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Equipment Discussions >> ATM, Optics and DIY Forum

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope
      #5671094 - 02/09/13 05:44 PM Attachment (116 downloads)

Hi Folks,

I recently completed an 8 inch f6 travel scope that I started sketching out last fall. Its modeled after the Sumerian Optics scopes that I looked at online and also another CN member what? posted his 10 inch version made from an Orion back in October and I really loved his version.

I wanted this scope for my annual trips out West and also to take down to the beach. It wont get used a ton so I just went with GSO optics from Agena. It packs up to a box that is carry on size (measures 9x14x17.5). That is if Im brave enough to try carrying it on a plane (fear of getting gate checked will probably stop me). Ill probably just check it and carry on the mirror box when traveling on a plane.

Got 11 pics that Im posting here is the first:


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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671095 - 02/09/13 05:44 PM Attachment (59 downloads)

2. Here is a close up of the mirror box. The lightweight mirror and small dimensions required meant that I needed to use pulleys to balance (like the Sumerian). The bearings would have needed to be too big. Im using 3/16 shock cord on both sides. I found I needed two pulleys to get enough range of stretch. Takes some fiddling to figure out how to make it balance and sit still throughout the whole range of motion but wasnt too hard. The cord stop at the end makes it easily adjustable. It works very well and is pretty insensitive to eyepiece changes.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671097 - 02/09/13 05:45 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

3. Here is the rear-end shot. I found that stability is best using 4 levelers (they just slide on and off of the box and have felt so it wont damage the finish). I tried 3 points at first but 4 worked better. Mirror cell is just made from plywood and mirror is attached using silicone (Stellafane design).

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671098 - 02/09/13 05:45 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

4. Here is a close-up of the UTA attachment. Cut from aluminum angle using a table saw. The poles are from Texas Towers using a 7/8 for the lower half and for the upper. They are joined using tube insert nuts. I got different sizes so they would nest inside one another (there is a picture later).

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671100 - 02/09/13 05:46 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

5. Here is the secondary holder. Curved vane spider using a ruler (thanks Mr. Seronik). I did add collimation thumb screws.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671101 - 02/09/13 05:46 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

6. Here is the scope with the shroud (sourced from Heather at Teeter Telescopes).

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671103 - 02/09/13 05:46 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

7. One neat thing about the GSO mirror set is that it came with a plastic cap that makes a great protective cover. It sits on the edge of the bevel of the mirror and doesnt touch the face of the mirror. I added Velcro straps. Best to leave this on while assembling so you dont drop any hardware on the mirror.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671112 - 02/09/13 05:49 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

8. Here is the mirror box with its wooden cover on (attached with thumbscrews). This is what Ill probably carry on for flights. Might even add a handle so it carries like small briefcase. The mirror box measures 12.75 x 12.75. You can see the nested truss poles in the background.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671114 - 02/09/13 05:50 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

9. Here is how it fits in the box. I wrap a towel around the loose stuff which holds it firm when the box is closed.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671116 - 02/09/13 05:50 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

10. Another shot showing the assembled box (weighs about 25lbs with everything inside). I used Formica crystal finish for the laminate.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671117 - 02/09/13 05:50 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

11. Last pic this is the side of the box where the Teflon pads attach.

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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671121 - 02/09/13 05:51 PM

very nice job.

how big did you make the alt bearings?


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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671124 - 02/09/13 05:53 PM

Oh, I forgot to say how the optics perform. They seem to be pretty good. I've had it out twice in the yard. Stars are pin point across the entire field and it should be great for low to medium power viewing which is what I wanted it for. Higher power on Jupiter is OK - I'm spoiled probably by the higher contrast in my 8" f8 dob. Central obstruction in this scope is fairly large at 23%.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5671127 - 02/09/13 05:55 PM

Thanks Danny. They are 24 inch in diameter. I think I would have needed about 35 inches to balance without using the cord.

Quote:

very nice job.

how big did you make the alt bearings?




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starman345
Wait, I'm Thinking
*****

Reged: 07/06/10

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671195 - 02/09/13 06:43 PM

Beautiful job Tim, I really like the stain, also that ruler spider

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zjc26138
Loved By All
*****

Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: starman345]
      #5671420 - 02/09/13 08:56 PM

Great job Tim! What beautiful scope.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: zjc26138]
      #5671424 - 02/09/13 09:01 PM

thanks guys. Brian - that finish is "Expresso" (General Finishes). My wife talked me into using a darker stain and I'm happy she did.

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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5671435 - 02/09/13 09:11 PM

tell me more about your feet.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5671459 - 02/09/13 09:34 PM

Pretty straightforward really. Just 3 pieces of 1/2 inch plywood glued together to form a "U". The "U" slides onto the bottom edge of the box and is 1/2" wide with the felt. I have the levelers screwed onto the plywood U's. Hopefully that makes sense.

By they way Danny, I think you're the one that pointed me to the Formica crystal finish for the laminate (reading some of your old posts) so thanks for that. I've used it on two scopes now and it works as good as the ebony star and it's much cheaper and available at the big box stores.

Tim

Quote:

tell me more about your feet.




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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5671477 - 02/09/13 09:48 PM

Magnificent!
That is a great looking scope. The box is awesome too.
I would definatley carry that on an airplane.. Those dimensions are well within the carry on limits.. Get yourself one of These puppies to make your life easy when cruising around the airport. I wouldn't worry too much about the primates at the TSA. they won't know what a telescope is but they can't stop you from bringing it on. As soon as they start to say something ask for a supervisor.. Helps to have the website up on your phone too as you go through.
It's better to keep that beauty in your possession the whole time you travel.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #5671481 - 02/09/13 09:54 PM

Oh yea...that's a home run!!

David


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Scott in NCAdministrator
80mm Refractor Fanatic
*****

Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5671487 - 02/09/13 10:02 PM

Very nice, Tim! That scope is a real work of art.

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bremms
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #5671577 - 02/09/13 11:26 PM

Nice scope. Wanted to do something similar with my 8" F6. I travel a good bit and that is very compact and handsome.

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Benson
super member


Reged: 05/22/10

Loc: -6 gmt
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #5671679 - 02/10/13 12:40 AM

Extraordinary workmanship. I am impressed.

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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Benson]
      #5671783 - 02/10/13 03:47 AM

Clever design and excellent craftsmanship!

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StarDusty
sage


Reged: 10/02/07

Loc: Parsippany, NJ
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #5671954 - 02/10/13 08:21 AM

Great job. Lots of nice details.

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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: StarDusty]
      #5672024 - 02/10/13 09:36 AM

Thanks for all of the nice comments. Matty - biggest thing I worry about is not so much going through security but getting to the plane all of the overhead bins are full and they make you check it at the gate. That would not be good. This has happened to me on a couple of recent business trips. However, those are on heavy business traveler routes.. chances are that on a vacation flight with primarily family travelers I'd be able to get on earlier with my "zone 1" boarding I get. Hard to know for sure though and that's the dilemma. I'd have to rely on the kindness of strangers in that situation with someone else willing to give up their overhead space. I just saw in the most recent S&T issue that Gary Seronik redesigned his scope to be checked for the same reason. If I check it, I'd carry on the mirror box and put the rest in a hard sides suitcase with padding.

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meade4ever
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/23/07

Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5672050 - 02/10/13 09:49 AM

Very well made, a really beautiful telescope

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JohnMurphyRN
sage
*****

Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5672168 - 02/10/13 11:23 AM

Quote:

Very nice, Tim! That scope is a real work of art.




That is exactly what I was going to say. A work of art!


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David Castillo
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/09/06

Loc: Carmel Valley, Ca
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5672970 - 02/10/13 08:05 PM

That's a fine piece of workmanship, Tim. I definitely want to know how it travels- I'd like to see the look of the airport security screeners faces when they scan it. I got pulled aside for having a pair of giant binocs as a carry-on. It turned out to be like a kindergarten a show and tell amongst the screeners. Hope they don't ask you to disassemble everything-they tried to get me to take apart my binocs.
----
Dave


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: David Castillo]
      #5673130 - 02/10/13 09:43 PM

That is an absolutely gorgeous work of art. Enjoy it!!!

Ed D


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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5673409 - 02/11/13 01:15 AM

Quote:

...I just saw in the most recent S&T issue that Gary Seronik redesigned his scope to be checked for the same reason. If I check it, I'd carry on the mirror box and put the rest in a hard sides suitcase with padding.




With changes in the air travel environment (increasingly severe restrictions on carry-ons, and stiff "fees" for all sorts of things) it seems that the concept of a "travel dob" being one that cleverly folds into itself for carry-on luggage has seen its day (especially for really long haul flights).

Like Seronik demonstrates, a light weight-optimized scope (to get under weight penalties) that packs into a standard "62 inch" hard-case suitcase (length+width+thickness = 62 inches) with most of your observing gear seems like the ticket. A typical hard case weighs 11 lb and the weight limit on most airlines is 50 lb before hefty fees are imposed leaving 39 lb for everything.


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: careysub]
      #5673420 - 02/11/13 01:42 AM

Once, BEFORE 9-11 I had to dissassemble an 80mm flourite scope on an airline trip to make sure it was not a gun.

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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: careysub]
      #5673498 - 02/11/13 05:19 AM

Quote:

a light weight-optimized scope (to get under weight penalties) that packs into a standard "62 inch" hard-case suitcase (length+width+thickness = 62 inches) with most of your observing gear seems like the ticket.




I shudder to think that anyone's telescope might get handled the way my golf clubs were last time I went through the airport. There were "Inspected by TSA" stickers all over it and *everything* in the bag was manhandled.


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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5673575 - 02/11/13 07:28 AM

Yep, there are risks either way (checked or carry on). Your comments make me think that I'm better off carrying it on. That's what I designed it for anyway. I really enjoyed building it and trying to make it look good but truth is that you're better off designing an ugly little tank for an airline travel scope. I'm taking it with me to Arizona in April so we'll see. Chances are we'll make it just fine.

Quote:

I shudder to think that anyone's telescope might get handled the way my golf clubs were last time I went through the airport. There were "Inspected by TSA" stickers all over it and *everything* in the bag was manhandled.




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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: Tim C]
      #5674470 - 02/11/13 05:10 PM

Very nice, Tim. Kudos to you!

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ed_turco
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Lincoln, RI
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: JimMo]
      #5677464 - 02/13/13 11:11 AM

Very nice workmanship. The wood looks beautiful!



Ed


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Tim C
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Finished my 8 Inch Travel Scope new [Re: ed_turco]
      #5678285 - 02/13/13 08:14 PM

thanks everyone!

Quote:

Very nice workmanship. The wood looks beautiful!



Ed




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