CUSTOM TELESCOPES and PARTS
Machining the turntable of a 50" capacity mirror lapping machine on my Bridgeport mill (left), and view of the shop (right)
I was fortunate enough to have acquired a reasonably complete machine shop for my telescope making activities. It is a big advantage to be able to make the proper part for a scope rather than having to adapt hardware store or commercially available parts that aren't quite ideal. See my shop section for my equipment and custom projects for pictures of special stuff I have done.
Above left: View of the shop
with a 20" f/3.0
under construction, see more about it below (photo by Mike Lockwood)
JP Astrocraft has built a variety of custom telescopes, mirror cells, and specialized components. For more information, contact JP Astrocraft.
Above is a custom 20" f/3.0 telescope and some people for scale (photos by Mike Lockwood). The mirror is made by Lockwood Custom Optics, and is 1.25"-thick Pyrex. That's not a second focuser, it's a camera holder for when visual observing is being done instead of video.
Above is a custom 24" f/3.3 telescope, also with a primary from Lockwood Custom Optics. The owner requested the focuser be placed on the "other" side of the cage. The telescope includes the owner's finderscope and Servocat drive.
Above are some construction photos of a 32" f/3.6 completed by JP Astrocraft in 2014. The beautiful completed scope is shown below at the Okie-Tex Star Party (photo by Mike Lockwood). All JP Astrocraft scopes are built solidly to withstand moderate wind speeds. After all, being built in Illinois, we know about wind. Note the offset spider in the secondary cage - this is done specifically to reduce wind-induced rotational vibration.
Finally, here are some close-up shots of the cage and mirror box of the 32" f/3.6.
See above images. At left, we see the mirror box with a front boundary-layer fan suspended with stainless wire. This helps the excellent mirror to cool of more quickly and evenly. The center image shows the telrad, wiring, SIPS with extra-large fine-focus knob, and the beautiful wood stain. At right is a closeup of the offset spider that prevents the secondary from rotating due to wind or during collimation adjustments. This is a standard feature of many JP Astrocraft telescopes. Photos above by Mike Lockwood.
Astronomical Research Institute 32" Telescope Drive Fabrication
RA Drive Unit (left), RA Drive, front side (right)
Close-up RA Worm Gear (left), DEC Drive Pulley (right)