Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

24" f/2.75

  • Please log in to reply
148 replies to this topic

#101 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:37 PM

 That's an amazing scope!  The feature that would be a must for me given how inept I am at it is self collimating. David

 

Thanks David,

 

If you liked the original electric collimation system with the 4 button controller then your probably going to love this latest version:

 

It's now an home-brewed 8-vector low-profile "thumbstick" controller that is oriented to sync with the movement of the the laser return on the barlowed target.  A light thumb press in the direction you want the target to move makes it completely intuitive in the dark.  It can operate one or both collimation motors simultaneously for side-to-side or diagonal movements as needed.  

 

Speaking of dark, the controller is black in the middle [the flattened stick], with a wide red softly back lit circle and black beyond that.  At night it sort of mimics the view of the illuminated return target.   As before, the controller is magnetically mounted with a self-retracting cable so it can be used either hand-held or attached to the cage.  Here's a pic:

 

 

Collimation Thumbstick (1).jpg

 

 

BTW, for scale the collimation control box is about 2" wide x 3" long x 3/4" deep.


Edited by phonehome, 27 November 2018 - 11:42 PM.

  • LauraMS and Lukes1040 like this

#102 Chucky

Chucky

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 974
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2010

Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:29 AM

Ed, I truly hope some of your innovations eventually trickle down to Guan Sheng levels of availability and affordability.   Kind of like Tang in the 1950's and 60's eventually made it to local supermarkets.



#103 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 30 November 2018 - 07:13 PM

Ed, I truly hope some of your innovations eventually trickle down to Guan Sheng levels of availability and affordability.   Kind of like Tang in the 1950's and 60's eventually made it to local supermarkets.

 

Thanks Chucky,

 

I'm putting everything out there for anyone to do with it as they please...you never know what might "stick".   Since the electric collimation is so fun and a number of folks, even when given no instructions, have tried and liked it I thought one last pic of the "handheld" aspect is called for:

 

Elvira's Collimation Control Box R.jpg

 

And while on fun stuff my next post be will along the same lines...

 

Ed



#104 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 30 November 2018 - 08:16 PM

As promised here is a little something a few might find interesting and maybe a bit funny.

 

Initially I had a green rifle-style targeting laser mounted on the far side of the upper cage.  It worked but I found the parallax a bit frustrating being so far away from the focuser side plus it's output was weakened with cold weather [a common problem]. 

 

So the Telrad is now modified to include a XXmilliwatt green laser inside the housing.  Since the Telrad is operated by power from the scope, the battery compartment was not used and the space available.  With the Telrad and laser located near the focuser it makes it much easier to "follow-the-beam".  This module was good to at least 0oF [it was tested in the freezer] and this was without a heater.  The beam is aligned to the scope with "windage" style adjustments visible on the front end.  The Telrad itself had previously been equipped with a PTC controlled heating element located against the glass sight window and an internal element near the relay lens for anti-fogging/dew and together they have worked very, very well. 

 

It has absolutely no observing value but the cool factor is undeniable: when looking through the Telrad [at the red rings], activating the laser results in a green line running from beyond the bottom and projecting upwards "terminating" in the distance in the middle of the center ring.

 

So this is what it looks like:

 

Elvira's Telrad Laser R.jpg

 

This is the electronic clutch handle with the laser trigger at the top:

 

Elvira's Handle 1 R.jpg

 

And this is how the laser is triggered:

 

Elvira's Handle 2 R.jpg


Edited by phonehome, 30 November 2018 - 11:48 PM.

  • denis0007dl and Lukes1040 like this

#105 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 20 December 2018 - 10:14 PM

Since the view count is still rising on this thread I thought it may be best to continue here with the next installment.  This post covers the transporter unit in it's 2018 (and current) configuration.

 

This has been a long thread and to refresh everyone's memory here is a picture of the transporter as originally conceived and built.  Although it has worked perfectly fine around the house and fields and at numerous star parties there was always a feeling that someday, somewhere, it might get stuck in sand, mud or snow and I wanted to add the capacity to climb steep ATV type ramps into the bed of a pickup truck if needed.

 

 

Original Transporter Sideview.jpg

 

 

Below is the redesign.  It carries over all the helpful features of the original, such as folding arms to hold the mirror cover and the cage during setup/take-down, a retracting power cable and of course, the ability to charge the scope.  The rework was performed in two stages: First the rear casters were discarded and the track system added [with rear wheel drive motors].  This worked OK but the weight ballooned from 201 to 232 lbs.  Also the weight distribution when empty was more rearward than I preferred. 

 

The second step was rebuilding the original steel frame in aluminum and replacing the two 12V lead batteries with higher capacity but a much lighter 1000 watt/hour 24V Lithium Iron Phosphate battery [see pics in following post].  The motor/gearboxes were relocated for "front" wheel drive so the transporter whether empty or loaded is now balanced on the pivot bolt of the bogie's rockers.  These and other changes reduced the weight to 156 lbs.  

 

 

Transporter Revised Side View.jpg

 

 

Other notables are the 12V 20Amp power receptacle in the back panel.  It can run a 12V hair dryer for many hours which makes for a great hand warmer.   The power controller was upgraded to 90 amps and the driving range, depending on terrain, is now about 12 to 14 miles.  USB charging ports, running & marker lights and of course a cup holder round it out.

 

I guess we can call it the "All-Terrain Telescope Transporter" for now shocked.gif but any cool acronyms that someone comes up with will be considered.


Edited by phonehome, 20 December 2018 - 10:24 PM.

  • DuaneS, LauraMS, havasman and 3 others like this

#106 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 20 December 2018 - 10:19 PM

Pics of the transporter with cowl removed:

 

Top view (note the 4 lift points for an OH electric wench):

 

Transporter Frame Top View.jpg

 

Front view:

 

Transporter Frame Front View.jpg

 

And the electronics bay (rear view):

 

Transporter Frame Electronics Bay.jpg

 

Anyone notice the tow hitch in the last photo?  Great for pulling a cart load of observing stuff!


Edited by phonehome, 21 December 2018 - 04:00 PM.

  • Lukes1040 likes this

#107 mark cowan

mark cowan

    Vendor (Veritas Optics)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 9415
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2005
  • Loc: salem, OR

Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:56 PM

Darn that looked familiar...

 

140915main_crawler-as5.jpg


  • Augustus likes this

#108 starzonesteve

starzonesteve

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 587
  • Joined: 17 May 2014
  • Loc: Central Alabama

Posted 21 December 2018 - 05:02 AM

Absolutely mind blowing!

 

I appreciate not only the well thought out craftsmanship but you taking the time to share it here.

 

I hope I'm lucky enough to actually see this beast in action some day.

 

I hope I'm even luckier and get to see these ideas come out in some form of limited custom made production at some point.

 

Thanks! bow.gif



#109 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10788
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 21 December 2018 - 12:18 PM

Since the view count is still rising on this thread I thought it may be best to continue here with the next installment.  This post covers the transporter unit in it's 2018 (and current) configuration.

 

This has been a long thread and to refresh everyone's memory here is a picture of the transporter as originally conceived and built.  Although it has worked perfectly fine around the house and fields and at numerous star parties there was always a feeling that someday, somewhere, it might get stuck in sand, mud or snow and I wanted to add the capacity to climb steep ATV type ramps into the bed of a pickup truck if needed.

 

 

attachicon.gif Original Transporter Sideview.jpg

 

 

Below is the redesign.  It carries over all the helpful features of the original, such as folding arms to hold the mirror cover and the cage during setup/take-down, a retracting power cable and of course, the ability to charge the scope.  The rework was performed in two stages: First the rear casters were discarded and the track system added [with rear wheel drive motors].  This worked OK but the weight ballooned from 201 to 232 lbs.  Also the weight distribution when empty was more rearward than I preferred. 

 

The second step was rebuilding the original steel frame in aluminum and replacing the two 12V lead batteries with higher capacity but a much lighter 1000 watt/hour 24V Lithium Iron Phosphate battery [see pics in following post].  The motor/gearboxes were relocated for "front" wheel drive so the transporter whether empty or loaded is now balanced on the pivot bolt of the bogie's rockers.  These and other changes reduced the weight to 156 lbs.  

 

 

attachicon.gif Transporter Revised Side View.jpg

 

 

Other notables are the 12V 20Amp power receptacle in the back panel.  It can run a 12V hair dryer for many hours which makes for a great hand warmer.   The power controller was upgraded to 90 amps and the driving range, depending on terrain, is now about 12 to 14 miles.  USB charging ports, running & marker lights and of course a cup holder round it out.

 

I guess we can call it the "All-Terrain Telescope Transporter" for now shocked.gif but any cool acronyms that someone comes up with will be considered.

 

Cup holder? With that design you need a 88mm high velocity gun ...



#110 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 22 December 2018 - 01:52 PM

Jeff,  

 

Sorry, don't have a 88...will a 610 do?

 

 

Elvira + Transporter Side View 1.jpg


Edited by phonehome, 22 December 2018 - 05:31 PM.

  • Jeff Morgan, LauraMS, havasman and 2 others like this

#111 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 22 December 2018 - 01:58 PM

You may laugh at it folks but this is how I drive out to my favorite observing spot, up on a knoll 700' from the house:

 

 

Evira + Transporter + Wagon 1.jpg

 

 

Only a little bit of snow but you get the idea:

 

 

Elvira + Transporter + Wagon + Snow Side View 1.jpg


Edited by phonehome, 22 December 2018 - 05:33 PM.

  • George N, Moravianus, turtle86 and 9 others like this

#112 opticsguy

opticsguy

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1749
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 22 December 2018 - 11:50 PM

Original poster here, my opinion, 24" f/2.75 is still the very very best scope ever!!

How-ever . . . Mel Bartels 25" f/2.6 scope just might give you some competition.  smile.gif 

Lets look into getting these two scopes side by side in 2019.

Quite sure this would be what paradise looks like  . . . . .

August 2019, only 9 months away . . . . .


  • Tyson M likes this

#113 crazyqban

crazyqban

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2662
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Miami, Florida

Posted 23 December 2018 - 12:10 AM

Ed, that thing is WILD!!!! What a work of art and engineering. BRAVO!!!


  • Earthbound1 likes this

#114 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 23 December 2018 - 01:41 PM

Starzonesteve and crazyqban,

 

Thanks for the kind words. They are both rewarding and appreciated!

 

 

Original poster here, my opinion, 24" f/2.75 is still the very very best scope ever!!

How-ever . . . Mel Bartels 25" f/2.6 scope just might give you some competition.  smile.gif

Lets look into getting these two scopes side by side in 2019.

Quite sure this would be what paradise looks like  . . . . .

August 2019, only 9 months away . . . . .

 

Opticsguy,

 

I'm planning attendance at the Oregon Star Party in 2019.  For myself it's an opportunity to thank one of my "virtual mentors" - Mr. Mel Bartels and others like Tom O. and Howard B. who also influenced decisions along the way.

 

Setting up alongside of Mel would be an honor.  However I don't want it to become some sort of "competition".  Rather I see it as an excellent opportunity to amplify and spread the goodness of ultra-fast, widefield/richfield, high-entendue observing.  Although we used radically different design/construction concepts we still arrived at similar results at the eyepiece.  I think this demonstrates that multiple paths forward are indeed possible.

 

So yes, I'm game.  Now all you have to do is get Mel on board and don't forget to pay homage to the weather gods...you've got to keep the clouds and smoke away!

 

Ed


Edited by phonehome, 23 December 2018 - 01:57 PM.

  • hbanich, Tyson M and Earthbound1 like this

#115 Chardo

Chardo

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 178
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Royal Oak, Michigan. USA

Posted 24 December 2018 - 11:48 AM

So glad this got bumped so I could read about this amazing project. A lot of it is over my head. It will keep me researching things for a long time
Thanks for the inspiration!
Chardo

Edited by Chardo, 24 December 2018 - 11:48 AM.


#116 TopherTheME

TopherTheME

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 524
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2011
  • Loc: SE Michigan

Posted 24 December 2018 - 12:40 PM

phonehome, I curious as to what kind of shop you have for building this thing? I see a lot of turned and milled parts, welds, sheet metal bending, and some other things that require some good sized machines. BTW, really cool project!



#117 tommm

tommm

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 463
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2015

Posted 24 December 2018 - 12:45 PM

My neighbors would call the police if I rolled something like that out.


  • Tyson M and Earthbound1 like this

#118 Chucke

Chucke

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 571
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2010
  • Loc: AZ

Posted 25 December 2018 - 12:27 PM

That is just way too cool!



#119 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 26 December 2018 - 06:54 PM

Chardo, TopherTheMe & Chucke:  Thanks!

 

Tommm,  I get it.  When collapsed for trailer transport it looks almost exactly like something the Police Squad uses!   Check out the "BOMB DISPOSAL UNIT": 

 

 

 

Elvira Collapsed at RMSS .jpg


Edited by phonehome, 26 December 2018 - 07:37 PM.

  • ctcables, LauraMS, denis0007dl and 2 others like this

#120 phonehome

phonehome

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 158
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2010

Posted 26 December 2018 - 07:23 PM

phonehome, I curious as to what kind of shop you have for building this thing? I see a lot of turned and milled parts, welds, sheet metal bending, and some other things that require some good sized machines. BTW, really cool project!

 

What I have for a shop is ridiculously pathetic in terms of "big" equipment.  Just a single garage bay with a band saw, drill press, air compressor, table saw, small lathe and a pile of hand tools.   The only "secret" here is simply doing as much as possible with time and technique and then using a couple of outside resources where absolutely needed.  They were a water-jet outfit for the cage rings & baffles, an aluminum welder for the heavy corner welding of the mirror box & rocker (I handle the lighter sheet metal stuff), a CNC shop for the trunnions, and a top-notch powder-coater.  To keep the costs down everything was pre-cut, assembled, cleaned, etc. so their time was minimized.

 

All the sheet metal bending was done right on that old work table seen in the transporter frame pictures with a few scraps of angle iron and some old hinges.

 

Ed



#121 Tyson M

Tyson M

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3399
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2015
  • Loc: 53 degrees North

Posted 26 December 2018 - 07:58 PM

I absolutely love this scope!

 

Seeing the developments are truly special.  IMO, your's and Mel's new one both show how cutting edge these fast dobs can be.



#122 Mike Lockwood

Mike Lockwood

    Vendor, Lockwood Custom Optics

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1558
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Usually in my optical shop

Posted 26 December 2018 - 10:21 PM

Yep, it's the Bomb Disposal Unit driven by a Beer Disposal Unit.....  grin.gif

 

(Couldn't resist, and cleared with Ed before I posted.)

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • makebeerdisappear.jpg

  • Mikefp, havasman and Earthbound1 like this

#123 Mike Lockwood

Mike Lockwood

    Vendor, Lockwood Custom Optics

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1558
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Usually in my optical shop

Posted 28 December 2018 - 11:25 PM

I hope that people realize that my previous post was just for fun.... when it's cloudy and cold for most of November and December we start making jokes to help keep us sane, and after the rain-out at Okie-Tex we are definitely due some good, clear observing time.

 

Anyway, I wanted to mention Ed's clutch/drive system, since he and I have been discussing it a bit lately, and because I have used it quite a bit.  It makes moving the telescope around quite effortless and fast.  You simply grab the handle, the clutches unlock, and you can move the scope in any direction that you wish to.  My only personal request would be that the clutch unlocking could be done optionally with a button mounted on the handle.  That way I could more precisely determine when the clutches lock back up, which would allow me to more easily center objects.

 

Let me tell you - under a dark sky with a 55mm eyepiece coupled to a night vision monocular/device it is so much fun to freely move the telescope around large h-alpha regions (such as most of Cygnus) and take in their full extent, all the while glancing at the tablet mounted on the telescope as a reference to where in the sky you are pointed.  It's experience that you need to have at least once... or maybe many more times than once.


  • DuaneS likes this

#124 opticsguy

opticsguy

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1749
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 29 December 2018 - 09:27 PM

After so many years of being active in astronomy (60 years), I have recently lost interest and finding a tough time getting motivated.  As the original poster for this topic, this 24" scope is truly inspirational and with the addition of Mel Bartels 25"  my inspiration is building again.  

 

So, lets look at where to go with this:

Ed's scope:           24"  f/2.75

Mels scope:          25"  f/2.6

My new scope:     26" f/2.55      Well, ummm,  errrrr, not sure about the glass just yet or building a grind/polish machine or buy a finished mirror for a million dollars or...… ummm,  errrr,  ummm…….  Hmmmmm, maybe needing some more inspiration.....or money, or . . . . . .  smile.gif 



#125 Pierre Lemay

Pierre Lemay

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1330
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Montréal, Canada

Posted 29 December 2018 - 10:13 PM

Original poster here, my opinion, 24" f/2.75 is still the very very best scope ever!!

How-ever . . . Mel Bartels 25" f/2.6 scope just might give you some competition.  smile.gif

Lets look into getting these two scopes side by side in 2019.

Quite sure this would be what paradise looks like  . . . . .

August 2019, only 9 months away . . . . .

I recently mentioned to Mel and others how revolutionary, yet different both his 25 inch and Elvira are. I don't think using the word "competition" is appropriate. Both instruments are revolutionary in their own ways: Ed's 24 inch scope is an amazing technological instrument with all the bells and whistles one could think of whereas Mel's 25 inch is an example of the utmost simplicity a telescope can be. Elvira weighs upwards of 300 pounds, Mel's 25 inch barely tips the scale at 75 pounds. Ed's scope can point itself and track, Mel's requires knowledge of the sky in order to be pointed and must be manually pushed to keep the object in the field of view.

 

I would also like to see them side by side. Not for competition reasons but to admire the genius and the versatility of two very innovative ATMs and the fruits of their efforts.


  • Don H, starzonesteve, PETER DREW and 1 other like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics