Monday, December 13, 2010

Birth of a Telescope

I've been lagging on posting things, but I try to catch up.
This is an ongoing project I've been wanting to do for some time. I've always wanted a telescope where I could actually see things: rings of Saturn, stripes on Jupiter, and even their moons. So, I eventually set out to do this, and here is that story.

Parts List (so far):
NOTE: I did get most parts from
Telescope objective 102mm x 900mmFL Item No: L2801
1-1/4" FOCUSER Item No: L3631
4 feet of black 4" ABS sewer pipe
4"-2" ABS Pipe reducer
8' board of select pine (1"x8")
1/4-20 threaded inserts
1/4-20 stainless machine screws, washers
Aluminum 'strap', 1/4"x1"x36"
1 baby formula can (no kidding)

All of this together was less than $200, I'm guessing I spent $160-ish. Not bad for something close spec-wise would be in the $700+ range. I also did some research ahead of time for dimensions and on optical-theory.
1. Pipe prep.
The objective lens housing accepts a tube of 109mm OD. The pipe was 114mm OD. Problem....
So using a combination of Dremel, files, and sandpaper problem solved.

I was surprised to find out the focuser fit perfectly into the pipe reducer. I was sure I would have to sand it out to make it fit. Lucky me.
So, after that I decided it was time for a mock-up.

After some trimming for focal length, time to paint a little:

Here is an annotated picture of basic components:

More to come soon.....