Making it up as you go along!As seems to be the trend with amateur astronomy, where people can, they employ a degree of DIY to try and bring down the cost of the potentially very expensive hobby.
So, I've followed in the foot steps of others and started down that road too.
First upgrades to the SBT.
- Cut 4 strips of card, 1 inch wide and long enough to wrap around the end of the scope.
- Take the first strip and secure it into place with small pieces of masking tape.
- Attach a length of double sided tape around the strip of card, ready to attach the next layer.
- Take the next strip and cover the first, sticking it into place onto the double sided tape.
- Repeat these steps until all 4 strips are in place.
- Measure the aperture of the end of the scope and add 2 inches.
- Using another piece of card, cut out two circles with the diameter of the scope, plus the two inches. So, in my case, the scope is 6 inches in diameter, plus 2 inches gives me two circles of card 8 inches in diameter.
- On the two circles of card, draw a smaller circle approximately 5 1/2 inches in diameter in the centre. Cut out the smaller circle leaving you with two "polo mint" shaped pieces of card.
- Following the handling instructions, and being careful not to tear or mark with finger prints, cut out a circle in the solar film approximately 7 inches in diameter,
- Take one of the circular pieces of card, and around the inner edge, attache double sided tape.
- Stick the circle of solar film over the inner hole of the circle of card.
- Attach more double sided tape around the edge of the circle of card on the same side of the filter.
- Using the second circle of card, sandwich in the filter film using the double sided tape to stick it in place.
- The front part of the filter is now complete.
- Remove the bands of card that were built up around the end of the telescope in the first steps.
- Position the card band centrally on the front part of the filter and secure into place using pieces of masking tape.
That should be the filter more or less complete. At least, they are the steps I went through! Anyway, here it is attached on the front of the 150p. When the filter is put onto the front of the scope, it's worth using a few pieces of masking tape to hold it in place and attach it to the telescope. Just in case a gust of wind lifts the filter off the scope, or if it gets knocked off whilst you are standing at the eyepiece.
Telrad Dew Shield.
Fed up with spending time wiping down the Telrad glass, I thought it an easy project to tackle. I cannot claim to have come up with the pattern or design myself, but it is freely available to download, and the original designer makes it available for all from here.
So a trip to Hobbycraft to buy the materials have resulted in something suitable.
Materials used were an A4 sized piece of thin foam, and 8 circular Velcro pads to adhere it to the Telrad.
Following the design it was a 10 minute task to mark out and cut out the shape required, Very simple, very clean and not much more to say about it really.
Home made garden pier.
- 3 bags of ready-mix postcrete.
- 10 bags of 20mm shingle.
- Weed membrane.
- 2 1 meter lengths of rebar.
- Buy two fence posts 100mm square which will be laid down to create an edge along the side of the gravelled already bordered by the lawn.
- Make a couple of wooden stakes to hold the fence posts in place.
- Trim the remaining membrane to tidy it all up.
- Attach the steel plates and mount adapter to the top of the pier.
- Finally, make some sort of cover to drape over the top of the pier when it's not in use.