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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
First Light: 10" F11 Report
      #5560331 - 12/08/12 02:00 AM Attachment (143 downloads)

Thank you for all of you who have helped bring this scope to first light (Peter, Dave, Mike, Kevin and many others).

I got first light tonight with my 10" F11. I am positively tickled! Even with what turned out to be poor collimation (one of the tube sections was not snug), this was the finest view of Jupiter I have ever had. Io's shadow was crisp. I was so excited I forgot to look for Io! :-)

Mechanically, this is a Dob mount using 3/4" Baltic. The base is 24" diameter using Teflon/Ebony Star (or Ebony look-a-like...I'm not sure). I used 12" diameter alt bearings, again with Teflon/Ebony Star.

The motions in alt/az were smooth with a perfect amount of stiction. Even with a 14mm 100 Explore Scientific eyepiece barlowed, objects were easy to get into the field of view and keep there.

Wobble and vibration were not much of an issue to my surprise. At top mag vibrations dampened in less than a second and wobble continued for only up to 4 seconds depending on the altitude, but closer to zenith wobbles were again very short-lived.

I nervously attached the 21 lbs Explore Sci refractor on my custom mount attached to an alt bearing and the 10" scope barely even noticed it. The mount is exhibiting great balance.

The OTA is not painted (blonde wood on the inside) so contrast was down quite a bit on the Orion Nebula, but the seeing/transparency tonight is very difficult anyway.

I am about half-way done with a custom EQ platform which will add another 5.5". Currently the eyepiece is 104" off the ground.

I've got a list of about 10 must-do enhancements to keep the scope safe and more usable as a result of my trial tonight, but I am very pleased with it's performance.

More to come,
Jack Swaton
www.StarryHost.com


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5560573 - 12/08/12 09:36 AM

Congratulations on first light! At f/11, just getting the mirror in the tube is "collimated"!

While long focus Newtonians get pigeon-holed as "planetary" scopes I think you will find it does exceptionally well on DSO's too. With the right eyepiece, you should be able to manage about 3/4 degree maximum true field.


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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5560593 - 12/08/12 09:52 AM

Jeff,
First of all, I love your tag line..."Wile E. Coyote School of Telescope Making". I belong to the "Professor Grampy" School (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Comes_But_Once_a_Year). I'm not that old but the concept is true...but mine usually blow up and fall down like Mr. Coyotes. :-)

I only use (only have) two eyepieces any more and I love them: Explore Scientific 100 degree 20mm and 14mm. I have an OPT 2x Barlow I also enjoy.

Thanks for your encouragement.

Jack


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Sean Cunneen
Let Me Think
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Reged: 08/01/07

Loc: Blue Island Illinois
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5560774 - 12/08/12 11:54 AM

Great job, don't forget your parachute!

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ccaissie
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/13/10

Loc: Whitefield, Maine
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5560777 - 12/08/12 11:55 AM

Telescope size is limited by ladder technology.

Congrats on a real performer. I may have missed earlier posts on this, but tell me about the mirror. Spherical or parabolized? How close do you think you are to a paraboloid?

We had a 10" f/10 that had a marginal mirror (spherical with a turned down edge), but even then, it was a super scope. I like the square wooden tube. I find them to be excellent at conveying tube currents out.


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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: ccaissie]
      #5560838 - 12/08/12 12:49 PM

Parachute? I don't need no stinkin' parachute! ;-)

The mirror is a 10" f/11 ground by me and Peter but finish polished and coated by OWL: 1/10th wave. Good stuff!

:-)

Jack


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Dave O
sage
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Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Sri Lanka
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5560879 - 12/08/12 01:16 PM

Wonderful Jack! It really looks like a dandy! I can feel your excitement half way around the world! Congrats!

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starman345
Wait, I'm Thinking
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Reged: 07/06/10

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5560881 - 12/08/12 01:17 PM

Great project Jack, thanks for sharing

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glennnnnnn
sage


Reged: 10/20/09

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: starman345]
      #5560895 - 12/08/12 01:28 PM

Maybe you should just get one of those cherry-pickers. In fact, you could attach the whole assembly to it and make it the first telescope you can actually drive !
-Glenn


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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: glennnnnnn]
      #5560939 - 12/08/12 02:02 PM

Glenn,
Do I need a special license to drive that at freeway speeds?

Jack


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tim53
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: glennnnnnn]
      #5560944 - 12/08/12 02:05 PM

I'd be tempted to put a large-format CCD camera on the focuser, another camera on the finder, add drives to the mount, and never have to look through an eyepiece or climb a ladder again!

-Tim.


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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: tim53]
      #5560969 - 12/08/12 02:24 PM

I'm taking donations for Tim's CCD camera...I'm sure he'd appreciate it! ;-)

Seriously though Tim, I agree it'd be great. I'm half-way done with an EQ platform (EzCBP (http://home.netcom.com/~tlsystem/cablet4.htm) but even that has it's special needs for a scope this large. I'm optimistic that I chose a good solution. I've got the wood all cut and just have to assemble it then.

Once on the platform, I would LOVE to see about adding video or live image of some kind.

I don't have the time for processing images, so I'm mostly looking for an outreach CCD solution.

Thoughts are welcome.

Jack


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tim53
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5560975 - 12/08/12 02:31 PM

You might want to consider something like a Mallincam, then.

I've already done something like this for my roof-mounted C 9.25. I have a 2x barlow and Pt Grey flea2 camera on the main scope for planetary video imaging, a Flea with an 11mm c-mount lens for a finder, a robofocus on the 9.25". I operate the scope from a desk in our attic space using software like Sky Safari. There's a hatch cover over the scope and door under it, so it's isolated from the attic room environment. Once I set things up for observing and turn everything on, I can't even see my telescope! But the 11mm lens on the finder camera gives a wide enough field of view that I can monitor sky conditions and watch clouds rolling in.

-Tim.


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: ccaissie]
      #5561034 - 12/08/12 03:10 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

Quote:

Telescope size is limited by ladder technology.




Indeed. A rolling platform ladder is my solution to the problem. It has a nice platform on top, handrails, and is very stable. You can get these from McMaster-Carr. The ladder in this photograph has the platform at 4'2". The largest they offer has a platform height of 13'4".


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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5561179 - 12/08/12 04:43 PM

Jeff,
That's a beautiful scope and a very nice ladder. Lots of options there...

Jack


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5562334 - 12/09/12 12:14 PM

Freaking AWESOME! Nice job - fantastic!

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tim53
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: magic612]
      #5562453 - 12/09/12 01:23 PM

I'm considering one of these guys' 3-steppers for my 12.5" f/7 Cave:

X-deck platforms

-Tim


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StarryHost
member
*****

Reged: 01/13/09

Loc: Vista, CA
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: tim53]
      #5562981 - 12/09/12 07:00 PM

Tim,
That's a very interesting ladder site. I have a thought to share...last night I setup my foldable ladder to look just like the scaffold ladder you suggest in your link. It was very easy on my feet rather than the straight rungs, but I noticed that I felt much more comfortable leaning against the A-frame of the ladder. Now your choice has rails and I think that's great. But then I noticed that as the eyepiece changed height, I had to bend and stoop rather than just climb down one ladder rung.

Now then, my handyman brother has introduced me to the Little Giant platform. It's only $40 bucks and it slips onto your ladder (if your ladder is supported). It will support 300 lbs and gives you an adjustable height platform: http://www.littlegiantladder.com/little-giant/work-platform.html.

There is a YouTube on this I can't find right now and it shows how easy it is to use this.

I've not purchased it yet but I'm leaning towards this solution because I still have to get that dang ladder into the car.

As far as I've seen, your link is the next best thing I've seen!

Jack


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bremms
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5563054 - 12/09/12 07:51 PM

That's a BEAST!!! Love it!! Makes the Vintage 12.5 F8 in the closet not so daunting...

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David Castillo
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/09/06

Loc: Carmel Valley, Ca
Re: First Light: 10" F11 Report new [Re: StarryHost]
      #5563063 - 12/09/12 07:59 PM

That focuser is way up there . The views must be worth the climb. Are you going to use a Sherpa to assist you in getting your eps up that ladder
-----
Dave


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