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Z10 First Light

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#26 bluelick

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 11:34 PM

I would mark each screw and tube hole with a mark(number?) so you can put the primary cell back in the same position, then I would remove it, the primary in your photo appears to have clips holding the primary mirror from falling out so you should be able to remove the clips and remove the primary mirror from the cell, I would then check every screw, nut, and bolt to make sure everything was not frozen, it is a lot easier to collimate the primary with 3 knobs instead of 2 knobs although I have read about members on here that only use 2 knobs.

 

The secondary does not look collimated properly, but I am not an expert, I also cannot tell if your photo is taken from the center of the draw tube, it has to be perfectly centered.

Thanks! The photo is taken through the collimating cap, so I think it is pretty well centered. I actually think I could have gotten it aligned with just the two functioning primary screws, but one of those bottomed out so I didn't have any more room to move it.

 

I am thinking it would be a good idea to go with stainless steel screws and replace them all. Don't know if I can get stainless metric nobs. Looks like Bob's nobs are plated steel.

 

It's going to be significant job getting some of those screws out without damaging the cell. I'm curious about how bad the views would be with it collimated as it currently is. I still need to build a new base and it would be nice to move on to that and get it usable, then come back to the primary as a project, and clean the mirror while it's out as well. I carefully cleaned the secondary while it was out, it needed it and looked a good bit better afterward.

 

Again, thanks!



#27 Waynosworld

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 11:54 PM

I do not know a lot about metals, but I expect stainless steel will not rust, but I do not know about SS in a regular metal threads.

 

I have a hardware store near me that has both SAE and Metric knobs, but they are expensive, most medium and larger knobs are $5.00+, some are closer to $10.00, I have a large fortune in knobs on the 16" telescope I made(I did not make the mirrors or focuser).

 

Fact is if you get things loose and use the telescope regularly things will not seize unless things are already messed up.

 

You posted a photo, maybe Vic or someone else will tell you what needs to be adjusted, I cannot tell from a photo like Vic can, he has tools on his computer with different colored circles to show you what is right and what is wrong, I can collimate my own scopes but that is different than looking at a photo and knowing what needs to be done, if I turn something the wrong way I just turn it back the other way, I do that all the time when adjusting the primary.

 

And yes if that photo is taken thru the collimation cap it is likely centered, my photos taken thru the collimation cap show a small hole with the secondary/primary inside that hole, I guess my camera lens is too big or the collimation cap hole is too small.



#28 bluelick

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 12:05 AM

I do not know a lot about metals, but I expect stainless steel will not rust, but I do not know about SS in a regular metal threads.

 

I have a hardware store near me that has both SAE and Metric knobs, but they are expensive, most medium and larger knobs are $5.00+, some are closer to $10.00, I have a large fortune in knobs on the 16" telescope I made(I did not make the mirrors or focuser).

 

Fact is if you get things loose and use the telescope regularly things will not seize unless things are already messed up.

 

You posted a photo, maybe Vic or someone else will tell you what needs to be adjusted, I cannot tell from a photo like Vic can, he has tools on his computer with different colored circles to show you what is right and what is wrong, I can collimate my own scopes but that is different than looking at a photo and knowing what needs to be done, if I turn something the wrong way I just turn it back the other way, I do that all the time when adjusting the primary.

 

And yes if that photo is taken thru the collimation cap it is likely centered, my photos taken thru the collimation cap show a small hole with the secondary/primary inside that hole, I guess my camera lens is too big or the collimation cap hole is too small.

I'm just using my iPhone, holding it up to the cap. Usually takes a few tries to get an image that works, but it's enough to be useful in communicating what the view looks like. I can adjust the primary on my f5 114 while I'm looking through the cap, but no way on this one! Now if I used the iPhone clamp mount on the cap, then fed that to a laptop, maybe I could watch while I adjust the primary...



#29 Waynosworld

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 01:32 AM

It does not look right to me, it has been a while since I posted anything involved with collimation so I am not sure what needs to be done. 

 

There are about 4 members here on CN that help people regularly and they all use tools with colored circles, they all start at the beginning with the secondary and do not move on until the secondary is right, or as close to right as they think you can do, then they move on to the primary.

 

Personally I only use the Farpoint laser now, I use nothing else anymore, I adjust the laser in the center of the donut, the return laser dot hits the laser base and I center the return beam on the center of the laser base where the laser beam is coming from, that works good enough for me, but if I were to remove the secondary then I go thru all the steps with light pipes and collimation caps I even have a tool with rings so I can get the secondary perfectly centered under the focuser, but half the time that leads me down a rabbit hole that I absolutely hate where when it appears to be rounded properly but when I put the dot into the donut using the secondary adjustment screws, it is not rounded right anymore, so I round it again and the laser dot is in the same spot as it was before, this happens over and over until the secondary is way out of position and I have to start all over again from the beginning, it is usually a secondary height issue that is the problem, but I usually finally get it after walking away for a while and starting over with a fresh attitude.


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#30 SteveG

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 02:57 PM

Progress report--the good and the bad.

 

The good: I was able to clean up the secondary screws and get the threads cleared enough to reinstall the spider and the secondary. I put a little wax on the screws in the hopes they won't seize up again, at least not immediately. I worked on getting the secondary in the right alignment to the best of my ability and felt it was close enough to turn my attention to the primary.

 

The bad: more corroded screws on the primary. One of the adjusting screws was frozen solid and now the nob turns, but not the screw. I will have to cut the nob off to get vise grips on the screw. To get into all that, I think it might be smart to pull the whole end off and remove the primary from the cell so I don't have any chance of damaging the mirror. Can anyone tell me if the mirror is glued on or just sitting there held by the clamps?

 

Meanwhile, I got collimation as close as I could with only primary adjusting two screws to work with, and one of them bottoms out before I get it right where I would like it to be. See picture of current alignment. I hope someone can tell me if the secondary is still off or if I just need to address the primary at this point.

 

Good times!

1. Centering looks good enough.

2. Focuser axis needs correcting. There is a rotation error. Looking from the front of the open tube, reach in and rotate the secondary counter clockwise - just a bit.

Next use the tilt screws to get it centered on the primary center mark. Do you have a laser or combo tool?

3. Adjust primary last - after you fix the adjustment screws.

 

Screenshot (7) cap2.jpg


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#31 David Castillo

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 05:12 PM

You may find this IPhone app useful in your effort to tweak your collimation :

 

https://apps.apple.c...059878623?mt=12


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#32 bluelick

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 07:03 PM

SteveG, thanks! A couple of question:

 

1. In overlaying your grid, are you centering up your grid on the barrel of the focuser or on the primary mirror center mark?

 

2. By "Centering looks good enough" are you referring to the center mark of the primary being close to concentric with the focuser barrel (as it appears with your grid overly) or is that something else?

 

Again, thanks!



#33 SteveG

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 11:05 PM

SteveG, thanks! A couple of question:

 

1. In overlaying your grid, are you centering up your grid on the barrel of the focuser or on the primary mirror center mark?

 

2. By "Centering looks good enough" are you referring to the center mark of the primary being close to concentric with the focuser barrel (as it appears with your grid overly) or is that something else?

 

Again, thanks!

The outer ring is what I align the bullseye to. It is the bottom of the focuser drawtube, or the bottom of a site tube if used.

 

The second ring in is where the outer edge of your secondary should be if properly centered and rotated. It's pretty close, but bulges to the upper right. That, and the oblong shape, tells me you have a rotation error. By twisting the secondary, you can straighten that out. After that, you would use the secondary tilt screws to re-aim the focuser axis, which will have moved downward after you twist the secondary. Do you have a laser, or tube with crosshairs?

 

The center mark on your mirror should be right under the crosshairs I added. The step above should move it to above your center mark to below your center mark. If you can get your secondary more circular looking (the twist), then take a pic thru the cap again, and post it here (larger size if possible).


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#34 bluelick

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 07:48 PM

Next efforts: I cut the knob off of the frozen primary adjusting screw (just got tired of that being the problem) and found an allen head inside the knob, so broke it loose and removed it. As it turned out I found a replacement for it in the box of bolts in my shop. So, tweaked the secondary a bit, then the primary, so now it looks like this.

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  • 1-15-21 zoom.png

Edited by bluelick, 15 January 2022 - 07:49 PM.


#35 bluelick

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 07:54 PM

Using the Collimation app, thank you! It looks to me like I need to adjust the  secondary tilt to bring the bottom of the secondary closer to the eyepiece, is that right? This is where a Cheshire with crosshairs would be handy no doubt! I fiddled with the laser that came with the scope yesterday, unfortunately it seems to trace about a 3/4" circle at 12 feet, so I don't think it's going to help me any until I make time to adjust the laser.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 7.52.43 PM.png

Edited by bluelick, 16 January 2022 - 10:22 AM.


#36 Waynosworld

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 07:59 PM

Push on caps are not the best for things with a lot of tension/resistance to turning, real knobs that are molded onto the bolt are better but way more expensive, I also have used them caps on my 16" dob, but they are finger tight applications to lock the base to the side bearings so the scope can be moved as one package/unit.

 

post-345792-0-31682400-1614206188.jpg



#37 bluelick

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 10:17 AM

Push on caps are not the best for things with a lot of tension/resistance to turning, real knobs that are molded onto the bolt are better but way more expensive, I also have used them caps on my 16" dob, but they are finger tight applications to lock the base to the side bearings so the scope can be moved as one package/unit.

 

attachicon.gifpost-345792-0-31682400-1614206188.jpg

Nice rig! You build that? I'm thinking that a truss tube conversion may be in the future for my Z10, but I want to get to know it a bit first. It would be nice if I could make it easily portable since I live in the woods and the most open views of the sky are out at the front of my property by the road. Unfortunately there are also some pretty bright dusk to dawn lights out there.



#38 Waynosworld

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 03:03 PM

Nice rig! You build that? I'm thinking that a truss tube conversion may be in the future for my Z10, but I want to get to know it a bit first. It would be nice if I could make it easily portable since I live in the woods and the most open views of the sky are out at the front of my property by the road. Unfortunately there are also some pretty bright dusk to dawn lights out there.

If you have noticed truss dobs are for the most part are larger scopes, sure there are small dobs that members here on Cloudy Nights have built using the mirrors and hardware from their smaller tube dob, but they have issues with balance, even my 16" I built in that photo has the wheels and another 13lbs of counterweights that I put on the rear of the scope to balance it when in use, but most these builds I am talking about are built with side bearings not using a mirror box which makes them a lot lighter but top heavy.

When one makes one with a deeper mirror box the side bearings can be put much higher towards the UTA to balance the OTA, that makes them a lot heavier and sometimes harder to transport, the eyepiece is higher when closer to zenith also, it's all about trade offs.

 

My first real telescope was a 14.5" f/4.5 Starsplitter Truss dob, it is a great telescope, but it weighs a lot, I was barely able to unload the mirror box from my truck when I got it home the first and only time it has been in my truck as the primary mirror was still in the mirror box, I determined I was never going to be able to transport this to a dark site as getting the primary mirror out of the mirror box was hard to do because of lack of room in the mirror box to get the clips off holding the mirror from falling out of the mirror cell, and taking the mirror cell/mirror out was a giant hassle as starting over starting with getting the mirror the right height in the mirror box, well it was not worth it.

 

I then went thru 3 more smaller dobs trying to find a telescope that would be easy to transport to a dark site, 2 of them were 6" dobs, what I could see thru the eyepiece was small compared to my 14.5", so small I could not really see any detail on the planet Mars, so I bought a 10" Apertura, except for gathering more light the 10" was not much better than the 6" F/8 dobs as the 6" were 1200mm and the 10" was a 1250, using the same eyepiece Mars was almost the same size in the eyepiece of both scopes, the only benefit the 10" had was it would except higher power eyepieces before the view degraded, this is when I sold 2 of the 3 smaller dobs and I bought a 16" F/4.42 Sandwich Mirror and started on my 16" truss dob build, I wanted light and easy to transport, the primary mirror is easy to remove and easy to install, it takes less than 30 seconds to do either, the whole thing weighs less than 85lbs not counting the counterweights, it takes about 20 minutes to tear apart or about 30 minutes to put together if it is light outside so I can see which truss pole goes where as they have a certain spot they go, when I am done putting it together and start to collimate it, if the laser is not within a quarter inch of the primary center donut I put it together wrong and have to start over, I have only twice got it wrong, the first time I put the UTA on 180 degrees out(focuser on wrong side), and the second time a truss pole did not settle in it's lower or upper hole properly, I just loosened all the knobs, wiggled all the truss poles, made sure the UTA was on straight and tightened all the truss pole knobs and I was good to go with starting colimitation again.

 

I expect I could use the 12" tube dob I found(1500mm) for a dark site telescope but the OTA is rather large, the base I made is lighter than the original but large also, and I do not like laying the OTA on its side with the primary mirror in its cell, it is one thing to tilt the scope horizonal, but another thing all together if it is moving around and going over bumps in a vehicle, I am not sure I would even want to travel with a 10" with the OTA on its side as the clips holding them primary mirrors in look light duty to me and one of the roads to a dark site I checked out was basically a 4wd road(Cloud Cap), not sure I would take any dob scope up that road unless the mirrors were in padded cells where they were safe, my 2wd truck took a beating that day.

 

I also cannot observe from my front yard because of street lights, so that puts me in my back yard, I have to observe over my roof and others roofs from there, it's not so great right after the sun goes down unless I am near zenith, but after midnight I have had some great nights, one awesome night I was observing less than a foot above my roof ridge line where it was blocking some of my view as the Teapot was fairly low in the sky on that night, that night was the best night I have ever had from my home/property, I have trees in my way from west to northeast in a clockwise direction except for the narrow Polaris gap, sometimes you have to plan what you are going to look at ahead of time when what you want to observe is going to be between 2 trees, I have to do that a lot.



#39 bluelick

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 05:48 PM

After more tweaking today, and trying out the laser after going through the process of collimating it (before its battery died) I think the secondary is better and overall I'm feeling pretty good about this but would welcome better informed opinions than my own!

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  • 1-16-21 with grid.png

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#40 Waynosworld

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 07:36 PM

Is the black dot inside the donut looking thru the collimation cap?

I suppose you could do it with the light pipe, but it is harder with the cross hairs in the view.

 

I suspect you can see just fine with this collimation, but I am not an expert, also I don't have the standards some have with collimation, I expect I would be pickier if I was trying to look at planets using high power eyepieces, but open clusters look fine with pinpoint stars and that is awesome considering what M42's bright stars look like with the conditions we have in the Pacific NW at this time, twinkle, twinkle, every star...............................

 

Right now, if you have clear skies, M36, M37, and M38 might be worth a try, they are to the east right now and fairly high in the sky, do you have any books that tell you where things are?



#41 SteveG

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 07:57 PM

After more tweaking today, and trying out the laser after going through the process of collimating it (before its battery died) I think the secondary is better and overall I'm feeling pretty good about this but would welcome better informed opinions than my own!

That is good!

 

Centering is close enough. Focuser axis looks much better than yesterday's photo. I can't see the pupil of your collimating cap - it should be in the middle of the black ring (primary center mark). If it is, you are good to go. Note that the secondary silhouette now shows the proper offset.

 

This is how the cap view should look. Do you see the black dot centered in the ring on yours?

 

cap view.jpg


Edited by SteveG, 16 January 2022 - 07:59 PM.


#42 bluelick

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 08:18 PM

Ah, so that is supposed to be offset! I was wondering why that circle didn't line up when everything else did. Yes, the pupil is centered now, I look forward to seeing what I can see. Although I'm actually tempted to pull the primary and clean it if the skies don't clear, it's pretty dirty. And there is still the base to build, waiting for the plans. Four inches of wet snow this afternoon and still falling, just hope the power stays on. Perfect winter project!



#43 SteveG

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 08:28 PM

Ah, so that is supposed to be offset! I was wondering why that circle didn't line up when everything else did. Yes, the pupil is centered now, I look forward to seeing what I can see. Although I'm actually tempted to pull the primary and clean it if the skies don't clear, it's pretty dirty. And there is still the base to build, waiting for the plans. Four inches of wet snow this afternoon and still falling, just hope the power stays on. Perfect winter project!

The primary is the easiest to adjust, so it will be very easy to get it collimated again after removal. Good luck, and let us know how it works out.



#44 Waynosworld

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 08:31 PM

I have to say that a primary mirror can be really dirty and you will still be able to see just fine, in the photo below you can see where my curtain/shroud draw string dragged across the edge of the mirror, I was using this telescope and seeing just fine, but after I seen how dirty it was I did remove it and clean it, have you ever cleaned a telescope mirror before???, I use this method suggested by Jon Isaacs in the link below.

 

https://youtu.be/9Y8xFnXFVGQ

 

DSC00499.JPG


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#45 Thermodynamics

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 10:57 PM

I sold my big dob several years ago to go in a different direction, but I miss the old gal sometimes.



#46 bluelick

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 11:18 PM

I have to say that a primary mirror can be really dirty and you will still be able to see just fine, in the photo below you can see where my curtain/shroud draw string dragged across the edge of the mirror, I was using this telescope and seeing just fine, but after I seen how dirty it was I did remove it and clean it, have you ever cleaned a telescope mirror before???, I use this method suggested by Jon Isaacs in the link below.

 

https://youtu.be/9Y8xFnXFVGQ

 

attachicon.gifDSC00499.JPG

Thanks for that link, helpful video and it's pretty much the way I approached cleaning the secondary last weekend after doing some reading. Pulling the primary just feels like the right next step in getting fully acquainted with this scope, and I will look forward to seeing it at its best!



#47 bluelick

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Posted Yesterday, 06:10 PM

Well, a snowy MLK Holiday made for a good afternoon in the shop. I pulled the primary mirror, cleaned and reinstalled it. It looks a LOT better, but there is still a layer of what I think is some kind of grime on it (first picture attached). I decided not to try to get more aggressive with it but did rub one spot on the edge that was next to where a mounting clip had kept the mirror more pristine, and it did get a little cleaner (second picture)

 

I also assembled an older Japan-made Bausch and Lomb 114mm reflector that I just got. It pairs nicely with the old tripod and GEM mount that I had sitting around. Now I'm ready for some clear skies!

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  • post cleaning.png
  • Rubbed edge.png


#48 Waynosworld

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Posted Yesterday, 06:25 PM

What does it look like when your farther back?

 

Photos can be deceiving, close photos can be scary, especially with a flash, I just removed my Star Splitter mirror to get photos and ask for advice and was told it was fine.



#49 bluelick

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Posted Yesterday, 06:51 PM

What does it look like when your farther back?

 

Photos can be deceiving, close photos can be scary, especially with a flash, I just removed my Star Splitter mirror to get photos and ask for advice and was told it was fine.

It really looks lovely for the most part, unless you get the right angle on it, then it looks like the pictures above. I'm not too concerned about it for now, but if I take another run at it down the road I'll seek counsel on how to go further without doing damage. I'm thinking maybe something like alcohol to cut the grime, but I'm out of my depth at that point.

 

Next up, new base! Has anyone used Advantech for a dob base? It is a type of pressed board like chip board or OSB but with better waterproofing. I have some left over from construction projects here. Downside is it weighs about half again as much as 3/4" plywood. And it is notably unlovely, but the OTA on this beast isn't exactly pretty either!



#50 Waynosworld

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Posted Yesterday, 08:40 PM

This mirror coating condition stuff is not something I know a lot about, like I said I took photos of my SS Nova mirror and asked a member on here what he thought.

 

Can you take a photo straight on from 2 or 3 feet away, or is it already back together?

 

Personally I think the base should be simple with the least amount of wood used possible, some might think the heavier the base is the more stable it is, I guess that may be true, but I have to lift the base, as you have seen I will go to great lengths to not have to lift my 16" scope, I roll it around complete except for the counterweights as putting them in and removing them from the base can put the primary mirror at risk of being hit and or damaged, when I transport it I pull it completely apart and put the primary mirror in a formed foam filled box.

 

In my opinion your base appears to have a lot of extra wood/particle board but I cannot see it very well as it is a dark color.

 

Here are 3 photos of my 12" base, front back and side photos, these are exact copies of my original base except for the short board across the bottom in one photo that I put there to help stiffen the side uprights.

 

DSC00154.JPG

 

DSC00155.JPG

 

DSC00156.JPG

 

The bottom of the base is round pieces that are copies also, I used the Lazy Susan bearings and plates that were on the original base, I also used all the screws holding it together from the original base, only that short piece I added did I use my own screws to hold that piece in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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