After Capen retired in 1983, or 84, he ordered a set of 20” Cassegrain optics and had it shipped to us (Bill Douglass, Don Parker and me) in Miami to test and build if all went well. He had already found a nice mount; Tom Cave brought it to him, and was all set to enjoy retirement using his large telescope. Well, we found that the 20” primary figure was rough, with more than half of the surface appeared like “dog biscuit” figuring and several way out zones. We assembled a quickie Dobsonian with the primary and found the images were terrible, so magnifying the errors with a Cass secondary would be worse and we reported this to Chick. Of course, he was disappointed; so we started designing him a 16” f/50 Cassegrain from my rough cut 16” mirror that I had not been finished for my use.
After Chick died, in 1986, the mirror was eventually ground round and flat, then figured for my 16” f/6.9 Newtonian by Dan Joyce and it is still with me. On second thought, back in 2001, I began to wish it had been the same f/50 Cass that we would have made for Capen if he had lived. Sitting down under the scope would have been better on this old body than climbing the 8-foot ladder, and I love Classical Cassegrain telescopes anyway. Maybe I would have not missed observing the current apparition, even with a fancy digital camera. Dan would have figured some sweet optics for me I'm sure.
The optics, and eventually my mechanical build, made this Newtonian the very best telescope I have ever used. I loved Parker’s 16” f/6, but even he was astounded by my images. Old Danny-Boy out did himself with my mirror. In 1994 while observing the comet crash into Jupiter; “eagle eye” Steve O’Meara was at my house and I set it up to observe Ganymede later that night. Not paying attention to my eyepiece box I grabbed a 10mm Clave and stuck it in the Barlow and we observed the tiny Moon of Jupiter at 1,124X. We had a ball drawing a chart of Ganymede and then discovered the magnification, and also that seeing was perfect. I think others follows us up the ladder and gasped at view as well. So, it is a keeper.
Edited by Jeff B1, 11 October 2018 - 10:54 AM.