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Having looked at the various options on the market for a pillar mount, there was nothing that suited my setup so it would easily fit under the motorbike cover (or clamshell cover). So with a visit to my local scrapyard and a bit of machining and bolting together, it is possible to build a very stable mount (600mm tall) out of scrap aluminium. It may appear a bit rustic (can always paint it), but it won't rust and I get to spend the £200+ saved on other things! If anyone is interested in the specs of the creation, say so and I'll post them up.
I first made a 6" f/10 telescope back in 2002. It was, as everyone called it here "the minimum size you should make". So I went ahead with it. The f/10 was because some gentleman had ground the glass to f/10 and abandoned it in the local astronomy club and the president of which handed to me.
After having used the scope until 2009 (I went to UK for my Masters and bought my GOTO setup at the Telescope showroom I was working. I am primarily an astrophotographer, but one can never forget ones roots can we?
So, long story short, I am back to grinding a 6' f/8 this time, The FL now stands at 49" (f/8.1). I had finished fine grinding with 1000 grit SiC and moved to 1200 grit SiC but only to realize (after 30mins of grinding) that the seller had incorrectly labelled the powder as 1200 grit. I ended up with large pits all over the mirror and had to resort back to the "actual" 1000 grit SiC. This was yesterday. Now, after about 2 hours of 1000 grit, there are about a dozen pits of varying depth. I think another 30 minutes should get rid of them.
I tried making a polishing tool from White Portland Cement using the mirror as the mold and aluminum foil as separator. Disaster struck as the cement ate away the foil and got stuck to the mirror in the form of a thin layer (thankfully) and I was able to remove all of it by mild scrubbing and later grinding with 1000 grit SiC. The misadventures that I deliberately get into. 😕
Hopefully I can start polishing soon.
Wish me luck folks. I will post al developments here.
After months of trawling through SGL for ideas and inspiration, I've decided to bite the bullet and build a mini garden observatory for my 150PDS on a HEQ5. So many of the builds and threads on here have been brilliant and a testament to this communities ingenuity and skills beyond astronomy!
I was fed up with the setup and take down time for my astro setup, especially when my kit normally lived in my office on the 2nd floor. I wanted to build something small as my garden is not very big and I could only get planning permission from the wife if I kept it as small as possible. I did spend a lot of time thinking about how to slide the roof as a lot of the designs here are for sliding roofs that are on wheels / rails. this design is really good but it also meant that I would need additional structures in the garden for the roof to slide on to and that would take up more space. In the end I decided to go for heavy duty drawer slides as my obsy was only going to be as big as the scope 'swing area'. I'll update on this thread as I progress but please bear in mind that I have very limited DIY skills or tools so I am going to take things a little slow and my posts will be filled with mistakes but I guess its all part of the learning process.
Part 1 - the HEQ5 mount
My first task was to build a pier mount for my HEQ5. For this I used some brake disks after numerous examples posted here. The exact models where TRW Brake Discs Pair Front DF1608 3322937807697 for about £20 on ebay. They seem to fir the HEQ5 perfectly. It was akiller to drill the 16mm holes in them but after a few days and some really shaky arms from the drill vibrations, they were done! Then came a selection of M16 threaded bars to hold everything together and a custom plate for the bottom and some M12 bolds for added strength as these would also go into the concrete pier.
The idea was to fill a 200mm wide plastic tube with concrete and place this inside.
I am planning to build a Mirror-O-Matic machine, but since the designer Dennis Rech is not responding to emails anymore, I would be very grateful to anyone who could kindly share the plans of the machines you've built. Anything would be helpful. Images, plans, cur lists, advice etc.
I recently motorised my roll off roof obsevatory and have now set it up for less than £25 to be able to remote in from anywhere and open/close the roof. I can then via teamviewer start an imaging sequence with NINA. No more missing clear skies when at work or away from home. Clear skies all