The Hybrid offers the same extreme stability as our Classic, but with a significantly smaller footprint and a slick, original, and modern look.
The Hybrid upper ring is machined from plate aluminum for extreme rigidity and weight saving holes are strategically placed throughout. The ring, focuser and finder boards are powder-coated satin black to match the collapsible truss system. A dual speed Moonlite focuser is a standard feature. An upgrade to Feathertouch or a SIPS system is an available option.
When designing the Hybrid, various thicknesses of plywood (up to 1”) were considered, but ¼” aluminum ultimately proved to be ideal for ring stability even with additional loads such as Paracorrs, Powermates and heavy eyepieces.
The mirror box and rocker box are constructed from solid choice hardwoods. By using proven traditional construction techniques, including all-important joinery, we were able to reduce the size of these critical pieces, yet have significantly better rigidity than the flimsy sheet metal construction seen elsewhere.
The mirror box is a nominal ½” thick solid choice wood. Our customers love the beauty, rigidity, and natural dampening characteristics of solid wood. Our pricing reflects our current stock of hardwood options. Please contact us for specifics and availability. We typically stock and offer black cherry, white oak, ash, and black walnut. Taken into consideration will be your particular needs and wants as it pertains to the wood body, and adjust the price accordingly.
We continue to utilize boundary layer fans, mounted with an on/off switch.
The mirror cell is a true flotation cell, designed using finite system analysis software. To meet our objectives of enhanced rigidity and minimizing weight, again we choose to machine the mirror cells parts from aluminum and paint them true flat black. The all important (and often over-looked) edge support is a steel cable sling placed at the mirror’s edge. The steel sling is connected to a linear bearing system in such a way that, as you collimate and move the edge of the mirror to a different plane, the connection points are free to move vertically, ensuring they ultimately rest in a position that is in line with the situated plane of the center of the mirror. Why do we go to all this trouble you might ask? Because this mechanical system ensures the mirror isn’t being “pinched” by the cable (or sling), causing astigmatism and sullying an otherwise perfect set of optics! Lastly, the connection point between the linear bearings and the sling itself is a pair of turnbuckles. This will give you the ultimate assurance that your sling can be adjusted to position your mirror in a truly equi-distant fashion over the mirror cell’s flotation points
The rocker box is where we break from conventional thinking of dobsonian construction and assembly. While building a new heavy-duty work bench, Ryan was inspired to use some of the joinery of traditional timber-frame solid wood construction and implement those techniques during the construction of a telescope (this is where the original vision for the Hybrid was conceived). The result functioned better than expected.
What we refer to as the Hybrid rocker box “posts” are the corner pieces that hold the PTFE Teflon and the points to which the bearings (and ultimately 85% of the weight of the entire telescope) rest. By orienting thick, short, solid wood pieces vertically (so they will be under compression), we are able to significantly dampen vibration. The posts alone, however, do not make a complete rocker box. This is where we chose the art of draw-bored mortise and tenon joinery to connect the rest of the frame. The great advantage of using this method for the rocker box construction is that we are able to use relatively thin pieces of wood for the side, front and back pieces that connect the four posts. The result is the most rigid rocker box on the market today.
Let’s not take for granted our critically acclaimed Gen-3 Aluminum crescent bearings. The outside surface of our bearings are a thin 3/16” sheet aluminum rolled to the correct diameter, and then placed in a corresponding sized plywood jig in order to keep the critical diameter. Next, we roll the top portion of the crescent and place it into the same jig, connecting the tips of the bearings. Lastly, the truss-work is laser-cut that forms the inner structure of the bearings. Though it would be far easier to cut this portion from solid 1”stock, we use 3/16” for the truss-work instead. Mirror images of the 3/16” truss-work is then laser-cut, placed in the same jig, tig-welded together, sanded down, and powder-coated with our signature “pebbly hammered-black” in order to provide that perfect surface for gliding from horizon to zenith at high powers. The result is bearings that Sky and Telescope magazine agreed are worthy as stand-alone “Hot-Products”.
Our collapsible truss system is utilized connecting the ring to the mirror box. All components are machined from 1/8” aluminum then powder-coated hammered black to match the bearings. Large clamping hand knobs are utilized to fasten the truss both atop the mirror box and beneath the upper ring. All hardware is self-contained, so there are no parts to lose. The collapsible truss system is anodized / powder-coated black.
The result is the system that sets the industry standard in speed of set-up and take down as well as ease of use.