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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5490673 - 10/26/12 06:27 PM

Quote:

I definitely need to support the mount for transport. That would be a lot of weight on the main RA bearing at that angle. Meade suggests that you disengage the RA drive for transport anyway. I will probably mount some type of metal contraptions on the braces under the scope and fasten them with bolts. The C-14 mirror can be locked up and I have upgraded the secondary holder to be fastar compatible so I plan to remove the secondary when I am hauling it. I was hoping that those measures would be enough while travelling.




Here's a link to a word document. Some trailer suspension work you might find interesting.

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18307600/59350092/name/12+09+03+Trailer.doc


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Lorence]
      #5490994 - 10/26/12 10:43 PM

Quote:


Here's a link to a word document. Some trailer suspension work you might find interesting.
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18307600/59350092/name/12+09+03+Trailer.doc




Interesting. Thanks Lorence. It looks like keeping my telescope attached to the trailer solves a number of problems.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5491814 - 10/27/12 02:59 PM

Quote:

It looks like keeping my telescope attached to the trailer solves a number of problems.




Keeping your telescope attached to the trailer is fine with me. If it were my telescope it would be separated from the trailer and lowered into some sort of foam rubber cradle for transportation.

There's going to be a lot of force on the RA shaft and bearings when you hit rough roads


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Lorence]
      #5492142 - 10/27/12 07:25 PM

Quote:

There's going to be a lot of force on the RA shaft and bearings when you hit rough roads




Well Lorence, I guess that's where the extra supports will help. By supporting the forks from underneath I intend to remove some of the severe oscillations that would otherwise occur if they were left free to swing about. Sure there will be unnatural forces at play - but hopefully I will be able to steer clear of the larger bumps on the roadway too. I intend to drive like I'm hauling horses if the roads get bumpy


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5492148 - 10/27/12 07:29 PM

Mostly it depends on your trailer suspension. WSome trailers are really made for heavy loads, and with light ones they bounce enough to almost leave the ground. I had one like that.

If you take the secondary out I doubt very much you will have trouble!

There was a rig like this in S&T about 40 years ago. It and yours both look great to me.

GW


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5492151 - 10/27/12 07:31 PM

Looks like you are using foam. You could make a wedge shaped piece to push up in there under the scope and support it while driving, if need be. I suspect you won't have any concerns as-is, though.

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5492171 - 10/27/12 07:50 PM

Quote:

You could make a wedge shaped piece to push up in there under the scope and support it while driving




Mentioning the scope makes me wonder if that may be an issue too Glen. I can make a way to lock up the forks and leave the RA worm free but what to do about the DEC gear and worm? If I leave that loose then the scope and its fragile glass will be flopping all around. I guess I will need to make a saddle of some sort for the scope as part of the support mechanism. Sadly its not as easy to remove the scope from the forks as it would from a GEM. The bushings that I made to adapt the C-14 to the LX200 GPS fork "ears" are all bolted together and it takes a bit of playing for them to ride "true". I really don't want to be removing them all that often. When it comes to the point where I am working on this I'll come up with something I'm sure.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5497490 - 10/31/12 09:41 AM

Just in time for Halloween....

I have disguised my Star Cruiser to look like a Nubian Royal Starship



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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5497775 - 10/31/12 01:29 PM

Speaking of Halloween:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0...

JimC


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5498003 - 10/31/12 04:00 PM

Quote:

Sure there will be unnatural forces at play - but hopefully I will be able to steer clear of the larger bumps on the roadway too. I intend to drive like I'm hauling horses if the roads get bumpy




I have traveled by road extensively throughout Canada and the US. I've put on more than enough miles in both countries to say without any doubt that Canadian roads are deplorable when compared to the roads in the US.

I also have no doubt that our neighbors to the south mean well with their advice and encouragement to you but in reality they are giving you a false sense of security.

Over the years I've had an assortment of cars, trucks, motor homes, camper trailers, utility trailers, RV's, motorcycles etc and have driven all of them for thousands of miles over every sort of road you can imagine. Everything in those vehicles eventually had the living daylights shaken out of them, whether they were on a dirt road through the bush or the Trans Canada Highway.

If you think you are going to avoid all the potholes and bumps in this country you are in for a surprise. I just hope it won't be too unpleasant of a surprise.

When I said I would put my telescope in some sort of protected cradle I meant it. That's simply from experience.

As for the horses I've put a few miles on them as well, they have a better suspension than any wheeled vehicle ever made.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Lorence]
      #5498062 - 10/31/12 04:39 PM

Quote:


...
If you think you are going to avoid all the potholes and bumps in this country you are in for a surprise. I just hope it won't be too unpleasant of a surprise.






Hi Lorence,

With the forks and scope being supported from underneath taking the load off of the bearings and shafts, the worms unlocked, the secondary removed, and the primary mirror locked up what sort of unpleasant surprises do you foresee for the scope? The trailer does have springs, granted they are not air shocks, but they do provide suspension for the trailer as well.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5499907 - 11/01/12 08:53 PM

Quote:

With the forks and scope being supported from underneath taking the load off of the bearings and shafts, the worms unlocked, the secondary removed, and the primary mirror locked up what sort of unpleasant surprises do you foresee for the scope? The trailer does have springs, granted they are not air shocks, but they do provide suspension for the trailer as well.




I think it's a safe bet we both have our minds made up, can't see much point in trying to change either one.

Time will tell. Good luck with the setup.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5526875 - 11/18/12 09:17 PM

I've had a bit of time to work on the cruiser so I figured I would share a few pics.



The newly skinned and insulated roof attached to the body of the trailer. It may be a bit of a challenge to cover the roof in aluminum as some of the pieces have a bit of a twist. The aluminiumized nose certainly does shine however. It isn't against the law to have a shiny vehicle is it?






From the inside it can be seen that there is very little wiggle room for the mount. I will need to make sure the scope is in the home position before attempting to open or close the roof. The amount of area above the scope is deceiving also. As the roof travels downward on an angle when opening the back of the roof must be a fair bit higher than the front or else it will smack the scope on the way down.






The idea was to wrap the roof around the front of the trailer to save on space and attempt to minimize the amount of "lift" any gust of wind might have on the setup. It provides a rather unique look at the scope too.






I am still amazed at how large the SCT and forks look in relation to the rest of the trailer. The basic idea was to allow for as much "air" around the scope as possible to minimize destructive currents from interfering with the telescopic seeing. Hence the walls are low allowing for viewing of the eastern and western horizons. The roof rolls off directly to the south and therefore presents a bit of an obstruction in that direction. Yet because the trailer is so "slim" we should still have low views of the south-east and south-west horizons.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5529523 - 11/20/12 07:40 AM

Pretty awesome Clark . Did you figure out how you're going to stabilize it during transit?

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Raginar]
      #5529609 - 11/20/12 08:52 AM

Quote:

Pretty awesome Clark . Did you figure out how you're going to stabilize it during transit?



Thanks Chris. It certainly becomes a labor of love after a while. As far as stabilizing it is concerned I think I will ultimately be supporting both mount and scope form underneath. I played around with the trailer springs on the weekend and they work really well so I am not very worried. The issue at hand now is trying to make the back wall of the trailer move up and down like a car window. Pulleys and wires scare me so I am leaning toward rack and pinion for movement and having the wall roll on another set of drawer slides.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5531421 - 11/21/12 12:58 AM

Looks like polar alignment will be interesting. Cool little mobile observatory!

-Rich


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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5531733 - 11/21/12 09:01 AM

How are shock absorbers implemented to avoid collimation issues?

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5531744 - 11/21/12 09:10 AM

Quote:

Looks like polar alignment will be interesting. Cool little mobile observatory!

-Rich




I think I agree with you Rich. Although a rough polar alignment shouldn't be too difficult I am planning on using the drift method to get it bang on. Since the goal is to drive it somewhere permanent hopefully I won't have to do it all that often. All I have is the trailer jacks and a bit of elbow grease Perhaps I can drive a few stakes in the ground to keep it from moving around? Then again maybe it would be better to set it on 2'x 2' concrete patio blocks so it doesn't "sag" over time on the soft soil. If polar alignment drifts over time that may be an issue with the scope being thousands of miles away.


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Project Galileo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: Jefferson County, Colorado
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: CMacD]
      #5531998 - 11/21/12 11:12 AM

I love the trailer! All the angles remind me of early stealth technology. Enjoy!

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Star Cruiser new [Re: Starman27]
      #5532043 - 11/21/12 11:32 AM

Quote:

How are shock absorbers implemented to avoid collimation issues?




Hi Herman - sorry I didn't see your post right away. I think it is just an issue of the roughness of the trailers ride. The trailer springs, in this case, just lesson the bouncing of the trailer on the road and therefore reduce the possibility of the mirrors getting bounced out of collimation while in transit from point A to point B. Is that what you were asking?


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