I've completed the first prototype of my spotting scope--FINALLY.
Here's a photo. Just remember to be kind--for several reasons:
1. I have a master's in English, not physics or astronomy or engineering.
2. This is only a prototype--it's going to be rough.
3. My feelings are rather tender after this two-month-long process!
4. The photos were taken with my camera phone--I'm sure that's got to make the scope look much worse than it is!
Here are some exploded views:
This is the scope all apart.
Note the high-tech features:
1. eyepiece is made of two small coin-like slices of wood with holes bored in them
2. it's just shoved into the 1-1/4" opening of the diagonal (no photo of this--it's too embarassing)
3. the focusing is just the smaller piece of PVC covered with felt, with the larger PVC sliding on it
4. the objective is actually taped to the PVC pipe, because I didn't have anything that would hold it on there in a secure fashion. This is actually quite secure--if a little silly.
What can I tell you? It's a prototype; I'm planning to make some refinements. I mean, I'm sure Galileo didn't get his scope right the first time, right?
Obviously, the eyepiece really needs help. I need to get some special drill bits though, and a 1-1/4" metal pipe to mount it onto the diagonal. Still efforting those items, though.
Further, the objective needs a better mounting. Not to mention the chromatic aberration I'm getting from the objective lens. It's an achromat, but it's giving me this wild psychedelic rainbow halo around everything. Not good. Still trying to figure out what's up with that, with the help of Astronomy Boy Jeff DeTray. I may have to find another objective lens. Can anyone help me with a better recommendation that's NOT a $350 apochromat lens?
The important thing is that I'm finished with the prototype, and now it's just a matter of fine-tuning. Then I'll have to finally decide on a camera (still vacillating between several models), make an adapter, then couple the cam to the final version of the scope.
Hopefully without the acid-flashback rainbows. . . . Not that I would know. Seriously, I'm more "just say no" than Nancy Reagan ever hoped to be.