Progress on the 1200

The big project lens has moved forward significantly in the past week.

I received the rings last week and after mounting the lens into them, it was plain that the lens needs to be raised higher to meet the center point of the rear standard.

I ordered a 6 inch by 4 inch aluminum rectangular tube that is 12 inches long.  Learning from the 900 project, I did not expect to cut the tube and left it as a single item.  Thus, no mis-alignment would happen from front to back.  Online Metals was able to provide the cut tube and have it in my hands by Thursday.  Thus, the heat was on...

I didn't want to repeat the same errors that I had made in drilling holes that plagued the 900.  On that effort, I had marked where I wanted the holes to be with a sharpie.  Unfortunately, because of my inability to measure properly and the inability to drill properly, the holes were at bad spots.  So I had to make the holes larger to get the openings to where they should be.

I did some reading and found out about transfer screws.  These are screws that go into the holes of a device that allow you to mark your other items for the proper drilling spots.  Wow, what a simple concept and they work very well!  Ordered 6x of the ones for 1/4-20 holes so that I could mark all the holes in the Parallax rings.  They came from McMaster in 48 hours and I was ready to do some drilling.

On Monday after work, I was able to make the marks, do the drilling (yay for sharp bits), and was surprised at how well the hole placement worked.  The screws dropped right into their holes and everything came together perfectly.  See the picture above for the example of how it looks and compare to the view of the 900.  

By 9:30 that night I was able to put the scope on the GM8 and attempt to counterbalance it.  The idea was to use the moon as a bright target to find infinity focus.  Monday was pretty much the last shot to get it before the marine layer became too strong and would cloud out the week.  

Balancing the scope required four of the 21 lbs counterweights - all the way out at the end of the bar.  The GM8 was very overweight.  I was only using it as an assembly stand.  

Once the moon had cleared the local horizon at 1 am, I was able to find it easily and then used a piece of paper to align the ground glass position with the moon.  Even without a loupe it was easy to see the craters along the terminator.  The cell phone pictures do not show the view as visible to my eyes.

Locked down the focus position and was satisfied.  Made a single picture of the status.

The next day I put the scope down and put it away.  Snapped this reference picture of the rear standard so that I could note the position of infinity.