The SWEET SIXTEEN
The assembled scope is easily moved on the wheels which can be left on during observing or removed in seconds.
my search for the
perfect size personal telescope, I designed and built a 16" F4 which
became nicknamed the "Sweet
Sixteen". Well, actually I built four.
are currently available for sale. The 16" aperture provides
enough light gathering, and the F4 optic allows an eyepiece height of
about 62" at the zenith. The compact design is several inches
smaller than most other 16" scopes. Refer to the telescopes
page for specifications and construction details. You will
see why I am proud of the Sweet Sixteen. It is
available with a mirror from Mike Lockwood
or Dick Wessling.
Sweet Sixteen Standard Construction Features:
The Sweet 16 is easy to move around, assemble, and disassemble. The 62" eyepiece height means no ladder, and most viewing can be done seated. The Sweet Sixteen is a big scope in a small package. It is about the size of a "normal" 14" scope.
The overall size is 22" wide x 24" long (including the transport axle blocks but no axle or wheels). It stands 28" high to the top of the side bearing tips, 36" high with the cage stacked on top. Weight is approximately 106 pounds without the wheels.
Optics are the finest available using 1.4" United Lens Pyrex blanks. They are strain tested and the backs fine ground to ensure flatness.
NOTE: These instruments are not mass produced telescopes. They are lovingly handcrafted and are intended for the viewer who appreciates fine craftsmanship and exceptional optics.
Lower truss attachment on the Sweet 16: The pole inserts are slotted to allow installation without removing the knobs.
The upper cage drops
over the pole ball ends and
are precisely located in the ball sockets - You can set the
upper cage on the poles easily. The
spring loaded stud slides down between the balls and aligns everything
quite well and is very solid. The spring makes loosening and
tightening the clamp easy.
An exploded view of the truss pole assembly
The telescope comes with a matching mirror case - it is designed to allow easy removal of a truss pole to facilitate reaching in and removing the 21-pound primary for travel or indoor storage.
Above: Sixteen inch mirror cell with optional knurled brass collimation knobs. Look carefully and note the aluminum channels straddling the upper frame which are the levers for the 18 point cell. The pivots at the support triangles are spherical bearings while the channel rocks on a stainless shaft. This combination eliminates slop in the flotation assembly to maintain accurate collimation as the scope is moved. I also lap the nylon support pads after mounting to ensure proper support of the mirror back.
Above, both images: A three vane spider is used to minimize diffraction. A heavy milled hub and double vane tip attachment assure the necessary rigidity...critical at F4. Vanes are 0.021" thick. A mildly reworked Astrosystems secondary holder works perfectly allowing east access to the adjustment thumbscrews.
The azimuth pivot is a 1/2" stainless bolt - A custom machined brass bushing and tee nut are utilized.
Me and my Sweet Sixteen - Soakin' up some rays at the 2008 Winter Star Party. Ahhh. (Photo Michael Lockwood)
Lee's Sweet Sixteen is finished in cherry stain and features the optional Argo Navis / ServoCat installation.
Interior of rocker showing the ServoCat installation.
The Servocat controller is recessed in the front of the rocker.
Left: William Meyers telescope finished and ready for delivery. Right: Seated viewing at the zenith with the sweet sixteen is easy.
The power that comes up the side poles is routed to a power distribution block located below the Telrad. The top switch controlls the Astrosystems secondary dew heater, two additional switched jacks allow for additional heaters.
A powered ground board or batteries mounted internal to the rocker are also available, especially with the ServoCat option.