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Bushnell Sky Rover

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#1 Piaget

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:25 AM

Picked up a little Bushnell Sky Rover on GW about a month ago. Paid $138 & at the time thought it was way too much. A little research on CN showed it is probably an unbranded Royal Astro , the same as an Astro Optical R-53. From the look & quality of build I would tend to agree. It puts up great lunar views up to 70x with no image abberation or distortion. Well worth what I paid. OBJ has a little film around the edges & any suggestions on how to clean it would be greatly appreciated. I am not experienced at lens cleaning & don't want damage it.Vixen 1.25 visual back screwed right in , which was a blessing. Has a cool little peep sight.   Thanks JW 0020210608_093256.jpg  0020210608_093643.jpg  0020210608_093616.jpg


Edited by Piaget, 08 June 2021 - 10:31 AM.

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#2 DouglasPaul

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:48 AM

I have just used Ziess lens wipes real gently after blowing them off and using a little camel hair brush if there was a need for it. It seemed to work fine without damaging the lens. But there are much more experienced people here so waiting for more options may be prudent. smile.gif


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#3 GreyDay

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:48 AM

 A little research on CN showed it is probably an unbranded Royal Astro , the same as an Astro Optical R-53. From the look & quality of build I would tend to agree.

 

It puts up great lunar views up to 70x with no image abberation or distortion.

 

Well worth what I paid. OBJ has a little film around the edges & any suggestions on how to clean it would be greatly appreciated. I am not experienced at lens cleaning & don't want damage it.

The R.A.O 50mm's are great little scopes, I was looking for a Sky Rover but they're rare as hens teeth here in the UK. I did manage to get my Skybolt 50x500 RAO which i doubt i'll ever part with, it easily takes 125x with a 4mm ortho (my smallest EP) and remains sharp and clear.

 

For cleaning i use warm water for a rinse followed by a 5 minute soak in distilled water with a drop of dish soap, use wet cotton balls wiped gently from middle to edge (no pressure) over dirty areas. Rinse with warm water and dry by wiping over with dry cotton balls. Anything stubborn gets a soak in diluted acetone or a swill of isopropol alcohol.


Edited by GreyDay, 08 June 2021 - 10:51 AM.

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#4 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 11:22 AM

The R.A.O 50mm's are great little scopes, I was looking for a Sky Rover but they're rare as hens teeth here in the UK. I did manage to get my Skybolt 50x500 RAO which i doubt i'll ever part with, it easily takes 125x with a 4mm ortho (my smallest EP) and remains sharp and clear.

 

For cleaning i use warm water for a rinse followed by a 5 minute soak in distilled water with a drop of dish soap, use wet cotton balls wiped gently from middle to edge (no pressure) over dirty areas. Rinse with warm water and dry by wiping over with dry cotton balls. Anything stubborn gets a soak in diluted acetone or a swill of isopropol alcohol.

[Clears Throat - it's always Sinus Season at The Swamp.]   Somebody on this Forum has an unusual version of the ASC / AO as a 1950s Hy-Score 457 that's running out of room as a Display Scope...

 

Hy-Score 457 S71 (Left Side FULL).jpg

 

(PM if the hinting was too subtle.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 09 June 2021 - 05:16 AM.

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#5 sdedalus83

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 11:40 AM

[Clears Throat - it's always Sinus Season at The Swamp.]   Somebody on this Forum has an unusual version of the ASC / AO as a 1950s Hy-Score 457 that's running out of room as a Display Scope...

 

(PM if the hinting was too subtle.)

If this were an EQ model, I’d be banging down your door.

 

I had my Sky Rover out under really dark skies a couple of years ago. It resolved the Trapezium to 4 stars at 25x, held up well at ~140x on Jupiter and Saturn, clearly showing the Cassini division and surface bands, and held clean, sharp airy disks in the double double to about 170x - splitting one pair and showing the other as a nearly separated figure 8.

I also have a Kalimar branded AO 50x600 from the mid to late 50s. A previous owner had cut the tube slightly, probably to cut of the stripped threaded section and I think they filed off the threads on the focuser. The cut wasn’t square and the tube was just barely long enough to come to focus with a 1.25” back, diagonal, and eyepiece. As an experiment, I cut it short enough to reach focus with a 2” SCT mirror diagonal and a 36.4mm to 2” x 24tpi adapter. It’s very close to the more recent sky rover in performance, but the objective has damage from being reassembled without the spacers in place. It works very nicely with my 40mm Optiluxe. 


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#6 Piaget

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 04:26 PM

Thak you all your interest in this dandy little scope. I did not realize it was a somewhat rare find. I will share lens cleaning results when done. 



#7 RichA

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 07:00 PM

Picked up a little Bushnell Sky Rover on GW about a month ago. Paid $138 & at the time thought it was way too much. A little research on CN showed it is probably an unbranded Royal Astro , the same as an Astro Optical R-53. From the look & quality of build I would tend to agree. It puts up great lunar views up to 70x with no image abberation or distortion. Well worth what I paid. OBJ has a little film around the edges & any suggestions on how to clean it would be greatly appreciated. I am not experienced at lens cleaning & don't want damage it.Vixen 1.25 visual back screwed right in , which was a blessing. Has a cool little peep sight.   Thanks JW attachicon.gif0020210608_093256.jpg attachicon.gif0020210608_093643.jpg attachicon.gif0020210608_093616.jpg

Looks possibly like the OTA is mounted backwards in the forks.  Nice-looking scope.


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#8 Piaget

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 07:03 PM

Thanks Rich , it is the way it came. I will switch it. 



#9 Terra Nova

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:04 PM

Picked up a little Bushnell Sky Rover on GW about a month ago. Paid $138 & at the time thought it was way too much. A little research on CN showed it is probably an unbranded Royal Astro , the same as an Astro Optical R-53. From the look & quality of build I would tend to agree. It puts up great lunar views up to 70x with no image abberation or distortion. Well worth what I paid. OBJ has a little film around the edges & any suggestions on how to clean it would be greatly appreciated. I am not experienced at lens cleaning & don't want damage it.Vixen 1.25 visual back screwed right in , which was a blessing. Has a cool little peep sight.   Thanks JW attachicon.gif0020210608_093256.jpg attachicon.gif0020210608_093643.jpg attachicon.gif0020210608_093616.jpg

It’s a really pretty little scope. And being made by AO, it should be a good performer. Nice fine! Congratulations! 


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#10 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:28 PM

Is that wavy arc at 10/11 o'clock part of the film you mentioned?  Also:  Is this a cemented doublet?


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#11 sdedalus83

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 10:40 PM

Is that wavy arc at 10/11 o'clock part of the film you mentioned?  Also:  Is this a cemented doublet?

It definitely shouldn’t be. It might be missing the spacers like my Kalimar was.

 

Edit: The spacers should be visible in his first picture. After grabbing it to take pictures, I finally figured out how to disassemble the cell - the knurled section unscrews from the rest of the cell, giving access to the retaining ring. I’m a little concerned about the two water spots that have developed around dust particles on the inner surfaces, but it’s probably not a big enough issue to justify cleaning. I also discovered that the 4th surface is also coated, not just the first. Definitely interesting for a 50mm kid’s scope from the early sixties. My Space Scope and Kalimar both have only the first surface coated.

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Edited by sdedalus83, 08 June 2021 - 10:54 PM.

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#12 Piaget

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 12:38 AM

Yes Bob , That wavy line at 11 o'clock is what I was talking about. I took the cell off the scope & cleaned the outside lens & the inside lens. That wavy line at 11 o'clock looks like a oil ring on water would look like. I guess the coating is comprised a litlle btw The lenses. The spacers are present btw the lenses. It is not visible at all when viewing luckily. I don't know how to tell if it is a cemented doublet. It has a retainer ring , that would take a 2 pronged spanner that I don't have. I plan to leave it as it is. Here is view after cleaning , it has some very small fibers btw the lenses too , again not seen during viewing. Thank you all for your great advice to an inexperienced amauter ... 0020210609_000339.jpg

Is that wavy arc at 10/11 o'clock part of the film you mentioned?  Also:  Is this a cemented doublet?

 


Edited by Piaget, 09 June 2021 - 01:14 AM.

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#13 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 05:24 AM

IF you don't want to clean between the elements, and/or want your SR objective tested, you can send it to me...

 

It's an air-spaced doublet.  Should be an Excellent lens, but as DaveG would say (or maybe it was The Gipper?), Trust... but verify!!


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#14 Piaget

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 06:55 AM

Bob , Thank you for the very generous offer to clean & test my lens. I will PM you.

IF you don't want to clean between the elements, and/or want your SR objective tested, you can send it to me...

 

It's an air-spaced doublet.  Should be an Excellent lens, but as DaveG would say (or maybe it was The Gipper?), Trust... but verify!!




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