Thursday, December 29, 2016

Terry, and his 12" . . .

Dear Dennis,

Yesterday I arrived back in Australia with the ETT. Your advise was spot on. The telescope did not have any damage. Well, there was a small crack in the plastic mirror cover that came with the Optics. (see attached). Now I am looking forward to many nights under the Southern Cross with this telescope.

In order to get the ETT on the airplane, I broke the telescope down to its nuts and bolts. And everything but the optics was packed in regular checked luggage. I purchased a Nanuk hard case with heavy foam inside. I cut out a place to place the main mirror and mirror cell (still attached). The mirror has a few finger prints, but otherwise there is no harm to the mirror. As you can see from the note left by the TSA agent, they were interested and also encouraging.

Last night (when I was up due to jetlag), I went into the back yard and saw lots of naked eye and binocular dazzlers. (see the Telesope Facebook page for information on the sights from last night).  I am now ready to reassemble the ETT and start using it, but I may force myself to wait while I do a bit of maintenance on the telescope. There are a few scratches in the finish, and I may make a few other changes, but nothing major.  

When I return from Australia (some years down the track), I will  have the airfreight guys pack the telescope and ship it back to the States.

This is my learner telescope (yes a 12” ETT). When I return, I will move up to a 16” or 18” dob. But most of the time my trusty 12” ETT will be my telescope for  the road. I like it very much.

Thank you


Thursday, December 22, 2016

A 13.1" F4.5 Personal Telescope . . .

I finally got around to building a telescope for myself. Here's a 13.1" f4.5
with Swayze (Coulter refigured), curved-vane spider, Moonlite focuser
and Sky Commander DSC. Note the red-dot finder on the top.

I like to mount the Sky commander on a "stage". It's a convenient way
to place the DSC where I want and easy to use.

Detail of the top ring, focuser, spider and finder.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Terry and his Unique Telescope Shroud . . .

Dennis, The pictures below show how I have used ABS plastic to create a shroud for the travel scope. In the first picture I have added a second piece of plastic that is made into a tube using Velcro. The second piece of plastic is around the lower piece, and the upper piece slides up and down in order to allow me to access the mirror cover. Then in the lower picture, I added a third piece of ABS plastic that is wrapped around the second piece. This allows the plastic to come up to a point just below the focuser. I anticipate more work with the plastic in order to block out even more light. For instance I may add flocking inside the plastic tube in order to increase contrast. Then I will probably use weather stripping at the bottom of the tube to block out light from the bottom. . Terry

Monday, December 5, 2016

Kris' 16" Kit is Complete . . .

An 18-point flotation mirror cell,observatory grade spider and all
the "stuff" needed to complete Kris 16" telescope. He only
needs to add his 16" primary mirror and secondary.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Kris' 16" Kit -- An 18-Point Cell . . .

An 18-point flotation mirror cell optimized with Plop.

The large rear ventilation hole is perfect for a fan.

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Focuser and Filter Slide for Kris' 16" Kit . . .

A nice Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford focuser with
matching Moonlite filter slide. The assembly is held in 

place by a 1/4" thick heavy-duty focuser bracket.

The filter slide will hold three 2" filters. The opening
on the right is for "non-filter" viewing.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bob and His 8" F4 . . .


Here is a pic of me and my 8” Astro-Tech Newtonian mounted on the new Dobstuff mount.  I am still in the process of putting encoders on the altitude and azimuth.  In this picture you can see how I mounted a Sky Commander on the dob stand.

Best Regards,

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

More on Kris' 16" Kit . . .

Here, the altitude bearings and rocker box sides are coming together.
I've got a little more work on these before they're completed for  the kit.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bob's 8" Custom Rocker/Alt Complete . . .

Completed is Bob's 8" rocker box and alt bearings for
his equatorially mounted telescope.

Note the "encoder" ready pivot. The rest of the encoder
mounting hardware is included.

More on Bob's 8" F4 Rocker . . .

All furniture grade Baltic birch 8" rocker box for Bob
in Ellicott, Maryland.

The azimuth motion is buttery smooth.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Erik's 13.1" F4.5 Virtually Complete . . .

Virtually complete is Erik's 13.1" F4.5 parallel strut telescope.
Note the "strings" for rigidity. The struts have been powder coated.
The 13.1" Primary mirror sits on an all aluminum 6-point flotation
mirror cell -- optimized with Plop.

The focuser is a 2-speed 2" crayford my Moonlite, a 3-van e, curved-vane
spider by Destiny. Note the red-dot finder on the upper strut.
All my "remake" and new telescopes come with a custom mirror cover
(lower right). The primary has a new 98% enhanced coating
and is center-marked for easy collimation.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

More on Bob's *' F4 Rocker / Ky's 4.5" Mirror Cell . . .

A 4.5" mirror cell for Kyle in Lynchburg, Virginia. This "non=flotation"
cell has 6-points of contact -- optimized with Plop.

The "back plate" mounts in a 5.5" round tube.
The construction is all 1/2" furniture grade Baltic Birch.
The rocker box is coming together. I assemble the
sides, front and rear to check the fit. It's great!!

The alt-bearings are about 9" i diameter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bob's 8" F4 Rocker and More . . .

Bob's 8" F4 equatorial mounted telescope gets alt bearings
and rocker box as an alternative mount.

Here the rocker box sides and alt bearings are nearing completion.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Erik's 13.1" F4.5 and Bob's EQ project....

Bob, in Elliott City, Maryland, wants to mount his 8" F4 on a dob
rocker box.The altitude bearings are "automatically" centered with
the backside "guides".

Both 9" altitude bearings are mounted. They have yet to be varnished
and fitted with Ebonystar. Next comes the rocker box itself.
Erik's 13.1" F4.5 strut telescope is nearing completion. Here
the rocker box is taking shape. Nice!!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

And More on Erik's 13.1" Telescope . . .

The final length of the struts is 51.5" No
need for a step-ladder with this telescope!

Now to powder coat the struts and finish the OTA.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Erik's 13.1" Out for a Test . . .

Out and under the stars for a test to confirm
strut length (now set at 53").  These test

struts are adjustable to"dial in" the final length.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Erik's 13.1" String-Strut Telescope . . .

OTA rings for Erik's 13.1".
Erik lives in Garrettsville, Ohio

The 20" altitude bearings and rocker box sides.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Zac's 14" and Home Made Shroud . . .

Zac, in Georgetown, Kentucky, built a 3-strut telescope with Easy Transport Telescope option from one of our kits. Here, he discusses a shroud of his own design. I hope you find it interesting and as informative as I.


After some tinkering and carful fabric selection, I have come up with a shroud for my scope thats both light weight and easy to put on and take off. It also gives me access to the support poles so I can move the weight and get to my DCS. 

First I made a new kydex shroud around the secondary mirror. Its 3/32" thick and 8" tall, its secured using the spiders support brackets and three more screws to make it very ridged. 

Next I made a Kydex ring 2.5" tall that will insert into the lower half of the scope and made notches in it so that it would spin to lock onto three bolts screwed into the inside of the scope. 

The fabric I used is ripstop industrial nylon from joann fabrics at 7$ a yard, two yards were needed and they were sewed for an exact fit. I also sewed another 1/2" tall ring into the bottom edge of the shroud that would fit over the locking ring made earlier.

now after you assemble the scope, I can simply lock the lower ring onto the scope and using velcro secure the top of the shroud to the secondary cage. 

The fabric is light enough and with zero stretch it stays out of the light path completely. 
I tested the scope last night during a club meeting and my contrast improved to such an extent that I could definitely make out color in the ring nebula, the veil nebula (with O3 filter) looked fantastic.

Attached you will find some pictures of the finished shroud, its the third one I made because I had to learn how to run the sewing machine....

the extra kydex from amazon and fabric and velcro means I have about 55$ worth of materials in the shroud. Not bad for added mirror protection and better viewing. 


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Zack Picks Up His 10.1" Telescope . . .

That's "yours truly" and Zack as he picks up his 10.1"
telescope. Zack lives in Lawndale, California -- about an hour away.
It's always nice to have visitors.....

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Erik's 10" F4.5 Again.....

Now that the Sky Commander has been installed on Zack's 10" telescope
it is complete. The final configuration includes a Moonlite 2-speed focuser
3-vane curved-vane Destiny spider, an all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell
and a red-dot finder. This is a NICE telescope!! Everytime I build one of these
beauties -- I want to keep it... Oh well!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Zac's 14" F4.6 -- Assembled Kit . . .

Zac, in Georgetown, Kentucky, assembled one of our kits for his 14" Hubble Optics mirror. Here's his telescope and some comments:


Got the scope out to a great dark sky event our club held at the Shaker Village near lexington, Ky.

First off the scope assembly and take down are very easy, It can be set up and cooling in less than 8min with some practice.

I also opted for a single speed focuser from moonlight and this was proven to be very reliable and smooth. 

The lens I used were an Orion q70 26mm, Televue panoptic 19mm and Type 6 televue 9mm nagler. 

The F4.6 of my hubble mirror produces way to much coma to work well with my Baader zoom, but the other lens were amazing in this scope! With the 9mm we were able to resolve the double double stars and views of M11, and M13 were breathtaking.  
The ring nebula and little and big dumbbell looked fantastic! My friends in the club were amazed at the views and build of the scope, it's so much more compact and lighter than some of the other classic dobs our members have. 

The DCS performed very well, I only noticed a slight error in locating objects due to the deep grass the scope was set up on. I need to install slightly longer feet on the ground board to fix the this issue.

Contrast was good as long as ambient light was low, I will make a shroud for it before the next meeting. 

As you can see from the pictures I installed a battery and custom switch box in the base so everything is contained and neat, it has a switch for the fan, DCS, and secondary heaters. Every thing is held down with velcro. and all wires and encoders store in the base. 
That's why I wanted solid sides on mine.

With the scrap of wood you sent with i made a lens rack and it performed well.

All and all I am very pleased with the scope, it holds it's alignment well and performed very well. It takes less time to setup than my LX90, the DCS works better and aligns easier than the LX and even though it takes up more space the views are so worth it.

Zach's 10" F4.5 Virtually Complete . . .

Zach's 10" F4.5, based on a Coulter primary mirror.
The finder is a Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford. Note
the red-dot finder on the upper strut.
The 10" mirror without the custom cover. It is
center marked with a "donut" for easy collimation.

Each of the telescopes I build include a custom mirror cover.

The mirror sits on an all aluminum 6-point flotation
mirror cell optimized with Plop. The spider is a Destiny
3-vane curved-vane.