Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
We're Bringing The Night Sky To Your Back Yard
$100 raised
0% of $50k goal
1 contributor
0 days left
Ended Aug 16, 2018

Greetings, and thank you for taking the time to read our proposal. We welcome any questions or feedback, so please feel free to leave a comment.

 

THE COMPANY:

 

               We are Maker-Tech Industries, a home-based custom prototyping and fabrication company located in Windsor, Ontario Canada. Founded in 2016, our goal was simple- We wanted to help other inventors turn their ideas into marketable products, which they can have manufactured.

               As we moved forward, we found that there was more value in bringing our own ideas to the drawing board. Since the company consists only of the three partners- one of whom is a retired Canadian Forces Veteran -and we all work full time jobs, it has been a challenge to effectively communicate with each other, or collaborate on projects.

               We currently have a few projects in the works however. Some still in the design phase, others ready to move on to the build phase of the prototype. The project we are introducing today, falls into the latter category.

 

THE PROBLEM:

 

               We have spent a great deal of time and energy (not to mention money) doing research on telescopes- specifically Newtonian Reflectors –and we have studied the advantages, and drawbacks of this design, as well as how it ranks against other scope designs.

               Our results were mixed, as the Newtonian offers more overall bang for the buck per inch of aperture, compared to a refractor, or Cassegrain telescope. Though it did have a few drawbacks we were intent on exploring further, to see if we could improve on them.

                Here is a basic description of how a Newtonian telescope works. (Image taken from Google)

 

               We examined this design further, and focused (no pun intended) on the intended uses for a scope such as this. Would the customer be using this for standard viewing, or for astrophotography?

               The reason we asked ourselves this, is because in our research we discovered that this particular design is not very adaptable for both. Most newts (Newtonians) are great for standard viewing of the night sky, and with perfect alignment, or “Collimation” some planets and deep sky objects, such as Galaxies, and Nebulae, can be quite spectacular to view through one of these telescopes.

               Here’s the down side. If you are an Astrophotography enthusiast, a newt is probably not on your list of recommended equipment. The reason for this, is because the FOCAL POINT of the light, or what is known as “Prime Focus” in astrophotography, is too far back in the focuser tube for the camera to produce a clear picture.

               Let me elaborate further…

               As noted in the diagram above, when the light reflects off of the secondary mirror toward the eyepiece, it comes to a point inside the focuser tube. This is called the Focal Plane, or Prime Focus. For astrophotography, the camera (usually a DSLR) is used without any lenses because the Image Sensor inside does all the work (see picture below).

 

Stock photo of a DSLR camera with no lens. The rectangle in the center is the Image Sensor. In order to produce a clear image, the image sensor must be at Prime Focus.

 

 

 

               The problem is that with the T-ring and adapter required to mount a camera, the Prime Focus is just too far away from the Image Sensor to receive a clear image. If we look at the diagram below, the prime focus (f) is right around the bottom of the focuser tube. Mounting a camera for astrophotography would be a futile effort

 

               All hope is not lost, however. If you really want to take stunning astrophotography pics with a newt, there are some that are specifically designed for this purpose…. But hold on to your cheque book, because they are not only more expensive, but also few and far between. And did I also mention that they are ONLY designed for astrophotography? So if you just want to look through it one night, you will probably have to buy more accessories to make that possible.

 

               THE EXPERIMENT:

 

               We have come up with a few different designs, which would allow a user to SWITCH from standard viewing to astrophotography- or vise-versa - using the same scope, with a simple adjustment, and without losing its collimation. Our goal now, is to test each design for attributes like durability, rigidity, ease of use, and most important, accuracy.

               Our designs are all based on one principal; by enabling the primary mirror cell to be moved forward in the Optical Tube Assembly and using a slightly larger secondary mirror, we would essentially be pushing the focal point, or Prime Focus further out, toward the end of the focuser.

               Think of it like water in a straw, only the straw is a telescope, and the water is light. When you push it forward at one end, it naturally pushes forward at the other. Therefore, if the tailgate and primary mirror cell were adjustable forward and back, the scope could easily, and effortlessly be switched between standard observing, and astrophotography.

 

THE RESULT:

 

               The most important factor in this project is accuracy. If the scope has to be re-collimated every time it is adjusted, well that takes quite a bit away from the ease of use factor. We have to ensure that every time the mirror is adjusted, the collimation will remain the same.

               The details of our designs for this project are not yet available for patent reasons, and also because we feel that testing each design thoroughly will help us narrow the field before the designs are released.

               The image below (taken from Google) describes where the focal plane, or Prime Focus would be in a newt designed specifically for astrophotography. Notice how the light converges much further up the focuser's draw tube, where the camera is able to pick up a clear image.

 

 

               With regard to the scope itself, it will look and function exactly the same (or cooler) as any other high end newt, but with the added functionality of our Focus Adjustable Tailgate. One of the other traits this scope will not share with other high end astro-newts, is the price.

               We have sourced only high grade materials, and components through various distributors across Canada. Because we will be building the scopes ourselves, and scrutinizing every single detail, we can guarantee the quality and craftsmanship of our products will be top shelf, and 100% made in Canada but without an astronomical price tag.

 

THE PROPOSAL:

               We are looking to raise $50,000 in funding for materials, components, and working capital. From these funds, we will be building three different styles of our design, and testing each one extensively to ensure they exceed the expectations we have of our intended result. We will also be allocating a modest portion of this funding toward advertising of our products once they are ready.

               Our goal in this project, is to produce a high end product line, featuring a revolutionary design, for the new astronomers, and the most discerning enthusiasts alike, and without the astronomical price. With your help, and the help of others, we can help bring the night sky closer to our own back yard.

 

 

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