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Vintage Telescope Finds

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#1226 jragsdale

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 04:28 PM

Boy do you get lucky.

How do you find so many low cost classics and so quickly on the heels of the last few? Plus who sells a Unitron for $5 and is willing to ship it?

Maybe you should be buying Lottery Tickets!

Well, when I'm looking for classics to find for the Classifieds thread, when I find one I want to pounce on, well, I don't post it. Haha!

 

This person sold it "for parts", and was very friendly and helpful getting it shipped. Tripod cleaned up nicely, just added a chain.

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#1227 jragsdale

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 04:35 PM

Maybe you should be buying Lottery Tickets!

Wait until you hear my next score, it blows this one away. But waiting for everything to arrive first before I count my chickens...


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#1228 Van Do9:3

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 02:42 PM

Hello fellow Classics addicts, I mean aficionados, I don’t post in the Finds often but this Early Unitron 114 (‘52, ‘53, ‘54?) deserves mentioning.

 

I want to first thank JRAGSDALE for posting the ad, and I am beyond grateful to the kindness, patience, and tremendous effort that D_talley generously put in to helping me acquire this beautiful Unitron kit. At the time that I reached out to Dwight about the Unitron, I was unaware of his health condition but now I am forever appreciative and honored to have gotten to know Dwight. A true classic gentleman. A thousand thanks Dwight.

 

On the 2021 Autumnal Equinox, a package arrived at our house. It contained two dusty weathered wood boxes. One was cedar and the other, mahogany. Dwight’s expert packing ensured everything arrived intact.

 

3D9040C4-6746-4F86-8EDD-E89D85F8D40E.jpeg

 

The cedar cabinet held the heavy duty alt-az mount and wood tripod. The cabinet has a very nice aroma, reminds me of a cigar store.

 

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The well crafted mahogany cabinet housed the OTA with all chrome finder, homemade paper card board lens cover, brass dew shield, porro prism, cracked plastic star prism diagonal, and four brass eyepieces with utilitarian straight, etched type (H25, H18, Sym. Ach.9, & O6). And a classic bottle of Kodak lens cleaning fluid and Kodak lens paper. A time capsule.

 

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The cabinets have markings on the bottom. Appears to be LAX (port of Los Angelos?) and 52 and 53 on the OTA and mount boxes respectively. Are these indicative of the export year? Inside the OTA cabinet is a pen inscription of April 1954. This is one of the reasons I like having the kits, a lot of clues and information may be part of those items.

 

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I have taken the 114 out for quick views of Jupiter with no expectations knowing that the telescope has been stored for some time and unknown previous cleaning methodology. The views were dim and fuzzy. There is a ghost haze image (limb?) to the lower right of the objects. I will consider this to be due to lack of collimating since the focuser draw tube flops around.

 

I am enthralled with this telescope because is beautiful and well made, and because it it is the oldest telescope I have. I will treat it like an antique and take my time restoring it. Not to factory condition. Just clean and remove what doesn’t belong. My plans are to first gently purge the dust and cob webs. Clean the eyepieces and collimate the focuser draw tube. I do not want to disassemble the objective lens for cleaning. I hope and believe only the exterior surface may need attention. I will be closely following Kasmos’s Soligor thread since the telescopes are very similar.

 

Again, Dwight, I can’t express enough my sincere and deep appreciation for your kindness and effort in helping me with this acquisition. My warmest wishes to you and your Family.

 

My

 

 


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#1229 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:08 PM

Congratulations!  And, Kudos to Dwight!!


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#1230 Van Do9:3

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:14 PM

Thank you JW. Dwight is an outstanding person.

#1231 Kasmos

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 04:07 PM

Very nice find.

 

Its likely old enough that the cardboard dust cover is original. The focuser knob and mount control knobs and their thread sizes might help date it. The un branded EPs are older than most you see. Without seeing more details I'm going to guess at least a'53....but that LAX 52?

 

BTW, I don't recall seeing such an old one come up for sale, was it posted in the ads thread?

 

Please give it it's own thread so we can all see it's details.


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#1232 Van Do9:3

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 04:44 PM

Thank you Chris. I didn’t expect this 114 to be that early of a Unitron. Some of the characteristics are reminiscent to your Soligor.

 

Will start it’s own post tonight. 
 

My



#1233 jragsdale

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 07:38 PM

BTW, I don't recall seeing such an old one come up for sale, was it posted in the ads thread?

https://www.cloudyni...2#entry11330387



#1234 Van Do9:3

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 08:59 PM

 

Very nice find.

 

Its likely old enough that the cardboard dust cover is original. The focuser knob and mount control knobs and their thread sizes might help date it. The un branded EPs are older than most you see. Without seeing more details I'm going to guess at least a'53....but that LAX 52?

 

BTW, I don't recall seeing such an old one come up for sale, was it posted in the ads thread?

 

Please give it it's own thread so we can all see it's details.

Chris and Jordan, yes that is the ad from New Mexico posted a couple weeks ago.

 

Thank you Jordan for posting.

 

My



#1235 Kasmos

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:37 PM

Chris and Jordan, yes that is the ad from New Mexico posted a couple weeks ago.

 

Thank you Jordan for posting.

 

My

OK, I didn't realize it was that Dwight, (D_talley), who posted on Aug 31 that he was close but was going to pass. 

 

Dwight's post:

https://www.cloudyni...ads/?p=11330424

 

Three posts later I encouraged him to at least pass it on. Good Show Jordan, and Dwight!

 

BTW, I saved the FB ad and photos in my archives wink.gif


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#1236 ccwemyss

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 08:39 PM

I found a mint Lumicon, Digital Quartz, Dual-Axis, drive corrector. It looks like it was never used. The cables still have their original twist ties, and the manual is dated 1986. It can run on 120VAC or 12VDC and outputs 120VAC variable frequency for RA and +/- DC for the DEC. It also has outputs for RA, DEC, map, and reticle LEDs, which I doubt I will use. 

 

Lumicon - 1.jpeg

 

This was something I should have bought to go with the AP 706 mount, after I got it in 1985. But I already had a single-axis Kencor corrector that I was using with my C8. For the 706, I had a plan to wire up a separate paddle for the dec motor, which never happened. The plastic case for the motor got cracked at some point, and I took it off. Now that I have proper corrector, I've repaired it and ordered a new timing belt. The 706 doesn't have manual slow motion controls, so this is how it was meant to be used. At the time, AP was selling a dual-axis autoguider that would drive both axes.

 

Kind of cool that it is so close in age to the 706. 

 

Chip W. 


Edited by ccwemyss, 27 September 2021 - 08:40 PM.

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#1237 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 07:41 AM

That’s a very early model 114 to be sure! Congratulations.


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#1238 Bob Myler

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 12:16 PM

My new miniature James Webb space telescope -

- and combination Dumpling Maker....

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#1239 Mbinoc

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 07:37 PM

When buying on line, sometimes you win, and sometimes you loose. The one part on the Selsi scope I really wanted was broke.

 

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The accessories (90% angle, barlow, and finder mount are all at least metal, and look like they will clean up). The actual scope tube is in better condition then I imagined, and will clean up well. The metal focuser movement works and is not stripped.

 

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The scope was also not made by towa, but has a Japan marking with a circle double "V" or a circle "W" depending on how you look at it. I have not had a scope with that marking before.

 

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Kudos to the shipper, for sending it out fast.It arrived yesterday. I just wish they would have mentioned the mount was broke. Oh Well, I will have to see if I can get creative, and make the mount serviceable. I already have some Idea's on how I'm going to make it work. (With some small wood cut outs and some epoxy, I should be able to mount some legs on it). But first I will see if any of my other mount base portions can be modified to fit and replace the broken part.

 

I did not spend much money on this one, so really did not loose on its purchase price. If I did decide to part it out, I would probably be able to get most my money back. So I'm not upset at all.

 

Figuring out solutions to little problems is fun, and helps keep the mind busy!

 

 

After posting this "Norvegicus" made a kind offer to mail me a replacement part that might have worked.

 

After soaking the mount for a week now, I still have not been able to release the bottom portion of the mount, On mine it might be one cast piece, even though it does not look like it.

 

I want to let "Norvegicus" know that I will not be needing the part he offered, but thank him for offering it. Today mother nature set things even with me. I stopped at a local goodwill after work, and guess what I saw sitting on the shelf?

 

This LOL!

 

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And I got it for free! It had a $4.99 price tag, and when I brought it up to the cashier, The cashier said, "You have a 5$ customer appreciation coupon, would you like to use it today?".

 

I said "Sure". She handed me the mount, and said the coupon wiped out the sales tax and everything. I think some force up above just wanted to make things even with me.


Edited by Mbinoc, 28 September 2021 - 07:45 PM.

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#1240 norvegicus

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 07:49 PM

After posting this "Norvegicus" made a kind offer to mail me a replacement part that might have worked.

After soaking the mount for a week now, I still have not been able to release the bottom portion of the mount, On mine it might be one cast piece, even though it does not look like it.

I want to let "Norvegicus" know that I will not be needing the part he offered, but thank him for offering it. Today mother nature set things even with me. I stopped at a local goodwill after work, and guess what I saw sitting on the shelf?

This LOL!

4.JPG

And I got it for free! It had a $4.99 price tag, and when I brought it up to the cashier, The cashier said, "You have a 5$ customer appreciation coupon, would you like to use it today?".

I said "Sure". She handed me the mount, and said the coupon wiped out the sales tax and everything. I think some force up above just wanted to make things even with me.


Wow! Very cool. I have yet to find anything astronomy related at my local Goodwill.

#1241 Mbinoc

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 07:59 PM

Wow! Very cool. I have yet to find anything astronomy related at my local Goodwill.

Don't give up. They do show up. Just about every scope I have has been picked up at the local goodwill. I found my 6' Celestron dob, My Meade 390, and my Tasco 11TR all at the local goodwill over the course of the last three years as well as several binoculars.

 

Last week I also found a set of 8x30 Cannon binoculars in excellent condition that are pretty impressive in image quality for what they are.

 

I probably over payed for them a bit, but at the time the goodwill had two sets of binoculars available, and the Cannons blew the other pair away by so much in image quality, that I just had to bring them home. I think they will be great for birding.

 

Last week my local goodwill also had one of those newer Meade StarNavigator NG 102mm refractor telescopes, but it had some damage and they were asking more than I wanted to pay. (Someone purchased it, because its not there anymore).

 

I usually stop in at goodwill once a week since the local one is right next to a grocery store I shop at.


Edited by Mbinoc, 28 September 2021 - 08:17 PM.

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#1242 sdedalus83

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 08:32 PM

I’m picking up a little estate auction Redmund tomorrow after work.


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#1243 jragsdale

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 04:06 PM

Local thrift store find for $6.99. Probably use it for parts, optics are nice.

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#1244 norvegicus

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 05:12 PM

Has anyone ever positively identified that maker's mark?

 



#1245 jragsdale

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 05:20 PM

Has anyone ever positively identified that maker's mark?

Not that I could find. Wondering if anyone recognized the combo of focus knobs, finder retention screws, red line on drawtube and lens cell? Happy to take more photos if needed.


Edited by jragsdale, 29 September 2021 - 05:23 PM.


#1246 norvegicus

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 05:51 PM

From memory the lens cell construction looks the same as the Jason (Towa) 313  60x910 lens cell



#1247 jragsdale

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 06:26 PM

From memory the lens cell construction looks the same as the Jason (Towa) 313  60x910 lens cell

Maybe the VV or W mark is just Towa's ultra budget line? So budget they wouldn't even put their symbol on it.



#1248 norvegicus

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 06:42 PM

Maybe the VV or W mark is just Towa's ultra budget line? So budget they wouldn't even put their symbol on it.

I've always wondered if it was a Vixen budget line.



#1249 Russell Smith

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 06:52 PM

I've always wondered if it was a Vixen budget line.

You take that back.bawling.gif 4.gif


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#1250 norvegicus

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 06:57 PM

You take that back.bawling.gif 4.gif

Not a bad thing.  I was kind of hoping that there was secret Vixen stuff out there that noone knows about.




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