Some friends of the family were cleaning out their garage and wanted me to take their father's hand made 10" Dob (which I was more than happy to do!). I'm in the SF Bay Area and this scope was built in one of Dobson's classes in the 80s or 90s. The primary mirror is a 10" but due to some issues when they were grinding it the edges were deemed not useable so they masked off the outer perimeter. So in reality this is a 9" scope.
I got this all setup last night and after getting the primary decently aligned, took a gander through it with a 26mm eyepiece. It was quite nice!
Now generally I prefer doing AP vs visual observing. I have a dedicated DSO rig and a solar rig as well (see my signature). I thought that perhaps just for kicks I could try to do some Planetary imaging since I already have some fast cams (e.g. ZWO 174MM). This got me thinking that maybe a simple(ish) project might be to make a low cost equatorial platform to keep the planets in the fov while I'm mucking with my computer or camera, fighting the inevitable USB demons.... There seem to be some plans out there for low cost wooden eq mounts with DC motors. Any favorite designs people have? I probably will not travel with this scope so backyard observing/imaging is the name of the game (implying that the designs don't have to be super light weight and could even run off of AC).
Thoughts on this? Any other mods people would do to such an old scope? I wasn't planning on any major re-designs but just looking for some ways to have some fun with some simple projects.
I was also given a 16" (probably 1" thick) porthole blank. I have never pushed glass and so the idea of doing anything with this other than adorning a shelf in my garage is terrifying. Really more from a time commitment perspective but I might get brave at some point (though I know I should probably just start with an 8" to see what I'm getting myself into!).... I also have read that I should check the blank to see if it has been annealed which I haven't done yet (just got it last night).
Thanks for any ideas!