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Nov 25 2014 01:26 PM | NJJ in Articles
I have devised a laser collimation test for Cassegranian systems. An on axis laser beam falling onto a 3M type reflective film creates a “virtual pinhole.” The backscattered light is sufficient to form an adjacent image from the primary that may be adjusted until it is brought into coincidence with the “virtual pinhole. This collimates the primary and allows the secondary to be collimated by conventional process, similar to Newtonians.
Nov 25 2014 11:03 AM | NJJ in Articles
A process is described, utilizing readily available resources, for the fabrication of super-lightweight graphite-epoxy thin-wall tube structures. The heart of the process is in the compression molding tooling, which yields smooth exterior surfaces, and in the breakaway mandrel that forms the inside wall.
Nov 24 2014 03:34 PM | Ed D in Articles
I had a set of Synta mirrors in storage which I had taken out of my Orion XT-6. I wanted to build a scope for them and after giving the project some thought I decided to build a strut Dob out of wood. The intended purpose of this scope would be for use at lower magnifications on deep sky objects. With a lot of miscellaneous stuff lying around, as well as access to a lot of scrap materials and discarded items, one of my goals became to build the scope as economically as possible while reclaiming and recycling as much as I could. The project would also be a good learning experience and an opportunity to try out different design ideas. The entire Dob was made with only a few old power tools and hand tools, as well as a small drill press and a Harbor Freight mini-lathe. I used a portable work bench I made to do all the wood cutting and sanding in my back yard. The rest of the work was done in my single car garage.
Aug 17 2014 09:54 AM | buynoski in Articles
Not into “heavy scientific” work? Just want to enjoy the colorful rainbows of other stars, or see the fascinating absorption line detail in the solar spectrum? A number of options, some quite inexpensive, are available to display spectra for you.
Aug 16 2014 03:05 PM | rford322 in Telescope Articles
My first impression is excellent. The WO Star 71 has a wide, well illuminated, flat field of view, exactly what I was looking for.
Jul 08 2014 09:45 AM | Bill Steen in Articles
I started writing this article as a way to collect my thoughts on the new scopes. My plans were to send it to my contact with Meade, just to let him know what I was thinking, since I communicate with beginners looking for what scope to purchase.
Jun 14 2014 07:02 AM | davidc135 in Articles
Cloudy Nights members may be interested in a Schmidt camera that I made twenty odd years ago. Although photographic equipment has moved on since then, and Schmidt’s original design will now appeal to few, the novel method of making the corrector plate might still be useful in making a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope or astrograph.
May 07 2014 08:00 AM | admin in Articles
The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts, and this assembly really re-ignited my passion in this hobby.