Saturday, 20 February 2010

A Mars a Day!

Bizibilder finally had a clear night last night AND had the telescope assembled in the Observatory AND had collimated it as best he could.  So a decent sketch at last – Mars – South is at the top.  You can see the North Polar Cap easily.  Not much other surface detail visible tonight.

8” (200mm) Newtonian reflector x 200.
Sketch with coloured pencils, blending stump, eraser and smudgy fingertip!  Processed in GIMP to get the good black background and put on the information.
Mars 0001

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Dew prevention

To prevent Dew formation on his telescope optics – ( A regular occurrence with the colder evenings we have at present) – Bizibilder has made a dew shield for his telescope.  First he did a test to see which glue worked best on the material he was using.  Superglue (left pair) and contact adhesive (right pair with pencil between) were tried.  Both joints were stronger than the parent material so, for ease of application, Bizibilder used superglue. Gluetest
The Dew Shield in place – slipped over the end of the telescope tube - it is a good fit and holds itself in place.   Should it need it a piece of elastic could be used to secure it.  It is made from a piece cut from an exercise mat (cheap and cheerful from Lidl).

The shield is not there for insulation, it works by preventing heat radiating away from and thus cooling the telescope, leading to water condensing on the cold surfaces.  The mat is grey NOT blue as it appears in the upper photo!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Another ‘ole!

Bizibilder has made another hole!  This one is only 2mm in diameter and is in the centre of this “false eyepiece”.  This is a device to aid basic collimating (lining up the optical components) of his telescope.  You look through the little hole, in order to keep your eye centered in the eyepiece holder,  and then line up the mirrors by twiddling some very awkward to reach screws and bolts!

Anyway it was fun to make on the lathe – the whole job was only about 20mins using a bit of old Aluminium bar.

Off the Hook!

Bizibilder needed some hooks for fixtures and fittings in the Observatory so he chose to make his own out of some square section aluminium tube (50mm x 50mm) that he had lying around.  The result is quite presentable – the holes in the top are for screws up into a beam – those in the bottom are so Bizibilder can poke a screwdriver through to reach the screws!! 
This one is for a battery powered lantern – very useful in an emergency or when the time comes for clearing up after an observing session.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bizibilder’s Sandpit

Bizibilder has finally filled the pier with dry “Playsand” to try and eliminate vibration.  A simple ”give it a thump” test seems to show its worth.
The top off a 2l water bottle made a useful funnel.

I nearly forgot!! 25Kg of sand just fills a 5.5” tube 1m tall.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Shopping in the big city

Bizibilder had another shopping expedition to the big city today – mainly materials for the observatory floor and some play sand to fill the pier (hopefully to add mass and help to reduce vibration – every little helps!). IMG_0049
The top of the pier has now been finally assembled and painted.  Note that Bizibilder, who is notoriously mean, uses cheap brushes for these sorts of jobs and then simply throws them away – much cheaper than buying thinners and brush cleaner. IMG_0052

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Aiming high and low!

Bizibilder finally had clearish skies tonight – about 6/10ths cloud so he was able to get to the Observatory and roughly align the polar axis of his telescope mounting with Polaris.  Unfortunately the black cross that he had drawn did not show up too well in the night sky!!  This was an exercise in rough alignment so that he can mark out and drill the final fixing holes that attach the mount adaptor to the top plate of the mounting .

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The End of the Pier Show (Act Three)

The Pier has finally been installed in Bizibilder’s Observatory!! IMG_0042
The EQ5 mount bolted in place – everything straight and level – Bizibilder now only has to wait for a clear night so that the mount can be aligned with the North Celestial Pole (which is close to the star Polaris). IMG_0047
To help him find Polaris at night Bizibilder has used the last drops of the Hammerite paint that he used on the pier to clearly mark the sky so that alignment at night would be that much easier. IMG_0038