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Is This Really a Unitron?

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#1 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:44 PM

My club--and the science center that hosts us--had a swap meet at our most recent meeting. Most of the stuff was junk from hobby-killer scopes that were donated to the group, although the parts might've been salvageable. But there were several gems among the junk, as there always seem to be. Among them were three Questar 3.5" "field scopes" in crappy old cases and with little documentation, but it's known that these are the three remaining from a purchase of twelve (!) that the science center made a few decades ago.

 

Also among the lot were a couple of old refractors, from which my eye fell on this one.

 

My question is this: the wooden box says it's a Unitron. The focuser says it's a Unitron. But the lens cell doesn't have the engraving on it that says it's a Unitron. (It also has the standard Unitron-style tripod legs.)

 

Is this, in fact, a Unitron?

 

If so, it was a steal at $60, although I'm a little concerned about how the optics will clean up.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Uni1.jpg
  • Uni2.jpg
  • Uni3.jpg

Edited by KidOrion, 23 December 2019 - 05:47 PM.

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#2 Russell Smith

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:47 PM

No not real. PM me for an address for proper disposal. LOL. Nice find


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#3 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:48 PM

The dew shield is threaded all the way down to the lens cell.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Uni4.jpg
  • Uni5.jpg


#4 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:49 PM

There's a lot of dust in there (neither end was capped), a few sleeks, and a possible shallow chip near one of the spacers.

 

Even if the optics aren't in good shape, the tripod is well worth the $60 alone.


Edited by KidOrion, 23 December 2019 - 06:59 PM.


#5 Russell Smith

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:53 PM

Its very cool to find a 4 inch.

More photos please. 

I believe the straight letters indicate an older one.


Edited by Russell Smith, 23 December 2019 - 05:54 PM.


#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:53 PM

I suspect it's a very early one, which could explain why the little details don't quite look like they usually do. The real Unitron experts here will know more, I'm sure. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#7 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:59 PM

The clamshell was located *nearby* the scope and its box, so it may not actually even belong with this scope; I grabbed it because it fit. wacko.png



#8 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:06 PM

The tripod head is pretty massive. I'm not totally sure it goes with the scope, either, but it was in a wooden box of its own and the legs fit it.

 

 

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  • Uni7.jpg
  • Uni8.jpg

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#9 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:11 PM

The paper label in the box reads:

 

United Trading Company, 204 Milk Street, Boston 9, Massachusetts

 

Which apparently was the label used in 1951.


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#10 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:13 PM

Yes, it's a Unitron -- identical to the 1950s model that I partially restored.  Here it is after cleaning:

 

U152 Restore S005 - Lens Cleaned.jpg

 

See?  No engraving on the outer ring.

 

Yes, it's an absolute STEAL.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 23 December 2019 - 06:31 PM.

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#11 Astroman007

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:16 PM

I'll take one of the Questars off your hands, if you wish. All three are as fake as that Unitron, I'm sure. tongue2.gif



#12 Astroman007

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:17 PM

The tripod head is pretty massive. I'm not totally sure it goes with the scope, either, but it was in a wooden box of its own and the legs fit it.

Does it fit the scope? If so, good. Better overbuilt than under, when it come to mounting.



#13 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:26 PM

Does it fit the scope? If so, good. Better overbuilt than under, when it come to mounting.

Oh, absolutely. The clamshell fit the tripod head, so I grabbed them together. The tripod legs are 62" long and non-collapsible.

 

We'll be taking some photos of the Questars as well, staging them a bit better so that they don't look so crappy. (We were horrified to see how they'd been stored.) Here's one at the swap meet:

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#14 Astroman007

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:27 PM

^ How much would qualify as an offer?



#15 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:34 PM

^ How much would qualify as an offer?

No idea yet. We're going to do some digging into them, making sure they've got all the necessary parts, are in good working condition, and have better cases before we're ready to sell.



#16 KidOrion

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 06:38 PM

Pictures from the box, which has split with age.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • UniCase1.jpg
  • UniCase2.jpg


#17 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 07:12 PM

My club--and the science center that hosts us--had a swap meet at our most recent meeting. Most of the stuff was junk from hobby-killer scopes that were donated to the group, although the parts might've been salvageable. But there were several gems among the junk, as there always seem to be. Among them were three Questar 3.5" "field scopes" in crappy old cases and with little documentation, but it's known that these are the three remaining from a purchase of twelve (!) that the science center made a few decades ago.

 

Also among the lot were a couple of old refractors, from which my eye fell on this one.

 

My question is this: the wooden box says it's a Unitron. The focuser says it's a Unitron. But the lens cell doesn't have the engraving on it that says it's a Unitron. (It also has the standard Unitron-style tripod legs.)

 

Is this, in fact, a Unitron?

 

If so, it was a steal at $60, although I'm a little concerned about how the optics will clean up.

Looks like the mid 1950's M160 i had. This was pre Unicalmps and Super focuser days. Tube should be brass and may have tube weights inside. I had the same focuser and was missing the weight drive. Them two screws should be holding the tube weights inside the tube.  My OTA was very heavy vs my 1960 made M152. I had the same lens cell and the lens was not able to be saved on mine. These old Unitrons seems to have fogged up optics that can't be cleaned most times.


Edited by CHASLX200, 23 December 2019 - 07:16 PM.


#18 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 07:20 PM

That is a Unitron and a very early one.  The first ones did not have any print on the lens cell.  Also that dew shield looks very thick and you'll find regular Unitron caps may not fit over it.  



#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 07:22 PM

Mine had a jar lid like looking cap made of metal and no ears on the cell.



#20 KidOrion

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 11:52 PM

I assume that these took 0.965" eyepieces and the diagonal also had one end that was 1-7/16", given the size of the focuser tube. I'll need to find an adaptor to 1.25".



#21 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 01:18 PM

I'll check in my shed when we get home.  I think I still have a 1.25" Unitron drawtube you can use.


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#22 roscoe

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 07:10 PM

I assume that these took 0.965" eyepieces and the diagonal also had one end that was 1-7/16", given the size of the focuser tube. I'll need to find an adaptor to 1.25".

`1-7/16 is the diameter of the nosepiece of a Unihex, and that clamp on  the end of your drawtube is the regular Unihex clamp.  Which means it is set up for a Unihex.


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#23 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 08:54 PM

Just checked my shed, and NOPE.  IIRC, I included it with that Model 142 that I sold.



#24 BMW YMIR

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 10:51 PM

Congratulations!! That is an excellent find! I also will do some digging. May have a draw tube. Have several that had shady glass. They had years of dust and dirt. VERY carefully disassembled and cleaned. I was lucky. Wish I had your mount! Very nice.... good for you!
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#25 KidOrion

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 06:27 AM

Just checked my shed, and NOPE.  IIRC, I included it with that Model 142 that I sold.

Thanks for looking anyway!




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