Amateur Telescope Making (1998)(en)(259s) by Peter L. Manly

By Peter L. Manly

Many beginner astronomers make their very own tools, both as a result of monetary concerns or simply because they're simply . novice Telescope Making deals quite a few designs for telescopes, mounts and drives that are appropriate for the home-constructor. The designs diversity from uncomplicated to complicated, yet all are in the diversity of a reasonably well-equipped domestic workshop. The e-book not just tells the reader what he can build, but in addition what it truly is good to build given what time is offered commercially. hence every one bankruptcy starts with purposes for project the undertaking, then seems at theoretical attention sooner than completing with sensible directions and suggestion. a sign is given as to the abilities required for a number of the initiatives. Appendices checklist respected assets of (mail order) fabrics and elements. The telescopes and mounts variety from "shoestring" (very reasonable) tools to expert units which are unavailable commercially.

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Astigmatism I had tested the mirror for astigmatism with a variety of tests, but apparently not well enough and misinterpreted a test which disclosed it. A simple star test would have alerted me to the problem. On other projects, I had star-tested the optics during polishing and figuring. In those earlier projects, the optical tube assembly was completed in advance before figuring. However, a bad case of laziness prevented me from making the optical tube assembly for this project in advance. Astigmatism is something that I have avoided in the past with other projects, but I had never attempted a thin, large mirror until this project.

Some telescope makers take their lead from the refractor telescope and install a number of concentric ring baffles spaced along the inside of the tube. Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether these actually do anything worth while in a Newtonian system, such a strategy is bound to be more difficult to make and install than the alternatives. A second problem arises when such baffling is used along with a ventilation fan. Moving air is forced into the telescope's light path and exacerbates the effects of "tube seeing".

For the kind of observing I wanted to do, the choice was obvious - make the focal length as long as practically possible. Consider the benefits of the long-focus Newtonian: comparative ease of fabrication; a relatively large, aberration-free field of view; the opportunity to use a small secondary mirror; and a generous image scale which allows for the use of comfortable long focal length eyepieces. The greatest f-ratio I felt that I could handle easily was f/9. Much longer than this, and the instrument becomes unwieldy without significantly greater benefits; shorter, and the long focal length advantages begin to weaken.

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