Hi, I am Russ from Connecticut. I recently finished my 150 mm F15 build. Ales was kind enough to put my review and two photos on the home page of the IStar web site. I am really enjoying the new scope. If it is clear tomorrow I plan to try some lunar photography. If anyone has any questions on the construction of the scope, I would be happy to reply.
I built a 150 f12 a few years ago now and love it. Sometimes I wish I had gone f15 but f12 is long enough and CA is of no concern. An impressive mount too. I had to build a 2" pillow block mount for my scope which was a 2 year adventure in aluminium shavings I can't post a photo of the finished product here at the moment but I also have lots of rings...8 of them....two straight through finders and an 80mm f7.5 as a super finder, lots of fun.
Thanks Matt, I have been enjoying the new F/15. I have also been doing a little more work on the mount, some oak eyepiece shelves and red lights. I have replaced the piggyback ED80 with a Sky-Watcher Pro ED 100. When all the finishing work is done I will post some photos.
Thanks, My mount is different than most. It was built entirely with simple hand tools and a small table top drill press. It was designed around the limited equipment that I have. I wanted to keep it manual but easy to use. My friction clutches are made of MDS impregnated nylon. I used a commercial welding turntable for the azimutn and 2 pillow block bearings for the altitude. The azimuth has an 18" diameter setting circle and the altitude has an 8" dial and a digital inclinometer. After I find my first target and set the dials, I no longer even need the finder scope to locate additional targets. It is very smooth and can be operated with one finger. The OTA is made of schedule 40 and schedule 80 PVC. I am not concerned with sagging because it is supported across a large section of the tube. The tube is flocked on the inside and is not baffled. The contrast is excellent. The flocking was the most difficult part of the build. The bare OTA weighs 42 lbs. With the 6 rings, dovetail plate additional scope etc. the entire scope is about 85 lbs. I have 88 lbs of counterweights opposite the OTA. The pedestal is oak with an internal frame and aluminum top plate. Most of the mount is aluminum. The mount has a load limit of 1400 lbs. due to the wheels being the weakest link. The 220lbs on top is insignificant. I have added a few extra ballast weights on the bottom and underneath to bring the total weight to about 525lbs. I roll it out of my garage and set up in the front of my house where I have the best overall view of the sky. If my backyard had a better view of the sky I would have built a bigger scope and made a permanent mount. Russ Leonard