Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

My Long Covid Delayed Custom Dob Mount Wait Is Over

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 05 August 2020 - 07:53 AM

I ordered a custom clamshell dob mount last year. It was almost done when Covid19 in California shut down work. I ordered it with oversize bearings and extra base height so I could sit in a chair and view objects near the horizon. Mark Wagner from AstroGoods worked with me on my custom design requests. I sent him the azimuth encoder mounting hardware to be incorporated with the build of the mount. The clamshell design will allow me to change balance and eyepiece position to meet my needs. It will handle my Pan 41, Nagler 31T5 and Ethos 21 heavy eyepieces without problems. I am looking forward to using It on my August dark sky camping trip.

 

I just got notice that I will have it on Saturday. It is for an 8 inch f/6 Newtonian I bought from Teleskop-Express. It is encoder ready for use with my Nexus DSC. I upgraded the Newtonian focuser to a 2 speed Moonlite. I will use a Stellarvue 60mm right angle finder and a Telrad with it. This will probably be the Dob I continue to use as I get older and don't want to fool with the heavier scopes.

 

We do a lot of astronomy camping with our Artic Fox 22G travel trailer. We have a new moon trip planed for each month through October since the major star parties were canceled. We always bring a TEC 140 on a DM6 mount with Planet tripod. This will be the modest size Dob companion scope. I only bring my Webster D14 to longer destination star parties when I can leave it set up on the observing field for several nights. The 8 inch Dob will come on all our trips because I can quickly put it back in the truck under the Leer cap after a nights viewing.


Edited by JMW, 05 August 2020 - 08:13 AM.

  • Jon Isaacs, Bill Jensen, BrettG and 5 others like this

#2 Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 453
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2004
  • Loc: Springfield VA

Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:33 AM

please share a couple of pics when you get it unpacked and mated with your scope!


  • havasman likes this

#3 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:55 AM

I will. Looking forward to putting the pieces together.



#4 jloweva

jloweva

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 232
  • Joined: 09 Jan 2012

Posted 07 August 2020 - 08:37 PM

I’ve used two from Mark.  He makes a very high quality product. 


  • BradFran likes this

#5 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 07 August 2020 - 09:16 PM

I got the tracking number. I have seen the photos from Mark. I am sure I will be satisfied. I will have the Dob mount Saturday. I will add the encoders give it a trial run Saturday night.

 

I just finished my Artic Fox 22G travel trailer summer improvement projects so I have time for some astronomy camping. My trailer now have 8.4 Kilowatts of LiFePO4 battery storage from BattleBornBatteries. I have 2345 watts of solar and can run all the air conditioning I want while off the grid without a generator. We have been doing 2-3 nights off astronomy camping all summer and have trips planed through October. These trips a a quiet substitute for the canceled GSSP and OSP events. 



#6 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:22 PM

Got the Dob mount today. It was well packed and the box was not abuse by Fed Ex ground. The driver stopped in front of my house. I was in the driveway waiting and after about 5 minutes he started to drive off. I yelled at him and he stopped. He said he could find the package and would be back later. I said it was a very large box and he should look again. A minute later he comes out with my box.

 

I installed the encoders but am waiting on a Nexus DSC bracket I ordered earlier this week. Once I have the Nexus DSC mounted I will route the encoder cables and determinate the RJ45 end so I won't have so much excess cables. I did some daylight testing and the mount is solid. I added a counterweight on the opposite side and end of the focuser/Stellarvue 50mm RA finder and Telrad. It did a good job as keeping balance at all altitude angles.

 

I will post a picture once I have the Nexus DSC and encoder cables mounted and finished. The skies are still clear enough now that I hope for a good test after dark.



#7 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:14 PM

I installed my Nexus DSC on a bracket today and cut the cables and terminated the RJ45 end for desired length.

 

Here is the Dob on the observer side with the Nexus DSC on the bracket and a 3 two inch eyepiece tray on the front edge.

 

The Velcro below the bracket is for securing the loose RJ45 cable end when I remove the Nexus DSC for transport.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DobNexusDSC.jpg

  • Kunama, areyoukiddingme, havasman and 2 others like this

#8 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:20 PM

Here is the opposite side showing the altitude encoder arm. The Velcro below is for parking the encoder arm before I lift off the scope with clam shell rings for transport.

 

I am using one of the scope rings that came with the scope to act as a sliding counter weight with an ADM Losmandy style short plate as additional weight on the opposite end and side of the Moonlite focuser with heavy 2 inch eyepiece and Stellarvue SV50 right angle finder and Telrad. The opposite side weight helps keep balance at all altitude positions.

 

I ordered this tube from Teleskop-Express as a Newtonian so it came with a pair of rings for mounting to a GEM.

 

I have an oversized Orion padded case that fits the scope with clamshell rings and accessories attached.

 

I want to thank Mark Wagner of AstroGoods for delivering a great mount.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DobAltEncoderUp.jpg

Edited by JMW, 11 August 2020 - 11:07 AM.

  • Bill Jensen, stargazer32864, Starman81 and 3 others like this

#9 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:27 PM

This is my first f/6 newtonian. I spent about 90 minutes with it Saturday night and I don't see any reason to use my Paracorr II with it. It appears to be nice to the edge with my Ethos eyepieces.

 

It is quite easy to move around. I can remove the altitude encoder from the clamshell and park it in a few seconds and then just pickup the upper half and carry it back into the house or to another location in the yard if I need to adjust for things in the way of my targets. It is very easy to align the Nexus DSC after the move.

 

I have enough elevation on the altitude pivot that I can do all my observing from an astronomy chair.


Edited by JMW, 11 August 2020 - 07:05 AM.


#10 jakecru

jakecru

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,107
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Northern Nevada, USA

Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:38 AM

Looks like a good mount. I am awaiting one from Mark as well. I will be using it with my custom 10" F/4.5 OTA I traded for locally, and have yet to try it. 



#11 stargazer32864

stargazer32864

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Owensboro, KY

Posted 11 August 2020 - 01:27 AM

I don't know about you but I got something like that, I would think it was Christmas time. Nice scope!!

 

~Robin



#12 BrettG

BrettG

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 258
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 11 August 2020 - 07:46 AM

Beautiful!  Thanks for sharing the pictures - looks like a fine piece of work.



#13 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 11 August 2020 - 08:08 AM

I like Christmas but I enjoy dark sky camping trips even more. I have 3 more astronomy camping trips planed for the next 10 weeks. 

 

This will be my camping and home rapid deployment scope. Low effort for more nights of use. I also will use it with my white phosphor night vision tube with my 55, 41 and 31mm eyepieces.

 

I wanted a modest size dob with upscale experience of excellent focuser, excellent Dob mechanics and Nexus DSC with encoders. I think this setup checks all those boxes.


  • Bill Jensen and havasman like this

#14 Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 453
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2004
  • Loc: Springfield VA

Posted 11 August 2020 - 09:08 AM

Jeff, it sure does meet all those goals. Great workmanship. Did the custom design increasing the height to be able to be seated cost you a lot more than the standard pricing? 

 

You sure turned it into a premium scope!



#15 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 11 August 2020 - 09:32 AM

I honestly don't remember how much I paid for custom. I paid a portion once we agreed on the design and the balance when it was ready to ship . I also had him stain and finish the mount.  I wanted large clamshell bearings and a little more height and requested the tray for 3 eyepieces. Compared to what I have invested in eye pieces it wasn't a lot. I got the Newtonian with Pyrex mirror on sale from Telescope express, plus I added the SV50 finder, Telrad and Moonlite focuser. I paid $25 for the Nexus DSC bracket. I already own 3 Nexus DSC units that I use on several different mounts.

 

I don't have the ability to do the 3D design work and sending the plans to have someone automatically cut the wood pieces. It was well worth my money to have AstroGoods do this work for me. I also get to benefit from Mark's experience in building custom Dob mounts.

 

I ordered the encoder hardware from SkyEng and sent him the azimuth hardware to be incorporated in the build.

 

I feel I have a premium setup in a modest size 8 inch f/6 package.


Edited by JMW, 11 August 2020 - 09:34 AM.


#16 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 11 August 2020 - 10:04 AM

I decided to do an accounting of all my costs associated with my custom 8 inch f/6 Dob. The prices include shipping. They don't include the Nexus DSC since I already own 3 of them. I also own several Telrads and didn't include that cost. The costs where spread out from October 2019 until August 2020 so I never paid more than $475 in one month. The Custom Dob mount total was only $432.50 shipped which I feel is very reasonable. If I used the 50mm straight through finder and standard 2 speed focuser that came from Teleskop-Express and no encoders the cost would be just the scope and mount at $907.50.

 

Here's the breakdown of costs in the order I paid them.

 

Teleskop-Express 8 inch f/6 newtonian with scope rings and Pyrex mirror $475
AstroGoods Initial Deposit $178.50

SkyEng Encoder Hardware $240

Moonlite 2 inch dual speed focuser $358.50
Stellarvue 9x50mm RA finder and mounting hardware $216

AstroGood Final Payment $254
Nexus DSC Bracket $35

Custom 8 Inch Dob Total $1757.00


  • Bill Jensen and BradFran like this

#17 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,997
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 11 August 2020 - 10:24 AM

I already had an oversized Orion padded case for transporting my 10 inch newtonian with oversized focuser. It fits the scope and clamshell rings nicely. The clamshell rings make for a stable base that doesn't roll while in the bag.

 

My 10 inch spends most of the time mounted on an AP900 in my home observatory so the bag is available.

 

I have a 80x72 inch quilted moving pad to wrap around my Dob base when transporting.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DobBagged.jpg

Edited by JMW, 11 August 2020 - 10:25 AM.


#18 Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 453
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2004
  • Loc: Springfield VA

Posted 11 August 2020 - 03:27 PM

Very nice package overall, at a reasonable price for a seriously upgraded scope. And now you get to enjoy it for years to come!




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics