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Design and Construction of

PART I
TV/TAKING distant objects
•*• •*- appear close by looking
through pieces of c u r v e d
glass is always thrilling, but
the enjoyment is increased
when y o u p e e r through a
telescope that you yourself
have made. The cost of mak-
ing a telescope is especially
low now because war-sur-
plus s t o c k s of perfect and
c h i p p e d - e d g e lenses a n d
prisms are available at low
prices. You can make a good
scope for as little as one dol-
lar, and a really good terres-
trial telescope for only three
to five dollars for lenses.
Kinds of telescopes: Tele-
scopes are divided into two
Cardboard tubes ore excellent
DOUBLE-CONCAVE
for telescopes. The outside It EYE LENS IN
ALLOWANCE
wrapped with block gummed WOODEN MOUNT
FOR DRAW
paper or covered with oilcloth ABOUT IV;

CARDBOARD TUBE

THIS LINE REPRESENTS


DIA. OF OBJECTIVE
Galilean telescope NORMAl FOCUS
OF OBJECTIVE
of TELESCOPES
By Sam BMHUSI

Optical Bench
main classes, reflectors and refractors. Some kind of bench is almost a ne-
The reflector uses a m i n o r to pick up cessity (or checking lent systems pre-
the image while the refractor uses a vious to a c t u a construction. The
lens. This article deals exclusively with design shown is simple and practical
the refractor type. A refractor used for
viewing heavenly bodies is called an as-
tronomical telescope. It shows the image
upside down, but this makes little dif-
ference when you are looking at a star.
Telescopes for viewing objects on land
show an upright image and are called
terrestrial telescopes. These include va-
rious types, such as the Galilean, rifle-
scope, spotting scope, monocular and
just plain "telescope" or spy glass.
Galilean telescope: This scope is dif-
ferent from all others in that it has a

negative lens for an eyepiece. Good


features are simple construction, a
clear, crisp field and an upright im-
age. The one poor feature is that
the field of view is small and de-
creases rapidly with increases m
magnification. Hence, as made to-
day, Galilean telescopes usually
are confined to 6X or less.
Figs. 3 and 4 show the general
USE WATER STAIN TO BLACKEN INSIDE OF TUBES construction and l a y o u t . Before
139
LENS

ACHROMATIC CARDBOARD GLUED J ' CARDBOARD


OBJECTIVE: 1" DIA., 4" FOCUS LENS INSIDE TUBE RING
EYE LENS: Vi" DIA., 1" FOCUS
M = 4 ••-) 4X Galilean telescopes OBJECTIVE: 32 mm, die, 132 mm. focus
LENS FIELD AT 1000 YDS., 60 yds. ( ONE HALF SIZE ) ^ Y E LENS: 17 mm. dia. ? 28 mm. focus
CAP ' M = 1 3 2 ~ 2 8 = 4'/2X
WOODEN FIELD AT 1000 YDS., 54 yds.
RING
CARDBOARD RING -
OBJECTIVE: 42 mm. dia.
201 mm. focus
EYE LENS: 17 mm. die
28 mm. focus
M = 2 0 1 ^ 2 8 = 7X
FIELD AT
1000 YDS., 29 yds,

Typical Galilean telescopes


from near to far objects is about M> in. with
These designs show general construction. An the average objective, as most of the draw-
achromatic objective lens is always an im- tube travel is simply a matter of making
provement. The scopes here are drawn as the telescope as compact as possible. Glare
focused on an object at 18 ft. distance stops prevent internal reflections. You can
determine the diameter of these at any
point from the AF lines, Fig. 4. One glare
stop is enough for the Galilean. This can
be made from cardboard with tabs turned
over as in Fig. 11, pushed inside the draw-
tube and fastened with a dab of glue.
Optical bench: An optical bench is handy
for checking any lens system and almost a
"must" when you get into five and six-lens
systems. The design shown in Figs. 5 and
6 is simple and satisfactory. If you want to
make a simpler setup, use a plain board
and mount the lenses with modeling clay
or wax on small blocks of wood. Test set-
ups can be made indoors at about 18 ft,
00 GLARE-STOPS PREVENT INTERNAL REFLECTIONS focusing on printed matter. Have a good
light on the copy, but avoid light on the
you study this, learn the abbreviations giv- optical bench.
en in Fig. 2, and always read the symbols Tubing: Cardboard tubing is satisfac-
as full words. It is best to use normal val- tory for all telescopes. Select sturdy tubes
ues as given in Fig. 4 when designing of good wall thickness. Use a black water
your scope, particularly where the f/value stain or flat black lacquer to blacken the
of the objective lens is concerned. You will inside of the tubes as in Fig. 7. Cover the
understand quickly that to get a large field outside with black gummed tape, spiral-
with a Galilean telescope you would need wound as in Fig. 1. Oilcloth, canvas or imi-
a large-diameter objective. Specific instru- tation leather in plain wrap-around style
ments are diagrammed in Figs. 8, 9 and 10. also makes a neat outer covering. A metal-
?'"•'"'• "1:" shown set up at about an 18-ft. lic-silver or bronze paper makes an ideal
tocus, whereas Fig. 4 shows a^ i^„„ 5 p n t , . covering for the draw tube.
ing at infinity. Focused at infinity means Asu-oiio».»-.<s„i toloseope: The astronom-
focused for a distant object, usually 300 to ical is different from the Galilean in iiiut
400 yards away. Your telescope is at its it has a real image inside the telescope, and
shortest draw when focused at infinity. the eye lens is positive instead of negative.
You will have to allow an extra half-inch The layout for the astronomical telescope,
or so on the draw so that you can focus on and the table giving normal values and
near objects. The whole range of focusing simple calculations, are shown in Fig. 12.
PARAXIAL RAY (PARALLEL WITH AXIS) G-UIDE LINES FOR SIZE OF
DRAW TUBE AND STOPS-
JL.

PARAXIAL
RAY
NORMAL VALUES CALCULATIONS Adi>u>+uwucal teleAaoft*.
DO: l ' / i " and up. f / ! 0 to f/15 M. = FO^-FE
FO : 20" and up M = DO—EP @ SIZE OF IMAGE
FO : 10 to 15 times DO EP^DO—M Find Figure opposite magnification and
M : 15 to 60 times DO FE=FO^M multiply this factor by focal length of
TF=40° — M objective lens
EP : VW to Va" f/VALUE OF
FE : Vt" to 1" = FO —DO M ' Factor M Factor M Factor
OBJECTIVE
AF: 40° FIELD IN YDS. 1 Read two right fig 20X .035 35X .020 50X .014
TF : Vi° to 2 s AT 1000 YDS. f ures from table 25X .028 40X .017 60X .012
30X .023 45X .015 70X .010

Select your lenses and make a layout as in EXIT PUPIL


EYE IENS /
Fig. 12, checking this directly from the
actual setup as made on the optical bench.
Determine the image size from table Fig.
13. The pair of paraxial rays will pass
through the center of the image and con-
tinue until they strike the eye lens, from
which they emerge parallel, as shown. The
ray from the edge of the field will pass
through the center of the objective and the
edge of the image and continue until it
strikes the eye lens. This is the most im-
portant ray to consider. If you can get this @ CHECKING EXIT-PUPIL SIZE AND POSITION
through the telescope, the hundreds of
other rays from the object viewed will au- waxed paper at about the position of the
tomatically get through. Note that the eye image plane and move it back and forth
lens must be big enough to catch this ray. until you get a sharp image. The image
Exit pupil: Stand back about a foot from received in this manner covers a very wide
the eye lens and look at it. You will see a field, much more than you can see through
round dot of light in the center. This is the the eye lens. Now, in place of the ground
exit pupil of the telescope. Actually, it is glass p u t a piece of printed matter in the
an image of the objective lens. Now put a image plane. Place the eye lens in position
piece of paper or ground glass behind the and move it back and forth until the copy
eye lens and move it back and forth until is sharp. The image is just the same as a
you get the smallest and sharpest circle of solid piece of copy, and the purpose of the
light, Fig. 14. This location is the exit- eye lens is to magnify it.
pupil point and it marks the proper loca- Eyepieces: There are better eyepieces
tion of the eye. Noting its position from than the single lens. The three common
the eye lens, complete your layout draw- styles in use are shown in Figs. 15 to 19 in-
ing as in Fig. 12, continuing the ray from clusive. The Ramsden is the easiest to cal-
the edge of field through the exit-pupil culate and make; at the same time it is one
point. Look again at your test setup and of the best types of construction, giving a
note how large the exit pupil is. A big exit good field without distortion or other
pupil means good illumination; a small exit faults. The Kellner, Fig. 17, is a slight im-
pupil, poor illumination. Since the astro- provement on the Ramsden. The Huy-
nomical telescope is used, for vie wing- a genian, Fig. 18, is an. old reliable, still pop-
light source, the matter of illumination is ular. It differs from the Ramsden in that
not so important, and the exit pupil can the image plane is behind the field lens.
be as small as Vu\ in. This style cannot be used directly as a mag-
Experiments: While you have the astro- nifier. It has shorter eye relief (distance
nomical telescope set up on the optical from eye point to eye lens) than the Rams-
bench, make a few experiments. Remove den, a point worth remembering when you
the eye lens. P u t a piece of ground glass or are trying to get shorter or longer eye re-
14]
lief. Of the two lenses in any eyepiece, the
eye lens is the most important as it controls
distortion and magnification much more
than the field lens. The prime purpose of
the field lens is to pick up the light rays
from the edge of the field.
The combined focus of the two lenses in
the eyepiece is determined by the calcula-
tions given in Fig. 16. The example in Fig.
16 shows that a 33-mm. field lens and a
CONSISTS Of TWO PLANO-CONVEX LENSES OF 33-mm. eye lens spaced 22 mm. apart will
SAME FOCAL LENGTH, SPACED APART AT DIS- have a focal length of approximately 24
15) TANCE D. WITH CURVED SURFACES FACING .
mm. This is not quite the same thing as a
single 24-mm. focus lens. When you hold
CALCULATIONS EXAMPLES
the single 24-mm. focus lens to your eye,
33 MM. 33 MM. you are sharply focused on any image or
D = TWO-THIRDS OF
FOCAL LENGTH
FOCUS FOCUS copy when the lens is 24 mm. away from
OF INDIVIDUAL the image or copy. In the combined lenses
LENS you will find the focal plane just a little
y3^. ahead of the field lens because the 24-mm.
focal length is measured from a point be-
COMBINED tween the two lenses. As a matter of fact,
FOCUS OF the best correction of the combined lenses
BOTH 33 X_33__l_089 is obtained when the focal plane is exactly
LENSES ~ 33 +-"33-22 44 "
in the plane of the field lens. This means,
however, that the field lens is sharply in
Keiltt&i focus; hence, you can see every speck of
SAME AS RAMSDEN dust on it. When you note this condition,
EXCEPT IT HAS A your lenses are spaced too far apart. Close
CEMENTED DOUBLET
ACHROMAT AS them up until the dust specks disappear,
EYE LENS. CALCULA. The image stop: The image stop is a
TIONS ARE SAME AS ACHROMATIC
FOR RAMSDEN EYE LENS round disk of cardboard placed in the im-
age plane. The size of the hole is deter-
PARAXIAL FIELD IMAGE EYE mined from Fig. 13; also, you can get a
RAY^ POINT
LENS
i good idea of size by viewing a ruled piece
of paper through the eyepiece. The image
plane formed by the objective and the focal
plane of the eyepiece always indicate the
EYE same plane when the telescope is focused.
This stop is important because it clearly
JtuuaetUcut LENS
defines the field of view, cutting out weak
CONSISTS OF TWO PLANO-CONVEX LENSES WITH
edge rays and giving a shai-p, clean-cut im-
CURVED SURFACES FACING OBJECTIVE. FOCAL age. It is commonly made a part, of the
LENGTH OF FIELD LENS IS TWO TO THREE eyepiece, being located between the lenses
TIMES FOCAL LENGTH OF EYE LENS in the Huygenian and ahead of the field
CALCULATIONS EXAMPLES
lens in the Ramsden or KeHner. It should
be dead shai-p as viewed through the eye
60 MM. 20 MM. lens and, when the telescope is focused, it
D = ONE-HALF OF FOCUS FOCUS will always coincide with the image plane.
COMBINED A typical astronomical telescope: Typi-
FOCAL
LENGTHS cal construction of a simple astronomical
telescope is shown in Figs. 20, 21 and 22.
60 + 20 8 0 . This has a 2%-in. diameter objective {2lh
in. clear) and the focal length is 36 in. A
COMBINED FOCUS
-©- draw tube is used for rough focusing; crit-
CALCULATED SAME 6 0 X 2 0 _)20P ical focusing is done with a 40-pitch thread-
"60 + 2 0 - 4 0 " 40
AS RAMSDEN ed eyepiece. The eyepiece is a Ramsden
and can be of Vi to 1-in. focus. With a %-in.
eyupiv^, tkf. magnification would be 72X;
Two lenses combined form an eyepiece and with a 22-mm. eyepiece, ine l o u ^ s r - ; , . ^ ; ^
give better results than a single lens. Most would be 41X. Magnification could be
popular style is the Ramsden although the pushed up to 144X with a %-in. eyepiece.
Huygenian is an old favorite, especially for The exit pupil then would be about %4 in.,
astronomical telescopes. The mounting can
representing about the limit for astronom-
be wood, metal or plastic, turned to shape
ical use.
>L \\ I S i i LO U U11CI cHi d ^ L ! I-
nomical telescope, c a r e - This o n e w i l l m a g n i f y u p t o 144X.
fully study the drawings I t can b e f i t t e d w i t h p r i s m a t i c
and t e x t c o v e r i n g this e y e p i e c e a n d used a t 4 0 X f o r
subject as they are the v i e w i n g objects o n l a n d
basis f o r a l l terrestrial
telescopes. You will need
all this d a t a in order to
make the popular h a n d
telescope or .spy gloss.

EYEPIECE
(TURNED
METAL)
36"-FOCAL LENGTH OF OBJECTIVE L*_
• 32"

Clipping Sheets for Fast Copying Pencil ErasersQuietRattlingDoor


When addressing envelopes from mailing Rattling of a door caused by a loose fit
lists or sheets, each of which contains only of the latch in the strike plate can be si-
one name, if you fasten the sheets together lenced by inserting two pencil erasers in
at the lower edge the door stop. The erasers are forced
with a paper clip tightly i n t o holes
they will fall for- drilled in the
ward easily as you stop, after which
turn each one after the tips are shaved
doing your copy- off w i t h a k n i f e
ing. This method until tho door will
is much faster close p r o p e r l y ,
than picking each wi th the e r a s e r s
sheet off a pile in keeping the latch
order to copy one firmly pressed
name and address. against the strike
—N. C a m p b e l l , p la t e.—Axel E.
Boston, Mass. Ogren, Chicago.
U3