Rebuilding my 6" telescope

Oct 27

Written by:
10/27/2012 9:24 PM  RssIcon

This is one of two 6" telescopes I am working on.  I bought a Celestron C6N optical tube earlier this year.  It has become my favorite telescope for more every application: General use, planetary, (most) deep sky, outreach events, etc.  It just plain does pretty much whatever I ask of it, and to boot, it isn't very large or heavy.  I made a foldable tripod / pier for it, and I can pick up the whole thing and move it outside in on fell swoop.  And it breaks down quickly and easily for easy transport in the car.

But!  I want to improve it.

There's something to be said for using a fan in a reflector (that link is a LOOONG read, but well worth it).  So despite a 6" mirror cooling fairly quickly, I think having the fan in there to remove tube currents matters, in addition to mirror cooling.  I've purchased a fan, and a nice chromed fan protector.  I also got a University Optics mirror cell, which I believe will be fantastically strong and hold collimation perfectly (after I change out the felt mirror pads).  I also am in possession of an Antares dual-speed Crayford-style focuser.  And on Wednesday of this week, I finished painting the tube for this new project.  That's the picture shown here.  

I chose a black hammertone.  Why black?  Well, it dissipates heat faster than any other color.  And why hammertone?  I figure it will help make fingerprints less noticeable and other scratches / iimperfections that are likely to occur.  

Now, the tube is aluminum.  And I know from my day-job that aluminum is best painted one of three ways:

  1. After it has been anodized
  2. After it the surface has had a chromate conversion
  3. Powder coat the aluminum (instead of paint)

So what did I choose?  Well, all three of those are out of my price range at the moment.  So I picked up a Rust-O-leum "Aluminum Primer" and, after sanding the tube smooth with 320 grit sandpaper, I put two coats of primer on, then two coats of the black hammertone I like.  I hope it lasts a year or two - at that point I may get it powder-coated.  But for now, I think this will work.  I hope.

I can be somewhat impatient when working on projects like this, but recognizing that the paint needs to REALLY cure well for at least a week before doing ANYTHING else, I am letting it sit inside and cure.  It feels pretty hard right now, but I don't want to risk screwing anything up.  

But next up will be measuring carefully for the mirror cell and spider locations.  Oh yes, and I need to build a spider.  I'm thinking a curved vane, but I do want to try both that and straight vane, for comparison.  We'll see how it goes.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator The Nightlight

2 comment(s) so far...

louis vuitton outlet

In a statement Monday, a coalition of flight attendants said it would continue to pressure Pistole to keep knives off planes.
# louis vuitton outlet

By TrackBack on   4/24/2013 10:38 AM

louis vuitton outlet store

Sketches are important to style designing since you want your concept on
# louis vuitton outlet store

By TrackBack on   4/26/2013 11:00 AM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

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.