It seems like yesterday when aperture fever took hold of Peter Robbins and he came to SDM to build his dream telescope. Ten years later on, our inaugural customer and owner of the magnificent 30″ f/5 monster that is SDM#001 is still passionate about his scope and is often seen at star parties and community events generously sharing his eyepiece with all around. Peter is a very popular man in Queensland!
Whilst there have been many incremental improvements to the basic design over the years, it is testimony to the durability and longevity of these wonderful instruments that after a decade of use, SDM#001 still looks like new.
And looking back over ten years we know that the largest SDM scope to see the stars is currently 32″, the smallest is 16 times smaller at 8″ and that the average SDM Telescope is a little over 19″.
We have also calculated that if we took all the mirrors and made them into one humungous optic, it would have almost exactly the same surface area as the Anglo Australian Telescope at Siding Spring!
Now that’s a lot of aperture…
Ever wondered how hard it is to align a big dob? Here’s a quick How-to!
Peter is just back from delivering the fantastic SDM#049, complete with custom trailer, to its owner John Anderson from Darwin. This 18″ beauty with superb Carl Zambuto primary was dropped off in the Flinders Ranges, a mere day and a half’s drive for Peter and more than double that for John.
But as a reward for all those K’s, the team were thrilled with spectacular views and Peter, pictured here, found an observing chair befitting of the SDM Name!
Bruce Renowden has just added SDM#011 to his entourage of scopes at Honeysuckles Observatory based on 90 Mile Beach, Victoria. Bruce took the opportunity to have his wonderful pre-loved 20″ telescope refurbished back at SDM Telescopes and of course, after its 10,000,000 photon service, Peter had to deliver it personally to the delightful coastal observatory just to make sure it was installed ok 😉
Bruce says “It sure beats the old 8 inch Newt….it’s chalk and cheese!”, and suspects that there may be many pastoral visits from Peter over the coming years …
Every now and then, Pete gets called upon to breathe some new life into an older telescope. This month we see two fine instruments get a makeover and be returned to their owners:
The 30″ Evans Telescope (Pictured), owned by the Linden Observatory and maintained by WSAAG, has gone from push-to to Go-to with a full ServoCat and ArgoNavis system as well as focuser and mirror cell improvements. Read their great first light write-up!
Secondly, The Astronomical Society of Victoria has had their 25″ Obsession brought up-to date in similar style with the full go-to treatment and also plenty of extras to help with those climate extremes.