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Another vintage Soligor

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#1 CharlieB

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:10 PM

Like they say, all the great scope deals are in New Hampshire.

 

In this case, it's true.  I'm sure many of you have seen the ad for this scope here in CN.  It has a familiar look.

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#2 CharlieB

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:16 PM

Looks to be complete and the OTA and eyepieces are in very good shape.  I've never had the chance to use a 50mm Huygens before.  It's probably very similar to using a 5X microscope eyepiece.  The objective has a bit of crud on it, but it looks pretty good.  The spacers are all there, but not quite at 120 degrees apart.

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#3 CharlieB

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:21 PM

The finder needs some attention.  Lots of corrosion, but the glass looks OK.  Double crosshairs are engraved.

 

This scope is built like a tank.  Lots of heavy brass, including the dew shield.

 

The scope functions well just as received.  I'm not yet sure how much restoration I'll do.

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#4 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:24 PM

Congratulations Charlie!  You can't hear it, but I'm ooooooooing! & aahhhhhhhing!  You Lucky Pup!  N-S Brass & Glass -- great combination.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 04 June 2020 - 05:37 PM.


#5 CharlieB

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:28 PM

The mount and tripod will need much more attention.  The alt slo-mo shaft was bent enough to bind, but with a few taps of a wood block, all was well again.  As bad as it looks, the mount is fully functional, although I need to shim one bearing surface.

 

This will be a work in progress.  Again, many thank to Kasmos for his great thread on his Soligor.

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#6 CharlieB

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:32 PM

Congratulations Charlie!  You can't hear it, but I'm oooooooo! & aahhhhhhhing!  You Lucky Pup!  N-S Brass & Glass -- great combination.

Yes, I was shocked that I was the only bidder, even with the LPO.  The very nice lady I got it from said she bought it many years ago at a charity auction.  Needless to say, we were both pleased with the transaction.  I told her about the rarity of the scope and she seem quite interested.



#7 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 07:14 PM

Very cool Charlie! Looks like another early N-S manufacturer. That brass dew-shield is just the one on my 1955 Uniton model 114.



#8 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:59 AM

  I've never had the chance to use a 50mm Huygens before.  It's probably very similar to using a 5X microscope eyepiece.  

 

It's very similar to looking through a 3-inch diameter pipe about ten inches long.  The low magnification is sometimes nice, but you can get a wider true field at higher powers with a modern eyepiece.  But of course you know this already, just repeating it for the newcomers.  Very good definition, however.


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#9 CharlieB

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 05:17 PM

Today, I tackled some pretty serious focuser creep.  When the scope was at any angle other than parallel to the ground, the focuser tube magically extended itself.  You could watch the focuser knob turning at a very even rate.  Kasmos had the same issue with his Soligor and I used the same remedy - installing a leather washer between the knob and the focuser shaft.  That increased the tension more than enough to keep the focuser tube motionless and the tesion is variable, depending upon how much you tighten the screw.  There is a bit more resistance now, but still extremely smooth action.  Oddly, the shaft that the knob & screw attach to is square.

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#10 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 12:14 PM

I had some time the last few days to work on the mount.  I decided to do a complete (at least as much as possible) restoration.  Here is the mount before I did anything to it.  The paint was flaking off and the adhesion to the metal was not great, with lots of corrosion.  The knobs and other hardware were pretty rough.

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#11 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 12:18 PM

When disassembling the mount, I noticed these parts stamped with 29 or possibly a 28 and 29 - it's kind of hard to tell.  Perhaps they are part numbers?

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#12 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 12:22 PM

It took quite a while and a lot of work, but I finally got most of the paint off.  The castings are not particularly smooth.  That's probably why there were so many layers of paint on it.  I did sand the castings a bit with 600 wet/dry paper.  There is one more part of the mount that isn't in the photo.

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#13 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 12:24 PM

A couple of coats of etching primer should help the paint to adhere better that the original job.

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#14 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 12:29 PM

The final product.  Krylon black satin.  Everything works very smoothly.  Time to attack the legs.

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#15 Van Do9:3

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 01:02 PM

Fantastic work Charlie.



#16 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 03:51 PM

Thanks.  The scope is rare enough to at least try to get it back into nice condition.  Lots of nitnoid things to take apart and get back together.  The legs are going to be a challenge.  Everything is rusty and tiny screws just don't want to come out.  It took most of the day just taking one leg apart.  Time to find some very small stainless steel wood screws.



#17 PiSigma

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 05:20 PM

Nice job Charlie!

 

I have found through restoring a number of Unitrons that the aluminum castings can be very rough. NS used a lot of filler on these before painting to get them to their normal smooth satin finish.

 

The first NS part I ever went after was a pier cap for a 166. This is what it looked like after sand blasting. Looks at the holes. This took a ridiculous amount of work to fill in again. Ever since this part I carefully just sand down the original color coat on an NS part.

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#18 photiost

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 05:55 PM

Amazing find Charlie !!

 

And it fell into the right hands.

 

Congrats !!



#19 deepwoods1

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 06:00 PM

What a difference! Great job!



#20 CharlieB

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 09:28 PM

Nice job Charlie!

 

I have found through restoring a number of Unitrons that the aluminum castings can be very rough. NS used a lot of filler on these before painting to get them to their normal smooth satin finish.

 

The first NS part I ever went after was a pier cap for a 166. This is what it looked like after sand blasting. Looks at the holes. This took a ridiculous amount of work to fill in again. Ever since this part I carefully just sand down the original color coat on an NS part.

I was going to just sand, but the old paint kept flaking off.  



#21 Kasmos

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 08:42 PM

 Oddly, the shaft that the knob & screw attach to is square.

Charlie, I've been out of town for a month, so I'm just seeing this now. Congrats on getting your Soligor. Very nice work on the restore so far!

 

I sure wish I had known that the end of the focuser knob shaft was suppose to be square. Mine had solder all over it, no screw hole, and from it's filed shape I thought it was a mod done by a former owner. Now I feel bad for cutting it off and changing it.

 

I'm very interested in how yours performs. So far I'm disappointed by mine. I've tried flipping the lens elements in every way and it's views really didn't look much different whatever way I had them.


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#22 CharlieB

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 09:54 PM

It's funny you should mention the ho-hum performance from the lens.  I am experiencing the same from this lens.  I am bringing my DPAC setup out of mothballs and will test it.  I even noticed the lack of sharpness and contrast during daylight test viewings.  What I have done in the meantime is to put a spare Tasco 7TE-5 60/1000mm objective in the Soligor cell.  It fits perfectly, but needed a ring to add space to the objective because the threaded ring that holds the glass in place won't screw on far enough.  I took the spacer from another 60mm lens assembly and it works like a charm.  The Tasco (RAO) lens is fantastic.  It gave a splendid split of Izar.  I'll post a photo of it when I take the assembly apart next time.  I'll also post the DPAC results.  


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#23 Kasmos

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 11:03 PM

I tried a 60/1000mm Carton lens, and like you, I found it to be loose without a spacer. It was close enough to being held in place to temporarily show how sharp a good lens should be. I also noticed that it came to focus with the draw tube much further out. It's sad that such a well built scope came with a inferior lens, so I'll probably be posting a want ad for another 60/1000mm objective since the one I used is for another OTA


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#24 Chuck Hards

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 08:29 AM

If these are indeed N.S. manufacture, I'm not surprised at the sub-par performance.  Out of some five 60mm Unitrons I've owned, only one was essentially "perfect" (thanks again, Al and Johann), one was ok, the other three were definitely not diffraction-limited and displayed tortured Ronchigrams.   60mm and 100mm seem to be the biggest "hit or miss" apertures for N.S.  Don't drink the Kool Aid.  

 

The later model 60mm Soligors that I have (and I think Frank has one, as well, if memory serves) are not N.S. and I believe the maker is still in doubt.   I never tested either of mine on the bench and probably should.

 

Still, I've always loved the side-mounted focuser wheel.  Too cool.


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#25 Bomber Bob

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 02:26 PM

If these are indeed N.S. manufacture, I'm not surprised at the sub-par performance.  Out of some five 60mm Unitrons I've owned, only one was essentially "perfect" (thanks again, Al and Johann), one was ok, the other three were definitely not diffraction-limited and displayed tortured Ronchigrams.   60mm and 100mm seem to be the biggest "hit or miss" apertures for N.S.  Don't drink the Kool Aid.  

 

The later model 60mm Soligors that I have (and I think Frank has one, as well, if memory serves) are not N.S. and I believe the maker is still in doubt.   I never tested either of mine on the bench and probably should.

 

Still, I've always loved the side-mounted focuser wheel.  Too cool.

Not many Soligors in the Registry, but two are confirmed Astro Optical -- 1000mm & 1200mm focal lengths -- I can't recall if the hardware was more AO than N-S, but DreamWeaver has / had one of them.




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