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John Mallas' 4" Unitron

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#76 Keith Parizek

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 12:26 PM

THe 12.5 f-9 newtonian proved to be too difficult to use and was abandoned.  A new devilish thought entered my mind and I realized that big tube would make a great start for a big classical Schmidt camera.  As usual, my great friends came to my rescue.  Dave Erickson and Ken Hebert are two professionals and have had a great past.  Dave is one of the small group of people who built the corrective optics for the Hubble telescope.  Ken had a part in many things and once told me he worked on the original scope that went to Mars many years ago.  These guys agreed to build the optics for the Schmidt.  It has a 12 inch corrector made by Dave and a 16 primary made by Ken. The focus is 55 inches and a 4x5 plate is used.  It is therefore about f-4.5.  It covered a 4x5 degree field and photographed deep with hydrogen sensitized 103aE plates.  At this long f -ratio it could photograph deeper than short f-ratio Schmidts before sky fog ended the exposures.  THe super dark Alpine sky and the longer photo times resulted in some far out stars, etc.  Evered and I bought the Palomar Sky Survey.  He took the blue and I got the red.  Printing the 4x5 plates out to 8x10 made the prints almost the same scale as the Palomar.  You needed a binocular headset to see that my Schmidt came amazingly close to what was on the Palomar prints.  THe smaller field of the Schmidt brought the need for a different guider set up.  I will post about this later, meantime look at post 55 to see all the results of many past  different  projects.  I had a good friend who lived in Nutrioso who was a top level guy at NASA. Glenn said it reminded him of an English research lab with all the hanging wires, tubes, etc. 

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#77 Keith Parizek

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 11:35 AM

The solution to autoguiding the Schmidt and its smaller field was to build a heavy duty alt-az mount on the Schmidt tube.  You can see this on the tail end of the Schmidt tube.  It carried a 6 inch Cass optics from Enterprise Optics and is f-20.  A similar setup was made for the cameras in the little dome.  THis seemed to work very well as you could ususally find a bright guide star in the vicinity at the nearly same declination and set up the 6 cass for guiding.  Edgar Everhart published an article in S&T about a coment tracking device.  Of course Evered and I had to build one. We made several and they worked well.  The Schmidt did a job on one of David Levy's comets that was almost overhead and we recorded five little jet tails coming off the coma.  We could never reproduce them on a photographic print but they are there.  I gave the original to Dave Erickson and he was going to try to scan the negative and see if they could be reproduced that way.  That Schmidt is one heck of an instrument.  We had to try to make a cold cameras for the Schmidt and it worked well, but it was the same problem with the tri-x as it would net respond like his original.

All those vacuum lines,  tubing, wires, controls. etc. hanging is from alll the experimenting we did with various things down thru the years.  Evered did things very neatly sort of unlike me and my wife called us the odd couple.  Man we really did  have fun with it all  even with a lot of disapintments. 

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

 


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#78 Keith Parizek

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 05:07 PM

The story of the 24 inch Cass began a long time ago. If you are interested go to the Phoenix Astronomical Society website and read the History section.
I will pick up the story here and add some interesting sidelines. Don Loomis was a high school student and club member when the work on the 24 inch mirror was started. I don't think the older guys let him work on it much. Jimmy Corn was a fine mirror maker and he ramroded the mirror thru to completion. It was F-7. Jimmy was a good friend of Walter Scott Houston and is mentioned in some of his early articles. After all the starts and stops in trying to redo the optics and find a new place to place the scope, A committee of the club went to Tucson to see about changing the mirro into a Cassegrain. At this time Don Loomis was one of the big three in optical work in TUcson. He was head of the shop at the Optical Sciences Center. When he heard of what was being shopped around he let it be know that if anyone was going to touch that mirror it was going to be him. Thing go around. He made it into a f-5 f-20 classical Cass. Attempts to find a site for it were unsuccesful. Evered and I went to Alpine for a weekend of photography and while we were gone the club had a meeting a out of frustration voted to sell the whole project in 30 days. When I got back to Phoenix and found this out I blew my cork big time. Basicly this scope was a monument to the early guys in Phoenix who built it. It was going to get out of Arizona over my dead body so I shamed them into selling it to me. I told them that if a suitable project was ever completed that would house the scope I would donate it back as a memorial to those early and later guys who worked on it. All such projects that were proposed were all just fluff and the optics only are at Alpine in the big dome. It was easy for me to preserve it as I had the location, mount, dome, etc.
I am getting pretty wordy again, but I should write again about Don Loomis,and the other guys soon.

Regards

Keith Parizek



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#79 Masvingo

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 03:03 PM

...but I should write again about Don Loomis,and the other guys soon.

Please do, I love hearing your recollections, brings back happy memories of when I first became interested in astronomy and was working my way through all the back issues of S&T that the school astronomy club had.

 

Thanks again for these recollections.



#80 John O'Hara

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 05:30 PM

Keith,

 

Have you considered writing a book?  I'm totally serious.

 

John


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#81 Keith Parizek

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:05 PM

Hi John-  Thanks for your interest, and all the others,  but  I don't see how I  could ever write a book.  I am not much of a word bender and my daughter in law is a first rate English teacher.  She would send me back everything I ever wrote with the spelliing and grammar  corrected.  THat would let too much air out of my balloon. 

I still would like to write more about Loomis, Buckroeder, Ken Hebert, Max Bray, Clyde Tombaugh, etc.  I got interested in Maksutov scopes in 1956 and will carry on about that after I get somone to help me post pictures of Evered and me with the Rio Verde scopes and Dome. My Rio Verde dome is my masterpiece dome.  If anything ever comes of my writing, I hope others of my generation will write of their contacts with us over the hill gang folks who live in their other  areas of the country and world.  Not heavy technical stuff but just simple over the fence type talk.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#82 Geo31

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 10:21 PM

Hi John-  Thanks for your interest, and all the others,  but  I don't see how I  could ever write a book.  I am not much of a word bender and my daughter in law is a first rate English teacher.  She would send me back everything I ever wrote with the spelliing and grammar  corrected. 

So....  You're telling us you already have an editor in the family.  Sounds perfect.

 

Actually Keith, your posts feel like a fireside talk.  I kind of feel like I should wander over with a beer or two, or perhaps a Scotch that is older than me.  God, it would be worth it.


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#83 jcruse64

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:33 AM

So....  You're telling us you already have an editor in the family.  Sounds perfect.

 

Actually Keith, your posts feel like a fireside talk.  I kind of feel like I should wander over with a beer or two, or perhaps a Scotch that is older than me.  God, it would be worth it.

Actually George, you're right, and he ought to make good use of this. Cloudy Nights has an Articles section already, Keith. What would you think about writing up some articles on your recollections for the Articles section. Let your daughter do the editing for them, and then submit to Cloudy Nights Articles. Here is a link for how to submit them

 

https://www.cloudyni...icle-submission

 

I'm VERY serious, Keith. And I can see from some of the other posts in this thread that others would love this as well. Please think seriously about it. I can't really be classified as even an amateur star-gazer, lol, but I'm REALLY enjoying reading your recollections of your past in astronomy.

 

Thank you,

 

Joe


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#84 Mike W

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:06 PM

Dayuumm!!! I still have my memory!!! (Post #6) lol.gif

Hmmmm you look familiar? Nope don't remember you!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#85 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 08:23 PM

Kieth, your writing is entirely clear. Little editing would be required to prepare it for a formal presentation in a book.

I don't know that you should try to write a book per se. Your style and energy are more stream-of-memory short vignettes. Please, keep writing those, as often you feel moved.

Please consider giving the rest of us your approval to collect and edit your material, crediting you fully, only so that anyone who may do so would be considered to be working with your blessing.

Modest you may be, perhaps to a fault, but you are never wordy or boring. You know, first-hand, the history we all want to uncover. Campfire's burning. Please, tell us another story.
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#86 Keith Parizek

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 11:25 PM

Hi Joe-  You are all free to use any of my writing anywhere, anytime.  I am pretty much computer illiterate and this creates problems for me in placing my stuff anyplace except on this forum.   I will try to keep writing, but when I move to the mountains for the summer I cannot get e-mail up there.  I will just keep posting on this site and hope it doesn't  get buried someplace forever.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

 


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#87 Masvingo

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:50 AM

I will just keep posting on this site ...

waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif



#88 John O'Hara

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:29 PM

The book style I'm thinking of would be like Steve Coe's, ​Touching the Universe​:  https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/1462002498

 

A very conversational style that is a memoir.  It includes life experiences that involve people who were/are important to him.  

 

I bring this up, Keith, not to pressure you in any way.  We'll appreciate what you write in whatever form you choose to do it.  But one thing's for sure, you have a story to tell and a history that needs preserved.


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#89 Keith Parizek

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:52 PM

Hi John-  I have known Steve Coe for years.  He is a first rate writer and speaker.  A real knowledgeable guy.  I am not familiar with the book he wrote, but have read his stuff over the years and it is worth everyones time to read anything he ever wrote.  I just hope if anyone is interested in my stuff that they will somehow preserve it because I don't think I could rewrite it again from memory.  It would probably turn out different next time.  Llike rewatching an old western movie and expecting a different ending next time.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#90 Keith Parizek

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:29 PM

I used to make an annual winter trip to Tucson since 1970's to visit with Dick Buckroeder at the Optical Scieces Center. He had a design for a relay scope that caught my attention.  He kind of discouraged my interest in that it was a very complicated system.  Lloyd Horton went with me on one of those trips and we got to meet Don Loomis.  Lloyd was a neighbor of Don's brother and I think that is how Lloyd got to know him.  At the time Don was doing the final testing on a 100 inch mirror for Mount Wilson's Chile observatory.  He took us up into the test tower at the OSC while he did the testing.  Man alive  how many people can tell of an experience like that!  Don made four Cass systems for me later on and he is a great friend especially since he does not normally work for amateurs. 

When the 24 Cass was installed at Alpine it was obvious that the Newtonian focus was going to be useless for any visual work as it was unaccessable.  No serious work was ever done with this scope, and the search was on for eyepieces to tone down its 480 inch focus for some visual work.  C&H supply had an ad for a 4 inch focal length eyepiece for 25 dollars.  I bought two of them.  THey weigh about 14 pounds and have a field lens of 3.5 inches.  The tailpiece of the 24 is a 9 inch ID tube and I made a homemade star diagonal in a 9 inch OD tube to hold the eyepiece.   Replacing the regular focus insert with this huge diagonal requires a big time rebalancing effort.  If you want to do some deep sky with this setup you get 23 arc minute field at 120x.  THis is seldom used and the regular tailpiece is used with 2 inch eyepices to look at the moon and planets.  It has great optics as Don gave it his best. 

Dick Buckroeder was in Rio Verde visiting and Gene Lucas and I showed him the other 4 inch eyepiece which is living down here.  Dick did't know where such an eyepiece came from but said the 90 inch at Steward on Kitt Peak has the same eyepiece  on it for visual.  Clyde Tombaugh stopped by Alpine once on his way home from Flagstaff . He and Patsy were my house guests in Phoenix for four days when he came over to give a memorial lecture.  He said he sure would like to see my stuff at
Alpine   When he saw my big diagonal he got a smile and laughing jag that I will never forget.  My wife and I started having health issues in 1999 and that has greatly restricted what I have been able to do astronomy wise.  We have a 65th wedding anniversary comin up in June. Maybe a nice anniversary present for her  would be that other 4 inch eyepiece.  It would be like giving her a part of me.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#91 rayden68

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:13 PM

What a great story! 



#92 rayden68

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 04:17 PM

4 inch eyepieces and a diagonal made from 9 inch id tube, i would love to see the bino-viewer!



#93 John O'Hara

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:36 PM

4 inch eyepieces and a diagonal made from 9 inch id tube, i would love to see the bino-viewer!

I'd sure hate to meet up with the dude that could use that binoviewer wink.gif 


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#94 brian dewelles

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:47 PM

Hi John-  I have known Steve Coe for years.  He is a first rate writer and speaker.  A real knowledgeable guy.  I am not familiar with the book he wrote, but have read his stuff over the years and it is worth everyones time to read anything he ever wrote.  I just hope if anyone is interested in my stuff that they will somehow preserve it because I don't think I could rewrite it again from memory.  It would probably turn out different next time.  Llike rewatching an old western movie and expecting a different ending next time.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

Hi keith. I have an extra copy of steve coe's touching the universe if you can PM me your mailing address i would be glad to mail it to you. I know you would like it. Its steve's account of many great observing sessions with many people you know. Steve is truly one of the hobby's great writers and he lives  15 miles from me. I believe i met you in the mid ninties you answered an ad i had in starry messenger, for an erfle, i took it to your house but i think you were expecting a giant military style erfle, anyway you were gracious and showed me your dome were i think you had a big mak and you told me about your observatory in Alpine. Keep writing keith the people in Saguaro, PAS and EVAC have all made wonderful contributions to the hobby past and present and your writing preserves that history.


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#95 Keith Parizek

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 12:48 PM

Hi Brian-  Thanks for the offer of Steve's book.  When my mind wanders back to  my first exposure to astronomy which was in 1943, a nine week course in Junior High, My desire burned to look thru a real astronomical telescope.  It was not until 1947 that I got to look thru one.  No one is Iowa City that I knew of had a scope and the university had the only one they had in storage.  It was down in Moline when I was visiting relatives that I saw Carl Gambles dome up on a ridge and it was open.  I conned my Aunt to call him and he invited us up on the spot.  He was looking at sunspots with his 5.5 inch Zeiss refractor!  He invited us up again later that evening and he became one of those friends that I keep referring to who influenced  and enriched my life.  He later helped me acquire my 6 inch Brashear refractor.  I often wonder if I had a chance to look thru a good scope that first night in 1943 if my desire would have been satisfied and I would have moved on. 

When I got sent to Luke AFB in 1956 I  started to attend the POA meetings.  I finished my service commitment in 1958 and moved back to Grinnell, Iowa and the clouds.  After living in the desert my wife and I decided our lives would be better spent out here in Phoenix so we moved back in 1960.  Down thru the years I met many great folks and the great astro clubs PAS,SAC, and EVAC were beyond my dreams.  Now that I live in Rio Verde it is just too much for me to make the 25 to 40 mile trips to attend meetings at my tender age 87.  These clubs always had great meetings and the post meeting coffee hours to the middle of the morning were as interesting as the formal meetings.  Gene Lucas used to haul me to some of those meetings, but he has now past on.  I am running out of friends and it is not fun.  I am going to try to post my RV pics and then do some commentary on them and the folks who helped me get them.  You can have all the money in the world, just give me my friends. 

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


Edited by Keith Parizek, 23 April 2018 - 09:14 AM.

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#96 jcruse64

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 02:36 PM

Keith, you ever run across a guy named Richard Tuckness, out of Prescott??



#97 Keith Parizek

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 03:28 PM

No, I never knew of Richard Tuckness.  As the years went by the work of Evered made Prescott a name known all over the astro field.  Now there are many people with astro interests in that area.  Prescott is growing by leaps and bounds.  It has a nice climate, but you still need A/C in the summer time.

Regards

Keith Parizek



#98 Keith Parizek

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:02 AM

This is my dome at Rio Verde, Arizona.  It is my fifth dome and they all have been different.  This one is 14 feet diameter and is all steel.  It was built in my back yard in Phoenix starting in 1994.  We moved to RV in 2002 and it was moved out to RV by Southwest Rigging.  That was quite an operation and I am glad I prepaid for this move as they did't get the job done on the first try.  The second involved two crane trucks and a whole raft of escort vehicles, etc.  It had to pass strict HOA rules and I  had to make it look good.  My four boys were all invoved in it at various times.  I have a whole series of photos showing the get ready to get ready to get ready to  do this construction.  It went great and it is a joy to use.  I will do the scopes in this dome soon.lIMG_1398.JPG

 

Regards
Keith Parizek


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#99 Keith Parizek

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 12:10 PM

Here is another pic showing the vestibule attaching the dome to the house.  It has lots of storage and a big vent fan.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

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#100 terraclarke

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 12:59 PM

That’s just beautiful! Very aesthetic to the eye. It blends perfectly with the main house and garden and the dome stands in stark and dramatic contrast with the sky. Well done! I’m sure it makes an interesting visual asset to the neighborhood. 




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