The bought versus the built.

Share practical advice and tips on making your own kit

The bought versus the built.

Postby Lukenukem » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:02 am

I was going to post asking for the collective wisdom on the merits of self built against off-the-shelf. Can a self build really save you money? Is it really sensible to embark on a build when all the combined costs arrive at the same amount of money of a decent similar aperture instrument?

But then I find myself coming up against too many naysayers, and rightly or wrong, I feel even more dogged in my determination to build myself. And after seeing a large Dobsonian at a star party, the feelings are even stronger.

So, I'm curious to find out who, supplier-wise, is current, reliable and economic. All interest, replies and links are greatly appreciated. Without community guidance and advice we are at the mercy of unscrupulous internet types. Please put my feet on the right path.:)
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Re: The bought versus the built.

Postby parus ater » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:27 am

Interesting question.

Without a doubt ten years ago or more building your own would save you money, these days I wouldn't think so. Things you'd need to pay for unless you're a skilled engineers would be tuberings (where applicable), a finderscope and bracket, a secondary spider/mounting and a focuser. So far you won't have any change out of £200 and you don't have any mirrors, tube or primary mirror cell.

Basically, you need to think more than 10" mirrors and be prepared to grind them yourself before building your own is cheaper than buying one.

Now, the benefit of "making" your own in the way you'd build a high end PC is that you can pick the very best of everything. and put all your chosen hardware together. You can get a carbon fibre pipe, moonlite focuser, quality secondary spider, mirror cell with a fan and the very best mirrors you can find. A Company Called Orion Optics UK (not to be confused with the American company) will have you buying a set of THE very best mirrors you can buy for 150% of what the same size mirrors would cost you FOR A WHOLE TELESCOPE with, say, Skywatcher.
parus ater
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Re: The bought versus the built.

Postby Lukenukem » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks for the interest and this morning I prepared a paragraph that replied wonderfully...then it was lost thanks to a 'log in again' request.

Anyway, you have eloquently reiterated some of the conclusions I drew myself, and without sounding too melodramatic, it torments me.

On the economy side of the argument, larger aperture see the best returns. But then I read that larger grindings are best left to the professionals, and mirrors brought finished put a dent in the budget. ... 2ec52a08bf

( Is it me or are the reflection rates low on these?)

And then you start adding a few more things...and POW! You arrive at cost equalling a Sky Watcher 16 " Dobsonian. Just how much self-satisfaction value can you place in knowing you built yourself?

Struggling as to which decision to make, either way time is a luxury, and both paths take some saving up. :)
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Re: The bought versus the built.

Postby Sensationseeker » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:03 pm

The economics of self build are you'll pay more unless you want to make a telescope that is not standard.
It is all about wanting to indulge in the craft and if your heart is not in it, I'd suggest you don't do it.
ATM is all about the enjoyment derived by making your own now. The previous suggestion is assembling a kit to put together and not really telescope making.

You'll need to think hard about if you really want to do the work and truth be told, modern optics are now so reliable, you'd be hard pressed to match them for quality. It takes a long time to make a big mirror and even longer if you wish to achieve better than 1/8th wave optics, you can even muck up the mirror while trying to perfect it if you're not sure what you are doing.

On the point of aperture is all, that is a bit of a falsehood, there are very few days in a year when you'll get good resolution out of an aperture greater than 6-8 inches in the UK because of our marvellous seeing.
Most of the time my big guns collect dust while I drag out the small-uns because it is obvious the conditions aren't good enough. My 12" Newtonian is only used about three times a year (unless you've got lots of time to observe that is realistic). In poor conditions; the larger the aperture the worse the image!
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Re: The bought versus the built.

Postby andrewt » Wed May 31, 2017 7:36 pm

in just three replies, lots of useful information.
Thanks gents/ladies.
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