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Thread: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

  1. #1
    Lowjiber's Avatar
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    Default This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.



    Disclaimer: If you are one who doesn't tinker with telescopes and/or doesn't appreciate simple, but elegant, solutions to common problems, save yourself and change the channel now.

    So my story goes like this... I was swapping out a junk focuser on a Lunt 50 today with another that was slightly (~ 4.5mm) shorter in back-travel. I realized this would be a problem when it came to a perfect focus with two of the longer eyepieces (8.8mm & 11mm) that we commonly use on that scope. I didn't want my wife having to fool around pulling the eyepieces slightly back every time, so I decided to retract the B600 diagonal and be done with it.

    Tinkering with it a bit revealed that I'd need the diagonal moved back 1/4" to allow to attain focus with all four of her eyepieces without any mumble, bumble, or fumble. She'll never know I did it.

    Now, it may seem obvious to just retract the diagonal and tighten the two diagonal restraining screws down tight. That's all fine and dandy until one realizes that we have to move the diagonal further back when she wants to use her CCD cam to image. I needed a shim with a flat surface to keep everything simple, yadda, yadda.

    So, I arrive at my local ACE Hardware where the smartest man in the world lives toward the back, where he spends most of his time putting rakes together and grumbling about everything. He's been there since ACE was the first hardware store in the phonebook.

    He sees me walking back with my digital caliper in-hand and exclaims, "Every time you show up with that thing, I know I gotta work!" Yup!

    I held up an old 1.25" diagonal (not the B600, for goodness sake) and explained that I was looking for a washer, or washers, that had a really big hole... 1.25" to be exact. Further explaining that I was willing to stack 'em to get my required 1/4" thickness, again yadda, yadda.

    Sitting there on his raggedy old stool; leaning over the counter; and chewing on an old cigar butt that was last lit when Ike was president, he sorta looked upward and thought a moment. "Directly" (that's a hillbilly term to describe some unfathomable measure of time) he moved those fossils he calls bones and headed to, of all places, the plumbing aisle.

    Returning semi-directly (that's a shorter period of time) with a little package in his hand, which he proceeded to toss in my general direction. Not being exactly quick myself, I naturally had to pick it up off the floor.

    I whipped out my switchblade (yeah, I carry one) and cut open the pack to reveal a nylon plumbing washer-thinga-ma-bob (see pic #1 below). It fit perfectly, nice and snug, over the 1.25" barrel of my diagonal and my caliper revealed it to be exactly 1/4" thick. Brilliant!

    Well, I'm falling all over myself thanking him for being so knowledgeable, smart, and clever... yadda, yadda. He never even smiled, but said, "Tell Sally up-front that's ninety-seven cents."... and went back to chewing the cigar and doing whatever else geniuses do when no one is around. (I think he likes me.)

    The last two pics below validate my tale, and I'll add that it works perfectly.

    I hope my tale at least entertained you, as it certainly did me when recounting it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    Great story John, and congrats on getting just what you needed. I'm often amazed what I can find at Ace last week I picked up some extra Lionel "O" gauge track for my nephew - $1.50 per piece of track.
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    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is Limited. Imagination Circles the World... A. Einstein


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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    Hi John,

    Dontcha just love simple, inexpensive and elegant solutions to telescope upgrades/fixes/improvements.

    Cheers and clear skies,
    JT
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    The simple solutions are always the best!
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    Ha! Very entertaining tale, John, and a simple yet elegant solution.

    Thanks much for sharing this one. I'm still chuckling. I'll get over it directly, I reckon.
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    John,

    That IS brilliant. I always knew about the 1-1/4" plumbing fittings for telescopes but never put the 2+2 together for such an elegant use - parfocalized eyepieces!

    I also really like your writing style - you need to write a book on astronomy (if you haven't already).

    Steve
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    A great tale well written. Thanks.
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    Great story, John, and the washer looks like it was made to go there. Simplicity and elegance. Love it!
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    Default Re: This is Brilliant! Simple shim for eyepieces or diagonals.

    Around here ACE is as close to a real hardware store as your going to get. One of my favorite places! What a great idea and a great story too! I gotta hit the sack directly, meetings tomorrow! Thanks for the heads up John!
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