Just a note to tell you how pleased I am about your TeleKit. I have been using my TeleKit for a year now and I am still over the moon about its performance. I have regularly observed with a friend every new moon and the excellent performance of the TeleKit has been as regular as an atomic clock. You Americans never stop astounding me in your ability to produce quality!! I have attached a picture of the moment of completion and I am just as proud of the TeleKit now as I am in the picture. Well done Astrosystems, you have my vote.
In reply to a query on the TeleKit users group asking if anyone has experience building one.
Go with the TeleKit. I completed a 16 inch f4.5 TeleKit last summer. The mechanical design provides a rugged scope that looks beautiful and performs wonderfully. Motions in altitude and azimuth are very smooth and require equal forces (both breaking and driving), vibrations dampen in less than a second, wind will bother you before it bothers the scope, set-up is 5-10 minutes (double that if someone helps), and collimation is a snap. When I set up, I find the scope's collimation is close enough that a couple of tweaks on the collimation bolts is all I need to go on to a star test once darkness descends.
Another advantage is the building process itself. If you enjoy building things, assembling the TeleKit is a lot of fun. You don't need special tools other than some furniture clamps. If you want to customize, you can. The whole process, including sanding and finishing took me less than 40 hours elapsed time (and I'm pretty slow about these things). Finally, the folks at Astrosystems are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I had several pleasant and informative conversations with Randy Cunningham (president) prior to and during the project.
This past weekend I was able to attend the Table Mountain Star Party. I was able to compare my TeleKit to many other Dobs as well as a 10" SCT GOTO. We all targeted the same objects, the TeleKit design proved to be OUTSTANDING. With the Sky Commander digital setting circles, I was able to find objects faster than the GOTO scope. I hope the many TeleKit admirers at the party order from Astrosystems.
I've built a 14.5 inch TeleKit and it is a very complete, high quality, well designed kit. Believe me, unless you have access to a complete woodworking shop you would be hard pressed to come close to what you get form Astrosystems. I also built a 22" from scratch and the TeleKit is a much better scope. The design is proven, everything fits perfectly, it is easy to assemble, instructions are easy to follow and complete and everything you need is supplied. The people at Astrosystems are easy to contact and very helpful.