It's been just about a year since construction started on my 20". That scope was a mistake, to be honest. It was unwieldy, had poor optics, and the ladder was a massive inconvenience. Setup and transportation was also a nightmare. The 16" wasn't much better, but at least it had good optics and actually fit in my car. I had a 12" Dob for a while that was okay but it wasn't the most optimized design and the aperture wasn't large enough to satisfy me. Now I've just got the C11, 10", and a C8 to play with. I need a bigger scope!
After a lot of work on concepts ranging from 13" to 24" in aperture, I've decided upon a 14.7" f/3 with a 0.8" thick quartz Nova Optical primary. This scope design has a number of advantages compared to some of the other concepts I had mulled over:
- Fast delivery & construction times
- Low cost
- Ability to use many COTS parts as well as recycle stuff from previous/abandoned projects to save on cost
- Light total scope weight (aim is under 50 lbs)
- Traditional truss design w/Aurora parts still works without high weight or other compromises
- Fast cooldown time
The two biggest drivers in my decisions on this particular scope and configuration, however, have really been Logan's busy schedule and my uncertainty about college. It would really suck to start on a 24" only for Logan to run out of time or me out of money or space.
I'm again aiming for a weight below 50 pounds, and will be using a single-ring aluminum UTA. Construction will start sometime this October once I've wrapped up completely on the 10" f/3.2.