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Vintage Telescope Finds

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#501 AstroKerr

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:38 AM

Looks good!

Looks chubby stable, doesn't it? Nicely done, BB!


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#502 AstroKerr

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 07:11 AM

Sears 24146 50/600 came in:

Sears 24146 12
Sears 24146 00
Sears 24146 01
 
and I thought it had Baffle Issues:
Sears 24146 02
Sears 24146 04

 

Instead, I found:

Sears 24146 06
How strange. $1, but it's the thought that counts waytogo.gif

 

Tube on 2x4, small ballpeen [tap][tap][tap] x 3 on the soft alu yielded:

Sears 24146 07
Not perfect, but this is a soft, flexing tube, so close enough is good - less chance to damage threads.
ballpeen [tap][tap][tap] fixes many problems.
 
Then the mess of the objective - "Blyech" I muttered:
Sears 24146 10
Sears 24146 09
Sears 24146 08

 

a few alcohol wipes got this far (missed stuff near the edges):

Sears 24146 11
 
and a few more and some Alky Q-tips finished it for the moment (no photo of that). 
Needs some hardware upgrades- bolts, wingnuts, tray mounts - and a good clean of the gritty feeling post & tilt AltAz. Meh. Objective is stacked right, dewshield does not remove (seems glued) and I need to pull the objective from the cell for a proper cleaning. Tube has semi-gloss paint drizzles and would look nicer with new paint. Interior needs paint at baffles, but it all gets done anyway. Then it goes back to my son - he dropped this and that Bushy Expo off with "They need work?" note. Apparently, I am of some use. Nice break from the 76 & 114 flectors clogging the living room. Sybs got me the US General LOCKING tool cart, unannounced - How very nice of her! Bra-Vo! 

 


Edited by AstroKerr, 09 April 2021 - 09:25 AM.

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#503 photiost

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 10:20 AM

Polarex Model 129 : 

 

75mm, FL 1200mm, 8x30mm Viewfinder; 5 eyepieces; Star diagonal; Sunglass; Erecting prism;

 

.

 

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#504 jcruse64

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:59 PM

That is something!



#505 GreyDay

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:55 PM

 

Sears 24146 50/600 came in: and I thought it had Baffle Issues: Instead, I found: How strange. $1, but it's the thought that counts waytogo.gif

 
Needs some hardware upgrades- bolts, wingnuts, tray mounts - and a good clean of the gritty feeling post & tilt AltAz. Meh. Objective is stacked right, dewshield does not remove (seems glued) and I need to pull the objective from the cell for a proper cleaning. Tube has semi-gloss paint drizzles and would look nicer with new paint. Interior needs paint at baffles, but it all gets done anyway.

I've got one of these in the loft... thats where it lives... Mine is branded "Unicon". It's one of the mystery circleW scopes that nobody knows the manufacture of and nobody will take responsibility for. The optics aren't bad once clean and checked for fitting.The focuser works with very little slop, but, on my example the focuser was badly cast and looking down the focuser toward the objective the misallignment was obvious. If i remember right, the objective cell is only held by one screw with the objective sitting inside a sub-cell that fits in the tube. I'd have to get it ftom the loft to check.

 

After checking the OTA was all square i had to file about 1mm around 1/3 of the focuser flange so it would line up straight. Performance wise it wasn't as sharp as a Tasco(towa) 6TE that i put it up against, but it was equally as sharp as a Synta Danubia Pluto (same as Meade Infinity or Celestron Powerseeker 50's). The only other thing i wasn't keen on are the folding (not sliding) tripod legs which work okay just not adjustable for height. The cost cutting is obvious and falls short of even a tasco, but with a little tinkering they work okay. The reason i still have mine is, I'd rather give away better scopes than this to avoid disappointment for the recipient. Here's a pic of mine :)

 

50mmUnicon

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#506 godelescher

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:00 PM

This arrived today. Kudos to ckk for an excellent packing job. Should get first light on Sunday.

 

 


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#507 blakestree

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:11 PM

I'm totally in love!


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#508 1939Dodge

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:37 PM

Congratulations!


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#509 AstroKerr

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 01:12 AM

I've got one of these in the loft... thats where it lives... Mine is branded "Unicon". It's one of the mystery circleW scopes that nobody knows the manufacture of and nobody will take responsibility for. The optics aren't bad once clean and checked for fitting.The focuser works with very little slop, but, on my example the focuser was badly cast and looking down the focuser toward the objective the misallignment was obvious. If i remember right, the objective cell is only held by one screw with the objective sitting inside a sub-cell that fits in the tube. I'd have to get it ftom the loft to check.

 

After checking the OTA was all square i had to file about 1mm around 1/3 of the focuser flange so it would line up straight. Performance wise it wasn't as sharp as a Tasco(towa) 6TE that i put it up against, but it was equally as sharp as a Synta Danubia Pluto (same as Meade Infinity or Celestron Powerseeker 50's). The only other thing i wasn't keen on are the folding (not sliding) tripod legs which work okay just not adjustable for height. The cost cutting is obvious and falls short of even a tasco, but with a little tinkering they work okay. The reason i still have mine is, I'd rather give away better scopes than this to avoid disappointment for the recipient. Here's a pic of mine smile.gif

 

That is an easy point to hit with some of these - this 24146 is hitting that mark. It's got the peep-bracket finder, doesn't have enough in-focus for any of the prism/mirror diags (tried 4 so far, but yes, I knew...). I have to find one of my spanners and get the cell apart - I can't see any spacers and there's an area that looks delam'd, so I'm fair sure it's glued, which is another shame because the star test was 'okay', but looked like it would benefit from a little indexing - I have a couple 50/600 air spaced objectives, so maybe-maybe. Compression bolt/spacers/etc need tuning on the Alt tilt. I have the Alu blade on the chopsaw, so a tube shortening to friendly things up for diags is quick and easy, but this isn't my scope (I think) so it ain't my call. Son said "You mentioned you were looking for older 50s and I found this!" Grin. Didn't say it was for me though, so I'm treating it as his and that means doing the work on it now rather than later, which is a right pain in the arsh - there's still his Expo to eval, my Mizar to work on, the 'flectors to finish up + orig mounts, and 5 DobsiBerries to finish sketches, cut, build and tweak.

 

So, tonight at least, I am not fond of this bloody keine Diagonal designed little Sears - some little thing wrong or missing everywhere (Did I mention the missing: folding leg stop on one legs, Tray and whatever the hell it was supposed to be attached with?) Playing with these unconstrained, non-adjustable legs made me think small center plate with three spring-loaded cord/cable/chain grabs - more toil, but would be useful. Hang the EP tray from the hub on three cords or cables or a piece of allthread - just want a tray with three holes. I don't often get annoyed with scopes - but this one's timing and abilities are off. Personally, this is one I'd chop to diag length and replace the Objective with an air spaced if it fits... Oh, the hub's too small / leg lugs too close and at least one leg upper section needs to be partially stripped and steamed straight. It doesn't have to be, but...

 

Some days, this is too much like a job... that only pays doe-eyed smiles and hugs. yes. hmmph.

 

This arrived today. Kudos to ckk for an excellent packing job. Should get first light on Sunday.

That is Inspiring - all Carton, little to no hassle - well done!


Edited by AstroKerr, 10 April 2021 - 12:12 PM.

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#510 GreyDay

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 05:01 AM

Some days, this is too much like a job... that only pays doe-eyed smiles and hugs. yes. hmmph.

Sometimes the "Doe eyed smiles" are payment enough :)

 

Further points on the scope itself, yours looks earlier than mine, yours has metal focuser wheels and different eyepiece collar. Surprised it wont focus, mine came with a prism diagonal and the one that came with the 6TE worked fine testing them back to back using the same EP and diagonal. No tray or provision to mount one either, but once everything was tightened on the tripod it didn't need a tray for stability as the whole setup is so light anyway. The legs were straight but the fittings are cheap "pressed" wingnuts all zinc coated, the Alt lock bolt is also very "on/off" making slight adjustments almost impossible, the mating faces werent flat which i fixed by placing a disc of wet&dry between them, once tightened up I then moved through the full arc a few dozen times then re tighten and repeat. This helped a lot, it would hold the scope at 45 degrees without having to wrench the wingnut.

The OTA of mine is thinner alu than a tasco and all the threading holes are rough and dented in as though they used the tap and extra pressure instead of drilling then tapping. generally as i said earlier these scopes work okay with a little love and attention, it's not a bad scope optically once fixed, it just screams "budget" from every angle.


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#511 AstroKerr

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 11:54 AM

Sometimes the "Doe eyed smiles" are payment enough smile.gif

 

Further points on the scope itself, yours looks earlier than mine, yours has metal focuser wheels and different eyepiece collar. Surprised it wont focus, mine came with a prism diagonal and the one that came with the 6TE worked fine testing them back to back using the same EP and diagonal. No tray or provision to mount one either, but once everything was tightened on the tripod it didn't need a tray for stability as the whole setup is so light anyway. The legs were straight but the fittings are cheap "pressed" wingnuts all zinc coated, the Alt lock bolt is also very "on/off" making slight adjustments almost impossible, the mating faces werent flat which i fixed by placing a disc of wet&dry between them, once tightened up I then moved through the full arc a few dozen times then re tighten and repeat. This helped a lot, it would hold the scope at 45 degrees without having to wrench the wingnut.

The OTA of mine is thinner alu than a tasco and all the threading holes are rough and dented in as though they used the tap and extra pressure instead of drilling then tapping. generally as i said earlier these scopes work okay with a little love and attention, it's not a bad scope optically once fixed, it just screams "budget" from every angle.

It focuses now - took the average of a TelescopeWarehouse Hybrid, one of EMs .965 prism diags, slightly fancier hybrid - came out to ~55mm. Couldn't solid focus on any 9mms, so I took 10mm more. That was fine, but 4~5mm EPs were soft, so I took another 10mm; can run 3.2mm to 40mm (old Meade .965 & newer Celes 1.25) and have ~7mm spare in-focus and I didn't measure the out, but it's 10mm at least. 75mm!! I really thought I was nuts, but it's working fine. Son stopped by on way to range (0530) to chat with Sybs and I before she went patrol-o-roving and I ended up buying the thing. I cut with impunity! Glad I did it - tried a straight-thru .965 to 1.25 and didn't like it - same no in-focus, just not as much - and lack of 90°. 

 

Yes, same situation on screwholes here - looks like a quick under-drill, then self-tappers wrenched in - screws are blunt and metal is dented in as you say. They're solid, but sill meh - but no nuts and washers to futz with is nice.  The mount isn't bad for sweeping, so I can forgive no slo-mos. I usually assign scopes like these to rings-n-rails and newer mounts, but this thing is growing on me. The tripods is ungainly, but even without any tensioning between legs, it's fair solid - no shakes, no settle time I've noticed. The stop brackets on the folding legs have tabs that might've been for chain ends or thin cable loops, but I wouldn't trust'em. Research more time, I suppose. I don't think the peepsight is going back on - too wide a view and two of it's mounting holes got chopped - RDF is likely, as is re-blackening and new paint. I have to find my spanners and those air-spaced 50s... enough of this - tools to find, work to do! Huzzah!!

 

Oh yes - the Alt! One tab threaded , piece of all thread, washer, wingnut. Threaded side tab is getting a small dab of locktite, probably. Right now a few cycles of the wingnut work it loose and it seems to creep out 1/8th turn - which isn't much, but if I forget to check, it will fall out and drop the baby and we won't have that, no no no. I'll try a scrub up first, though.

 

Doe-eyed smiles & hugs are always enough =) My granddaughters are more ledger-y, however. They show up with stuff - they bring receipts, take their markup, check the ledgers on my side. If they need something built or fixed, G & I get cookies. If they bring parts, we pay cash or barter and they know prices. Good business minds - love dealing with them, real fair no bs traders, very sharp. 


Edited by AstroKerr, 10 April 2021 - 01:34 PM.

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#512 Falcon_1898

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 05:13 PM

Hi all, 

 

Not sure if this is the right place to post this question, if not, please let me know which forum I should post and if it needs to be in its own thread. 

 

I've read all the threads regarding Bausch & Lomb 61-8080 spotting scope/light weight mirror lens on CN - pretty interesting little thing. 

 

I have an opportunity to obtain a copy in rather good shape. Is it worth $150? I've seen people pay $20 or $30 for them on this forum...that seems to be quite a gap between the prices. Any advise is appreciated!



#513 GreyDay

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 06:35 PM

I've read all the threads regarding Bausch & Lomb 61-8080 spotting scope/light weight mirror lens on CN - pretty interesting little thing. 

 

I have an opportunity to obtain a copy in rather good shape. Is it worth $150? I've seen people pay $20 or $30 for them on this forum...that seems to be quite a gap between the prices. Any advise is appreciated!

If you've read all the threads you'll know the underlying problem is collimation and dim image  caused by the 50% obstruction, for a full review and test go to page 34 in this pdf https://www.google.c...8wQr4kDegQIARBa.

 

For the money ($150) i'd pay an extra $49 and buy the Orion Starmax 90 currently retailing at $199.  For the extra cash you get modern coatings, 10mm more aperture, better resolution, smaller central obstruction and 12 months warranty. The 8080's look nice but they were designed for photography as a mirror lens, hence no mention of "telescope" on the retail box. If you could pick one up cheap then sure why not try it, but at $150 there are better options.


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#514 Falcon_1898

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 07:41 PM

If you've read all the threads you'll know the underlying problem is collimation and dim image  caused by the 50% obstruction, for a full review and test go to page 34 in this pdf https://www.google.c...8wQr4kDegQIARBa.

 

For the money ($150) i'd pay an extra $49 and buy the Orion Starmax 90 currently retailing at $199.  For the extra cash you get modern coatings, 10mm more aperture, better resolution, smaller central obstruction and 12 months warranty. The 8080's look nice but they were designed for photography as a mirror lens, hence no mention of "telescope" on the retail box. If you could pick one up cheap then sure why not try it, but at $150 there are better options.

 

Thank you for the input. The attached review is wonderfully thorough! 

 

Would this be considered as a collectable? Seems quite quirky. :)



#515 GreyDay

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 03:39 AM

Would this be considered as a collectable? Seems quite quirky. smile.gif

I've bought, then sold "quirky" telescopes in the past, they live in the cupboard with all the other unused stuff until the next person who thinks they're "quirky" comes along. Just like the B&L4000 they're well crafted but fall short as a telescope. As the saying goes "you pay your money, you take your chance" and i'm not sure if it's rose tinted spectacles where quirkiness somehow takes the edge off the realisation, that you've just become the proud? new owner of something that isn't quite the full package. Then comes sympathy for the poor thing like a mongrel puppy, "sure it's not a winner, it has no pedigree, but look how cute it is" then as time passes the cuteness wears off and you're left with a dog.

 

I've done the "Quirky" and sometimes it pays off, some people love and defend their scopes with sometimes outrageous claims of super performance, but I'll stick with what i said earlier if these scopes can be found for a fraction of the $150 i'd wait for a cheap one or buy something with good performance and reviews.


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#516 Falcon_1898

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 06:44 AM

You know what, you are right. There are better ways to spend $150. Thanks for talking some sense into me.
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#517 GreyDay

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 07:36 AM

Here's a vintage find, A polarex 70mm spotter. Not quite as fancy as the Unitrons as the turret is a cheaper version akin to the Baader turret. The mount and lens cap are missing so only the OTA Terrestrial prism and turret with 4 EP's providing x16,x24,x36 and x60 mags. The optics are clean and undamaged though the EP's need a real good cleaning the helical focuser feels smooth but could do with a regrease judging by the brown sticky stuff on the focuser tube. Daytime views are good with practically no CA across the provided mag range but noticeable softening of the outer 10-15% of the field at 36&60x. At some point i'll get round to cleaning the EP's and the prisms to see if the edge softening improves but i doubt it. I've seen these scopes fitted with a star diagonal so i may convert it, for 1.25" ep's and use the 4 oem's in my .965 scopes. Like the previous posts this is a "quirky" purchase, i paid £40 which I considered worth it, at best i'd have a nice travel scope, at worst 4 Polarex eyepieces for my .965 gear. I wont feel precious about messing with it as anything i do will be reversable, i might even mount the 70mm cell in a tube to make a RFT and leave the rest alone. For now it's yet another project that'll have to wait. pics below.

 

Polarex70 1
Polarex70 3

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#518 LukaszLu

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:34 AM

A great buy. Standard price for this model in Europe is ~200 euro.


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#519 GreyDay

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 12:04 PM

European prices for astro gear are high, When i bought my Telementor 2 i paid £390, in Germany at the same time a well known vendor of used Zeiss gear was asking 790 euros. The same vendor was also selling the ortho's that came with the Telementor for 160 euros each! Roughly worked out i got the scope, mount, tripod and a Zeiss 25H eyepiece for less than 3 ortho's.

 

Similarly i recently bought a Zeiss E50/540 lens/cell for £60 which i last saw being sold in europe for well over 100 euros, I think you'll agree Lukasz that the Americans are so lucky having such a large market with so many classic brands available at reasonable prices.


Edited by GreyDay, 13 April 2021 - 12:06 PM.

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#520 LukaszLu

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 01:32 PM

I know it very well, I am condemned to importing equipment from Germany. It is the closest country where I can look for old Japanese classics, and thanks to the large retail chains offering this equipment in the past, there is still quite a lot of it there. But the prices are really prohibitive - especially when it comes to really branded equipment such as Zeiss or Unitron / Polarex.

 

Americans ... well. Not only do they have everything the biggest and the best, but it also turns out to be the cheapest...

 

It should be reported somewhere - someone must finally do something about it! :-)


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#521 blakestree

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 01:47 PM

 

 

Americans ... well. Not only do they have everything the biggest and the best, but it also turns out to be the cheapest...

 

It should be reported somewhere - someone must finally do something about it! :-)

You know we all wish we were in Japan, right? That's where the pot-o-gold lies.


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#522 LukaszLu

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 02:52 PM

Sometimes I admire the beautiful specimens that can be bought on auction portals in Japan. The costs of bringing them to Europe would probably be enormous, but I often wondered if the Americans had a cheaper price here as well. I wonder if anyone in America tried to import equipment directly from Japan?


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#523 Terra Nova

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:07 PM

Sometimes I admire the beautiful specimens that can be bought on auction portals in Japan. The costs of bringing them to Europe would probably be enormous, but I often wondered if the Americans had a cheaper price here as well. I wonder if anyone in America tried to import equipment directly from Japan?

Both myself and Bomber Bob have imported scopes directly from Koji Matsumoto in Japan. My Vixen 120S, a particular variant only sold in Japan came in such a huge shipping crate I had to pick it up at the regional post office and bring it home in the bed of my pickup truck. (shown here on my Meade LX70 CG5-class GEM.)

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Edited by Terra Nova, 13 April 2021 - 08:31 PM.

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#524 Linn

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:55 PM

Likewise, I have imported three Taks of various ages, all classics, using Zenmarket. Also fountain pens and other stuff. Very good service, good prices, and great packing. Best service using post office EMS shipping.


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#525 LukaszLu

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:57 PM

I would love to face such a problem as picking up a large box containing 120 mm of pure Vixen, straight from Japan :-) Beautiful!

 

Koji Matsumoto - good address, I didn't know him before. My sister is a professional Japanese teacher, I was even thinking about using somehow her contacts in Japan to organize some form of "substitution purchase" - but I can see that there are people who deal with it professionally, who also know what they are selling. This is very interesting news! I also need to take a closer look at Zenmarket... At the moment, it is all beyond my reach, but I am very curious whether organizing such a delivery to Poland would be feasible and economically sensible at all ...


Edited by LukaszLu, 13 April 2021 - 08:00 PM.

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