Flintstone Stargazing

October 9, 2009

Project: Fix My Focuser Drawtube

Filed under: astronomy, project — Tags: — Ed @ 10:08 pm

I recently bought a 2″ nosepiece for my cameras so that I could get more light and on my D50, cut down on vignetting. At the same time I bought a 2″ Orion SkyGlow Imaging Filter. This worked great with my DSI-II camera, but for some reason I was unable to reach focus with my Nikon D50. Two nights ago I figured out that what was happening was that inside my focuser drawtube, there were two little nuts holding onto two little screws. The screws held on the linear gear that allows the drawtube to move up and down, but the top screw had to go. It was keeping anything from sliding past it. This is what I did to fix it.

The first thing I did was remove the drawtube from the focuser and then remove the screws/nuts and thus the linear gear as well. Once that was done, I cleaned it and the drawtube with mineral spirits to get the old grease off and then dried them. Once that was done, the linear gear was slightly curved – I think so that the screws would hold it firmly in place against the drawtube – and so I carefully straightened it. Next I applied super glue to the linear gear.

I put the screws back into it and then attached it to the drawtube, screwing down both ends. I also added clamps to keep it tight against the tube.

Focuser Project: Gluing the drawtube
Gluing the drawtube

After it dried, I removed the clamps, then removed the nut from the upper part of the drawtube and the screw as well. The linear gear stayed firmly attached to the drawtube and I expect should work well forever the life of the focuser (which we be only until I get up enough fun money to buy a nice new Moonlight focuser or equivalent). I reinserted the drawtube (after cleaning some stuff and a few adjustments and it worked like a charm.

Focuser Project: Final Assembly
The final assembly – no nut/screw to block me!

While I did this, I also took better pictures to explain my Meade 1244 Electric Focuser modification that I did last December. I’ll do a post on that shortly.

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