January 2008 , Nearly all the pictures here I recently retrieved from within the confines of my old and dead Sony laptop .
Above photo shows the base and mirrorless cell .
Above photo describing the functions of one of the three apices . One of the glories is that innocuous Allen head screw for collimation from the top-side . No fooling about underneath the mirror . A cinch !
Above photo : the flash highlights the circle of celluloid that keeps the six triangular plates in their correct orientation when the glass isn't weighting them down .
Above photo shows what remained after deconstructing the 'scope to take away all the parts for anodising . Some of it , such as spherical bearings and bronze spacers , is pure overkill . And , considering the near motionless use to which they're put , slightly ludicrous and stupidly expensive . In fact the whole 'scope seems to oppose the whole ethos of the Dobsonian principle of cheap . An industrial engineer I ain't !
Above photo illustrates - sort of - one of the virtues of the flex-rocker design : the near disregard for seeking level ground or levelling of the base for decent azimuth motion . Casually toss the base ring onto the ground anywhere and it will work fine ( well , maybe I exagerate a wee bit but you don't have to be too picky or obsessive about it . It tolerates a lot of slope and a bit of twist too ) .
Above photo shows the near finished version of the top ring assembly . All tilting and rotating secondary holder and split blocks to hold the spider arm ends .
Above photo shows an early attempt at a pyramidal spider where I sought to effect secondary collimation by sliding the spider arms up and down within the posts on the top ring . Bloody mad ! Because it was poorly thought out it didn't work too well ( ..at all ). Dummy wooden secondary mirror shown here taped to Mk.1-up & down , rotating , non-tilting secondary holder .
Above photo : another profile view .
Above photo shows an afocal shot of the moon on ' first light night '. What excitement ! My weedy 3mp Ixus quiveringly hand held over the 20mm Nagler eyepiece . Theophilus ; Cyrillus ; Catharina ; Piccolomini ; the Altai Scarp and Rheita Valley well seen here . Prior to this I'd nearly burned my eye out of my head ( and had a 'hole' in my vision for a day or so afterwards ), the 100x image was so compelling and so bright ! This photo must be cropped as this magnification easily holds the full moon's diameter .
I found this snap after re-registering on the 'Cloudy Nights ' forums after a lapse of about three years . I can't find the original anywhere else so this was a pleasant surprise to me .
Above photo is a near thumbnail of a contrived ( yes , I pasted in the night sky ) view of what I see from my observing site around the hillside from my home . On a chilly , full moonlit night of course .
Tranquil scene ? Well , as there is one of three ( I think ) air traffic beacons for the whole of the UK on an adjacent hilltop a mile or so away , and Manchester airport , it's runways pointing straight to here , is but 15 miles away . All air traffic , UK and trans-continental crossing , together with local ascending / descending , beams in on this one beacon creating on most days a dense cross hatched sky full of new and older spreading contrails . Busy ! This , often enough fouls up the seeing to the extent that it's 'pack up the gear time ' . On top of which , as a public place near to town , it gets its quota of tyre screechers , shaggers , nutters and rozzers poking around and , after blinding you with their rottweiller lights , wanting a peek through the 'scope . This pacific scene , by the way , is in Saddleworth and where the so-called ' Moors Murders ' occurred . Sometimes though , after midnight mostly , it 's magically clear , calm and quiet .