Refurbishing a twelve inch dobsonian

My buddy Got a hold of a 12.5 inch Dobsonian! Yay!

A short road trip now we have some work to do.

He called me and said a friend of his had an old Meade Telescope that he could have on what would probably amount to a permanent loan. Wow! We would need to take a road trip of about an hour to pick it up.

It sure won’t fit in my car and it sure won’t fit in your car. So we borrowed his wife’s minivan, called another friend and head up toward the New Hampshire border to pick it up.

I am a telescope guy so when we pulled into the driveway at the destination and saw the scope sitting there I was pretty excited! He isn’t a telescope guy so his excitement really wasn’t there. “Not really much of a telescope” he said.

“!!” was my response. “Nope, That’s a big one! Decent telescope. Probably sellls for around a thousand dollars at that aperture size.” “Really?” That seemed to perk him up a bit.

Well, it was a week later, after the football game that we dug into it for a couple of hours. No way that mirror is going to be cleaned. It is too far gone. But we gave it a shot. No luck. SO, it looks like we can use it but it will be seriously limited. And it will have to go out to be re-mirrored. That’s ok. Once that is done this is a serious light bucket and it should give us some serious night time viewing! Yay! So , here are some pictures and comments about the scope.

It actually has some nice accessories with it including the Magellan I computer system which I think has a database of around 2500 objects.

It comes with a two inch focuser, a quickfinder and a very generous finderscope. Nice!

Now about that mirror! Darn shame but the thing is in pretty bad shape. You can see that it has a whole lot of dirt/mold on it . We tried cleaning it to not much effect. So, we will probably use it just for some viewing then send it out to be re-surfaced.

Here it is after the cleaning! Yikes! The mold has eaten right through the aluminum coating.

Stay tuned. I will update this page with our progress on this telescope.

Update: Well, we had a beautiful and clear night and took the telescope out as it is, spotted mirror and all. It was fun and we had some good viewing of Jupiter, the moon and M31. It was good and being cold weather it took some time for the tube to acclimate to the cold but the viewing was ok. I can’t wait for the mirror to be refinished. I am so looking forward to that!

Meade 12-Inch LightBridge (f/5) Truss-Tube Dobsonian

Here is the current model. I am pretty sure that with these big dobs they only do the truss tubes which is better.

Aperture: 12-Inch. Focal Length: 1524mm. Focal Ratio: f/5. It’s not just a big telescope. It’s a big telescope that goes anywhere. New LightBridge truss-Dobs from Meade take down and set up quickly. So you can take one of these massive windows on the universe out to your favorite dark sky locations with ease. LightBridge Dobs give you high quality Meade optics, premium components, and ultra portability — all for about the same price as an ordinary tube Dob. So get a LightBridge truss-Dob. And prepare to cross the universe. FEATURES: Diffraction Limited Optics Meade optics consistently outperform telescopes of similar and larger aperture. Consumers know that “Meade Optics Inside” means that what they see through our telescopes will be views that are detailed, crisp and full of contrast. 2-Inch Crayford-Style Machined Aluminum Focuser With 1.25-Inch Adapter Smooth precise focusing is achieved with this classic design. A unique focus tension knob and focus lock design gives complete control over focus. Built-In Primary Mirror Cooling Fan Bring the telescope into thermal equilibrium quickly and efficiently with the battery powered cooling fan. The fan is mounted to the rear of the “vented” primary mirror cell for fast cool down.