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Byz1453

Sumerian Optics 10" Travel Alkaid

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I took delivery this week of the above scope. Its a bit of an early birthday treat to myself...

I have had my eye on one of these for a while and I was lucky enough to be able to place an order earlier this year.

I move around a bit for my job and tend to live in cities. I also gave up my car when i moved to Amsterdam so a travel dob was high on the wish list.

Michael had a few jobs on so I had to be patient but he very kindly dropped it off with me this week.

Haven't had a chance to try her out in anger yet (she absolutely is a she!) but I can't wait.

I have managed to build her a couple of times, the first was no guide to build time in the field as the cricket kept interrupting...

Its pretty intuitive, very cleverly put together and lovingly built. i reckon 10 minutes max either way.

Its 10kg and 33 x 42 x 17 cm so airline compatible.

I went for a Moonlite CR 2 and OO 1:8 PV Hi Lux mirror. Shroud on the way from Heather in the US.

Hopefully photos are attached . I put a 24mm panoptic and 8mm Delos in for scale.

Must say i am a very happy bunny...

Kieran

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That is beautiful mate, can't wait to hear your first light report

Sent from my LT30p using Tapatalk 2

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super lookin things these..congrats on a great scope....clear skies!

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That man seems to make some very nice equipment, almost went for one of the big ones early in the year, sort of wish I had.

Congratulations.

Alan.

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That looks great. I have seen one of these in the flesh, very nice.

Are you sure you have built it right though? I can't see how that would be rigid enough to hold collimation without more triangles in the trusses.

Cheers

Tim

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I suppose a heavy eyepiece can cause problems, but I find it pretty rigid with the rods. It's a good compromise between weight/transportability and stability.

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Thanks all.

Don't worry too much about the first build and the photos, as I said, I was a bit distracted by the cricket and made a few schoolboy errors. So apologies if any of the photos were a bit unusual. A few wickets fell during the build...

It is a sturdy beast, solid, and whilst I have been a bit timid to begin with I know that I just have to get used to how she operates. Plenty of people have this design and speak highly of it.

Must say that Michael has been a star since and answered all my questions and queries, even the stupid ones, and where there has been an small issue he is popping round next week to sort it.

There is a play off against big eyepieces but for the situation I am in where I need to travel and don't have the option of hopping in a car to a dark site this is a happy compromise. If I move to a more permanent location I would happily order one of his bigger scopes, but then again I might also order a few more other things as well....

I am looking forward to changing from a 'traditional frac Ap guy' to the dark side of dobsonian observing...

Solar scope is next on the list, although those Skylight scopes look lovely...

Kieran

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Thats a beautiful looking dob! I wonder how it compares to solid dobs around the same price?

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sweet looking setup mate, plenty of fun waiting to be had there

super lookin things these..congrats on a great scope....clear skies!

c'mon Calv, you know you want an eq ;)

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they are beautiful scopes. I agree that the trusses should form wide triangles rather than narrow triangles as currently. it looks like you need to turn the top cage round by 45 degrees to achieve this.

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Thanks all, I did spot the error of my ways very early on....

The joys of not being able to edit....

It's a great scope, a doddle to use and my little pride and joy.

Michael did let me have a play with one of his 12" Canopus models as well. A lovely instrument and even easier to assemble but not exactly airline friendly.

I had hoped to travel a bit more this year but haven't yet had the chance get away from the bright lights of the big city.

Kieran

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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What a great scope, I would love a travel scope like this so I could fit it into a motorbike helmet box.

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Michael did let me have a play with one of his 12" Canopus models as well. A lovely instrument and even easier to assemble but not exactly airline friendly.

Did he mention what the 'reorganisation of all models' on his website means? A new model maybe??

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Wow, gorgeous. That scope is a work of art.  I must say every time I see these scopes I just drool. I really would like to have something like that. Hope you get first light soon (not that it's looking good in the Netherlands at the moment, but at least I know who is to blame ;))

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Hey, don't blame me Michael. Blame the weather coming over for the UK with all those new scopes we read about on SGL...;-)

The other Michael did mention that he was looking at design tweaks but I wouldn't expect a fundamental redesign or brand new model. He is pretty much working flat out. At the end of the day he is a craftsman (carpenter by trade) and a one man band who has a family to support and a lot of demands from customers. I am sure he will be back meeting demands soon...

I love the level of service and attention to detail that he has provided me with. He takes great pride in his work and also his love of astronomy. He is a top bloke to chat with over a beer.

Clear skies everyone!

Kieran

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Hi Kieran,

I've had one of these for just over two and a half years now and the only thing that bugs me is the inability to mount a decent finder....there's no surface to mount it on! Michael did provide a small rdf and a mount for it, but I can't really get it to align on anything. I was wondering how you've found that? Do you keep yours assembled by the way? 

Interesting looking at your photos that Michael seems to have added some weights behind the mirror and the fan looks like a permanently attached item now. 

Will never forget the night I took it to the top of Hallin Fell in the Lakes and watched Saturn rise from behind the surrounding hills. Try doing that with a solid tube!

Edited by osbourne one-nil

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Hi,

Yes, I keep it assembled in a little shed on my terrace - I'm in the city centre and pop it out for quick looks of an evening. The southern sky is particularly beautiful at the moment even with the light pollution. I added a shroud to try and help cut that down as much a s possible. Jupiter was stunning the other night. I could sit for hours just staring at that alone...

I tend to align the RDF at the beginning of a session on a distant church spire and then a bright star. I've always had a finder scope before but have no issues with getting used to the RDF, I look at as that's the price you pay for its lightweight design. It does make for some interesting head positions for (6'2") me though as I try and find a target near the zenith...

I had a bit of an issue with balance and the elastic cord not being strong enough to cope with eyepieces. We replaced the cord with a stronger elastic but Michael also made a couple of heavier weights for the base which helps. I have a few larger eyepieces and have no issue with balance now.

When I come to pack up and move it for my travels I will have to switch the weights again to pack it all away and take the large ones in my hold luggage. I have not had to use the fan or secondary heater as yet although both are there if needed.

I really love this scope. As I mentioned before he also gave me a go on one of his larger non-portable designs and I must say it was lovely and even easier to take down, transport and reassemble. Great if you have a car....

Hoping to get out a bit more in the spring and take it with me to a few dark skies. The wife was entranced with the aurora on the Beeb this week and I am pushing for Iceland or Norway but we love the far north of Scotland, which is one of the reasons I went for this design, so I can't wait to get it up there and really see what it can do.

I hope Michael gets his new offerings online soon, he is a great guy and makes lovely instruments.

Kieran

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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