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Discovery 17.5" truss dob

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#1 rflinn68

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:57 PM

I'm looking into getting a 17.5" Discovery truss dob in either a f/5 or f/4.1. Those are priced at $3699 and $3999 right now at OPT with free shipping. I've heard these mentioned in circles as "premium" dobs but the price is way lower than other premium made dobs. I was hoping for a report from people that have used these before. I live in the sticks and havent been to any clubs or star parties so maybe a few here could shed some light. Thanks

Rich

#2 mantrain

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:29 PM

I think the delivery time for this unit will be a while unless
it's in stock. if in stock by all means move forward. Bill claims discovery mirrors are made by Ostahowski, and I have the 16", no regrets. Well actually yes I have a regret, that it is not the 17.5 !

#3 rmollise

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

Try to have a look at one before you buy. The couple I have seen are not in the premium category IMHO. I would place them between the premium scopes and the next tier down. The materials used _are_ a cut above the Meade and Orion truss tubers, but the execution in those I have seen leaves something to be desired compared to the _real_ "premium"--mirror box was not square in one example, for example. ;)

#4 rflinn68

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:46 PM

Try to have a look at one before you buy. The couple I have seen are not in the premium category IMHO. I would place them between the premium scopes and the next tier down. The materials used _are_ a cut above the Meade and Orion truss tubers, but the execution in those I have seen leaves something to be desired compared to the _real_ "premium"--mirror box was not square in one example, for example. ;)


Thanks Rod. Just read your article in S&T about the Herschel Project. Nice one! :D

#5 John Kuhl

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:01 PM


I've had 3 Discovery scopes and would rate them as very good, not premium. I'd say between Starmaster and a Meade Lightbridge. For the money I would go with the faster scope.

Best, John

#6 MRNUTTY

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:42 PM

I got the split tube version. No regrets :-)

#7 marswil48

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

Hi All!
I ordered a 17.5" f/5 50 days ago and the word from discovery is that It'll be done in about a week. So the wait time for the scopes are considerably less than what I've heard. Also have heard raving reviews from many people that have used these scopes. I'll keep every one posted...

#8 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:34 AM

I have a 17.5 splitube f5. I do agree it is not on the level of the premium scopes in fit and finish. It is of coarse better built than mass produced scopes. The mirror seems great. I feel like overall a great scope for the price point. As to delivery, and this is just what I experianced. It was two weeks from completion for two month's.

#9 killdabuddha

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Bill claims discovery mirrors are made by Ostahowski,


I'm surprised, if only cuz it would mean that Terry's association had resumed, and after what seemed a definitive break until fairly recently. And if it means more of his work gettin out there, good for him and us.

#10 rflinn68

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

I dont think Terry does their mirrors anymore. Hasnt for some time now

#11 Calypte

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

I've asked Terry O. about this several times. As I mentioned in another thread, he's a personal friend of mine, a neighbor within walking distance, and anything I say will likely be in his favor. I also feel compelled not to violate confidence, but I think I'm OK talking about this. Terry has done occasional mirrors for Discovery. Whether these are all, some, or only a few of Discovery's mirrors, he simply doesn't know. Bill Larsen (Discovery) has a close relationship with Newport Glass Works, and it's possible they or somebody they've contracted have done Discovery mirrors. However, we simply don't know. My personal guess (that's all it is) is that Discovery produces very few scopes now -- I think they're pretty much off everbody's radar -- and it may well be that all of the mirrors for those very few scopes are Ostahowski mirrors. Discovery once had a real factory in Oceanside, but that's long gone. The optics and structures were all made there. I have no idea where Bill L. has the structures of the telescopes made now, but I can definitively tell you that Terry O. doesn't make them.

Edited to add: The earlier comment about Discovery's scopes not being "premium" -- was that optics, structure, the total scope -- what? He may be right on all three issues, but it's hard to respond to something so general. But I'll make the following observation: the Dobsonian telescope has been invented. Anybody who makes one will inevitably be basing it upon ideas from somebody else. Any U.S.-based maker has to consider established domestic competitors and competition from overseas and whether it's even worth the bother to be in the business. Slightly nicer parts may not see a return on the bottom line.

Within the past 24 hrs I've had the privilege of talking to two people very knowledgeable and experienced in the business. One of them (not Terry O.) has been making scopes in the U.S., but he's now decided to exit the business of complete scopes, although he says he'll continue to make parts. It's a dying business. The people who are interested in buying large, Dobsonian-style scopes are declining in number. People in the market for a telescope now often think a "good" scope should cost about $500. You'd be kicked out of "Shark Tank" in short order if you said you wanted capital to start making telescopes in the U.S. On the good side, those who remain (whether optics, structures, parts, or complete scopes) are in the business because they really, truly like telescopes, and they want to do good work. WRT Discovery's quality (setting aside optics), a number of years ago I was at RTMC, and Discovery was set up near another Dob maker. I think I remember who it was, but it's best that I not guess and be wrong. I overheard disgusted grumbling from the other guys about how Discovery had "stolen" their design. C'mon! Of course Discovery's scopes were like the other guys! There's not much new about Dobsonian telescopes now.

#12 MRNUTTY

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

I've been very happy with my 17.5 PDHQ. Sometime in the future I may convert to a truss only to get some additional portability out of it. As it is, I have to use my wife's minivan, and I can't do highway exits at 50 mph like my car :-) Also, thinking of tracking too...

#13 rflinn68

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

John, How do you like the f/4.1? I'm not sure if I want the 4.1 or the f/5. I think I'd really prefer the f/5 if it wasnt much trouble reaching the eyepiece. I am 6'2"

#14 MRNUTTY

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

Rich, I'm 6.1 FT and find the 4.1 still taller than I would like. I rather have my feet on the ground :-)

If I were unfettered and could to do it all over again, I would go with my first inclination based on ease of use, portability, and aperture fever, and go with the Obsession UC22. The cost of the latter was a huge factor in the decision.

#15 Alan A.

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

Hi Rich,

I have a discovery 17.5" f/5 truss scope. I was lucky enough to get mine with a Terry O. mirror before Terry split off and struck out on his own.

The optics are superb. The construction is excellent as well, very easy to set up and take down, stable, vibration free, and good movements. It does everthing you want it to perfectly well. I paid $3700 dollars for mine and I think for the money it was one of the best deals on the astro market.

If you look through the old cloudy nights posts, you'll see most people have been very happy with their discovery truss dobs. Most of my friends at star parties were amazed at how high the quality/cost ratio is on this scope. This includes some people who are advanced Atmers.

I have a starstructure now, which I believe to be the finest dob structure on the market, but I still enjoy using my 17.5".

You have to do your own research, but I wouldn't be scared off by people who tell you its 2nd tier.

#16 Pinbout

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

I have a starstructure now, which I believe to be the finest dob structure on the market


I've heard great things about these scopes, like when the wind gets bad everyone else is shut down but the starstructures are still delivering great views.

#17 Alan A.

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

Hi Danny, yes, the starstructure is rock solid.






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