Unitron

In 1951 the company known as the United Trading Co. began selling a line of refractors. These telescopes were heavily advertised during the 1950's and 60's and many drooled over the ads. Unitron is best known for their high quality achromatic refractors on sturdy, well manufactured mounts, although they also manufactured microscopes. The model numbers for these telescopes remained consistent throughout the years, which makes evaluation easier. Because of their quality, and the low costs associated with the time of their purchase, these telescopes have increased in value considerably.

All of Unitron's telescopes were supplied with well corrected, air-spaced achromatic objectives and focusers with both slide and rack & pinion focusing. Although 1 " accessories were available all telescopes were suplied with .965" eyepieces as standard. Their mountings were sturdy and well made with excellent fit and finish and were placed on good wooden tripods. Their telescopes were shipped in marvelous wood storage cases which added further to their value. The 60mm f/15 optical tube with a 6x24 finder was used in Models 114 and 128 with a standard 1 " focuser. The former being the alt-az model with slo-mo controls and the latter on a good equatorial mount with an available optional drive motor.
Model 114
Models 140 and 142 made use of the 75mm f/16 optical tube with the 8x30 finder, standard 1 " focuser. The first again represented the larger alt-az version and the second the larger equatorial version. Another model, the 131C, was later introduced with the same objective as the other 75mm models, but contained a unique folded optical system that reduced a 47" long tube to only 19". This was mounted on the same equatorial mounting as the 142, which resulted in an even more stable instrument. The equatorial mountings were available with motor drives as an option.
Model 131C
The 100mm f/15 optical tube was offered in several configurations with different model numbers. All were supplied with at least a 10x42 finder. Model 150 was mounted on a superb counterweighted alt-az mount with slo-mo controls, and was supplied with a deluxe 1 " focuser with a focus lock on both slide and rack & pinion focusing. Model 152 was supplied on a large equatorial mount with a motor drive as an option. All models with the "C" suffix came with the clock drive as part of the package. This was also supplied with the super focuser, an oversize focuser that would accommodate all accessories. Model 155 added a 60mm guidescope to the optical tube. Model 160 had both the guidescope and an astrocamera that had an air operated curtain shutter with speeds from 1/90 sec to bulb. Also included was a marvelous weight driven clock drive. A Model 160V was the same as the 166 but without the astrocamera and the guidescope. Finally, Model 166 added a large permanent pier as well as a Super Unihex to the accessories of the 160. Similarly the 166V was the 166 without the guidescope, astrocamera and Super Unihex.
Counterwieght Alt-Az Mount on Model 150
Model 155
Model 510 was a 125mm f/15 optical tube with the 10x42 finder and super focuser on a massive equitorial mount with a weight driven clock drive, 60mm guide scope and astrocamera. For reference, Unitron also made 6" equatorial refractors with increasing numbers of options dubbed as models 600, 610 and 620. However these are very expensive and very rare.

© 2001-2004 - Robert A. Pollock
Page Revised: January 1, 2006