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Art's ATM Truss Telescope

Photo to be added when completed.

The main point in this construction is to "KEEP IT SIMPLE" and "LOW COST."

The following is presented "ONLY" as the preliminary work up for parts needed to convert a Meade 16" Starfinder to a truss telescope.

By utilizing the existing primary mirror cell, with the particleboard backing plate, from the Meade 16" Starfinder, it was not difficult to determine the mirror box width as the mirror box is perfectly square. From the diameter of the primary mirror cell backing plate w/mirror brackets, just add one inch for the mirror box. The 16" Starfinder's primary mirror plate with the brackets, measuring just 1/32" less then 17" total width. I rounded this off to 17 inches and added one inch for a total width of 18 inches for the mirror box. With this measurement in hand, I could now design the simple primary mirror cell brace that will hold the mirror cell, including the mirror cell plate, firmly in place in the mirror box. Please note that I have also added slotted screw/bolt holes in the brace's retaining plates that attach to the the sides of the mirror box for vertical adjustments if needed when nearing completion of the truss telescope.

The primary reason for determining the width of the mirror box at this point was so I could design the primary mirror cell brace assembly and have it fabricated at a local welding shop. This way, I will have the mirror cell brace when I am ready to start making the mirror box.

Due to balance restraints, I could not determine the height of the mirror box at this point in time. This calculation must come following the fabrication of the secondary stage, pending its completion and what type of strut poles will be used. Detailed measurements will be given at time of mirror box construction. To determine the mirror box's weight, be sure to mount your lens focuser, spider assembly and whatever finder scope you will be using for an accurate weight of the secondary stage.

Determine "EXACT" dimensions of the Collimating bolts!

Determine "EXACT" width & configuration of primary mirror bracket!
Be sure to drill the "EXACT" location for the Collimating bolts!

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