 04:18 PM

Now I know how all of the pieces go together! Thank you Chip!




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