Saturday, November 30, 2013

Return of *The Refractor*

It's back...and better than ever... I have only spent a limited amount of time with the old (newish looking) SP-C102 which was returned to me from Astroshrink who did a wonderful job restoring the scope to bring it back to the forefront of the observing experience. Last night I managed to set it up to catch Jupiter rising in the east. It is important to note that the internals of the Refractor have been slightly altered to include flocking (in sections) and spray painted to a deep black. This has resulted in a higher contrast instrument with a better stray light management than in the past. The remounted cell was still in collimation after performing a "Rigel Test" (right, I was really going after the companion! Saw it! :) and the scopes collimation was spot on despite being removed and cleaned during the tube restoration process. M42 was breathtaking, as breathtaking as it can be in a 102mm refractor. However the contrast has been improved as a result of the aforementioned flocking and painting. I hope to do a more in-depth report but the forecast has turned sour for the week...I guess it's my fault. Enjoy some pics from the past, during the restoration (courtesy of Astroshrink) and after the restoration

Original configuration

Restoration (note the sad shape it was in)
Fully restored
Back in action