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Hi everybody, i'd like to share with you the design, making and progress of a project my astro club endeavoring to. I'll post here relevant info in a run-up to where we got to so far. Here is the mission: 800mm in diameter. That's it. A lot of inspiration out there but it needs to be able to do science. So it's a relatively fast Newtonian capable of tracking for tens of minutes. So we realized that we were facing 2 projects in one. The mirror on one side and the mount on the other. Shall we start with the mount? What's the best compromise in terms of ease to build and cheap components and the chance to have a stiff yet light structure. An alt-az, like the biggest telescope! - or rather a glorified dobsonian in this case. Ambitious? Definitely Any comment/suggestion is welcome!
First off thanks in advance. I've been around astronomy my entire life and used plenty of telescopes but never actually got around to building one. I grew up spending a lot of time with John Dobson so I'm very familiar with the Dobsonian and the concept of grinding mirrors etc. I'll likely be building two telescopes. The first as a proof of concept and to actually get it done then a much larger one that will take a lot longer and not be portable. I'm buying a farm and I may actually build an observatory to house it as well. The farm is at 9000ft and should provide amazing viewing. As I intend on building the much bigger telescope second should I build the first one in the same style mount and configuration or do you not see that as a big deal? For the first telescope I was planing an 8" Dobsonian style. I could go bigger or smaller. I'm not concerned about length so I'd take the focal length that makes sense. I could grind or buy a mirror. For the second telescope I have no idea. I'm skilled in construction but I don't want to build something massive just to have it. If there is a simple answer like "you can go up to X inches with this style" or "you'll see incredibly marginal returns after X inches" or "after X inches it gets 10 times as expensive" let me know. My guess is there isn't a simple answer. I'm not afraid to take on too massive of a project and I've got a decent budget. I also have the time to hand grind mirrors etc. I'd assume the first one I'll keep under $1000 USD and the second one I'd be open to finding out what my options are. $10,000 USD isn't a problem but naturally I don't want to throw money away and if something really awesome can be done for more I'd entertain it. Thanks ahead of time and from what I've read in the past that this awesome community has produced. Jastronomy