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Building your own telescope


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#1 PsychoDrogue

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:52 PM

Wondering if anyone around here has done, or is thinking about building a high power telescope of their own. The typical builds I see online of very reasonable quality are well under 1/3 in cost of market value. I've seen 400 dollars in parts become a telescope you couldn't normally buy, and if you could i imagine it would be in the 5k+ range based on other market prices compared to similar stats.

Anyhow, here are some sites i've been reading about. Most the detail of course goes into grinding your own mirror, as thats the only way to keep it cheap (a 10" pre-made mirror runs over 5-600 bucks, whereas pre-ground blanks, roughly formed, of the same size can be found for under 200).

I'm trying to find complete blanks, as in a plain slab of glass to work down, but only if the price is significantly cheaper. I plan on working threw some 'practice' scopes of smaller size. I still have a lot to learn about what different setups and tw eaks can be made to suit different viewing conditions. I plan on going high quality, but this is long term project style. Many people have pulled very nice builds off in similar living conditions (apartment) but i would eventually love to build at 16-20" or even larger scope someday, and that wont happen til i have my own garage to work in. So til then i'll keep it small. I'd also rather ruin a few 100 dollar mirrors before forking out the big money for a 20"+ mirror and have no previous experience.

Here are some other builds i've read about:
http://sites.google..../telescope1999/ - rather simple but it works
http://www.mdpub.com...eworks/175.html - nice homemade 17.5 inch scope
http://www.gm4jjj.co...omy/dobson.html - more professional commercial appearing scope, still homemade.

I love the fact that other than a few measurements that control the performance of the scope, mainly regarding placement of mirrors, the rest is all just support and/or aesthetic. I cant wait to get started and use some of the woodcrafting skills i picked up last summer, to make some hopefully nice looking, high performing scopes.

Any other experience from other topians with this task? I'm finding some OK deals on mirror blanks, but would love some hints at other good deals (complete blanks as i mentioned, not roughly ground).

Honestly if i had the money i'd just buy a nice scope, but i am more interested in areas outside of our own solar system, and the prices for those can be rediculous. If i can spend 500 bucks and have something only observatories and other DIYers can call bragging rights over, i'd be a happy camper.

#2 mycowarrier

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 05:43 PM

Thanx for the links PD. I once was intested in building my own telescope using the refracting principle. With the advancement of digital technology it seems the glass grinding and special mirrors could be eliminated. I made some video of microscopic organisms using a cheap video camera and microscope. Seems it could be done macroscopically too. I'm sure it is actually. One of the tricky parts of making high powered scopes would be a mechanical way to synchronize with the rotation of the earth. Just my thoughts .

#3 PsychoDrogue

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 05:50 PM

One of the tricky parts of making high powered scopes would be a mechanical way to synchronize with the rotation of the earth. Just my thoughts .


your welcome...

and there people who have done what your thinking as well. this one allows 40 minutes of tracking before it needs to be moved.

http://www.mdpub.com...s/platform.html

#4 mycowarrier

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 05:59 PM

That's a pretty cool setup dude has there. :amazed: You got me wanting to biuld one now. Small enough to take into the country where it is dark and quite. I'll let you know if i have any luck. Tha:bow:nx for the info.

#5 Ras Asad

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:01 PM

hahaha, i been looking at building scopes for like a week or two now...

and log in to find this!!!!!!! lol

awesome thread.

Im planning on building an 8 or 10 inch Dob.

I will post up the plans I am using in a bit. :) :bow:
:space:

#6 Ras Asad

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:39 PM

Here is a site thats got me addicted..... Cloudy Nights

and here is a link to a thread with AMAZING home built scopes!!
http://www.cloudynig...ll/fpart/1/vc/1

and, Home observatories..
http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

enough pics in there to keep a geek like me entertained for hours.

specially on 'cloudy nights' like these. lol

#7 Ras Asad

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 10:27 PM

wow.. check out this 36" monster!!!!!

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wow
:teeth:

#8 PsychoDrogue

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:35 AM

dayum. some big scopes there. the smaller one is about as big as i can imagine shooting for as of now. maybe when im that guys age i'll have gotten bored and decide big isn't big enough. lol

#9 Ras Asad

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:23 PM

lol, yeah man....

ill be extremely blessed if i can even afford to make an 8 inch!!! lol

:space:

#10 PsychoDrogue

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:20 PM

http://www.seeviewo..../telescopes.htm

i found this today and figured it was worth looking at for anyone considering a build. It gives a great description of most main scope designs. A great starting point to search elsewhere to base your designs on your planned viewing.




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