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Re: Advice wanted

Started by msholdenct, 02/04/2006 03:50PM
Posted 02/04/2006 03:50PM Opening Post
I understand it's an expensive gizmo, (iirc about $2500) but the McCarthy Observatory in New Milford CT has a fiber optic eyepiece extender.

It looks sort of like a black garden hose, and a wheelchair bound visitor can use it to see through the observatory telescopes.

I've never seen it in use so I can't tell you more, but I'm sure you could contact them for more information if you're interested.

The web page that mentions this device is:

http://www.mccarthyobservatory.org/obsmain/about/abmenu9.htm

Good luck.


Posted 02/04/2006 05:16PM #1
You might just give Larry a call at Universal Astronomics. If it does not exist, he'd be a good one to invent it! Maybe he'd let you beta-test the prototype, and keep it for inspiring the invention!

I like the idea of a mount for big binoculars. Someone surely has a design for a chair mount that could be adapted to a wheel chair. The tricky part, of course, is to vary the height of the instrument to keep the eyepiece at the same level for the scope/binoculars when observing objects at different altitudes.

Hugh (the lesser intellectual) Bartlett

"Praise the Lord for the expanding grandeur of creation, worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies, filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations." 2007 Reform Siddur
Posted 02/04/2006 05:40PM | Edited 02/04/2006 05:42PM #2
Hugh Peck said:

Hi Mark,

Thanks, but what I'm really looking for is something the person can use without having to rely on anyone else. It would need to be something that could hold maybe 80mm binos or a 100mm Mak or C-5.

Hugh

I don't know how much thought you've given this, but anything based on a traditional tube on a traditional mount will need a fairly complicated mechanism to keep the eyepiece at a comfortable location for the observer.

At Stellafane this year, Kelly Jons had a 3.5" F9 folded refractor where the eyepiece was always at the same height.

Here's a photo:

http://www.stellafane.com/images/2005_conv/scopes/scope23a.jpg

The user would need to rotate the wheelchair to change azimuth.

You could probably use lots of counterweights to be able to shift the balance point of a commercially made tube, or brute force it with a threaded rod, but I do think keeping the eyepiece more or less stationary with respect to the user is a worthwhile goal.

And I think the design of the scope at Stellafane would be an incredibly good place to start.




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