Entering the World of Amateur Telescope Making

For the past few weeks, I’ve been designing my next telescope, an Albert Highe inspired 16″ dobsonian. The decision to build my own telescope stemmed from the fact that I knew exactly what I wanted, and I could not get it from any of the well known US telescope manufacturers. In addition, I wanted to learn new skills, including computer assisted design and woodworking. The image to the left is the latest rendering of the optical tube assembly as I envisioned it (click for a higher resolution image). Below are my original specifications:

  • The mirror box and rocker box must fit together within 24″ x 24″ x 18″, so that it fits in my car.
  • The eyepiece height cannot exceed 64″, so that I don’t have to use a step stool or a ladder.
  • The weight of the heaviest component cannot exceed 40 lbs, so that I can easily lift it.
  • Overall cost must not exceed $5,000.

I opted for a 16″ F/4 mirror, which should fit my goals. In the next few months, I will be posting photographs as I build and assemble the various parts that make up the telescope. Stay tuned!

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