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Selsi pickup.... what do I have here?

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#1 Anony

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 04:06 PM

Just bought a Selsi 60mm locally... not like I needed any more scopes, but figured at the price I paid ($25), I'd give it a try. Model 274, 60x800mm .... but it seems to be a later model, sometime from the 80s. More plastic than I expected, although it does have wooden legs at least and label says Japan.

 

Did a brief daytime test and it at least works. But just curious if this is considered at least an okay classic model? Or semi-classic... or old.. or whatever it is? Couldn't come in better condition, as it was new...not even assembled. Seemed kind of weird to put together a scope like this, leg by leg.

 

Came with manual and paperwork still in box. Fellow who I bought it from said he bought it for his son, packed it away, and for whatever reason never opened the thing. And I expect his son now has children of his own.

 

Anyway,  waste of money? Half-way decent? And any cheap way to possibly use 1.25 eyepieces in the thing?

 

selsi.jpg

 

selsi-2.jpg

 

selsi-3.jpg

 

selsi-4.jpg


Edited by Anony, 16 October 2023 - 04:07 PM.

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#2 Bomber Bob

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 04:17 PM

Well worth $25.  It's a mid-1980s Dai'Ichi Kogaku [DK] version.  DK made re-brands for Kenko, Mizar, and others -- including Galileo (the BX sold some of the better models when they dropped Pentax).  Lens should be good to excellent.  Accessories are (usually) cheap junk, though.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 16 October 2023 - 04:18 PM.

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#3 Anony

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 05:11 PM

Thanks, I do see that KD logo on the front of the 'Bright and Sharp' box... was a bit concerned when I didn't see a circle T or any other logo on the scope itself. It just has that weird 7.5M depositary unit sticker and Japan listed on the focuser. Scope itself seems mostly plastic, including the tube (or it's plastic-y aluminum)... mount is metal though. Super light, at least.

 

Came with a 20mm, and I think a 5mm eyepiece + some sort of 1.5x and 3x barlow.. and what I think is a solar plate/viewer, which seems designed to make sure I burn out my retinas if I ever try to use it.

 

Problem now is figuring out how to use proper eyepieces with the thing.


Edited by Anony, 17 October 2023 - 01:57 AM.


#4 DeWayne

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 10:18 PM

You can buy a .965 to 1.25 adapter fairly cheaply.  Many of us with these old scopes (I have a Selsi 274 also!) enjoy using them with good quality .965 eyepieces, especially Kellners, though there are some decent Huygens eyepieces out there.  Have fun with it!  It should give great views of the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn.  


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#5 Kasmos

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Posted 17 October 2023 - 01:00 AM

Celestron sold a few versions of DK scopes sourced from Vixen.

The closest version was the black C-60

C-60.jpg

Tripod, tray, and knobs are different

 

DK-Mark.jpg

Like others your's will likely have a DK mark (looks like KD) cast into the bottom of the focuser.


Edited by Kasmos, 17 October 2023 - 01:04 AM.

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#6 Anony

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Posted 17 October 2023 - 02:03 AM

You can buy a .965 to 1.25 adapter fairly cheaply.  Many of us with these old scopes (I have a Selsi 274 also!) enjoy using them with good quality .965 eyepieces, especially Kellners, though there are some decent Huygens eyepieces out there.  Have fun with it!  It should give great views of the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn.  

I read that some scopes won't come into focus with an adapter... but I take it this one will (since you own it, I am guessing you'll know)? Took it out for a spin tonight briefly.... can't say it went super well.

 

With the 20mm eyepiece I managed to get Jupiter in view, decent enough view, a couple of bands, but it was also washed out quite a bit with excessive glow.

 

Then I tried the 5mm ... my poor eyeball... I don't think I'll complain about eye relief with plossls ever again... Sorta, kinda, got it in focus, briefly. But with the yoke not exactly being super smooth (an understatement), it was pretty difficult to even get Jupiter steady. 

 

I think I'll need to get a 1.25 adapter if I plan to use this thing. Question there I have is... will fov improve using 1.25s (I hope)? I assume it'll be narrower due to the .965 lightpath, but am hoping the greater fov of whatever 1.25 I use will sort of counteract that?

 

And what is the best way to use a 1.25 adapter? Connect a 1.25 diagonal, then connect that in the .965 tube? Or use the adapter in the .965 diagonal? I'd assume the former would be optimal?


Edited by Anony, 17 October 2023 - 02:04 AM.


#7 Anony

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Posted 17 October 2023 - 02:07 AM

 

Like others your's will likely have a DK mark (looks like KD) cast into the bottom of the focuser.

Yep, I just looked and it's under the focuser. I would have never noticed it normally (I mean who looks under the focuser?)



#8 DeWayne

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Posted 17 October 2023 - 05:43 AM

The stock Huygens eyepieces, especially the later/cheaper ones, are usually pretty limiting, and even a good one will have a narrower f.o.v. than a modern design.  I use Kellners in my .965 gear to determine what the optics will really do.  These turn up with some regularity in CN Classifieds.  

 

I have found best just to drop the adapter into the diagonal, but you could put it in the draw tube and use a 1.25 diagonal.  There is also a hybrid diagonal that goes into a ,965 draw tube but takes 1.25 eyepieces.  If your scope has a spring clip rather than a collar with a retention bolt (both Selsis I've had were made this way) you may find they won't bear much weight from the 1.25 diagonal and eyepieces, though. 

 

I think the adapter is a good investment for these scopes, even if you don't use it all the time, because it gives a lot of flexibility.  It will let you, for instance, test the optics with your  eyepieces you have confidence in.  

 

These are "classic" scopes with a particular design and aesthetic.  My suggestion is let it be what it is. Test the objective with the eyepieces of your choice, and if you find it's adequate (and most of the Japanese scopes are at least adequate, and a few are very good, based on postings here), keep it for what it is.  See what it has to teach you about optics, observing, your eyes, eyepieces, and of course the sky.  I've found I'm happiest with my gear when I let it be what is is and let it do what it does best.  The fun is giving each instrument the time and opportunity to teach me those things about itself.

 

 


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#9 Anony

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Posted 17 October 2023 - 11:44 AM

Did a quick test by holding a 1.25" eyepiece (or diagonal) over the focuser tube, and I do notice a definite improvement in both eye relief and clarity. Although it's cutting it close in regard to coming into focus ... have a smidge left as far as the focuser tube goes, but not much.

 

As for adapters, any specific ones better than others?

 

I was thinking of just 3D printing one, as my library offers 3D printing ... although not entirely sure which file to choose from (there seems to be a zillion .965 to 1.25 adapter files out there). Also not quite sure how long it takes to print one up ... my library is cheap, but charges by the hour. I'd guess not long at all, but I never had anything 3D printed before.



#10 SporadicGazer

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Posted 25 October 2023 - 04:13 PM

  ... As for adapters, any specific ones better than others? ...

I think you'll have many fewer focusing problems if you do the conversion in the diagonal instead of as a separate adapter.  I did a quick search on Amazon and something like this:

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B0CJY9LD8B/

 

is what I'm suggesting.  (Don't know about the quality of this specific one, I'll let you search thru the astro stores, eBay, etc. for better examples.)

 

ETA:  Agena has four GSO hybrid diagonals on their site, but all are "Out of Stock".  Might give you some more search terms though.

 

(OPT was the only place I've found with an extensive 0.965" listing, but they were usually out of stock and now... gone.)


Edited by SporadicGazer, 25 October 2023 - 04:42 PM.

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#11 deSitter

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Posted 25 October 2023 - 04:18 PM

I can't remember how exactly I came by the knowledge, but someone here suggested taking the 1.25" receiver off a regular diagonal and screwing it onto a 0.965' prism diagonal in place of the original part. I did this and it worked perfectly. As things happen, I don't use it much, but it's there and it works great. Of course it will not fully illuminate the longer 1.25" Plossls that get used the most with the classic refractors.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 25 October 2023 - 04:22 PM.

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#12 John R.

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Posted 26 October 2023 - 09:27 AM

I was able to order a .965 to 1.25 hybrid diagonal from ebay for $10. It had a plastic body but seemed to work ok. That was about two months ago fixing up a friends 50x600mm refractor. I gave him an extra set of my Spectrum 10mm and 20mm MA eyepieces. He has since reported looking at the moon and Saturn and said they were ‘real clear’. 
I had tested the set up before it handing it back and indeed, with the 10mm MA at 60x Saturn presented a small, but well defined image. 
 

edit; Yep, just checked and they are still available on ebay from vendor scopehed1 for $9.95 with free shipping from Arizona. They are no box, just wrapped in plastic, but mine seemed new. 


Edited by John R., 26 October 2023 - 09:39 AM.

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#13 Anony

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Posted 26 October 2023 - 12:17 PM

I can't remember how exactly I came by the knowledge, but someone here suggested taking the 1.25" receiver off a regular diagonal and screwing it onto a 0.965' prism diagonal in place of the original part. I did this and it worked perfectly. As things happen, I don't use it much, but it's there and it works great. Of course it will not fully illuminate the longer 1.25" Plossls that get used the most with the classic refractors.

 

-drl

Hmm... don't think my .965 diagonal allows that, all plastic-y and nothing to attach. I'll assume no 1.25s get fully illuminated once we do the .965 thing, regardless of method used? Besides replacing the entire focuser tube?



#14 Veridian

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Posted 05 November 2023 - 07:44 PM

    Here are two of the hybrid diagonal options (0.965 to 1.25 in.), as mentioned above.  A 0.965 in.,  original equipment (OEM) prism, star diagonal is included for perspective.  In the middle is the GSO and the lightweight plastic one on the left is from 'Scopehed'. 

    The GSO version is also offered as an Amici prism model for correct image (RACI) viewing.  The GSO model shown ($32 shipped from Agena Astro) is the mirror, star diagonal and gives the standard reversed image.  It has the stepped barrel that allows its use in 1.25 in. visual back focuser tubes.  The one I have came very well collimated, although, as mentioned previously, it can have an in-focus problem with some scopes (stated in its description on Agena's website) and I found this to be true in some of my 0.965 in. scopes.  

     The 'Scopehed', mirror star diagonal's housing and 0.965" barrel are plastic, as mentioned earlier by JohnR (post #12).  However, its very light weight can be an advantage, especially in the .965" scopes which use the split tube end & spring ring retainer, as mentioned by DeWayne (post #8) instead of a threaded, visual back.  I have two of these, and now they are $11 ea., shipped from 'Scopehed's'  'Telescope Warehouse' in Arizona and the shipping was fast.   [ I was unable to find the 'Scopehed1' Ebay page mentioned by JohnR, but it must be there since I have bought from that site before]   One was nearly perfectly collimated and the other is very close.  Both give a good image and there are no in-focus travel problems with this diagonal in any of my .965" scopes.  Not too shabby for only $11. 

     

    There is also the 0.965 to 1.25" adapter, mentioned earlier above as the "Fireball" (aka 'Blue Fireball').  At least three versions of this adapter exist and I have two of them.  One is a two part, aluminum body (w/made in Japan sticker) with a chrome plated, threaded brass barrel and the other is a one- piece unit of machined aluminum.  Each has a single set screw and the fit of both screws is on the sloppy side.   The depth of the eyepiece socket on the one-piece unit is shallower and allows focusing to get just that little bit closer in when running out of in-focus travel.  The eyepiece socket's top lip of the two-piece unit had to filed down to allow the eyepiece to get in closer to focus.  Of course, if the eyepiece has a long barrel, bottoms out in the socket and is protruding out of the top of the socket, well, then it is irrellevant.  

 

- Mark J.D.  

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Diagonal Hybrids 0.965-1.25''_mjd_rte 231105_01.jpg
  • Diagonals, Hybrids 0.965-1.25''_mjd_crp 231104_02.jpg

Edited by Veridian, 05 November 2023 - 09:06 PM.

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#15 AstroPotamus

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Posted 13 December 2023 - 10:21 AM

I apologize for jumping on this bandwagon, but there seem to be some knowledgeable people here regarding Selsis.  Something that I am definitely not.  I've got a chance at this one pictured below at an off-the-beaten-path auction so I don't imagine there's going to be a lot of competition.  Let's say I can get it for $50.  Thoughts?

 

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  • selsi.jpg

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#16 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 December 2023 - 11:51 AM

Let's say I can get it for $50.  Thoughts?

 

It's a TOWA (T) Japan import.  Quality at the low end is always a risk -- Towa put more effort in their 2 Flagship Refractors:  the 305 - 60mm F15 EQ, and the 339 - 80mm F15 EQ.  Their quality is more reliable.

 

This one looks better than average, so I'd go up to $100 on it if I really wanted it.  The wood cabinet ups the odds that the lens is good.

 

Oh!  And, BIF:  SELSI had higher quality standards (and retail prices!), and Towa would've put that level of work into this scope...

 

And...  It's a purdee gray & white!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 13 December 2023 - 11:53 AM.

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#17 Stevegeo

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Posted 13 December 2023 - 12:05 PM

I apologize for jumping on this bandwagon, but there seem to be some knowledgeable people here regarding Selsis.  Something that I am definitely not.  I've got a chance at this one pictured below at an off-the-beaten-path auction so I don't imagine there's going to be a lot of competition.  Let's say I can get it for $50.  Thoughts?

i have an older Selsi from 1968, in RED. my first scope. and its still a great little scope for what it is.
when your 12 and the moon landing taking place this was my outlet for exploration.

and i have hung on to it all these years, it was a gift from my dad, CHRISTMAS 1968..

ENJOY IT.. FOR WHAT IT IS..
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#18 AstroPotamus

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Posted 13 December 2023 - 12:08 PM

Thanks, Bomber!  I didn't see the Towa mark previously, but now I can't unsee it.   I really don't need another scope, but if I can get it for my original $50 target, I'll do so.  If nothing else, I'm sure it will be a decent outreach scope when I do my "kids in the park" summer work.


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#19 k5apl

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Posted 13 December 2023 - 12:35 PM

AstroPotamus, often  the auction probably has a fee.  The items I won have always came from auctions that were so far away that the items needed to be packed and shipped.  Sometimes these extra costs were more than what the item cost me, so the overall cost was bumped way up.

Good luck in your bidding,

Wes


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#20 AstroPotamus

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Posted 13 December 2023 - 12:52 PM

My $50 target includes the shipping fees.  I buy things from auctions all the time, so I'm used to figuring out the true cost of something beyond just the hammer price. Thanks!


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#21 Orion68

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Posted 16 December 2023 - 12:09 AM

I think you will like it. I got a vintage Selsi from eBay (paid way too much for it) that has very good optics as far as I can tell. I used it last night on Jupiter and it gave an excellent image.

 

I did have to slightly adjust the tilt of the lens cell and the focuser to get perfect collimation.  Very fussy but can be done. Now, its close to perfect and images are very sharp.

 

You got a great deal, congrats and enjoy it. Here's mine:

 

foram rubber rings.jpg


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#22 AstroPotamus

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Posted 16 December 2023 - 09:51 AM

I haven't gotten it yet, but thanks for the encouraging words and great picture!  The auction closes next week.  So far, I'm the only bidder, though I know that could change in a few minutes.

 

I love the orange!

 

May I ask what mount you have that on?


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#23 Orion68

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Posted 16 December 2023 - 07:47 PM

I haven't gotten it yet, but thanks for the encouraging words and great picture!  The auction closes next week.  So far, I'm the only bidder, though I know that could change in a few minutes.

 

I love the orange!

 

May I ask what mount you have that on?

The mount is the Losmandy AZ8 alt-az mount. I bought it used and it is great. Love the slow motion controls, they are very smooth. Mine came with encoders, which sealed the deal for me. I use the Astro Devices Nexus II and Sky Safari with the encoders for push to navigation. If you're looking for a mount, I recommend it as a good option.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • AZ8 with Tak FC76.jpg

Edited by Orion68, 16 December 2023 - 07:53 PM.

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#24 AstroPotamus

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 07:30 AM

Thanks! More than I want to spend right now but will keep it in mind for my dual solar rig I'm contemplating.

#25 AstroPotamus

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Posted 20 December 2023 - 09:33 AM

The auction for the Selsi I posted about on December 13 closed last night.  Turns out I was the only bidder and won with the opening bid.  Total cost to me, shipped, is $29.55.

 

Looking forward to it arriving as a [potentially late] Christmas present to myself!


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