How to Construct a Dobsonian Telescope at Home

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Due to the simpleness of the Dobsonian’s reflector style and also altazimuth place, it is feasible to construct one on your own in your home. While doing so might not necessarily save you considerable amounts of money, the complete satisfaction of delighting in the nighttime sky with a checking out the tool you crafted yourself make developing you are very own well worth the initiative. Following is a standard introduction of the steps to adhere to.

Select your aperture size and design.

Before you start constructing, you will certainly require to pick a few fundamental attributes that manage the various other style information: Your aperture size (the size of your primary mirror) and your focal length.

When you pick these attributes, you should have the ability to input them into a layout program that will calculate the dimensions you require. One of the most prominent of these programs is Newt-Web, which will create a Dobsonian style that meets your requirements. Conversely, lots of building contractors have discovered it useful to get in touch with the layouts in publications such as Plans for Building a Sidewalk Telescope by John Dobson himself, or Develop Your Own Telescope by Richard Berry, though these layouts need you to scale them yourself to match the aperture dimension and focal length you want for your scope.

Buy the parts as well as tools.

Once you have your style, you ought to buy the components as well as tools you will certainly need. When Dobson initially created the telescope, he situated the majority of the material he needed cheaply or free of charge in the type of castaway building and construction material. Today, builders report that the material can be more challenging and a lot more costly to find. Nonetheless, through cautious research and a couple of journeys to a well-stocked equipment store, you should have the ability to locate what you need. Complying with is a standard checklist of the products you will probably need:

  • Primary mirror
  • Second mirror
  • Teflon
  • Telescope tube (otherwise known as a Sonotube. This component is among the more difficult pieces to a source.). Alternate to telescope tube: Plywood to build your own telescope tube
  • Crawler
  • Mirror cell
  • Focuser
  • Ebony celebrity strips
  • Baltic birch sheets
  • Telrad base
  • Birch veneer
  • Stain
  • Washing machine, nuts, and screws for the focuser
  • Medical cotton
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Woodworking hand tools
  • Electric drill
  • Assorted items as required by your design/building process
  • Build your optical tube.

SonotubeThe optical tube layout for a Dobsonian is extremely easy, containing a variety of baffles (octagonal items of wood put within television to sustain it as well as to guide the light with the lenses as well as mirrors).

Similar to many facets of constructing your very own Dobsonian, you can select whether to construct television on your own or to acquire it. If you pick to build television yourself, you will need to reduce the proper number of baffles and affix them to a long item of plywood that is the correct size of a television. You will certainly then need to complete the tube by reducing and securing items of plywood around the baffles to create television. Your style program can assist you to identify the number of baffles you need as well as how long your optical tube ought to be.

The easiest method, however, is simply to buy a sonotube, which is a long length of plywood tubes that can serve as the optical tube. At that point, you just require to reduce the tube to the required size.

Mount the focuser to the optical tube.

The focuser is the component of the telescope that focuses the light as it comes in the scope. It is placed in the top of the optical tube and is the initial piece of television which you must place. There are several actions entailed:

  • The action the size of the focuser base.
  • Your layout program needs to give you the info you need to understand where to drill the hole.
  • Pierce an opening slightly larger than the focuser base.
  • Center the focuser in the hole.
  • Mark where the bolts will certainly go.
  • Eliminate the focuser and pierce the holes for the bolts.
  • Change the focuser and also bolt it onto television.

Select whether to develop or purchase your mirrors as well as lenses.

Your next step will be to decide whether to develop your acquire your own mirrors and also lenses for the scope. To be as real to Dobson’s telescope-building experience as feasible, you must grind your own mirrors and also lenses. Nonetheless, the process is reasonably entailed, and also several home builders choose to buy their mirrors in order to save time and headache.

Mount the primary mirror to the mirror cell.

As soon as you have either created or purchased your mirrors, you should put the main mirror in the mirror cell, which will certainly hold it steady within the optical tube. At this stage, gentleness is the key to preventing optical distortion. Also, minor flexing of the mirror can develop optical distortions.

If you are utilizing a mirror cell that makes use of keeping clips, you should tighten the clips just enough to prevent acts of more than 1/16th of an inch on either side. However, the clips need to do nothing more than hardly touch the mirror in order to prevent optical distortion.

If you are utilizing a homemade mirror cell, you must have the ability to gently secure the mirror to the cell with the use of silicone. Because the homemade cell does not use retainer clips, it reduces the danger of optical distortion from excessively tightened clips.

Mount the mirror cell to the optical tube.

The mirror cell can then be protected to the front end of the optical tube by using half-inch long plywood wedges secured around the bathtub end. These strips offer an installing upon which you can put your mirror cell, which is connected to the placing by silicone adhesive pads.

To this mirror, you need to additionally add collimation bolts. These bolts allow you to readjust the mirror as required when paralleling the extent. They also more securely attach the mirror cell to the telescope, holding the key mirror safely in position.

Mount the secondary mirror to the crawler.

The last two interior items to your Dobsonian will be the spider (the holder for the second mirror) and the secondary mirror. Once again, purchasing a spider as well as a mirror as opposed to making them is the more convenient choice.

The secondary mirror, likewise referred to as a diagonal mirror, mounts to the spider using either a holder with a covering as well as a rim or using adhesive mounting. To place the mirror to the spider making use of the covering and also edge set up, you require to thoroughly place the mirror into the shell as well as usage medical cotton to delicately press the mirror right into the rim. Similar to the key mirror, gentleness is critical to prevent flexing the mirror and also experiencing optical distortions.

If you are making use of an adhesive install, you can attach the secondary mirror merely by using silicone adhesive to the owner, using toothpicks to include the area to between the holder and also the mirror, positioning the mirror on the top, and enabling the entire thing to dry. After a day of drying, you simply require to remove the toothpicks as well as your mirror will be securely attached to the spider.

Mount the crawler to the optical tube.

The spider, with the secondary mirror in place, will need to be installed in the optical tube directly below the focuser. Following are the steps to take:

  • Establish the owner modification space to 1/2 inch.
  • Step the fastest range in between the mirror surface area and also the rear of the holder.
  • The action the lengthiest range between the mirror surface area and also back of the holder.
  • Include the worths from steps 3 and also 4 and divide by 2.
  • The procedure the distance from the back of the owner to the installing opening on the crawler.
  • Include the worths from actions 4 and 5.
  • An action the range from the front of the television to the facility of the focuser.
  • Subtract the worth from step 6 from the value from action 7 to figure out exactly how much to install the crawler from the front of the optical tube.
  • Pierce your openings as well as place the crawler at the figured out place.

Construct your place.

The install itself needs just a few hours of basic woodworking work. The base consists of three components:

Telescope base

This base is what the optical tube holder rests upon. You can build a basic, four-sided box upon which the install the owner.

Owner for the optical tube

The holder for the optical tube also requires basic woodworking skills. It must be simply huge enough to comfortably fit the telescope tube and also can include a rocker and diameter bearings to make it flexible.

Ground board

The ground board is a round piece of plywood that stabilizes the mount on the ground.

In order to construct the extent, you attach the base to the ground board with Teflon pads. You then screw the holder onto the top of the base and place your telescope within the owner. You need to then collimate and evaluate your scope prior to you begin appreciating your very own, self-made dobsonian telescope


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