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Is the Unitron Unihex a good turret?

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#26 Bomber Bob

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 10:10 PM

I got my Unihex from Johann, and used it all the time with my Sears (AO) 76x1200.  I had spare parts to adapt it to both .965" & 1.25" focusers:

 

Unihex - 965 Mode T01.jpg

 

I really don't care for Zoom Eyepieces.  Having 6 high-quality EPs in the Hex is the better solution -- rotate CW/CCW to zoom in / out:

 

S6336 and Unihex T03.jpg

 

As for quality .965" eyepieces:

 

- I got my 1980s Meade (Tani) Series 2 and my 1980s spectros (Swiss) sets here on CN.

- With careful shopping, got my Zeiss EPs on eBay from Sellers in Germany.

 

Remember:  These Classic LONG Refractors were designed for this "Japanese" Standard barrel.  Also, the bundled / intended eyepieces were small & light (along with the diagonals), and those models with the long 30mm chrome manual / coarse focus like the AO & Towa F15 fracs, can sag under the additional weight of a loaded Hex...  (You can stiffen up / add supports to this tube.)

 

But Honestly:  The 1980s Vixen 4-slot turrets are better mechanically; and, at least with mine, are easy to adapt from SCT to standard barrel sizes.


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#27 starman876

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 11:23 PM

+1

 

I became a real fan of 0.965” eyepieces once I pieced together a nice set of quality oculars. I like them much better than kludging 1.25” eyepieces onto a 0.965” focuser. I also have a Unihex that is of excellent build quality, but it seems to be one of the older models that is a bit tough to adapt to a 1.25” draw tube. I pieced together a Terra Nova adapter, but the threads didn’t match those on my Unihex. frown.gif

 

I’ll figure something out. 

There is a unitron adapter that allows 1.25" eyepieces. Also the Astronomy Shoppe makes 1.25" adapters for unitrons.



#28 CHASLX200

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 06:44 AM

Off topic - a Unihex is definitely for old refractors only, and no-one puts a turret on a dob.

We were talking about .965" OD eyepieces and FOV.



#29 jgraham

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 07:56 AM

The adapter that I mentioned replaces the nosepiece of the Unihex so that you can use it on a refractor with a 1.25” draw tube. As-is my Unihex was designed for a Unitron draw tube which is a bit bigger than 1.25”. I haven’t tried it on my larger refractors yet that have a 2” focuser.

 

Further though is necessary...



#30 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 08:37 AM

+1

 

I became a real fan of 0.965” eyepieces once I pieced together a nice set of quality oculars. I like them much better than kludging 1.25” eyepieces onto a 0.965” focuser. I also have a Unihex that is of excellent build quality, but it seems to be one of the older models that is a bit tough to adapt to a 1.25” draw tube. I pieced together a Terra Nova adapter, but the threads didn’t match those on my Unihex. frown.gif

 

I’ll figure something out. 

Wow, mine threads perfectly. I wonder why your’s doesn’t. I didn’t know they ever varied the thread spec? My Unihex dates from around 1956. It’s threads are the same as the standard Vixen 34.6mm spec. That’s the way I came up with the idea of the adapter was fiddling around with a Vixen 34.6mm/1.25” visual back.


Edited by Terra Nova, 11 March 2021 - 08:52 AM.


#31 jgraham

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 09:06 AM

I ordered the exact parts that you listed and they look great! However, I thought that I read somewhere that at some point they changed the thread pitch. There was something about the style of lettering on the Unihex that you could tell which was which.

It's okay, I'll figure something out, just gotta find the time to fiddle with it a bit.

#32 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 09:15 AM

I ordered the exact parts that you listed and they look great! However, I thought that I read somewhere that at some point they changed the thread pitch. There was something about the style of lettering on the Unihex that you could tell which was which.

It's okay, I'll figure something out, just gotta find the time to fiddle with it a bit.

That could well be the case since the thread was only used by Unitron in mating the nosepiece tube to the Unihex body and no where else to my knowledge, and the specific nosepiece tube (that slips into the standard Unitron focuser sleeve) and the Unihex body itself were always sold as a unit. My Unihex has the block letters btw.



#33 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 09:23 AM

It should also be noted whilst on the topic, that the larger eyepiece tube on the standard Unihex, often referred to as the ‘1.25” eyepiece holder’ isn’t really 1.25” and if you put a heavier 1.25” eyepiece in it, like a TV Nagler or Panoptic, it could easily fall out, that being a rather costly mistake. That’s because that eyepiece holder is intended for the wide-field Unitron 40mm Monochrome or ‘Mono’ eyepiece, and that is not a standard 1.25” eyepiece. It is in fact much closer to 1.27” in diameter, and that is why some non-Unitron classic eyepiece collectors have found out that it won’t fit their 1.25” diagonals after purchasing one.


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#34 starman876

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 09:24 AM

Unitron cottage industries in Japan did not follow thread standards in all production.   NS had many different vendors to supply the parts that made up a Unitron.


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#35 Tiredeyes

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 10:12 AM

I have a Polarex labeled Unihex that definitely has a different thread for the drawtube than my Unitron labeled Unihex. 


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#36 starman876

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 04:18 PM

I have a Polarex labeled Unihex that definitely has a different thread for the drawtube than my Unitron labeled Unihex. 

That is also true of the Unitron unihexes I have had and still have.   The one drawback of all the unihex parts I have is the threads are not the same for certain parts over the years.  However, the lens cells always screw on without a hitch,  does not matter what year.   Wonder if NS made those in house?  The cells did change over the years because the lenses did.  Some lens sets are thicker than others showing they came from different sources.  


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#37 Kasmos

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 05:41 PM

My 114 is a standard issue model with a diagonal and porro. I'd thought about getting a Uni-hex, but the more I thought about it the less I wanted one. I almost never use more than 3-4 EPs in a session and don't need the extra weight or the worry of an EP slipping out. Also have no need for the 1.27" barrel for the 40mm Mono. I'd rather have one of those .965" 4 EP turrets (with thumb screws) that Celestron and Meade sold and probably still wouldn't use it much.

 

Instead of a Uni-hex, it would have been nice if Unitron put a EP tray on the tripod. And yes, I realize that later model 114s had a small one.


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#38 Bomber Bob

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 06:01 PM

I'd rather have one of those .965" 4 EP turrets (with thumb screws) that Celestron and Meade sold and probably still wouldn't use it much.

 

I used the C/V 4-slot turret on the Tak FC-50 last night for doubles.  Great Combo!  No tray on the VG2, and I move this scope around a lot to dodge trees.

 

Takahashi FC-50 S43 (RDF & CV4 Turret).jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 12 March 2021 - 06:23 PM.

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#39 starman876

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 07:22 PM

got to watch out for those trees.  They do not like astronomers.



#40 pdxmoon

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 09:48 PM

I don't even care if it works--it just looks so cool I enjoy the sight of it!


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#41 Bomber Bob

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 10:02 PM

BIF:  The .965" Hex adapter I made had a standard threaded chrome barrel, so I could put any .965" filter on the nose; and, as I had the Barlow that came with the '78 Tasco's photo kit, that lens fit, too -- but the distance made it about 4x factor.  The eyepiece had to be 20mm or higher, or the views were SOFT.



#42 JonH

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 03:15 AM

I like the Unihex B which is all 1.25 holders. But they arnt close to par-focal like the A unihex is. The superunihex not so much, apart from being able to mount the 60 mm giant eyepiece as part of a set its big and heavy and looks a bit meh (apologies if its your fav).

 

Clear skies

 

Jon



#43 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 06:59 AM

It should also be noted whilst on the topic, that the larger eyepiece tube on the standard Unihex, often referred to as the ‘1.25” eyepiece holder’ isn’t really 1.25” and if you put a heavier 1.25” eyepiece in it, like a TV Nagler or Panoptic, it could easily fall out, that being a rather costly mistake. That’s because that eyepiece holder is intended for the wide-field Unitron 40mm Monochrome or ‘Mono’ eyepiece, and that is not a standard 1.25” eyepiece. It is in fact much closer to 1.27” in diameter, and that is why some non-Unitron classic eyepiece collectors have found out that it won’t fit their 1.25” diagonals after purchasing one.

I never really used my turrent back in the day with heavy eyep's. It was just used for looks in the living room. But boy did them Meade SWA's and UWA's make that Unitron shine on the views.


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#44 starman876

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 09:53 AM

It should also be noted whilst on the topic, that the larger eyepiece tube on the standard Unihex, often referred to as the ‘1.25” eyepiece holder’ isn’t really 1.25” and if you put a heavier 1.25” eyepiece in it, like a TV Nagler or Panoptic, it could easily fall out, that being a rather costly mistake. That’s because that eyepiece holder is intended for the wide-field Unitron 40mm Monochrome or ‘Mono’ eyepiece, and that is not a standard 1.25” eyepiece. It is in fact much closer to 1.27” in diameter, and that is why some non-Unitron classic eyepiece collectors have found out that it won’t fit their 1.25” diagonals after purchasing one.

It is a shame that is so true.   the first time I used 1.25" eyepieces in my model B's I noticed that.   I was like what!!!!



#45 rweisberg

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 07:53 PM

 I would add I would check the alignment of the prism. When I used a laser I found them to be off as well and bit of shimming fixed the problem. These small error won't show up when your using them a 60mm f/15 refractor but if you used them with more aperture and/or a faster light cone they would affect the image quality.

 

                - Dave 

I just got a Unitron 114 with the Unihex  I took the turret apart to grease it and clean the prism. One of the shims fell out and I was not sure where it was to go. Anyway, I put it all back together minus that shim and it works fine. Images are brighter.  But, in a star test when far in an out of focus, the round pattern squashes a bit. My guess is that the prism is not aligned. How does one align the prism? As you note, in a long focal length small aperture refractor this does not seem to affect the image quality. 



#46 rweisberg

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 08:00 PM

I have the Unitron Unihex with my recently acquired 114, but I also have the Sears 6345 90mm with the Sears uinihex, which I have never used or even cleaned. Does anyone know how the Unitron unihex compares with the Sears one?



#47 DAVIDG

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 10:01 AM

I just got a Unitron 114 with the Unihex  I took the turret apart to grease it and clean the prism. One of the shims fell out and I was not sure where it was to go. Anyway, I put it all back together minus that shim and it works fine. Images are brighter.  But, in a star test when far in an out of focus, the round pattern squashes a bit. My guess is that the prism is not aligned. How does one align the prism? As you note, in a long focal length small aperture refractor this does not seem to affect the image quality. 

 The original shims most likely went on each side of the prism. To check the alignment of the prism what I did was  make a paper mask with the center marked and placed it centered over the  tube that goes  into the focuser. I placed the laser in the 1.25" port  and the laser should hit the center spot of the paper mask. Make sure that both the eyepiece tube and the one that goes into the focuser tube are  squarely screwed into the body, then adjusted the prism so the laser hits the center of the mask. Then I check each of the other ports using a 0.965" to 1.25" adapter on my laser collimator. I found a some of the tubes weren't screwed in squarely.  Also found that there was  some play when you rotate the turret to different positions so when you looked in the eyepiece the field of view wasn't totally illuminated evenly. So I have to rotate the turret slightly  within the amount of play to get the field to show uniform illuminations 

 

                       - Dave 


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#48 davela

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 08:57 PM

Some of the Unihexes have issues simply due to age, requiring disassembly to clean the prism glass or lube the mechanics which get stiff. I acquired what looks to be a pretty nice one lately that I've yet to test, but I will report my experiences soon. It is the 3" model and it has a slot for native 1.25" fit eyepieces. 

 

And yes there once was a decent market in quality 0.965" eyepieces. In fact I believe this was originally a Zeiss standard, although we tend to equate it with Japanese scopes. Unitron made plenty of them, as did Vixen (might still in Japan), even Celestron, Orion, Takahashi, and others. The Unitron Symmetrical is actually the same as a Plossl and reasonably priced used. Unitron also made some Ortho's - I own one or two - fine optics. The Ortho's might have been add-on accessories from the Unitron catalog - Unitron got into the accessorizing business later in their company evolution.

 

Here's a question: Does anyone make quality 0.965's EP's today? In Japan, China even, or anywhere?? It's been a while since I've seen a new one of modern design (Kellner, Plossl, Ortho, and the like).


Edited by davela, 17 October 2021 - 08:58 PM.

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