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RE: Starting From Ground Zero

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Posted by john beyrau on April 26, 2000 18:47:08 UTC

Try building both types of telesope Reflector or refractor. I`ve constructed both styles over the years and each presents it`s own set of problems for you to deal with. I`d get a hold of the Edmund Scientific Co. book on Home built telescopes (They have a web site.) for lots of useful & cheap ideas on building scopes and mounts. Some of the material is dated but there is nothing I have found so useful since I began playing around with optics in the early 1960`s.
If you`re planning on planetary observation, build a refractor using the best objective you can afford preferably 90mm or larger and f15 or greater. I`m presently buildig one of these using only hand tools (except a drill) and with a Sky Instruments "research grade" objetive and it has very pleasing contrast and sharpness. A telescope of these dimensions is awkward to haul but the images are usually much superior to newtonians or cats unless they are of the very finest (read expensive) quality.
Other wise build a light bucket newtonian. You can with, a little care, build a better instrument than you can buy. My limited experience with commercial telescopes (2 celestrons ,one meade and one Orion dob) is that that they are not nearly as good as claimed. At least in the examples I`ve owned.

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