Chris Campbell's TEC200 Fluorite
I have been the proud owner of a TEC 200mm Fluorite Refractor since 2001. This is the only instrument of it's kind in the UK, and I have christened the telescope Phoebe.
Ted Harrison has played a major part in Phoebe's history, and I have always referred to him as "Phoebe's Godfather"! Whilst the telescope, which is in fact the TEC prototype, was under construction, Ted installed an 8 foot Sky Dome in my garden in Stapleford Abbotts in Essex, in preparation for the arrival of the telescope. On Phoebe's arrival in September, 2001, Ted applied the necessary mechanical refinements to enable the telescope to be mounted within the dome on an early Astro -Instruments PM1 mount on a pier. He also added a sliding weight mechanism to Phoebe's main tube to facilitate a fine balance when using heavy eyepieces.
I moved home back to my roots in Hornchurch in 2004. Ted again installed the dome on a 9 foot concrete base I arranged to be prepared in the garden, augmented with extra height by means of a circular brick base to accommodate a Losmandy G11 mount on a higher pier. This has been further upgraded to newer G11 to facilitate the inclusion of a Gemini Go To system, also installed
It was shortly after this that I noticed, to my horror, that the star images had become diamond shaped. Ted's optical experience enabled him to quickly ascertain that this was the result of "pinching" by Phoebe's complex lens cell following the move to a less damp environment. He quickly rectified the problem via delicate cell adjustment and has serviced the instrument again since. Such expertise with dome installation and with a large and rare apochromat amply demonstrates his skill as an engineer as well as in optical upkeep.
Upper right is a picture of Phoebe inside the dome, below is Albireo imaged with a Canon 350D digital camera and lunar detail taken with a small digital camera held up to a 13mm Ethos eyepiece.
Interested parties may write to me care of Harrison Telescopes.