June 3, 2020

My Next ATM Project

Hey, how about that Full Wolf Moon this past weekend? We here at Astroguyz HQ managed to shoot some rising stills on Saturday, as well as put together a hyper cool video;

But on to this week’s post. This time around, I would like to make a proposal, and a challenge, mostly to myself. Loyal fans will remember my first voyage into amateur telescope making with the <50$ Stovepipe Scope. For my next act, I’d like to grind my own mirror. I already have the tube, supplied to me for free some years ago by a professor at the University of Arizona.

This sturdy tube has long cried out for a mirror. The layout configuration will be a classic 6″ Newtonian, and this construct will have the added advantage of not being oblong in shape, like the flimsy stovepipe was! With this project, I hope to gain the skills of mirror making and grinding. I plan to engage the St Petersburg Astronomy Club and their excellent mirror making lab. As for the mount, I may go for a classic, sturdy Dobsonian, although I also have some more exotic ideas, such as a rotating needle bearing mount, in mind as well. Perhaps I’ll just make the Optical Tube Assembly transferable to a separate mount at a later time.

Of course, I’ll be utilizing the handy Newtonian online calculator , as well as sharpening my collimation skills. And you, the reader, will be along for the ride! I promise I’ll provide updates, of both my successes and failures, as they develop. I’d like “first photon fall” to happen by the end of 2009. This also falls in line with my new out look on telescope ownership; we are currently in the midst of downsizing and streamlining our belongings to fit with our love of travel. Simply put, less stuff = more mobility. With this new mantra in mind, I’ve decided to sell my two large manufactured scopes, the 10″ Meade Schmidt-Newtonian and the Celestron 8″. (In the Tampa Bay area and looking for a good scope? Leave a comment and we’ll talk!)

My new Modus Operandi will be: build a scope, sell a scope. That way, I’ll only have one scope at a time, and then release it to the universe. It’ll also have the side effect of sharpening my skills, as well as expand what I would rather accumulate; telescope making tools and experience! In any event, the gauntlet has been laid down; let’s build a scope!

Next week: Its back to the cutting edge Sci-Fi reviews with Fast Forward II!


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