Saturday night was first light for the scope.
A few things became apparent as the evening progressed.
This is not a scope for beginners.
The field of view is somewhat narrow meaning objects pass through the field rather faster than expected.
Being a manual telescope the slow motion controls are very important.
The clutch on the azimuth control is very good but the altitude left a bit to be desired as it slipped no matter how tight I screwed up the adjuster so I replaced the two plastic plates with aluminium.
This is most of the parts involved. The top plastic disk is replaced with the aluminium next to it and sits in the gear wheel, its then sandwiched between that disk and the bottom disk.
Then the tabbed stainless washer is slid on.
Then the assembly is squeezed up with the brass nut and fancy cast pressure plate with all its inclusions.
Now it works, slack and the scope can be manually moved, tighten with the brass nut and the slo-mo control works.
Long refractors are great scopes but..... They are long and have a narrow field of view which makes them great for planet and double star observations.
But just a tiny amount of movement makes the field of view move around a lot.
I remember the first time I set up my home brew 105mm f15 Jaegers scope (over 5.5 feet long) I was astonished at how careful I had to be to balance it
on its mount. At the time I had it mounted in a wooden box structure about a foot long that I could loosen up and slide back and forth on the scope which made it
easy to balance out on the mount. After finding the sweet point I tightened the box up and it rode easily in either a altitude-azimuth mount that had
very little friction. Balance was paramount or the scope would slowly try to move down on whichever end was heavier. Late I built a pair of aluminum
mounting saddles tied together on the bottom with a dovetail bar. I already had found a good balance point so it behaved easily on a small equatorial
mount that I had rescued and rebuilt. The first star party I went to was out in the middle of nowhere and my little scope handled wonderfully until
the wind began to blow and it became unusable due to it bouncing around to much. The mount wasn't sturdy enough to really handle a long scope like that.
Next swap meet I picked up a used MUCH heavier mount that I had to completely rebuild. The innards reminded me of a small automotive transmission.
The scope become a wonder to use, until I added a lens shade to the top end. Suddenly even the much beefier mount just
didn't track worth a darn. Balance was once again rearing its ugly head. After moving the scope back a little in the saddle all was well again.
I have finally installed a sliding weight bar along the rear section of the main tube which made it simple to rebalance the scope whenever
I add or take off an accessory piece like a large finder or tracking scope with camera attached, just by sliding the weight forward or backward
on the balance bar. Just a little front to back out of balance can make a huge difference in the operation of the clutches and drive train, and the
Beautiful work you are doing. Far more artistic than any of my.
Chuck the grumpy old guy who is going to view the total eclipse of the Sun from along its centerline in about 3-1/2 days. (Clouds willing)
It is finished, no more to do, nada.
Awesome views of the moon but I couldnt blow up Saturn to a large size but it still looked good and the manual controls kept it in the eyepiece.
Well pleased with the whole thing.
Now to start the binoculars
No rest for the wicked.