The short short version - I have land with no local illumination and an SQM of approximately 21 that I want to set up a very large observatory on with a reasonably large amount to spend for DSO observation. I'm terrified of heights and don't want to climb up for a very large Dob. The Optiques Fullum foldeds look to be the solution I'm looking for. I have soft plans for a slide-off-roof observatory. Yes I'm relatively inexperienced, yes it's a lot of money, yes I'm crazy - please don't debate that as I know this better than anyone.
What are people's thoughts on the quality and suitability of the light collector and observatory setup? If anyone has experience with systems of this size of any sort I'd be most grateful for your experience and lessons as well. Thanks!
The land is a one hour drive away and I plan to go out there just about any clear night, which is why the compromise on a Bortle 4 location.
There is a house on the property that I can go to and from so resources and the potential for a place to sleep are not an issue.
Power would be very difficult to get to the location so I'll have to use standalone power.
A 20" F/3 can be used feet on the ground, even by short adults
A 30" F/3 is 1 large step or 2 small steps--you could make a movable wrap around raised platform here.
A 40" F/3 will put your feet 1 meter off the ground (maybe a bit higher)
If you don't mind compromizing a few degrees of the horizon, you can place the scope in a short depression so you can use the 30" F/3 feet on the cement, alternately you can build a raised platform around 1/3 (or more) of the scope and still have your feet on a stable floor.
With current EPs, and coma correctors, the fastest visual scope you can use is about F/2.75, and here, this is a somewhat specialized instrument--specialized for lower power and wider FoVs. Whereas by F/3 the instrument becomes more general purpose and most higher end EPs will tollerate the F/3 (F/3.45 with Paracorr 2) light cone with pinpoint stars edge to edge (think Ethoi)
I want you to consider the shedding a bit of aperture (30"-35") and placing it in a shallow depression (or raised observing platform) for feet on the ground/floor/cement instead of the 40". You loose a little bit of depth (0.5-0.25 magnitude) save $$$ big time and have a more comfortable to use machine.
Based on the Kangaroo scene in "Corcodile Hunter", make sure the telescope, while not being used, is imune from crazy people out in the woods shooting at various things.