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About cassiewoofer

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    Star Forming

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    Physical sciences, Astronomy, Tennis, DIY.
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  1. looks like a very interesting project, as you got it free personally I wouldn't worry about keeping as much of the original as poss unless you know the original builder. It's probably had plenty of use in that format so for me it would be a total rebuild. I would start with the base, but it all depends on your skills and personal wants. you can totally clean the mirror off and do some tests on planets and the moon with no coating. However having loked at the paint job on the tube it looks quite nice.. but I would go for a truss tube rebuild after changing the base to make it lighter, stiffer and smoother in it's action. Have fun.
  2. Hey Peter, oops Jastronomy (not very clear who's posted on my computer) sounds like you're living the dream.... Farm at 9000ft Wow! Anyway, don't let anyone dissuade you from building your own!... It may not be financially worth it (if you consider the prices now AND you consider time working on a project as the same as time working at work (which I don't)) but some of us just like to make things and there's nothing more rewarding than making your own telescope. Your plan is just about what I would recommend to someone with experienced hands. (that's not experience in telescopes but other more regular stuff) I started my first telescope 4 years ago. it was a 6 inch, and was initially in a cheap cardboard tube which meant I could just mess it up / play / make mistakes and not worry...... I changed the eyepiece hole position 3 times! But being scared of cutting means you progress slowly. I had the poly tube ready once I had perfected the dimensions of the Card one. Anyway the mirror is the hard bit! I went with 6 inch which was a bit cautious so your idea to go for 8 as a starter is a good one. An 8 inch scope is the most useable size here in Uk as it fits in the car and is easily lifted by one person. Good luck, you will probably get hooked,... I've had a break but did a 6" and 8" a 10" and a 12" and though her indoors might not know it yet but think I'm feeling the once planned 16" inch is creeping back into my mind. I might be better off though improving the mount on the 12". However I get more enjoyment out of making them and proving they work than actually using them on a regular basis!!! I mean the skies we've had for the past few years have been awful! Good luck with it!
  3. thanks, I eventually used some 4M sodium Hydroxide...(caustic soda!)... was pretty quick... think I'll use 2M next time. Will now do a Foulcault to see if the surface figure has changed but I somewhat doubt it.
  4. Blimey!!! 50 years in the making that must be some sort of record. I started making mirrors 2 years ago and got most of my stuff from Galvoptics. Still use pitch / and make pitch laps...... one of the challenging and frustrating part of the whole process. I learnt last year that polishing needs to be done during the summer months.... the pitch just doesn't behave when it's cold enough fro gloves... Good luck with it.
  5. That's great thanks all for the replies.... Just waiting for the Garage to get warm enough to get started.... OH and get through the silica layer on the old mirror with some sort of acid!... the conc Sulphuric I tried at the weekend didn't touch it! However the duck tape got the aluminium off but only near the centre. I think that was because the Al layer was thicker there. Roll on spring!
  6. OK mirror makers, I have acquired a near full thickness (1.5 inch) 12 inch mirror with a 30ft focal length! I plan to hog this out with a lump of stainless I have, but what's the best way to make a tool when I get near the right sagittal?..... I have only used glass tools before and the 10 inch glass tool I used for the previous 12 inch mirror is now too thin.... (I think!) Keith
  7. I have one of their MIG welders and have done a bit of Aluminium welding. Just a bit (LOT) more scary than steel! I have the TE135 and have welded up a simple DOB base but will spend the next few weekends stiffening it and improving the smoothness of rotation by replacing the skate bearings on which it currently runs with small wheels and a clutch. Then maybe start welding an alu fork... or press on with grinding the 18",... just don't know what to prioritize! Might just dump the Mrs!!!
  8. Have you looked at the OBSESSION TELESCOPES UCT telescopes.. they look great!
  9. One way to see if you're too short or long is remover the focusser and just hold the eyepiece in your hand. Getting the thing pointed towards the moon can be easy enough by just getting a bright mirror whilst looking through the hole for the focusser. I had this problem with my 12" truss dob. Though the mirror is mounted in a tube section so some adjustment could be done here rather than at the truss tubes. Keith
  10. I do like the look of those fork mounts, and have been considering how small/light I could weld one.... must get practicing my Alu welding!
  11. Thanks for the info guys! Looks like I'll be spending the summer rewelding a sturdy mount...... or grinding another mirror! This camera's going to have to wait!
  12. Cheers John, I'll have a look at those camera's and have been intrigued by those Funny conical equatorial platforms...... blumming interesting mathematics!
  13. OK, I'm really into making telescopes and to be honest have so far got more enjoyment out of the making of them than the use of them. I am again considering trying to take some images and hope to buy a camera before the summer. Probably just to capture the planets/moon and sun... I have a homebuild 12" dobsonian with a very basic pan and tilt rocker box, with no guiding. (see pic) This will be improved on eventually when my welding skills are up to it. The result is an un smooth rotation (tilt not too bad) so I just want to image single images and maybe some short video as I'd like to learn about stacking etc. I have posted something a while back but thought I'd ask again!!! I've tried adapting a logitek but want something better. I'm considering the QHY5-II and the Neximage 5, but would this be a waste of money.... should I just get a Neximage solar system imager for now? Or forget the imaging altogether and spend my time Money working on seriously improving my Dob mount???!!!!!
  14. to the right of the dark cloud? only saw it on full size
  15. Congrats!....Just love Jupiter! wait till you can get up early and see saturn! You should easily see the cassini division in the rings... Did this last summer in the 10 inch homebuild! very exciting.
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