I now have a new telescope! Okay, it’s not new, in fact it’s old. I was helping some friends move some stuff when I saw a banged-up telescope. An astronomer just can’t stand to see an unloved, unused, unwanted telescope, so I was ready to accept it when they asked if I wanted it, knowing my interest in telescopes. I didn’t expect much out of it, but I gave it a fix up anyway. It turned out pretty well. The OTA (Optical Tube Assembly) was pretty dented and the mirrors very dirty, but I fixed it up to where it would work. I worked hard on it, working up to as late as midnight one night (literally). I finished it yesterday.
(Above) The OTA before fixing. Note the large dents. (Below) The OTA after fixing.
(Below) The tube in the fixing process. I used a clamp and an approximately 1 foot board.
The mirrors, as I said, were really grungy. I cleaned them by (1.) rinsing them under a tap to take off the big debris; (2.) taking wetted cotton swabs and gently wiping the mirror, one or two swipes per cotton swab, and (3.) letting them dry. After they had dried, I took a lens tissue and took off the little spots other little marks or smudges.
After a general cleaning of the tube, I put it all back together and gave it a rough collimation (i.e., to align the mirrors).
The mount, a single arm altazimuth, was not in too bad condition, it just needed a power source. The tripod was also O.K. after a bit of fixing on one of the legs.
And to top it off, there was a very beautiful sunset yesterday. You can see more pictures of this on my Flickr page.