Here is yet another Tesla Class refractor ready to be tested. This model is fully flocked from bow to stern including the focuser. Sporting four knife edge baffles and fully collimateable len cell with rotating focuser and leather trimmed {your colour choice} grab handle which can be located in different positions depending on the orientation of the mount.. Two more Tesla Class scopes of different sizes and FL are about to be made for clients. If you are interested in any kind of refractor design please do get in touch.


Who would have thought just 20 months ago when I was hoping, with luck to make 10 to 20 telescopes a year that I would now have created about 100 scopes of varying sizes including custom work on scope ancillaries, gone VAT registered and running a  small business. Business is the wrong word as I feel privileged to be able to wake up every morning and play!! It's not work, it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on!! Well almost!


Remember Moonraker is not just about Long focal length refractors, I'm currently working on numerous triplets and about to embark on a custom Maksutov-Cassegrain. The custom tripod is well under way and development images will be available in the near future.


At Moonraker you don't buy what we make, we make what you want to buy.
 
 
Moonraker telescopes is pleased to announce that we are attending Starmus. www.starmus.com in Tenerife this September. Very exciting and looking forward to meeting Brian May and Steven Hawkins and all the cosmonauts and Astronauts as well as Nobel Prize winners and all the other guys from Astronomy now etc, etc.


Also I'm pleased to let you know about the new 6" f12 with ancillary scopes based on {but different} my 102 dark matter range, not one large scope but four in one, a beautiful, but fully functional observatory class piece of kit that is out of this world. Classic in form yet unique, not inspired by the past, but by a desire to create optimum functionality and form that has no contemporary peer. The OCEH150 TTL will hopefully be ready for unveiling at Astrofest in 2015........................ Back to the work shop and on with the greatest job in the world.........creating visual time machines...
 
 
I wanted to relay my experiences with Moonraker Telescopes.  I had a Zeiss AS 80/1200 lens in cell that needed an OTA.  The project took about 4 months, and Mark Turner was a pleasure to deal with all the way.  He is a bit crazy in a creative/good way and is nice person, extremely hard worker, and a perfectionist.  Mine is the gold scope that is currently featured on the Moonraker page.  The craftsmanship is wonderful and everything just works.  It looks even better in person than it does in the photos.  The enhancements to my scope include “aero” rings, a counterweight, a handle, and an extension to allow binoviewer use as well as regular prism diagonal use.  Mark can customize each scope from the focuser knobs to the shape of the screws.  The dovetail bar was made to AP instead of Vixen specifications.  I wanted to use the scope on an FTX mount, but due to my stupidity I gave Mark the wrong screw hole measurements, and that is why it sits on a 400 GTO for now.  I am going to have more screw holes bored into the dovetail at a later time.

My work schedule has prevented extensive testing, but of course this has nothing to do with Mark’s craftsmanship other than the fact that everything is in perfect collimation.  The star test on this lens shows an outstanding figure (nearly identical to the test on a similar lens shown here), and there is mild out of focus purple/green color.  In focus, the Moon is very sharp, and there is only a very slight color cast, not bothersome at all.  Stars are tack sharp with a faint first diffraction ring.  I am too tired for Jupiter but I will compare it in a few months to other 80mm lenses.

The best thing I can say about the scope is that my wife told me that I should not have it in the observatory for fear that it will get weathered!  It is going to hang in the house when not in use.  No other scope has gotten such treatment; in fact my wife wishes that several other scopes would never be seen again!   I know of at least one other person who is thrilled with his Moonraker.

I have no financial or other relationship with Moonraker other than I am a happy customer.

 
 
 
 
Here are a few images of another 102 f7 Dark Matter Triplet in production and early testing {notice the gaffer tape holding the lens cell on the OTA} ready for polishing and then assembly. There are a few shots of bits on the lathe and before and after shots of tube rings etc. The lens is an APM triplet and when tested today in bright sunlight the CA was ZERO!! and the tubes not even baffled or flocked yet.


More images of more scopes in production coming soon. Unfortunately some of the telescopes in production cannot be shown as the clients have asked to keep their projects private.....for now, that's a shame!
 
 
After finishing the tripod and top plates it was time to test the set up. And no, that's not me it's an interested neighbour, who, after the flash had gone off a few times did not need to look skyward to have stars in his eyes!!!
 
 
Below are a few images of a mini pier and tripod top with leg clasps that I built on my day off from telescope building, that's another seven days flat out again...No rest for the wicked, but I really enjoyed it and now I have a working tripod and mount for displaying and using.
I'd purchased the legs a year or so ago from Richard at Skylight Telescopes, but they had no top plate, so I decided this weekend to get busy and transform the legs with polished metal work, machine three leg brackets and top plate {to match the original design which I eventually found} and then make a mini pier to take the fantastic FTX mount. The pier is in two parts to facilitate the central bolt and four fixing screws and works a dream. Now to put a new scope on it. More images soon. Buy the way this is not the new Moonraker Tripod which is being built as I type, but I needed a functional light weight Alt Az now and used what was to hand.
 
 
 Moonraker is pleased to announce that working  with Starlight Instruments, designers and creators of the fantastic Feather Touch focusers, we will be able to supply these focusers in bespoke finishes to match the finish and design of any refractor we produce. From Anodized through to plated or polished. Prices on application as this will depend on the focuser spec and finish required. All focusers will carry the usual Starlight Instruments warranty.
 
 
I've been a bit lax on the old blog front {as if anyone cares ;o)} , but just to keep you up to speed as I've been busy in the workshop,


This scope arrived in the USA last week and the response was.....

"The telescope arrived in excellent shape, and looks simply wonderful.  My wife and I ... indeed, the whole family (we had 9 people with us on holiday) ... loves it. The "oohs" and "aahs" were universal. " 

At the moment I'm working on numerous comissions as well as a couple of new designs. Scopes ranging from 60mm & 95mm triplets, 80mm f8 doublet, 80mm f15, through to a 150mm f12 and f8, not to mention a 102 f13, a 102 f15, a 102 f7 triplet and rebuild projects for clients ranging from another Irving, a Tal, f15 D&G and a Mak Cass. Not forgetting the tripods and bespoke custom telescope boxes, but more of that later. Not to mention a Big conference to attend in September and I need a new scope for that!


At Moonraker no job is too small, whether it's counter balance weights for an 8" APM orfocuser adapter plates, bespoke size tube rings {see below} or one off right angle finder scopes. If you have a project you want help with then please do drop me a line.
 
 
Under this plastic tubing lies a brass celled classic late 1930's lens set with variable diaphragm. This will be a unique one off RFT. Just need to disassemble this baby and get to work.............Easier said than done!!!!!
Also on it's way today the Moonraker AP 6" off for a test flight with her owner.
Telescope design is about imagination and innovation as well as aesthetics...Moonraker seeks to build on classic refractor design, and be inspired by luminaries of the past, whilst designing and building, in house, totally unique, bespoke, instruments to purvey the heavens. Which is why a Moonraker will never look like, or try to emulate an old  telescope............If I want a classic vintage scope, I'll buy a classic vintage scope, but to be inspired by the past and create something new, that is the Moonraker difference.