Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 12:46:22 -

Author: --- "Lally, Sean"

Subject: Re: building simple telescope


I like the Galileoscopes. The only problem with the Galileoscopes is their current cost - $25 each in bulk ($50 as a single). Weren't they $10-$15 just a year or two ago? That might make an expensive give-a-way for a large group.

The project star scopes are cheaper (though not nearly as nice) - $5 in bulk, I believe. They are light-weight, though and easy to use. Eye relief is a bit weird - I just used mine yesterday. You have to play around with it a bit. Still, I think these are pretty cool.

In the past, I ran a workshop using photocopy machine lenses and eyepieces ( a so-called Copyscope). That was around $15 per scope, with pvc as the scope body. However, they were very heavy and really needed a tripod.

Edmund used to sell bags of lenses that have been used by quite a few folks to make simple scopes.

Here's someone else's info, though I haven't checked it out critically:

Good luck!


From: [] On Behalf Of Paul Nord []
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 1:06 PM
Cc: Paul Nord
Subject: Re: [tap-l] building simple telescope


We bought ~50 of these and have done sessions with middle school students. Another is planned for later this month. Everyone gets to take home a Galileoscope. They are excellent telescopes. The optics are very high quality. You won't find anything better for 10 times the price.

The assembly instructions that come with them are horrible. But you can find better assembly instructions online. There are a couple of ways you can configure the eyepiece. One setup gives you a telescope with characteristics almost identical to Galileo's. There are a couple of others that are much better.

To really use these for stargazing you should probably get a mount. They have a 1/4" -20 screw mount and should attach to any camera tripod. I've tried using one braced against a tree. The magnification is high enough that it's REALLY difficult to hold it still enough to maintain good pointing. But, with some patience (and a steady tree), I was able to get a good view of the moons of Jupiter. The experience of actually trying to use it has given me quite an appreciation of what Galileo was able to do with that tool.


On Apr 30, 2011, at 12:58 AM, Krishna Chowdary wrote:

> Dear colleagues
> Next year, I'm having students read Galileo and follow in some of his
> footsteps. I'd like to have them build simple telescopes. I might have
> up to 72 students, and would ideally (though perhaps foolishly) like
> to have each student construct her or his own that they could keep.
> Building 72 telescopes seems quite a problem in scale and cost, so
> I'll have to remain flexible. I could live with 24 telescopes shared
> by groups of three that they may or may not keep, depending on cost.
> So of course I turn to you for your advice and experience.
> Do you have plans and suppliers for simple telescopes comparable to
> Galileo's or Kepler's? How much did they cost?
> Do you have experience with kits, such as the Galileoscope
> ?
> I'd appreciate your wisdom, cautions, and suggestions.
> sincerely,
> Krishna