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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: rboe]
      #5485171 - 10/23/12 12:23 PM

Quote:

Can't wait to see this in Tucson in a few weeks.




Thanks for your input Ron. I look forward to meeting you and putting the HALO in your hands in Tucson!

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: mayidunk]
      #5485235 - 10/23/12 12:57 PM

Quote:

I just want to know that my scope, and the Halo itself, won't be subject to any unfortunate failures years from now.




And therein lies the rub Bob. There is simply no way for you (or I) to KNOW right now what will take years to be proven one way or the other. If we were Ford or Toyota, we might be able to design some Rube Goldberg machine that could apply accelerated stress testing to the HALO so that it would only take six months (and vast amounts of money) to simulate what would otherwise take several years of field use to prove out. But weíre not, and we canít. As I mentioned before, Iím quite certain that there was much concern and hand wringing when MDF was first used for telescope bases, and Iím also quite certain that the manufacturers didnít have advanced stress testing data to assure concerned prospective customers that the MDF bases wouldnít suffer "unfortunate failures" several years after purchase. Overly concerned buyers simply had to wait and allow less risk-averse buyers to find out one way or the other. So if your prerequisite for buying a HALO is knowing something right now that simply isnít knowable, then I think the only prudent thing for you to do is to just install a DIY setting circle ring on your groundboard and enjoy using it. No need to stress over the HALO.

For others reading this thread, I can only say that I donít BELIEVE that the HALO (or your scope) will be "subject to any unfortunate failures years from now". If you need more assurance than that, then youíll just have to wait. Youíll survive without the HALO, and weíll survive without the order. Several years from now you will know, based on the historical record, how the HALO has performed over the long term and you can make your purchasing decision then.

And for anyone who isnít worried about the HALO itself failing, but is now concerned that their Dob base "could" or "might" suffer an unfortunate failure after using it for several years with their HALO, I think that is in fact far less likely than the HALO itself failing (which I also think is highly unlikely). Again, I canít KNOW what the long term effect of using the HALO with your Dob base will be, until HALOs have actually been used with Dobs for several years. But since these MDF Dobsonian base designs have been on the market for many years now, I think we can more easily make some assumptions about how THEY will hold up.

The groundboards for the 12" scopes that the HALO is designed for have a diameter of 25.08". They are ONLY supported at three locations by three rubber feet that are 1.14" in diameter. And the center of each of those three feet is only ONE INCH from the "extreme outer edge" of the groundboard. So the entire weight of your telescope is being concentrated on three small points pretty darn close to the extreme outer edge of the groundboard. By comparison, when your base is sitting in the HALO it is practically on a throne. The HALO has a 3/4" wide shelf that supports the groundboard all around its perimeter (except for six small cutouts). So yes the HALO does indeed support your Dob base around its "extreme outer edge", but the factory foot positions are within 1/4" of the edge of the HALO shelf, and again there are only THREE of them.

So considering the fact that three small feet situated 1" from the extreme outer edge have been historically proven to adequately support the MDF groundboard, then personally I think it is safe to assume that a shelf that comes within 1/4" of the existing foot locations, but supports almost the entire perimeter of that MDF groundboard, is a safe substitute. Actually I suspect that the perimeter-shelf would be LESS likely to allow the groundboard to sag, warp, or fail, than three feet just 1" from the edge. But again I donít have any hard historical data or accelerated stress analysis to back up that assumption, so if youíre looking for hard proof, youíll have to wait.

And one thing to keep in mind during all this discussion of failures, is that the HALO is SEPARATE from your Dob base. You simply set the HALO on the ground when you arrive at the observing site, and then set your Dob base in the HALO. Then at the end of your observing session you lift your Dob base OUT of the HALO, pick up the HALO, and go home. Even for EXTREMELY active observers, the Dob base will only spend a small fraction of its life sitting in the HALO. The other 95% or so of its life the Dob base will be sitting on three feet 1" from the extreme outer edge....

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485253 - 10/23/12 01:07 PM

Quote:

Even for EXTREMELY active observers, the Dob base will only spend a small fraction of its life sitting in the HALO.





Not so, in my case with my 16" setup in my observatory. the HALO would become a permanent addition to the setup.

One other question I might have is, what is the diameter for the feet on the HALO for the 16"? This is important, as I would most assurdedly want the HALO feet resting on my concrete support; rather than on the wood floor around the concrete.


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mayidunk
Don't Ask...
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485261 - 10/23/12 01:14 PM

Hi David,

Yes, I guess I sounded a bit like a screaming mimi. Of course, there really isn't any way to predict the future, so it will come down to how well early adopters are doing with it a year or so down the road.

Thank you for answering my questions and concerns, and for putting up with my admittedly sophomoric, armchair engineering. The Halo looks to be a very well thought out product, I hope many will take advantage of all that it offers.

I wish you well!


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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5485270 - 10/23/12 01:20 PM

Carol, your floor is quite stout and it should work just fine. That said, only an eye piece test will confirm it. Your scope would be one of the heavier scopes on a HALO. With it being on there 24/7 it will a good long term test of it. Still, the loads are not that great so I would be very surprised to see a a problem. I suspect if any problems did show up it would be well within a year and under warranty.

They could convert to phenolic resin - at a great cost.

In any event, YOU will be able to answer these fears with your setup.

If by some wild stress the legs did splay out, turnbuckles tying the three legs together would fix it up straight away.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: rboe]
      #5485308 - 10/23/12 01:40 PM

Ron, yes the observatory floor is stout, however, I still prefer to have the scope resting completely on the concrete base. When I had my refractor in the observatory, on the wood floor, there was definitely vibration when I moved. I really don't want to have to "answer these fears" with my setup; as I'm the least likely to be able to fix any problems that "could/might" arise.

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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5485314 - 10/23/12 01:43 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Even for EXTREMELY active observers, the Dob base will only spend a small fraction of its life sitting in the HALO.





Not so, in my case with my 16" setup in my observatory. the HALO would become a permanent addition to the setup.

One other question I might have is, what is the diameter for the feet on the HALO for the 16"? This is important, as I would most assurdedly want the HALO feet resting on my concrete support; rather than on the wood floor around the concrete.




Hi Carol,

I canít say exactly what the diameter of the circle that circumscribes the feet on the 16Ē model will be until we get one in here for prototyping. But I THINK it will be around 35.5Ē, give or take a half inch or so. Will that fit your concrete pad?

Of course if you plan for your telescope to permanently live on the HALO, then Bobís concerns about sagging/failure are certainly more relevant (as compared to the normal usage situation where the Dob sits in the HALO infrequently and for short periods of time).

Personally, I still think that the HALO will hold up just fine over the long term because of its thickness and because it supports the Dob base symmetrically around the perimeter of the groundboard. But again I donít have any hard historical data to back that up, and if you are concerned about that, Bobís idea of a stamped steel insert sounds like a pretty good way of making the whole unit incredibly strong (albeit more expensive, heavy, etc.)

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: mayidunk]
      #5485320 - 10/23/12 01:46 PM

Quote:

Hi David,

Yes, I guess I sounded a bit like a screaming mimi. Of course, there really isn't any way to predict the future, so it will come down to how well early adopters are doing with it a year or so down the road.

Thank you for answering my questions and concerns, and for putting up with my admittedly sophomoric, armchair engineering. The Halo looks to be a very well thought out product, I hope many will take advantage of all that it offers.

I wish you well!




No problem at all Bob. I figured that sooner or later somebody would express concern about the fact that the HALO is basically made of "non-structural" MDF (albeit a higher-tech, thicker version than used in the Dob bases it is designed to support). And I knew that the HALO would have to establish some history before everybody became comfortable with the construction. Fortunately there are enough early-adopters out there who like to try new stuff regardless of any perceived risks involved, that we should all know in short order whether the HALO lives up to its promise.

Anyway, thanks for your well wishes and encouragement Bob, and Clear Skies!

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485329 - 10/23/12 01:50 PM

Thanks David; I'll get down to the observatory to meature the concrete in a day or two; had snow yesterday, & it's extremely slick out.

Indeed, I would want it for a permanent setup; as once setup in the observatory; there would be no reason to ever move the scope or remove the HALO.


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5485357 - 10/23/12 02:02 PM

Quote:

Indeed, I would want it for a permanent setup; as once setup in the observatory; there would be no reason to ever move the scope or remove the HALO.




Well then, as Ron mentioned you may be the perfect test case since you would be putting one of the heaviest telescopes on the largest HALO. Once we get a 16" LB base in here so that we can get the HALO dimensioned perfectly for it, I'll get in touch.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485431 - 10/23/12 02:57 PM

Carol,
For a permanent setup you can perhaps get rid of the Halo feet all together and instead use leveling blocks/shims directly underneath the circumference of the Halo for more solid support, directly over your concrete footing.
This would also prevent potential splaying of the Halo feet over time.
But on the other hand if you did that that would be a rather expensive degree circle setup as one attractive feature of the Halo are the leveling feet, which you are also paying for and a nice feature to have every time you set up your scope out in the field.


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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485432 - 10/23/12 02:59 PM

I suspect we'll be visiting carol again in about two years ( or less) and can check things out then. Even correct any floor interface problems that would cause vibration for her - like playing her music too loud.

I'd use my scope but the rebuild schedule keeps getting pushed off.....


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485436 - 10/23/12 02:59 PM

And speaking of perfectly dimensioned HALOs, check out the new model for the Orion XT10 (not 100% complete but should be finished and shipped out by tomorrow):





Ain't it purdy??

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: rboe]
      #5485446 - 10/23/12 03:09 PM

Quote:

Even correct any floor interface problems that would cause vibration for her




Don't know how that would be done; it's carpeted, and no way to get underneath the floor. My idea of the concrete support under the scope is level with the floor, to prevent tripping on the edge.
When I can, I'll measure the concrete; but if I remember correctly; it's just large enough for the feet of the base of the scope. The scope as it sits, has absolutely no vibration, and that I'm not willing to give up.



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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5485466 - 10/23/12 03:18 PM

Quote:

Carol,
For a permanent setup you can perhaps get rid of the Halo feet all together and instead use leveling blocks/shims directly underneath the circumference of the Halo for more solid support.
This would also prevent potential splaying of the Halo feet over time.
But on the other hand if you did that that would be a rather expensive degree circle setup as one attractive feature of the Halo are the leveling feet, which you are also paying for and a nice feature to have every time you set up your scope out in the field.




DUH, I don't know why I didn't think of that Carol! One of the things that makes the HALO so cool is that you can just plop it down in any old field (within reason) and easily and quickly get it leveled without needing shims. But Gastrol is absolutely right, that you probably don't NEED adjustable leveling feet for your permanent installation on a concrete slab (that is presumably level already).

Of course I'd love for you to have a HALO anyway, and I'm sure you would enjoy using it. And if nothing else, your Dob will certainly look MUCH classier sitting on the HALO. So we can continue to explore the possibilities.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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mayidunk
Don't Ask...
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485492 - 10/23/12 03:30 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Indeed, I would want it for a permanent setup; as once setup in the observatory; there would be no reason to ever move the scope or remove the HALO.




Well then, as Ron mentioned you may be the perfect test case since you would be putting one of the heaviest telescopes on the largest HALO. Once we get a 16" LB base in here so that we can get the HALO dimensioned perfectly for it, I'll get in touch.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com



David, if the I.D. of the Halo is a slip fit for the O.D. of the LB's base, that might add enough additional support to help prevent the Halo from cupping in over the long haul (provided that cupping is even an issue to begin with!). Especially if the outer edge of the LB's groundboard is flat, or has a large diameter radius milled into it. Perhaps that, along with only extending the Halo's feet just enough to keep the LB's feet just off the floor, and tightening down the lock nuts on the threaded rods once the mount has been leveled, might go far towards greatly increasing the Halo's overall rigidity and resistance to any sag that might otherwise develop over the long haul under such a load.



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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5485495 - 10/23/12 03:32 PM

David, as you know, I'm very interested; but only if it works well for me. I really don't think the HALO would look very classy up on blocks.

We'll just wait & see what the actual diameter of the feet will be for my 16"; and in the meantime, I'll get the measurement of the concrete pad.


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5485504 - 10/23/12 03:39 PM

Quote:

I really don't think the HALO would look very classy up on blocks.




You probably won't even see them anyway as they will be pretty thin. Hockey pucks or even poker chips can be used instead of blocks.
Or, if your concrete surface is completely level, you don't even need any of these, except for perhaps a layer of felt paper as a moisture barrier.


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: mayidunk]
      #5485508 - 10/23/12 03:44 PM

Quote:

David, if the I.D. of the Halo is a slip fit for the O.D. of the LB's base, that might add enough additional support to help prevent the Halo from cupping in over the long haul (provided that cupping is even an issue to begin with!). Especially if the outer edge of the LB's groundboard is flat, or has a large diameter radius milled into it. Perhaps that, along with only extending the Halo's feet just enough to keep the LB's feet just off the floor, and tightening down the lock nuts on the threaded rods once the mount has been leveled, might go far towards greatly increasing the Halo's overall rigidity and resistance to any sag that might otherwise develop over the long haul under such a load.




Yeah I didn't really go into that, but your thinking is basically correct. The HALO isn't an exact fit for the Dob base because we don't want customers to have to pry their base out of the HALO with a crowbar. So there are several thousandths of an inch clearance all the way around. And the outside edges of the groundboards aren't perfectly flat. But still, the groundboard itself will prevent the inside walls of the HALO from falling/sagging inward (more than a few thousandths of an inch) which is what would have to occur for the feet to be splayed out. So basically what you're saying is true: the groundboard and the HALO mutually support each other.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5485513 - 10/23/12 03:47 PM

Quote:

I really don't think the HALO would look very classy up on blocks.




I shudder at the thought!

Seriously though, if your floor is flat and level, we could simply send you a HALO without feet, and you could remove the rubber feet from the bottom of your Dob's base. Then just set the HALO flat on the floor, get it oriented perfectly north, set the Dob in it and you're good to go.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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