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Sky-Watcher USA: 18" Prototype Dob at ASAE!

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#1 skyward_eyes

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 01:37 PM

For ASAE this year Sky-Watcher USA will be displaying it's entire product line from our 80mm ED doublet to our 16" Collapsible Dobsonian. But we also have something special as well, our prototype 18" light weight truss dobsonian.

The 18" is unlike anything we've ever done in previous dobsonians. The entire structure is metal, using a skeletal like design to save on weight (full telescope is 150 pounds including optics). The primary mirror is a cellular sandwich design providing fast cooling and light weight, only 20 pounds! The primary is 2" in thickness and has a focal ratio of f/4.12 producing a low eyepiece height!

The telescope will be on display both days. Please remember this is still a prototype. We will be looking for feed back both good and bad. We want to know what you think so we can further the design to provide the first affordable 18" dobsonian!

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#2 BillP

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:15 PM

Looks wonderful. Hopefully you can also bring it to NEAF this April :grin:

Once you get the skeletal structure out of prototype stage, would be nice to see that framework as an option for the 16" as well.

#3 skyward_eyes

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:37 PM

I'm pretty sure the 18" will be at NEAF. I won't know until we get closer. I would also like to adapt the structure to a 16". At this time there are no plans at this time for a 16" but I think it would be a good offering once everything it worked out on the 18.

#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 02:10 PM

WOOOW! It looks A-MAZING!

Do you have any idea of an estimated price? I am definitely very, very interested.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#5 MDavid

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 02:30 PM

Wow! :waytogo: Price estimates?

#6 skyward_eyes

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:26 AM

At the moment I don't have anything solid but I believe between $4000-5000 US. This scope is probably about a year out as there are a few adjustments that need to be made.

#7 Albert

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 02:30 AM

...our prototype 18" light weight truss dobsonian...

...full telescope is 150 pounds including optics.


Is "150 pounds" a misprint? That's more than the weight of a classic 18-inch Obsession. A lightweight 18-inch should be well under 100 pounds.

Albert

#8 skyward_eyes

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

That was the weight given by the factory. I plan on weighing it again once we are back at the offices.

#9 JayinUT

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:20 PM

Are you thinking of anything bigger than 18"? Say in the 20" to 24" range?

#10 nevy

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 07:09 PM

If it's gonna be tweaked then maybe a thinner mirror would be usefull, ( lighter & quicker cool down ).

#11 skyward_eyes

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:12 AM

There are plans for a 20". The mirrors are cellular sandwich mirrors and the 18" primary already weighs 20 pounds. Not much more we can cut out as far as weight.

#12 Sunspot

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:47 AM

Definitely an impressive prototype! DSO'ers are going to love it!

#13 mattflastro

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:18 PM

There are plans for a 20". The mirrors are cellular sandwich mirrors and the 18" primary already weighs 20 pounds. Not much more we can cut out as far as weight.

I definitely wouldn't worry about weight.
If the primary mirror weighs only 20 pounds for the 18" scope, then definitely the 150 pounds is a misprint or includes the packaging , crating or who knows what else . Definitely a 20 lbs mirror would not balance like that in a 150 lbs scope . What I'm trying to say is that a 150 lb scope with a 20 lb mirror would be so top heavy that it wouldn't be able to maintain its position without significant counterweights. Since the proto doesn't have this issue, clearly it's not 150 lb , must be much lighter in reality.

#14 Skylook123

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:16 AM

Just for information, my full sized, 13 layer birch 18" f/5 Teeter is around 140 pounds. And the mirror is a full thickness item around 60 pounds or so.

I think Sky-Watcher will have quite a portable product line, Kevin. Let's hope enough customers are hiding out there.

#15 Dom543

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:07 PM

This looks very similar to the Hubble Optics UL-18. The sandwich mirror has exactly the same focal length. I wouldn't be surprised, if it came from the same source.

The UL-18 weights 72 lbs fully assembled and is currently available for $3695 in its base configuration.

--Dom

#16 skyward_eyes

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 10:52 PM

Our primary mirrors for our 18" are made by Synta. We have no relationship to Hubble Optics once so ever.






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