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If money were no object, what 24 inch Dob would you get

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#51 Kunama

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 05:22 PM

Custom SDM with all the bells&whistles including a Suchting Precision Optics 24"F3.3 Primary, Aurora fittings and cell.


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#52 gatorengineer

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 07:41 PM

Somewhat sad the fixation on the structure and not the optics, glad to see a few folks here in the thread get it though...  I would take a second class structure with great optics over a first class structure with second class optics at 24" I know of only 5 opticians worldwide who would make a quality  sub f4 primary.  Sad also that the cabinet makers are getting as much (1k+ per inch) as the opticians.....  A few years back, I tried to start an open source thread for 24" structures using water jet, it went nowhere as most folks only get paper telescopes.....  Big scope structures can be built for $30-$50 per inch, plus time, ex optics..


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#53 stargazer193857

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 08:54 PM

Somewhat sad the fixation on the structure and not the optics, glad to see a few folks here in the thread get it though... I would take a second class structure with great optics over a first class structure with second class optics at 24" I know of only 5 opticians worldwide who would make a quality sub f4 primary. Sad also that the cabinet makers are getting as much (1k+ per inch) as the opticians..... A few years back, I tried to start an open source thread for 24" structures using water jet, it went nowhere as most folks only get paper telescopes..... Big scope structures can be built for $30-$50 per inch, plus time, ex optics..


Strange more don't enter the field. Do they not know it is lucrative, or does it take too long to build reputation.

I showed NMT pictures to some cabinet makers and asked why they don't do that. Answer is they only do wood work and are intimidated by the metal parts and other components, and also have no idea just how the wood needs to be shaped. I doubt they ever balanced anything before.

#54 gatorengineer

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:34 AM

The choke point, is and are the opticians, thats a dying skill.......with OMI aparently gone, wonder where obsession is getting their mirrors.........



#55 RedzoneMN

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 07:01 AM

Strange more don't enter the field. Do they not know it is lucrative, or does it take too long to build reputation.

I showed NMT pictures to some cabinet makers and asked why they don't do that. Answer is they only do wood work and are intimidated by the metal parts and other components, and also have no idea just how the wood needs to be shaped. I doubt they ever balanced anything before.

The issue always has been the size of the market. I think astronomy as a hobby is taken up by a miniscule minority compared to say fishing. I recall seeing a class action law suit against some of the telescope makers, and the law firm had an estimate of about a quarter million people in the US in the hobby who had been affected. I suspect those numbers are probably inflated. That is not a big market. Of that, large reflectors are probably an even smaller market and tends to be a lifetime purchase for many. Telescope making is a unique skillset. Not only do they have to come up with the structure, but have to incorporate the optics and fine tune everything to produce a good product that functions for a long time. This requires a considerable investment in the "shop", time and inclination to work with optical, mechanical and electrical components, frequently made by other vendors. Inability to charge higher, and scare away the small customer base, leads to less time and money to innovate.

 

If you ever wanted a large reflector made by the likes of SS or NMT or SDM, now ‚Äčis the time to do it. After all its only money wink.gif


Edited by RedzoneMN, 25 October 2020 - 08:00 AM.

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#56 CHASLX200

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 07:10 AM

There is no money in making big Dobs really.  No one got rich from it that i know of.


Edited by CHASLX200, 25 October 2020 - 07:10 AM.


#57 gatorengineer

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:17 AM

The obsession folks made millions over a long period, the one one ultrahigh end builder I know is a master craftsman who I think does it out of love of the hobby and building.  His scopes are a cut above anything else.  Most of the rest are hooked to a cabinet shop when they get an order  they send it down they line.... Not big money by any means but 5k-10k on a scope and then the tax rightoff of going to star parties, to sell them not a teribble gig.  Would be gret to get some designs together and a few waterjet shops to make aperature accessible to more people, and sell more mirrors to help the opticians out.....  At the present course in 20 years, if you want a mirror you will be dealing with someone in China......



#58 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:26 AM

The issue always has been the size of the market. I think astronomy as a hobby is taken up by a miniscule minority compared to say fishing. I recall seeing a class action law suit against some of the telescope makers, and the law firm had an estimate of about a quarter million people in the US in the hobby who had been affected. I suspect those numbers are probably inflated. That is not a big market. Of that, large reflectors are probably an even smaller market and tends to be a lifetime purchase for many. Telescope making is a unique skillset. Not only do they have to come up with the structure, but have to incorporate the optics and fine tune everything to produce a good product that functions for a long time. This requires a considerable investment in the "shop", time and inclination to work with optical, mechanical and electrical components, frequently made by other vendors. Inability to charge higher, and scare away the small customer base, leads to less time and money to innovate.

 

If you ever wanted a large reflector made by the likes of SS or NMT or SDM, now ‚Äčis the time to do it. After all its only money wink.gif

 

I would disagree with your comments on shop investment/requirements. Richard Berry's book Build Your Own Telescope shows how it can be done with hand tools. Some space in the garage or basement will do. (Or the dining room for you bachelors out there wink.gif )

 

I'm with you 100% on the last sentence. You can always make more friends, and you can always make more money (if you are willing to work). But none of us can make more time and none of us are getting any younger. 


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#59 RedzoneMN

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 03:15 PM

The obsession folks made millions over a long period, the one one ultrahigh end builder I know is a master craftsman who I think does it out of love of the hobby and building.  His scopes are a cut above anything else.  Most of the rest are hooked to a cabinet shop when they get an order  they send it down they line.... Not big money by any means but 5k-10k on a scope and then the tax rightoff of going to star parties, to sell them not a teribble gig.  Would be gret to get some designs together and a few waterjet shops to make aperature accessible to more people, and sell more mirrors to help the opticians out.....  At the present course in 20 years, if you want a mirror you will be dealing with someone in China......

Are there any good optical shops from China, that take custom orders like Lockwood, Ostahowski, Zambuto ?

 

BTW a lot of the mirror makers here in the US also do commercial work for government agencies and the like. Hopefully they will be around for the oddball who wants a 24 inch mirror. It is the whole package - custom builders, who are at risk of going away. SDM, Teeter, StarStructure they all appear to be artisans and not mass production shops. Wish them good health and a long life. 

 

I am sure there are many with the requisite skillset here in these forums who have the potential to be a big dob maker. To turn that in to a business proposition, efficiently making enough units to keep the lights on may be a different matter. Maybe that's why there aren't many takers.


Edited by RedzoneMN, 25 October 2020 - 03:21 PM.


#60 cuzimthedad

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 05:02 PM

Time to get this back on topic which is: "If money were no object, what 24 inch do would you go get?"



#61 RLK1

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:44 PM

Are there any good optical shops from China, that take custom orders like Lockwood, Ostahowski, Zambuto ?

 

BTW a lot of the mirror makers here in the US also do commercial work for government agencies and the like. Hopefully they will be around for the oddball who wants a 24 inch mirror. It is the whole package - custom builders, who are at risk of going away. SDM, Teeter, StarStructure they all appear to be artisans and not mass production shops. Wish them good health and a long life. 

 

I am sure there are many with the requisite skillset here in these forums who have the potential to be a big dob maker. To turn that in to a business proposition, efficiently making enough units to keep the lights on may be a different matter. Maybe that's why there aren't many takers.

An amateur I knew bought the 24" Hubble Ultra light F3.3 structure without optics and added custom Kennedy optics to it. The views were awesome with a bright widefield on extended objects like large nebulosities. The scope managed high powered views in excess of 1200x on the Eskimo nebula. It was a different observing experience to say the least and much more satisfying to me than viewing through a conventional Zambuto equipped F5 dobsonian.



#62 gatorengineer

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 07:21 PM

Wow, thats great...... I never quite got the hang of  3 arc minute fields, and 0.5mm exit pupils.... kudos.......

 

An amateur I knew bought the 24" Hubble Ultra light F3.3 structure without optics and added custom Kennedy optics to it. The views were awesome with a bright widefield on extended objects like large nebulosities. The scope managed high powered views in excess of 1200x on the Eskimo nebula. It was a different observing experience to say the least and much more satisfying to me than viewing through a conventional Zambuto equipped F5 dobsonian.


Edited by gatorengineer, 25 October 2020 - 07:23 PM.



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