Thought that I would use that old "pay toilet" limerick and put a bit of a more modern Amateur Astronomer spin on it.
Yes, it basically started raining when the C5+ package arrived, a few days before Christmas. Looks like it probably won't let up for at least a week or more. But it's okay, because I know how to cope and deal with these types of situations. But I have to admit that I've been getting an overwhelming urge to take up ancient carpentry and animal husbandry with an advanced courses in Vetrinanrian basics. Do you know that there is a lot of information that can be fouind on the internet regarding constructing Large box-shaped, unpowered Wooden boats.
The really tricky part will be dividing up the various decks into animal pens of just the right size for a certain animals....Animals? When did animals enter this bizzare psychotic break of mine. Also, Can't seem to find "Gopher wood" and the proper water-proofing "pitch".
I believe there must have been somesort of "jail break" at several zoos and game farms because have been seeing the more and mre wild animals who are definitely NOT indiginous to my local.
Enough with the bizzare halucinations that I have been experiencing. I have been thinking, planning and scheming about different ways to possibly imporove the various optical components. If you happen to be a member of the "RalphMeisterTigerMan" fan club, and you should be! LOL! than you have most likely been following my SCT posts that have been popping up in various forums.
As many of you know, I have an extremelyn vivid, over active imagination. And Imaging is something that I am very good at and spend a lot of time doing.
So, here are some of the things that I have been checking out on the interent:
I have noticed that many amateurs are complaining that there is no way to replace a broken SCT corrector plate. Well, I have found an Italien optical company by the name of NOSCANO. They apparently have the ability to fabricate any Corrector Plate for most popular commercialy built SCTs. They were actually able to give me a quote to replace my current C5+ soda-lime, star-bright coated corrector plate with a BK7, broadband coating New corrector plate.
I have also been researching optical companies that can put New life into your old SCT Optical Tube Assembly. One company in particular which caught my attention (found about it here on cloudy nights) is Optical Wave Labs located in California.
OWlL offers several packages to make your SCT work like new, or even better if you wish and have the money to do so. OWL can dis-assemble the OTA, clean the entire thing including the optics and replace any shims or gaskets or any thing else that might need replacing. They will then re-assemble the scope and collimate it and ship it back to you in "shiny new condition".
If you request it, the optics can be tested to see if they are worth refiguring. Only the primary and secondary. They cannot and will not do anything for the corrector except a cleaning service.
If you get the optics tested and they turn out to be not what you hoped, they can strip the old coatings, refigure and then re-coat with your choice of regular aluminum, enhanced aluminum and even protected Silver that will last much, much longer than any of the "silver" coating fails that we all have read about.
Also, the inside of the tube and the interior of the secondary baffle can be lined with "flocking paper". And, while you are getting all this work done anyway, why not pay a bit more and get a Starlight instruments feather-touch focuser of the size you want (1.25" or 2") and the options you want, 2-speed rotating and a longer focuser travel.
Now, you are probably all wondering what the above has to do with me and my C5+. Honestly, I'm not sure yet. Doing all the research looking for possible ways of improving the current OTA helps to keep me from going completely Coo-coo for Co-co-puffs. And no one wants that!!!!
I can also imagine what many of you must be thinking. "Is seriously considering pouring hundreds if not more into a 27 year old SCT telescope?"
Truthfully, while I am contemplating and considering ways to make the C5+ optically better so that I can get more enjoyment out of it, I have many things to consider:
1. I am currently 59 years of age and my health isn't exactly the greatest. So, that means that I have a finite amount of time to enjoy the views through the C5+.
2. I cannot see myself replacing this telescope since it has all the features that I have been looking for: small, light-weight, portable, easy to move around and set-up. Also, 5-inches of aperture will obviously not compete with the big "light-buckets" that I have owned and looked through. And because of my current health concerns are out of the question, but a 5" scope is enough to enjoy some nice Solar, Lunar and Planetary views. As for DSO's, I live in an area of Abbotsford with moderate light pollution making viewing faint fuzzies very challenging.
3. Now this is an important consideration. Can I afford it financially and is it wise to pour that kind of money into a scope with only about 38mm more aperture than the iconic and venerable Questar 3.5?
So, here is the dilema: If I decide NOT to do any improvements at all and and save what-ever money that I may have spent, I will still have a pretty good Telescope that many, many amateurs have enjoyed as is.
But, I will spend what-ever time that I have left wondering "what-if?".
Now, if I save enough money and sell a few things that I no longer need (10-inch, Skywatcher collapsible tube f/4.3 dobsonian on a manual mount. Which I now find difficult to move around) it is financially and economicaly possible and feasible that I could do the above modifications and hopefully be able to enjoy a C5+ with even better optics than it has now for hopefully and long time.
I do not know how muach time I have left. But I keep hoping and praying to be able to enjoy Amateur Astronomy and observing the night sky for years to come...with a telescope that has really nice optics.
I know that many of you will have some very strong opinions on this thread which I have started. I look forward to reading what-ever thoughts, feelings, opinions you have...the good, the bad and the ugly. LOL!
Here's hoping for clear skies!