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.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A 16" Kit for Grant . . .

Greetings Dennis:

Yesterday I popped down to Oroville and picked up my kit.  Very nicely packaged, everything looks good. It was pounding down rain all day yesterday so we decided to take my wife’s Corolla instead of the pickup truck.  The poles fit in through the trunk and the backseat in an opening that is probably intended for skis.  I emptied the parts from the  large box and put them into the trunk as shown in the attached photo. Grant

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Zach's 10" F4.5 . . .

Zach's 10" mirror box is complete. Now just
to mount the altitude bearings.

The rocker box is put together with clamps to
check fit. So far, it's great. Next is to varnish and assemble.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More on Zach's 10" F4.5 . . .

Zach's 10", based on a Coulter primary, is coming together nicely.
Here, the rocker box sides, yet to be cut to length, altitude bearings
and assort clamps and wood struts. The mirror box is almost complete.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Zach's 10.1" F4.5 Telescope . . .

The beginnings of a 10.1" F4.5 with Coulter optics for Zach in
Lawndale, California. His telescope will include a 3-vane curved-vane spider
and Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford focuser.

Keep an eye here for more photos as this telescope comes together.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Curtis picks up his 12" F4....

Curtis, from Orange, California, stopped by to pick up
his 12" F4 telescope. It always a pleasure having
a visit from one of my customers. Have fun with your
new telescope Curtis....

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Steve and His 13.1" Telescope . . .

Steve, in Wayland, Massachusetts, fabricated a tube
for his 13.1" telescope.

So far, so good!!

Here, is one of our all aluminum  mirror cells, optimized with Plop,
fits the tube nicely. The adjustable back plate-ring uses
adjustable 3/8" cold-rolled steel threaded rod to mount to the tube.
The Completed Telescope.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Terry's 12" Lightbridge . . .Terr

Terry's 12" Lightbridge with one of our rocker boxes. The larger
groundboard add stability to the telescope.

Terry lives in Lacey, Washington.

Dave B and his 14" Kit . . .

21" Altitude Bearings for Dave's 14" telescope kit.

A "plop" optimized all aluminum 6-point flotation cell for Dave's Hubble Mirror.

The rocker box for Dave's kit is almost complete. Nice!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A 14" Kit for Dave in Folsom, CA.....

The beginnings of a kit for Dave's 14" F4.513 telescope. Here the
OTA rings and clamps have been completed.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Curtis' 12" F4 Just About Completed . . .

Curtis' 12 " F4 on my GEM with dovetail. The focuser is the 3" Astro Tech
from Curtis' original solid tube telescope. Same with the spider and secondary

The mirror sits on the original 9-point flotation cell with fan.

The two dovetail plates allow the telescope to be orientated in
either direction. Curtis can also mount an accessory on the dovetail.