Well things have been a bit quiet on the observing front recently. There have been one or two clear nights, but these seem to have coincided with quite a bit of Moon. This coupled with fairly awful transparency, meant for the most part I couldn’t be arsed to open up. The other contributory factor has been that my Van Slyke Turret has been in the engineering shop for the last six weeks having a filter wheel attached to it. I bought this last year at the Warwick Astro Fair and it’s taken till now, to get round to getting the two mated together.
To compliment the 2″ OIII filter I brought at the same time, I acquired an Astronomik 2″ UHC and an el-cheapo Orion 13% ND filter at Augusts Norman Lockyear Astronomy Fair. I now have the three filters fitted in the wheel, with the last slot of the four kept empty, for an unfiltered view.
While everything was in bits, I took the opportunity to clean all the eyepieces – which really needed it and re-greased the turret. I think this must have been the first time this had been done, as what looked like graphite grease was completely dry and probably explains why the rotation was very stiff. I also packed out the indent spring by a few millimetres and now the turret snaps nicely to its indent at each eyepiece position.
One thing I didn’t take into account with the design, was the clearance between the Televue eyepieces and the filter wheel. When the eyecup tops are pushed all the way down, they hit the filter wheel body , so I can’t rotate the turret all the way round. I can get by for now with about 270 degrees of rotation, but will need to get a 3mm spacer made to move everything back a tad. It’s my own silly fault not checking this before the work started.
Now all I need now is a clear night to try it out!