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So, as the title explains I need a mount for my 70mm F/10 refractor, It has a fork mount (Alt-az) and the tripod head fell with crash to the ground. So, it wobbles a lot and it causes frustration to even point at Jupiter, I don't want to throw It away, It is a nice scope and my first scope, so I need some easy mounts to make. There are some threads (Forums) but I would like to make a custom mount!
Here's a photo of my triple widefield, narrow band imaging rig with 200mm focal length lenses. Mainly 3D printed to my own design. Further details to follow.
Mounted on my EQ8 in the observatory. Three cameras 2x ASI 1600MM-Cool and 1x ASI 294MM-Pro. Mounted in the adapters directly on the cameras are Ha, OIII and SII Astrodon 3nm NB filters. In the middle is an ASI 178MM with 55mm lens for guiding. The main imaging lenses have remote focussing controlled by the Astroberry Focuser INDI driver in Raspberry Pi SingleBoardComputers. The guider uses fixed focus as the focussing on a guider is not critical.
The ASI 294MM-Pro camera is run from an RPi 4B with Astroberry Server and controls the mount for slewing, plate solving and guiding as well as imaging in Ha. The other cameras run from RPi 3B boards. The 3 RPi boards are contained in the yellow 3D printed box with blue top. 3 Ethernet patch cables connect the SBCs to a Network switch and a CAT6 Ethernet cable to the house. The RPi boards are air cooled with a fan run at low speed to avoid vibration.
The turret rotation angle is controlled separately from an ESP32 SBC and MQTT network over WiFi (same network as I use for my weather station). Controlling the turret rotation this way was much easier than producing a new INDI driver and matching control in Ekos. MQTT network and Code-RED Dashboard make for an easily programmed control and data gathering system.
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.
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.
Startools 1.8 is currently under development, Ivo is currently working a Narrowband Accent" module for duo band users , initial image Ivo has posted certainly looks interesting https://forum.startools.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2225&start=10 Ivo also working on a new deconvolution algorithm so some good things for Startools users to look forward too .