Griffin - 12.5" f/5.25 Newtonian

First Light: February 6th, 2005

Second Light: October 16th, 2005 (Mirror refigured to better than 1/6th wave )

Above: The finished Griffin Telescope at the Orange Blossom Special Star Party in February 2005. Even with significant sky glow the views were beautiful. The Telrad was pretty close to the focuser so I used a strip of neoprene glued as a upside down 'U' to go over the pointy part of the Telrad to prevent anyone from mistaking it for the eyepiece in the dark.


Below: John Dobson (yes, the guy that the Dobson telescope mount is named after) visited our camp area and gave his opinion of the Griffin. he said that it was too fancy, but otherwise okay. Please excuse my fourth day of camping look here

This was my first foray into using Birch Plywood. The Birch was really heavy so I added quite a few cutouts, which dulled the router bits fast. One quarter inch thick Oak plywood was added to the outside to allow the 1" thick trunions a full seat. The intent was to contrast the lighter Birch with the Oak. This worked, with one unexpected side effect - an alien head (below, right).


I made the mirror for the Griffin at the St. Petersburg Astronomy's Mirror Lab and worked on the scope in my spare time while not dodging hurricanes.

I'm one of the first to try out the new Sky Commander XP4 Flash models (received Jan 2005).  After I fixed a bad encoder cable and stopped the central bolt from slipping it worked perfectly.

Nov 2005 Update:  The Sky Commander is now wireless to the PC.

The secondary holder is made of PVC and metal strips. Two of the veins conduct the 12v power for the three 470 ohm resisters (in parallel) that connect to a home made controller for dew prevention. The pail at 45 degrees allows me to glue on the secondary mirror safely.

Griffin, the kitty that this telescope was named after, passed away on April 9th, 2021. He loved to climb through the tube as the telescope was being built. Words cannot express how much he was loved and will be missed.

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