Chuck Lott's CloverBall

The advantages of a ball scope are obvious, but probably the reason so few are built is the difficulty of finding a sphere.
This was the discussion David Davis and I were having while waiting for trout to bite.
David was reminded of a conversation he had with another friend, Tom Conlin.
Tom had designed a mount for David using intersecting circles to define a sphere.
I was dubious that such an approach would work, but I was intrigued by the idea.
After arriving home I constructed a small model. I used three half circles of Plexiglass set at 120 degrees to each other and set it in a ring.
Chuck's original plexiglass model

I reasoned that three blades would self-center like a tripod, which they did.
The model proved stable, so I started thinking about construction of a proof-of-concept scope.

I decided another thing I wanted to explore with this scope was using a spring rather than counter-weight.
David had given me a small 4.5" mirror some time ago to play with, so I started with it.
I decided on the size of the blades, constructed the psuedoball, and went looking for a ring to set it in.
I found a Teflon skillet the right diameter at Goodwill for $ 2.99, and cut the bottom out of it.
The only problem was trying to mount it. Putting bolts through it would interfere with blades.
I wound up using an old pot we boiled Crabs in that had developed a hole in the bottom.
I spent a large chunk of time cleaning it up to prepare it for a paint job.
The Skillet edge fit nicely onto the lip of the pot solving one problem.
The depth of the pot allowed me to attach a spring to the bottom of the psuedoball and the bottom of the pot.
Experimenting with different tensions I stumbled onto using some surgical tubing I had laying around.
The graduating tension of the tubing proved superior to the springs I had at my disposal.
I put hooks on both ends of the surgical tubing to mate up with eye bolts on the ball and in the bottom of the pot.
There is adjustment available by hooking into a different eye bolt on the bottom of the pot.
first scope built 2
I painted the pot green and decided to call it the "Cloverball" because the three blades reminded me of the large native clover leaves before they open.
The rest of the scope is straight forward, three hardwood dowel struts, and a secondary made out of 1/4" paneling.
I made no effort to make the secondary light, I wanted to test my idea of using spring tension, instead of counter-weight.

first scope built 1 first scope built 3

Encouraged by the Cloverscope, David designed and built a scope using two thin circles set at 90 degrees to each other.
David set his mirror very low, so very little counter-weight if any is necessary.
His scope is lighter by design, and more portable.

second scope built 1 second scope built 2 second scope built 3

second scope built 4 second scope built 6 second scope built 5

We are excited about this design and encourage others to explore other twists of this idea.

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