My Telescopes

 I have owned several telescopes over the years. My first was a Prinz 60mm refractor, given to me as a 13th birthday gift. I spent many  happy hours with this scope, mainly observing the moon.
My second scope was my first home built job. It was a 6 inch Dobsonian. The mirror was not very good though, having very poor contrast probably caused by so-called turned down edge. But I was still delighted to complete this scope.
This image shows the second telescope I made, an 8 inch Newtonian F/6. It was a good mirror and proved to be a very good instrument. The fork mounting shown though wasn't so succesful, so the scope went back on its' original Dob mount. I then built an equatorial platform (a motorised platform that permits up to an hour of tracking.), and this setup worked well. The scope also prompted me to build my first observatory.
Here is that observatory. It is a run off roof design and worked well.
I wanted to change from working in wood to using metal for my scopes. I obtained a lathe/mill and built a German equatorial. I also put the 8 inch mirror in a PVC tube. The pics below show  a variety of views.
The new telescope called for a new observatory, shown at left. It's basically a taller version of the previous one.
Back to telescope making, I built a 10 inch Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the scope. It proved a very tough job and the finished instrument didn't perform very well. More successfully I built a domed observatory, fairly good until the dome ring started to warp and turning the dome got tougher.
Here is a commercial telescope. It's a Tal 4 inch refractor. This is a good value scope I think. It is shown at right, projecting an image of the Sun.
This pic shows a drive that I made for the Tal mount. I made the worm gear on the lathe.
I also had a Bresser R90 and NexStar 4 around this time. The NexStar was my first GoTo scope and I liked it! No faffing about looking for objects. You can concentrate on observing. 
The next scope is commercially made but was donated to me. It is a Fullerscopes 8 inch F/6. I added the computerised drive system, based on the great work of Mel Bartels. The pic to the right shows the control setup.
The laptop provides the control for the drive. The desktop runs sky map software. The screen at top is a monochrome video monitor.
The little black and silver box at bottom left is the Bartels designed interface between the scope and the computer.
Back on the telescope front I put together a 10 in F/5 Newtonian. This Dob mount is driven by the Bartels setup. I got a great view of the Veil Nebula with this scope and LPR filter.
Below is another home-made telescope It is a long-focus 6 inch F/10 Newtonian. This was built specifically for planetary observing, and worked well. The mouning was purchased secondhand. The tube was constructed from 3 sections of PVC tubing.
My previous observatories were all 6 feet square, and in practise this proved to be insufficient. Observatory number 4, shown above, is another run off roof design but 8 feet square.
​My current scope [2016] is entirelly comercially made. I decided that I wanted to concentrate on DSLR imaging. I decided  I wanted a good quality scope. I got a William Optics [WO] Gran Turismo GT81 81mm triplet apo. The mounting was of course critical to the main  objective. I got an Ioptron IEQ30 Pro. This should be a good setup for wide field imaging. [pics to follow].