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swamp thing

20" f/4 Dob build

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Good stuff. Must be the most eagerly awaited first light in the history of SGL!

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What an amazing looking scope - fantastic workmanship. Good luck with your first night under the stars with this.

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Thanks for the kind comments all. It's been a long build, what with delays on parts, and my work getting in the way.

1376063636' post='2010664']

that tailor...do they do a slightly smaller size? rolleyes.gif

Afraid not mate the tailor is a buddy of mine, retired. This is strictly a one off, Sorry.

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Thats a simply great looking scope Steve :grin:

Any chance of it visiting an SGL star party ? :smiley:

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Thats a simply great looking scope Steve grin.gif

Any chance of it visiting an SGL star party ? smiley.gif

Thanks John

It's certainly a goal of mine to get to SGL star parties. I will also be travelling about with it visiting a few dark spots throughout the country. I will be meeting up with as many SGL members and social groups as I can, and sharing views :)

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Thanks John

It's certainly a goal of mine to get to SGL star parties. I will also be travelling about with it visiting a few dark spots throughout the country. I will be meeting up with as many SGL members and social groups as I can, and sharing views :)

Well I'd be prepared to travel someway to have a peek through it. The memories of my last look through a 20" are still etched on my memory but I'd love a "refresher" :cool:

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i'm hoping to go to sgl 9...would be great to meet you steve, this thread has been partly to blame for my dwindiling bank balance!!

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Refresher coming up John :)

Cal, reckon we could well see one another before then :) I will be in Wales soon.

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Refresher coming up John :)

Cal, reckon we could well see one another before then :) I will be in Wales soon.

..just say the word....

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It's moments like this when I wish I had a car... I'd love to have a look through - and have a look at the scope in person. It looks amazing, quite a bright blue though :p.

I can still remember looking at Jupiter through a 14" (Meade LX200 I believe), and blimey that was a sight. I can't even imagine the views from a 20" :).

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Great to see the project in it's final stage Steve, looks well worth all the hours put in and patiently suffering those delays.

Looking forward to seeing it make an appearance at a future Surrey Observers meet. Add your T31 with Oiii, I've got a feeling it's gonna absolutely murder The Veil :grin:

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Well, finally it got a brief first light last night (and when I say brief I mean brief). Decided to set it up at my parents house as they live out of town, its not dark by any stretch of the imagination, but its far better than where I am. There are some local lights on nearby, but as I'm only trying it out I'm not gonna bother worrying about that.

Had a bit of a head scratcher setting it up. The UTA wouldn't fit on. The truss tubes were different lengths. I'm thinking "what the hell?" I'm running round the scope with a tape measure.......no, they're all the same length....."what's going on?" This is odd, the UTA went on fine every time till now. Then thought what have I actually done since fitting the shroud. Answer.... heat shrink the truss tubes. This involved removing the trusses from their UTA clamps. Idiot, I'd put a clamp on upside down.

After this quick fix, scope is up n running in no time. Unfortunately the clouds are coming fast. Collimation took a while to get the secondary sorted, the primary was very easy.

Clouds almost over now.

Almost frantically I reach for an eyepiece stuff it in the focuser ( can't be bothered to set up the Paracorr system ,I just wanna see something). I quickly get the Telrad out of my case and onto the UTA, I'm hoping its near enough lined up to enable me to find something, eyeing along a scope this big just isn't gonna happen. Total cloud is now every where with just a few peep holes. However one of the peep holes is allowing me to see Lyra. I swing the scope over until M57 is centred in the Telrad , tentatively I peer into the big Nagler.........nothing. The Telrad is a country mile out DOH! I'm gonna have to wing it the old fashioned way. I start moving the scope in a spiralling out pattern thinking "I've gotta hit something surely" all the while noticing how well the scope moves, driving this big lump is really nice and smooth. The dampening is instant I've never used a scope that dampens this quickly ever. I'm really chuffed with that. It just shows how rigid and strong this scope is.

Suddenly M57 comes into view. That'll do nicely.......

Im in a so-so area with some local lights on, I didn't bother with the shroud so extraneous light s probably getting in. What can I say, it's a bright turquoise oval ring. Bearing in mind without Paracorr the 31mm eyepiece gives too big an exit pupil at f/4. I change to my 20mm plus Powermate, this frames the ring nicely at 200x., no central star though, reckon I'd need a better spot to observe from for that. The tracking is child's play at this power. I'm just thinking I'll get my 12mm T4 out and push the mag up to 320x when........

Cloud comes in and spoils the fun :(

Overall, pleased with first light considering the crazy race against the clouds. Next time with the Paracorr fitted and a bit more time......

I'm really impressed with how this big lump moves and dampens. The balancing is very nice too, the fact I can put any eyepiece combo I like in the focuser without worrying about any counterweights is simply great. It will hold this balance from zenith to horizon too. The feathertouch focuser is superb, I'm pleased I went for it, can't wait to fit the Paracorr part.

At the zenith a small step is needed to reach the eyepiece, most of the time my feet will be on the floor though.

Reckon I finally have my own 20" Obsession. :)

Thanks to everyone for your kind words, encouragement, and friendly advice during this build. I hope it inspires a few of you to start your own builds. Hopefully I'll meet up with a few of you soon and we can share some views.

Clear skies to one and all hello.gif

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Great news Steve, well done!! I am so looking forward to seeing it in the flesh. I bet you haven't stopped smiling??

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or brilliant steve well done, a lot of effort but well worth it. so glad all is great, see you soon mate

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Sounds like a brilliant scope Steve. Lets hope the skies co-operate next time :).

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Brief first light or not it must be a very satisfying feeling looking through something you've built. A very well done to you sir :icon_salut:

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up and running!...great news just need a good forecast for Friday...you and me both! well done steve.

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Nice work, are you going to call it the swamp scope ? the aperture certainly deserve the title :D Building a scope is not something I see myself doing any time soon, but it is interesting to read about such projects :)

Not sure I'd want to look through it though even if you let me, because it would probably ruin everything else after that in a smaller scope :)

Edited by AlexB67

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Should be nice and clear for you tonight Steve good luck mate, don't forget to report back. Like we would let you lol

Sent from my LT30p using Tapatalk 2

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Nice one glad up and running! :) was some effort and certainly looks the part, think you've just gained 100+ friends on this forum !!

had similar experience when trying to track the iss the other night, rushing to set up, things always go wrong last min - my skytee2 head slipped and blocked az movement, the clutch lever somehow unscrewed, finder managed to Mis align, paracorr too far in wouldn't focus, just managed to catch half of the pass, felt jinxed!! Wasn't best pleased but got there in the end

Look forward to catching up soon!

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Love this quote!

yes that's a brilliant quote..... do all DIY'ers prefer working alone? I know I hate 'help'

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That's great Steve. Look forward to hearing you first light report when you don't have clouds to contend with. Sounds like you nailed the bearings BTW result!!!

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