Posted 22 January 2007 - 06:51 AM
Curiously I don't remember seeing any photos of them or reading any details about them. They must have been heavy for military applications, and ruggedly-built.
I am interested in reading whether anyone on this forum has more information or collects them...
Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:13 AM
I see these on eBay from time to time. They were advertised in old post-war Sky & Telescope magazines for about $20. They had a model with coated optics and another with uncoated. There was a filter assembly built in with 2 or 3 colored filters and a neutral density filter. When I saw these in the old 1950's and 1960's magazines, I thought to myself - what a keen RA-finderscope these would make. I don't recall if they have a reticle or not, but I think they do.
Typically, on eBay, they sell for about $40-$50US depending on condition. Although, occasionally, an eBay seller will think they have a rare "war relic" on their hands and try to sell it as a "piece of military history" with an outrageous price tag of $150.00US or better on it. I just chuckle to myself when I see those listings.
Let me dig through my pile of old magazines and I will see if I can find/scan/post one of the old ads.
Posted 22 January 2007 - 07:41 PM
It was marked 7x50 and the quality of the optics was very high. There was a reticle that could be illuminated, but by what voltage I have no idea. There were no filters on mine.
Posted 22 January 2007 - 09:37 PM
There are several photos of this elbow telescope on Pg. 2 of the Treckerscope Thread, one shows the M17 mounted on my 10" F/5 Treckerscope.
Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:03 AM
The scope had been painted so many times that I had to grind off screw heads, and use a hacksaw, to get it apart. The rear casting had a flat bottom for mounting with no adjustment. The optics, once removed and cleaned, worked well as a finder.
Posted 23 January 2007 - 08:07 AM
As I recall, it had a large, heavy erfle eyepiece. At one time there were articles published discussing the danger in these old military erfles, due to radioactivity in the glass. There's an interesting tibbit for you.
Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:00 AM
It has a built in cross hair that can be illuminated, and makes a dandy finder for my 10" Treckerscope!
I am told that this was not put on the Treckerscope by Coast Instrument, but rather by a previous owner.
Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:38 AM
Posted 23 January 2007 - 11:09 AM
I'm sorry guys, I just couldn't resist that one!
Posted 24 January 2007 - 05:34 PM
Being a veteran Moonwatch observer - almost 50 years ago!! - I can say a bit about this telescope. I actually had one for many years but lent it to a youngster at the time and he disappeared with it. The optical quality was pretty
good for a 2 inch objective and it had a nice big eyepiece. I think they were made by Edmund Scientific from war surplus - there should still be a lot floating around as some Moonwatch stations may have had a few dozen of them. They were cheaply made and I guess "thrown" together to provide a telescope to meet the MOONWATCH specs for a suitable tracking telescope.
Another "Moonwatch" telescope around that time was made by Unitron but a lot more fancy and expensive- came on a small mount that one could put on a table and had az/alt graduated circles. The optical quality of the objective left much to
be desired - I remember tracking Explorer 19 with it - if memory serves me correct this was a small balloon for air density measurements. Again this had a very nice eyepiece.
The Unitron was not supplied as part of a Moonwatch station- I purchased mine provately and still have it, although a little the worse for wear!
Still on the subject of MOONWATCH another instrument is use was the M8 elbow telescope- I think it came out of tanks originally? - again 2 inch aperture and erfle eyepiece. I think this was issued to some Moonwatch teams as "standard"
equipment. I still have mine.
Finally because the above telescopes could not track the Vanguard satellites when at apogee, the so called Apogee telescope was issued to some MOONWATCH teams. This consisted of a 5 inch f/5 lens- I believe it was originally used on
large Naval warship guns ? - and an M8 attached to it, minus its 2 inch objective. Magnification was around 20x and field of view about 2.25 degrees. The optical quality of the 5 inch lens also left a little to be desired. I still have my Apogee telescope.
Greg has signed up for this forum and I hope the administrators can get around to authorising his membership because he has a lot of experience and would be an asset here.
Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:13 PM
Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:20 PM
Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:08 PM
The M17 both in olive(Army) and grey(Navy)shows up regularly on E-Bay.
Some say that the big wide field eyepiece is an Erfle( which I tend to believe), while others claim it's a Kelner or even a Plossl! Whatever, it has sharp correction right out to the edge of the FOV!
Although my M17 is a Navy model, made by Eastman Kodak in 1943, I wouldn't be surprised if some were'nt made by Bausch and Lomb and other sub contractors, as were the USN 7x50s of WW2.
Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:08 PM
Posted 26 January 2007 - 10:17 AM
When I read just now about the M17 elbow telescope it
gave my ancient memory a jog - I thought I had an M8 but went and checked now and sitting next to me is an M17
called "Telescope Elbow M17" and made by Minneapolis Honeywell Reg Co 1943" it has several numbers stamped on
it- the plate holding the erfle eyepiece is C78176, and
the main body has D43795 and another smaller number 52590. It still has its filters and an illuminated crosswire marking centre of the field of view.
There should be a fair number floating around- I saw one
many years ago in a local scrapyard very much the worse
for wear-looked like it had been underwater for a long
time-in such a bad condition I did not even think about buying it.
As Bruce has indicated I am now primarily a satellite observer with a homemade computerised satellite tracking system- called CoSaTrak. Electronics very similar to what Mel Bartel uses and in fact the CoSaTrak program will drive a Bartel system- I know because I recently made my 6 inch f/5 Celestron on a Super Polaris equatorial mounting into a Bartel system.
Maybe a short intro might be in order- amateur astronomer since the age of about 8, got bitten by the Space Age and
have been tracking satellites by optical and radio means since 1957. Became a professional astronomer in 1968 and retired in Oct 1999- mainly worked in Astrometry, CCD work and photo-electric photometry - visual and infra-red.
Pinelands ( Cape Town-South Africa)
email address grr at Telkomsa.net
Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:32 PM
I have a friend who has a collection of these scopes, as well as several examples of the German WWII 10x80 'flak' binoculars (including a monocular version built specifically for a one-eyed Nazi General) and I am amazed at how superior the images are through 60 year old instruments that were essentially designed with slide rules and pencils and manufactured on non-CNC production lines, all with the demanded haste of war quotas lurking in the background.
Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:00 PM
Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:27 AM
I will have to start hunting around on eBay for M17 telescopes. I have now seen a pic of one and can imagine them being bolted onto a tank or a battleship.
I do like WWII optics and it is nice to see them being used for more peaceful purposes.
Posted 27 January 2007 - 11:54 AM
contributor -- as Bruce may be able to inform you I do
"talk" a lot:-))
The M17 has good optics and despite being 60 odd years
old neither the objective or the eyepiece has yellowed
with age. Someone made acomment about the lenses being
radioactive and people loosing their hair-- not sure its
applicable in my case but I have very little hair on top!
Cheers from a hot Cape Town ( 37 deg C at the moment in the shade)
Pinelands (Cape Town- South Africa)
Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:22 PM
I was doing some research on it becasue I thought it would be a cool finder scope. Guess I'm not the first one to think that! I found the above link and this CN topic via google today. Funny thing is I joined CN last week...
I inherited my M17 from my grandfather. He must have gotten it surplus. We used it to see Haley's comet when I was as kid. Used it to project the sun onto the dining room ceiling to look at sunspots too, back in the 80's.
Mine has had the reticle removed but the filters are still there. Still has great lenses in it.
I pulled out the M17 and the spotting scope I use for shooting to do some star gazing. Doing so has made me decide to buy a decent telescope!
I saw Andromada last night for the first time with my 25x spotting scope! That was way cool.
I've sold some rifle sights and will be ordering a "real" telescope as soon as the buyer tells me he's happy!!!!