Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An 8" Rocker Box for Robert in San Rafael, CA. . .

Robert sent me some tube-rings for his 8" tube telescope.

The altitude bearings are 10" in diameter.
An "example" of a solid-tube custom rocker box.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Bit More on Rick's 10" and John's Rocker Box ...

Rick's rocker box starts to take shape.
And, John's rocker box is coming together
also. So far, a perfect fit!!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

And Even More on Two Telescopes...

Telescopes for John and Rich. Both with
the Easy Transport option. A 10" (L) and
12.5" -- only 2.5" in diameter but so much
more!! Both of these are string-struts.

Friday, September 14, 2018

More on a 10" and 12.5" Telescope . . .

12.5" (L) and 10" mirror board, custom cover
and top ring with spider and focuser.

And with the cover in-place. The focusers are Moonlite
2-speed 2" crayford focusers. Nice!!

Here's the 10" OTA. Now to
add the Easy Transport Telescope

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A 12.5 and 10" Telescope for John and Rich. . .

Here s a couple of projects currently underway. The 12.5" telescope for John in Howell, Michigan and 10" telescope for Richard in Newberry, Florida.

The rear of the mirror board. Note the larger ventilation hole.

The 6-point flotation mirror cells are design and optimized
with Plop. These are "strut" telescopes.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

And a Note from Ron in Crafers, Australia . . .

Hi Dennis

Hope you are doing well!

I have been down with the flu but have finally completed the telescope, so I thought I would drop you a line and send you a photo. I was so impressed with the colour of the wood and the look of the silver struts against the mirror I have decided to keep things as they are (I had thought to stain the wood and spray the struts black but they look great as they are!).

The only real hitch I had was with the tube inserts but once I found a work around with the nail punch this all fell into place and I felt pretty proud of myself :) I feel I can literally say I put my blood, sweat and tears into this scope ha ha.
Ron and his 16" Telescope.

My first impression is that for a big scope it seems remarkably easy to handle with a nice smooth motion and a manageable weight. The whole structure feels rock solid to use. I can actually carry the OTA complete with accessories from the garage to the rocker box, so no need to recollimate every time etc because I have not taken the OTA apart. The mirror cell is superb and a love the heavy springs and big collimation knobs - it provides a really solid but fine collimation system. The rocker box is solid and beautiful and I found a nice little spot for the eyepiece tray as well. I don't think I will bother glueing the screws in - it all seems so solid as it is.

I struggled a little bit with the strings to guess what amount of tension is the right amount of tension. I found a small wrench to tighten the turn buckle a little extra, but I think I got carried away as eventually I noted the top half of the OTA was tilting a bit.... ha ha. So I quickly loosened that! What I was noticing was that there was a small amount of wander of the laser on the primary when moving the scope through altitude, and I was seeing if the stings could control it. Interestingly however, attaching the barlowed laser shows the primary centre spot remains well collimated on the face plate. That would be the main thing I am thinking. I have decided to leave it, as I know these things can drive you nuts unnecessarily because they don't affect your viewing.  You can forget to just enjoy your scope! 

The other thing I am getting used to is stiction - my other scope had a lazy susan and clutch system so you could control the amount of tension in alt / az movement. At high power the teflon bearings can be a bit frustrating to get used to because of overshoot! However, I have already made a few changes and things seem to be settling in. I imagine with time and experience things will become second nature. 

Thanks again Dennis
All the best

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Some Notes and Tweeks from Len in Louisiana...

Here's a good number of photos form Len in Louisiana, and a good variety of "tweeks" he's made to his 12" telescope.  We built this scope for him in July 2018. Len's additions and innovations are neat. Check out the link below for his description: