MOONSILVER V: 6” f/5 t abletop telescope By Ross S ackett.
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6” f/5 tabletop telescope
By Ross Sackett
Commissioned for my brother-in-law Matthew, my design challenge was to build a compact telescope that fits in an airline-legal carry-on duffle, with enough room to spare for a weekend’s worth of clothes, a compact star atlas, and red LED flashlight.
This telescope is the fifth in my Moonsilver series, featuring a lightweight single-pole structure, compact focuser board and secondary assembly, and hybrid Dobsonian-fork mounting. Like a standard Dobsonian this is an “alt-az” telescope that moves vertically in altitude and horizontally in azimuth. However, unlike a conventional Dobsonian telescope, instead of two altitude arcs this design replaces one of the arcs with a pivot tightened by a tensioning knob, making it easier to hold the scope pointed at a particular elevation.
It uses a conventional Newtonian optical design, with a 6” f/5 primary mirror and small flat secondary. The commercial 1-1/4” helical crayford focuser is lightweight and compact.
The telescope is built of solid African mahogany and Baltic birch plywood covered in mahogany veneer. The dobsonian bearings are high-pressure laminate (Formica) running on Teflon pads. The azimuth and altitude pivots are brass bolts run through bronze bushings with brass washers and plastic knobs with nylon locking inserts.
Altitude pivot and
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