TSP 2014 ATM Entries

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Here are some of the 2014 TSP Amateur Telescope-making entries!

 

Robert W Kieras (Austin, TX) – 10″ “Focal Balance” Newtonian
Award for an Innovative & Flexible design

Bob has come up with an ingenious design that allows him to both change the primary to secondary distance, and to re-balance the tube assembly on its mount. This is achieved by sliding two sections of the telescope along 4 fixed aluminum truss tubes. One example of the usefulness of this would be to increase the back focal length to accommodate a camera.

Robert Kieras - 10" "Focal Balance" Newtonian

Robert Kieras –
10″ “Focal Balance” Newtonian

Robert Kieras - 10" "Focal Balance" Newtonian

Robert Kieras –
10″ “Focal Balance” Newtonian

 

Timothy Cowden – Bryan, TX – 6″ f/10 Refractor & Mount

Award for cost effective re-use of materials

Tim took recycling to the limit with his telescope, mount and tripod build. Just about every piece of metal, wood or cardboard had seen a previous life, and in the case of washing machine rotor, appearing as a declination shaft in this telescope mount was now its third useful reincarnation! Tim had even cut the RA gear from plywood.

Timothy Cowden - 6" f/10 Refractor & Mount

Timothy Cowden – 6″ f/10 Refractor & Mount

Timothy Cowden - 6" f/10 Refractor & Mount

Timothy Cowden – 6″ f/10 Refractor & Mount

Timothy Cowden - 6" f/10 Refractor & Mount

Timothy Cowden – 6″ f/10 Refractor & Mount

 

 

Ron Price (Tucson, AZ) – 24″ f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

Award for Craftsmanship

Ron designs telescope for a living, but this is his first self-build. The finished instrument is of professional quality in both build and operation. A key feature that Ron incorporated is custom slip clutches, allowing him to simply push the telescope to an object, just let go, and the scope tracks perfectly.

Ron Price - 24" f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

Ron Price – 24″ f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

Ron Price - 24" f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

Ron Price – 24″ f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

Ron Price - 24" f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

Ron Price – 24″ f/3.65 Newtonian & Alt-azimuth Mount

 

 

Joe Mungo (Coppell, TX) – 16″ f/4.5 Ultralight Alt-azimuth Newtonian
Overall Winner & Award for creative Design & Build
Joe wanted a scope that didn’t need steps to reach the eyepiece. He has clearly achieved that and along the way devised and incorporated a large number of unusual features. His elimination of a rocker box gave a big reduction in height and weight while providing a very stiff and stable mount. Similarly his bold use of taut wires to hold the secondary has paid off too and works very well in practice. As well as a great design, Joe has made a very good job in building and finishing the telescope.

Joe Mungo 16" f/4.5 Newtonian Notice the height of the eyepiece matches Joe’s eyeline!

Joe Mungo 16″ f/4.5 Newtonian
Notice the height of the eyepiece matches Joe’s eyeline!

The annular base board showing the three (one adjustable) azimuth bearing wheels.

The annular base board showing the three (one adjustable) azimuth bearing wheels.

Joe has reduced the rocker box to just a thick annular disk. The 4 ptfe elevation axis thrust pads are directly above 4 azimuth pads that run on the laminate bearing surface.

Joe has reduced the rocker box to just a thick annular disk. The 4 ptfe elevation axis thrust pads are directly above 4 azimuth pads that run on the laminate bearing surface.

An unusual asymmetric 9 point mirror mount that Joe designed using PLOP software

An unusual asymmetric 9 point mirror mount that Joe designed using PLOP software

The wire supports for the secondary. Note the collimation screws for the secondary are at 90 degrees to the normal configuration.

The wire supports for the secondary. Note the collimation screws for the secondary are at 90 degrees to the normal configuration.