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Astro Systems 16" Telekit

Posted by Robert Price   04/14/2009 07:00AM

Astro Systems 16" Telekit
When my Telekit arrived it was many parts that I organized in my garage. The kit included all the hardware necessary to build a telescope, except the optics. It included the wood necessary to make the mirror box, rocker box, ground board, and secondary cage. All I needed to add was the primary mirror, secondary, and a dark sky. I glued together the parts to make the box by joining the finger joints together. The wooden mirror cell also had to be assembled and finished.

Once together the telescope had good and bad points. It is a very sturdy design that does not shake easily. However, the scope turned much too easily in both altitude and azimuth. The rollers used did not have enough friction, so the scope swayed in the wind like a weather vane. I fixed this by installing teflon pads that lifted the mirror box off the rollers. This allowed just enough friction, but not too much. The bearings also rode on rollers, which I replaced with teflon pads.

The scope assembles and disassembles easily enough, helped by numbered corners that indicate which truss rods go where.
Furthermore, the rods are paired together and the secondary cage is held in place by levers, which eliminates having to use screws to tighten down the cage. On the mirror box the rods are held in place by blocks that are tightened by large hand knobs. While in storage the mirror is covered by a cover that goes down in the box. This allows for storage inside the box while the scope is taken down.

If you use a finder scope instead of a tel rad, or you use large eyepieces you may want to figure out a way to balance the scope out. I bought small barbell weights that can fit inside the mirror box to balance out the scope.

A very convenient bonus with the Telekit is the filter slide, which allows you to place a filter in your view at the twist of a knob.

With a few tweaks the Telekit is a great way to build a telescope and have a beautiful instrument for less money than if you bought a telescope already assembled.