Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Unitron 160....the adventure begins

  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#26 Stewc14

Stewc14

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 10 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Pueblo West colorado

Posted 27 March 2021 - 10:24 PM

I’ll have to try and assemble and see if everything kind of works. I do have the tripod and metal tips now. I have the plate for the drive to sit on. I have 3 weights. Which ones go with the drive? Here are a couple more pics.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 505603EB-4BC4-4DB6-AE90-A01A6BA3674C.jpeg
  • 0909FE6F-382F-4452-8680-1DC1F1A92251.jpeg
  • 50D22CF4-BE5E-442D-8BC2-C718E5B1C60D.jpeg
  • 43DF2C92-935B-4D23-ACF0-C7C118956E9E.jpeg
  • 4D57E0E2-FF9B-4741-97A0-A92BF0A46429.jpeg
  • F0323A2D-2370-44F9-9DD6-07F7DD174957.jpeg
  • C54197AD-BB3E-4563-B890-3CF891975133.jpeg
  • 41EE7191-A350-4DA5-B0C7-EBCB746BFE02.jpeg
  • 3574943E-BF2E-47AD-870A-C7B1556A789A.jpeg
  • B8E4D5C6-E1AE-4CC7-A66F-4C47311EE983.jpeg

  • R Botero, Terra Nova, Bomber Bob and 1 other like this

#27 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 05:55 AM

You also have the threaded counter weight shaft while mine was smooth.



#28 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23,470
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 07:25 AM

I’ll have to try and assemble and see if everything kind of works. I do have the tripod and metal tips now. I have the plate for the drive to sit on. I have 3 weights. Which ones go with the drive? Here are a couple more pics.

It is really amazing how many accessories came with this 160.   It looks like it needs a lot of TLC, but it will be such a beautiful scope when done.  



#29 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24,337
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 07:47 AM

You got yourself quite an amazing treasure trove there! Congratulations. You no longer have to ‘imagine yourself at the controls of a Unitron’, you will be at the controls. Keep us updated on the progress of your restoration.


  • SandyHouTex and Bomber Bob like this

#30 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 07:57 AM

Gonna take a lot of work to get it like new. Mine was missing the weight drive itself and was in very bad shape with a lens that could not be saved. I sold it for 4 times what i paid for it in 05 as it seems Unitron prices were off the charts then. I still have some parts here and there i found for Unitrons a while back but nothing for a M-160.



#31 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23,470
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:25 AM

I’ll have to try and assemble and see if everything kind of works. I do have the tripod and metal tips now. I have the plate for the drive to sit on. I have 3 weights. Which ones go with the drive? Here are a couple more pics.

I have no idea what the one piece is that looks like it is plastic and rectangular.   Almost looks like and overgrown magnifying glass.  



#32 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:44 AM

I have no idea what the one piece is that looks like it is plastic and rectangular.   Almost looks like and overgrown magnifying glass.  

Looks like something made well after the 50's. Looks like much newer plastic.



#33 Awesomelenny

Awesomelenny

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,209
  • Joined: 02 May 2004
  • Loc: Long: 81.42 W Lat: 41.21 N

Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:20 AM

Congratulations on your Unitron project.  I did something like this too back in 2008.  I ended up selling it around 2011.  Anyhow, here's the link on my Unitron restoration project from my web page.

 

http://lenmarekastro...UnitronPage.htm


  • Terra Nova and Bomber Bob like this

#34 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23,470
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:23 AM

Congratulations on your Unitron project.  I did something like this too back in 2008.  I ended up selling it around 2011.  Anyhow, here's the link on my Unitron restoration project from my web page.

 

http://lenmarekastro...UnitronPage.htm

Just awesome. Beautiful scope.  



#35 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,042
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:27 AM

You got yourself quite an amazing treasure trove there! Congratulations. You no longer have to ‘imagine yourself at the controls of a Unitron’, you will be at the controls. Keep us updated on the progress of your restoration.

I've sat the controls of 2 1950s Unitrons, and the experience is so much like sitting at the controls of a Questar -- you just know you're using a high-quality instrument.  Iconic for reasons.

 

I'll be following this thread daily!  BIG Project, but the end result will be more than worth the effort.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 28 March 2021 - 09:29 AM.

  • Terra Nova likes this

#36 Stewc14

Stewc14

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 10 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Pueblo West colorado

Posted 28 March 2021 - 10:11 AM

The plastic frame holds star charts that are plastic covered for longevity. You lay in your back to use it.

in busy for a few weeks or so . That said, I may not get to taking it apart till then. I will ask questions about things that are missing and refinishing advice.

I thought powder coating would be good. 
powder coat the circles and finish the numbers white with a paint on rub off technique. Polish some other parts. Take everything apart and bring it back. The glass seems quite clean.

there are numbers scratched into the paint on the focuser area. I assume I should refinish it out.

it has a bolt broken off in the threads that has to be removed. That area is scratched a bit from someone trying to get it out. 
did these come with the guide scope? I assume it did because of the empty space in the case for one and a place for rings that are missing. Did the tripod legs have a case? If so I need cases for that and the mount. The tube is not a bright white.off white maybe. Shows stains, rubs, and a small rust spot.

would you repaint? What type of paint? Would gloss powder coating be better? Would gloss black powder coating be better than Matt? Lots of things to figure before you start. I would need to make a work schedule list along with notes on what to do and where to get things done etc.

any info from you more experienced folks than me is appreciated. 
right now I need boxes for the mount and tripod and maybe a box for the eyepieces.

maybe a guide scope and rings. Someone mentioned they had a scope but no rings. So if anyone has rings maybe we could get together on that. I would like to stick with the same time frame for parts to keep things copacetic. Any ways, I’m just going on here.

thank everyone for advice and help in advance

Attached Thumbnails

  • 03BB4B06-3D59-4916-924E-17ADAB6635A8.jpeg
  • D8BBA0FE-C059-4119-80F7-122D7E00007C.jpeg
  • A112629B-23E7-417C-A2B5-FD852560C41F.jpeg
  • C886C314-03EB-49D6-A6CC-573A355AFC91.jpeg

  • R Botero and Bomber Bob like this

#37 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23,470
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 10:46 AM

T

I thought powder coating would be good. 
powder coat the circles and finish the numbers white with a paint on rub off technique. Polish some other parts. Take everything apart and bring it back. The glass seems quite clean.

there are numbers scratched into the paint on the focuser area. I assume I should refinish it out.

it has a bolt broken off in the threads that has to be removed. That area is scratched a bit from someone trying to get it out. 
did these come with the guide scope? I assume it did because of the empty space in the case for one and a place for rings that are missing. Did the tripod legs have a case? If so I need cases for that and the mount. The tube is not a bright white.off white maybe. Shows stains, rubs, and a small rust spot.

would you repaint? What type of paint? Would gloss powder coating be better? Would gloss black powder coating be better than Matt? Lots of things to figure before you start. I would need to make a work schedule list along with notes on what to do and where to get things done etc.

any info from you more experienced folks than me is appreciated. 
right now I need boxes for the mount and tripod and maybe a box for the eyepieces.

maybe a guide scope and rings. Someone mentioned they had a scope but no rings. So if anyone has rings maybe we could get together on that. I would like to stick with the same time frame for parts to keep things copacetic. Any ways, I’m just going on here.

thank everyone for advice and help in advance

I thought powder coating would be good.
powder coat the circles and finish the numbers white with a paint on rub off technique. Polish some other parts. Take everything apart and bring it back. The glass seems quite clean.

there are numbers scratched into the paint on the focuser area. I assume I should refinish it out.

it has a bolt broken off in the threads that has to be removed. That area is scratched a bit from someone trying to get it out.
did these come with the guide scope?  YES

I assume it did because of the empty space in the case for one and a place for rings that are missing.  Correct 

 

 Did the tripod legs have a case? YES

If so I need cases for that and the mount  YES.

The tube is not a bright white.off white maybe. Shows stains, rubs, and a small rust spot.

would you repaint? Powder coat for a finish that will last.  What type of paint?

Would gloss powder coating be better? YES

 

Would gloss black powder coating be better than Matt? Semi Gloss

 

 

right now I need boxes for the mount and tripod and maybe a box for the eyepieces.

maybe a guide scope and rings. Someone mentioned they had a scope but no rings.  I may have a guide scope that is period correct.  Would need to be refinished.  Also have some rings that would work.  PM me

 

do you have the tray light?  it screws into the bottom of the mount?


Edited by starman876, 28 March 2021 - 10:49 AM.

  • Bomber Bob likes this

#38 DAVIDG

DAVIDG

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,146
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Hockessin, De

Posted 28 March 2021 - 11:18 AM

 I'm going to give you the advice I have given many others that have started on telescope restoration as a labor of love for that their instrument. You are going to spend countless hours and most likely a fair amount of money restoring the mechanics and appears on this telescope. So please test the optics and don't assume they are great. I have tested many Unitron lenses. Some have been good but other have had major issues.  Just because it is an Unitron doesn't mean the optics are fantastic. Looking at the Moon is not a critical test of optics. They need to be bench tested. I personally know of a couple of historic  antique refractor that had the lens installed backwards for decades and no one question the image quality and said it was great ! So peoples opinion is not a good test of optical quality, the test bench is. 

   I have been restoring telescopes for many years and I find that telescopes with good optics stay in use but one that do not,  wind up in basements. This might not be the case with this one but who knows. I restore cars as well and I don't put a $10,000 paint job on one that  as a bad engine or transmission. A restored car that looks great  but doesn't run well is of little  value. The same is true of a  restored telescope, it needs to be just as good to look through vs look at. 

  

      All the Best,

             - Dave 


  • SandyHouTex likes this

#39 davidc135

davidc135

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,545
  • Joined: 28 May 2014
  • Loc: Wales, UK

Posted 28 March 2021 - 01:24 PM

Congratulations on the wonderful instrument. I've just been watching Dave Trott on Youtube. I imagine Unitron would take care of the lens quality on a top of the range model although it's true, it can't be assumed.

 

At the worst it would be worthwhile having the objective re-worked, if needed.

 

Lens test results are always very interesting. One of your other high quality instruments could be used in conjunction if there isn't a flat.

 

David



#40 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 02:32 PM

Just hard to find a lens on these old scopes that are not fogged up. 



#41 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,042
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 02:39 PM

Just hard to find a lens on these old scopes that are not fogged up. 

Do you mean -- coatings affected, or excessive fungus, or dirt / grime?



#42 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 03:01 PM

Do you mean -- coatings affected, or excessive fungus, or dirt / grime?

Seen so many that just had a foggy white film on them. The mint 1960 made M152 i bought in 1986 that sat in the boxes for about 25 years or more was like new, but the lens had to be sent to Unitron for cleaning and even then they could not get it perfect. It was a very sharp lens.



#43 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,042
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 03:08 PM

Seen so many that just had a foggy white film on them. The mint 1960 made M152 i bought in 1986 that sat in the boxes for about 25 years or more was like new, but the lens had to be sent to Unitron for cleaning and even then they could not get it perfect. It was a very sharp lens.

So the glass surfaces were damaged, not just the coating layers?  I've seen something like that only once:  the Lafayette 60x420 with all that metal corrosion:

 

Lafayette 99-7213 - T10 (Dirty Lens).jpg



#44 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23,470
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 04:25 PM

Just hard to find a lens on these old scopes that are not fogged up. 

I have never found a fogged up Unitron lens.  What are these lenses subjected to where you live? I did buy a 152 from someone in FL that needed to have the fungus cleaned up.  Came out looking really pretty.


Edited by starman876, 28 March 2021 - 04:26 PM.


#45 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 04:49 PM

I have never found a fogged up Unitron lens.  What are these lenses subjected to where you live? I did buy a 152 from someone in FL that needed to have the fungus cleaned up.  Came out looking really pretty.

I have no clue how the scope was stored but it sat for over 25 years and looked like it was made the day i got it in 1986. But the lens had a fungus and looked kinda milky.  Unitron cleaned it up pretty good but not 100%. FL has  nasty Humidity. I paid $300 for that scope in 1986 and even back then that was a crazy steal of a deal.

 

The old pre 1955 M160 i bought in 05 sat on a porch since the 1960's and was rough. The lens was solid white and the paint on the brass OTA was turning green and brown and the black paint on the mount was all chalked up

 

I guess anything sitting in the sun on a back porch for all them years is not gonna be pretty.  I have seen tons of pics of fogged up lens on older scopes. Maybe your fog and my fog mean something diff to us.

 

If a lens looks milky i call it fogged up.


Edited by CHASLX200, 28 March 2021 - 04:50 PM.

  • SandyHouTex likes this

#46 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,054
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 28 March 2021 - 04:50 PM

So the glass surfaces were damaged, not just the coating layers?  I've seen something like that only once:  the Lafayette 60x420 with all that metal corrosion:

 

attachicon.gifLafayette 99-7213 - T10 (Dirty Lens).jpg

I would call that fogged and more.



#47 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23,470
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 05:45 PM

So the glass surfaces were damaged, not just the coating layers?  I've seen something like that only once:  the Lafayette 60x420 with all that metal corrosion:

 

attachicon.gifLafayette 99-7213 - T10 (Dirty Lens).jpg

how did that clean up?



#48 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,042
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 28 March 2021 - 05:52 PM

how did that clean up?

I didn't even mess with it:  3 Big Clams + scratches in the glass.  The metal parts were so bad, I had to shatter it just get the retaining ring out!



#49 Wisconsin Steve

Wisconsin Steve

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 5,071
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 28 March 2021 - 06:14 PM

We should probably get back to the Unitron 160 now...


  • Terra Nova likes this

#50 Stewc14

Stewc14

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 10 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Pueblo West colorado

Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:55 PM

I tried to take a pic of the lense and was disappointed. A few specs and thin layer of dust but a small chip on the edge.

before I go “all out” I’m going to check the optics and test it. The person I bought it from Asia’s the lense was good. 
mill report back on the optics. If they are fine then I’ll do the best rehab. If not. I’ll do the best I can at a lower budget.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 85E63C8C-6E20-4DB4-9C20-3E41331ECBBF.jpeg



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics