Saturday, February 7, 2004

Photon Instruments Refractor: Continued Progress

I attempted to change the air spacing on the objective by reducing it from 2mm (the included aluminum spacer ring) to 1.5mm (the rim of a Philadelphia Cream Cheese container). This clearly made the images less crisp, so I just reassembled everything again--and now I seem to have real diffraction rings on both sides of focus. They aren't identical (that would indicate perfectly corrected optics--at least, neutral, neither overcorrected nor undercorrected), but they are at least something like plausible diffraction rings. Perhaps the reassembly of the objective again put everything back in proper position, the way it was before being jostled around in transit from Arizona to here.

When I first went outside with the tube, the image of Saturn was actually pretty crisp, but as the glass cooled, everything degraded. By the time I was ready to go outside again, the sky was clouded over again. But I am at least beginning to get some confidence that this refractor will be a useable scope.

I have been told that Photon Instruments may not have responded to my email because of the MyDoom virus--they apparently were so overwhelmed with garbage from this that they had to throw away vast quantities of email in their inbox. I am going to make another try at contacting them.

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