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16" f/4 SDM/Zambuto

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#1 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:29 PM

Peter Read from SDM made the ten hour drive from his workshop to deliver my 16" dob yesterday. Being the only premium dob builder in Australia, there has always been a lot of demand, and a long waiting list for his scopes. I originally put my name down for a 12" dob a little over 4 years ago, as I was going to use the 12" Zambuto I already had in the new SDM structure. After a re-think I changed to the 16", and sold the 12" mirror and had the funds sent straight to Carl, which made upgrading to a new 16" quartz more manageable.

 

One of the best things about building a dob is working with a lot of great people in our hobby. Because I get to travel around for work, I went about sourcing the good components for the 16", just as I did with the 32", and bought them back for Pete to use.

 

About five years ago I made the decision that I wanted 2 premium dobs. Something big, and something smaller and more portable. Even though I have taken the 32" on the road to a star party, it was a lot of effort. So it's now permanently in its observatory at my dark site, and my new 16" is going to fill the role as my large aperture city scope and star party scope. 


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#2 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:31 PM

I am really happy with how the build turned out. Pete spent 360 hours putting it together, and it shows in the level of detail everywhere.

 

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#3 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:37 PM

I wanted to use the same theme as I used for the Black Widow. The detail and features in the 16" are a continuation of what I've learnt from using the 32" over the past 2 and a bit years. Plus I'm a big star party fan and it's incredible how much you learn from using dobs from around the world. I tried bringing all the good ideas together and avoid the things that don't work on dobs.

 

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#4 Astro-Master

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:38 PM

Sounds like a good plan, one for the road, and one to stay home.  Got to love those Zambuto mirrors!


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#5 turtle86

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:38 PM

Beautiful looking scope.  Congratulations!


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#6 Dougeo

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:39 PM

Allan,

Congratulations on the new scope! Peter certainly crafted an absolutely beautiful instrument. I’m sure that it will meet all of your expectations. I really like all of your options that you chose to have installed. Enjoy the new scope!
 

Doug


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#7 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:43 PM

I like carbon fibre, so made the baffle from it again. I like the contrast of the blue OTA tubes against the carbon. I bought some carbon fibre poles from New Zealand and we made the trusses from them. I used John Pratte's upper truss connectors and Pete's lower Delrin truss blocks. They look great, and are very easy and quick to secure.

 

I had Pete install the focuser at a 30 degree up angle, which is very kind on the neck when observing at lower altitudes.  

 

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#8 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:48 PM

I put lots of thought and effort into the cooling system. Air is drawn into the bottom of the mirror box by a bank of fans that are mounted at an angle toward the mirror. This supplies a positive pressure onto the face of the mirror to cool it and scrub the boundary layer. Another bank of fans exhausts the warm air out the top of the mirror box.

 

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#9 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:49 PM

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#10 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:54 PM

Serge from Astro Devices made me a set of 622k high res magnetic encoders for both the altitude and azimuth. We used his idea again of the buffers against the side of the altitude bearings. It improves the orthogonality of the dob which improves the pointing accuracy. 

 

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#11 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:59 PM

I had to laugh the first time I saw the back of the 16" quartz mirror. Carl polishes it to perfection. It looks better than the front of the mirror. John Pratte's mirror cell will do a good job of supporting it.

 

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#12 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:02 PM

The back end looks very neat with the polished Zambuto.

 

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#13 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:06 PM

Another good system we decided to use is this internally mounted, 22Ah Lithium polymer battery. No more field batteries or leads to trip over in the dark. Less set up time as well. I should get two nights running out of a full charge.

 

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#14 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:09 PM

Inside the engine room. We painted the interior of the mirror box with the new Black 3.0 paint. It is really good stuff, very matt and deep black.

 

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#15 a__l

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

Near here is a theme with a 16" telescope sold as 1/10 wf
https://www.cloudyni...e/#entry9923271

It would be very good if something like this were published here. To do this, you need a minimum, a good eyepiece, a smartphone and its holder, and any resource on the Internet that allows you to show video.



#16 shortonjr

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:14 PM

Wait a minute?

Dual Servocat handpads?

 

Nice scopes! I really like the 16" Zambuto. Very attractive!



#17 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:14 PM

The back side of the carbon fibre baffle received the Black 3.0 treatment as well. In order to have the focuser installed at the 30 degree up angle, and fit the filter slide under it, we orientated the spider veins in the + configuration, as the standard X configuration would have got in the way.

 

The spider veins and secondary holder came from Astrosystems, and I used an Antares Optics 1/30 wave 3.5" secondary.

 

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#18 a__l

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:20 PM

Wait a minute?

Dual Servocat handpads?

 

 

Probably the second is radio. But the control box is not visible in the photo.


Edited by a__l, 17 January 2020 - 09:22 PM.


#19 a__l

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:31 PM

The back side of the carbon fibre baffle received the Black 3.0 treatment as well. In order to have the focuser installed at the 30 degree up angle, and fit the filter slide under it, we orientated the spider veins in the + configuration, as the standard X configuration would have got in the way.

 

The spider veins and secondary holder came from Astrosystems, and I used an Antares Optics 1/30 wave 3.5" secondary.

 

 

Moonlite filter holder? It would be curious to look closer. MoonLite mounting holes are not compatible with Starlight.



#20 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:31 PM

Wait a minute?

Dual Servocat handpads?

 

Nice scopes! I really like the 16" Zambuto. Very attractive!

Yes, its a little bit of luxury to have dual controllers. The one on the stalk will hardly get used, as the one by the focuser is so convenient.



#21 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:35 PM

Moonlite filter holder? It would be curious to look closer. MoonLite mounting holes are not compatible with Starlight.

Peter secures the MoonLite filter slider into the back of the focuser board.



#22 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:37 PM

Did anyone notice the black collimation donut in the centre of the primary. That's one of Carl's options. No contrast robbing white donuts allowed. grin.gif


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#23 wrnchhead

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:02 PM

Beautiful instrument!
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#24 a__l

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:12 PM

Peter secures the MoonLite filter slider into the back of the focuser board.

There will probably be difficulties in extracting the SIPS corrector (for collimation).

 

 

I checked holder MoonLite only on the StarLight focuser. Back to back. There is only one focuser position - horizontal (or metal processing on MoonLite holder). But this is better than Starlight for SIPS sold to me (photo above). I do not use it, unsuccessful execution (wood).

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Edited by a__l, 17 January 2020 - 10:38 PM.

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#25 Allan Wade

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:01 PM

There will probably be difficulties in extracting the SIPS corrector (for collimation).

After every session, I remove the SIPS housing together with the lens unit and store it in a case. So when I come back to the dob and collimate it next time out, there’s no SIPS in place. Once I’ve collimated I refit the SIPS. It’s all secured with thumbscrews, so only takes a few seconds to remove and attach.


Edited by Allan Wade, 17 January 2020 - 11:31 PM.



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