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Thread: Optical tube rings

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    Default Optical tube rings

    So I am looking at getting a Astro-Tech refractor. Started to look for tube rings and noticed they are stupid expensive. Why are they so expensive?

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    Default Re: Optical tube rings

    They are generally not a high-volume item. That means that the costs for designing, doing the tooling, and then marketing the things is spread over just a few individuals.

    A lot of the time we are getting them at only a small mark-up because a lot of the people who are making them don't really do it as a money-making enterprise but mostly as a service to the community.

    It can be interesting, BTW, to go to a local fabricator and ask them what it would cost to get them to make one. There are some astronomical items like piers where that can actually result in cost savings. But the smaller and more highly engineered items are sometimes tougher to get made.

    I think it was about one year ago a gentleman who had been making items for the astronomical community (extremely high-quality and pretty expensive) had a fire in his shop. That was the end of the road for that business because he just could not afford to purchase the machines and the tooling and then get everything optimized to do what he'd been doing for many years. The things he made just aren't going to be made anymore.
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    Default Re: Optical tube rings

    ^^ This.

    The rings are worth it though... I support a school observatory that has a Celestron C14 mounted on a Losmandy Titan mount. The mount is fantastic, but the C14 OTA was only mounted by it's dovetail. It had an 80mm refractor piggy-backed on the OTA. We always had problems with RA movement and suspected the mount but nothing we did could ever fix the problem. One day a club member who ALSO happened to own a C14, sold his scope for another, but the buyer didn't want his mounting rings. So he ended up donating his mounting rings to the school observatory because they happened to be for the same telescope model.

    WOW! What a difference that made! We went from oblong stars to round stars because the optical tube was encased in mounting rings so it couldn't wobble under it's own weight.

    Refractors tend to not be as big so you probably won't have the wobble problems we had with a 14" OTA... unless you're piggy-backing other scopes to make a stack of scopes.
    Tim Campbell

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