MIDWEST SINCE 1986
|The club holds some of the finest
astronomical equipment of any astronomical society in Ireland.
It is based around 2 complete telescope setups and a large binocular
These are available for any club member to use at observing sessions and are
maintained by members of the committee.
Telescope set #1
Back in 1987, SAC designed and
built a F/5 12" Newtonian Dobsonian telescope.
Here it is with club member Harry McCarthy in 2001
By the late 2000's, the 12" dob was beginning to disintegrate due to age and use.
In 2007, it was time to decide its fate, either repair it or scrap it, so after costing up repairs against buying a new
one and considering the history tied up in the scope, the committee decided
refurbish it. It is now in full working order and offers magnificent deep sky, lunar and planetary views.
The following is a list of tasks performed on the scope during its
All wood varnished, and internals painted matt black.
New primary/secondary mirror cells and spider.
New focuser and telrad finder added
Sliding counterbalance system added
Altitude axis spring added with teflon bearings
Azimuth formica base added with wheels
Brass carring handles added
Access hatches added for mirror inspection / collimation
Both mirrors recoated
Comprehensive set of eyepieces and laser collimator added.
Solar filter construsted.
to see the eyepiece set.
Here it is partially restored with Dr. Chris Lintott, co-presenter of 'The Sky at Night'
, and then fully complete.
A solar filter was made for the scope, it's an 11
inch full aperture filter. Lids were made for the filter to protect
it while not in use. On the outer lid is a swival to allow the filter to operate
as a 4 inch off-axis filter. A solar finder was also made and makes
centeirng the sun in the eyepiece very easy.
|Telescope set #2
||This set includes a
Meade LX3 F10 Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope (SCT).
A celestron powertank is used to run its right ascension axis during observing sessions.
Two cases are included which holds a set of eyepieces, filters and
for the complete list.
scope was manufactured in 1984, at the time Meade coated the secondary
mirror with a silver coating which at the time provided as high a
reflective coating as possible. This coating however is not robust and
oxidizes over time, so in February 2013 the secondary mirror was recoated
and the scope is now back in perfect working order.
A full aperture 10 inch solar filter was also made for this
scope for white light solar viewing.
owns a set of 25 X 100 Celestron skymaster binoculars, they are run on a parallelogram
"unimount" system and tripod which provides a means of steadily
holding these heavy binoculars
and an ability to change the height of the binoculars while keeping the
same object in the field of view,
great for observing nights.
Celestron Skyscout (FOR SALE)
owns a celestron skyscout, a great device for helping newbies find objects in
currently for sale, if you'd like to buy it, please contact the club chairman