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eric_zeiner
Phoenix's Dad
*****

Reged: 12/09/06

Loc: Georgia USA 34 31'57.18N 83 53...
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4321184 - 01/17/11 06:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I know that the SkyLight will be a far superior scope but will it be within the reach of the common man such as myself or will it be elevated to the realm of only those with immense amounts of discretionary income.




I don't know the price yet, of course, but the 4" f/15 that Richard makes and sell goes for the equivalent of $2,400 in the UK, so I think it's fair to assume that the 60mm f/15 will be substantially more economical and nowhere near that Parks joke. Heck, the 4" Skylight is just a little more expensive than the 60mm Parks...

My guess will be $400-500. Hey, it will have features no other commercial 60mm has had for more than four decades!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




I could do $400-$500


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eric_zeiner
Phoenix's Dad
*****

Reged: 12/09/06

Loc: Georgia USA 34 31'57.18N 83 53...
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: 7331Peg]
      #4321188 - 01/17/11 06:37 PM

Quote:

Sounds like you're on a darn good path on this one, Richard.

I can see where the focuser will be an issue, though - it certainly doesn't need to be anything as heavy duty as the Baader Steel Track. The suggestion of using a Crawford Machine focuser (single speed) is really a good one, and wouldn't add a whole lot of cost. And .... they're typically black, which would match the black tube (which is a GREAT idea!). The only other version that is easily available is the Antares model, which I would describe as average, mainly because its much stiffer than the Crawford focuser.


John




I have got the Crawford Machine 1.25" on my Carton 60/1000 and it is an awesome focuser! I think it would be a wonderful compliment to this whole concept.


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Victor23
journeyman


Reged: 03/01/08

Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: eric_zeiner]
      #4321750 - 01/17/11 11:05 PM

Here is a thought - make something like a f/20, and supply quality Huygens eyepieces, that are adjustable for spacing between the elements. Now you have a scope where you can dial in the color correction to perfection, and more importantly, each customer's particular definition of perfection. Zeiss-quality customizable eyepieces for your scope. From what I've read, Huygens perform well at those focal ratios, and now, with a fraunhofer objective, you have an optical chain with only 4 elements in it total - compared to at least 6 elements for the apo triplet user with moncentric ep's, and compared to up to 10 or more for those who like the various wide angle ep's and triple or quad glass objectives. You can't compete with the short tubes for FOV, so instead go for where maybe you can outdo them - the best plantetary/binary star scope in 60mm, period. And for those applications, fewer glass is generally believed to be better. Shoot for a scope that not only can stand toe to toe with a TV60 or a Tak 60, but for those two applications, can beat them.

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SkyscraperJim
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/29/07

Loc: Providence, RI
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Victor23]
      #4322338 - 01/18/11 09:02 AM

I'm definitely interested, and certainly another reason to get existed about NEAF.

I echo many of the feature requests above (except for the oversize tube, and don't care what color it is ), but here are a couple of my own, in order of importance:

* Please offer the option of custom fit tube rings. I know that custom-sized rings are can be ordered from third parties, but a "made to match" set would look all that much better on a scope like this.

* A wicked-long, felt-lined dew shield. I'm thinking of something sufficient to observe for 3 hours without needing to heat it. A dew shield on the finder would help, too.

* Finder scope, please make it a straight-through, and a 10x30 would work great. I think 30mm should be the minimum size. I would also like to have the finder mounted on high-stalk mountings directly on the top of the tube, rather than left offset. This would make it more convenient for equatorial mount use, and left-offset finder mounts on small scopes are not as friendly to left-eyed observers

* A custom wooden crate would be a nice addition, but I realize that this may send the price too high.

* Focuser: I've heard many good comments from observers who have used the CrawMach focusers, but have never used one myself. I would think this would be ideally suited to a scope like this.I wonder if getting brass knobs for them is feasible? Also, dual speed focusers on f/15 scopes are unnecessary.


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BillP
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: ukcanuck]
      #4322710 - 01/18/11 12:17 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Quote:



  • Extra long dew shield (Thank you Thomas), made of brass (just like its’ big brother)
  • Brass finder (I have some ideas here)
  • Long, elegant, slender powdercoated gloss black OTA (just like its’ big brother)
  • Collimateable cell
  • Focuser…???

More later...




Richard,

To help spur your thinking...

1. Also consider gloss silver as opposed to chrome as a black and silver accented scope is quite beautiful plus would be neat as the 4" would be the gold standard and the 60mm the silver standard Even with a gloss silver dew shield and finder and *focuser* (see pics) you could still have a few brass accents here and there to add to the elegance even more (like oversized brass focuser knobs, brass screws, etc.).

2. Might want to consider offering it with a multiple ocular holder as this would give it that certain vintage charm also.

3. For the finder, would not scale it smaller but keep it at no smaller than 50mm as small 30mm finders are useless IMO, difficult at best. So would rather see a beefy finder.

4. Focuser...would be nice to see something without another branding on it. Sure the Baader is nice, but would be special to see a brass finished or silver finished focuser as conveys great mechanicals of old. Again, some pics attached.

ps - all pics are from the Post a Pic of your Refractor thread here on CN...


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BillP
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: BillP]
      #4322713 - 01/18/11 12:18 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

Brass + White combo just FYI...

Edited by BillP (01/18/11 12:18 PM)


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BillP
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: BillP]
      #4322717 - 01/18/11 12:19 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

All Silver focuser...quite nice...

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BillP
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: BillP]
      #4322720 - 01/18/11 12:20 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

All silver scope!!

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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: SkyscraperJim]
      #4322742 - 01/18/11 12:34 PM

Quote:

Finder scope, please make it a straight-through, and a 10x30 would work great. I think 30mm should be the minimum size. I would also like to have the finder mounted on high-stalk mountings directly on the top of the tube, rather than left offset. This would make it more convenient for equatorial mount use, and left-offset finder mounts on small scopes are not as friendly to left-eyed observers




I STRONGLY support this!

Quote:

I echo many of the feature requests above (except for the oversize tube, and don't care what color it is )




Everyone's idea of the perfect scope color is different, but what's wrong with having a tube that is 3" instead of just large enough to take in the full aperture, that is 60mm inside and likely around 63mm outside?

Richard has already chosen the smaller tube for various reasons, so I am merely trying to illustrate my point of why I feel all refractors should have a slightly oversize tube, just like newtonians.

* Easier to baffle, by far
* Better thermal behaviour
* Greater mechanical strength
* The possibility of using a big focuser, relative to the aperture
* Nuts and bolts used to mount things to the tube can't as easily protrude into the lightpath.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: BillP]
      #4322764 - 01/18/11 12:47 PM

White with brass and black all the way!



Scope in the picture is my 1910 Zeiss 60/850mm Reisefernrohr. Tripod is not original. Tube is 72mm in diameter, the dewcap is 84mm in diameter and 15cm long. The tube and dewcap is made from steel, not aluminum or brass. It's heavy and VERY solid. Oversized all the way!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Edited by Astrojensen (01/18/11 12:52 PM)


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Wes James
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/12/06

Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4322914 - 01/18/11 01:50 PM

Nice pic's, guys- Nice to see all these scopes!
A telescope can certainly be a thing of beauty, and I've no doubt whatever design Richard settles on will be a thing of beauty, and I fully intend to have one (if it's within reason price-wise!).
Polished aluminum and polished brass can indeed be a thing of beauty, however can take some work to maintain- though I have a beautiful CNC-machined Wyorock focuser on my 4.25" Schief, and it looks superb. I would also like to see a 2" focuser, as there's no telling what eyepieces someone may want to throw in... however, it's Richard's design!
I would like to add, though- the importance of a good finder on a scope like this, and by good, I mean a fairly wide field of view. At f/27, my Schief is like looking through a soda straw, and with an f/15 scope, a somewhat wide FOV/quality finder will be a real asset. My preference is for a right angle finder... these old knees and back don't like having to bend in a pretzel any more, and I don't view without a diagonal in a refractor for the very same reason!
Wes


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BillP
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4322930 - 01/18/11 01:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Finder scope, please make it a straight-through, and a 10x30 would work great. I think 30mm should be the minimum size. I would also like to have the finder mounted on high-stalk mountings directly on the top of the tube, rather than left offset. This would make it more convenient for equatorial mount use, and left-offset finder mounts on small scopes are not as friendly to left-eyed observers




I STRONGLY support this!





The three ruptured disks in my neck STRONGLY DON'T support this Please, let's have it be a right angle finder otherwise I could never use it If a straight thru is wanted by many, then just offer an option for straight or right angled please.


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GlenM
Vendor - Lyra Optic


Reged: 05/20/07

Loc: Lancashire England
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: BillP]
      #4323414 - 01/18/11 05:36 PM

That looks like a lot of polishing

This scope now resides at the Winston Churchill School,Woking,Surrey. It's being used for Astronomy students to study our solar system.


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Doug76
Long Achro Junkie
*****

Reged: 12/05/07

Loc: Refractor Heaven
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: BillP]
      #4326483 - 01/19/11 11:18 PM

Quote:

All Silver focuser...quite nice...




This one looks very familiar, and if it is the one I think it is, the tan sections are now gloss black, and while the focuser is still silver colored, the focus adapter is now white. And Javier now owns the scope.


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: ukcanuck]
      #4326859 - 01/20/11 08:10 AM Attachment (38 downloads)

Quote:

Feeling somewhat inspired, I've decided to take a project that has sat on my back burner for some time and bump it up the to-do list.

The basics of the project is this: Take my 100mm/F15 Skylight Refractor, and shrink it to 60mm aperture proportions. The result will be the same fusion of Victorian design and modern engineering, but in miniature. This 60mm /F15-ish refractor will have the same quality of design and manufacture, and I aim to keep the design and build even more in-house than my 100mm...thanks to recent investment in workshop tooling!




Hi Richard,

As already anticipated privately, I would also add my own views to this inspiring project, if I may. These are coming from years of using/revamping/servicing those which I'd consider the best among the 60mm scopes (i.e., Zeiss AS63/840, Zeiss Telementor C63/840, Royal-Astro/Goto Hy-Score 60/1200, Unitron 128/114 60/900, and few others).

In the end you shall obviously follow your own taste, still I'd also leave these points there so as to inspire you.

In short, if I had to design my dream 2.4" scope, that would have the following features:

LENS: At least 60/1000 f/16,6. Better 60/1200 f/20 (*this* is a truly killer combination). Collimateable cell, obviously. AND, for my likings, it should have something like a 75x1 thread towards the tube.

TUBE COLOR: You seem to have are already settled on black powdercoated and brass... still, while white and black are also classics, I would suggest polished Brass -- apart from the obvious references in the Victorian telescopes (...the Broadhurst & Clarkson Steward...:) ), think of the TeleVue Renaissance. This is going to be a heavy OTA, though. So, more stress on light mounts. An alternative could be polished Aluminum -- this would be as beautiful and classic but have the advantage of the regular aluminum weight. White is obviously fine. But my own dream scope would be polished metal (see hereunder the Series #6000 Unitron 4" f/15 hand-polished ).

TUBE DIA.: 80mm. This leaves space around the optical path and is fully compatible with the Takahashi 60mm and Borg 80 series. This could come handy. Also a 1200mm scope 80mm wide is well proportioned -- think the various 75/1200 or 80/1200.

TUBE LENGTH: Bino ready (with extra-strong screw-in/out extension, as already suggested). So, no more than 90cm (max. 100); it actually depends on the focuser choice.

BAFFLES: NO baffles whatsoever. Once you baffle it for 2", that is useless for 1 1/4" and .965". If you baffle it for the 1 1/4" (not to mention 0.965") you are cutting light for the 2" eyepieces... Just an *excellent* flat black and then leave the last part of baffling to the focuser drawtube (that could be ridged akin AP and FT).

FOCUSER: *Removable* (and not just for transportation) 2" focuser with reducers to 1 1/4" and 0.965" (there are ***excellent*** 0.965" eyepieces that are perfect match for such a scope). Have the rear cell being threaded (with a standard non-proprietary thread, please; something like Borg comes into mind) and offer more than one option. Personally I do not like crayfords (but most people do) and prefer MUCH more either a good R&P or a helical (also classic choice). Possibly a couple of adapters would allow people to choose among different focuser kinds. If I had to choose, that would definitely be a whole metal smooth R&P with *big* beautifully finished knobs.

CRADLE: Yes, tube rings with dovetail bar is practical. Cradle is much nicer. Yes, I know it's expensive. But this is a dream scope. In any case, you could have both options. I think this is indeed a scope that should come in different flavours as per the accessories one can choose...

DEW-SHIELD: Long, really long: between 3D and 5D. Sliding would be nice. At least reversible (ŕ la Astro-Physics).

FINDER: 8÷10 x 30 should be fine (focusable reticle, with cross interrupted in the middle, please) -- same finish of the OTA, of course. In any event, one could always add a 41 PO and pan at 29x...

EYEPIECES: A Huygens/Ramsden high quality set, by finding something NICE (...in Japan...?). Idem for a vanilla Ortho set. I would not mess with offering a 2" wide... TeleVue is already there...;) What about having also an eyepieces box...?!

BALANCE: I would *definitely* add as an option a sliding counterweight (see Unitron Unibalance).

WOODEN CASE: Either a simple travel case like the one I have for the Telementor-I (at the bottom) or something similar to the smallest Unitrons, with space for the eyepieces (hereunder).



AND, ***of course***, a nice set of rings (ŕ la Unitron) allowing to put the F15/m on top of the original F15 as a guidescope...:)

My order is already in...

Cheers,

-- Max


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4326868 - 01/20/11 08:16 AM Attachment (34 downloads)

Don't seem to be able to load also the Unitron 6000 together with the others... so, well, here it is...

-- Max


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4326879 - 01/20/11 08:23 AM

Gee, Max, back with a vengeance...

Your tastes in 60mm refractors resemble mine, but even more refined and expensive!

If Richard build this thing to either yours or my liking, nobody else would buy them. They would be too expensive!

I still hope he makes a *nice* 8x30 straight (or perhaps RACI) brass finderscope. If it looks nice, I can get one and mount it on my 60/850mm Zeiss Reisefernrohr...

This thread is getting really enjoyable!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #4327105 - 01/20/11 10:43 AM

Quote:

Gee, Max, back with a vengeance...





Quote:

Your tastes in 60mm refractors resemble mine, but even more refined and expensive!
If Richard build this thing to either yours or my liking, nobody else would buy them. They would be too expensive!



What do you mean...?!?! I did say "NO Baffles" didn't I...?!?!
I am already cutting corners...


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Preston Smith
The Travel Scope Guy
*****

Reged: 04/24/05

Loc: Eureka, Pa
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4327598 - 01/20/11 02:34 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

Beautiful scopes Max!


Sometimes you just have to break away from tradition....


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ukcanuck
Vendor (Skylight Telescopes)
*****

Reged: 11/07/06

Loc: London, UK
Re: Project: Skylight F15m (mini): launching at NEAF! new [Re: Preston Smith]
      #4327712 - 01/20/11 03:24 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

Quote:

Sometimes you just have to break away from tradition....




Not necessarily...


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