In this section we will show you how to build a complete Dobsonian Telescope. At about the inch size, it is more practical to switch to a truss-tube design, which we will not cover at this time see [Kriege97] for very good plans on building large aperture truss-tube Dobsonians. There are many ways to build a Dobsonian telescope, with many design decisions to be made. Our goal here is to guide you through building a basic Dobsonian that will function well, and our choices reflect that. Other plans may make other perfectly valid choices, or may have different design goals. A Dobsonian Telescope is a optically a Newtonian Reflector mounted on a Alt-Az mount with a low and stable center of gravity and Teflon-Laminate bearings.
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In this section we will show you how to build a complete Dobsonian Telescope. At about the inch size, it is more practical to switch to a truss-tube design, which we will not cover at this time see [Kriege97] for very good plans on building large aperture truss-tube Dobsonians. There are many ways to build a Dobsonian telescope, with many design decisions to be made.
Our goal here is to guide you through building a basic Dobsonian that will function well, and our choices reflect that. Other plans may make other perfectly valid choices, or may have different design goals. A Dobsonian Telescope is a optically a Newtonian Reflector mounted on a Alt-Az mount with a low and stable center of gravity and Teflon-Laminate bearings.
John does not like or encourage the term Dobsonian, but his wishes have not been followed and everyone uses the term.
He reminds people that cannons have been mounted this way for years. In August , we held the 75th Stellafane Convention , and our president, Jeff Lowe, urged all of the Springfield Telescope Makers to bring one of their home made telescopes to Breezy Hill to honor our traditions.
I have been meaning to put Dobsonian plans up on our web site for several years, and the 75th Convention has moved me to action. So on a snowy day in February not too far from Stellafane, I started this project, and had both the scope and these pages finished before convention. The scope we show on these web pages was proudly displayed on Breezy Hill by the Stellafane Clubhouse in August at the convention.
The scope was entered in the optical and mechanical competitions. It won an Innovative Component Award for the adjustable cradle design. It just missed placing in the optical competition. The optical judges told me on their second visit I had the best collimated scope and the easiest to point and hold Dobsonian mount on the filed that night - so if you have any doubts about the curved vane spider or mount design, rest assured they work well.
We break the project into two major pieces: the OTA and the Mount, and each piece is to some extent a separate project. The Newtonian OTA will be built in the classic Dobsonian-style cardboard concrete form tube, and while we plan to mate it to our Dobsonian Mount, it could certainly be attached to other types of mounts if desired by making a suitable set of tube rings or a tube cradle.
Similarly, the Dobsonian mount we describe could be sized to fit an existing OTA, so if you have a telescope tube and want to mount it as a Dobsonian, you can just start at our mount project. Optics: The mirror we will use in our sample scope was made at the Stellafane Mirror Class by the author, and we certainly encourage people to make their own telescope optics. However this project can use any suitable mirror you have, be it made by you, picked up on eBay or our at swap tables, or bought from a commercial supplier.
Whatever source that works for you will work in this telescope. Components: In most cases, when parts like spiders, diagonal holders, mirror cells and focusers are required, we will tell you how to build your own, or if you choose, what purchase if you don't want to make that component.
You can mix and match purchased and home made components to suit you desires and budget. We will purchase a diagonal mirror, and we plan to use a commercially produced focuser.
Everything else we will build ourselves, and we will show you a simple focuser you can build out of plumbing parts. Tools: For this project, we will strive to give you complete instructions to complete this project with basic woodworking hand tools. However, we do expect you have an electric drill. We will also describe how power hand tools might make the job faster, or simpler, or in a few cases provide more accuracy. Having a power jig saw, circular saw, router or power sander can help or be more convenient, but won't be necessary to complete this project.
Craftsmanship: Telescopes can be works of art , or they can have a rough but functional appearance. We will strive to produce something in the middle: Our Dobsonian will be neat and well finished, but not a work of art. Of course you many choose to move up or down this scale as your skills and interests dictate.
Order of Construction: We have arranged the the steps in a logical progression below, and that is how we will proceed to built this telescope. There are dependencies: for instance you need to know the diameter and focal length of your mirror before you can size the tube, and you need to know the size and balance point of your tube before you can size your mount.
To avoid rework and scrap, please proceed in the order we present the plans. We use this free web application to calculate tube dimensions and component placement, and to check for vignetting.
Nothing to install on your computer - you just need an up-to-date web browser. This easy to build cradle won an innovative component award at the Stellafane Convention for it simplicity and effectiveness. Build a Dobsonian Telescope Introduction Our Dobsonian sits in the garden at dusk cooling down for the nights observing.
The plywood Dobsonian mount is simple to build and very functional. Ken Slater, Webmaster Aug Newt-Web Newtonian Telescope Design Web Application We use this free web application to calculate tube dimensions and component placement, and to check for vignetting. Dobsonian Bearing Materials A discussion of why certain materials are used for Dobsonian Bearings, mechanical issues for Dob bearings, and where to obtain these materials.
Recommended Books on Building Dobsonians Here are books we learned from, and you might find useful for additional ideas and techniques. Build Your Own Telescope - Richard Berry - [Berry94] The classic small Dobsonian construction book, by the person who was a major force in popularizing this design in the 's.
Optional tube rings and "red-dot" finder are shown. A nicely painted concreet form tube can look pretty good! Our homemade primary mirror cell, bult from plywood and common hardware store parts. Our homemade curved vane diagonal holder, built from a stainless steel ruler, wood dowel, and a few nuts and bolts.
How To Build a Dobsonian Telescope: DIY Astronomy Project
How to build a I began building it in the spring of , but the bulk of the work was done in July of with first light occurring on July This Instructable describe the planning, design, and parts of the scope, as well as the process of building The scope. This is the first telescope that I have built. I found out pretty quickly that building my own telescope would only be a bargain if I made my own mirror and mechanical parts. This might have been tempting if I wanted to build a 6 inch scope—at that size, they say that first-timers do pretty well at grinding and figuring their own optics.
Build a Backyard Dobsonian Telescope
Y es, it "looks like a cannon," but the above is really a ten-inch measured by the diameter of the objective Newtonian telescope that almost anybody can build. Here you will find plans to build this telescope, or a smaller one--either a 4. I have kept as close to this design as possible: One, because this is--hands down--the cheapest and easiest way to make a quality telescope; and two, because I walk in the shadow of John Dobson, who invented many of these designs which have revolutionized amateur and professional astronomy alike Besides, Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomer , Pam Reid, did most of the work by writing and typing the procedures, as well as gathering the drawings--which, by the way, were done by Earl Jungians from photographs of John at work by Molly Lusignan. Most of my "work" consisted of scanning and re-typing Pam's work John has, quite literally, helped thousands of people make telescopes of this design! Only in the past few years have commercial telescope manufacturers adopted the Dobsonian approach to make affordable, alt-azimuth Newtonian telescopes