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

Do I NEED a Unitron?

  • Please log in to reply
115 replies to this topic

#51 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,535
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 05 June 2021 - 10:54 AM

Okay Y'all, I'm quoting an old song:  I got stoned and I missed it...

 

With Unitrons it's all about the mounts and the "look".

 

Amen.  During my Unitron 142 vs Sears 6336 Slug Fest, I considered putting that Uni EQ on a pedestal -- even the 6336's pedestal.  As I posted back then:  AO 76 F15 on a Uni EQ is a perfect combo.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 June 2021 - 10:56 AM.

  • Wisconsin Steve likes this

#52 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 24,073
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 05 June 2021 - 11:11 AM

The 3” Unitrons are nice scopes. This is what killed mine for me!

 

(1997 Takahashi FC-76 F8 Fluorite apo on a Celestron Omni CG-4 GEM)

What killed Unitron in the end. The shorter better optics APO.


  • Terra Nova and Defenderslideguitar like this

#53 Wisconsin Steve

Wisconsin Steve

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 5,150
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 05 June 2021 - 11:17 AM

I was thinking more of the classic 150 fork mount as opposed the the counterweighted geared head.

Yep, I should have kept mine!

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC07329 low res.jpg
  • DSC04877 low res.jpg

  • Terra Nova, kansas skies, Bonco2 and 4 others like this

#54 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24,781
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted 05 June 2021 - 11:21 AM

Yep! That’s the one. That’s the model Mr. Wilson should have had instead of the model 152. It was apparent he didn’t have a clue as to how to set up an equatorial mount!

 

https://tubitv.com/series/236545 


  • Wisconsin Steve and Bomber Bob like this

#55 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,535
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 05 June 2021 - 01:19 PM

I'd forgotten about this set of GRS pix...  1950s Unitron 142:

 

Unitron 142 - Jupiter (GRS) 20180607V02A64S51Z90C1.jpg Unitron 142 - Jupiter (GRS) 20180607V02A64SG01Z90S.jpg

 

Like my Dakin 4, the 142 skewed RED...  tough to finesse out.  But also like my Dakin, for fine detail, it punched above aperture. [Yeah, okay, for the sciency types, it punched above expectations.]

 

** Remember:  In SxS testing, my 1964 Sears (AO) 6336 edged-out the 1950s Unitron 142.  Maybe N-S should've gone with AO's lens makers...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 June 2021 - 02:08 PM.

  • Wisconsin Steve, Terra Nova, kansas skies and 5 others like this

#56 Steve Allison

Steve Allison

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,361
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Olympia, Wash. 98502

Posted 05 June 2021 - 03:23 PM

Mr. Bomber, sir-

 

Your posts are an unending source of enjoyment (and education) to me and obviously to many others! I rarely see one of your posts that doesn't have at least 6 or 8 "likes".

 

Thank you!

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve


  • Bomber Bob and LukaszLu like this

#57 LukaszLu

LukaszLu

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2020
  • Loc: Poland

Posted 05 June 2021 - 07:11 PM

Thanks!  Yes, that's it.  The whole Tinsley Restore Saga is here:   https://www.cloudyni...egrain-restore/

I don't know how you came up with the idea to use this cranberry red color, the decision was risky - but I think it hit the jackpot! It increased the visual qualities of this instrument by at least 50%, emphasizing its unique character. Bravo!


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#58 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,535
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 05 June 2021 - 08:39 PM

I don't know how you came up with the idea to use this cranberry red color, the decision was risky - but I think it hit the jackpot! It increased the visual qualities of this instrument by at least 50%, emphasizing its unique character. Bravo!

I'd like to say it was 100% my idea, but it wasn't -- saw a Brashear with a similar color... thought, that really makes the brass stand out!!



#59 oldmanastro

oldmanastro

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 779
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2013
  • Loc: San Juan, Puerto Rico-US

Posted 05 June 2021 - 09:59 PM

I used to drool over the Unitron brochures back in the 60s. All that I could do was just dream about them especially that pedestal mounted 4" refractor. In all these years since then I never saw a Unitron here. Even after amateur astronomy picked up here in the mid 80s as a result of Halley and local star parties started, no Unitrons made their appearance. My only experience has been with an early Unitron 62mm f/15 lens picked up recently from a CN member and adapted to fit the optical tube of a Sears 6305. Star tests with a green filter show an excellent lens. I have enjoyed looking at the moon and doubles with this hybrid. This is as near as I will probably be to a Unitron. I call it the Unitowa. Would I get a Unitron if I could do it at the right price and with reasonable shipping costs? Yes but.... Unitron values have increased dramatically and shipping costs seem to go up faster than light.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Unitowa2.JPG

Edited by oldmanastro, 06 June 2021 - 07:55 AM.

  • starman876, Terra Nova, Bomber Bob and 1 other like this

#60 Piggyback

Piggyback

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,245
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 06 June 2021 - 06:43 AM

Bought this Unitron-Polarex 75mm NS-131 six years ago from Xavier. Featuring the rather clumsy looking NS 220 Volt electric motor adaption it is convenient for extended observations of sunspots, planets and the moon. I do not recommend running european market electric drives in moist conditions, though. There has been reports of people suffering from electric shock. US-110V units seemingly not prone to that problem. Xavier was also kind enough to provide me with a custom machined adapter for attaching the Baader Bino and standard 1 1/4" accessories. Standard Unitron wooden tripod not a bear but sufficiently stable.

 

Do I NEED a Unitron? No, not really.

Do I LOVE my Polarex? Yes, I do!

 

Check out my pride and joy on Dave´s wonderful Unitron site:

 

https://www.unitronh...larex-model-131

 

 

 

Polarex 75mm auf 1200mm NS-131_01red.JPG

 


  • starman876, Terra Nova, combatdad and 4 others like this

#61 LukaszLu

LukaszLu

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2020
  • Loc: Poland

Posted 06 June 2021 - 10:11 AM

I'd like to say it was 100% my idea, but it wasn't -- saw a Brashear with a similar color... thought, that really makes the brass stand out!!

The ability to *look at* not always means the ability to *see*. You did see, you noticed how the combination of such a strong color with brass works - and it is for sure a creative activity. It is the ability to see, and not the dexterity of the hand, that distinguishes painters and artists from the rest of the population :-)

 

I think it was the same with Unitron. The features characteristic of high-class scientific instruments were skillfully observed, they were cleaned of decorative and stylistic accretions - and this formula turned out to be so timeless that it allowed to offer the same models for several dozen years without significant design modifications.

 

How was the effect achieved that makes the primitive clamping sleeve typical of very old telescopes look extremely modern on the Unitron? It's amazing - but that's how it works. Design is the art of seeing and showing. After all, there is no philosophy, no discoveries or inventions - certain stylistic features have been properly seen and highlighted. Raw functionalism, but without imposing "Bauhaus-like" style, probably also allowed to achieve excellent construction results when it comes to mounts.


Edited by LukaszLu, 06 June 2021 - 10:14 AM.


#62 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,535
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 06 June 2021 - 10:40 AM

Mr. Bomber, sir-

 

Your posts are an unending source of enjoyment (and education) to me and obviously to many others! I rarely see one of your posts that doesn't have at least 6 or 8 "likes".

 

Thank you!

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve

Thanks Steve!  We have a lot of great contributors on The Classics.  I'm grateful for this site, and I say, Thank You! to our sponsor, astronomics -- they are The Best.

 

Shoot!  Look at this one thread -- lots of sound advice for folks considering a Unitron...


  • Terra Nova, GreyDay and Steve Allison like this

#63 apfever

apfever

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,254
  • Joined: 13 May 2008
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 06 June 2021 - 11:31 AM

Neil, you still haven't given us any observing reports from your pretty (and huge) 152! And now you're looking to sell it?

 

BTW, for the OP, I got my 142 from Neil. It was in unrestored condition, and needed new spacers in the objective, and a counterweight and shaft. But it has been great since I took care of those things. When Neil does a restoration, he goes all out, as can be seen from his various threads. 

 

Chip W. 

Did it. Yes it's bigger than I remember. I think it's pretty too. First light after all the work. Nights are short, short notice, only two planets. Nice skies, matching images, giddy mechanics. OH that smooth movement and for those in the know, that adjustable slip sliding finishing turn of the nuts, knobs, locks. 



#64 jgraham

jgraham

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,068
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 06 June 2021 - 04:31 PM

I recently had my first light with my Unitron 114, 60mm f/15. I replaced the original straight thru finder with a 30mm RACI and added a Unihex with five 0.965" eyepieces 6mm to 32mm plus a 1.25" 20mm Meade RG wide field. The optics were excellent giving a clean split of the double double. Not bad for a 60mm. The mechanics were a joy, very study, solid fine movements, and everything where your hands expect them to be in the dark. Overall, a very enjoyable evening at the eyepiece.

Luv it!
  • Bomber Bob likes this

#65 Steve Allison

Steve Allison

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,361
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Olympia, Wash. 98502

Posted 06 June 2021 - 04:56 PM

Among the many sports car enthusiasts out there, all agree that every driver should own a least one Alfa Romeo automobile during their lifetime (I have owned four). It is the quintessential Italian sportscar.

 

I think the same goes for Unitron refractor ownership. Every observer should have the experience of owning a Unitron at least once. So many of us dreamed of owning one in our youth and we looked at the early ads with longing.

 

Purchasing one of the smaller models won't break the bank and besides looking classy, elegant and beautiful, most perform really well. And if need be, your Unitron refractor can easily be resold with little, if any, money lost.

 

What, again, is your excuse for not partaking of the classic Unitron experience, as so many of we refractor lovers have?


  • Terra Nova, combatdad, Bomber Bob and 4 others like this

#66 Steve Allison

Steve Allison

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,361
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Olympia, Wash. 98502

Posted 06 June 2021 - 05:05 PM

Thanks Steve!  We have a lot of great contributors on The Classics.  I'm grateful for this site, and I say, Thank You! to our sponsor, astronomics -- they are The Best.

 

Shoot!  Look at this one thread -- lots of sound advice for folks considering a Unitron...

Bob,

 

I wholeheartedly agree we have many wonderful contributors on this forum, and what I have learned from them is priceless! Singling you out for my thanks was in no way meant to diminish the value of posts by these other contributors who so generously share their expertise and experience.

 

Is CN a great site or what?


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#67 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,646
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 07 June 2021 - 01:12 PM

The ability to *look at* not always means the ability to *see*. You did see, you noticed how the combination of such a strong color with brass works - and it is for sure a creative activity. It is the ability to see, and not the dexterity of the hand, that distinguishes painters and artists from the rest of the population :-)

 

I think it was the same with Unitron. The features characteristic of high-class scientific instruments were skillfully observed, they were cleaned of decorative and stylistic accretions - and this formula turned out to be so timeless that it allowed to offer the same models for several dozen years without significant design modifications.

 

How was the effect achieved that makes the primitive clamping sleeve typical of very old telescopes look extremely modern on the Unitron? It's amazing - but that's how it works. Design is the art of seeing and showing. After all, there is no philosophy, no discoveries or inventions - certain stylistic features have been properly seen and highlighted. Raw functionalism, but without imposing "Bauhaus-like" style, probably also allowed to achieve excellent construction results when it comes to mounts.

There is something about the curved shaping of the castings of Unitron rings that gives them an extra touch of sleekness. Although Parallax makes excellent rings, their squared edges seem harsh. Unitron focusers and cells also have extra steps with curves that are more elegant than the squared or beveled steps and edges of many contemporary and modern focusers. Some of the difference is between how a casting is formed versus what works well for CNC milling and lathe production. But there is also an overall feeling of pride in artisanship. Some designs carry a gesture of "How can we make this as simple to build as possible?" Some say, "What's the best way of engineering of this?" Others say, "How do we also make this a work of art?" That includes a sense of proportion, balance, and detail. 

 

If only Unitron had put as much care into every lens they put into a cell, there would be no hesitancy today to buy them. 

 

Chip W. 


  • photiost, astro140, Terra Nova and 4 others like this

#68 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24,781
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted 07 June 2021 - 01:19 PM

There is something about the curved shaping of the castings of Unitron rings that gives them an extra touch of sleekness. Although Parallax makes excellent rings, their squared edges seem harsh. Unitron focusers and cells also have extra steps with curves that are more elegant than the squared or beveled steps and edges of many contemporary and modern focusers. Some of the difference is between how a casting is formed versus what works well for CNC milling and lathe production. But there is also an overall feeling of pride in artisanship. Some designs carry a gesture of "How can we make this as simple to build as possible?" Some say, "What's the best way of engineering of this?" Others say, "How do we also make this a work of art?" That includes a sense of proportion, balance, and detail. 

 

If only Unitron had put as much care into every lens they put into a cell, there would be no hesitancy today to buy them. 

 

Chip W. 

You have to remember that those castings are full of pits, seams, pour marks and other imperfections. If people could see the Unitron cradles and mounts in a completely stripped state they might feel differently. The castings are pretty rough. The good folks at Nihon Seiko were artists in filling and painting.


Edited by Terra Nova, 07 June 2021 - 01:20 PM.

  • SandyHouTex, Bomber Bob, GreyDay and 1 other like this

#69 LukaszLu

LukaszLu

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2020
  • Loc: Poland

Posted 07 June 2021 - 03:37 PM

There is something about the curved shaping of the castings of Unitron rings that gives them an extra touch of sleekness. Although Parallax makes excellent rings, their squared edges seem harsh. Unitron focusers and cells also have extra steps with curves that are more elegant than the squared or beveled steps and edges of many contemporary and modern focusers. Some of the difference is between how a casting is formed versus what works well for CNC milling and lathe production. But there is also an overall feeling of pride in artisanship. Some designs carry a gesture of "How can we make this as simple to build as possible?" Some say, "What's the best way of engineering of this?" Others say, "How do we also make this a work of art?" That includes a sense of proportion, balance, and detail. 

 

If only Unitron had put as much care into every lens they put into a cell, there would be no hesitancy today to buy them. 

 

Chip W. 

Attempts to make a work of art out of a product usually end badly - such stylizations quickly become outdated and cease to be attractive because they are no longer fashionable. Good design is timeless - it is not decoration, styling, or flattering fashion. It owes its quality to the subordination of stylistics to functions - this allows you to achieve engineering excellence and stylistic excellence in one fell swoop. And I think that's what the Unitron producer managed to achieve.


Edited by LukaszLu, 07 June 2021 - 06:59 PM.

  • Terra Nova, Bonco2, Bomber Bob and 1 other like this

#70 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,535
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 07 June 2021 - 05:24 PM

... I think that's what the Unitron producer managed to achieve.

 

I agree, and calling Unitrons iconic is 100% appropriate.  They didn't achieve that status through sheer numbers, but with style.


  • Terra Nova, kansas skies, combatdad and 3 others like this

#71 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,816
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 07 June 2021 - 06:16 PM

I just know the first time i saw a M-160 sat up inside a Observatory at USF when i was 13 in early 1977 i was just knocked out by the looks. Made my Sears 60mm blue tube look a toy. I there was to view with the 26" Cass they had.  This was before i really knew anything about scopes or the sky.  But i sure was hooked on all the big scopes i could never afford at age 13.  My first Star party ruined me. I said to myself at age 14 i am gonna own all these scopes one day.  I would love another chance to start over.


  • Terra Nova, Bonco2, Bomber Bob and 2 others like this

#72 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,816
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 07 June 2021 - 06:19 PM

... I think that's what the Unitron producer managed to achieve.

 

I agree, and calling Unitrons iconic is 100% appropriate.  They didn't achieve that status through sheer numbers, but with style.

I gotta rate the 4"Unitron and up the best looking scopes.  We had others like GO-TO and other Japan made scopes we also had the old school EQ mounted Newts.
 


  • Terra Nova, Bomber Bob, oldmanastro and 2 others like this

#73 kansas skies

kansas skies

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,482
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2012
  • Loc: The middle of nowhere, USA

Posted 07 June 2021 - 09:53 PM

My experience with Unitron is limited to that of my 114. The optics are nothing shy of fantastic, and on a good night, will allow insanely high levels of magnification without any hint of image breakdown. This is not to say that it will outperform the theoretical limits of a 60mm objective, but I have no doubt it pushes those limits with ease.

When Jupiter and Saturn made their close approach, I set up my Questar to enjoy the show. The Pastor from the church down the street saw me and asked if I would let a his congregation take a look. I was a bit paranoid about being around the twenty or so people due to the raging pandemic, so I told him to wait a couple of minutes while I ran back inside the house. I grabbed the 114 since I knew it was so easy to use and should give him no problems. Also, the image of the two planets together would easily be displayed in all their glory. When I came back out with the Unitron, I told him to have fun and bring it back when they were done. They were all thrilled with the show (and I didn't catch covid).

Awhile back, my wife's sister mentioned that she would like to purchase a telescope. My wife took this as an opportunity to free up some space, so I was on the hook to come up with something. My first thought was my C8 or my C90 Astro, but I decided both would most-likely end up being more work than she's willing to put into the hobby at this time, so I decided the Unitron would be perfect. Ease of use, and she could leave it setup for use on a moment's notice.

So, do I need a Unitron? Probably not. Then again, I have other refractors that perform at least as well, so I'm sure I won't miss it too much when it's gone. Then again, if it were my only scope, I'm sure I would do my best to wear it out.

 

Bill


  • Terra Nova, combatdad, Bonco2 and 5 others like this

#74 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24,781
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted 08 June 2021 - 07:32 AM

I agree Bill. The little model 114 is the quintessential 60mm refractor. It’s THE Unitron a lot of us strived for in our youth. I know I did. The older ones are exceptional. Fun, easy to use, and they look great in a corner display and don’t take up much space. I love mine!


  • SandyHouTex, kansas skies and Defenderslideguitar like this

#75 tim53

tim53

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,441
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 08 June 2021 - 09:33 AM

I don't have or need a Unitron.

 

Unitrons should be thought of more like relationships.  They'll feel better if you tell them that you WANT them, not that you need them.

 

Yes, I want a Unitron.


  • Terra Nova, kansas skies, PawPaw and 3 others like this


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