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Thread: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

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    Default J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light



    After raining from morning until afternoon on Saturday, the sky opened up by early evening. I brought out my turquoise J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 refractor, which I got on Ebay about 3.5 yrs ago. Haven't tested it out on the skies after all this time, so now was the time to do so.



    Judging by the metal focuser knobs and the large central obstruction on the finder, this scope appears to be a mid-to-late 70s model. Nevertheless, the scope is in excellent condition. At first glance, it looks like the more common 700mm (F/11.7) variety:



    But there is a push-pull extension tube hidden in the focuser which extends the focal length to 800mm:



    There is a Circle-T stamp on the name plate (Towa?):



    The scope came with a 0.965” 23mm Huygens and 4mm Ramsden eyepiece, so for this session I used my 0.965" Meade 17.5mm, 12mm and 9mm MA (Kellner) EPs instead.

    The only manufacturing flaw of this scope is the focuser ring, which attaches the star diagonal to the focuser. It doesn’t screw onto the focuser end securely, which results in an unaligned diagonal if not handled gently:



    First pointed the scope at Sirius – the out of focus diffraction rings were slightly elliptical, but this was probably because the diagonal was not perfectly aligned with the telescope, due to the focuser ring.

    Next up was M42 – at 66x I could just detect Star D (the fourth star) of the Trapezium.



    Unfortunately, the air was so humid that the scope dewed up in less than half-an hour, so I ended the session.

    Shortly afterwards, the skies clouded up and the rains resumed. Will continue to test this scope on the next clear night, hopefully in less humid conditions. Need to do something about the focuser ring...
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    Yay! Glad you could finally get this beautiful refractor under the sky, Terry! Hopefully, a better night will come along soon. I'll bet the Moon will be a treat with this scope too.

    Congrats on the first light and great pics!
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Yay! Glad you could finally get this beautiful refractor under the sky, Terry! Hopefully, a better night will come along soon. I'll bet the Moon will be a treat with this scope too.

    Congrats on the first light and great pics!
    Thanks Bryan! Glad I found the time to finally get this scope out. Went through a minor bidding competition on Ebay to win this scope, but still got it for less than $100.

    Currently on vacation, but this pneumonia is no fun.
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    Congrats on the scope looks lovely a bit of plumbing teflon tape around the thread should make it more secure
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    Nice older scope there Terry. Yeah, I believe Towa produced the JCP scopes. Though Tany also used a Circle-T mark, its slightly different that Towa's. For the most part Towa produced excellent objectives, though they are known to have produced a few poorer quality ones out of the tens of thousands they made.

    FYI, I just read your thread from the other site when you bought it back then. I noticed then there was some scotch tape used on the collar to stabilize it, but I think the plumber's tape that Richard mentioned would be a better alternative as it should help and not get in the way if you need to remove and re-install the diagonal.
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    A beautiful old refractor Terry!
    My first thought was a bit of teflon tape as well to help hold it.
    I am looking forward to your next report with it

    There were 3-4 manufacturers that used the circle T brand and how the T looked/ sits in the circle identifies the manufacturer.
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    An oldie but a goodie and with a wooden tripod no less - nice!

    Abb
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    Nice scope Terry - hope you can take it out again soon!
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    Quote Originally Posted by 12richardk View Post
    Congrats on the scope looks lovely a bit of plumbing teflon tape around the thread should make it more secure
    Thanks for the suggestion Richard! I see that this is a very thin tape used to wrap around the threaded ends of pipes and tubes, should work on the threaded end of the focuser to ensure that the diagonal adapter ring screws securely on. Never used it before; I will go to the nearest hardware store and get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    Nice older scope there Terry. Yeah, I believe Towa produced the JCP scopes. Though Tany also used a Circle-T mark, its slightly different that Towa's. For the most part Towa produced excellent objectives, though they are known to have produced a few poorer quality ones out of the tens of thousands they made.

    FYI, I just read your thread from the other site when you bought it back then. I noticed then there was some scotch tape used on the collar to stabilize it, but I think the plumber's tape that Richard mentioned would be a better alternative as it should help and not get in the way if you need to remove and re-install the diagonal.
    Thanks Alan. The "T" mark inside doesn't touch the circle, read somewhere this is the stamp of a Towa. But good to have your confirmation on these JCP scopes.

    Re: earlier thread - back then, I didn't know that there were refractors produced in the 70s that had an inner push-pull tube to increase the focal length! But yeah, the Scotch tape was a disaster - it actually took out chips of paint from the focuser ring. The Teflon tape should work better - and not have any contact with the turquoise finish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    A beautiful old refractor Terry!
    My first thought was a bit of teflon tape as well to help hold it.
    I am looking forward to your next report with it

    There were 3-4 manufacturers that used the circle T brand and how the T looked/ sits in the circle identifies the manufacturer.
    Thanks Gabrielle! Looking forward to getting some Teflon tape - and getting a second light with the scope.

    The enclosed "T" does not touch the circle.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbbN View Post
    An oldie but a goodie and with a wooden tripod no less - nice!

    Abb
    Thanks Abb! Of all the "classic" refractors I have, this one is in the best condition, including the wooden tripod.

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    Nice scope Terry - hope you can take it out again soon!
    Thanks Michael! Looking forward to getting it out again, this time with the diagonal held securely in place. Hope to get perfectly concentric diffraction rings this time.
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    Default Re: J.C. Penney 60mm F/13.3 Refractor – First Light

    If the "T" is centered and does not touch the circle it is a Towa.
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