# Practicality of Dobsonian telescopes

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I've been using binocular for more than a decade for visual observation. I'm thinking of upgrading to a telescope. The Dob caught my attention due to its simplicity in setup and also cost effectiveness. I was thinking of going for 8" or 10" Dob.

What I have also observed is - If I'm going to use dob, I need to keep moving the OTA frequently to keep the focus. If I'm going to use the dob alone, it is not an issue. But my concern is when I want to show the celestial objects to others, I need to frequently move the OTA to keep the objects in focus. It may become tiring if there are many people waiting to watch.

Has anyone encountered similar situation with dob? What are your thoughts? Did you ever feel that you should have gone for go-to mount instead of Dob? Any suggestions please?

An 8 or 10 inch Newtonian telescope is principally a fine thing. Much telescope for little money.

A Dobson is a Newtonian telescope mounted on a rockerbox (see Alt/Az mount for a discussion). Consequences are: cheap, lightweight, trivial setup, your're either on your knees or on a chair, too seldom in between, it needs constant adjustment because the sky doesn't move that way.

If you want to track stars you need an equatorial mount, a cross of 2 axes of which one points to the celestial north (or south) pole. The same tube from the Dobson can also be mounted there. They can be motorized on one or both axes or/and have a computer built in to automagically find an object out of a database, then they are decorated with the "goto" attribute.

They are heavy, expensive (multiple times the price of a newton tube) and need a setup ritual each time they are moved. But once oriented, a motorized mount, connected to some software and computer, can be left alone for hours and will track the stars it points to.

So, the question is: do I want it light and cheap and don't I care about gymnastics, then the Dob. Do I want to go further and track things, do photography, than the other way. Perhaps with a sexy apochromatic refractor. But that's easily more than 20 times the price of a dob without camera stuff.

I personally don't do goto. Finding things is half of the fun for me. I go with equatorial mounts, a small portable one and one for photography setup I can drag outside. How about, you start with the Dob. If you bite, you're going to invest more anyway :-)

Edit: there is a third way (and potentially others) that might be worth considering, that would be a telescope like the one in this thread, a small reflector mounted on a computerized alt/az mount.

You are correct that a traditional dob will require frequent manual intervention to stop objects drifting out of view. There are 2 main to deal with this:

1. keep to low magnification and use a wide angle eyepiece
2. get a goto dob. These can be had for a reasonable price in many countries, particularly if you don't exceed 8" (200mm) aperture.

As @a_donda implies, you can see an awful lot with an 8" scope, especially if you have reasonably dark skies.

Cost effectiveness? That also means you get what you pay for.

When you compare a Dob to a similar sized Goto telescope the Goto cost seems to be extremely high.

When you compare the versatility of the two, the dob is so far behind it thinks it is first.

That will upset a few dedicated Dob users but many of them have only used a Dob. They have accepted the limitations of the dob and are willing to live with them. I refuse to allow tradition to limit my viewing.

What is your maximum budget? Every penny that you can beg borrow or steal?

If all you can possibly afford is a dob then that's all there is to it. If you can afford a goto (new or used) that is your best choice and will give you the most enjoyment out of the hobby for years to come.

The traditional eyepiece has limitations as well. I suggest you take a look at what people can see with the electronic eyepieces. An electronic eyepieces is just a very sensitive camera that is generally used for direct viewing on a small screen rather than for making photographic images.

I have used Mallincams for nearly fifteen years and viewed with eyepieces for over fifty years before that.

There are a lot of objects in the deep sky one can see with the newest technology. When I used eyepieces my viewing was basically limited to the Messier and Caldwell lists. I recently compiled a new list of 26761 deep sky objects that can be seen with a 10" SCT setup like mine.

## A Guide to the Best Dobsonian Telescopes on the UK Market

So you finally made up your mind about getting a Dobsonian telescope? Well, you’re no doubt finding out just how many different models and types there are in the market. But before you get overwhelmed and make a hasty decision, we’ve chalked up this here buyer’s guide and some of the best telescopes already making rounds in the UK.

Looking for a balanced, powerful yet affordable dobsonian telescope with all the frills? Then look no further than the SkyLiner 200 P Parabolic Sky Watcher. This is the best overall Dobsonian that has some of the characteristics of a high end model without the unbelievably high price.

How about a state of the art, fully computerized dobsonian telescope to give you a huge head start? The Orion SkyQuest XT8i Dobsonian IntelliScope is the smart solution for the tech loving astronomer willing to make a solid investment.

So you love peering into the great expanse of space but barely have a budget to work on? If you’re looking for something affordable but still capable of doing the job, how about the simple, budget friendly Skywatcher HERITAGE-100P T Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope?

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### [email protected] from Virginia, United States, 05/04/98

"The Book" if you're thinking about building a telescope. Excellent, interesting, and practical treatment of how you can build a state of the art, large to "giant"(8" to 40"+ aperture!) portable telescope. Uses the right amount of thorough well written engineering theory to justify the surprisingly simple component designs, materials, and construction techniques. The authors clearly want you to succeed. If your contemplating building a telescope based on your preconceptions, forget them, and read this book. The dobsonian approach featured here is a relatively recent major breakthrough in telescope design that few in the general public are aware exists. I can't imagine a "hotter" garage project for a dad to get into with his son or daughter.

### Paul Greenhalgh (President) Fraser Valley Astronomers Society British Columbia Canada

I thought I'd drop you a note to say "THANK YOU" for publishing your wonderful book on how to build an Obsession. As much as we would have loved to purchase one of your beautifully constructed and hand crafted telescopes, as well as support your wonderful company, alas it was to be an impossibility. Our humble club couldn't raise the funds needed to do so. Your unselfish act of publishing this excellent book, made our "wanting" dreams a reality! Our new 20" Obsession style telescope is truly beauty. An absolute breeze to use. the result has been fantastic. I also want to thank you so very much, for your speedy assistance, in getting us the parts we needed, ie: Upper Truss Tube Clamps and Aluminum Side Bearings. The speed in which they arrived was absolutely outstanding! I CAN'T WAIT FOR FIRST LIGHT! Are we Obsessed yet? Dam Straight we are! And it's all thanks to you. She's Obsession alright, but built by FVAS members who followed your book to the absolute letter! AWESOME. Clear Skies!

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#### This will always be a permanent part of my telescope reference collection.

If you are considering building a dobsonian telescope, this book is mandatory. While somewhat dated, the detailed information on everything from grinding mirrors to loading issues on equatorial mounts is invaluable. David Kreige makes telescopes for a living and damn good ones at that. I'm actually surprised at the number of "trade secrets" he discusses openly in the book and the pitfalls that will ensnare you if you neglect to read the book fully. The best time and money you can spend on a scope, is but this book, read it cover to cover and then consider building your own scope to meet you needs. I've built four Dobson scopes and all have been rewarding. With this book now in hand, I intend to explore the potential for a 24-30 inch Dobson for serious sky work after retirement. By the way , this is my second copy of the book. I've loaned my first one out so many times, it falling apart! См. весь отзыв

#### All ya need to build a Dobsonian!

This book fantastically details the what, how and why of building a Dobsonian, large and small. Just pulling plans off the internet leaves big holes in the knowledge base needed to build a telescope. This book fills in all those holes and gives you everything you need to design and construct your dream Dob. Totally recommended!

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#### Great Telescope Construction Guide!

The Dobsonian Telescope by David Kriege, Richard Berry (1997) is the most comprehensive book Imaginable on the subject of Designing & building a Dobsonian type telescope. Every facet of design, and construction is covered, it is a truly complete guide. The text is easily read and understood and there are many, many tables, drawings and photos illustrating the way, step by step. I thought I already knew a lot about Dob scopes, but the amount of information and ideas in this book blew me away! If you are planning on building or improving an existing Dob telescope, this book is worth it's weight in eyepieces! Don't build a scope without it! Astroartist56 9/29/08