Updating a telescope

by Nils Olof Carlin (member of SAAF). Click for larger images! The one above shows solar viewing at the Mariestad star party, sept 2nd, 2000)

The telescope in question is one that I built for my brother 5 years ago - in one weekend! The optics, a 10.1" Coulter mirror with secondary, were bought second-hand. The tube is made of 1/8" plywood, of the cheap kind used to cover walls, with a printed paper finish. This makes for a light tube - the total weight, including finder but not rockerbox, is 23 lbs (10.5 kg). There is an internal "diagonal cage", that holds the focuser, spider, finder etc. The spider is my "hacksaw" design described elsewhere, with vanes of 2 mm aluminium (perhaps overkill, but spikes are no big problem).

After these years (I have spent a couple of them with the ATM list), it was obvious to us that a few things could be improved:

I wouldn't cram this update into one weekend, but on the other hand I like to keep things simple. If there is an inexpensive way that works OK, I prefer it. So here are some of the old and new features - simple and inexpensive to make, and useful, I hope.