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New Moon Telescope 12.5" Zambuto refract... er... reflector.

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#1 Magnitude7

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 03:21 PM

FINALLY a Dob I really enjoy.

 

Been through many different sizes, ranging up to 16 inches.  For me, a 12.5" Dob is in the goldilocks zone.  Big enough to astound me with the views, but small enough to use every clear night.

 

I can't get enough.  In just 11 weeks of ownership, I've used it 42 times, including several trips to dark skies (3.5 hours each way).

 

Ryan built a masterpiece.  It's wonderfully engineered & constructed.  The telescope is so easy to assemble & disassemble. 

 

In use, it is sheer joy.  The movements are silky smooth, requiring very little pressure to track an object even at 300x.

 

And the views?  Just mind-blowing.  Never thought a reflector could be so sharp with such stark contrast.  This is the first time I've looked through a Zambuto mirror, and the views are as close to refractor-like as I've ever seen in a mirrored telescope.

 

During the last new moon, at extremely dark skies, I pulled the old M13 / NGC 6207 trick on an observer.  I got her to focus on NGC 6207 at 250x.  After several minutes, I asked her to nudge the scope downwards slowly.  A gasp soon followed.  Then the hooting & hollering.  I understood her enthusiasm.  M13 looked better than most photographs.

 

Ryan was very gracious throughout the build process.  He promptly & politely answered all my emails, and was very patient, despite my impatience.  He is a master of his craft, and actually converted me from a refractor guy, to someone who can enjoy the night-sky using both types of telescopes. smile.gif 

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Edited by Magnitude7, 14 October 2019 - 02:22 PM.

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#2 MitchAlsup

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 06:26 PM

Congratulations.



#3 Magnitude7

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:06 PM

Thank you.

 

Here are a few of the extras that Ryan built into the telescope:

 

  • Whiffle-tree edge support
  • Elliptical bearings for maximum portability & transportability
  • Paracorr SIPS
  • Secondary Dew Heater
  • Zambuto Quartz Mirror is f/4, so I can remain seated at all times with my feet planted on the ground
  • And for those times when the object is closer to the horizon, Ryan installed a "Rotating Truss Ring" so I can angle the eyepiece to a more comfortable height (https://www.cloudyni...g/#entry8241501)

 

It's also light enough. that I can pick up the entire structure (including mirror) and move it around where I please.  At home, I leave it fully assembled, and walk out the door with it & just start observing.  Takes no longer than my grab & go refractor.

 

I was just using it again right now.  But dark skies really make this telescope shine.  M82 at 250x looks like Andromeda through my refractor.  It completely fills the FOV and looks like a photograph. 

 

The Veil Nebula looks like it's from another dimension.  The Ring Nebula looks blue to me.  And M11 is truly astonishing at any magnification.

 

Speaking of which, this telescope takes magnification like I would have never thought possible.  I routinely use 250x now, which I never did with any of my previous telescopes.

 

This is a luxury item for certain, and I am very grateful that I remained healthy enough this past year to work all the overtime necessary to make my dream purchase.

I'm also very grateful to Ryan and Mr. Zambuto for creating this telescope.

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Edited by Magnitude7, 13 October 2019 - 11:11 PM.

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#4 starzonesteve

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 11:10 PM

She looks like a beaut! Congrats!



#5 Steve D.

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 04:32 AM

Congratulations!  It’s beautiful.    Is that walnut?



#6 Magnitude7

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:29 AM

Thank you, gentlemen!

 

Congratulations!  It’s beautiful.    Is that walnut?

 

According to Ryan, the wood is Poplar.

He chose it because it is good for painting.

(I requested the telescope be painted black - Wanted something a little different).



#7 rowdy388

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:39 AM

Welcome to the club! I agree 12.5" is a great size.



#8 DC Lover

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:47 AM

  Can't thank you enough for including me in a truly magical observing experience - not something one could ever forget! laugh.gif


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#9 Magnitude7

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 10:51 AM

Lol.  I wish I recorded your reaction to seeing M13.


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#10 George N

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 11:11 AM

…..

 

 

Ryan built a masterpiece.  …...

 

 

Ryan was very gracious throughout the build process.  He promptly & politely answered all my emails, and was very patient, despite my impatience.  He is a master of his craft,

…..and actually converted me from a refractor guy, to someone who can enjoy the night-sky using both types of telescopes. smile.gif 

While it might be frustrating - it is generally a good idea listening to Ryan when he wants to take a little longer on a scope. He knows what it takes to 'get right'. Often it is just the need for a good clear sky to test a completed scope under the stars.

It took a few years of experimenting - but the current NMT design is very good! While there may be improvements possible - the current scopes work very well. During a lazy afternoon at a star party Ryan and I tested the collimation of his personal 20-inch - and the thing held collimation (as seen with a laser) no matter how we moved the scope, or the speed we moved it. The views were ever bit the same as with my Obsession 20 F/5 set up 20 feet away.

Refractor vs Reflector: Somewhere I have a photo I took at Stellafane of John Dobson, hand on a TV127 APO (solar viewing) - and a beaming Al Nagler -- the two engaged in conversation. I always have wanted to add a 'cartoon bubble' with John saying "People should drop those fuzzy so-called Dobsonians and get themselves a nice APO like this one!"   Personally I own both - including a triplet APO, 6, two 8, and a 20 Newt, and a 10 RC Cass! Some of my best friends own SCTs -- and I might too someday....  ;)


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#11 Magnitude7

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:14 PM

While it might be frustrating - it is generally a good idea listening to Ryan when he wants to take a little longer on a scope.

Ryan wasn't the issue lol.  He fulfilled every promise he made me.  However, Mr.Zambuto fell a couple of months behind schedule.  Looking at the big picture, yeah, those 2 months were of no consequence & worth the wait.

 

 

It took a few years of experimenting - but the current NMT design is very good! While there may be improvements possible

This is an interesting observation.  What do you think can be made better? 

 

 

Refractor vs Reflector: Somewhere I have a photo I took at Stellafane of John Dobson, hand on a TV127 APO (solar viewing) - and a beaming Al Nagler -- the two engaged in conversation. I always have wanted to add a 'cartoon bubble' with John saying "People should drop those fuzzy so-called Dobsonians and get themselves a nice APO like this one!"  

Lol.  Please post that pic of you ever find it.  That would be one for the ages.



#12 Diana N

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:27 PM

Beautiful scope!  May it give you many, many years of pleasure.



#13 Magnitude7

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:36 PM

Beautiful scope!  May it give you many, many years of pleasure.

Very nice of you to say, thanks. 

I think I've used it enough times (43) to be the equivalent of many years already. smile.gif



#14 Starman1

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:57 PM

Now you understand why I am content with a 12.5" scope--the Zambuto mirror.

My wife asked me the other day if I wanted something larger.

Not really, I replied.


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#15 Elroy

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 09:37 PM

nice  waytogo.gif


Edited by Elroy, 15 October 2019 - 08:59 PM.


#16 spencerj

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:07 AM

That is a great looking scope.  I know I have enjoyed my 12.5" NMT with F5 Fullum mirror.  It is a great size and is well thought out.  In the field the structure of the scope just gets out of the way and with a Type 2 Paracorr and and an Ethos eyepiece, the scope just puts up a stunning, large, perfect FOV.  The kind of experience that makes telescope type irrelevant: a great view is a great view.     



#17 nirvanix

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 03:07 PM

Enjoy that nice machine. I'm quite happy with my 13.1" too.

 

There's some mythology around CN that centrally obstructed scopes have lousy contrast , so now you know the truth -  it was just lousy optics in some scopes. Otherwise all those Tak Mewlon owners would be out of their minds right?


Edited by nirvanix, 15 October 2019 - 03:23 PM.


#18 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 06:41 PM

I'm kinda curious . . . how are you liking the Borg 107?



#19 Magnitude7

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:35 PM

I'm kinda curious . . . how are you liking the Borg 107?

PM sent.


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#20 Magnitude7

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:41 PM

That is a great looking scope.  I know I have enjoyed my 12.5" NMT with F5 Fullum mirror.  It is a great size and is well thought out.     

Thanks.  Actually I asked Ryan to make the mirror-box of my NMT using the same proportions as yours. 

 

Ryan initially built my mirror-box a little tall for my liking.  So I showed him a picture of yours, and asked if he could do the same.

 

Ryan was nice enough to make me as happy as possible.



#21 Magnitude7

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 09:45 PM

There's some mythology around CN that centrally obstructed scopes have lousy contrast , so now you know the truth

I gotta admit, I was part of that crowd too. 

 

This is one of those infrequent times where I'm glad I was wrong.  smile.gif 



#22 spencerj

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 01:53 PM

Thanks.  Actually I asked Ryan to make the mirror-box of my NMT using the same proportions as yours. 

 

Ryan initially built my mirror-box a little tall for my liking.  So I showed him a picture of yours, and asked if he could do the same.

 

Ryan was nice enough to make me as happy as possible.

 

Nice.  The size of mine is convenient for sure.  Very easy to move around.  Must have been your thin Zambuto mirror.  My mirror is a bit thicker, but longer truss poles with the F5.  Ryan really does fine-tune thickness and dimensions of components to really dial in balance.  Did he add an extra weight under the mirror box to be able to cut it down?      



#23 George N

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 04:12 PM

…..

 

 

This is an interesting observation.  What do you think can be made better? 

 

 

…..

I think the Dob design can still go lighter, with more strength while maintaining vibration control. Ryan's carbon-fiber truss poles may be a step in that direction. Can carbon fiber be added to the mirror cells? Can more exotic metals be used in the alt bearings? Very light-weight collimation motors would be nice on scopes bigger than about 16". Some sort of finder integrated into the UTA (or somewhere) would be nice. Perhaps something similar to Celestron's StarSense - but for Dobs.

 

I think the goto/tracking systems can be improved - and more integrated into the design.

 

My biggest surprise in this area is that we don't see a lot of "imaging" with Dobs - yet the pro's have gone to similar alt-az telescopes a long time ago. I thought it would happen before this.

 

Innovative builders like Ryan Goodson will do it. Ryan in particular is always willing to try 'something new' -- and work on it until it works, and is buildable for a reasonable price.


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#24 m11

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

Congratulations, the scope looks amazing. waytogo.gif

 

You must be over the moon lol.gif

 

Can I please ask which eyepieces do you prefer to use with the new moon dob with the cz mirror?


Edited by m11, 16 October 2019 - 04:58 PM.

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#25 Magnitude7

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 05:40 PM

Did he add an extra weight under the mirror box to be able to cut it down?      

Yup!

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