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#1 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:13 PM

Last year I moved to a new, larger shop, and I have finally gotten to the point where I have a few finished mirrors available.

Two mirrors, an 18" F/3.7 and a 22" F/3.3, are in Starmaster Telescopes, and these are available with little wait. They are listed here, so contact Rick if you are interested: http://www.starmaste...om/in-stock.htm

I also have one 16" F/5 mirror that I have just finished. It's 1.4" thick, and will ship to the coater when it is sold. Please email me if you are interested. My email address is listed on the information page of my site.

If I have other mirrors available in the future, I'll try to post them here. They are posted in my Yahoo group first, though.

#2 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:50 PM

At the Okie-Tex Star Party this year, John Pratte showed an exceptional 25" f/4
telescope. John builds the entire structure, including mirror cell, to his
precise specifications.

The optics are made by me, and we worked together to develop the mirror cell,
testing the mirror in the cell for the purpose of tweaking the edge support for
best performance.

This paid big dividends - with my optics and John's mechanics, the telescope
performed superbly. It is probably the best 25" telescope I've seen to date, in
terms of aesthetics and performance.

The web page for this telescope is here:
http://www.jpastrocr.../twentyfive.htm

John has one telescope complete, available for sale, with a ServoCat drive
installed. I have glass for more should people wish to order one. If you are
interested, contact John via the contact page of his web site (linked from the
bottom of the 25" page given above).

#3 okieav8r

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 10:55 PM

Mike, I checked that scope out at Okie-Tex and it is indeed a wonderful telescope. I looked at Mr. Pratt's web page, but didn't see any pricing information. Do you know what it costs?

#4 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:40 PM

Mike, I checked that scope out at Okie-Tex and it is indeed a wonderful telescope. I looked at Mr. Pratt's web page, but didn't see any pricing information. Do you know what it costs?

Sorry for the delay - hadn't checked this forum for a while.

Rex, I don't know the price for the scope. Contact John and he'll let you know.

#5 Bob S.

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:46 AM

The optics are made by me, and we worked together to develop the mirror cell,
testing the mirror in the cell for the purpose of tweaking the edge support for
best performance.

This paid big dividends - with my optics and John's mechanics, the telescope
performed superbly. It is probably the best 25" telescope I've seen to date, in
terms of aesthetics and performance.

Mike, That looks like a very nice mirror cell. The edge supports seem to just cradle the mirror without inducing any astigmatism according to your findings. Very nice. As you and others know, the mirror cell is a very critical part of the mirrors performance and that ones good looking. Bob

#6 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 12:20 PM

I will be making some 40" f/3 parabolic mirrors in the coming year or so.

Glass will be monolithic Supremax, ~2.5" thick. They will be figured to my high optical standards. I can also provide flat elliptical secondary mirrors.

If you're interested in such an optic for a visual or research instrument, please visit my web site below and send me an email at the address given on the information page.

Of course other custom sizes and focal ratios are available, but the 40" f/3 size is very appealing to me for a large visual instrument.

#7 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:46 PM

I've posted an article about a recent trip that I made to the Warren Rupp Observatory near Mansfield, OH. I recently made a new 36" f/6.3 mirror for the telescope there.

http://www.loptics.c...012/HH2012.html

Hope you enjoy the article and photos.

#8 davidpitre

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:33 PM

I've posted an article about a recent trip that I made to the Warren Rupp Observatory near Mansfield, OH. I recently made a new 36" f/6.3 mirror for the telescope there.

http://www.loptics.c...012/HH2012.html

Hope you enjoy the article and photos.

It looks great. I like the collimation steering wheels.

#9 CatseyeMan

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:36 AM

VERY NICE Pics, Mike!

I'm guessing that the long focal length calls for a beam and Barlowed laser for the axial alignments, yes?

#10 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:19 PM

VERY NICE Pics, Mike!

I'm guessing that the long focal length calls for a beam and Barlowed laser for the axial alignments, yes?

Thanks, I enjoyed shooting the photos.

Sorry for the delayed reply Jim, I kept forgetting to ask what they were using, which I am told is the Glatter laser and 2" Glatter barlow (TuBlug).

#11 dvb

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:12 AM

That is an awesome observatory - the scope and mount of my dreams!

#12 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:48 AM

After much thought and work and some input from friends and colleagues, I have completed the first version of my Projects Page. No doubt it will be updated quite a bit in the future.

You can find it linked from the front page, or directly here: http://www.loptics.c...s/projects.html

As I put it together and went through my list of completed mirrors to select appropriate examples (the projects page is NOT all-inclusive), I was a bit shocked at just how much I had gotten done in the last ~5 years.

#13 Bob S.

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:04 AM

After much thought and work and some input from friends and colleagues, I have completed the first version of my Projects Page. No doubt it will be updated quite a bit in the future.

You can find it linked from the front page, or directly here: http://www.loptics.c...s/projects.html

As I put it together and went through my list of completed mirrors to select appropriate examples (the projects page is NOT all-inclusive), I was a bit shocked at just how much I had gotten done in the last ~5 years.


Mike, The sequence and presentation of large to smaller mirrors is a very interesting read. You certainly have had a chance to make a lot of different kinds of mirrors for varied applications over the years.

I am very much looking forward to the 20" f/3 with 5" m.a. secondary that you recently completed for me. John Pratte of JP Astrocraft is hard at work building an incredible scope around the mirrors that I believe is going to raise the bar on what a medium large Newtonian is capable of doing. Bob Schilling

#14 auriga

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:21 AM

Bob,
It's good to see that John Pratte is getting some of the recognition he deserves. I own one of his Sweet Sixteen 16" f/4 Dobs and it is a wonderful instrument. I am sure you will be happy with your scope.
Bill Meyers

#15 Bob S.

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:02 PM

Bob,
It's good to see that John Pratte is getting some of the recognition he deserves. I own one of his Sweet Sixteen 16" f/4 Dobs and it is a wonderful instrument. I am sure you will be happy with your scope.
Bill Meyers


Bill, Thanks for the encouragement. I already am very happy with how the build has been going. Combining my ideas with John's is producing a scope that I think will be absolutely superb. There are so many ideas/concepts that went into this scope that it should be a refined distillation of many clever ideas/concepts of a bunch of very creative builders who have come before us. Couple that with the primary and secondary being made by LCO and I cannot see how this scope will be anything but an exceptional performer. I suspect that a month from now, the scope will be nearing or at its completion? Bob

#16 Starhawk

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:46 AM

The 1 meter class mirrors you are working on are quite interesting. For the moment this is idle curiosity, but how fast could you make a 40" mirror?

-Rich

#17 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:01 PM

The 1 meter class mirrors you are working on are quite interesting. For the moment this is idle curiosity, but how fast could you make a 40" mirror?-Rich

For visual use, I don't currently recommend going faster than ~f/2.8. For other applications, I work down to ~f/2.

#18 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

I have posted a new "In the Shop" installment that discusses two new f/3.0 telescopes - a 20" f/3.0 and a 30" f/3.0: Two new F/3.0 telescopes

Most of my attention now is being given to a 50" f/4 for the Astronomical Research Institute.

#19 Astrojensen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:49 AM

That's just about the coolest looking 20" I've ever seen! I've always had a thing for long refractors (I own several), but I'd almost say that reflectors (at least newtonians) look better the shorter they are. I have a 12" f/5, not particularly short, and I'm having a ton of fun with it. The change from long refractors to short newtonians hasn't been without its issues, but overall I've been impressed with it. I've found collimating the f/5 to be a total non-issue, so now I can't wait to try a much shorter one. I'm aiming for f/4 next.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#20 AllanDystrup

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:20 AM

How 'bout this one Thomas :
http://www.obsession.../15UC/index.php

You can sit down while obeserving, and shouldn't take longer to setup than a telementor :-)
It's on MY wish list, when I hear from my uncle in America...

Allan

#21 Astrojensen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:35 AM

Ohh, so you, too, have got a rich uncle in America! Those tend to be awfully quiet and you never hear from them...

I prefer a classic dob, which will offer better balance with my binoviewer setup. I already have the 12" and it sure doesn't take long to set up, though it is much heavier than my Telemator and takes a bit of grunt work to move. Funny enough, I often observe with the two side by side. It's fun to compare the views and I've got something to do while waiting for the dob's secondary mirror to heat up inside, when it has dewed up for the nth time. Yeah, I need a heater for it, I know.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#22 Jarad

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:16 AM

I like that 30" prime focus design. I've wondered why that hasn't become more popular - with CCD cameras around 4"-5" in diameter, it seems like an obvious way to get a nice wide field camera with 100% field illumination while keeping CO down well under 20% in scopes of 20" or larger, not to mention simpler collimation and fewer reflective surfaces.

Jarad

#23 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

I like that 30" prime focus design. I've wondered why that hasn't become more popular - with CCD cameras around 4"-5" in diameter, it seems like an obvious way to get a nice wide field camera with 100% field illumination while keeping CO down well under 20% in scopes of 20" or larger, not to mention simpler collimation and fewer reflective surfaces.
Jarad

Well, most imaging scopes aren't big enough to justify it, but maybe people haven't thought about the advantages.

Also, they may also want to look through their scopes, and you can't do that with this one unless you stick your head in the tube. (I did this on Bob's 32" f/4 for first light.)

I agree that it's a good idea, and it does make the setup and structure of the telescope simpler. The extra 5-10% of light is a benefit, especially when faint space rocks are the target.

Oh, and on another topic, a 1.25"-thick, 20" mirror will outperform a 2"-thick, 15" mirror, purely for reasons of equilibration, because the 20" will cool several times faster and the 20" actually weighs slightly less.

#24 George N

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:11 PM

I like that 30" prime focus design. I've wondered why that hasn't become more popular - with CCD cameras around 4"-5" in diameter, it seems like an obvious way to get a nice wide field camera with 100% field illumination while keeping CO down well under 20% in scopes of 20" or larger, not to mention simpler collimation and fewer reflective surfaces.

Jarad


I have a friend who has made two astrographs using that design: a 10-inch and a much nicer 12.5 inch (all metal made using anodized aluminum slats for the truss tube). He mounts the scopes on a Losmandy Titan for imaging with Starlight Xpress cameras. I’ve also seen nice results from a fellow using this design with an Obsession 25. He just made a second imaging UTA that holds the focuser, camera, comma corrector and an Optec field derotator in place of the secondary. He uses SBIG cameras and they feed guiding corrections right into his StellarCat drive (which also controls the field derotator). His biggest problem: collimation.

#25 Mike Lockwood

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

Just in time for Christmas....

Once in a while I have an extra piece of glass and the opportunity to fit it
into my schedule.

This time it's an 18" f/3.7 for a Starmaster FX telescope. The mirror will be
finished in a few weeks and the scope is mostly done, so it should be ready for
delivery around the end of January to mid-February of 2013. This particular
mirror is only for sale in a Starmaster telescope, and the wait time for this scope is much less than it normally is.

The listing is here:
http://www.starmaste...om/in-stock.htm

If you're interested, don't wait to give Rick a call. These usually sell
quickly, and it is being announced first on the Starmaster group and here.






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