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Polaris 3" Refractor

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Ray_T

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:26 PM

What an amazing telescope this was!!! It was my first scope purchased in 1964 equipped with an equatorial mount and a beautiful wooden box for storage and accessories. The cost was about $300.00. Interestingly, currently Meade manufactures the Polaris 76mm for about the same price - $300.00!! So much for inflation. But the carefully handcrafted high quality precision optics of 1964 surely made this a great scope. I looked at my notes and drawings taken while using this telescope, and upon reflection of my memories with this telescope, realized that it was the real deal.  But of course, the clear evening prairie skies at 2000 feet elevation in Edmonton, Alberta, had something to do with the good viewing.  I wonder how my new 8" dob can possibly compete with it. Maybe it will perform half as well, maybe not.

 

Has anyone ever had one of these? Ah, reminisces.   

 

Telescopecirca.jpg


Edited by Ray_T, 28 July 2020 - 06:29 PM.

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#2 Russell Smith

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:32 PM

Do you still have it? Looks real long. What's the focal length of that bad boy?



#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:32 PM

We went from built like a rock to plastic junk. Nothing made today comes close to a Unitron unless you go with super well made scopes and mounts costing many 1000's. Opps not a Unitron sorry. But most anything built pre mid 70's was much better than what we had the last 15 years. 50's and 60's built stuff seems the best.


Edited by CHASLX200, 28 July 2020 - 06:34 PM.

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#4 Ray_T

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:37 PM

Do you still have it? Looks real long. What's the focal length of that bad boy?

Focal length - beats me! Sold it foolishly in '69. Tuition money I guess.



#5 Russell Smith

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:44 PM

Too bad you don't still have it, however tuition money is not foolish in my mind.

Hoping to learn more about this model. I feel some other members can provide more info.

Russ



#6 JoeInMN

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:51 PM

Now those are some setting circles.


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#7 Russell Smith

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:56 PM

I just know I've seen those setting circles before in a photo but can not for the life of me remember. 

The objective end looks much like my Tasco 10-te.


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#8 Ray_T

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 07:24 PM

I just know I've seen those setting circles before in a photo but can not for the life of me remember. 

The objective end looks much like my Tasco 10-te.

Russell, I recall that I purchased the setting circles independently of the scope through a company called Edmund Scientific, at that time based out of Barrington, New Jersey.


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#9 Russell Smith

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for jogging my memory. 

It's da bomb. 


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#10 clamchip

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 07:42 PM

It sure looks a lot like a Mayflower model 816 I once owned.

 

Robert


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#11 PawPaw

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 08:03 PM

I don't recognize the mount but the setting circles are amazing......Did your scope have "Polaris" stamped on it?  If it did there is a possibility it could have been a Nihon Seiko.  The mount does not look like a NS mount but the OTA could be.  Polaris was a label NS used in Canada and possibly elsewhere but there are very few examples of them.  I recently acquired one....mine is  essentially a Unitron model 750 but branded as Polaris.  Here is my Polaris 50mm.

 

 

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#12 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 08:04 PM

It sure looks a lot like a Mayflower model 816 I once owned.

 

Robert

I bet the lens was APL, AO, HOC, SYW, or one of the other better makers...


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#13 Ray_T

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 09:18 PM

I don't recognize the mount but the setting circles are amazing......Did your scope have "Polaris" stamped on it?  If it did there is a possibility it could have been a Nihon Seiko.  The mount does not look like a NS mount but the OTA could be.  Polaris was a label NS used in Canada and possibly elsewhere but there are very few examples of them.  I recently acquired one....mine is  essentially a Unitron model 750 but branded as Polaris.  Here is my Polaris 50mm.

I don't recall whether the scope had Polaris stamped on it, too long ago. The mount came packed with the scope. It could very well have been manufactured by Nihon Seiko. Interesting though, Meade currently has (uses) the Polaris name (a 76mm and 90mm I believe) both come with an equatorial mount (German). Nice shots.


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#14 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 08:38 AM

I bet the lens was APL, AO, HOC, SYW, or one of the other better makers...

Well that narrows it down! :lol:



#15 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 08:40 AM

I don't recognize the mount but the setting circles are amazing......Did your scope have "Polaris" stamped on it?  If it did there is a possibility it could have been a Nihon Seiko.  The mount does not look like a NS mount but the OTA could be.  Polaris was a label NS used in Canada and possibly elsewhere but there are very few examples of them.  I recently acquired one....mine is  essentially a Unitron model 750 but branded as Polaris.  Here is my Polaris 50mm.

Wasn’t Polaris a brand name used by a small independent scope seller in Michigan who sold N-S (Unitron/Polarex) scopes under his own (Polaris) label? 


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#16 TSSClay

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 08:55 AM

Wasn’t Polaris a brand name used by a small independent scope seller in Michigan who sold N-S (Unitron/Polarex) scopes under his own (Polaris) label? 

Terra,

 

I believe that to be true.  I used to ride my bicycle by his shop and gaze at the scopes in the window.

 

Clay


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#17 PawPaw

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 09:16 AM

Wasn’t Polaris a brand name used by a small independent scope seller in Michigan who sold N-S (Unitron/Polarex) scopes under his own (Polaris) label? 

Thanks Terra and Clay!  That jogs my memory....very possible that they put their brand on other manufacturer models. 

 

Don


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#18 RichA

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 09:33 PM

We went from built like a rock to plastic junk. Nothing made today comes close to a Unitron unless you go with super well made scopes and mounts costing many 1000's. Opps not a Unitron sorry. But most anything built pre mid 70's was much better than what we had the last 15 years. 50's and 60's built stuff seems the best.

Demise was seen.  A 4" Unitron alt-az in 1978 cost over $1000.  At that time, the C8 had just dropped (thanks to independent dealers getting it) from $1000 to $695.00. 



#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 05:31 AM

Demise was seen.  A 4" Unitron alt-az in 1978 cost over $1000.  At that time, the C8 had just dropped (thanks to independent dealers getting it) from $1000 to $695.00. 

I could never afford any of them scopes in 1978. I was lucky to have a 6" Starfinder RFT on a 1" Edmund mount back then.




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