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BVer Collim.-Finally took the "easy" way out

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#1 Bob4BVM

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 01:32 AM

 I figured it was about time i worked on my converted B&L BVer i use in my F5 frac, since i've known it was more than a bit out of whack for some time.  This is the 3" nose unit which was the stimulus driving my design for the big frac, but i have been using it's little brother 2" nose unit most of the time just because it is well aligned, something i got lucky with a while back with some help from Glenn LeDrew.

 

Well, i guess i didn't know how lucky because this baby has been a nightmare to collimate.  After doing the laser-beam-merging adjustments what seems like a hundred times, i still could not get good results in the scope. Each iteration of the L/R mirror adjustments required disassembly, adjust, reassembly.

Even when the laser looked great at the input lens of the unit, putting it in the scope showed L/R misalignment and/or beam off-centered in the scope objective.

Finally I had enough, and went ahead and did the unthinkable, converted it to "externally adjustable".

Biggest issue was figuring out the exact location & angle of the holes to be drilled in the lower housing, some careful measuring & marking paid off there.

Exactly perfect collimation & beam centering on the scopes objective mask is now a piece of cake.  6 tiny squares of black electrical tape and the "modification" is all but invisible.

A brief look at M42 before the clouds rolled in tonight showed me what i'd been missing with this baby. Awesome. Can't wait for a good clear night, the moon,, the planets, etc

CS
Bob

 

0324201857aS.jpg IMG_4490 Clsd-s.jpg IMG_4492 Int1-s.jpg 0325201337S.jpg 0325201252S.jpg


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#2 junomike

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 07:07 AM

Looks good.

How 'bout a pic of them in the OTA.



#3 Bob4BVM

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 01:14 PM

Looks good.

How 'bout a pic of them in the OTA

I have posted this one before, but since you ask-

CS

Bob

 

ps-yeah the big BVer is as heavy as it looks, 4.8# with EP's.  All brass & aluminum construction. But no sweat for the focuser, which I have tested to 20# smile.gif

 

I use the lighter 2" one in my Dob, w/barlow

 

 

NikonZooms,B+L BVer.jpg


Edited by Bob4BVM, 26 March 2020 - 02:29 PM.

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#4 bcarter1234

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 08:34 AM

Bob,

 

Excellent idea! I've become a big fan of built in adjustability especially if it can be done at the eyepiece. Glad you got this done while you still have some time with M42. Let me know if you can see E and F with two eyes. I can get E but F still eludes me from the driveway except in the 13" Dob with BVs.

 

I love the construction of that B&L unit, looks like a tinkerers dream. Do they make them without the built in 45 degree diagonal?

 

Take care,

Brent



#5 Bob4BVM

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 01:21 PM

Bob,

 

Excellent idea! I've become a big fan of built in adjustability especially if it can be done at the eyepiece. Glad you got this done while you still have some time with M42. Let me know if you can see E and F with two eyes. I can get E but F still eludes me from the driveway except in the 13" Dob with BVs.

 

I love the construction of that B&L unit, looks like a tinkerers dream. Do they make them without the built in 45 degree diagonal?

 

Take care,

Brent

Right Brent, the easy adjustability of your bino-box was not lost on me.

I just got a brief time with 42, between the clouds before it bombed out, which is where it's been here ever since. We all know how that goes in this hobby :)   I will report on E & F if I get a clear night before 42 gets too low

 

Yes these are very maintainable, and built like a tank, easy enough to work on but easier now for me.

I am half surprised that Denis or Glenn did not chew me out for drilling those holes :) , I'm sure they would know how to accomplish the collimation without such extreme measures !  But I am thrilled at having them nailed down perfectly at long last.

 

I have never seen these in a straight thru version. Makes sense since they are microscope heads after all.  I actually like the 45* head in my frac since it seems a perfect view angle for most altitudes and negates the need for (in my case) a 3" star diagonal ! 

I have a spare 3.1" newt sec mirror I plan to use to make a star diag for that scope, but don't need it for the BVer.

 

The 45* head in this 3" one contains the 1-2X zoom mechanism, which combined with the Nikon zoom EPs gives me an incredible 36 - 218X zoom range without having to swap EP's. I find that very effective for taking max advantage of moments of perfect seeing, especially on moon & planets, and no doubt also in searching out E and F !   

I removed the  zoom mechanism when I put the  2" nosepiece on the one I use in my Dob . I actually like the 45* tilt on the Dob too, as it allows me to rotate the unit for a level view at any altitude.

 

Cheers,

Bob


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#6 Bob4BVM

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 10:47 PM

Update on this...

 

Had a mostly clear night finally, got out with the BVer in the 6" frac. Targets were Q1 moon and plenty of bright stars. 

Moon looked OK, but not as sharp as i'd hoped with what looked like a perfect collim based on the laser testing & adj'mts.

Moving to a bright star, I could easily see that it was not perfect collim, clearly double image stars at 45* apart & slight separation.

Out came the 5/64 allen wrench. First adjusted for a 'twin-star' image, separated but in line vertically. Then went to vert adjust screw and brought stars together vertically til they merged. Actually it was more like they just 'popped' together when I brought them together.  Tested again on moon at high power ~ 230X. HUGE difference, instant/effortless visual merge, tack sharp images if tiniest crater details !

I have to say , it was actually FUN to collimate these things 'live', while looking thru the EPs at an actual star image.

As simple now as A-B-C  :

CS

Bob

BV star view.png


Edited by Bob4BVM, 02 April 2020 - 10:49 PM.


#7 bcarter1234

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 08:18 AM

Great news Bob. I was out last night with MB3R for a look at M45 and Venus. Took in the Moon just before picking up. Every time I do this I remind myself I need to spend more time on the Moon with a two eyed instrument.

 

Once you've made the adjustment as described try blinking both eyes rapidly several times to see if the images will separate for just an instant. Unless this reveals observable vertical separation you are as close as your eyes/brain need you to be.

 

You know the only way to make this experience even better is to get that binocular telescope done. ;-)

 

Take care,

Brent 



#8 Bob4BVM

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 03:06 PM

Great news Bob. I was out last night with MB3R for a look at M45 and Venus. Took in the Moon just before picking up. Every time I do this I remind myself I need to spend more time on the Moon with a two eyed instrument.

 

Once you've made the adjustment as described try blinking both eyes rapidly several times to see if the images will separate for just an instant. Unless this reveals observable vertical separation you are as close as your eyes/brain need you to be.

 

You know the only way to make this experience even better is to get that binocular telescope done. ;-)

 

Take care,

Brent 

Thanks for the tip on the blink test Brent, I had totally forgotten about that. Seems at my age I have forgotten more than I know :)  Applies to so many things in my life.... when I get together with my musician sons, same thing, we used to play literally hundreds of songs together, most of which I have now forgotten, at least forgotten enough of it to play well.  Oh well, we can have the fun of learning things over again !

 

The big BT - yeah I know.  Hard to believe how much other stuff has gotten in the way of that project. But the upside is just taking my time and pondering parts of it, I am coming up with better ways to do many things on it (I do keep those ideas in my ATM notebook so I don't FORGET them ! )

But I am anxious to get it running too. My recent cataract surgery has left me with better bino-vision than I have had in a long while, time to make better use of that !

Cheers,

Bob




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