Thursday, September 4, 2014

A note from Stephen and his 16" Telescope . . .

"Eighteen years ago, at the age of 16, I was very big into astronomy.  I had used various scopes and decided I wanted to use the first money I earned at my first job to buy a 16" Meade Starfinder.  Unfortunately, I hadn't taken into account the problems with transporting such a large scope (I live deep in the city of Houston and need to get my scopes out to dark skies in a vehicle).  As I grew up, life brought me away from astronomy.  After my wife passed away last year, I decided to reconnect with some things I used to enjoy, including astronomy.  Which brings me to, "what do I do with that old 16" scope sitting in my dad's garage?"  First I thought about selling it, but then the idea came into my head about possibly finding a way to remake it as a truss dob.  Then I heard about the fine work done by Dennis Steele at  After lengthy discussion with Dennis about my needs, he assured me he would be able to convert my scope into a version of it that would be able to be transported to my club's dark site in my sedan.  I shipped Dennis my mirrors and ordered a truss conversion, along with all the great mods - Moonlite focuser, Destiny curved spider, the works.  Less than 2 months later, my scope arrived.  Last night I took it out to the dark site for the first time.  Assembly was easy.  First-time collimation was not (nothing Dennis could do about that unavoidable aspect of reflector design), but the collimation knobs and screws were very easy to manipulate, and we got the job done.  The views were amazing.  Motion was extremely smooth, more so than some smaller scopes I've owned.  Dennis' work was worth every penny.   I would recommend Dennis to anyone looking to give their old scope an extreme makeover."

Houston, Texas

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