Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A 20" Mirror Cell Completed....

This 20" F4 mirror cell for Zane in Stamford, CT. The
Baltic birch backplate is 23.5".

The collimation bolts are a heavy-duty 3/8" in diameter with
a "double-spring" for this larger and heavier mirror.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A 20" 9-point Flotation Mirror Cell....

For Zane in Stamford, Connecticut. This "front-plate" is a
9-point flotation cell designed and optimized with Plop.
The Baltic birch "back plate" is in its finishing stages.

The collimation bolts and adjustment threaded knobs
are 3/8" for this heavy-duty application.

Gimme a "Break", Will Ya???

Every now and then I find the DEC axis needs a bit of
"sticktion". Installing a break does the trick.

Once the altitude bearing is in position, simply "tighten"
for the right feel. It helps using heavier eyepieces as well.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Two Telescopes Completed . . .

A 10" F5 for Rick in Newberry, Florida.

And a 12.5" F4.7 for John in Howell, Michigan.

Both of these telescopes have "strings" and
secondary mirror dew solutions. Both have
the "easy transport telescope" 2-speed Moonlite

focusers and curved-vane spider.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Len and his Telescope . . .


Here's a strut tube pouch my wife and I made. I designed, measured and cut -- she sewed. it's made of canvas with a bungee that has a cord stop on it, plus I use a buckle-style Velcro strap around it farther down. The top flap is longer than necessary, but that was the length of the fabric so we just left it alone. If it botherrs me too much I can always cut it down and re-hem.


Jerry and his 12.5" Telescope . . .


finally got to use the new scope under dark skies in Utah the last couple of weeks. The scope performed well, and survived the 5,000 mile round trip in the back floorboard of my grandson's pickup truck, packed along with our camping gear. I especially enjoyed the Sky Commander option; 75% of the deep sky objects observed were those I had never seen before! Thanks for building an awesome scope for me; it will be a lifetime keeper.

Birmingham, AL

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An 8" Rocker Box for Robert in San Rafael, CA. . .

Robert sent me some tube-rings for his 8" tube telescope.

The altitude bearings are 10" in diameter.
An "example" of a solid-tube custom rocker box.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Bit More on Rick's 10" and John's Rocker Box ...

Rick's rocker box starts to take shape.
And, John's rocker box is coming together
also. So far, a perfect fit!!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

And Even More on Two Telescopes...

Telescopes for John and Rich. Both with
the Easy Transport option. A 10" (L) and
12.5" -- only 2.5" in diameter but so much
more!! Both of these are string-struts.

Friday, September 14, 2018

More on a 10" and 12.5" Telescope . . .

12.5" (L) and 10" mirror board, custom cover
and top ring with spider and focuser.

And with the cover in-place. The focusers are Moonlite
2-speed 2" crayford focusers. Nice!!

Here's the 10" OTA. Now to
add the Easy Transport Telescope

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A 12.5 and 10" Telescope for John and Rich. . .

Here s a couple of projects currently underway. The 12.5" telescope for John in Howell, Michigan and 10" telescope for Richard in Newberry, Florida.

The rear of the mirror board. Note the larger ventilation hole.

The 6-point flotation mirror cells are design and optimized
with Plop. These are "strut" telescopes.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

And a Note from Ron in Crafers, Australia . . .

Hi Dennis

Hope you are doing well!

I have been down with the flu but have finally completed the telescope, so I thought I would drop you a line and send you a photo. I was so impressed with the colour of the wood and the look of the silver struts against the mirror I have decided to keep things as they are (I had thought to stain the wood and spray the struts black but they look great as they are!).

The only real hitch I had was with the tube inserts but once I found a work around with the nail punch this all fell into place and I felt pretty proud of myself :) I feel I can literally say I put my blood, sweat and tears into this scope ha ha.
Ron and his 16" Telescope.

My first impression is that for a big scope it seems remarkably easy to handle with a nice smooth motion and a manageable weight. The whole structure feels rock solid to use. I can actually carry the OTA complete with accessories from the garage to the rocker box, so no need to recollimate every time etc because I have not taken the OTA apart. The mirror cell is superb and a love the heavy springs and big collimation knobs - it provides a really solid but fine collimation system. The rocker box is solid and beautiful and I found a nice little spot for the eyepiece tray as well. I don't think I will bother glueing the screws in - it all seems so solid as it is.

I struggled a little bit with the strings to guess what amount of tension is the right amount of tension. I found a small wrench to tighten the turn buckle a little extra, but I think I got carried away as eventually I noted the top half of the OTA was tilting a bit.... ha ha. So I quickly loosened that! What I was noticing was that there was a small amount of wander of the laser on the primary when moving the scope through altitude, and I was seeing if the stings could control it. Interestingly however, attaching the barlowed laser shows the primary centre spot remains well collimated on the face plate. That would be the main thing I am thinking. I have decided to leave it, as I know these things can drive you nuts unnecessarily because they don't affect your viewing.  You can forget to just enjoy your scope! 

The other thing I am getting used to is stiction - my other scope had a lazy susan and clutch system so you could control the amount of tension in alt / az movement. At high power the teflon bearings can be a bit frustrating to get used to because of overshoot! However, I have already made a few changes and things seem to be settling in. I imagine with time and experience things will become second nature. 

Thanks again Dennis
All the best

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Some Notes and Tweeks from Len in Louisiana...

Here's a good number of photos form Len in Louisiana, and a good variety of "tweeks" he's made to his 12" telescope.  We built this scope for him in July 2018. Len's additions and innovations are neat. Check out the link below for his description: