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Royal Astro 4" f10 Newt rebuild...

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#26 Kokatha man

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 06:54 AM

Missed out on seeing Dennis today - pride & the desire to do a "proper" drawing had me redo it to take to him tomorrow! lol.gif Plus I think at my age it's important to keep my hand in to a certain extent! wink.gif

 

RoyalAstroMissingCastingEtcDrawing-FINAL.jpg

 

 


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#27 Kokatha man

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 04:57 AM

I took the drawing down to Dennis today & he may have the parts ready for me by Monday: he didn't have any stainless rod of the diameter I wanted & sent me down the road to a stainless steel fabricator...went there & the manager was leaning on the office counter talking to the secretary/receptionist...& when I told him what I was after he went into the factory, coming back about a minute later with the s.steel rod saying that they knew I wanted it & had made it up the day before..! lol.gif (I'd never been to them before in my life)

 

He said it was a convenient off-cut just the right dimensions & gave it to me free, for which I was most grateful...& took it back to Dennis immediately. smile.gif

 

Concurrent with this restoration & the work in turning the 4.5" Topic into a solar scope is my attempt to create a peep-sight with one of the old barlows with the lenses removed: I also removed the mains lenses plus the eye lens from an unwanted Huygens-Mittenzwey ep.

 

Punching out small disks the same size as the H-M's eye lens allowed me to place this in the ep cap section to bore a fine-gauge hole to improve this arrangement's ability to let me centre & rotate the secondary much better under the focuser...it took me 6 attempts to drill an accurate centre-hole in one of these 3.5mm diameter punched-out plastic disks, which is held in place by the same threaded retainer-ring that used to secure the eye lens of the ep - I intend to do the secondary aligning tomorrow hopefully.

 

I am also looking at how to turn one of the several 0.965" barlows I have into a fully-fledged cheshire/sight tube combo - but this would of course require some accurate lathe/machining... fingerscrossed.gif

 

EPdiapragmForCollimating.jpg


Edited by Kokatha man, 06 February 2020 - 04:58 AM.

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#28 Kokatha man

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 02:37 AM

We've has some warm weather & done a bit of imaging, both of which are more tiring nowadays & which has slowed down the pace of the RA's progress somewhat: today however I did my penny-pinching approach by cutting down the last 12" (approx.) dovetail bar (Vixen-type) section I posses into 2 unequal lengths...one to place the pair of camera-lens clamps onto for mounting any of the 60mm refractors on a modern EQ6 for ease of use whenever needed...& the other to bolt to the manifold-like flange at the base of the large clamshell-like clamp that can hold either the 4" RA's ota onto the EQ6, or the Topic 4.5" that I am converting to a solar scope.

 

I had used the 12" bar before cutting it down today with the camera-lens clamps/rings for the 60mm ota's but either never finished the adhesive-backed felt strip needed to pad out the 2nd ring - or my original effort came unstuck on one ring - these lens clamps are ever-so-slightly larger that the 60mm ota's but a single layer of this felt strip snugs them right up onto it...

 

The sections of dovetail bar for each are more than adequate as most balancing will be done by sliding the ota's up & down in the clamps...

 

Tomorrow (Monday) I'll pobably go down & pick up the fabricated Dec/counterweight casting simulation & c/weight bar from Dennis to progress the restoration of the Royal Astro's original GEM...I'm very unlikely to use it as such but not only do I want to finish this project as a complete restoration, I also want to store the scope mounted on its own mount in the house as a display-job I can admire as a full restoration..! lol.gif

 

Here on my messy studio cutting table that doubles as a workbench you can see the RA's clamp on its dovetail bar in the foreground & the Sears #6333 in the camera-lens clamps & bar sitting atop some 5kgm weights behind it.

 

The little Pentax 50/600mm in the background will get something similar to enable it to ride on a decent mount in the not-too-distant future: those table-top tripods are woeful & I might even make a 50mm clamp out of some really nice native timber of which I have good stocks  still - perhaps some of the beautiful desert-oak variety of our she-oaks...polished up & set with brass hinges & clamping mechanism I think the lovely little Pentax would not be demeaned..!

 

RoyalAstroDoveTail&Clamp+60mmset.jpg

 

 


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#29 Kokatha man

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 11:23 PM

Slight hiccup - after taking the ota saddle-clamp off the RA tube to fix the short dovetail to yesterday, I noticed the paint underneath this section was crazed/marred.

 

I did have the clamp rather tight but I suspect it was the fact that the paint had not fully-dried, even after leaving it for several days before I put the clamp on it as I remember...this clamp has a rough-looking heavy-duty felt lining & I will line that over with some of the more-regular adhesive-backed felt I used on those camera clamps.

 

Fortunately I had given the tube enough coats of paint to allow me to 240grit hand-sand the marred section off & cut & polish it back to a good appearance again...need to remember not to do that again!

 

Dennis didn't manage to fabricate those mount parts over the weekend so I'll have to wait until later in the week.



#30 Kokatha man

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 05:10 AM

Ok, moved forward a bit these last couple of days: picked up the missing bits that Dennis fabricated for me this morning for $50...he was firm on the figure, a real friend to know for sure! waytogo.gif

 

Here they are before painting, mild steel for the Dec casting simulation...304 stainless for the counterweight shaft - considering 316 is much harder to work with & I was given the rod for nothing I am not the least concerned about the lower grade s.s.

 

RoyalAstroDecCastingFab+CweightBar.jpg

 

You can see a cut-down 6x30 finderscope (straight-through) which I have put a diagonal onto...I've reconstructed the cross-hair finder's eyepiece in a similar tube, just waiting for the JB to harden because I could only screw the cross-hair retaining ring (which holds the ep lenses) in about 1.5 turns. (this is situated at the bottom of the ep assembly btw)

 

I nearly always find these generic finders work well as they come but if you try switching to another ep then all sorts of issues seem to arise...no idea why tbh but it functions fine like this: I decided that since the Royal Astro had a "ring-in" finder (albeit a very nice Swift focusing microscope ep in it) I could change that element.....I have bad neck & shoulder problems that can really flare up so placing a neat little RA finder seemed a good option - apart from the fabricated aforementioned components the only non-genuine aspect in the end which I don't think is too bad seeing I would find the genuine finder almost impossible to source in Oz - & my neck will appreciate the RA one. (painting etc it tomorrow probably)

 

Here is the Dec casting & c/weight shaft in situ - oops, one other change, I did not get the c/weight & because the D-I Kogaku mount is totally unsuitable for that scope despite worms & wheels on both axes, plus they are also very well-made etc I decided to use however many will be necessary to balance the RA scope on its own mount... wink.gif

 

The new (painted) Dec element doesn't stand out terribly well in this pikky & of course the rest of the mount will undergo a paint job as well as overhaul - thanks once more to CharlieB for a couple of vital components & all the pikkies & measurements needed to have the missing parts fabricated..! waytogo.gif

 

RoyalAstroDecCastingFab+CweightBar-InSitu.jpg

 

 


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#31 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 11:07 AM

It’s coming right along!


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#32 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 08:21 PM

Reading BlueGumby's (Graham) comments in Masvingo's long-running thread concerning sufficient c/weight mass for good RA balance on an RA mount makes me feel a bit better about using the D-I-K's c/weights in lieu of the missing weight on my mount - different RA mount I realise but perhaps some similarities..?

 

As said the D-I-K mount, despite some refinements beyond that which one would normally expect of nearly all of the Japanese GEM's from those eras is nowhere near up to carrying that scope which at 80/1200mm & carrying both a guide & finder scope is quite a weighty beast - I could make modifications to the mount in specific places such as how the counterweight shaft is secured to the Dec casting etc...but I still think it quite flimsy & more suited to (say) a 60/900mm scope at best: the scope itself is quite outstanding optically & tbh it'll only be used on a modern GEM.

 

The D-I-K's counterweights (4) are well-made with nice chrome tightening turnkeys with slugs acting on the shaft as per the pikky above so I'll have no worries (if indeed there are any!) getting good RA balance on the RA mount. wink.gif

 

Started pulling the Royal Astro's mount apart this morning & noticed there is no elevation dial/marker/gradation disk in the appropriate spot - I cannot see any in CharlieB's pikkies he sent me & I don't know whether one is meant to be there...hopefully Charlie or someone can chime in on that aspect..?

 

The little right-angle finder I re-constructed from a spare 0.965" diagonal & a straight-through modern 6x30 finder works really well - nice crisp pinpoint stars & quite a bit of detail on a waning Moon when I tried it out last night...I'm painting it white today & this will be a bit of an experiment in brush-painting per the following.

 

As an "almost completely retired" pro artist I'm familiar with flow mediums in artists oils & acrylics but found out yesterday that commercial enamel paints exist that have what they term "self-levellers" that supposedly do an excellent job of creating a smooth finish without brush-strokes when painting with brushes...

 

If it works out I might paint the solar scope (Topic with de-coated mirrors etc) ota & if that is a good finish then I might even sand back the Royal Astro tube again & tackle that as well...

 

I'm never entirely happy with "rattle can" spray jobs where a really nice surface is desired...I think my work was quite decent after cutting & polishing, but I also am a tad concerned about how thin the coating is now after the clamp-marring which occurred that I've detailed above...probably caused by not leaving enough drying time before putting the clamshell quite tightly onto the ota & leaving it there a week or more...I had to re-sand & re-cut to clean that up.

 

Perhaps I'm getting a bit too fussy, but we'll see - I really want this little Newt to be as good a resto as I can muster & I know I am a bit too OCD a lot of the time...but that's me! smile.gif

 

One thing the paint shop person told me is that being an enamel I cannot cut & polish the brushable paint I'm talking about: pikky below - thinned with 5% to 10% White Spirits for spraying if that's preferred (I do have a spray unit) & the same solvent is used for clean-ups...

 

IHammeriteBrushablePaint.jpg

 

 



#33 CharlieB

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:32 PM

Are you referring to a scale on the latitude adjuster?  There is none on mine and there never was.  Here's a photo of the latitude setup when I first received the scope.

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#34 Kokatha man

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:02 AM

Are you referring to a scale on the latitude adjuster?  There is none on mine and there never was.  Here's a photo of the latitude setup when I first received the scope.

Yes, trust me to think of elevation etc instead of latitude! lol.gif

 

Thanks for that Charlie - it didn't look like there had been one on it, so that takes care of that concern! I don't know whether you have a copy of of the "owner's manual" or booklet that I'd imagine would've come with these scopes when new, or the models displayed in any advertisements of the time - it'd be nice to see any page images; I may have seen something posted before here on CN, but then again I could've imagined this..?



#35 CharlieB

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 06:08 AM

Sent you a PM.



#36 Kokatha man

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 01:18 AM

After a bit of lethargy...well, coupled with indecision & procuring some needed materials I've decided that the RA's ota is perfectly acceptable as far as the paint finish goes - Pat convincing me after I'd removed the finder & stalk plus the secondary & asking her to give her opinion in bright daylight. waytogo.gif  -The trials & tribulations of OCD! wink.gif

 

Removing - or rather replacing - the secondary after deciding everything was fine did make me think of a good approach to ensuring the spider assembly was well-centred in the ota: perhaps I'm just re-inventing the wheel but I did think this idea was a very good means of setting the spider arms... waytogo.gif

 

The end-castings basically ensure the steel tube is formed to a circular shape at the ends (they're a tight fit there also) but because the centre-screw of the spider assembly is down in the ota further than the inside caliper jaws of my caliper can reach, I came up with the idea of using a snug-fitting machine screw (in this case 3/16" x 2") inserted from the opposite end of the spider hub & fixing it onto it with a nut. (removing the secondary centre-screw & mirror to do so of course!)

 

I do of course need to make sure each arm is at the same angle relative to the ota axis, but I'll use Charlie's suggestion of making sure they are each in the back-position of each tube slot, also ensuring that I'll need the most tension on the secondary centre-screw's spring to bring the secondary back up the tube for correct positioning under the focuser this way

 

You can see it here in this first pikky where I have whitened the end-face of this screw & used a template with x-hairs the same diameter to accurately gauge its' centre-spot. (the black dot - not measuring it in this pikky wink.gif )

 

RoyalAstroSpiderCentring#1.jpg

 

It then becomes very simple to use the digital calipers to measure from the inside of the end-casting along one spider arm lay to this centre-spot, which should represent the dead-centre of the spider assembly & the secondary mirror itself when adjusted so that all 3 arm readings are the same - I would imagine these old Newts would've used non-offset secondaries btw...

 

RoyalAstroSpiderCentring#2.jpg

 

Once I've satisfied myself on this aspect I'll put the primary mirror back in & do a rough collimation after centring the secondary under the focuser etc & using the primary centre-spot to adjust the secondary positioning - then when I feel satisfied I'll put the dovetail clamp back on (making darn sure the paint is hard & dry this time!) & set the scope up in the EQ6 for a proper collimation before aiming it at the night sky for a final star-collimation & sky-tour. smile.gif

 

I've removed the mount head from the pier column & began dismantling it...I'll proceed at a more leisurely pace with the mount as I think I've spent too much time focusing on this scope over the last week or two & need to freshen up by taking a little break from it. lol.gif


Edited by Kokatha man, 15 February 2020 - 01:22 AM.

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#37 steve t

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:35 AM

After a bit of lethargy...well, coupled with indecision & procuring some needed materials I've decided that the RA's ota is perfectly acceptable as far as the paint finish goes - Pat convincing me after I'd removed the finder & stalk plus the secondary & asking her to give her opinion in bright daylight. waytogo.gif  -The trials & tribulations of OCD! wink.gif

 

Removing - or rather replacing - the secondary after deciding everything was fine did make me think of a good approach to ensuring the spider assembly was well-centred in the ota: perhaps I'm just re-inventing the wheel but I did think this idea was a very good means of setting the spider arms... waytogo.gif

 

The end-castings basically ensure the steel tube is formed to a circular shape at the ends (they're a tight fit there also) but because the centre-screw of the spider assembly is down in the ota further than the inside caliper jaws of my caliper can reach, I came up with the idea of using a snug-fitting machine screw (in this case 3/16" x 2") inserted from the opposite end of the spider hub & fixing it onto it with a nut. (removing the secondary centre-screw & mirror to do so of course!)

 

I do of course need to make sure each arm is at the same angle relative to the ota axis, but I'll use Charlie's suggestion of making sure they are each in the back-position of each tube slot, also ensuring that I'll need the most tension on the secondary centre-screw's spring to bring the secondary back up the tube for correct positioning under the focuser this way

 

You can see it here in this first pikky where I have whitened the end-face of this screw & used a template with x-hairs the same diameter to accurately gauge its' centre-spot. (the black dot - not measuring it in this pikky wink.gif )

 

attachicon.gifRoyalAstroSpiderCentring#1.jpg

 

It then becomes very simple to use the digital calipers to measure from the inside of the end-casting along one spider arm lay to this centre-spot, which should represent the dead-centre of the spider assembly & the secondary mirror itself when adjusted so that all 3 arm readings are the same - I would imagine these old Newts would've used non-offset secondaries btw...

 

attachicon.gifRoyalAstroSpiderCentring#2.jpg

 

Once I've satisfied myself on this aspect I'll put the primary mirror back in & do a rough collimation after centring the secondary under the focuser etc & using the primary centre-spot to adjust the secondary positioning - then when I feel satisfied I'll put the dovetail clamp back on (making darn sure the paint is hard & dry this time!) & set the scope up in the EQ6 for a proper collimation before aiming it at the night sky for a final star-collimation & sky-tour. smile.gif

 

I've removed the mount head from the pier column & began dismantling it...I'll proceed at a more leisurely pace with the mount as I think I've spent too much time focusing on this scope over the last week or two & need to freshen up by taking a little break from it. lol.gif

Neat idea.

For some reason I seen to have more trouble getting the three vane Protostar spider centered in the tube than I have had with an old style Novak four vane spider. I'll give your method a try today.

Steve T



#38 Kokatha man

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:55 PM

The only part I didn't fully-comment on Steve is checking with the caliper the distances from the lip of the top casting to each of the ends of the spider arms just to satisfy myself that the slots were all accurately made in the ota & that: <"each arm is at the same angle relative to the ota axis"> which I think is about as considering as one can be... wink.gif


Edited by Kokatha man, 15 February 2020 - 06:57 PM.


#39 steve t

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:22 PM

The only part I didn't fully-comment on Steve is checking with the caliper the distances from the lip of the top casting to each of the ends of the spider arms just to satisfy myself that the slots were all accurately made in the ota & that: <"each arm is at the same angle relative to the ota axis"> which I think is about as considering as one can be... wink.gif

The end rings on my scope are very stiff being 1/4" thick and 1" long. I verify the roundness of the tube inside diameter (with the ring installed), before adjusting the spider. 

Using a caliper did worked better than a ruler for centering the spider. I was able to get it centered to within a couple of hundredths when measured from the inside of the tube. 

Steve T



#40 stevenk

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 06:09 AM

Hi Guys here is my rebuild 

I still have this lovely scope

 

https://www.cloudyni...-4e-100mm-f10/ 


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#41 Kokatha man

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:09 AM

Steve , I neither knew you had one also (for a lot longer than I have!) nor that you were in Oz...I'm usually on the ball with those sorts of details - but I have seen your thread you've linked to & in fact I was looking at it just yesterday...but even then the penny didn't drop..! lol.gif

 

Yours looks great - I hope you still pull it out & use it reasonably often..! waytogo.gif  And I see that Charlie helped you also with a missing part..! waytogo.gif

 

I've decided (as it nears "first light") that this one is called "Raylene" - RA(y)L(e)NE..! lol.gif

 

Tomorrow I'll probably place the primary mirror back in if I get the secondary centred under the focuser etc done to my satisfaction... fingerscrossed.gif



#42 steve t

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 08:30 AM

Steve , I neither knew you had one also (for a lot longer than I have!) nor that you were in Oz...I'm usually on the ball with those sorts of details - but I have seen your thread you've linked to & in fact I was looking at it just yesterday...but even then the penny didn't drop..! lol.gif

 

Yours looks great - I hope you still pull it out & use it reasonably often..! waytogo.gif  And I see that Charlie helped you also with a missing part..! waytogo.gif

 

I've decided (as it nears "first light") that this one is called "Raylene" - RA(y)L(e)NE..! lol.gif

 

Tomorrow I'll probably place the primary mirror back in if I get the secondary centred under the focuser etc done to my satisfaction... fingerscrossed.gif

 

Looking forward to your first light comments.

Steve T



#43 steve t

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 08:34 AM

Hi Guys here is my rebuild 

I still have this lovely scope

 

https://www.cloudyni...-4e-100mm-f10/ 

Stevenk,

Wow that's a very nice restore. Thanks for the link.

Steve T



#44 Kokatha man

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 06:40 PM

Steve , I neither knew you had one also (for a lot longer than I have!) nor that you were in Oz...I'm usually on the ball with those sorts of details - but I have seen your thread you've linked to & in fact I was looking at it just yesterday...but even then the penny didn't drop..! lol.gif

 

Yours looks great - I hope you still pull it out & use it reasonably often..! waytogo.gif  And I see that Charlie helped you also with a missing part..! waytogo.gif

 

I've decided (as it nears "first light") that this one is called "Raylene" - RA(y)L(e)NE..! lol.gif

 

Tomorrow I'll probably place the primary mirror back in if I get the secondary centred under the focuser etc done to my satisfaction... fingerscrossed.gif

Ok - confession time..! rofl2.gif

 

I've noted "steve t" commenting in my thread & when "stevenk" responded I got you 2 fellas mixed up thinking you were one & the same. bigblush.gif

 

I'm back on Earth now...steve t is in Ohio...stevenk is in Victoria..! lol.gif


Edited by Kokatha man, 16 February 2020 - 06:40 PM.

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#45 steve t

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 08:39 PM

lol.gif No problem. 

Steve T 



#46 stevenk

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 04:56 AM

Thanks Guys Yes I do still use it - its my grab and go, or 'grab and roll' as I have placed the pier on castors. :-)

Its a keeper and a conversation piece as many high schools in Victoria had purchased this model in the mid to late 1970s - which is why I sought one out. I was using one in Form 1  (year 7) in 1977- loved it 

 

I have since found the original counterweight bar and counterweight as well, and I owe that gentleman a finderscope if he is reading this.  I am fortunate as it came with the original dust cap with solar aperture, which is the only part I have not restored , otherwise everything else, in and out, is cleaned, straightened and painted . It even has that new scope smell !!   

 

The images through this scope are fantastic. Although I have the original eyepieces it came with, I have attached a 1.25 adapter and I use Russian Plossls- the field of view is excellent and the image quality even better.

 

I love it on planets especially Jupiter where I can discern the GRS and on good nights some wavelets on its bands. Saturn's Cassini is easy- Mars polar cap and surface features clearly visible . I think I even discerned some surface or shadow detail on Venus - I have to say deep sky is pretty good too in dark sky situations. Stars are pin point and text book - and double stars easy -  It has some spiking on brighter stars because of the three pronged spider, but is no bother.  Inside and outside focus diffraction is perfect - clear defined rings inside and out - 

 

To be honest I prefer it to all my scopes and I think its better than my 4 inch F15 refractor,  as it is easy to transport and use, and tack sharp.

Collimation is so easy benefited by the unique Spider adjustment mechanism 

 

I had sold this shortly after restoration but the buyer returned it and I bought it back as he was heading off internationally - my good fortune 

 

And yes indeed Charlie did help me and I just realised I have an original counterweight bar base that you had manufactured - I want to pay back the help and offer it to you if you like - PM Me and I will arrange - It has its original crinkle finish- photo attached   

 

My best   

 

Steve 

Attached Thumbnails

  • atro base.JPG
  • atro 1.JPG
  • atro 2.JPG
  • atro 3.JPG

Edited by stevenk, 17 February 2020 - 04:58 AM.

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#47 Kokatha man

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:03 AM

Thank you for the kind offer Steve, but I'll pass on your generous offer however - the fabricated one my mate made has assumed a bit of provenance history to me & I see no reason to change it over, but someone else down the track might have need of one & if you pass it on to someone who does, then that would be a good thing! waytogo.gif

 

I'm a little mystified as to your claim re the spider adjustments facilitating collimation however - I consider myself a bit of a collimation fanatic with the amount of hi-res imaging Pat & I do (see our website in my signature) & although I accept that the ability to position the secondary is an added bonus in comparison to a tube that doesn't possess such, it isn't the primary source of collimating once it is centred & adjusted correctly under the focuser...

 

Nice piks btw..! waytogo.gif


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#48 stevenk

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:15 AM

Well you'd be surprised - being an f10,  collimation is not only easier than a fast reflector, it is also more forgiving -

And when I say spider adjustment - once you have collimated using the traditional method you can fine tune by shifting the spider from the outside of the tube by pushing or pulling on the knurled knobs - reason why the spider tube support holes are elongated. And while centering the diagonal to the tube and primary is important, again being an f10 it is very forgiving 

 

Good luck with the resto' - they are great little scopes     

 

All my best  



#49 Kokatha man

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:28 AM

<"once you have collimated using the traditional method you can fine tune by shifting the spider from the outside of the tube by pushing or pulling on the knurled knobs - reason why the spider tube support holes are elongated.">

 

Well, you "could" Steven, but I wouldn't like to enable any fine-tuning that way because it is inherently less controlled than adjusting the primary's collimation adjustments. (& of course I consider the insertion of springs under the fixed - non locking - primary screws to be an important addition to the design & this matter)

 

For my money, once the secondary is set up accurately wrt centring & that includes under the focuser...as well as tilt, that's it as far as secondary fiddling is concerned.

 

Those slots' primary advantage is to be able to make sure the secondary is centred under the focuser with whatever tension you wish to enable with the central sprung screw of the secondary...ota's that don't possess them rely on such precise engineering of the spider holes (if that is all they have, & a lot do only have holes) that there is much less room for additional adjustments...

 

Thanks once again for that offer! smile.gif



#50 stevenk

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:06 AM

Well as you say you seem to be quite into collimation so I will cede to your experience. Again as an f10  I find it very forgiving unlike my f4.5 . And using the adjustment method I refer to, it seems to  work for me. Enjoy and looking forward to seeing the finished product 




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