ATM part 4 – testdriving!

Today I mounted the primary mirror. And then I had to wait until 10PM to test-drive the dobson! Without any collimation the view was okay. It wasn’t even half as bad as I expected! Ofcourse the stars weren’t crisp, but I did have a quick look at M31, the Orion Nebula, the famous Double Cluster and Betelgeuse. Right from my SQM 19 suburban garden.

The following days I will strip the telescope entirely and flock the tube, paint the nuts and bolts matte black and then put the whole thing back together.

I will have to find a solution for one problem that has popped up: this darling has a prrrrrretty big bottom so the scope is out of balance. I think adding some 250 grams to the top of the OTA will balance things out again. For the test-drive I simply hung a bag with some tools on it and that worked quite good.

Also I will look into a 5V USB powered dew protection. If I can manage to keep it lightweight I might get away with adding the battery underneath the primary mirror. There’s some spare room there for a battery, a fan and then an end cap. It will add some more weight to the bottom to balance out, but a 4400mA powerpack isn’t that heavy nowadays.

Now, hopefully Santa will bring me a collimator so I can align the optical train in time for a serious observing session…

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