Monday, September 30, 2013

15" F4 for Clay in Hendersonville, N.C.

Ready for testing under the stars, with adjustable struts, is a 15" F4 for Clay T. in Hendersonville, N.C. Once the strut length has been verified, the optical tube assembly will come together quickly. The telescope is about 2 weeks from completion.

Custom Color on the wood is Sedona Red. Beautiful!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A "not too good photo" of Brian and his
wife Lynne from Nova Scotia, Canada.

I had a great visit from Brian and his wife Lynne today. They drove to Palm Desert from Nova Scotia, Canada to pick up their 17.5" F4.5 truss telescope.

His telescope is in the background.

Brian puts the Rocker Box into his SUV.

All Packed and Ready to Go. A Complete
17.5" F4.5 telescope.

An essential member of Brian and Lynne's observing
party -- Kasha. 

Sedona Red Color for Clay T's 15" F4 Telescope.

Applying color (here, Sedona Red) to the components for Clay T's 15" F4 telescope. I use 2 coats for a deeper and richer look.  I'll finish the wood with a glossy varnish.

This is the second coat.It usually takes 24 hours for the color  to dry.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

14" Telescope Kit Packaged and Ready to Ship
for Dave and Donna T in Fort Worth, Texas.

Alt Bearings, Rocker Box Sides and Mirror Cover
for Clay T's 15" F4 --  Hendersonville, N.C.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The 14" kit for Dave and Donna T is virtually complete. I just need to accumulate the hardware. Here's the Baltic birch mirror cell has been completed and mounted onto the mirror board. Very often, a simple 3- or 6-point cell such this one, will support the primary mirror very well

The color variation of the wood is a trick of the "sun light". In actuality, the wood matches very nicely.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

14" Kit for Dave and Donna Thomason
Austin, Texas.

A 14" kit coming together for Dave Thomason and his wife Donna from Austin Texas. Also included is a Baltic birch mirror cell and Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider.

Dave and Donna tell me that she, Donna, will assemble the kit. Now that's pretty cool!!

Rocker Box "clamped" together.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rear of Clay's mirror cell.

A mirror cell for Clay T. in Hendersonville, N.C. made from 1/4" plate aluminum. The cell is a bit different, in that Clay asked for an "in-line" 9-point design. Each "point of support" is along the same radius of the mirror.

As always, the mirror cell was optimized with Plop.

Friday, September 20, 2013

As the telescope comes together, I recommend
using adjustable test struts to set the focal length.
Here Gene used 1.25" wood dowels and some
PVC pipe.

Here's some photos from Gene in Ogeme, Wisconsin. Gene assembled one of our kits for his 8" F6.47 telescope. Now that the telescope is complete, he's sent along some nice photos of a few of the "solutions" he devised during the building process.

Nice job, Gene!!
More detail of the "test struts". The bolts are 1/4-20.
Test Strut Components.

Test Strut Comes Together.

Gene's Solution for Mounting the Telrad.

Another Photo of the Telrad Mount.

Counterweights added to the rear
of the mirror board to lower
the center of balance.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

13.1: F4.41 for Carey Complete . . .

Completed today is a very nice 13.1" F4.41 telescope for Carey S. in Riverside, California. The telescope sports a  refigured and recoated primary mirror sitting on a mirror cell of Carey's design. A Sky Commander sits on a "stage" on the bottom half of the intermediate "Easy Transport Ring".

Carey asked for two different size strut sizes. You can see the bottom half of the strut is 1.75" while the top half is 1.5". This was to accommodate some neat clamps Carey will use to mount his finders.

The telescope is balanced a "bit to the front" to offset the heavy 1# TeleVue 31mm Nagler eyepiece along with the use of a Paracorr or barlow.

Installed is a Secondary Dew Heater.

The Sky Commander Sits on a "Stage" on
the Lower Half of the OTA.

The Mirror Sits on a Custom Mirror Cell
of Carey's Design. The Mirror is Restrained
by a Flexible Cable System.

Rear Showing Some Detail
of Carey's Custom Mirror Cell.

A "Low Profile" Moonlite Focuser is Mounted"
on a Bracket Turned "Inwards" to get
it Closer to the Secondary.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Andy, from Costa Mesa, (and a customer of mine) came by to pick up a 16" Lightbridge "carcass". It was left-over from a remake. It was advertised as "free to good home". I'm sure Andy will put it to good use.

We enjoyed a pleasant visit.

Rocker box for Mark A's 16" kit.
Mark lives in Auston, Texas.

The rocker box for Mark's 16" is coming together. Here it's been assembled with clamps to check for size. Once I fit the bottom and build the ground board -- I'm just about complete. I still need to make a couple of clamps and gather the hardware for the kit.

13.1" F4.41 for Carey in Riverside California
nearing completion. You can see the DSC
"stage" just below the intermediate ring on the top strut.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The rocker box for Cary's 13.1" F4.41 telescope is taking shape.
Hi, Dennis -- I wanted to send you a couple of photos of my recently refurbished 8-in. f/5.4 that you built so beautifully!  These are from the very first public scope viewing I've done with the scope, just last night.  The scope was a big hit with the public, including the young astronomer getting a look at the gibbous Moon. Thanks again for building such a neat instrument for me!
Greg S.
Pinellas Park, FL

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rocker Box Sides and Alt Bearings for Mark A's 16" Strut Kit

OTA Rings for Mark's 16" Kit

13.1" F4.41 with mirror cover removed.
Progress continues on Carey's 13.1" F4.41. Here the OTA is complete. Notice the Easy Transport Telescope option. Carey asked that the top one-half of the parallel struts be 1 1/2" in diameter while the bottom half are 1 3/4".

Mirror cover on the primary mirror

Friday, September 13, 2013

A 13.1" F4.42 for Carey S. in Riverside, California. Here, the OTA is tested for "strut" length. I make sure all my eyepieces come to focus. Additionally, Carey has given me a couple of his eyepieces to test as well.

The "test struts" are adjustable in the event minor changes in length are needed.

Once the OTA is complete, the rest of the telescope comes together in about a week.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

OTA rings completed for Mark A's 16" kit. Mark lives in Austin Texas.

The OTA rings are completed for a 16" strut kit I'm building for Mark A. in Austin TX. The top ring (to the right) will hold the spider and focuser) while the center and mirror board will make up the "mirror box".

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A rocker box for a Lightbridge 16" telescope under construction
for David F. in Port Orchard WA.
Here the Rocker Box is assembled with Clamps
to make sure everything "fits" correctly.

Monday, September 9, 2013

No observing for you tonight!!

A They Call the Moon "The Great Obliterator"!!
No Observing for Tonight (9/8-9/13)
Palm Desert, California.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Completed 13.1" F4.5 Telescope . . .

John T's 13.1" F4.5 telescope -- profile.

Completed today a 13.1" F4.5 telescope for John T. in Jackson Michigan.  Includes a  Coulter mirror and secondary. The optics sport a 96% enhanced coating, 3-vane curved-vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser and Sky Commander. Note the Easy Transport Telescope option (ETT). The "dual clamps are for a Telrad.  A focuser baffle fits directly across the top ring from the eyepiece.

The Rear shows the "Hybrid" Baltic Birch/
aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell.

The detail of the rocker box and "corner eyepiece holders"
one 2" and one 1.25". Note the Easy Transport Telescope Option. (ETT)

A Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider and Moonlite focuser.
The Sky Commander DSC sits on a custom made "stalk".

Another view of the upper ring, this time showing
the sliding 1.25# counterweight.

Friday, September 6, 2013

John T's 13.1" F4.5 - A Couple of Days Away
From Completion -- I need to finish the Ground
Board and Add the Sky Commander and DSC Stalk

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

John's 13.1" F4.5 OTA -- alt bearings have been installed. Next is the rocker box.