Yesterday I installed the new diagonal onto the modified stalk on the focuser.. It is now in the correct position in the optical path. I used a laser collimator to get the alignment dead on. I put the mirror cell back in the scope with the primary. The cell has a brass cap that can be removed for ventilation so a placed a piece of tape over the hole with a mark that show the center of the cell. With the laser in the focuser it was a simple task to align the focuser so the beam hit the spot on the tape. The primary was installed back in it's cell and it only took a few more minutes using the laser to get things perfectly aligned. I know this was the first time ever that the optics were correctly position in the telescope and correctly aligned. Now I just had to wait for the stars.
Around 8:30 pm I was able to pick up Jupiter in bright twilight. It was razor sharp with a 28mm eyepiece, a good start but I have said that is not a critical test of optics, so I switch to 7.4mm eyepiece That image was still very sharp and when the seeing snapped a lot of detail visible in the cloud bands. Then I notice a tiny black notch on the limb. I watched over the next 15 minutes as it turned into a sharply defined circle from one of the moon's in transit. It finally got dark enough to see the stars so I swung over to Vega to do a star test. Perfectly round out of focus images with the same pattern on both sides. No astigmatism like I had before. I know this was the first time ever the star showed images like this in this telescope. In focus, the stars at this magnification were showing beautiful text book Airy disks a with single diffraction ring. The Double Double was textbook, cleanly separated with four perfect Airy disks.
So with a little attention to detail, and some epoxy and solder I turned a barely functioning telescope into a precision optical instrument. I'll have it up at Stellafane so those that come up can judge for themselves. As I keep saying telescopes need to be looked through just as much as looked at so those that restore them should pay as much attention to the optics as they do the mechanics and not assume that the optics have no issues.
Here are couple of pictures showing the alignment and the finished scope.
See you all on Breezy Hill in a few days !
Edited by DAVIDG, 21 July 2019 - 06:52 PM.