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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: BigT]
      #5683530 - 02/16/13 01:28 PM


Thanks for all the replies. An observing chair is on my short list right now. Will certainly get that figured out before I get a second scope.

I may end up with a Zhumell or similar. The Discovery scopes are interesting, but are they really much better than an Orion or Zhumell, I don't know.

Thanks again for all the replies. If anyone else has any opinions feel free to share.

I have a 12.5" Discovery and a fullblown premium 17.5". I've looked through a buddy's 12" GSO and another friend's 10" Orion. The optical quality of the Discovery is a lot closer to my Galaxy than it is to the others. In fact, I was going to get Discovery's split tube 17.5" when I found the used premium scope...

That being said, it's difficult for me to compare optical quality of different apertures, but the Discovery is noticeably better than the 12" GSO.

My Discovery is a keeper. While I intend to get something bigger to replace my 17.5", I intend to keep my 12.5" Discovery as it is the biggest thing that'll fit through my back door - my idea of 'grab and go'.

Optics aside, the mechanics of the Discovery are not nearly as smooth as my Astrosystem truss, but it isn't bad enough that I feel the need to tweak it or put the optics into a different chassis and it is smoother than the mass market dobs. The JMI focuser on the Discovery is better than the focuser on my Astrosystem.

The optics in the older Discovery scopes are Terry Ostahowski optics, fully premium level. I'd go with a used Discovery with Ostahowski optics over a new GSO, hands down. My understanding is that his mirrors are clearly marked as such.

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Mike B

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5683870 - 02/16/13 04:51 PM


People spend thousands of dollars to ride a cruise ship, thats OK, perfectly normal.

But spend that on a nice telescope, everyone thinks your crazy. Why?

Maybe it's just *me*, but i've NEVER been enthralled with the idea of goin' on a "cruise ship". I totally agree on the "lifetime" nature of the blessings a good scope will offer.

But your comment, in light of recent news (pick your "cruise" disaster story!) has pushed me to new extremes! I wouldn't set foot on one of those things- even at gunpoint!

Dobs rock! Cruise ships wreck or reek.

My condolences to all who suffered on this latest event.
May a pleasant event occur soon to ameliorate the bad memories therefrom.

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Vendor (

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: Mike B]
      #5683981 - 02/16/13 06:09 PM

Here is where to go:
Look at 10" complete telescope. Only a little more than the less expensive Chinese scopes and nicer all the way around--including the customizing options.
Plus, a great guy to deal with.

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Joe G
scholastic sledgehammer

Reged: 01/10/07

Loc: Southern California
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: Starman1]
      #5684077 - 02/16/13 07:04 PM

Don has it right. Just visited Dennis today to tweak my 16 inch Dobstuff makeover. Great service and beautiful scopes.

A 10 inch strut scope with Sky Commander for $1600 or without for $1095. That's hard to beat and you would not need any upgrades.

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super member

Reged: 02/02/13

Loc: NW Ohio
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: Joe G]
      #5685592 - 02/17/13 05:31 PM

Thanks again for the replies. Te Dobstuff scopes are interesting. I'll keep that in mind. If I had a scope that nice looking I'd have to display it in my living room.

Maybe I'll look into the bits and pieces and build one out of tha Dobstuff kits down the road.

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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: Mike B]
      #5685994 - 02/17/13 09:24 PM

Y'all would change your tune(s) if you went on the two cruises I've been on. 1991 Carnival "Jubilee" to 6'43" of totality on 7-11-91 and 1998 Carnival "Fascination" 4+' of totality on 2-26-98.

But to keep this from being further hi-jacked (or pirated?), a dob will last longer than a cruise. Memories from a great cruise will last longer than my ability to stargaze.

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Ely Kid

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: BigT]
      #5686036 - 02/17/13 09:47 PM

In my opinion--the Orion and similar priced Dobs are great value for the money. For the most part, the optics are fine. However, for the next Dob I buy, I will start with the optics. I will find a vendor who will build my telescope around a Zambutto or Lockwood mirror set. Yes, that will bump up the price. However, they will last a lifetime--priceless!

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Mark Costello
Post Laureate

Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Matthews, NC, USA
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5687510 - 02/18/13 06:32 PM


Let me ask, why is it that:

People spend thousands of dollars to ride a cruise ship, thats OK, perfectly normal.

But spend that on a nice telescope, everyone thinks your crazy. Why?

A telescope will give you viewing pleasure to last a lifetime.

As some other respondants stated, I personally would not go on a cruise, the Triumph disaster notwithstanding. But there are in my opinion very good reasons for some amateurs selecting "budget" telescopes. It's a wonderful hobby that I share with everyone here but it's still a hobby. There are needs and priorities that simply rank higher. Also, this is a hobby in which only I among my family partake. My wife does not. And sure as shooting, I'm NOT about to trade her in. So something like a dream vacation to someplace in this grand nation we've never before visited and at this point in our life may never visit again would be higher up among my priorities than a premium telescope.

Things like this are why I select and make do (and do VERY well) with an achromat refractor instead of an apochromat. When the time comes when I can get a complementary scope, it'll be something like this. If it's a Cassegrain variant, it's much more likely to be a SCT than a MCT. If it's a Newtonian on a Dob mount (the only way I'll have a Newt but a very good way), it's as likely to be from a place like Discovery or even Orion (although I'm keeping an eye on the Teeter Solid Tube Dob as a premium alternative).

As far as premium scopes go, it looks like the big advantage of the Dob is that the premium Dob can be had for less money than a premium "Cat" or refractor....

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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5690118 - 02/20/13 02:07 AM

How is the Dobstuff mirror on the complete telescope he builds compared to Discovery's mirror? Looks like the base may be better than on the Discovery.

I've tossed around Discovery vs Zhumell vs Obsession. Thought first I would do 12" but now thinking 10... Maybe Dobstuff is the answer?

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professor emeritus

Reged: 06/19/08

Loc: So. CA
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5690860 - 02/20/13 01:07 PM

I think his mirrors are Hubble sandwich mirrors. Opinions vary on these.
Buy your own mirror from maybe Swayze or Zambuto or Pegasus or Spooner or whoever and have Dennis build you a scope around it.

Edited by acochran (02/20/13 06:55 PM)

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Dennis Steele

Reged: 09/18/06

Loc: Palm Desert, CA.
Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: acochran]
      #5691201 - 02/20/13 03:55 PM

I use some Hubble Optics -- but mostly Destiny for 10" and 12" and JMI has a nice new set of mirrors which include secondaries and spec'd at 1/16 wave. I find I use these more and more.

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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: Mid-Range Dob new [Re: Dennis Steele]
      #5691438 - 02/20/13 06:04 PM

My dob from Dennis had a Orion mirror set in it, an earlier set from when GSO were manufacturing their dobs, no problems at all,DA.

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