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Polarex 114 renovation: photo report

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#26 oldmanastro

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 08:39 AM

Superb restoration. The telescope looks as good as new. Congratulations. Enjoy the views!



#27 LukaszLu

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 08:53 AM

Dear astro-friends, Thank you very much for all your words of support and encouragement in my small efforts. I did not expect such interest in this project. On the contrary - I was rather afraid of a reaction like "one more bore with the next one hundred fourteen"... This very strongly motivates me to continue my efforts - thanks a lot!

 

Of course, I agree that the clamps require better visual integration with the whole telescope, but I hope to just find a suitable cradle, so I consider this a temporary solution.

 

@Dave: Thank you for your relevant comment. Indeed, I struggled a bit with a screwdriver to get the correct image without rays with traces of diffraction rings coming out at high magnifications in one direction from point objects such as stars or Mars. In the end, I got a clean, correct image, but at the cost of a large disproportion in the pressure force of individual screws, which was a bit surprising and disturbing, because it is certainly not healthy for lenses in the long run.


Edited by LukaszLu, 04 April 2021 - 01:15 PM.

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#28 GreyDay

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 06:12 PM

Dear astro-friends, Thank you very much for all your words of support and encouragement in my small efforts. I did not expect such interest in this project. On the contrary - I was rather afraid of a reaction like "one more bore with the next one hundred fourteen"... This very strongly motivates me to continue my efforts - thanks a lot!

I understand why you bought the scope as they're rare here in the UK too, we get Polarex more than Unitron and most owners are reluctant to let them go.

 

I'm sure i speak for most "CN Classics" regulars when i say "we love a project thread". So thank you Lukasz for sharing your 114 with us all waytogo.gif



#29 LukaszLu

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 08:06 AM

Thanks GreyDay! Europe, as usual, lags behind the States - even in the number of Unitrons per million residents. Fortunately, due to the higher population density, the number of Unitrons per unit area in Europe looks slightly better :-)

 

I wonder how many of these telescopes were sold by the Japanese in the US, and how many in Europe, under the Polarex brand. It seems to me that the USA was the main target of Japanese marketers...


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#30 GreyDay

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 02:58 PM

Thanks GreyDay! Europe, as usual, lags behind the States - even in the number of Unitrons per million residents. Fortunately, due to the higher population density, the number of Unitrons per unit area in Europe looks slightly better :-)

 

I wonder how many of these telescopes were sold by the Japanese in the US, and how many in Europe, under the Polarex brand. It seems to me that the USA was the main target of Japanese marketers...

Sadly due to the slow recovery from WWII and high taxes in the UK, telescopes (good ones) were prohibitively expensive. Also the lust for aperture meant more Newtonians were sold in the UK than small refractors, not helped much by english eccentric Patrick Moore who repeatedly told the nation that they needed a 6" Newt or a 3" refractor to see anything.

 

As an example Charles Frank of Glasgow were selling 3" Swift refractors on a Charles Frank EQ mount for between £91.50 to £150 but you could buy a 6" reflector for £69.50 or a Towa 60mm Alt-Az for £30. FullerTo put these prices into perspective my father was earning around £20 a week and the house we bought in 1971 was £2000.

 

The Polarex models would have been available probably from photographic outlets but the UK market was flooded by Dixons "Prinz" telescopes (Kenko and later Towa) or Tasco through Woolworths and other high street outlets. One thing is for certain, they were an expensive item for an average working person.


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#31 LukaszLu

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 03:39 PM

It does give food for thought. If the Unitron 114 cost $ 125 in the US in the 1950s and the average weekly wage was $ 75 back then, you could buy a Unitron for 1.7 wages. What you write shows that by spending a similar portion of your salary in the UK you could buy not a Unitron but a Towa of the same diameter. I think that's very telling - although I would like to point out right away that I do not belong to the Towa-skeptics and I really appreciate such a simple 60 mm alt-AZ Towa model.


Edited by LukaszLu, 05 April 2021 - 03:40 PM.

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#32 GreyDay

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 05:59 PM

Back then our exchange rate was almost $2.50 to £1 so a unitron over here would have been around £60, still double the cost of the Towa, but i couldn't say how much extra would have been added in taxes or import duties.

 

If Charles Frank was charging £90 for a Swift OTA, I'd imagine the Unitron would be a similar price. Economics in different countries would control availability or demand, not to mention how importers get to choose what's available. Which telescope/mount/accessories would all be arranged to meet a price point, just as it is today. Only now whatever the $ price is for an item we pay in the same in £, If Orion are charging $299 for an item we get it at £299. Skywatcher charge us less for some reason and mainland europe get charged more... i guess that's economics.


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#33 LukaszLu

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 06:03 PM

It is "the invisible hand of the market" ... ;-)


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#34 LukaszLu

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:47 AM

I have a request for experienced Unitron/Polarex users for help in identifying the objects that I found in the transport box. It is a set of rings apparently used to extend something, terminating in a clamp around a 0.96 '' eyepiece sleeve. Does anyone recognize these items? What is that?

 

Perhaps the elements were placed in the box by accident, but the size of the end sleeve shows some connection with the telescope ...

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#35 ccwemyss

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 03:34 PM

They look photographic to me. Without a scale, it's hard to tell, but the small one resembles a C mount for a video camera. The larger one reminds me of adapters for cameras with screw-on lenses. Do they interface at all with each other?

 

Chip W. 



#36 Couder

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 03:52 PM

C mount would make sense. Makes me think about all the adapters and the like I have made for my scopes - down the road, I guess it would be just like this - "What's this for?"



#37 LukaszLu

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 08:36 PM

The smallest diameter seen in the picture is the 0.96'' eyepiece sleeve (on the left). I agree the rings resemble photographic macro extension tube - but what is the 0.96 '' sleeve doing here?



#38 Couder

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 09:57 PM

Am I missing something, or..possibly the clamp holds an eyepiece to be used as a lens for a C-mount camera


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#39 LukaszLu

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 05:20 AM

Well... You're probably right! Yes - the last ring ends the whole set with the thread that fits the T-ring! It's possible to tighten the eyepiece without even using the brass sleeve so maybe the sleeve is not an original part of the set...

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Edited by LukaszLu, 08 April 2021 - 05:29 AM.

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#40 Piggyback

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:29 AM

Carefully blackened front surfaces, smooth surfaces. Someone took great care to make this adaption. Very fitting to a Unitron. waytogo.gif waytogo.gif



#41 LukaszLu

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:23 AM

Fitting - yes! But does it have anything to do with Unitron? I searched for quite a long time but found no traces to indicate these are standard accessories of this brand ...




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