Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Rebuild Has Begun

Remember the scene near the end of Animal House, where the rough, biker sort puts on his welding goggles, lights up the torch, and starts the transformation of the brother's Lincoln Continental into...something wondrous?  That's about how it felt to start disassembling Big Bertha for her bariatric surgery.

Here's the Losmandy DUP dovetail plate -- where "U" stands for universal, and the collection of different locations sizes, and types of holes really shows you what is intended to handle -- including attaching your Klingon Death Ray projector:

Here's the other side, which is both relieved so that you can put various nuts on it, and I suspect to reduce weight.

Here are the anodized tubes for the trusses from Moonlite:

Here are the blocks that hold everything together:

The balls go into the blocks, and you bolt the cylinder end into the poles, after you have cut them to the correct length for your particular telescope.

I was able to buy black oxide 6-32 screws to hold the blocks into the lower and upper cages, but I could not seem to find black oxide coated washers or nuts, so my wife did them in flat black spray paint:

Here's Big Bertha removed from her mount.  She weighs just under 62 pounds.

Since I had to remove the turnbolts, guy wires, and the aluminum tubing and channels, my wife suggested that we repaint the exteriors of the lower and upper cages:

This was a surprisingly strenuous four hours of work.  I also made a bunch of 1", 1/8" diameter steel pins that will be used to provide a flat base on the tube for the truss connector blocks.

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