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Well I couldn't resist it for £40.  It's a blast from the past that really is quite a nice scope - really!   The tripod is quite heavy and solid despite it looking flimsy, but best of all is the telescope itself. As far back as I go in astronomy, Tasco has taken some stick for producing less than good quality telescopes, but my first look at tree branches and roof tops in the distance, reveal the objective to be very nice, showing no immediate colour fringing. The two HM eyepieces, 20mm & 12.5mm, that came with the scope produce pleasing views too, but I had a 20mm 0.96 Kellner lying around which is great in this scope.

When I started out in astronomy over 40 years ago, I saved hard and bought a 60mm Astral refractor on an equatorial mount. It really was a beautiful scope. But then I learned from good old Patrick, that anything below 3" for a refractor and 6" for a reflector, was pretty near useless. It bothered me back then to read such statements, and I imagined that if i had just that 3/4" more id be a real astronomer. Of course Patrick's often repeated claim is complete bunkham. It's all down to cognitive load - if someone tells you black is white often enough, you just accept it without thinking it through.

So, I wonder just how many enthusiasts on SGL had their initial spark of enthusiasm fanned into a full blown flame by such scopes as a humble 60mm refractor or 4.5" reflector?

Below is my 1960's Tasco refractor that arrived today. As i was opening it I imagined the excitement on the face the lucky little boy or girl who opened this for the first time on Christmas day morning some fifty to sixty years ago.

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Edited by mikeDnight
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Well I couldn't resist it for £40.  It's a blast from the past that really is quite a nice scope - really!   The tripod is quite heavy and solid despite it looking flimsy, but best of all is the teles

Well thats x100 per inch which is Tak territory, so if anyone can do it Mike can 👍

I too had a Tasco 60mm and used to open my bedroom window on the old 2 story house and half crawl out on a porch roof below to use this bad boy in the very early '70's.

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I've still got mine - the 12TE-5 :smiley:

Mostly identical to the 9TE-5 that you have bought except that the 12TE-5 is 800mm focal length.

I've lost the "Worlds Beyond" booklet and the maps etc, unfortunately but otherwise it's complete and in it's wooden trunk.

I borrowed a 60mm Astral on the equatorial mount (I think it was a Prinz branded one ?) from a mate a few years before I could afford my own. I spent a happy summer observing and sketching Jupiter from my bedroom window with that scope.

Yours looks a very complete and original set :smiley:

 

 

Edited by John
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Love it, I had a very similar Tasco scope in red and later also the 4.5" reflector also in red. Both long departed my ownership, i purchased both from my mothers Freemans catalogue, which was paid weekly over a couple of years 🙂

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Have you done first light, x234 magnification I see. Is the Tasco the best 3" refractor ever..... 😀 

Edited by Deadlake
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3 minutes ago, Deadlake said:

Have you done first light, x234 magnification I see. The best 3" refractor..... 😀 

Well thats x100 per inch which is Tak territory, so if anyone can do it Mike can 👍

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It's a thing of beauty!

I started with a Dixon's own brand 60mm refractor. Identical to your new arrival but had a wooden tripod. It wasn't some speculative stocking filler, I already had the bug.

The first object I saw through it was Spica in the dawn sky of Christmas Morning 1976.

That scope absorbed me entirely for some years. I still own it, I think, but it went out on loan in the mid 80's to persons long forgotten!

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Thanks for your responses everyone.  It seems like these scopes might have a lot to answer for. More may be revealed as others join in.☺

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Yup I had a Tasco 60 mm. I think it was Christmas 72, @mikeDnight. It had a wooden tripod and didn’t have the rod that attaches the tube to the mount. What were they for? Steadying or fine adjustment 

But this is the scope that got me going! 

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I too had a Tasco 60mm and used to open my bedroom window on the old 2 story house and half crawl out on a porch roof below to use this bad boy in the very early '70's.

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My first was a Printz 600 from Dixon’s £99 I was fifteen at the time my summer job paid for it blimey Mike that’s a loverly condition scope and who of thought it would hold it’s value and some 

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Fab looking scope Mike, amazing condition. Somehow I missed out on starting out with a 60mm scope, a 150mm Celestron Bird-Jones was my starter! That said I’ve enjoyed a 60mm f16.7 Carton in the past and currently my little Telementor which I particularly enjoy, so I’m sure you will have plenty of fun with it. Enjoy!

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2 hours ago, JeremyS said:

Yup I had a Tasco 60 mm. I think it was Christmas 72, @mikeDnight. It had a wooden tripod and didn’t have the rod that attaches the tube to the mount. What were they for? Steadying or fine adjustment 

But this is the scope that got me going! 

The rod thingy acts a little like a Hargreaves strut I suppose, but it also has a slow motion altitude adjustment on it, so very posh!  I might take it to Kelling to show what a real scope can do. 😄

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Fab looking scope Mike, amazing condition. Somehow I missed out on starting out with a 60mm scope, a 150mm Celestron Bird-Jones was my starter! That said I’ve enjoyed a 60mm f16.7 Carton in the past and currently my little Telementor which I particularly enjoy, so I’m sure you will have plenty of fun with it. Enjoy!

I noticed you seem to be having a lot of fun with your Telementor Stu. It's a beautiful looking scope!

I was informed tonight that the lens for this model of Tasco was made by Towa Optics. I've no real idea how good Towa were, but the lens looks brand new. You never know, I might end up selling my Tak now. 😂

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2 minutes ago, Mr Jones said:

Love the book and the posters. Not sure how I feel about the scope or that tripod; I can only imagine the vibrations that pair create.

It does look flimsy doesn't it. Yet it's surprisingly solid. The tripod is made of steel and doesn't flex, and the altitude locking rod holds the tube really steady. The weak spot is the neck of the Altaz fork where it connects to the tripod. When the locking nut is loosened there's some minor wobble, but nothing drastic. At the end of the day its just a nice vintage refractor thats a bit of fun. 

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1 minute ago, mikeDnight said:

the altitude locking rod holds the tube really steady

I remember breaking that on my scope, but not how. The part that bolts to the yolk, the threaded bolt broke off flush with the main body rendering it useless. I took it to school, must have been '79 or '80 and asked my metal work teacher if I could make a new one as an exam piece. He wasn't interested; "Araldite" was his reply. Even I knew that was a non starter :(

I butchered it in my dad's workshop/radio shack/hobby room, but the repair was poor. I was already drooling over Fullerscope's and Charles Frank ads in Exchange & Mart by then so my heart was elsewhere.

I think I left it lashed up with zip ties.

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The altitude locking rod idea was OK but incorporating the slow motion control into the rod compromised it's rigidity somewhat. It was a nice idea though. The "flex" gets progressively worse as you near the end of the altitude slow motion travel.

You kind of got used to such quirks though, it was just so exciting to be using a telescope ! :smiley:

Having set my old 60mm Tasco up last Summer and observed with it again, I realized just what I used to put up with back in the early days of observing. The objective was good quality but the focuser and mount were quite trying by todays standards.

 

 

 

Edited by John
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Sure astronomy is a very daunting hobby for a young beginner without his own money ... I will tell my short story lol.

I begged my dad for a year and saved and saved and with some loan ( LOL) I now have my 8" dob 😃. That too with this internet world I seems to get tempted by any post in the forums😂 .

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Paul M said:

I remember breaking that on my scope, but not how. The part that bolts to the yolk, the threaded bolt broke off flush with the main body rendering it useless. I took it to school, must have been '79 or '80 and asked my metal work teacher if I could make a new one as an exam piece. He wasn't interested; "Araldite" was his reply. Even I knew that was a non starter :(

I butchered it in my dad's workshop/radio shack/hobby room, but the repair was poor. I was already drooling over Fullerscope's and Charles Frank ads in Exchange & Mart by then so my heart was elsewhere.

I think I left it lashed up with zip ties.

That's a shame about your rod breaking Paul, and the lack of interest from your metalwork teacher, though I'm not surprised.  Still, if your interest had grown so that you were drooling over Fullerscopes, & Charles Frank ad's then I suppose your little 60mm had worked its magic. And you're still enthused by it all four decades on. ☺

Edited by mikeDnight
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