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Posts Made By: Steve Hollenbach

August 7, 2013 11:53 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Selling my dome

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
Just an FYI for those of you in the Southwestern states. I've decided to sell off the Explore-a-dome. It's currently on a round shed that's included for the price. See my classified ad. Rotation is easy and it has withstood some amazing high wind without so much as a whimper. If anyone wants to copy the shed design, it's easy. Just let me know.
Thanks,
Steve
8)

November 3, 2014 10:55 AM Forum: Maksutovs

Intes Micro Maksutov Cassagrains

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
I was looking back through articles I submitted six years ago. Most were about all the improvements, bells and whistles for the Meade 7" MAK. I'm about to embark on another risky venture. Installing a Feathertouch focuser to control the moving mirror on my Alter 10/10. I bought the OTA years ago in Seattle from another Maksutov fan. He kept the Atrosital, I got the one with Quartz glass.

Besides George and myself, I know there must be other Intes Micro Maksutov owners out there. The moving mirror is pretty cool on these scopes, as it rides on a helix rather than getting pushed and pulled by a draw-bar. I picked up the geared focus knob assembly meant for a Celestron 9.25" SCT at the show in Tucson, and hope to adapt it to the Alter. Yes, I could just hang a Crayford focuser on the scope back, but I'm trying to improve back focus too.

What I'm looking for here is if anyone has had success at this same procedure. If so give me a shout. I'm also looking at how many people would consider it if it were readily available. That way I can give Starlight some useful feedback once the procedure and materials are known.

Thanks,
Steve
smile

May 27, 2008 08:12 AM Forum: Maksutovs

collimating 7" Meade Mak

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Meade would insist it's set for life. I've got two of these scopes and have never had a problem with the internal optics, and from what I hear it's not a task for the faint hearted. Even my local experts send these to Meade, but have never had to.

So your problem might be behind the scope. I use a custom scope back called a virtual view, a two inch star diagonal and some efty EPs. All that weight often gets out of alighnment. It's just as anoying to have a diagonal out of collimation as a main mirror, and easier to fix.

Have a look at the diagonal first. Make sure everything's centered up and in straight lines.
Look at the gap between the flat face of the diagonal and the scope-back. It must be the same all the way around the barrel. I had power focuser that was poorly mounted when I bought the first scope, and it had to be reset. I ended up selling it anyway.

I'm repairing an 7" LX50 to sell if you know anyone interested. The optics are great and there's no image shift at all!
8)
Thanks,
Steve

June 12, 2008 07:22 AM Forum: Maksutovs

Using Focal Reducers on Maks?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi, I've done a lot with a focal reducer on the 7" MAK, but not a 90mm. However they do work. Your settup will be a little different as the 1.25" barrel size has some limits. It's a matter of how wide a TFOV you want, and what sacrifice in visual quality you're willing to put up with. You might have to go through some trial and error. I did and was able to sell all the leftover optics on Astromart with no problem. I ended up with a focal reducer built up like a Barlow that can be added or subtracted from the optical path without much trouble.
Thanks,
Steve

June 16, 2008 07:52 AM Forum: Maksutovs

Making the most of the Meade 7" MAK article

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
Just an FYI; I posted another article on Making the Most of Meade's 7" MAK. This one is under Other Articles - Optics. Have a look if you like.
Thanks,
Steve

June 18, 2008 01:47 PM Forum: Maksutovs

Removing the internal counterweight from a Meade M

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

New article:
The focal reducer experiment is now written up and can be found under articles / optics.
Thanks,
Steve

March 24, 2009 10:17 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Focal Reducer for visual observation

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Howdy,
I wrote a few articles on the Meade 7" MAK and included some experiments I've done with focal reduction. I also use it for viual observation.

Please keep in mind the 7" has a 2" format with much larger field stops. On a 90mm scope, you already have a pretty short focal length. However, your desire for a visual focal reducer leads me to think you want a wide field. If so look at some alternate sources for the reducer. ScopeStuff has several.

On using a .5; well it's possible, but you'll very likely see shome obstructiuon shaddow and vignetting. That didn't stop me. I think a .7 would be better for your application, with about a 26mm EP at the most. Using too long an eyepiece will really exagerate the shaddows. You'll see some vignetting and shaddow, but only in a bright sky. For deep sky, you'll do just fine.

There's my two cents!

Thanks,
Steve
8)

May 28, 2009 09:27 AM Forum: Star Parties

GCSP

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I'll bite!
All I know about the Grande Canyon Star Party is June 13th.

I have that weekend off, a Jeep, a telescope, and a desire to get out of the Phoenix suburbs and really see what my scope can do.

So... How do I sign up?
Thanks,
Steve
smile

June 22, 2009 01:14 PM Forum: Star Parties

GCSP

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
I only made it to the South Rim on the two Saturdays, but it was great. Not as many guests as I thought might show, but still busy. Had a few firsts and a fun time.
smile
Steve

June 24, 2009 03:43 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Ethos Warning?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I wouldn't mind seeing the text of the report. Industrial Safety is my specialty. The use of any EP causes some eye strain, but to say it is because of the field of view is pretty far fetched.

I've been looking through my new Ethos 13 for nearly a week, and haven't noticed any tendency to try to focus on the whole field. The edges simply don't show.

It's possible some people might have a problem, but the TFOV walking down the street is much wider. I would be very skeptical of such a report.

Oh, buy the way. I might buy another Ethos as soon as I can afford it. I don't have a problem, I can stop any time I want.

Thanks,
Steve
wink