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
|Published (Last):||25 October 2011|
|PDF File Size:||17.56 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||3.22 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
When I set out to build a portable telescope, known as a Dobsonian telescope, the first step had me stymied—where do you find 6 ft of 8-in. I'm a physicist by training, an amateur astronomer by inclination and an occasional visitor to the home center for DIY projects. A massive tube is not usually on my shopping list. I stood in the store with meticulous notes on the materials I needed, but no one could find them. And no, my local hardware store did not carry Teflon.
I had heard that building a Dobsonian was simple and inexpensive. This is in fact true—but collecting the materials takes some doing. This is a far cry from John Dobson's experience when he first built the portable, sidewalk telescopes that now bear his name.
The cardboard tubes were lying around. The shingles used to mount the mirror were blown off roofs in storms. We built the mount from window cutouts from schoolhouse doors that had been thrown away. When I brag that the plastics supply store where I finally found Teflon gave me some scrap for free, he exclaims, "Good for you! I did not admit to him that I didn't grind my own telescope mirrors—something he did with two porthole windows and sand paper—and that I didn't build my own eyepiece out of binoculars.
Optics these days can be purchased in kits online. I based my design on the telescope plans provided by Ray Cash , a member of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers , modifying the plans even further with a few ready-made parts. Dobson claims he didn't invent the sidewalk telescope, as he had lots of help with his early prototypes. However, Dobson did choose to promote his sidewalk telescopes at the cost of his longtime home.
After 23 years living in a Vedanta a branch of Hinduism monastery, where he built telescopes surreptitiously in the basement and then snuck out at night to introduce the neighborhood kids to the stars, he was told he had to choose between life as a monk or as a telescope builder.
That was in Today, Dobson still tours the world to teach telescope building. The collection process turned out to be an enjoyable treasure hunt—but don't worry, the source list we put together below explains how to find everything. As I sawed and drilled, I murmured a fairly steady mantra to myself of "Why on earth do I have to do that? That's brilliant. In essence, it's a telescope built onto a gun mount, which balances through friction as it swivels on an LP record.
You may be able to buy a similarly sized commercial telescope at that price these days, but you wouldn't have nearly as much fun. The actual construction took a weekend, and it would be a great project to tackle with kids.
Dobson may be nonchalant about how he used only junk to build his scopes, but it took an impressive mind to figure out how to use that junk in such ingenious ways. Building my telescope, watching it swivel so smoothly, seeing the stars, I basked in the reflected glory of that ingenuity. I am hooked. I want to build another one—and next time, I'm going to grind my own mirrors. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano. This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Telescopes.
Build a Backyard Dobsonian Telescope
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.
Build a Dobsonian Telescope
When I set out to build a portable telescope, known as a Dobsonian telescope, the first step had me stymied—where do you find 6 ft of 8-in. I'm a physicist by training, an amateur astronomer by inclination and an occasional visitor to the home center for DIY projects. A massive tube is not usually on my shopping list. I stood in the store with meticulous notes on the materials I needed, but no one could find them.
Homemade 12.5 Inch Dobsonian Telescope
Dobsonian telescopes are popular with amateur telescope makers for their ease of design and construction, portability, and their use of large optical mirrors. Pioneered by John Dobson in the s, the instrument combines a Newtonian reflector telescope with a unique two-axis movable base. It uses a primary mirror to capture and reflect light, a secondary mirror to direct light into an eyepiece, and a focuser to make fine adjustments for viewing. My finished inch Dobson telescope. Photo by Carrie Fay Amaro. The project took several months off and on to complete, although a skilled Maker could put a similar one together in a few weeks.