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Thread: Is it preferred to make my own telescope?

  1. #1 Is it preferred to make my own telescope? 
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    Im taking ms physics and i want to specialize in astrophysics but we have no large telescopes within our area (actually, we have, in our university, but we have to be scheduled and the fees are a bit expensive for me to be use it frequently). I have read some articles in the internet how to build a dobsonian telescope and I decided to build, i think, a 25" or larger? or small one first like 13" or a bit larger just to see deep space objects. Well, In terms of financial status, Im just in the middle class but Im determined to gradually finance making it. FYI, im also an engineer and there would be not much problem building its parts that I know how to build. But is it preferred to build my own?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    Depends on what you ωαηт to see! If you wanna see deep space with just little magnification then that's good for you if you ωαηт an advance telescope that gives more info then you are not suppose to have it in your disposal!

    But for viewing sake and for learning,I'd say you should build yours!


    "I am sorry for making this letter longer than usual.I actually lacked the time to make it shorter."###
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  4. #3  
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    I built my first telescope, thanks to a knowledgeable and helpful book written in the 60's that I checked out from the city library. Built- as in, I ground my own lenses and coated my own mirrors.


    Round two included lenses and mirrors purchased from Edmund Scientific. I got the catalog in the mail, back then. I have no idea if they still offer lenses and mirrors or if they offer them on the online store or not...

    Either way, both were very satisfying work.

    The third- we won't talk about.

    The forth one, I'm buying. As in new- what with the computerized motorized mounts and the doo-hickeys and doo-dads.
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    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    Without any hesitation I will 'TELL' you that to build your own telescope is a foolish folly you must avoid..
    Yes you can do it.. but. With all of the very good 'Go To' 10, or 12 inch scopes available. Schmit Casi's and Dobies..
    A home build is a archaic idea that will consume your time and money like you can not imagine ...
    Unless you can mount it permanently in a Observatory anything bigger than a 12 is a wast of time..$.
    ~ BEFORE you purchase any scope or undertake a build... GO to a star party some place near where you live.. there will be some who will share MY view.. Learn first.. this is not just good advice I wish to share.. It's the better rout. honestly..
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  6. #5  
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    thanks for your reply.. but some people say that its parts are hard to find.. Where can I find those parts? Do you have an idea?
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  8. #7  
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    You should build your own telescope if you want something really big.You will still need tracking.Good luck on your cannon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Without any hesitation I will 'TELL' you that to build your own telescope is a foolish folly you must avoid..
    Yes you can do it.. but. With all of the very good 'Go To' 10, or 12 inch scopes available. Schmit Casi's and Dobies..
    A home build is a archaic idea that will consume your time and money like you can not imagine ...
    Unless you can mount it permanently in a Observatory anything bigger than a 12 is a wast of time..$.
    ~ BEFORE you purchase any scope or undertake a build... GO to a star party some place near where you live.. there will be some who will share MY view.. Learn first.. this is not just good advice I wish to share.. It's the better rout. honestly..
    This is a compliment, by the way.

    You are quite pragmatic!
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  10. #9  
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    In building my own dobsonian telescope.. how can I correct some problems?

    do you have any suggestions what would i do to correct the problems in
    1. diffraction pattern due to spider holding of secondary mirror..
    2. coma problem
    3. collimation - is convex lens is enough to use as collimator?
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miguel_24 View Post
    In building my own dobsonian telescope.. how can I correct some problems?

    do you have any suggestions what would i do to correct the problems in
    1. diffraction pattern due to spider holding of secondary mirror..
    2. coma problem
    3. collimation - is convex lens is enough to use as collimator?
    I will have a go at helping you... but first must just add a little more to why you should 'NOT' build your own telescope..
    The problems YOU have are ALL yours...
    #1. Diffraction pattern.. use a curved spider, Like a 'S' it seems to cancel any issue.
    #2. If you have a coma issue your mirror might not be true..
    #3. No. You need to read more of collimation and how to..
    ~ N.B.~ Contact other telescope users near you and get yourself to a star party or two... Talk with, learn from..It's that easy..
    Join with a local group. They will want for your enjoyment and all for free...

    As for the home build... The best bit of advice I have is do not do it...

    I am talking to you as a experienced telescope builder.. a 20 inch and a 22 inch dobsonian and that both have such issues as to render them too difficult to be bothered with.. Too big, too heavy, Too tall... and to temperamental and that a much more useful scope of 12 inches and compactly built ready to use and with all the 'Go to' tech stuff.. It's just so good I have NO want to use anything else.. and for under $5,000 That you want to build your own, I understand..Do not bother. You will never be happy.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    As in new- what with the computerized motorized mounts and the doo-hickeys and doo-dads.
    That's probably the biggest well worth difference and absolutely necessary if the person wants to do photography. There are some excellent DIY designs available, but I'd only consider one that includes or can be fit for automatic tracking.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; September 18th, 2013 at 05:44 PM.
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  13. #12  
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    It's all about aperture, baby!
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    but, some people successfully designed their own telescope? i just believe its all in the aperture, alignment and optics..
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  15. #14  
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    in terms of alignment, i suppose i could use my engineering skills for that.. but in optics, i should study more about geometric optics, or maybe the subject optics itself.. what do you think?
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  16. #15  
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    My opinion is that Astromark has a point. Yet, I'd still go for building one. The experience is one of a kind.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by miguel_24 View Post
    in terms of alignment, i suppose i could use my engineering skills for that.. but in optics, i should study more about geometric optics, or maybe the subject optics itself.. what do you think?
    If this is something you really want to do.....then just freaking DO IT! If it works, great, if not, you have had a great learning experience!
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  18. #17  
    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    Neverfly have said it all the experience is supreme# you should build one for yourself and can later consider buying one#
    "I am sorry for making this letter longer than usual.I actually lacked the time to make it shorter."###
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  19. #18  
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    thank you.. although astromark is straightforward, i actually like it.. i need all kinds of comments here, bad , good, but still informative yet an intelligent type of answer, i would like to read it. it helps me a lot.. by the way.. thanks to all of ya'..
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by miguel_24 View Post
    although astromark is straightforward, i actually like it...
    Agreed. Tell that to "Swift."
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  21. #20  
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    ~ Thank you friends. ~ So you have taken what has been said, well. You have a want to do, so to do is what you must..
    Do not attempt to build too large.. Across the astronomy clubs from all around the world there IS a unfortunately large number of unfinished and never to be finished telescopes.. It's a task too big for many.. I would want you to research what is available.
    Focal lengths and height of eye pieces for comfortable viewing are important.. Just the design of the scope is more important than you imagine.. DO get yourself to a 'Star-Party' where astronomers of same motivation will show you what not to do...

    I would make a suggestion that as prime and secondary mirrors are available to purchase.. and plans available.
    A kit set assembly may be for you.. It is still fraught with dis appointment..
    I read you want a good scope, and your budget is thin.. Consider that " The best scope is the ones used most often."
    That a 'Go To' and driven scope is important., and that astronomical photography does NOT come cheap.
    You will need to compromise. Seek and find some others of near to your location some astronomy group.
    They will welcome and show you what I have said.. Astronomy is a multi field subject.
    No one scope will or can fill all your wish lists .. Schmidt Cassagrane's out of the box and ready to use.. of 10-12. or even larger.
    Larger is NOT always best.. they start to get just too heavy to be convenient.. You have a lot to consider.. Compromise and learn..
    Do get your self to a 'Star Party.' or two.. It's a must do first challenge.
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  22. #21  
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    I have dropped back in to let you 'Miguel 24' see this..
    and no I am not providing a link..You must want to do it enough to do it yourself..
    I use this site a lot for all sorts of valuable information re building and improving my astronomy adventures.. I hope you will look for it and find it as a valuable site as I have .. " iceinspace " A large number of contributors seem to be building scopes.. so it's for you..
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