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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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PhilCo126
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: idealistic]
      #5588108 - 12/25/12 05:32 AM

@DonTaylor
Superb classic f/11 refractor !


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clintwhitman
Caveman
*****

Reged: 01/01/07

Loc: CALI SoEasyACavemanCanSlewIt
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: billybird]
      #5588200 - 12/25/12 08:36 AM

Bill Great setup Love the entire Idea..

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PJTramdack
member


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: astrogaffer]
      #5589221 - 12/26/12 04:52 AM

That is a beautiful photo

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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: billybird]
      #5589284 - 12/26/12 08:09 AM

Bill, great observatory concept; could you please elaborate on the mechanics of the observatory? Does the whole observatory rotate on vertical axis and the scope on horizontal? How did you re-engineer the 6" scope for observing from the inside; there must be a diagonal built into the system? What material are the walls made of? Do you have any issue with vibrations while you are in there observing; how smooth are the alt/az movements of the observatory/scope in terms of vibration if my assumptions about mechanics are correct? Lot of questions; please elaborate on these and other technical/mechanical/insulation aspects of the observatory if you don't mind. Regards

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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: billybird]
      #5589302 - 12/26/12 08:26 AM

Quote:

Hello John,

Yes, I did bring it to Stellafane in 1989. It was a wonderful experience.

I've had such good luck with that scope/observatory that I'm trying to build a new improved version. The old bod is wearing out which makes it difficult to do this.

Thanks for your interest/complement.

billybird (aka Bill)




I thought it was the most clever observatory I'd ever seen.


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SteveG
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5589692 - 12/26/12 12:54 PM

Quote:

Bill, great observatory concept; could you please elaborate on the mechanics of the observatory? Does the whole observatory rotate on horizontal axis and the scope on vertical? How did you re-engineer the 6" scope for observing from the inside; there must be a diagonal built into the system? What material are the walls made of? Do you have any issue with vibrations while you are in there observing; how smooth are the alt/az movements of the observatory/scope in terms of vibration if my assumptions about mechanics are correct? Lot of questions; please elaborate on these and other technical/mechanical/insulation aspects of the observatory if you don't mind. Regards




I would like to know this as well. Does it track & by what means? How did you fabricate or purchase the diagonal - which must be at the scopes altitude pivot point.


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billybird
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: SteveG]
      #5590122 - 12/26/12 06:45 PM

Hello Steve,
We are getting ready for a dinner party now. Can't go into extended detailwith your questions. Ask again in case I forget. Mean while, if you can dig up Sky & Tel for June 1991 page 647 there are about 4 pages devoted to Tardis I with lotsa details. Then we can go from there. OK

Billy Bird


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Norm Meyer
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/09

Loc: Warren, ME 04864
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) new [Re: billybird]
      #5590148 - 12/26/12 07:11 PM

Billy Bird,
Great observatory. I have both the S&T article and the
ATM article. I think every amateur dreams of a heated observatory, especially those of us in cold climates. I'm
in Maine so I can appreciate the comfort of observing in
68 deg. temps in the winter. I have been toying with making
a wooden version of your observatory. I'm retired now so
I have no excuses not too. Again great job.

Regards Norm


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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: billybird]
      #5590569 - 12/27/12 12:07 AM

Quote:

...if you can dig up Sky & Tel for June 1991 page 647 there are about 4 pages devoted to Tardis I with lotsa details...

Billy Bird



Thanks Bill for the S&T reference; actually 6 pages. Hope you wouldn't mind I putting all items in one spot for everyone’s convenience/reference? Regards, Mike

Page 647...
Page 648...
Page 649...
Page 650...
Page 651...
Page 652...

Quote:

After dinner tonight I went out to my observatory (in my driveway) and fired up the 1500 watt heater under the seat. The temperature in Minneapolis tonight is about 12F, the air is crisp and we have Jupiter and a first quarter moon overhead. This should be a good night for a bit of cosmic cruising.
After I finish this post I’ll take my thermos filled with hot apple cider out there where the inside temperature will be around 68F. I’ll be out there till 2 or 3 AM. I’ve been known to fall asleep leaning on the eyepiece. Later, when I quit for the night and look in a mirror, I see I have a black eye from the rubber cup on the eyepiece. None of my astronomy buddies can make that statement.
Per the invitation for observatory pictures I offer some shots of Tardis I, my heated observatory. It’s home built, started in 1980 and finished in 89. The scope was built around a rugged 6 inch F-10 Jaegers that I bought for $350 in 1978. By rugged I mean it has not had a lens cover on it for the last 18 years. The objective is always marinated in the outside ambient air so no problem with heat currents. No need to temperature stabilize, it’s always ready to go.
The 1500 watt heater, can hold an inside temp of 65F with the outside temp as low as -20F. In use for nearly 23 years I remember only once when I had an image problem due to inside heat. During a “star party” with a group of 8 year olds, Jupiter looked like a jiggling ball of jelly and I was befuddled by the cause. With young people hanging on the eyepiece inside and several more waiting on the entry stair with the door open I realized what the problem was. I told those standing to get off, and shut the door. I’ve never had a problem with heat since.
A feature of my design is the layout of the mounting. It shares some resemblance to the Naysmith design with some large differences. I use the term asymmetric alt/az to describe the Tardis I mounting. The significant word is “asymmetric”. Simply stated, asymmetry allows that for any object in the sky there are two possible positions for the scope (objective lens) to view a given object. One position places the objective up wind of the heated cabin and the other downwind. The objective lens can almost always be positioned up wind in virgin outside air. Heat rising up from the enclosure is drawn down wind, away from the objective. I must admit, although I believe the above is true, I have never had to consider “upwind or downwind” while viewing. Heat rising has never been a problem with viewing. Keep in mind, the enclosure is well insulated.
At 81 years old, I can be up and running in two minutes flat (same to shut down). Last week we had our first snow for the season here in Mpls. We received 17 inches (see photo) and I did use a broom today. I’m not into fancy observing (high tech stuff), I just enjoy “cosmic cruising”.
Cheers,
Billybird















Edited by mmalik (12/27/12 04:19 AM)


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billybird
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: mmalik]
      #5590712 - 12/27/12 04:03 AM

Hello mmalik

It would help me alot to those of you that post interest in my observatory Tardis I, that you add a name. If you end with "regards" I'm not sure who I'm responding to.

Further, (mmalik) feel free to move my posts anyway you wish. I have included a few more pictures as separate posts during the last few days. They show the inside to include a young viewer during the Venus transit, yours truly and a shot of the Venus transit. Maybe for those interested these too could be moved over in line with the first entry. I have no idea how to do this. I was unsuccessful last week trying to post three shots (of limited byte size) in a group. The CN software simply would not suck up the pictures. I guess I was doing something wrong?

Thanks,
billybird a.k.a Bill


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billybird
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: Norm Meyer]
      #5590713 - 12/27/12 04:08 AM

Norm,
I will get back to you regarding Maine etc but it's getting late.

Bill


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billybird
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: mmalik]
      #5593789 - 12/29/12 04:33 AM

Hello Mike,
Regarding your questions about my observatory:
1. Yes, the whole thing revolves about a vertical axis located underneath, at the center of the floor (azimuth axis).
2.The scope rotates around a horizontal (altitude)axis that is concentric with the scope optical axis. Optician James Forde at E&W Optical made for me a superb 5 inch diameter (1" thk.) 1/10th wave quartz (aluminized) flat that is mounted at the intersection to bring starlight into the enclosure,
3.The main structural frame is made of various sizes of square and rectangular steel tube 1/8th and 3/16th inch wall welded together.
4.The original skin is 1/16th inch 6061-T6 aluminum sheet (chromate passivated).
5.The inside walls are covered with 1 inch urethane sheet insulation.
6.The walls are finished on the inside with 1/4 inch enameled white masonite sheet.
7.To prepare the observatory for two years service at the South Pole, two more inches of white painted, aluminum clad, eurothane foam insulation were added on the outside.
8.The 5 3/4" Timken roller bearings used on both axes have been very successful. Images (visually) do not jiggle even in a stiff wind.

I could go on and on Mike but let me end by saying that this mount will back any other mounting design into a corner for stiffness at the eyepiece. You could hang a 1000 pounds on the eyepiece while looking at Vega and the image will not move. It's a matter of physics. So get busy and if you do build one, you'll never come back to tradition. I hope that the many others that had interest and questions while find this reply helpful cuz my hunt and peck finger is getting tired.

I've learned much with this design over the last twenty years and many details could be added but the overall layout I will not change as I continue to work on a new and improved model.

Sincerely,
billybird


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billybird
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: SteveG]
      #5593793 - 12/29/12 04:46 AM

Hi Steve,
I just posted some answers to mmalik's questions about my observatory that might be of interest to you.
billybird


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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: billybird]
      #5593836 - 12/29/12 06:25 AM

Thanks Billybird for the detailed response; greatly appreciated by all. Not sure if it would be appropriate to ask regarding the progress, possibly pictures, of the new and improved model being built? Thx

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Oskar Moilanen
journeyman


Reged: 09/29/12

Loc: Sweden
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: mmalik]
      #5594121 - 12/29/12 10:39 AM

This is my Skywatcher 80 ED that I've previously been using for terrestrial photography, but now it will only serve as an astronomical tool. The dew shield and lens cell has been repainted and the focuser has been replaced. The dovetail is directly attached to the tube. I'm considering painting the tube white, I just love white scopes.



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billybird
member


Reged: 10/19/10

Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: mmalik]
      #5594602 - 12/29/12 03:14 PM

Mike,
You would like pictures and I have many to share. Because of byte limits for pictures on CN, I have pictures of Tardis II posted on my website that you can look at if you wish. Go to www.volnaengineering.com. On lower left side of home page you will see an invitation to visit "Bill's retirement sandbox". From there just keep clicken and you'll see quite a bit about the evolution of my design for Tardis II and making wood patterns for it.

Bill a.k.a. billybird


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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: billybird]
      #5595977 - 12/30/12 11:43 AM Attachment (90 downloads)

My new Vixen ED 103S and friend

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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: Nippon]
      #5596244 - 12/30/12 02:18 PM

Very nice scope!
As Phil Harrington once said, I've never met a Vixen refractor I didn't like.

Steve


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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: stevew]
      #5596432 - 12/30/12 04:00 PM

Thanks for the compliment on the scope. Vixen scopes are very good. I too have never met one I didn't like.

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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Post a picture of your refractors (PART 5) [Re: Nippon]
      #5596629 - 12/30/12 05:45 PM

Beautiful setup. Tell your friend she's quite a Vixen herself!

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