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Posts Made By: James Gort

September 16, 2014 05:51 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Fraud Alert - Protostar

Posted By James Gort

This has been mentioned on CN before, but there are always defenders of Bryan Greer - that he's very busy (two jobs) and is a "stand up guy". Last year, I even received a nice diagonal and spider in reasonable time, and was pleased. But this year, I think a fraud alert is in order.

I ordered a flocked tube liner and end caps in March. AMEX card was billed on April 4 for $238.60. Bryan sent me a message that they were in stock and would ship "on Monday". When it didn't arrive, I contacted him in May. He apologized. My last email from him was June 6. It's now September 16. Since then, no emails were returned and phone calls are not answered. I tried to reverse the AMEX payment, but they only do so within 3 months. I was a bit too late.

So I tried a different approach. His partner (Dr. Sarah Conroy) has a dental clinic (614-885-7741), and Debbie is a very nice receptionist who kindly took my information and offered to call Bryan on my behalf. Using his private number, she got through quickly, but he claimed he had no knowledge of me or my order. I explained to Debbie that I was disappointed, and would have to pursue the small claims court option.

If anyone has had similar problems and wants to follow it up, his actual address (not the PO Box) is Edward Bryan Greer, 4653 McCurdy Dr., New Albany, Ohio 43054.

October 4, 2007 10:53 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Pier help????

Posted By James Gort

Hi Bob,

You might want to consider concrete block to get you most of the way up - filled with concrete if you don't mind the thermal mass, but even hollow, they're pretty sturdy (and relatively cheap).

If you'd like, I can send some pictures off-line of my pier construction.

I have a 3-story 20-foot observatory, with a pier constructed as follows: Went down to bedrock (6 feet below grade). Installed large concrete footing (6' per side), anchored to the bedrock. On that, installed 7 courses of 10" cement block (18 blocks per course) - this part of the pier (below grade) was 48" per side. Backfilled and filled with rebar and cement. On that, first 8' level (above grade) consisted of 12 8" blocks per course (12 courses). Second 8' level consisted of 8 8" blocks (12 courses). Third level tapered even more - from 4 blocks per course to 3 blocks per course. So the final pier was 16" x 24". Only some of the above-grade block was filled with rebar and cement (to reduce thermal mass somewhat). But since the pier is inside the observatory (not exposed to the sun like a brick building is), I don't find any thermal problems.

Finally, it was mentioned to consider what your purpose is. Very true, but also consider how close you are to the street and heavy traffic. At the University of Kansas, a sensitive transit instrument was located on the third floor of the science building. That was normally fine, but when a heavy truck went past (the street was at least 100' away), the building (and transit) noticeably tilted! And vibrated.
Anyway, good luck!

James

June 9, 2013 05:23 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Refractor Glass

Posted By James Gort

Hi John,

I just completed a 10" achromat, and it came out great. The Bath interferometer says it's a Strehl 0.98 (about the limit for a doublet), 1/38 wave rms. I'm just having it AR coated now. So if I can give any moral support, let me know.

Before I found someone to safely AR coat it, I considered oiling it. So I've got a pretty complete set of Cargille optical coupling fluids. If you wish to oil yours, I can probably help there, too.

Have fun.

Cheers,

James

November 12, 2018 05:53 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Wan't to make 2 Domes is that possible

Posted By James Gort

Hi Kiwi,

I do have some experience making domes, so I'll try to give the best advice I can. Of course, you can do it (build 2 - 2m domes), but first, there's a few questions along with my suggestions.

1) Why do you want two domes? Do you have two scopes, and there's no space for an additional dome? Will 2m be big enough for your current or planned scopes?
2) In what direction is the longer (5m) side oriented - N/S or E/W? Because having two domes next to each other WILL cut off part of the sky visible from each dome. That's an important consideration.
3) What is your budget? You can buy two commercial 2m domes, but that's pretty expensive. It's much cheaper to make them or to convert a hemispherical dome (or silo).
4) Make sure you can make very stable bases for your mounts, well sunk into the ground, and isolated from the observatory floor.
5) Now, my experience. I couldn't afford commercial domes, so I bought a 3m and a 6.1m hemispherical (architectural) domes made from galvalume panels from a company here in Canada specializing in those items. Fairly cheap. Not sure if similar things are available in the Netherlands. The main difficulty was in constructing the bi-parting shutters. If you go that route, I would make sure you have access to welding equipment. "Up and Over" doors are probably easier to fabricate, but I like the look of bi-parting shutters.

So, good luck. Hope it turns out well for you.

Cheers,

James Gort

November 12, 2018 10:34 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Wan't to make 2 Domes is that possible

Posted By James Gort

Really neat scopes, Kiwi. You're right - they deserve some nice domes.

I'm still in the construction phase. But I'll attach a photo of the 3m dome, sitting next to the observatory (also under construction).

Looks like you can only attach one photo - I'll respond two more time with more photos.

In the next message, the photo with the shutters installed is "photo-shopped". I wanted to see what it would look like! The scope is a 16.5cm 1880 Cooke.

Cheers,

James

November 12, 2018 10:35 PM Forum: Home Observatories

November 12, 2018 10:35 PM Forum: Home Observatories

November 14, 2018 07:02 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Wan't to make 2 Domes is that possible

Posted By James Gort

Hi Kiwi,

Well - it's not quite a silo dome. It's an "architectural dome" from this Canadian company: http://demuth.com/domeroofs.php.

As I said before, they're fairly inexpensive, but not so easy to convert to a telescope dome - with bi-parting shutters.

I did a quick search, but couldn't find a comparable company in the Netherlands or even the EU. Hope you can.

Cheers,

James

November 15, 2018 04:36 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Wan't to make 2 Domes is that possible

Posted By James Gort

The story is fairly interesting. On July 4, 2001, the Coventry and Warwickshire Astronomical Society (CWAS) in the UK placed an ad on Astromart for bids. I couldn't resist, so I gave a modest bid. But they got many bids, including one from Warwick University (where it was being stored). So I didn't hold out much hope.

The highest bid was apparently from a chap in the U.S. On September 13, 2001, he came back to his office from holidays - to find them destroyed in the World Trade Centre attack (Sept. 11). Many of his friends were killed. So he didn't follow up.

After much more negotiations, I finally won it - and it was delivered by Ocean Freight in December, 2002.

I don't know if it's rare or not. Some Universities have 6" Cookes. I believe the University of Toronto has one. Mine was donated to CWAS by Captain G.T. Smith-Clarke - https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/George_Thomas_Smith-Clarke

James