Found this via a post in Cloudy Nights astro forums, and decided it will be the basis for a new telescope. Steep learning curve ahead!
The Surplus Shed website seems to have a lot of very interesting stuff, and priced very reasonably. 127mm objective .
Have been buying lots of objectives and other bits and pieces from Surplus Shed for many years and have no complaints, can recommend them. My most recent was an 127 x 1200 earlier this year and completed the scope a few months ago and it performs very well . The 127 x 700 lens will make a fine low power scope but an Minus Violet Filter will be usefull in keeping down C.A. to tolerable levels.
Check the Cloudy Nights Refractor Forums and the Yahoo Refractor Makers Forum for more info and feedback on these lens.
Bear in mind that it's an achromat, not an APO so CA will be an issue to some degree and at F5.5 you'll want to look at coma correction too.
That is why i use a -V filter and will do mono imaging with refocusing between filters, this way it will perform quite well.
Also mine is a F9 so it is very forgiving with coma.
Surplus shed sells two focal length lenses, F5.5 and F9.
Thanks for the useful info, guys. With regard to coma correction, at what stage in the image train should a correcting lens go? and do -V filters affect the image overall in other ways, such as brightness reduction?
Actually, solar was at the front of my mind for this project. So, given that we're not dealing with punctate light-sources, and that solar filtration is going to have some effect on the colour balance of the image, would coma correction and chromatic aberration still be enough of an issue to warrant making plans for them? I'm not going to entertain using the scope for night photography, but I may attempt capturing some solar imagery at some stage if the scope works well enough.
You could use a single element objective for Ha solar imaging/ observing!!
The narrow bandwidth (<1A) doesn't show any chromatic aberration.
I have a write up on modifying a PST to a larger aperture....just drop me a PM with an email address and I'll send a copy.
Update: first attempts to plan the scope around a section of 150mm pvc stormwater pipe have resulted in the realisation that there isn't going to be a nice-looking cheap way to make this scope. For one thing, stock PVC pipe isn't quite circular; it's also a bugger to work, resulting in all sorts of confetti, and worse still, it's very prone to static electicity effects...a dust-magnet substance.
So I'm on the web and looking for something a bit special. CST Express seem to offer tube in the dimensions I need...but it seems pricey at $467 a metre.
Next line of inquiry is to a Chinese company called Zibo Langda. I'll let you know what they say......
Try One Steel Aluminium for aluminium tubing up to 200mm dia. they have 127mm x 1.6 wall thickness in 6 metre lengths, may be able to buy it in shorter pieces. They stock tube suitable for scope making in 3", 4",5" & 6" diameters and more. Could also try Capral, who also stock aluminium tube in many sizes, probably from the same manufacturer.
I've made several scopes using plastic storm water tubing and once the tube is painted, have had no problem with static , if having trouble with the swarth from cutting and drilling plastic tubing, sticking to the tube because of static elec. wipe with a damp rag, that will help reduce static build up .
Good luck with the project, scope making is rewarding and fun, once your finished, which is hard to stop when you realise how easy it becomes with the experience of that first one under the belt.