A scope from scratch, out of spare parts

Apr 23

Written by:
4/23/2013 9:02 AM  RssIcon

I have had this 4.5" f/8 primary from Meridian Telescopes for quite a while (sadly not sold there anymore), and always planned to build a scope around it someday. In the interim, I have had a number of other telescope projects come and go.

With that f/8 mirror, I had plans to put a tube on a bowling ball, and make the scope so it could point any direction.  Yeah... ummm - WAY too much weight up top, and not enough mass at the bottom.  There's a reason why an Astroscan telescope is so short and squat!  So from that field project, I had an old Meade tube sitting around doing nothing from that project that didn't get too far.

When I went to build my 6" f/11 reflector, I bought a used, Japan-made focuser for a reflector. It turned out to be too heavy for that telescope, so it has been sitting around.

The 6x26 Orion finder that came with my 90mm f/10 Orion refractor has been doing nothing, as I had swapped in a 9x50 on that scope (overkill, I know).

I bought a (I found out later) poor 4.5" f/4 mirror set with a secondary and spider. 

Plus I had some extra flocking material.

I didn't think about all of these things being in my house until this last weekend, for some dumb reason - probably because they were all bought at different times and sitting in different areas of my house and/or garage.

So the tube got flocked. Then the focuser got put on by drilling new holes in the tube. The f/4 mirror got swapped out of it's cell, and the f/8 swapped in. That cell fit on the end of the tube nicely (except for a small crack I managed to put in it while testing it at one point, but it's not critical). Despite the secondary mirror being on the large size, it got put in the tube. I have several finder dovetails, so one got put on the tube (no redrilling of holes need for it!), and the 6x26 finder went on.

Collimated the mirrors, put the OTA on my Tasco 11-TE5 mount, and "Voila!" - new-to-me scope! Works pretty well too - managed to split the 8th magnitude companion of Polaris with it.


 photo 8daca2ff-42d5-43d1-b965-e7c32357f72f.jpg

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.