The following photos are of Joel’s guide scope shown in excellent original condition and being used on his Astro Physics Starfire 178, 7″ refractor. The Nihon Seiko guidescope that is seen on top of his AP 7″ refractor would be a correct configuration for this telescope as it also was created in 1991 and was still offered as an option by Astro Physics at that time. According to Joel, the optics are superb and better yet, “the OTA’s were much cheaper to purchase than a branded Unitron even though made by the same manufacturer.” (All photos courtesy of Joel Cohen)
In a post from the Yahoo Refractor website (June 13, 2011), Roland said of the guide scope: “Our old guide scopes were originally manufactured by Nihon Seiko, the same company that used to provide Unitron with mounts and scopes. The lens was manufactured by a small one person optical shop in Tokyo, but he is now retired, so these optics are no longer available. I still have one of these scopes; I use it on top of my 10″ Mak-Cass as a finderscope. Yes, it splits doubles nicely, down to its theoretical limit of course, and always provides nice sharp views. It is definitely better corrected than any short tube scope of similar size.”
Astro Physics offered a second Nihon Seiko supplied guide scope in their October 1986 catalog, a 60mm, 700mm FL model (All photos courtesy of Joel Cohen).