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Equipment Discussions >> ATM, Optics and DIY Forum

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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: Larry Silvestri]
      #5839483 - 05/04/13 02:27 AM Attachment (130 downloads)

Wow! I do not know how I missed this thread! Well, better late than never. Here is my trusty Coulter 10" f/5.6 Equatorial Fork Mounted Newtonian. I named it after my mentor back in the '70s "The Gary Barabino Reflector". This is an old shot of it before I installed a custom-made clock drive on it.

Mel


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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5839486 - 05/04/13 02:31 AM Attachment (106 downloads)

My next effort was a refractor build using a Surplus Shed 127mm f/9.4 achromat. I did a great total lunar eclipse observation with this instrument back in December of 2010. Here is a link to the observation: Total Lunar Eclipse of December 21, 2010

Mel


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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5839490 - 05/04/13 02:38 AM Attachment (124 downloads)

Here is my latest creation. A refractor build using a Carton 100mm f/13 achromat. I named this scope after my mother: The Mary Dawson Refractor.

This is a great instrument in that I was able bust open Epsilon Lyrae using a TeleVue 24mm Panoptic, which yield a meager power of 54x! Simply awesome!!!

BTW - I am currently finishing up a 6" f/10 Jaegers refractor, which I hope to complete this spring.

Mel


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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5839886 - 05/04/13 10:54 AM

Mel that is one solid looking tripod! Mike

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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5839929 - 05/04/13 11:25 AM

what's that under the mount? accessory cart/powercell/coffee warmer?

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Dick Jacobson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/22/06

Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5840099 - 05/04/13 01:10 PM

Quote:

Wow! I do not know how I missed this thread! Well, better late than never. Here is my trusty Coulter 10" f/5.6 Equatorial Fork Mounted Newtonian. I named it after my mentor back in the '70s "The Gary Barabino Reflector". This is an old shot of it before I installed a custom-made clock drive on it.

Mel



Great looking mount, Mel! I'm a big fan of fork-mounted Newtonians and have built a few. How is the stability of this scope? I'm wondering if the polar axis tube is strong enough to do the job.


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474747
super member
*****

Reged: 04/19/08

Loc: Florida, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5840195 - 05/04/13 02:22 PM

Does the tube rotate on the fork mount? If so, can you tell us about it?

Quote:

Wow! I do not know how I missed this thread! Well, better late than never. Here is my trusty Coulter 10" f/5.6 Equatorial Fork Mounted Newtonian. I named it after my mentor back in the '70s "The Gary Barabino Reflector". This is an old shot of it before I installed a custom-made clock drive on it.

Mel




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schang
sage


Reged: 04/24/13

Loc: columbia, sc
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: gmussman]
      #5842653 - 05/05/13 11:09 PM

Hi, Gmussman, nice DIY scope. I am a new member and looking recently for one to buy or build, likely a 14" dob. Obviously cost is an issue for me so I am interesting in a Hubble UL14 but read here that its structure needs some mods to operate smoothly. There are a lot of info to read and learn, but I am retired and time is no issue to me :-). Assuming the mirror is of decent quality, is it worthwhile to buy the mirror/diagonal, etc to build the structure? Since the mirror takes a long time and $$ to ship to US, I wonder if this is worthwhile to wait than getting a GSO instead, other than the sandwich mirror which I like. How long do you have to wait for GSO mirror? I am pretty handy and have ton of time...

Shien


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Dick Jacobson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/22/06

Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: schang]
      #5843086 - 05/06/13 08:35 AM

If you like building things but are not interested in grinding your own mirrors, it makes a lot of sense to purchase the optics and build the telescope around them. I did that with my 20" scope. My 14" was originally purchased as a complete scope, but I rebuilt everything and now all that's left of the original is the optics and their mounting hardware.

Regarding Hubble Optics, I have no personal experience but I have a friend who recently purchased a UL16 and was very unhappy with both the optics and mechanics. He had the mirror tested by a local expert who said it was the worst he had ever seen. He sent the mirror back and its replacement was somewhat better.


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gmussman
super member
*****

Reged: 09/21/12

Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: Dick Jacobson]
      #5843163 - 05/06/13 09:45 AM

Shien,
I agree with Dick Jackobsen's comments above. I personally found it very rewarding to build my scope around a mirror and components. In my case, I cannibalized a lightbridge 12" from craiglist for the mirror, cell, fan, and spider/diagonal. I was not happy with the lightbridge's bearings (way too easy to move, hard to keep on target) or portability (heavy, the parts don't fit together or stack unless assembled). I made my bearings oversized, used the formica/teflon combination I like, and made it tail heavy so I can use a finder and big fancy eyepieces. Not that I own any, yet ...

The GSO mirror seems to star test very well (seriously, though, I'm not sure I know what I'm doing) and the views are amazing. I am very happy with the mirror. The diagonal, on the other hand ... well, I designed for a protostar diagonal, but ran out of money in my $1000 budget.

So I've had a great experience with the GSO mirror and with building. Feel free to PM me if you want to know any more about what it was like to build.

Grant


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schang
sage


Reged: 04/24/13

Loc: columbia, sc
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: Dick Jacobson]
      #5843168 - 05/06/13 09:47 AM

Hi, Dick:
Thanks for the response. Look like Hubble mirror is a hit or miss thing. How about GSO mirrors? I am not going to grind my own mirror for sure due to the lack of testing equipment or the materials for it. Your and others' comments on the mechanics of Hubble structure convinced me to decide to build my own structure. Heck, there will be some issues on all new equipment. So it may be worthwhile to DIY this instead of tweaking what you bought. As for the mirror, what do you think of GSO ? While I want a perfect one, reality check (my wife, that is ) forbids me to do so. This is an expensive hobby, which I try to minimize the costs by DIY or buy used items off the Internet.
Shien


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schang
sage


Reged: 04/24/13

Loc: columbia, sc
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: gmussman]
      #5843190 - 05/06/13 10:04 AM

Hi, Gmussman:
Thanks for the response. I will look into used or GSO new mirrors. The bearings need to have large radii with continuous surface for smooth operation, other things being equal, I think. It will take me a while to gather materials and info to start building it, including an EQ mount. Whatever I do, I certainly will ask you veterans for guidance, that is for sure.
Shien


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Dick Jacobson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/22/06

Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: schang]
      #5843973 - 05/06/13 04:44 PM

I have no experience with GSO mirrors. My 14" was originally in a Discovery telescope, I believe it was made by Terry Ostahowsky and I think it is excellent.

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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5844038 - 05/06/13 05:21 PM

Quote:

Mel that is one solid looking tripod! Mike




Thanks, Mikey! I was thinking of mass producing them as an alternative to the TeleVue Gibraltar tripods. At a substantially reduce price, of course.

Mel


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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5844047 - 05/06/13 05:26 PM

Quote:

what's that under the mount? accessory cart/powercell/coffee warmer?




... it is a Stanley rolling toolbox. I have since upgrade to the Stanley FatMax rolling workshop. Great for hauling of you astronomy gear.

Mel


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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: Dick Jacobson]
      #5844072 - 05/06/13 05:41 PM Attachment (92 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

Wow! I do not know how I missed this thread! Well, better late than never. Here is my trusty Coulter 10" f/5.6 Equatorial Fork Mounted Newtonian. I named it after my mentor back in the '70s "The Gary Barabino Reflector". This is an old shot of it before I installed a custom-made clock drive on it.

Mel



Great looking mount, Mel! I'm a big fan of fork-mounted Newtonians and have built a few. How is the stability of this scope? I'm wondering if the polar axis tube is strong enough to do the job.




Hi Dick,

The scope is very stable atop this fork mount. The polar axis is made from a 2" quarter inch wall section of 6061-T6 aluminum tubing. It works fantastic! Very smooth and stays where you point it. Both RA and DEC axises utilized a Teflon-to-Metal interface, which produces what we coin as "stop right there" technology. It works fantastic! Currently, it has a custom clock drive installed to spin it. The drive tracks quite well. Here is a photo.

Mel


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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: 474747]
      #5844085 - 05/06/13 05:49 PM

Quote:

Does the tube rotate on the fork mount? If so, can you tell us about it?

Quote:

Wow! I do not know how I missed this thread! Well, better late than never. Here is my trusty Coulter 10" f/5.6 Equatorial Fork Mounted Newtonian. I named it after my mentor back in the '70s "The Gary Barabino Reflector". This is an old shot of it before I installed a custom-made clock drive on it.

Mel







Yes, the tube can rotate inside of the cradle. But you will have to loosing the bolts on the cradle's top section slightly in order to do so. I will be making some retro upgrades to this instrument to make "easy of use" much better. In the interim, if you like to see more details regarding the cradle you can go check it our here on my website: Cradle Construction Overview

Mel


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schang
sage


Reged: 04/24/13

Loc: columbia, sc
Re: Post your home made scope [Re: starman345]
      #5845982 - 05/07/13 03:50 PM

Hi, Brian:

That is a very nice 14 incher dob. I am thinking of building one using the Hubble 14" mirror, which you used. Can you comment about their mirror/diagonal/focuser quality? I have not take the plunge yet due to the long shipping time and costs. Currently there is one on ebay with Stehle ratio of 0.985. Do'nt know if this is a good one. Any comments? Also, where did you acquire all these components to build it? I do not mind to get used stuffs if available with decent quality or new ones for that matter. Though I need to watch my pocket too .Thanks.
Shien


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rogercelliott
sage


Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Redding, CA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: dawsonian2000]
      #5852588 - 05/10/13 07:18 PM

Nice scope! Who made the clock drive?

Cheers
Roger


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dawsonian2000
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/26/06

Loc: Riverview, FL, USA
Re: Post your home made scope new [Re: rogercelliott]
      #5853067 - 05/11/13 12:13 AM

Quote:

Nice scope! Who made the clock drive?

Cheers
Roger




Hi Roger,

The drive was fabricated by my friend Eric Moerman in Belgium for initial use as a DEC drive on one of his telescope mount projects. Eric is also a fine equatorial fork mount designer and builder, for which is how we became acquainted. When I mentioned to him that I was going to purchase a clock drive for my fork mount, he told me he no longer was using the DEC drive and could repurpose it as a RA drive by instilling a 7-to-1 ratio gear reduction gear box at a good price. I took the chance and it paid off. The end result is pictured above. I have since housed the wiring.


Please let me know if you need to know more...

Thanks,
Mel


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