Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why Do Never Have A Moon When You Need One?

Okay, I solved the problem of the good finderscope being too close to the tube for me to look through by using a 3" x 2" piece of aluminum tubing.  To reduce the weight a bit (and every ounce helps), I milled some holes in the top and bottom of it which also had the advantage of making it easier to tighten the screws that hold it to the main tube, and that hold the rings to the aluminum.

Lousy picture -- the HP Photosmart is just not enough aperture, even with a flash.

The downside is that more weight means I need more counterweights, and this has resulted in what can only be called an expedient counterweight solution:

The good news is that I need to rotate the entire tube assembly a bit to make it easier to use, and that will move some of the weight closer to the fulcrum, perhaps reducing the counterweight requirements a bit.

Now, as to the title: the problem is that getting the finderscope aligned with the main telescope is usually the most annoying part of setting up a telescope for me.  The ideal way to do this is aim the telescope at the Moon; center the eyepiece on the Moon; then adjust the finderscope so that the Moon is centered.  I could use any celestial object, but the field of view, even at low power on this beast, is tiny.  The chances of finding something in the sky with the main scope, then adjusting the finderscope, are tiny.  The Moon, because it produces so much sky glow, is surprisingly easy to find.  And yes, I have aligned them using a radio tower five miles away -- and that isn't far enough to solve the parallax problem for such a powerful scope.

Unfortunately, new Moon was last night, so it may be a couple of days before I can get this straightened out.

I was thinking of abandoning the telescope tube rings, but then I realized that if I had some that were 1/2" thick, they would lower the position of the tube relative to the fulcrum by 1.5" -- which would reduce the counterweight requirements, as well as making it easier to adjust the telescope tube's position on the mount.  I have contacted some gun rights acquaintances here in Horseshoe Bend that have a welding shop; I am going to look at cutting the hexagon out of aluminum, then having them weld the pieces together.

Still, it looks good.


  1. You could also mill huge rectangles out of the sides of that mount.

  2. I am thinking of doing that as well.