Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mounting a Smaller Telescope on the CI-700 Mount

I gave up on building a telescope around that 17.5" mirror would work acceptably on the CI-700 mount -- it just wasn't feasible.  I looked into building a Dobsonian mount telescope, but found that I could have a professional do it for not too outrageous a price.  As a result, the mirror is at Swayze Optical for testing and, depending on what they find is the quality of the mirror, a refigure of it.

In the meantime, I decided to put the 8" f/7 reflector that I have on the CI-700 mount.  It weighs about 25 pounds, and wow!  Big Bertha was as much overweight for that mount as the 8" reflector is underweight.  A mount that is more capable than required for a telescope is really, really pleasant to use.

This 8" reflector started out as a project of my father and me when I was in junior high.  I have since replaced the tube and a few of the parts, and it really is optically quite respectable.  Mounted on the CI-700 mount it works beautifully!  Smooth, stable, no vibration (except the wind really gets going).

Last night, I tried the digital setting circles with it.  Now, I don't think that I was exactly aligned on Polaris, but it did a pretty credible job.  I set the digital setting circles using Vega and Arcturus -- only two stars, when the more you use, the better it gets.  Then I asked it to find the Hercules globular cluster, M13 -- and at 56x, it was on the edge of the field.  That's certainly good enough.  I asked it to find M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, however, and the results were not so wonderful.  I may have to re-read the instructions on this.

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