Jump to content

1912116577_Solarchallenge2022banner.jpg.913a200cf105ddeae9f37765cb1d0c73.jpg

"Accidentally" hit Buy on a budget Classic Refractor


Recommended Posts

I was watching a few old refractors on EBay and got carried away with all that wood & the carefully written index card...

Its a Prinz 330, in theory the optics should be OK-ish (Japanese Circle T) and I'll have something super cheap that's a nice object & will do a job to have a go at solar (with appropriate modern filters of course - not the passport to blindness included with this kit).   

Also prevented me from bidding on a lovely looking Pentax J-60 that is going to go for way more money than I wanted to spend on this whim :)

Look forward to updating on whether I have bought a pile of old rubbish or a usable piece of nostalgia in due course...Prinz330.thumb.jpeg.7132da8b591922a4f3d39e17d0012b7f.jpeg1340207213_PrinzBox.thumb.jpeg.39e3b861e0da26ef975c348d866f59e2.jpegs-l1600.thumb.jpeg.2c1e0fcbad942fa730038617042af2aa.jpeg

Edited by SuburbanMak
  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratualtions !

It looks very similar to my first scope - a 1960's Tasco 60mm refractor. That is stored in a similar looking wooden case too.

I dusted it off and did some observing with it last Summer, which bought back some nice memories :icon_biggrin:

tasco02.JPG.de4420bc021ede58d6c38b3679f3c430.JPG

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, ShrewView said:

Lovely. It makes me wonder though, who RC Stanley was and what happened in RM 417?

This could be the makings of a "J.R. Hartley" moment :) 

Jim 

for those to young to remember !

 

 

Edited by saac
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, John said:

Congratualtions !

It looks very similar to my first scope - a 1960's Tasco 60mm refractor. That is stored in a similar looking wooden case too.

I dusted it off and did some observing with it last Summer, which bought back some nice memories :icon_biggrin:

tasco02.JPG.de4420bc021ede58d6c38b3679f3c430.JPG

Thanks John - that does look very similar & in beautiful condition! I wonder if they are the same OTA badged for different brands like the Synta of today? 

Prinz was I believe a Dixons house brand this version is a 60mm, 710mm focal length 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, ShrewView said:

Lovely. It makes me wonder though, who RC Stanley was and what happened in RM 417?

Yes - I wondered if perhaps it had belonged to a University astronomy club, certainly somewhere where its been available for general use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, SuburbanMak said:

Thanks John - that does look very similar & in beautiful condition! I wonder if they are the same OTA badged for different brands like the Synta of today? 

Prinz was I believe a Dixons house brand this version is a 60mm, 710mm focal length 

 

My mate used to have the Prinz version. His was the same as mine except that it was 800mm in focal length.

I'm not an expert in these vintage Japanese scopes but I think there were 2 or 3 manufacturers in Japan making scopes that were sold under a wide variety of brandings around the world. Prinz, Tasco, Royal Astro, Greenkat, Swift, etc, etc.

This archived webpage is fun - it has links to the catalogues and manuals for a lot of scopes of that era:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160131042244/http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/classics/

Not sure all the links work but some certainly do.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, tuckstar said:

Cant go far wrong with a circle T. I had a 660 but that was circle k. Still fine optics but the mount was nye on unusable.

The mount isn't great, but I do use it on occasion, usually in AZ mode.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Roy Challen said:

The mount isn't great, but I do use it on occasion, usually in AZ mode.

Plan to see what I can do with the mount in the way of re-greasing & tightening etc, if the optics are any good I'll source some rings to put it on a vixen bar. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There isn't much that can be done to the mount unless it's already falling apart. It relies on bushings rather than bearings, so it would take more work than it's worth to improve it. 

The optics should be decent though, my Prinz 660 (now Skylight) really is superb on the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and double stars, but does need a good mount to bring out the best in it.

Edited by Roy Challen
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a Prinz 3-inch/f.16 refractor on an equatorial mount in the 1970s. It was a good ‘scope and brand new from Dixon’s. I remember that both the ‘scope and its wooden box had a pleasant odour.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, John said:

This archived webpage is fun - it has links to the catalogues and manuals for a lot of scopes of that era:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160131042244/http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/classics/

Not sure all the links work but some certainly do.

Well, I think I found my very first Tasco 60mm telescope in one of these catalogues, with  a fixed single eyepiece that you pulled out to increase the magnification.  Model #5V Stargazer !! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, philtodd said:

Well, I think I found my very first Tasco 60mm telescope in one of these catalogues, with  a fixed single eyepiece that you pulled out to increase the magnification.  Model #5V Stargazer !! 

My first ‘scope was a Tasco 4VTE  bought from the John Moore’s catalogue after many months of desire.  In practice it was very awkward to use, straight through view and on a tiny table-top yoke tripod. Very wobbly & usually perched on Dad’s car or pulling contortions when it was on the garden picnic table. 40mm aperture and a dodgy click-zoom 15-50x eyepiece. I remember a few good views of the moon and Orion Nebula but it soon ended up in the back of a cupboard. I understand the primary optics were actually pretty good, the issues started with the weird integral clicky zoom eyepiece & the utterly useless mount. Still, if one came up for sale be an interesting project to get the best out of it... 

uh-oh, I sense a collection brewing :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's identical to my first scope. It came from Dixons for Christmas 1976 (or was is '77), though I remember mine as being a greenish colour. It's the first time I've seen the exact same kit turn up on SGL. The wooded tripod seems rare among the very similar examples I have seen. 

The box reminds me of the old toolbox style that apprentice joiners made on their journey to manhood!  I made a bigger one for my old Fullerscope 6" Newt in the mid 80's based on the toolbox theme but with a lift off lid:

 

image.thumb.png.124b6b1ddbcad663cca06e0c4daf7177.pngimage.thumb.png.4c87bda04d422f06aee06f54cdba13db.png

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice box arrived safely today. 
All bits present & correct.
A fine dust of perished 70s cushion foam coated everything but other than that there’s nothing horrendous.

Assembled everything & initially couldn’t achieve focus so undid the lens cell and “shoggled” a little - now all seems well and the 25mm EP at least delivered a crackingly sharp nelghbour’s chimney pot test so I reckon we’re in business. 

The prism was filthy but is a nice piece of glass after judicious care with the the Baader Optical Magic spray.  Nice thing is I’m not too nervous about having a bit of a clean - there really is no option... 

Looks like I might get first light tonight if it stays clear. 

AFE10458-523B-4278-873F-AF998353BD6B.jpeg

9D27F58C-F06B-440C-80B3-31FB8749DBA5.jpeg

19A29D0D-4F40-4A7E-951A-46D7687B8BB1.jpeg

A6016585-9F4C-4C2D-8F56-FEE4A5559D2D.jpeg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 08/04/2021 at 16:38, saac said:

This could be the makings of a "J.R. Hartley" moment :) 

Jim 

for those to young to remember !

 

 

Who doesn’t remember er the country’s favourite fisherman?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 08/04/2021 at 16:33, ShrewView said:

Lovely. It makes me wonder though, who RC Stanley was and what happened in RM 417?

@ShrewView on arrival today there’s a tiny label marked “Brighton Polytechnic - department of earth & life sciences.”  
I googled  that & RC Stanley together, the only thing that came up was a Physics paper by someone of that name in 1972 sadly not Astro related (something about viscosity) but I’d wager we have a physics post grad who looked after the departmental telescope here.

Tonight it was cleaned, out of its box & back out under the stars where it belongs. 

Edited by SuburbanMak
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After dinner I popped out into the (security light blighted) garden for a quick test. 

Arcturus was smack in my narrow wedge of available sky & I was pleased to be able to focus  down to a crisp, bright golden disc, flaring a bit across its own rings with just a hint of CA (the only time this was apparent tonight). 

I took a quick tour of:

Algieba - split nicely in the 15mm EP, 48x. 
 

Izar (Epsilon Bootes) - tricky, almost splitting with the 15mm (48x) & a nice view. Probably splitting in the 6mm (118x) but a horrible view - a bit dim & awful eye relief. Also suspect the 6mm formed part of Alexander Fleming’s Petri dish collection...

Mizar - split at 28x (25mm) & a pretty field with Alcor & the mag 7 star that sits between. Tight ball-like stars, nice. 
 

Double Cluster - looked great in both the 25mm & 15mm EPs (28x & 48x).  Dark background & pin sharp stars. (Fast coming to the conclusion the Double Cluster looks great in any instrument). 
 

Mars - noted initially as “something bright near Auriga that doesn’t belong, has it really moved over there?” - tiny, sandy coloured disc. 

Auriga, M Thirty-something, probably... not a winner, slipping behind rooftops & small dim targets exposing the weakness of the finder, optically it seems ok but tiny, main issue is the physical difficulty of viewing position. 

Castor - nice split in the 15mm (48x) 

Later when the wedge of garden sky had changed... 

M13 - faff to find, lots of contortions to look through the finder, reposition, wait for mount tremors to die down - eventually though a nice round grey cloud in the 25mm between its two outrider stars, pretty useless in the higher power EPs. 
 

Coma Berenices open cluster - very nice view. 
 

Overall definitely not a waste of money - it’s a lovely looking thing on its wooden mount & I love all the machined aluminium tubing - everything is metal.

The raw optics seem very good (circle K in fact, not circle T as originally thought). I like the way it presents tiny round stars on a really dark background (compared to ST80) & colour contrast is superb. Doubles look great as there is more disc than ring which I suspect helps with clean separation. 
 

Yes, the field is narrow (with the 15mm in it’s the same as the Mak 127 & there I have a bright 9x50 finder that I can look through without slipping a disc , + a Telrad AND a tracking mount to help me! ) & the magnification is low, the shorter focal length EPs being dim & tough to look through. The mount is OK-ish, Az slow mo control is great but the Alt doesn’t seem to work at all (more tweaking before judging maybe) & although steady when settled the vibration after any focussing (which is a bit stiff) takes 5s or so to settle down. 

But! When you get an object centred the view is lovely, contrasty and richly coloured - especially stars - singly, doubles & starfields. 
 

I think this will be a stay at home telescope, popping out occasionally for observing a couple of objects in a session. 

I could get some rings & put it on the goto mount but I think nights when I want to set up & align for a session I’ll favour the modern gear. 

This is for something different, more the wood-framed Edwardian astronomy experience. 

“I say Carruthers, the moon looks splendid this evening! What say we pop the refractor out on the balcony and have ourselves a stiff whisky while we’re about it, eh?”. 


 



 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.