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Building your own telescopes

Share practical advice and tips on making your own kit

Building your own telescopes

Postby thegoatboy » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:20 pm

Hi there,

I am a complete newbie when it comes to astronomy, as i have only just purchased my first set of binoculars.

But, my next step up i am very interested in having a go at building my own telescope.

I have purchased an old copy of "Build your own telescopes" by a fella called Richard Berry.

I thought it would be a nice and simple task, but I have fallen short at the first hurdle. mirrors.

Can anyone recommend a good (and cheap place) where i can source mirror parts?

I am trying to keep the budget down as much as i can.

The first scope on the list is 4" f/10 reflector.

i have read a few posts regarding grinding your own, but i'm not sure about this.

What would people recommend?

will it be an easy task, or is it a better option to try and save up and buy a scope instead?

any input will be appreciated!!

TGB




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RE: Building your own telescopes

Postby parus ater » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:43 pm

The only place I know of you can get easily is Orion... http://www.orionoptics.co.uk/OPTICS/opticsinformatio.html (hover the 'Optics tab and the drop down has the different types and sizes).

I can't see it being easy unless you know what you're doing, tbh. I'd say buy and come back to making.
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RE: Building your own telescopes

Postby wayner » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:43 pm

Completely agree with Parus: I'm a complete newbie and I've set myself the task of getting my head around the layout of the sky over the next 12 months. Would suggest spending time observing and making some Astro society meetings to try out different scopes. Best of luck whatever you do [:)]!
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RE: Building your own telescopes

Postby thegoatboy » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:00 am

Thank you both for your inputs.

I did see the orion webpage, and i did notice the prices!!

if that is how much i will be looking at for a mirror, then maybe i will be better off buying a scope.

i will be continuing to check out the skies with my bins in the mean time.

maybe i need to start pricing up a scope....
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RE: Building your own telescopes

Postby parus ater » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:16 am

Yeah, have to say, I do have designs on the 150 F8 set on that site at some stage since it's a direct upgrade by swapping one piece for another but not for many years. I've already cut the focuser to a 2" Crayford after seeing it done on another forum so there is stuff to be getting on with to improve what you have got if you want to.
Basically, get a decent sized tube and mount, have a wee play with it and see what you want to do next. Me, I want to up the mount size and keep the tube and keep the EQ3-2 for it's solid/portability mix.

The book you have is still handy since it'll give you an excellent understanding as to how scopes work so it will educate you on what type of scope you want for what you want it for.
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RE: Building your own telescopes

Postby sftonkin » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:20 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: thegoatboy

Can anyone recommend a good (and cheap place) where i can source mirror parts?[/quote]

[url=http://www.galvoptics.fsnet.co.uk/telescope.htm]Galvoptics[/url]. Always had excellent service from them for teh last 25 years or so. The will supply mirror blanks and grits, etc., will aluminise your home-ground mirrors, or will sell you a complete mirror set.
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RE: Building your own telescopes

Postby peterb » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:23 pm

I've a 6 inch f/8 built to the Berry 8 inch design. Bit bulky. If starting again I'd go lightweight. Stellafane is an interesting site, and Reg Spry's slightly dated 'how to build a telescope'; there are still one or two independent mirror makers. Look for 1/8 wave optics...but learn the sky with your binoculars first, and don't rush into anything. Hope that's helpful
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