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Post your home made scope

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#1126 astronz59

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 03:21 PM

Absolutely exquisite craftsmanship and amazing dedication! waytogo.gif bow.gif



#1127 Kim K

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 06:05 PM

Very nice work...reminiscent of a Moonraker.

 

Kim


Edited by Kim K, 07 January 2018 - 06:05 PM.


#1128 savarin

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 08:44 PM

Thank you gentlemen, thats really appreciated.

I must admit it was a bit of an uphill struggle at times but I am proud of the finished product and its given me the best view of M42 so far I have ever seen, absolutely pin sharp stars.

I havnt seen much else due to clouds, you know, the usual story, new scope = cloudy skies.

I'm now working on a 12" f6 bino, I hope it doesnt take as long. That build is here

https://www.hobby-ma...inocular.55688/


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#1129 Rob McKenna

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 02:25 AM

Greetings fellow Creatures of the Night.

 

Just wanted to say that I had never looked at this 'Post your home made scope' section before. 

I've only gotten up to page 6, (it's 7:11 am and I need to crash),but I'll be coming back for more.

Most of the posts I've seen so far are from quite some years ago and maybe some of those

people no longer post or are sadly no longer with us. 

I am just so impressed by the skill, craftsmanship and ingenuity of these great ATM'ers.

 

In the words of the star ship captain of my favorite 'Star Trek' movie,"Never give up. Never surrender".. 

 

CS, Tony.

 


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#1130 Fly2High

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 04:27 PM

Greetings fellow Creatures of the Night.

 

Just wanted to say that I had never looked at this 'Post your home made scope' section before. 

I've only gotten up to page 6, (it's 7:11 am and I need to crash),but I'll be coming back for more.

Most of the posts I've seen so far are from quite some years ago and maybe some of those

people no longer post or are sadly no longer with us. 

I am just so impressed by the skill, craftsmanship and ingenuity of these great ATM'ers.

 

In the words of the star ship captain of my favorite 'Star Trek' movie,"Never give up. Never surrender".. 

 

CS, Tony.

I agree.

 

AS for the quote, that was Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen :)


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#1131 Rob McKenna

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 05:38 PM

Yes it was Galaxy Quest but It's still my favorite 'Star Trek' movie. smile.gif


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#1132 Klitwo

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:04 PM

My humble homemade 10-inch f/4 all-plywood Dob-Buster (homemade grind & polished pyrex mirror) complete with a two speed (coarse/fine) horizontal sled focuser with 2-inch PVC eyepiece holder and a 16 pound bowling ball counter-weight. You can reach down while looking through the 2-inch PVC eyepiece holder and adjust the three brass knobs on each top corner of the mirror box for collimation (via black o-rings and black wooden pulleys) and a 4th. brass knob (large wooden pulley in center) locks the collimated mirror in place. So simple a cave man can do it...."without" all the servomotors, gears, electronics, cables, drive belts...etc.

 

P.S. 40mm right-angle periscope style magnetic base all-plywood finder above the two-speed horizontal sled focuser.  It was just a saber saw, electric drill, screwdriver, wood glue/wood stain and sandpaper project....and a few bottles of cheap red wine for inspiration.

 

Klitwo

Attached Thumbnails

  • 10 inch f4 Dob Buster.jpg
  • Dob-Buster's 10-inch primary mirror.jpg
  • Dob Buster.jpg
  • Dob Buster Collimation System_opt.jpg
  • Dob-Buster ready for transport.jpg
  • 40mm off-set finder.PNG

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#1133 Fly2High

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 08:11 AM

My humble homemade 10-inch f/4 all-plywood Dob-Buster (homemade mirror and all) complete with a two speed (coarse/fine) horizontal sled focuser with 2-inch PVC eyepiece holder and a 16 pound bowling ball counter-weight. You can reach down while looking through the 2-inch PVC eyepiece holder and adjust the three brass knobs on each top corner of the mirror box for collimation (via black o-rings and black wooden pulleys) and a 4th. brass knob (large wooden pulley in center) locks the collimated mirror in place. So simple a cave man can do it....

 

P.S. 40mm right-angle off-set magnetic base all-plywood finder above the two-speed horizontal sled focuser.  It was just a saber saw, electric drill, screwdriver, wood glue/wood stain and sandpaper project....and a few bottles of cheap red wine for inspiration.

 

Klitwo

Beautiful job!



#1134 Klitwo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 10:23 AM

 

My humble homemade 10-inch f/4 all-plywood Dob-Buster (homemade grind & polished pyrex mirror) complete with a two speed (coarse/fine) horizontal sled focuser with 2-inch PVC eyepiece holder and a 16 pound bowling ball counter-weight. You can reach down while looking through the 2-inch PVC eyepiece holder and adjust the three brass knobs on each top corner of the mirror box for collimation (via black o-rings and black wooden pulleys) and a 4th. brass knob (large wooden pulley in center) locks the collimated mirror in place. So simple a cave man can do it..."without" all the servomotors, gears, drive belts, cables, electronics...etc.

 

P.S. 40mm right-angle periscope style magnetic base all-plywood finder above the two-speed horizontal sled focuser.  It was just a saber saw, electric drill, screwdriver, wood glue/wood stain and sandpaper project....and a few bottles of cheap red wine for inspiration.

 

Klitwo

Beautiful job!

 

Thanks Fly2High...

 

I have a small round wooden table in my kitchen (no work shop...) and use it as my work bench to build my projects on...I figured if Sir William Herschel could make his Newts out of wood (no bowling balls in those days)...maybe I can too. I just wanted to keep the "Dob-Buster" just like Sir Issac would have made it...simple "without" all the servomotors, gears, drive belts, cables, electronics...etc

 

P.S. If Sir Issac could make his own eyepieces...I figured I could too.  So I made a fairly nice 32mm 2-inch Erfle eyepiece for it (5 elements in 3 groups) out of some decent camera lenses I found at a local swap meet. It works fine with nice views. Besides my homemade Erfle...I also use a couple 2-inch Naglers too. For those who attended the 2011 RTMC may remember seeing the Dob-Buster parked behind my 102mm f/6 GOTO Celestron bino....(small inset pics below).

 

Klitwo

Attached Thumbnails

  • Dob Buster Horizontal focuster.jpg
  • Dob Buster Mount.jpg
  • RTMC 2011.jpg
  • Dob-Buster Horizontal Focuser.png

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#1135 tim53

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:20 PM

Was this in S&T a few years ago?



#1136 Klitwo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:41 PM

Was this in S&T a few years ago?

The Dec. 2011 Sky & Telescope  > http://www.pdfmagaz....ope-2011-12.jpg

 

Klitwo


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#1137 Matt7101cars

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 01:52 PM

I'm new here. But my family has been into making telescopes since I was a kid. My Grandfather was a machinist and my dad had the ambition. Well they decided to build a large GEM. It won Stellefane in 1993 for craftsmanship.

 

It was originally for visual but now I am also a machinist so I decided to modify it for imaging. So I retro fitted it for stepper motors and used onstep to drive them via an arduino.

 

This is the result 

 

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmb5JtbY

 

 

Now after that was completed I decided to make my own mount that was a bit smaller and more portable that was built from the beginning to be a go-to mount.

It's still in progress but is getting close to done and ready for anodize.

 

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5U2cHe


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#1138 rederikus

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 04:29 PM

I know little or nothing about astronomy other than having a lifelong interest in looking up at them.  I’m 72 years old and a retired engineer.  When a friend invited me to come to the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club observatory last September I thought it might be fun to go along.  My friend has a 16.5 inch motorized GoTo Dobsonian telescope and looking through it was very impressive. 

 

I showed pictures of the huge Dob to my wife and she gave an emphatic “No.”  Our house genuinely does not have the space for such a monster.  Ebay came to the rescue and I bought an old 8 inch Meade Starfinder Dob that came with a Meade Magellan I Push To device but no connecting cables.

 

This was not what I wanted.  I wanted a full GoTo scope.  So, build one!

 

I realized immediately that the Meade base was unsuitable for my needs. The new base was, quite literally built from some scrap bits of 5/8” plywood from my garage. 

Researching the web yielded less than spectacular results and I was obliged to think up and design most of the solutions myself.  I had some design goals which were:
- Full GoTo, with control from my phone if possible
- Easy enough to build with the tools already in my garage
- Cheap.  This ruled out big 360 tooth worm gears and $165 each.
- Robust enough to be transported by car
- Light enough that I could put it in the car unaided.

 

Clearly there were two major components.
1. The mechanics of holding and moving the telescope.
2. Electronics to  control the motors and to interface with my phone.

 

Dobsonian telescope mounts, to me, seemed to be mechanically very simple but like classical French cooking, there is little room for error.  My design for the azimuth bearing required that I could lift the base and the bearing had to take the full hanging weight of the base.  Thus for the azimuth bearing I ended up with a 12 inch Lazy Susan bearing to take the weight and a center bearing made from a turned down 2 inch aluminum bar that is a sliding fit into a piece of PVC pipe left over from my garden irrigation system installation.  This center aluminum bush was the only part that required a lathe .  Luckily my son had a friend who is an engineering student with access to his university’s machine shop.

 

I am not sure how long this bearing will last however and I may need to re-visit this later, perhaps using  a needle roller bearing .  

 

My son has two 3D printers and he urged me to use a 6mm wide GT2 belt drive.  He also 3D printed two 270 tooth GT2 drive wheels one each for the two axes.

For motors I ended up buying two identical Nema 17 stepper motors with built-in 50.8:1 gearboxes. Putting a 24 tooth pulley on this gave me a final gear ratio of 572.6260767:1.  I had three tries at making motor mounts and finally settled on two pieces of 3/16 x 3” flat bar and a 2” bracket to fix the motor to.  This design allows me to tension the belts with an over-center catch and to then tighten bolts to prevent all movement.

 

Turning to the Altitude bearing, I used a 4” sewer endcap which I turned down on my Harbor Freight drill press to my desired thickness.  My son 3D printed two bushes contoured to fit the outside of the telescope tube and also to fit the plastic sewer caps.  These parts were clamped together and filled with epoxy resin.  They are now really solid.  The altitude bearing was fixed to the tube via a 2” steel plate that I bent to match the tube curvature in my vise.  From then on it was a question of adjusting spacers to make everything line up properly.  To this end I used 1/8” aluminum circular plates from ebay to act both as spacers and strengthening for the 3D printed tooth wheels.  We used PETG for all the 3D printed parts since this has better temperature performance than PLA.

 

The electronics once more required extensive internet searching and from this emerged two contenders.  My first choice was rDUINOScope since this was completely self-contained It had its own touch screen and its own set of catalogs.  Unfortunately at my time of building rDUINOScope did not support AzAlt mount and its design was heading away from open source toward a commercial product.  There was also no online discussion forum when I was searching although I did have excellent dialog with the two principal system architects.

 

OnStep however is open source, has a forum and printed circuit boards are available.  OnStep controls the motors and it talks to Sky Safari 5 Pro on my phone via Bluetooth.  It also has its own app, OnStep Telescope Control2,  that locks and unlocks the motors after transport.   Once I’d built it, tested it, mounted and connected it, it was time to switch on and see if my design worked.

 

After much messing about and modification, it does.

 

The whole thing cost less that $1,000 including purchase of the original scope and took about 4 months to complete.

 

Below are some photos I took during and after construction.

https://photos.app.g...wQATMqbpB4OKQF2


Edited by rederikus, 20 February 2018 - 05:38 PM.

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#1139 Matt7101cars

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 06:32 PM

I know little or nothing about astronomy other than having a lifelong interest in looking up at them.  I’m 72 years old and a retired engineer.  When a friend invited me to come to the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club observatory last September I thought it might be fun to go along.  My friend has a 16.5 inch motorized GoTo Dobsonian telescope and looking through it was very impressive. 

 

I showed pictures of the huge Dob to my wife and she gave an emphatic “No.”  Our house genuinely does not have the space for such a monster.  Ebay came to the rescue and I bought an old 8 inch Meade Starfinder Dob that came with a Meade Magellan I Push To device but no connecting cables.

 

This was not what I wanted.  I wanted a full GoTo scope.  So, build one!

 

I realized immediately that the Meade base was unsuitable for my needs. The new base was, quite literally built from some scrap bits of 5/8” plywood from my garage. 

Researching the web yielded less than spectacular results and I was obliged to think up and design most of the solutions myself.  I had some design goals which were:
- Full GoTo, with control from my phone if possible
- Easy enough to build with the tools already in my garage
- Cheap.  This ruled out big 360 tooth worm gears and $165 each.
- Robust enough to be transported by car
- Light enough that I could put it in the car unaided.

 

Clearly there were two major components.
1. The mechanics of holding and moving the telescope.
2. Electronics to  control the motors and to interface with my phone.

 

Dobsonian telescope mounts, to me, seemed to be mechanically very simple but like classical French cooking, there is little room for error.  My design for the azimuth bearing required that I could lift the base and the bearing had to take the full hanging weight of the base.  Thus for the azimuth bearing I ended up with a 12 inch Lazy Susan bearing to take the weight and a center bearing made from a turned down 2 inch aluminum bar that is a sliding fit into a piece of PVC pipe left over from my garden irrigation system installation.  This center aluminum bush was the only part that required a lathe .  Luckily my son had a friend who is an engineering student with access to his university’s machine shop.

 

I am not sure how long this bearing will last however and I may need to re-visit this later, perhaps using  a needle roller bearing .  

 

My son has two 3D printers and he urged me to use a 6mm wide GT2 belt drive.  He also 3D printed two 270 tooth GT2 drive wheels one each for the two axes.

For motors I ended up buying two identical Nema 17 stepper motors with built-in 50.8:1 gearboxes. Putting a 24 tooth pulley on this gave me a final gear ratio of 572.6260767:1.  I had three tries at making motor mounts and finally settled on two pieces of 3/16 x 3” flat bar and a 2” bracket to fix the motor to.  This design allows me to tension the belts with an over-center catch and to then tighten bolts to prevent all movement.

 

Turning to the Altitude bearing, I used a 4” sewer endcap which I turned down on my Harbor Freight drill press to my desired thickness.  My son 3D printed two bushes contoured to fit the outside of the telescope tube and also to fit the plastic sewer caps.  These parts were clamped together and filled with epoxy resin.  They are now really solid.  The altitude bearing was fixed to the tube via a 2” steel plate that I bent to match the tube curvature in my vise.  From then on it was a question of adjusting spacers to make everything line up properly.  To this end I used 1/8” aluminum circular plates from ebay to act both as spacers and strengthening for the 3D printed tooth wheels.  We used PETG for all the 3D printed parts since this has better temperature performance than PLA.

 

The electronics once more required extensive internet searching and from this emerged two contenders.  My first choice was rDUINOScope since this was completely self-contained It had its own touch screen and its own set of catalogs.  Unfortunately at my time of building rDUINOScope did not support AzAlt mount and its design was heading away from open source toward a commercial product.  There was also no online discussion forum when I was searching although I did have excellent dialog with the two principal system architects.

 

OnStep however is open source, has a forum and printed circuit boards are available.  OnStep controls the motors and it talks to Sky Safari 5 Pro on my phone via Bluetooth.  It also has its own app, OnStep Telescope Control2,  that locks and unlocks the motors after transport.   Once I’d built it, tested it, mounted and connected it, it was time to switch on and see if my design worked.

 

After much messing about and modification, it does.

 

The whole thing cost less that $1,000 including purchase of the original scope and took about 4 months to complete.

 

Below are some photos I took during and after construction.

https://photos.app.g...wQATMqbpB4OKQF2

Nice I'm also using onstep on both my mounts aswell above. It works really good. And vey nice on scope I think a goto dob is awesome for visual compact with all the perks. I was thinking of doing the same to my Girl friends 8 inch dob she won at a star party might have to take some ideas from your design ;)


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#1140 rederikus

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 07:26 PM

Please help yourself to any bits of my project you wish to use.  Let me know if you have trouble sourcing any parts.  I may be able to help.  The main parts that I needed outside help with were the 270 tooth belt gears and the main azimuth bearing.


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#1141 roscoe

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:41 PM

Welcome to Cloudy nights, and welcome to scope building!!

 

My computer won't access your photos, and I'd like to see them....perhaps could you upload a couple right onto this page?

(note CN has size requirements so folks with slow connections can still see them)

 

Russ


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#1142 rederikus

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:05 PM

Here you are.

20171018_162019.jpg 20171212_134305.jpg 20171212_135215.jpg 20171213_093823.jpg 20171215_094152.jpg 20171215_094157.jpg 20171221_103258.jpg 20171221_103311.jpg 20180102_213358.jpg

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20180106_165246.jpg
  • 20180116_111350.jpg
  • 20180209_163422.jpg

Edited by rederikus, 21 February 2018 - 01:17 PM.

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#1143 rederikus

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:11 PM

And some more.

20180209_163457.jpg 20180209_163526.jpg 20180220_143912.jpg 20180220_143926.jpg 20180220_143956.jpg 20180102_213638.jpg 20180220_144025.jpg 20180220_144059.jpg 20180220_145129.jpg 20180220_145142.jpg 20180103_160537.jpg


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#1144 roscoe

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 11:54 PM

WOW!! That's likely the world's most tricked-out Starfinder!!  Real nice work on the drives and drivers!


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#1145 Augustus

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 12:50 PM

Still needs a spider, mount, and painting/staining, but the OTA for my 16" actually exists now.

 

otacomplete1s.jpg

 

I'm 6' 1" for scale. Should have the rest of the scope done within a week, and the primary aluminized a week after that.


Edited by Augustus, 24 February 2018 - 01:12 PM.

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#1146 rederikus

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 08:05 PM

WOW!! That's likely the world's most tricked-out Starfinder!!  Real nice work on the drives and drivers!

Thanks.  The encoders were put there for compatibility with the JMI/Magellan I system that originally came with the scope when I bought it.  It was more a technical exercise to have two guidance systems working on the same scope.



#1147 rederikus

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:06 PM

Still needs a spider, mount, and painting/staining, but the OTA for my 16" actually exists now.

 

attachicon.gif otacomplete1s.jpg

 

I'm 6' 1" for scale. Should have the rest of the scope done within a week, and the primary aluminized a week after that.

Nice job.  Big scopes are fun.  Please put up more pics when you build the swivel mount.  I would very much like to see that after my own attempt at making one.


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#1148 Pinbout

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:45 PM

Still needs a spider, mount, and painting/staining, but the OTA for my 16" actually exists now.

 

attachicon.gif otacomplete1s.jpg

 

I'm 6' 1" for scale. Should have the rest of the scope done within a week, and the primary aluminized a week after that.

Did you balance it on a broom yet?


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#1149 Augustus

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 05:32 PM

 

Still needs a spider, mount, and painting/staining, but the OTA for my 16" actually exists now.

 

attachicon.gif otacomplete1s.jpg

 

I'm 6' 1" for scale. Should have the rest of the scope done within a week, and the primary aluminized a week after that.

Did you balance it on a broom yet?

 

No, I need to build the %&@*%^ curved spider that is nigh impossible to get right.



#1150 Pinbout

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 05:59 PM

Please spiders are easy




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