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Posts Made By: Stephen Collett

November 24, 2006 07:52 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Help in shortening OTA

Posted By Stephen Collett

I have a lathe that I am very skilled with. If you could get the tubes to Bakersfield, I could shorten them for you (you are right about keeping the threads). On the other hand, WO fluorites are so valuable on their own that if they were mine I simply would not mess with them.

November 28, 2006 03:35 AM Forum: Mounts

Homebuilt EQ mounts

Posted By Stephen Collett

Since getting a lathe about a year and a half ago, I've built one GEM and I'm completing a second (larger) one. The enginering is simple. Getting appropriate precision, not so simple.
I use cheap commercial ball bearings in aluminum with stainless steel shafts. The picture is the mount I've been working on since April. It uses 40 mm bearings with shafts that are nominally 1.5".

November 30, 2006 03:33 AM Forum: Telescope Making

ServoCAT and GEMS

Posted By Stephen Collett

Back from powder coating. Still no feedback from anyone who has used ServoCAT ona GEM. I know I'm going to be pretenting I live on the equator, and I'll have to re-set the RA drive direction every time I "flip" over the meridian, but I can still get a smooth goto, right? Having just sent StellarCAT a large amount of money for this experiment, I'd like some reassurance from some ATM. Getting kinda nervous, you know?

December 6, 2006 06:08 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Tripple Threat!

Posted By Stephen Collett

I don't feel threatened by your scopes, Floyd!!! smile Thanks for the acknowledgement on the focuser adapter.

January 15, 2007 09:12 PM Forum: Telescope Making

ServoCAT and GEMS

Posted By Stephen Collett

Still looking for someone with experience in this matter. Now the mount is back from powder coating, and I'm waiting on some bronze bushings to mount the worms. Motor and worm mounts in progress -- should be done by April!!!

February 7, 2007 03:44 AM Forum: Telescope Making

8.5" F/12.5 Refractor

Posted By Stephen Collett

Ya still gotta FOLD it, Keith! 8O Nice work. Bring it to RTMC, or at the very least post more pics. I'm intrigued by that center section.

February 14, 2007 04:20 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

Me ,my wife and my scope.

Posted By Stephen Collett

That's a spectacular fork mount (wive is nice also). Can you tell us more about it?

February 17, 2007 12:12 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Bonding plywood panels

Posted By Stephen Collett

I think this thread is over-emphasizing the need for pressure to bond panels. I do this a lot, since I belive in rigid rocker boxes. Depending on overall dimensions, I either use mutliple clamps, or place an unused piece of similar size over the glued panels, and put some barbel weights on it. Jacking your car up to compress with a tire is not only overkill, it will probably put so much stress on the bond that the panel will warp when you take it out.

February 24, 2007 04:14 AM Forum: Telescope Making

A Diamond In The Rough??

Posted By Stephen Collett

I've rehabilitated tubes like that one. I used a pice of 1/2" steel rod as mallet, and gently tapped from the inside while holding the tube with the ding against firm leather on a solid (aluminum plate) backing. Takes a long time, but you can get it to where the repair is just sanding, not bondo. Hard to do in a long tube, I suppose, but the furthest I ever tried to reach in was about three inches.

I was inspired to try this by a trip to Mexico I took long ago. In Zacatecas, a young man approached us and offered to fix a nasty-looking dent on the fender of our old Dodge PowerWagon. He held the leather on the paint with one had, and tapped with a rock from the inside with his right hand. Took him about 20 minutes!

February 26, 2007 07:03 AM Forum: Telescope Making

What Do Amateurs Do For a Living?

Posted By Stephen Collett

High school science teacher (mostly chemistry). Started building scopes when I was in 7th grade (1963).