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Ever wonder how a high-end telescope is made?

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#1 AG Optical

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:39 AM

AG Optical Systems is posting a series of images and comments to our facebook page ( AG Optical Systems' Facebook) showing how we make our Imaging Dall Kirkham astrographs. These premium instruments are designed for serious astroimaging and are made using modern CNC and carbon fiber composite construction processes.

Like AG Optical Systems at our Facebook site and follow the manufacture of a 12.5" Imaging Dall Kirkham with quartz optics from the first CNC machining operation until it is shipped.

Thanks,

Dave Tandy
AG Optical Systems

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#2 obin robinson

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:54 AM

Cool link! I just liked it on facebook. You guys do some great work!

obin :bow:

#3 AG Optical

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

Obin,

Thanks. I'll be posting more images soon as the telescope construction process continues including some images of the carbon fiber composites work we do.

Dave

#4 zjc26138

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 06:22 PM

Just liked the page also.

Can't wait to see more pictures!

#5 obin robinson

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:17 AM

Obin,

Thanks. I'll be posting more images soon as the telescope construction process continues including some images of the carbon fiber composites work we do.

Dave


Excellent! As an aircraft mechanic I have done lots of composite work. I wouldn't mind seeing how you guys do it with telescopes and see if it's any different.

obin :)

#6 AG Optical

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:19 PM

Obin,

We use a vacuum bagging process for our large diameter carbon fiber tubes. We have a large curing oven to heat the prepreg carbon fiber material to about 225 deg F for a couple of hours. It takes some finish work before the tube is ready for a clear coat of an automotive grade two part urethane.

Here is an image of a Newtonian astrograph that we made. The tube is a carbon fiber composite sandwich core tube. The core material is a .5" Nomex honeycomb core. It is very light stuff but the thickness makes the tube extremely stiff.

We are doing some prototyping work for molding carbon fiber composite parts using a bladder mold approach. We can make complex shapes this way. My first project (for fun) is actually a carbon fiber/Kevlar composite rifle stock.

Regards,

Dave

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#7 obin robinson

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:02 AM

Dave,

Vacuum bagging? Yeah that's the same method I used to repair and fabricate aircraft parts. Where on earth did you find a Nomex honeycomb core? That certainly would be a great starting point for making an ultra lightweight tube. I have seen some pretty interesting cores in aircraft parts. We even use resin reinforced cardboard for some access panels and work platforms.

Composite rifle stocks! Now that is pretty cool. I've seen some really nice lightweight ones however you have to be careful not to go ~too~ light especially with high calibers. Fun to carry but painful to shoot!

obin :grin:

#8 Mary B

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:37 PM

Carbon fiber honeycomb nomex core http://www.dragonpla...ries.asp?cID=76

#9 AG Optical

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:50 AM

Obin,

I have a couple of sources for the Nomex core material. I just wish it wasn't so expensive!

Dave

#10 AG Optical

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:04 AM

Here are a few images of the finished AG Optical Systems 12.5" Imaging Dall Kirkham. Take a look at our Facebook page for more images. This scope took about 3 weeks from beginning to end to make (I already had the optics).

Feel free to contact AG Optical Systems to learn more about our premium astrographs.

Thanks,

Dave Tandy

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#11 AG Optical

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:05 AM

Image of back of telescope with fan guards machined into the back plate...

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#12 AG Optical

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:06 AM

Here is a view from the front of the scope.

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#13 AG Optical

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 08:15 AM

AG Optical Systems will have a 12.5" Imaging Dall Kirkham at the Deep Space Products booth at the upcoming Arizona Astronomy and Science Expo (Nov 16/17). Be sure to stop by and check it out!

#14 AG Optical

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:40 AM

Here is an image of M1 taken with the type of AG Optical 12.5" Imaging Dall Kirkham that is shown in this thread. The camera that took this image has a 52mm diagonal chip. The image shows the excellent correction (sub 8.8 micron RMS diameter) and field flatness the iDK design provides across big chip cameras.

Dave Tandy

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#15 AG Optical

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:38 AM

Here is an image of the Iris Nebula taken by Mark Melnyk with his AG Optical Systems 12.5" iDK and Apogee F16M (36mm x 36mm chip) camera.

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#16 AG Optical

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:12 AM

AG Optical Systems also makes custom telescopes. Here is an image of the inside surface of the back plate for an 18" iDK. The back plate is CNC-machined from 6061 aluminum before being anodized. This part was designed using Solidworks 3D CAD software. The CAD model was then converted to "G code" which is the language used by CNC machines describing which tools the machine selects to mill the part and the paths the tools follow. The extensive amount of pocketing helps keep the part light but very stiff.

- Dave Tandy, AG Optical Systems

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