the virtual home of SDM Telescopes, where size does matter and the
Dobsonian Revolution lives on in Australia. SDM telescopes are craftsman
built by Peter Read to provide the ultimate large aperture experience. Tailored
individually to each customer, SDM Telescopes are configured uniquely to
suit the southern hemisphere and its harsh conditions.
SDM068 Phil Townsend's 28" f/3.3
SDM063 Mike & Tracy Scarf's 18" f/5.5
SDM030 Greg Barrell's 14.5" f/4.5 gets a
Phil's Purple Photon Eater (14/03/2013)
I saw the thing
A pointin’ out to the sky
It had a eight long poles
And came to focus real high
I commenced to shakin'
And I said "oohwee
It looks like
Photon Eater to me"
Say hello to Wild Thing. Phil Townsend is ready to rock the
universe with his amazing new telescope.
SDM068 is a stunning 28" f/3.3 monster complete with every
conceivable extra including multiple mirror cooling fans, remote
collimation and all dressed in regal gold and purple livery.
This instant classic is set to devour the night sky!
Mike's Mighty Metre (05/03/2013)
not every day we get to follow the build of a 40" telescope from start
to end. Here we are at the very beginnings of what will become a quite
magnificent metre class telescope for Mike K of Victoria.
The blank is currently sat upside-down on Mike Lockwood's grinding
machine and about to have it's back ground perfectly flat before the
long job of grinding and polishing the front surface to perfection.
Mike's telescope will be an incredible f3.0 so it will certainly be a
challenge for everyone involved to bring this beauty to life both
optically and mechanically. Thankfully for him, there are craftsmen on
two continents capable of the job, stripped and ready for action!
Watch this space for updates...
A Texan Toy-Box (19/02/2013)
Amy and David Heard, proud owners of
SDM052 are part of a super-exclusive group of
Northern Hemisphere SDM owners.
Being Texans they understand that big is best and here they are in their
supersized roll-off roof observatory with their appropriately large 25"
Unfortunately for the Heard's, equally big winter weather has been
keeping that roof shut with many inches of snow falling recently to
spoil the fun. Soon enough those legendary Texan skies will come out to
play and we are looking forward to a fantastic observing report come the
Now that is a Big
Dob DOG! (12/01/2012)
When Peter dropped off
SDM053 to its proud owner Alex Mihailidis, he
was surprised to have a close encounter with Canis Major (canēs to be
exact, for there are two)! The scope was mistakenly unloaded beside the
roll-off roof observatory, which turned out to be a kennel, as his four
legged friends eyed up their new chew-toy.
Thankfully their Big Dob is built to withstand the rigours of the harsh
Australian climate with many stainless steel parts and finest marine ply
construction. This beautiful scope sports a very fine 14" mirror too,
figured to perfection by Mark Suchting and is sure to give outstanding
views of the skies.
The first challenge will be to resolve that difficult double, Sirius, the
A wheely big telescope (7/08/2011)
A monster dob is a joy to view through at a star party, but
spare a thought for the generous owner who had to transport it there.
When you have got one of the largest, sometimes you need a little more
help to move that beast in to position. So SDM's biggest ever creation,
SDM022 has been back for a re-tread!
The new transport system makes it wheely easy to move about and the
owner can now enjoy stunning views of the night sky without tyreing...
There is Nyx you can't do with an SDM (17/05/2011)
In the right hands,
a beautifully constructed Dobsonian turns in to a fabulous
And those right hands belong to Alex Cherney and his fabulous telescope Nyx (SDM035).
Armed with a spectrum-modified Sony NEX-5 camera and great sky
during the South Pacific Star Party trip earlier in April, Alex took
this top image of M20, the Trifid nebula.
The image has been created from 27 x 15sec images taken at ISO 3200.
It is testimony to the 'scopes precision engineering and the superb
tracking of ServoCat that this is even possible, but never
underestimate the skill needed by the photographer to bag a shot
Great shot Alex!
David and Goliath (part II) (14/01/2011)
hard do believe that it would be possible to enjoy the exquisitely
detailed images of a premium grade 32" Dobsonian without sustaining
an altitude induced nose-bleed. Well, it's time to think again and
take a look at this paradigm shifting beauty.
SDM022 is a 32" f/3.6 scope with a mirror made by Steve Kennedy.
This is the 14th 32" mirror Steve has made and at this focal ratio
the scope is only 6" longer to the eyepiece than a 20" f/5. And
those who have frequented one of Australia's many star-parties with
big dobs in attendance know, that height only requires a modest
stepladder to reach the eyepiece when it is near the zenith.
For those of a more nervous disposition, the scope on the right is a
somewhat safer, but no less exquisite, SDM054
at 12" f/5.
The Goddess of Night Basks in all its Beauty(15/09/2010)
the improving weather I managed to take Nyx (SDM035)
out to a reasonably dark site.
The views of galaxies in Grus were excellent
including the trio, with some good details in quite a few of the
observed galaxies. The Helix Nebula was excellent with a UHC filter
and Jupiter looked very crisp and detailed.
Taking Nyx out from the backyard, loading it
into the car and setting up at the site takes very little time -
less than 30 minutes all up. The collimation is a breeze and the
scope is exceptionally solid (the return
laser beam dot stays in its place no matter were the scope is
pointing). Best of all - the custom designed semi-compact 22"
telescope easily fits into our family wagon and I can leave the
ladder at home. The innovative design provides full protection of
the primary mirror for piece of mind.
I could continue on and on about what I like
about Nyx, but putting it simply - the workmanship and attention to
detail are superb and it is is a pure joy to use Nyx. As you might
have guessed already I am another very happy and proud SDM owner."
No Steps to Heaven!(05/08/2010)
Dougherty had his feet firmly planted on the ground when he took
possession of SDM008 after an extreme makeover saw it converted into a
Terry loves being able to observe any object without using a ladder!
It has the convenience of a 15" Dob with the light collecting and
resolving power of a 25" with no noticeable loss in light gathering
power, contrast or resolution.
This amazing instrument has been designed so that it can be used in its
original "full length" configuration or can be folded
using shortened poles and a special upper tube assembly, sporting a
9" circular flat and 4.5" elliptical diagonal flat both by Terry
Ostahowski. The conversion process takes just a few minutes, but we
suspect that it will stay folded for quite some time.
SDM008 is undeniably two scopes in one and to celebrate this special
instrument, we have given it gallery entries for both its
classic and folded