Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Matt's 10" F4.7 Close to Completion . . .

All assembled and tested for fit, finish, balance and motion.

Yet to be completed is the rocker box bottom and ground board.

A Moonlite 2-speed focuser and Destiny curved-vane spider.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

And, Matt's 10" F4.7 Strut Telescope . . .

It took a few days, but now with the spider installed, I've moved to
the next step on Matt's telescope. Testing under the stars with
adjustable struts -- calculated at 42.5"

Coming along, with 3-vane curved-vane spider and Moonlite 2-speed
2" crayford focuser installed. 
7/6/2020 Matt's OTA, a step
closer to completion.
And the rocker box is coming along -- closer to completion.

Rod and his 12" Explore Scientific Telescope . . .

A note from Rod via Cloudy Nights:

Adding DSCs to an ES truss dob can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the addition and

 placement of the altitude encoder. Even the removal of the azimuth bolt can be a bit dicey. I had contacted Explore Scientific in the past but they didn't have DSCs for their truss dobs and as far as I know, they still don't. A supplier in Australia has an encoder kit that involves the application of a magnetic strip by means of an adhesive for the altitude encoder but I was a bit apprehensive of this because if I somehow misapplied the strip per its specs, I wasn't sure how easy or difficult it might be to redo it or return it if there was a problem. I preferred to have the encoders installed locally in SoCal, if possible, so I contacted Dennis Steele at DobStuff and I transported the scope to him last week, via a 2.5 hour drive from my home. The 10,000 tic encoders are now installed and I'll pick up the scope in a few days. Additionally, Dennis added some plastic supports on the mirror cell as a few had fallen off so he replaced all of them. As you can see by his handiwork, the hardware and encoders are installed and ready for connection of the cables.  
It's been a pleasure working with Dennis as he is very responsive with communications and updates on his work. I enjoyed chatting with him while discussing scopes and ham radios. He really does nice work in a timely manner.
A lightweight rocker box makes for an interesting
encoder installation -- it works great.

Locating the altitude tangent arm to allow the telescope
to swing through horizontal to the zenith.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Not Far from Home ...

Driving down the road, no far from home, and I spotted
this beauty of a dome. I don't know what's inside, but
it seems to be about 10 or 12 feet in diameter.


Monday, June 29, 2020

Matt's 10" F4.7 Strut Telescope

The mirror board and cell -- the custom cover is completed also.

With the custom cover in place, the mirror is completed covered and
protected. Now to setup the top ring and test strut length.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Matt's 10" F4.7 Strut Telescope . . .

17" altitude bearings and rocker box sides -- yet to be cut in height
for Matt's telescope. Looking good..

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A 10" F4.7 Strut Telescope and a 12" Lightbridge Rockerbox...

The rear of Marc's "mirror board'. Marc lives in
Rosewell, New Mexico ...

Marc sent me his mirror cell and primary. Here, the mirror cell
has been modified and mounted on the mirror board...
And a custom rocker box for Nathan in S. Vienna, Ohio.
This one is for his 12" Meade Lightbridge.
Comin' together!!
The completed kit, ready to package and ship.

Monday, June 15, 2020

A 17.5" Mirror Cell for Marc...

Completed 17.5" custom mirror cover and 9-point flotation mirror
cell for Marc's "traditional mirror box". A nice upgrade.
This 17.5" 9-point flotation mirror is for Marc's traditional
square mirror box. It measure 19.75"x15.25"

Included are 2 fans for quicker cooling. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A Fun Evening of Astronomy ...

I've made an adapter to allow alt/az mounting of the
fork mount and added 10K encoders with Sky
Commander. Had a great evening roaming DSOs.

Monday, June 8, 2020

A Blast from the Past....

Every now and then Facebook reminds us of past experiences. This one is from 7 years ago!!

Hitesh, from Santa Clara Calaiforna, picks up his 16" telescope. Hitesh's wife, Gita, was with the family -- but didn't get into the photo. We went to a local star party where the telescope performed flawlessly!!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Getting "UP" Under the Skies...

My "personal" 10" F4 telescope gets raised to a more comfortable observing
height. The OTA is only 39" long and was pretty close to the ground.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Len and his 12" ...

... and currently under some west Texas stars with my DobSTUFF
12" f/5 (taken earlier in the day). Love my scope.

Under the Stars with my 10" F4...

A beautiful evening for some astronomy...

A Mirror Cell for Mark . . .

Hi Dennis: You sure took care of business sir. The cell is AWESOME.. Thank you for your prompt fabrication and delivery .I will send a few pics also in a day or 2 when I put it in the Dob. Mark

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Jerry's 12" Kit Completed . . .

Jerry's kit includes Easy Transport, strings, his mirror cell onto the
mirror board and an extra clamp for Telrad. Now to get this packaged
up and ready to ship.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Jerry's 12" Kit - Almost Completed ...

The "top ring" for Jerry's kit. Note the focuser bracket and
spider brackets in place. He'll be using a 3-vane Protostar.

And Jerry's rocker box is completed too.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Note from Carl and his 10" Telescope . . .

Hi Dennis:  I’ve been an ATM’er for almost fifty years. During the build I was very impressed how accurate and square the pieces were cut. Clamping the components yielded corners being square without having to clamp squares to the work while fastening together. I liked how you placed small marks where they were needed identifying centers and which part was for the left or right side. I’ve made many azimuth pivot bolts to accept encoders and I was really impressed with the azimuth pivot assembly you supplied – heavy duty with solid machined parts.

Friday evening I set up the scope for first light and spent several hours just star-hopping around. The motions were smooth with no stiction and a good balance between ease of movement and resistance to drooping when changing eyepieces. But most importantly, there was NO FOCUS SHAKE! That is one of my pet peeves about a scope/mount. Also, the scope held collimation well when changing altitude. Moving from horizontal to vertical resulted in NO change to collimation. No need for strings on this scope. It was a very enjoyable first experience and I am extremely happy with the kit you provided.  Carl.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

14" F3.5 for HIten Completed . . .

Complete with a "blue" Moonlite focuser, Easy Transport and encoders,
this 14" F3.5 sports a Hubble Optics mirror. a real beauty.

Overall, the struts are 42.25" long. Half that with the Easy Transport option.

Jerry's Kit -- Moving Along...

The rocker box sides, not yet sized for height and 22"
altitude bearings with clamps.

The OTA rings, with ETT and cell mounted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A 12" Strut Kit for Jerry...

15" I.D. OTA rings for Jerry's 12.5" telescope. The mirror cell has
been modified and affixed to the "mirror board". This kit
has the Easy Transport Telescope option and strings.

Friday, May 1, 2020

An Event on May 12, 2020....

Use this telescope, too!!
One and a quarter hours before sunrise on May 12, 2020, as seen from Palm Springs:

Date and Time:  May 12 at 4:32 a.m. PDT
Object                Azimuth         Altitude
Moon   (71%)       166                 31
Jupiter                   166                 34
Saturn                   160                 34
Mars                      130                 26

Moon is 3.2 degrees below Jupiter.
Saturn is 4.7 degrees east (left) of Jupiter and 5.2 degrees upper left of Moon.
Mars is 27.6 degrees east of Saturn and 32.3 degrees east of Jupiter that morning.

Moon will pass Jupiter-Saturn at intervals of 27-28 days. The most compact gathering of Moon with the two giant planets this year will be on the evening of December 16, 2020, when Jupiter-Saturn will be just 32 arcminutes (just over 0.5 degree) apart, and the Moon within 5 degrees to their SSW. Five days later, on December 21, Jupiter-Saturn will be just 0.1 degree apart.

May 2020 is quite an interesting month for watching planets. In the evening, Venus drops dramatically, showing ever thinner crescent phases before disappearing into the solar glare in the final days of May. Mercury emerges by mid-month and passes just one degree south of Venus on May 21. Two nights later, the Moon forms a compact gathering with Mercury and Venus.

In May's predawn sky, Jupiter and Saturn are in "quasi-conjunction", within 5 degrees apart all month. They'll move into better evening view  as they pass opposition in July, and separate to over 8 degrees apart by late in August before coming together for their very close conjunction in December. In May's morning sky, Mars is some 20 to 40 degrees east of Saturn.

May's gatherings of Moon and planets, the changing views of Venus and Mercury in the evening sky, and the ongoing predawn saga of the three bright outer planets are all illustrated on the May Sky Calendar, available at www.abramsplanetarium.org/skycalendar/

Also check the Sky Calendar Extra Content Page for morning and evening twilight sky maps showing naked-eye planets and bright stars through July, with details about planet visibility. Early in May, additional content and links will be added about the 2020 apparition and close approach of Mars.


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hiten's 14" Getting Close...

This nifty 14" F3.5 is small and powerful!! I'll be finishing
the rocker box tomorrow and installing encoders for Hiten's
super-neat telescope....

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ken and his 12.5" -- First Light...

Ken and his 12.5" strut telescope -- First Light.
Ken and  his wife Joyce live in Candler,
North Carolina.