Michael A. Phillips

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Akule Construction

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Focuser placement decisions

Posted by maphilli14 on January 23, 2011 at 8:27 PM Comments comments (2)


checking NEWT often and looking at finding balance between photography and visual, I stumbled across this:





So I arrived at 2 values in my calculations for visual and photography, I split the difference in the focuser placement.  Since it's a sonotube with a backup half untouched, I feel comfortable making some more cuts!  :)


46” Mirror face to focuser is the new value and 55” seems like a nice tube length?! Let's see....


Photos pending!




Primary Day

Posted by maphilli14 on January 13, 2011 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (3)

No, no the political term.  Every reflecting telescope has a two mirrors.  The larger is called the primary and is one of if not the most major parts.

Carl Zambuto called me in late November and notified me the mirror was done and ready for coating, time to pay the remaineder!

Box opening is on video to be posted later.  Here is the mirror overlay-ed with the Catseye Collimation center spotting template.

Yes, it really is 14" and hard to tell in a photo, for some reason mirrors don't photograph well!  :)

Carl's handwork on the back:

Size and scale with happy new owner.  The tube behind me is it's temporary home and the cell mounting is still work in progress.

So shiny!!

Curved Vane Spider

Posted by maphilli14 on January 12, 2011 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (1)

FPI-Protostar didn't come through for me, so I picked up a great looking Curved Vane spider from Scope Stuff, who OEM's the 800Destiny holders


"Top" view - note there are 4 thumb screws, the 3x collimation ones and 1 tensioning one:

View 2 - Welcome to your new home Mr. Spider, meet your roomies, 100% Silicone Adhesive and your bunkmate, 3.5" Secondary Mirror

View 3 - I think it goes about here, no?

View 4 - mmmm, looks good!

Mirror Cell

Posted by maphilli14 on January 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (1)

This is the mirror cell, which will hold the primary mirror in place.  I need to design an method to mount it into the tube.  Initially I will use a piece of plywood to mount into the sonotube, but ultimately the adapting plate will be made by the aluminum tube manufacturer, TSI.



View 3 - Close up of the floating points:

View 4:

Design Sketches

Posted by maphilli14 on September 8, 2010 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (2)


Posted by maphilli14 on August 14, 2010 at 11:28 PM Comments comments (1)

Drum roll please..............

Akule - Origin and Meaning of the name @ Baby Names Pedia
Akule - Origin and Meaning of the name


Here's why:

1) Native American roots - important for it's uniqueness and homage to the indigenious peoples of the land I occupy

2) It's meaning is looks up

3) Also a type of fish!  That's worth some points

4) Mispronounced as A-COOL, which is just aight by me!!



Real pronunciation:


Rings & Sonotube

Posted by maphilli14 on August 14, 2010 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The sonotube came from a company in Raleigh, Form Tech Concrete.  I ordered a sonotube but received a E-Z Pour.  The diameter of the tube is such that it won't fit in the awesome rings I got from Ken Dauzat, so not quite Peanut Butter and Jelly yet.

Not the full weight, only about 23.5 lbs total for the rings and empty tube. The rings are about 6lbs and the tube is about 16.5lbs. The tube didn't fit as it's about 1in larger in diameter than the final product, which I hope in't an issue for measurements and handoff to the aluminum fabricator. It's also a rough cut in half as the product was shipped in 12foot lengths, so it's about 6 feet instead of about 5 for the final. Just barely fits in the garage! Phew!

Some highlights are:

Open and holding the awesome custom handle:

Ready to load?

Bungeed for safety!  For mirror placment in the ready to use section I added zip times, the final form has finished, threaded bolts!

Quite a reach to the top:

It's huge in here, but where's the mirror?

The best part!  Happyily with the wheels I don't take it apart much and the handle is sometimes more of a guide-sight than handle!

Rest of the whole album including trying to fit into the garage and my 6 year old's grin are here

Slow rolling back log -- Focuser Arrives!

Posted by maphilli14 on August 14, 2010 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I can't wait to use this piece, it's a real work of art!

Whole album here


Posted by maphilli14 on June 28, 2010 at 9:26 AM Comments comments (5)

Every good technical mistress has to have a name.  For many years all my computers have names, thank goodness as it gets confusing which black, IBM/Lenovo is which sometimes!  ;)  The Computer names have always been star constellations and I don't know that any have ever gotten repeated in the 15 years I've been doing it.

That naming doesn't work for a telescope for one obvious reason, and another being it's not a computer.  I thought perhaps a good Tolkien name would do.  I poked at the index of The Lord of The Rings online and one name immediately jumped out, SHADOWFAX.  I bounced the idea of Mitch Duke and he seemed to enjoy it enough and watned to know what you thought!  Put your ideas in the comments, but for now, I think it's going to be:


Yeah, G-d rest his soul, but I took some artistic license with JRR's work!

My First Part Arrived this week!

Posted by maphilli14 on June 24, 2010 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (3)

Oh the joy, my 1st component arrived today!

Ok, who know's how to read these?

Nice colors, but really doesn't mean much to me!

The mirror was wrapped well!  Like a bubble-wrap mummy!

Oohhhh shiny!