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

Where's it at these days? Custom turn-of-the-century-DOB-maker wondering where to re-engage

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 durangodoug

durangodoug

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2015

Posted 21 July 2021 - 11:38 PM

So, turning 60 recently I decided I *really* needed to pull out & finish my custom-made dobsonian telescope, which while having fine optics was really more about wood-working, art, and honoring scientific exploration.  It's been fun, checking the sky out from Colorado (hasn't changed that much - hah!), playing around with baffling (prototyping per the pic here) and introducing my daughter to the hobby.  But the friends I made here on CloudyNights in 2004 (https://www.cloudyni...-the-endeavour/ ) don't seem to be around - (yeah, lost my old account in the site transition).  I'm also wondering how technology has changed things.  Imaging seems big (dang, I was trying to figure out what was possible while still in HS, in '79, now it's here...)... so I'm wondering whether to (a) stay the course, maybe explore the new visual 100 degree eyepieces) or (b) adapt to new technology (CCD's & image processing), or ( c ) something else?  Night Vision? Heck, in my rural location (zipcode 81301) I can't even find an active club... maybe this town needs a sidewalk astronomer!  I'm advanced in my career, time is short, but retirement is coming soon,  What would you do if you woke up near retirement with a cool-looking custom-built 10" dob in a relatively dark area, in 2021?

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cardboard Baffle Prototype.jpg

Edited by durangodoug, 22 July 2021 - 12:17 AM.

  • George N, NYJohn S, cmooney91 and 1 other like this

#2 MisterDan

MisterDan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 761
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2014
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 22 July 2021 - 12:59 AM

Welcome back, Doug.

 

I know there is/was the Four Corners Stargazers Astronomy Club (correct name?... or Four Corners Astronomy Club?...) based in Durango.  Not sure of their activity/membership level, the past several years.

 

Pagosa has the San Juan Stargazers, which seems to be an active and current group.

https://sanjuanstargazers.org/

 

Montrose hosts the Black Canyon Astronomy Club, and Grand Junction is home to the Western Colorado Astronomy Club.  Both have been around for decades.

 

I used to live in Pagosa, and I've spent lots of time in Durango, the San Juans - the entire region, up to Grand Junction, really.  Unfortunately, it's been more than 10 years since I visited Durango or Pagosa.  I may end up back down there, some day...  Retirement's not too far down the road. cool.gif

 

Yes, imaging has become quite the busy venture for many folks.  I have no interest in it, myself.  I've always been - and always will be - a stargazer.

 

Best wishes and luck.

Dan


  • SteveV, rowdy388 and durangodoug like this

#3 bbasiaga

bbasiaga

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,182
  • Joined: 10 May 2006

Posted 22 July 2021 - 09:22 AM

If it were me, I'd build a bigger scope!   But I recognize that's not for everyone and can be quite expensive.  

 

Finding a local astronomy club is a good start.  If you join the Astronomical League, you can start working on their observing challenges.  Gives you something to work towards and a reason to be at the eyepiece. 

 

Maybe plan to take a vacation to a nearby star party, get to know a few people there and use and show off your scope. 

 

-Brian


  • durangodoug likes this

#4 cuzimthedad

cuzimthedad

    Just Be Cuz

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9,203
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2006
  • Loc: Nampa, ID

Posted 22 July 2021 - 11:44 AM

Moving to Reflectors


  • durangodoug likes this

#5 SteveV

SteveV

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Ore.

Posted 22 July 2021 - 01:35 PM

Finish the scope then decide where to go.  You have a keeper mirror and a scope that looks like it should do the job when you're done.  


Edited by SteveV, 22 July 2021 - 02:22 PM.

  • durangodoug likes this

#6 Don H

Don H

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,457
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Near Tucson, AZ

Posted 22 July 2021 - 03:59 PM

So, turning 60 recently I decided I *really* needed to pull out & finish my custom-made dobsonian telescope, which while having fine optics was really more about wood-working, art, and honoring scientific exploration...

 

...I'm advanced in my career, time is short, but retirement is coming soon,  What would you do if you woke up near retirement with a cool-looking custom-built 10" dob in a relatively dark area, in 2021?

It doesn't look like you need to do a lot to finish the scope. Although, if it were mine, I think I would change the design a bit and add 2, 4, or even 6 more poles to connect the UTA and mirror box. You can still keep it light and a few more smaller poles will not add that much weight and bulk for storage and transport. More importantly, it will enable you to fit a shroud over the OTA to block stray light and protect the primary mirror from dust and debris. I live under relatively dark skies, but I still always use a shroud with my 10" f/6.3.

 

You might want to try a 100 degree eyepiece before you invest a bunch of money in that direction. If you already have some 68 and 82 degree eyepieces, you could find those more comfortable to use.

 

Astrophotography and EAA might interest you, but it seems like you would already have a notion that you want to invest time and money in those. If you are feeling more like you will enjoy visual the most, try and find a dark place on your property or as close as possible and get out with your scope under the stars...


Edited by Don H, 22 July 2021 - 04:01 PM.

  • durangodoug likes this

#7 durangodoug

durangodoug

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2015

Posted 23 July 2021 - 12:13 AM

Hi all!  I'm delighted to find some new friends at CloudyNights.

 

MisterDan - great leads, thanks!  The San Juan Stargazers look particularly promising - nice active website, current dates... a growing membership..  and wow:  upcoming club events at Chimney Rock!  Ok, that'd definitely be worth the membership & drive.  Let me know if you're ever headed back down this way!

 

bbasiaga - Ha, yes, the thought of a bigger scope crosses my mind now and then, but I've managed to fight the urge, at least thus far.  It has been fun reading through forums to see new designs.. but I think I need to keep my blinders on & finish the 10", keeping with the original spirit & not drifting too far from the era it was started in.  As for star party, I'm loving the idea of viewing at Chimney Rock (now a national monument) with the San Juan Stargazers.

 

SteveV - I've discovered the best motivator for finishing the scope - setting it up in my home office here, where I see it every day :)  It seems I can't resist working on it that way.  Much more effective that being hidden away.  I'm pretty sure this will be my lifelong & most used scope (even if I were to eventually get a bigger companion to it) - it's easy (and actually fun) to set up, use, and carry back in & out of the house if the night looks good.

 

Don H - Funny you should mention a shroud - with that cardboard baffle mockup in place (to be replaced with black plastic "sign" material), it occurred to me that it could do double-duty by serving as framework for a shroud - one section mounted to it's top and reaching up to the UTA (probably just an elastic band to hold it in place over the bottom ring of the UTA), and a second second mounted to it's bottom reaching down to the mirror box (perhaps with snaps to hold in place).  I think I could even get the shroud interior to the collimation poles so it'd still be possible to stand at the eyepiece while twisting those poles to collimate, even with the shroud up.  I figure it's worth a try.. might to add more structure as you suggest... It would be nice to maximize contrast for viewing those faint fuzzies.

 

I think I'll prioritize (1) reaching out to the Pagosa club and plan to attend one of their upcoming Chimney Rock club events and (2) finishing up my keeper scope!

 

This has been really helpful, thank you all!



#8 durangodoug

durangodoug

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2015

Posted 23 July 2021 - 12:26 AM

Oh to clarify the primary mirror collimation - there are three 1/2" tubes in the mirror box leading to threaded collimation bolts.  I insert 3' long or so wooden dowells into two of them (keyed to the bolts) to allow collimation while standing.  I just realized that they're not in the picture I attached (as they interfere with the mock baffle).. I've since cut little holes in the baffle allowing them to stick through for use as before.


  • SteveV likes this

#9 rowdy388

rowdy388

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,391
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Saratoga County, NY

Posted 23 July 2021 - 11:18 AM

Just wanted to chime in and say welcome back to the forum! Each of us here enjoy sharing our own unique path in the hobby where the only rule

is to have fun. 

 

You live in a beautiful part of the country. I was through Durango a few years ago and even took the steam train to Silverton.


  • SteveV and durangodoug like this

#10 Astro-Master

Astro-Master

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,325
  • Joined: 09 May 2016
  • Loc: San Diego County,Ca.

Posted 23 July 2021 - 03:05 PM

  I'm advanced in my career, time is short, but retirement is coming soon,  What would you do if you woke up near retirement with a cool-looking custom-built 10" dob in a relatively dark area, in 2021?

 First, finish your scope, buy some APM 100* eyepieces, and get out under some dark skies.  Second start looking for a used portable 16" or larger truss Dob.  Everything looks new and exciting in a big Dob., but keep your 10" scope for when you get old and can't use the bigger Dob. anymore.


  • SteveV and durangodoug like this

#11 durangodoug

durangodoug

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2015

Posted 30 July 2021 - 09:26 PM

Thank you rowdy388! I'm curious, which of your scopes/binoculars get used the most?  I have a pair of big-lens binos somewhere here... I remember that if I steadied them, I enjoyed taking in Saturn's moons. There's some quick-n-go astronomy for ya. btw, how the heck does one edit their footer?  Glad you were able to visit the Durango area!

 

Astro-Master-  working on the scope, on many fronts:  Baffling.  A green laster pointer that won't hurt my neck. Exploring secondary options (for one that will actually keep collimation) - planning to play with wires, partly to meet that goal, and partly because I find that approach interesting.  Dark skies.. heck I'd settle for any skies at the moment!  Two solid weeks of clouds & rain, with no let-up in site. Guess that's why I'm typing away on a site named "CloudyNights".   Focused on getting the 10" to what it can be (for now and later).... and maybe enjoy others' big scopes for awhile (if the dang skies ever open up). We'll see.

 

Doug



#12 MisterDan

MisterDan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 761
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2014
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 01 August 2021 - 10:58 AM

1.  "My Settings"

2.  "Signature"

3.  Have at it. grin.gif

 

Cheers.

Dan


  • durangodoug likes this

#13 Tom Stock

Tom Stock

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,020
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Saint Augustine, FL

Posted 02 August 2021 - 04:18 PM

one word: big



#14 durangodoug

durangodoug

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2015

Posted 21 August 2021 - 12:30 AM

one word: big

?



#15 rowdy388

rowdy388

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,391
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Saratoga County, NY

Posted 22 August 2021 - 12:21 PM

Thank you rowdy388! I'm curious, which of your scopes/binoculars get used the most? 

My 12.5" dob gets used the most (by far) because it's mounted on wheels and just has to roll fully assembled off an enclosed porch onto my observing deck.

My favorite binoculars are the 3D 8X42 Space Walkers because they are light and a lot of fun even though the 3D effect is just a gimmick. 


  • George N and durangodoug like this


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