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Telescope lending project

I am a Boy Scout in Troop 1 Acton and am currently at Life rank, the one before Eagle. This project will help me finish my Eagle Scout rank. I want to purchase and modify 3 telescopes so they can be lent out by the Acton Memorial Library. Once they are constructed, any citizen of Acton will have the ability to "borrow" a telescope from the library just as they could any book or movie.

I will need to order a total of 3 telescopes. The StarBlast 4.5"Astro Reflector" has been used very successfully in several libraries in NH and is recommended because it is sturdy and durable. The telescope was designed for simplicity and good basic performance. It swivels on a sturdy wooden altazimuth base so you can point it and view the sky easily. The whole telescope comes pre-assembled and ready to use. To use it, you have to attach the included EZ Finder II reflex sight, and insert one of the two included 1.25" telescope eyepieces.

The developer of the telescope lending programs recommends modifying certain parts of each telescope in order to make it more durable for lending. The materials I will need will be the parts necessary to modify the StarBlast 4.5 telescopes. These include 3 Celestron 8-24mm Zoom eyepieces (3 @$50 each =$150), some 8” nylon Mason’s line string ($10), Epoxy Glue - Fast setting ($5.00), Velcro “Spots” (1” by ¾”) ($5.00), and 20 Plastic furniture sliders ($5.00).

I will also need to assemble the three user manuals to go with each telescope, and make some warning stickers to put on each. The manual is an 18-page booklet printed on 9 (4 x 6 ") unlined index cards. The lamination keeps the booklet dry when out under the night sky. Staples will, for a small fee, laminate and spiral bind the instructions using 30 4''X 6'' card stock paper.

T think this project is awesome because it has never been done in my town, and I think everyone deserves to see the stars! Some members of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston (ATMoB) have agreed to mentor me.

Funded by Boston, MA (November 2014)