The "Grey Poupon" FAQ
|Q. “Did you make it all by yourself?”|
A. Yes, but tiny elves helped me after midnight. All they wanted in return was full nighttime access to the finished product, and an autographed picture of Brittany Spears.
|Q. "What are the basic specs?"|
A. "It's an 8" F/6; a very all-purpose design, good for planetary as well as deep space. It weighs about 60 Lbs fully dressed, and after breakfast.
|Q. “Why call your telescope ‘The Grey Poupon’?”
A. I like the commercials; they’re right on my mental age level.
|Q “How long did it take you?”
A. With my limited apartment space, resources and basic unfamiliarity with power tools, 60-odd hours over six months. I am a very dangerous person with a power drill.
|Q. “Did you make the mirror?” |
A. No. At 45, I figured I’d had enough angst from life, and wanted this to be an enjoyable journey. Also, I wanted to stay married.
|Q. “Why Grey for a color?” |
A. It matches my lungs. Also, it was the only color that I could find in True Value acrylic paint. I must have True Value Hardware Products or life is not worth living.
|Q. "Were there any foul-ups?” |
A. You’re not supposed to ask questions like this. Oh, very well, yes, someone dropped a ball point pen on the mirror. He knows who he is, and has to go to sleep sometime!
|Q. “Have you star tested the optics?” |
A. Yes, and by some miracle they passed with textbook results. Furthermore, zone measurement data fed into "TEX.EXE" suggests a 80% certainty of 1/11th wave optics. My Calvinistic background suggests that, due to the laws of compensation, a meteor will hit me any time now.
|Q. “Would you do this again?” |
A. Uh, yes. In another lifetime, maybe 2001 years from now or so. I need to rest up a bit.
|Q. “Are you still married?” |
A. Yes! (By the grace of God!)
Construction Time Breakdown
|Painting inside of tube black||2 Hrs|
|Outside paint||2 hrs|
|Planning Session, planing tube ends, materials search
|Laying out plans on computer||1 hour|
|Tube box and rocker box assembly||4 hours|
|Cutting bearings||45 minutes|
|Horsing around with cheesy focuser and generally wasting time||4 hours|
|Drawing cutting templates||2 hours
|More sawing, making base, rings, (later abandoned) etc||4 hrs|
|Making diagonal support (later tossed)||4 hrs|
|Truing up base||4 hrs|
|Filling, sanding, painting||4 hrs|
|Attaching bearings to box||1 hr|
|Testing Mirror||1 hr|
|Mounting spider, secondary, drilling huge hole in
|Installing mirror into cell (Includes pen-drop test and subsequent Hara-Kiri), aligning, installing focuser, installing mirror-cell assy, cell-blacking, "spotting"||6 hrs|
|The Big Push: Final tube assy, calibrating mirror position, bearing support final assy and alignment, height/attitude compensation, dynamic tube balancing||9 hrs|
|R&R home made spider w/Novak, collimate same:||3hrs|
|Minor fiddling with cosmetics:||2hrs|
|Fabricate eyepiece rack||3 hrs|
|Spider and Holder||40.00
|Primary (PYREX, mind you)||240.00
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