Wednesday, March 21, 2007

rebuilding a telescope

So I have this telescope. Its a meade short tube reflector. Which is to say that it has a spherical primary (bad) which is probably about F4 or F4.5. It also had a bad finder which is now broken and a crappy focuser and mount. So I'm going to rebuild it a piece at a time, until I have a scope that I like. First step is a new finder scope and a crayford focuser. The new finder is a 9x50 from Orion and the focuser is from the same source.

Next step is to rebuild the mount into something better for this there are 3 options:

  1. A standard dob. maybe a travel dob. Basic alt/az platform scope, nothing fancy but will be easy to build.
  2. A Equatorial mount. I have seen plans for some that use a wood disk for a drive wheel. My cousin in Hod Hasharon is a wood worker with a lathe so if he can help me this would be an option. This would require a motor that can be adjusted to allow it to track the sky. The major advantage here is that i could use this for piggyback photgraphy.
  3. A Trackball. This would involve mounting the mirror in a sphere such that the scope could turn any way. It would therefore be possible to have a polar drive motor to track the sky, but it probably would not be possible to balance it to do photography.
If I go with 1 or 2 I may get a palm pilot or the like and hook up a mouse or two to act as an encoder to be a setting circle. This would allow me to know exactly where my scope is pointing and allow me to find object quite easily. On the other hand I'm not sure I want all that complexity, and of course there is the trunk space issue (my car is quite small)

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