Monday, April 19, 2010

Mirror ordered!

Two weeks ago, I placed an order for the primary mirror with Optic Wave Laboratories. It will be a 15-inch, F/4.5 mirror on standard low-expansion glass with standard aluminum coatings, which is more durable than many of the enhanced coatings. According to the owner, the mirror will take perhaps three months to complete, which will place first light in July. I have constructed everything as far as I can without the primary mirror in hand, when the mirror does arrive construction of the telescope will be complete.
I also built a cart for my welder to hold a gas cylinder so I can MIG weld any additional parts, such as a steel bracket I made this weekend for the digital setting circles' altitude encoder. Now that I can MIG weld, I may make any additional parts from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy instead, and if anything else needs to be remade, it too may be made of aluminum alloy.

I am very excited and looking forward to the night when I turn my telescope to the stars for the first time. If all goes well, I plan to attend a regional or national star party this year with it and my 10-inch telescope too.