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Moonraker Telescopes Experience

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#1 Derek Wong

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:50 AM

I wanted to relay my experiences with Moonraker Telescopes.  I had a Zeiss AS 80/1200 lens in cell that needed an OTA.  The project took about 4 months, and Mark Turner was a pleasure to deal with all the way.  He is a bit crazy in a creative/good way and is nice person, extremely hard worker, and a perfectionist.  Mine is the gold scope that is currently featured on the Moonraker page.  The craftsmanship is wonderful and everything just works.  It looks even better in person than it does in the photos.  The enhancements to my scope include “aero” rings, a counterweight, a handle, and an extension to allow binoviewer use as well as regular prism diagonal use.  Mark can customize each scope from the focuser knobs to the shape of the screws.  The dovetail bar was made to AP instead of Vixen specifications.  I wanted to use the scope on an FTX mount, but due to my stupidity I gave Mark the wrong screw hole measurements, and that is why it sits on a 400 GTO for now.  I am going to have more screw holes bored into the dovetail at a later time.

 

My work schedule has prevented extensive testing, but of course the image quality has nothing to do with Mark’s craftsmanship other than the fact that everything is in perfect collimation.  The star test on this lens shows an outstanding figure (nearly identical to the test on a similar lens shown here), and there is mild out of focus purple/green color.  In focus, the Moon is very sharp, and there is only a very slight color cast, not bothersome at all.  Stars are tack sharp with a faint first diffraction ring.  I am too tired for Jupiter but I will compare it in a few months to other 80mm lenses.

 

The best thing I can say about the scope is that my wife told me that I should not have it in the observatory for fear that it will get weathered!  It is going to hang in the house when not in use.  No other scope has gotten such treatment; in fact my wife wishes that several other scopes would never be seen again!  Custom scopes are not cheap, but Moonlight and Skylight instruments seem to be doing well.  Fortunately, the look of the two makers’ scopes is quite different, so choosing should be easy.  I know of at least one other person who is thrilled with his Moonraker.

 

I have no financial or other relationship with Moonraker other than I am a happy customer.  I now know the true meaning of the term "bespoke."

 

Derek

 

You can see better photos of the scope at http://www.moonraker...tom-builds.html

 

Attached File  Moonraker #1.jpg   129.42KB   2 downloads

Attached File  Moonraker #2.jpg   246.49KB   0 downloads


Edited by Derek Wong, 18 August 2014 - 12:00 PM.

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#2 Paul G

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:43 AM

Gorgeous!



#3 markdturner1

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:15 AM

Thank you Derek for the kind words, much appreciated. It was indeed a labour of love and I enjoyed every moment of the creation process. I sincerely hope and trust that it will being you endless hours of enjoyment when in use or just adorning a wall in your home, certainly beats a moose head :lol:

Kind regards,

 

Mark.



#4 LewisM

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:47 AM

Spectacular, in a beautifully restrained steampunk-esque way.

 

Dare I ask the monetary outlay? Sorry if that is rude.



#5 NHRob

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:03 AM

OMG, that is just beautiful!



#6 ianatcn

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:11 AM

I saw this telescope at the UK astronomy show earlier this year. Wow, it was certainly drawing an admiring crowd.



#7 markdturner1

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:10 AM

Quick reply,

Hi Ian, The one you saw at IAS was a 90mm Vixen Doublet f8 in Gold, similar but not the same as Derek's f15. Thank you for your kind comment. That now resides in the US as well. :usa:



#8 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:12 AM

Stunning. Just. Stunning. :bow:



#9 Derek Wong

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:17 AM

Spectacular, in a beautifully restrained steampunk-esque way.

 

Dare I ask the monetary outlay? Sorry if that is rude.

 

Hi Lewis:

 

Not rude but Mark said that he underestimated the cost of my scope, and he requested that he answer that question directly for interested parties.  I can say that I paid $1000 for the lens on Astromart.  The 80mm f/15 standard Moonraker is 1450 pounds ($2425), and Mark takes off for the lens (a relatively small amount) then adds the labor and parts charge for customization.  I had quite a bit of customization done.

 

Derek



#10 niteskystargazer

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:36 AM

Derek,

 

All I can say about your scope is beautiful!  :) .

 

CS,KLU,

 

:thanx: ,

 

Tom



#11 SteveG

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:50 PM

The gold plate is stunning! Am I correct in assuming that it won't tarnish?



#12 herrointment

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:01 PM

Yow!



#13 markdturner1

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:16 AM

The gold plate is stunning! Am I correct in assuming that it won't tarnish?

Hi, the beauty of the gold finish is that it will not tarnish.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark.



#14 MortonH

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:41 AM

It's wonderful that such craftsmanship is still appreciated.



#15 R Botero

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 06:47 AM

Mark is helping me put a Brandon 94mm triplet in one of his creations.  I very much look forward to the end result having seen how great your end product was Derek!  :cool:

 

Roberto



#16 Derek Wong

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:00 AM

Hi Roberto:

 

That Brandon should be a great scope; be sure to post some photos!  Each scope looks so unique.

 

Derek



#17 m9x18

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:03 PM

Wow! Wow! Wow! Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!



#18 kywildcats

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:08 PM

Good Gravy !!! I would be scared to touch it. Might get finger prints on it. Beautiful scope. :waytogo:



#19 Jim Curry

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:58 AM

 

 

Mark:

 

Magnificent scope. Is that gold plated or gold painted or anodized(finished)? 

 

Jim



#20 kmparsons

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:17 PM

Wow. Any refractor geek, especially one with a sense of history (like me) will just be floored by this work of art. Stunning! Alvan Clark and Sons live! 



#21 t.r.

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:36 PM

Stunning! :bigshock:



#22 markdturner1

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:51 PM

 

 

 

Mark:

 

Magnificent scope. Is that gold plated or gold painted or anodized(finished)? 

 

Jim

 

Hi Jim, I must keep this brief as I have a tendency to offer too much info. 23.4 carat gold plated for all the thermal as well as cosmetic reasons. Thank you for your question. Mark. :rules:



#23 SteveG

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:56 PM

 

 

 

Mark:

 

Magnificent scope. Is that gold plated or gold painted or anodized(finished)? 

 

Jim

 

It's gold plated with a protective coating. See my post above. It will not tarnish!



#24 Jim Curry

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:46 PM

 

 

 

 

Mark:

 

Magnificent scope. Is that gold plated or gold painted or anodized(finished)? 

 

Jim

 

It's gold plated with a protective coating. See my post above. It will not tarnish!

 

Steve:  Yes, I saw your post, it was Mark's gold "finish" remark that raised a question.  My wedding ring does not have a gold finish.  Let's not get twisted up on this, remember "two peoples separated by a common language" :>)

 

 What a scope, it looks more like a display piece in a jeweler's store!  Congrats.

 

Jim



#25 TG

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:25 PM

@Derek,

 

 

:bow:

 

Now you need a car to go with the scope. Pick one

 

http://tinyurl.com/kvlxcbb

 

I like the Bug.  :lol:

 








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