Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bedliner Astrograph Project Completed

I just this week finished up a project I have been working on for a while. It was the re-furbishment and modification of an 8" project astrographic telescope. It is not really a true astrograph, like a Takahashi Epsilon, but it fits the bill close enough for me. An astrograph is a scope designed primarily for photography. As such, visual use is normally not an intended function, or is secondary in nature. I built this scope to replace the 10" Schmidt Newtonian that I recently sold. It was my wish to get a slightly smaller scope that rode a bit better in the crazy New Mexico wind, but still be big enough to seriously image small faint objects.

At it's core is an old Coulter 8" F4.5 mirror, which is not too bad optically, unlike a lot of larger Coulter mirrors. It has a custom machined Wyorock focuser, which is basically a work of unpolished aluminum art. And the tube is from an older GSO scope, cut down to size. I am not sure of the size of the secondary, as it came with the tube, but it works very well. I have a larger one I am planning to install for better FOV illumination, but have not done so yet. And to top it all off, the scope is finished in a coat of rubberized bedliner (from a pickup truck) to make it completely indestructible. Gives it sort of a mean, black scope from the Underworld look.

I hope to get it in use in the next few days.

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