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Let the antique speak for itself...

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#101 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:58 PM

 The elements or lens is not reversed. If they were the Ronchi bands would be badly bowing. Unfortunately the lens has problems  from the asymmetrical pattern of the Ronchi bands.  You'll see astigmatism in the images and washed out planetary detail. Maybe it is spacing problem or maybe it is just a poorly figured lens. It happens more then you think. 

   I would double check that the  spacers are at 120° centers, if not your not going to get a uniform air gap and will not be able to center the interference rings. Next is to  place three tabs of tape on the back lip of the cell at 120° centers and place the lens in the cell so the air spacers are over these taps. On the front element place three taps of tape over the air spacers. Now when the retainer  ring is screwed down it will only come in contact at these three defined points and you have even pressure on the air spacers. You should now be able to center the interference rings. Next is to retest the lens in Double Pass. If it still shows the asymmetric pattern, it means the lens is poorly figured and the only way to fix it is refigure it.

 

              - Dave 


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#102 John Higbee

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

Dave - if it were a spacing problem (spacers are not the proper thickness) how should I go about determining the proper air gap for this lens?

 

John


Edited by John Higbee, 20 February 2019 - 02:45 PM.


#103 starman876

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 04:16 PM

Now that I think about it the spacers on the cell where the lens rests were not lined up with the spacers of the lens.  This is one thing we can fix straight away.   Next we can put some spacers on the crown where  the retaining ring comes in contact and see if that helps.  We can also add some spacers to center the newton rings and test again and see if it improves.  We can also try changing the spacing of the lens and see if the DPAC improves.


Edited by starman876, 20 February 2019 - 04:17 PM.

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#104 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 10:00 PM

 The pattern is asymetrical so either the air gap is wedged or one of the elements has astigmatism. Note on the right side of the image of the lens being tested in double pass the lines are pretty straight but the bottom of the left side they bow outward. Changing the spacer thickness isn't going to fix that.  

    I would remove the spacers and place the elements in direct contact. If the interference rings are round and centered that showed that both of these surfaces are figures of rotation. If the pattern is off centered and/or asymetrical then on of the surfaces is stigmatic. Put the spacer back in and assembly the cell back in the cell so the spacers are over any raised areas in the cell. If the cell doesn't have them, then add them.The lens should have slight rattle in the cell if not the retainer is too tight. Hopefully you'll now be able to get the interference pattern round and centered.  If so then put the lens back on the test bench and see what the Ronchi bands look like. If you still see the asysmetrical pattern then the  figure on one or more of surfaces is bad. The only way to fix that is to refigure the surface(s). Good luck.

 

                   - Dave 


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#105 John Higbee

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 05:48 AM

Thanks, Dave.  We're getting back together this weekend and will do this...and will report what we find.  John



#106 John Higbee

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 04:50 AM

Johann and I had another session with the 6" objective yesterday, and made some significant progress in objective alignment and DPAC.

 

Last weekend, we had several unresolved problems at the end of the session:

  • Signficantly skewed Ronchi lines on the DPAC
  • Newton rings that were skewed away from the center of the objective
  • An objective that fit so tightly into the cell that there was no slight "rattle" heard after objective reassembly

David G. gave us some good advice on troubleshooting, which we followed yesterday:

  • Removing the cell from the objective, and checking the shims and air gap between the crown and flint
    • Shims were in good shape, and air gap was even around the objective perimeter
    • Using a template, found all three to be symmetrical (120 degrees apart, plus or minus a degree)
  • Checking the three support points at the bottom of the cell for proper placement
    • Using a template, found all three to be symmetrical (got similar spacing results as for the shims)

We also cleaned the inside of the cell: 

  • Removed a lot of dirty film from the inside cell walls 

When we re-assembled the objective, we ensured that the objective shims and the lower support points were aligned.  The objective went in on the first try with no difficulty.  We also ensured that the objective retaining ring was installed "hand-tight, then backed off slightly"...and we did get the "slight rattle" that had been missing previously.

 

Newton rings were symmetric and centered...and we had three straight lines on the DPAC testing!  (...and there was great rejoicing! grin.gif ).  It's possible that one element may have very slightly cocked in the cell during last week's activities, due to the dirty residue on the cell walls...that, and/or the misalignment of the objective shims to the cell support points, may have been the cause of last week's problems.

 

As a final (unrelated) step, we cleaned and tested the 3" f/6 objective for the finder on the 6" Spacek.  I had not been able to disassemble the finder previously, but with Johann's help we got it apart, and found that one of the objective shims was out of the air gap entirely (was on the edge of the objective...we reinstalled it after cleaning both elements).  During reassembly, Johann demonstrated for me what DPAC results for a reversed objective and flipped element looked like...as Dave G. says, DPAC will immediately show you those conditions if they exist!  Finder is reassembled, shows fine images, and is reinstalled on the 6" OTA.

 

All in all, a great day!  Many thanks to Johann, for his support and his patience teaching a refractor "newbie" about optical maintenance and testing!

 

John   


Edited by John Higbee, 25 February 2019 - 04:53 AM.

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#107 Steve Allison

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 06:28 AM

Outstanding!

 

As a new Tinsley 4 inch F/15 refractor owner, I am rooting for you!

 

The weather has prevented me from putting my Tinsley through its paces, but a daytime peek at a light pole insulator revealed a mighty promising set of inner and outer Fresnel rings, despite the shimmer in the air!

 

Are these vintage Tinsley refractors cool or what?

 

Steve


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#108 starman876

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 08:16 AM

Johann and I had another session with the 6" objective yesterday, and made some significant progress in objective alignment and DPAC.

 

Last weekend, we had several unresolved problems at the end of the session:

  • Signficantly skewed Ronchi lines on the DPAC
  • Newton rings that were skewed away from the center of the objective
  • An objective that fit so tightly into the cell that there was no slight "rattle" heard after objective reassembly

David G. gave us some good advice on troubleshooting, which we followed yesterday:

  • Removing the cell from the objective, and checking the shims and air gap between the crown and flint
    • Shims were in good shape, and air gap was even around the objective perimeter
    • Using a template, found all three to be symmetrical (120 degrees apart, plus or minus a degree)
  • Checking the three support points at the bottom of the cell for proper placement
    • Using a template, found all three to be symmetrical (got similar spacing results as for the shims)

We also cleaned the inside of the cell: 

  • Removed a lot of dirty film from the inside cell walls 

When we re-assembled the objective, we ensured that the objective shims and the lower support points were aligned.  The objective went in on the first try with no difficulty.  We also ensured that the objective retaining ring was installed "hand-tight, then backed off slightly"...and we did get the "slight rattle" that had been missing previously.

 

Newton rings were symmetric and centered...and we had three straight lines on the DPAC testing!  (...and there was great rejoicing! grin.gif ).  It's possible that one element may have very slightly cocked in the cell during last week's activities, due to the dirty residue on the cell walls...that, and/or the misalignment of the objective shims to the cell support points, may have been the cause of last week's problems.

 

As a final (unrelated) step, we cleaned and tested the 3" f/6 objective for the finder on the 6" Spacek.  I had not been able to disassemble the finder previously, but with Johann's help we got it apart, and found that one of the objective shims was out of the air gap entirely (was on the edge of the objective...we reinstalled it after cleaning both elements).  During reassembly, Johann demonstrated for me what DPAC results for a reversed objective and flipped element looked like...as Dave G. says, DPAC will immediately show you those conditions if they exist!  Finder is reassembled, shows fine images, and is reinstalled on the 6" OTA.

 

All in all, a great day!  Many thanks to Johann, for his support and his patience teaching a refractor "newbie" about optical maintenance and testing!

 

John   

Will be a fantastic day when you get the scope back together and test it under the stars.  Also, I was humbled by the focal length of the Tinsley.  Here I thought an 8 foot long bench would have been long enough to test the objective.  I had to rig up an extension to bring the ronchi screen with the LED out far enough to test the objective. 


Edited by starman876, 25 February 2019 - 08:19 AM.

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#109 DAVIDG

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:12 PM

 Glad to hear that when properly assembled the lens tested well. You saw the power of Double Pass Autocollimation testing and it showed you that now things are  correct. Without out, it would have been much more difficult to isolate the problem and fix it or worse it might not never have been corrected !  With the test showing three straight Ronchi bands the lens will give an excellent image.

  As I have said many times, test your optics and don't assume anything about their quality, spacing, and alignment marks. Let the test tell you when things are correct. 

 

                 - Dave 


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#110 Bomber Bob

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:27 PM

With all the refractors I've tested with DPAC, only 3 showed major issues.  And in those cases, rotating one of the elements fixed the lens:  the Lafayette 76x910, the Goto 60x1200, and that unknown 5" F5 triplet.  Would I have seen these errors visually -- without DPAC?  Yes.  But correcting lens alignment outdoors is much harder & time-consuming than indoors and mounted on the rig.

 

Thanks again, Dave, for encouraging us to check -- and see -- for ourselves.

 

Oh, and when the spacers are missing, the DPAC rig is the best place to experiment with different materials & thicknesses. 


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#111 John Higbee

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:01 PM

Well, it's been a few months since I've reported on this project...for the simple reason that not much progress has been made.  A combination of heavy loading at work, other commitments (the NEAF Classic Telescopes exhibit), and retirement preps, took the majority of my time during that period.  

 

Now, though, I'm happy to say that work has restarted.  Just came back from dropping off the OTA rings unit, and the focuser, with a local machinist who will repair a crack in the rings unit, and manufacture a properly-sized adapter to attach the draw tube to the focuser unit.  Should have both of them back within 2 -3 weeks;  once received, the 6" will be fully operational.  With a cleaned and properly mounted objective lens already in hand, first light should happen before Labor Day!

 

In the interim, I plan on refinishing the three tripod legs.  Once first light is complete, will be disassembling the scope to strip, prime and repaint the mount, the OTA, and the finder/rings.

 

 Looks like exhibiting this at NEAF 2020 (in the ATS booth) is going to happen.  Pictures will follow...stay tuned.

 

6 inch Saturn refractor.jpg

 

John


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#112 starman876

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 06:48 PM

Well, it's been a few months since I've reported on this project...for the simple reason that not much progress has been made.  A combination of heavy loading at work, other commitments (the NEAF Classic Telescopes exhibit), and retirement preps, took the majority of my time during that period.  

 

Now, though, I'm happy to say that work has restarted.  Just came back from dropping off the OTA rings unit, and the focuser, with a local machinist who will repair a crack in the rings unit, and manufacture a properly-sized adapter to attach the draw tube to the focuser unit.  Should have both of them back within 2 -3 weeks;  once received, the 6" will be fully operational.  With a cleaned and properly mounted objective lens already in hand, first light should happen before Labor Day!

 

In the interim, I plan on refinishing the three tripod legs.  Once first light is complete, will be disassembling the scope to strip, prime and repaint the mount, the OTA, and the finder/rings.

 

 Looks like exhibiting this at NEAF 2020 (in the ATS booth) is going to happen.  Pictures will follow...stay tuned.

 

attachicon.gif 6 inch Saturn refractor.jpg

 

John

it was interesting when we DPAC that lens that I had to create an extension on my 8 foot bench.  I built that DPAC bench to cover just about anything that would come my way.  A 6" F15 lens was a bit longer that I thought.  Matter of fact now I think about it that lens may be longer than F15.  Just thinking here John.



#113 John Higbee

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:41 AM

it was interesting when we DPAC that lens that I had to create an extension on my 8 foot bench.  I built that DPAC bench to cover just about anything that would come my way.  A 6" F15 lens was a bit longer that I thought.  Matter of fact now I think about it that lens may be longer than F15.  Just thinking here John.

Johann - when Dave and I did the original "branch sightings" a few months ago, we did a rough measurement of focal length (primary to eyepiece)...got a value of 96" (f/16).

 

John


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#114 starman876

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:01 PM

Johann - when Dave and I did the original "branch sightings" a few months ago, we did a rough measurement of focal length (primary to eyepiece)...got a value of 96" (f/16).

 

John

That seems about right.   Very long OTA.  



#115 John Higbee

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:55 PM

Earlier today, I finished doing research on how to refinish the legs for the Tinsley 6" tripod (consulted both CN and the ATS websites). Many techniques to choose from!

 

Since the legs currently had a good deal of the original stain intact (mainly on the insides of the legs, and the upper portion of the outsides of the legs), I decided to go the Formby's Furniture Refinisher route.  This product dissolves any lacquer, varnish, or shellac, removes marks, and softens the stain so that it covers scratches and worn areas.  Sounded to me like the "Swiss Army Knife" of refinishing products!  Was then delayed because I found out that Formby's no longer exists...Minwax bought them out.  

 

After taking the hardware off the legs, took them outside and began the process (today was a beautiful day for outside work, sunny, breezy, with temps in the high 70s).  Used my Little Giant stepladder as a sawhorse;  since the legs are close to 6 feet long, there was plenty of overhang out both sides of the ladder!

 

I used the Home Depot generic version of Formby's - it worked well.  Had to be careful using it...the steel wool used to apply it is hell on wheels for the thin chem-resistant gloves I was using...went through multiple pairs in the process.  Also, if you have a stubborn mark to remove, you can also remove a significant portion of the stain if you're not careful.  That said, it is several steps down in potency from Aircraft Remover - that product can remove you, let alone an airplane!

 

Bottom line - the legs look one h*** of a lot better than they did this morning!  The insides of all three legs look great...unfortunately, there wasn't enough stain on the outsides to fully cover the lower portion of the legs when softened (I received these with virtually no stain on them in that area).

 

So, a step forward.  The original stain looks like mahogany to me...so the next step may be to lightly send the legs and put several light coats of mahogany stain on them.  John

 

 tinsley legs.JPG


Edited by John Higbee, 25 August 2019 - 08:01 PM.

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#116 John Higbee

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 04:57 AM

Called the machinist...looks like the repaired rings and the draw tube adapter will be ready for pickup this Friday...so "first light" (weather permitting) may happen sooner than I thought. 

 

6 inch in full operation.jpg

 

John


Edited by John Higbee, 28 August 2019 - 04:58 AM.

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#117 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 06:56 AM

Wow! That’s yuuuuuuuuge! ohmy.png
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#118 RyanSem  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:38 AM

Just found this thread, what an awesome scope! Excited to see how progress continues now that you've restarted.


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#119 starman876

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:21 PM

you got to love long focal length 6"  refractors.waytogo.gif



#120 John Higbee

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 05:47 PM

Just got back from the machinist with the repaired Tinsley 6" parts...

 

First up...the OTA rings unit.  This is an cast aluminum assembly with two rings,(each split into two halves - the "half rings" are joined by machine screws that join "ears" on each of the ring halves), joined by two bars, each with a trunnion.  The trunnions fit into the yoke of the altazimuth mount, on top of the rising pier assembly.  At some point in the distant past, one of the "ears" cracked most of the way through, and was "jury rigged" with two screws...slightly out of its original alignment. 

 

The machinist did a nice job welding the ear to the ring assembly back in its normal position, after removing the two screws: 

 

repaired ring (2).jpg

 

It's back to operational status...and ready for me to first light, then strip, prime, and repaint!


Edited by John Higbee, 30 August 2019 - 06:16 PM.

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#121 John Higbee

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:10 PM

Next is the restoration of the focuser and drawtube:

 

As you already know, I got the Tinsley without the drawtube that completes the focuser...it had been lost for some time.  The focuser tube was threaded to accept a ring fitting that supported the draw tube assembly, and I knew approximately how long a drawtube I needed based on the focal length measurements that Dave (combatdad) and I had taken with a jury-rigged drawtube...but that was all the info I had.

 

Dave had kindly examined his Unitron "spare parts locker", and provided me with a drawtube/drawtube support assembly for 1 1/4" eyepieces.  The support assembly was threaded to screw into a fitting, that in turn screwed into the focuser tube.

 

My machinist created the fitting that joined the drawtube assembly with the focuser tube:

 

focuser (2).jpg

 

Now it begins to get exciting!


Edited by John Higbee, 30 August 2019 - 07:35 PM.

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#122 John Higbee

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:24 PM

What we've created here (inadvertently) is a three stage focuser:

 

1) the drawtube (shown almost fully extended in the photo below): coarse focus

2) the original rack and pinion: medium focus

3) notice the threads above the new fitting in the picture - they provide a helical fine focus!

 

focuser extended.jpg

 

So - this essentially provides the two functions (helical and rack/pinion) of an old Sky Micro focuser...plus one! (the drawtube)

 

Wish I could take credit for thinking of this in advance...but it actually came about using the parts we had at hand.  Definitely a case of "better to be lucky than good"  hmm.gif  John

 

 

 


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#123 John Higbee

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:01 PM

Well, I spent most of the afternoon with the 6" OTA hanging on my painting / stripping rig under the back deck...got about 90% of it stripped, but it was a very odd evolution...

 

stripped (1).jpg


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#124 John Higbee

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:19 PM

As you can see from the first picture, stripping the tube "laid bare" all the dents and dings the tube accumulated over the last 70+ years...the "side-on" view of the tube is almost like a Mercator projection of Mars...you can clearly see all the low areas / craters, and if you rotate it, new ones come into view...

 

stripped (2).jpg

 

First odd thing...why did Tinsley use an 1/16" thick aluminum tube for this telescope?  For you 3" and 4" Tinsley refractor owners out there, how thick are your tubes?  It seems to me that the durability of the tube would have been a problem from the get go...particularly horsing the OTA on and off the alt-az mount on top of the 6' tripod.

 

I used the "watered down" version of aircraft remover (it lacks the really effective/vicious chemical of the "good stuff", so it takes 45 minutes to soften the paint, as opposed to 10 minutes).  It turned the paint into a gelatinous mess which tended to stick to the tube, and was hard to remove.   

 

Second odd thing...I scraped into the non-treated section of the tube once I got the goop from the aircraft remover off, and the paint literally fell off (turned into dust as I scraped it).  Whatever it was, it sure didn't look like enamel coming off.  I verified that there was no primer coat under the remnants of the "color coat"...just bare aluminum.  I will definitely put on a coat of self-etching primer as part of the restoration process.


Edited by John Higbee, 02 September 2019 - 08:30 PM.

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#125 John Higbee

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:49 PM

You will have noticed that the middle section of the OTA is not stripped (it still shows that the majority of the paint was gone when I got this, thus the restoration).  This section was underneath the OTA rings:

 

original (1).jpg

 

Note the two vertical stripes at either side of the picture.  This is the original paint that was protected by the rings...and (third odd thing) it is a medium green, not the normal Tinsley bluish-gray!  I have never seen a Tinsley refractor painted green before...have any of you?  I really like the bluish-gray enamel (like on Robert's 4"), although a green OTA, with black mounting and mahogany finished legs, would certainly be a handsome telescope.

 

Work list in the near term:

  • finish stripping the tube
  • remove the dents (as much as possible)
  • prime the tube, then paint it (green or bluish-gray...?)
  • fabricate a second set of finder rings for the other 40mm finder
  • strip, prime and paint the OTA rings unit
  • finish the tripod legs restoration (for info, think these legs are maple...has the broadly spaced grain and some "whorls", as well)
  • strip, prime and paint the alt-az fork and tripod head (may just do a cleanup on the 50 pound "rising pier" assembly
  • Assemble and first light it

John


Edited by John Higbee, 02 September 2019 - 08:49 PM.

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