Old tube 2007

by Phunguss  

Old tube 2007

In 2006, I was living in the Caribbean and did not have my 10" Meade with me and the light pollution is so minimal that I wanted a scope. So eBay brought me a 8" primary and a 1.5" secondary. I used a piece of PVC drain pipe and a jigsaw to cut the rest. A photo is from a lunar eclipse event just before dawn in April 2015, and one from a full moon event in August 2015.

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Lightbulb on

by Phunguss  

Lightbulb on

During the lunar eclipse, I noticed how wobbly the telescope was, and how difficult it was to aim using a photo tripod. I spend the weekend coming up with a new design. This design is somewhat unique in that the center of rotation is where the eyepiece is located. Traditional scopes usually have the pivot point somewhere between the primary and secondary, requiring the viewer to move with the scope.

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Worms!

by Phunguss  

Worms!

High end telescopes use a gear reduction called a worm drive. Usually very expensive and intricate to make. I happened to see a snow blower with a coiled wire to turn the gear on the exit chute and I thought I might try that for this scope.

The first pic is a hand wound and routed test piece. The second pic is actually CNC and a spring found at the local Menards hardware store.

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Cut some pieces

by Phunguss  

Cut some pieces

So with a concept, I refined the details a little and calculated a gear for the elevation control. And cut the first piece on my CNC machine that I purchased in November 2014. Cut a couple more pieces, add some hinge work, and it will all be collapsible to hopefully fit into a transport case.

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Holes

by Phunguss  

Holes

Since the design has holes to look fancy (kinda like a sextant), and to allow wind to pass through without causing too much structural demise, I thought I should find a use for the discs cut from the frame. Why not a handle for the crank? And a cover for the mirror?

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Bend it like Newton

by Phunguss  

Bend it like Newton

This is a Newtonian scope. I don't like the Dobsonian design where the scope rotates with the axis being near the primary... just too much movement for the observer. And to move it from location to location, it needs to be transportable... and thus collapse into a smaller area.

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Round and Round

by Phunguss  

Round and Round

What goes around comes around. So the Altitude gets 90+ degrees of rotation (horizon to zenith), and the Azimuth gets 360 degrees of rotation. The elevator is one crank rotation to one degree of elevation. The Azimuth is one crank rotation to two degrees of horizontal movement. Alt-Az mount.

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CNC

by Phunguss  

CNC

My max size on the CNC work area is about 15 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches. I needed a part longer, so I only cut half the part, rotated 180 degrees and cut the other half. Needed two pieces, worked out great!

Not too fast

by Phunguss  

Not too fast

So getting carried away, I had to revisit the design and tighten down the details before I get too far. Knowing how everything works before the build starts is a good idea so you don't have to make things twice. This is the redesign, so I could continue with the cutting.

Come together

by Phunguss  

Come together

All major pieces are cut. Now I have to start assembly, make a few small pieces, do some adjustments, and fine tune. Final assembly and test before Sunday night's Lunar Eclipse!

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