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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: ernie bogusch]
      #4982221 - 12/23/11 11:43 PM Attachment (94 downloads)

I just received a Z8 from a friend of mine 2 days ago. My priority mods were an azimuth degree circle and collimation bolt springs.

I used the same degree circle mod that my Coulter 8" came with when I bought it used 16 years ago and that I also used on my Discovery (details/pictures in the Degree Circles thread in the Equipment Forum). It's fast, easy, reversible and so easy to use because you have 360 degrees of adjustable alignment. I can post more pictures of the details if anyone is interested.

To me, the collimation springs upgrade is well worth it because it not only makes adjusting easier but holds collimation better. If the springs are heavy-duty enough, the locking bolts aren't necessary. I bought the springs at a local bolt shop and cut them down. Could have cut them shorter as I don't have many threads catching but as it turns out, I didn't need much adjustment. One tip that I've found very helpful is to tighten the collimation bolts completely to start then collimate by loosening. This keeps everything very tight and makes a big difference in holding things in place.

I will be installing a handle for lifting/carrying and a knob for adjustments while observing. Other than that, I think it will work fine.

Here are a few pictures:


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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Tom Andrews]
      #4982222 - 12/23/11 11:44 PM Attachment (106 downloads)

Close-up.

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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Tom Andrews]
      #4982224 - 12/23/11 11:46 PM Attachment (86 downloads)

Upgraded springs.

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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Tom Andrews]
      #4982229 - 12/23/11 11:48 PM Attachment (88 downloads)

Spring comparison: stock spring left, upgrade right.

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kensvws
member


Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Whitby,ON, Canada
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Tom Andrews]
      #4983094 - 12/24/11 02:27 PM

Good job Tom. Those springs sure do look much more substantial and functional. Is the spring pictured on the right already cut down?

Edited by kensvws (12/24/11 02:29 PM)


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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: kensvws]
      #4983172 - 12/24/11 03:11 PM

Hmm I didn't know this thread existed. My best zhumell mod to my 12" would be adding a intelliscoe encoders and computerized object locater to. Second best would be flocking



More pics http://m92.photobucket.com/albums/rougeneon97/IntellaZOB/

My INTELLIZOB

Edited by MessiToM (12/24/11 03:17 PM)


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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: kensvws]
      #4983712 - 12/24/11 10:36 PM

Quote:

Good job Tom. Those springs sure do look much more substantial and functional. Is the spring pictured on the right already cut down?




Thanks!

Yes, the spring is already cut to size. I figured I'd start long and cut more if needed. Since I always tighten the bolts to fully compress the springs then collimate by loosening and since on both my other dobs I've had to adjust very little, I figured I'd have enough threads to be safe. As with both other dobs, I've only had to turn 2 of the three collimation bolts, one ~ 1/2-3/4 thread and the other ~ 1/4-1/2 thread. The best part is getting rid of the locking bolts which always seem to throw your collimation off when you tighten them.


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Mason Dixon
super member


Reged: 06/29/07

Loc: Huntsville, Alabama
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: poodle]
      #5133459 - 03/21/12 11:15 AM

Anybody made a solar filter for there zhumell yet?

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Ian1957
member


Reged: 04/22/11

Loc: Cocoa,Fl
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Mason Dixon]
      #5264949 - 06/10/12 03:55 PM

Hi
Has anybody used one of these http://www.protostar.biz/tubeliner.htm
I have a Z8 and it looks like a good solution for flocking the tube.
Cheers
Ian


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stratocaster
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/11

Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Ian1957]
      #5266974 - 06/11/12 07:40 PM

Yep. I used the tube liner for my Z10.

It took a little longer than I expected to cut the tube to size and cut out the focuser drawtube hole and holes for focuser attachment hardware and spider. The thin backing material was very sturdy in spite of how thin it is. It is also reasonably light.

You'll need to remove the tube end cover and mirror cell to place the spacer foam in on both sides of the tube. Though I suppose if you had a long enough dowel or long/thin piece of wood you could work the foam all the way down the tube towards the mirror cell and just have to remove the tube end cover from the front of the tube.

When I upgraded to a moonlight focuser I had to remove the liner because the focuser mounting holes didn't quite match up to those of the stock focuser. If you plan on upgrading to a moonlight you may want to consider doing that first as you will have the option of not creating any holes in the liner for the moonlight mounting hardware.

I like how the liner helps with tube currents.

I never did an A/B comparison on the reduction in glare/increase in contrast. It can't do anything but help, but the apparent difference is not obvious to me.


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finyo
member


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: MessiToM]
      #5267877 - 06/12/12 11:02 AM

Hi MessiToM, I got a classic XT8 and I'm interested in adding an Intelliscope too, but can seem to find enough useful information on the net. Was the procedure difficult?

Thanks,

finyo


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VikingRaider
sage


Reged: 01/29/08

Loc: Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: finyo]
      #5471397 - 10/15/12 11:57 AM

Okay, I'm back to keep the thread alive

I just posted this over in the DIY/ATM forum but realized that it should go here as it's a mod for my Z8. So here goes:

I got tired of dealing with the RA finder so I made a wooden base for my Telrad and carved it to fit the dovetail mount for the RA finder. Then I angled the top of the wooden base with planes and chisels to match the plastic base of the Telrad. Screwed it down and voila! A perfect fit.

If you'd like to the see details of the construction process, I have more pictures at my astronomy blog...

Thanks for looking and lets keep these awesome mods coming! I've got a whole list of stuff to work on after reading this thread again after over a year away from the hobby.


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VikingRaider
sage


Reged: 01/29/08

Loc: Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: VikingRaider]
      #5471400 - 10/15/12 11:59 AM Attachment (48 downloads)

Might help if I included the picture...

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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: VikingRaider]
      #5471406 - 10/15/12 12:04 PM

The first mod I made to my Z8 was to replace the altitude detent springs on the altitude bearings. They were too difficult to hook up and unhook. Ridiculously strong. Has anyone else experienced this? I didn't want to have to take up weight lifting just to be able to deal with the altitude springs. What a freakin' PITA!

I quickly threw them out and rigged up replacement springs from a hardware store. The new springs have plenty of force to keep the OTA from wandering but are very easy to hook up and unhook.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: VikingRaider]
      #5471411 - 10/15/12 12:07 PM

Quote:

I got tired of dealing with the RA finder so I made a wooden base for my Telrad and carved it to fit the dovetail mount for the RA finder. Then I angled the top of the wooden base with planes and chisels to match the plastic base of the Telrad. Screwed it down and voila! A perfect fit.




I don't get this. Why didn't you just use the Telrad on the plastic Telrad base? Was the Telrad too low? You could have bought a ready-made Telrad riser to fit on the Telrad base for not much cash. That's what I did.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5471439 - 10/15/12 12:20 PM

What is the maximum distance anyone here has carried the Z8 Dob mount by it's built-in handle? Not the entire Z8 OTA + mount, but just the mount.

The best site within a short distance from my house is about 500' away. I'd like to carry everything there in one trip. I want to carry the OTA by one hand, the mount by the other.

I've already attached a SCUBA carrier to the OTA, which makes carrying the OTA by one hand a cinch. But I'm still reluctant to carry the heavy Dob mount by one hand. I'm concerned that the handle will separate from the mount. I've looped a Strap-a-Handle around the mount, but I'm afraid that will come undone in transit. In any case, I'd rather carry the mount by the built-in handle if that won't destroy the mount.

Mike


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5471495 - 10/15/12 12:45 PM

a drill, a couple of washers, longer screws, and that handle won't go anywhere...or you'll have a big chunk of particleboard attached to a handle....

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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5471513 - 10/15/12 12:54 PM

Yes, I'm sure the handle will remain in my hand ... but will it remain attached to the mount or just a chunk of particleboard, as you say?

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5471520 - 10/15/12 12:57 PM

If I had the proper tools, a shop and the expertise, I'd cut big circles out of the sides of the mount to lessen the weight. But it seems most of the weight is in the turntable/lazy Susan/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I don't think much can be done to reduce the weight of that.

Mike


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VikingRaider
sage


Reged: 01/29/08

Loc: Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Re: Mega-mod thread for Zhumell dobs new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5471678 - 10/15/12 02:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I got tired of dealing with the RA finder so I made a wooden base for my Telrad and carved it to fit the dovetail mount for the RA finder. Then I angled the top of the wooden base with planes and chisels to match the plastic base of the Telrad. Screwed it down and voila! A perfect fit.




Why didn't you just use the Telrad on the plastic Telrad base? Was the Telrad too low?




The standard issue base on the Telrad just wasn't high enough to be comfortable for me. When I leaned over it was just awkward enough that I decided to use the RA finder instead. And I didn't like using the Telrad AND the finder because it stood up so tall on that arm.

Stepping into the waters of astrophotography lately caused me to think that the Telrad would make things a lot easier on me than the RA. But when I removed the RA finder, that metal dovetail mount just screamed "use me". So instead of removing the mount and covering it with the already too-low Telrad base I decided to practice some woodworking skills and carve a dovetail to fit the mount. Now it's the perfect height for me and I'm making use of the mount.

More importantly, I guess I did it to see if I could


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