Author Topic: Choosing a custom Dob Maker  (Read 423 times)

Roger Dixon

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Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:03:23 PM »
For numerous years, I have been toying with the idea of a habit Dob.  For all those who have taken the plunge, what made you select one producer over another.  Was it the cost, the features, workmanship, and the character of the person who made it, time frame, etc..  I have sent out a few teaser mails to find out what their personal response is and what their follow up is.  And please - no bashing specific businesses.  Thanks.



Jaimeylos Chiessa

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 10:31:57 AM »
How large do you want the Primary Mirror to be? What is your budget?

gladinises

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 11:05:42 AM »
I did a lot of research on JP Astrocraft, Teeter, Webster, and New Moon.

Rob Teeter seemed to have the best combination of "what I was looking for and when could I have it," as well as the commitment to keep me in the loop during the process.

I liked the 16" so much, I got an 11" Zambuto as well. I use both scopes frequently and am extremely pleased with the workmanship.

I think it's fair to say though that with any of the custom telescope manufacturers, the estimated time for completion is a very rough guideline so patience is important, but very well rewarded.

caenalfosen

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 11:17:11 AM »
Unassailable high-end Dob builders in the US include JP Astrocraft (John Pratt), Starstructure (Mike Zammit), Teeter (Rob Teeter), New Moon (Ryan Goodson), and possibly SpicaEyes (Tom O.) if they're still making scopes.
Norman Fullum at Optiques Fullum in Canada. And in Australia SDM (Peter Read).
All these makers are custom builders capable and willing to configure your scope to your needs. They will deliver a finished, complete, tested scope. Lead times, well those just need to be discussed with the makers.

Second level makers include Obsession.

_________________

Zambuto Optics, Lockwood Optics, Lightholder Optics and Tom Osypowski are top rank mirror makers. Again, lead times are subjects for individual conversations.

My scope is a Starmaster and it's a wonderful top rank scope but their maker retired a few years ago. I bought mine on the secondary market, saved $thousands and have a great scope.

Big Dobs are fantastic.

tenpaseper

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 04:21:36 PM »
Don't forget Dobstuff.

puzzweetscareg

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 01:49:36 PM »
On the very top of my list are Starmaster telescopes with Zambuto primaries, unfortunately now you can only get them used. I have the 20in f/4.3

Normand Fullum also offers premium optics and his telescope designs are truly unique.
I have the 15in f/5

I would recommend either with no hesitation.

Most of the others mentioned in the thread above are very good telescope designs, it really all depends on what optics are installed.

Danny Cruz

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 07:49:26 PM »
I'd buy a skyvision with a mirrosphere primary

Dob factory is really cool too if you like Woody's

Saul Zhang

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 09:52:31 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something, but things like "price, the features, workmanship, the personality of the person who made it, time frame, etc" seem like a personal decision. If you're in the market for a premium dob, I'd hope you'd have a general idea which of those criteria are most important to you. If you don't yet know, I'd recommend start looking at various scopes in person to get a better idea what is out there and possible. You can of course read reviews and look at photos, but seeing a scope in person (especially if it's a large scope) is an eye opening experience.

Brian Snyder

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 01:25:00 PM »
Aaron, that is exactly what my question was all about. It was more of an open ended thought experiment. In reading the forums for so many years, I read about peoples thoughts after they purchase something. So I was just interested in the thought process people use when buying something custom built. Owning a small business that is all about customer service, I am always curious as to what makes people move forward with something. No one buys fertilizer, they want a beautiful lawn. This was meant to be more of a thought experiment than a typical forum nuts and bolts question.

Sean Schaefer

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 07:11:00 AM »
I think Waite would be good to consider, too. I have yet to see one myself, but they look nice and his mirror making videos are cool.

http://www.waiteresearch.com/

laycacdownsell

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 11:15:53 PM »
For me, I started with a 10" tube dob with a GSO mirror. After 4 years, the urge for more aperture hit me. I was very familiar with several custom dob builders (Teeter, New Moon, JP Astrocraft, etc). I also took a very close look at the Astrosystems finished Telekits. However, the Cloudy Nights classifieds actually had an ad for a used 12" New Moon. When I sent an email to inquire, it was Ryan Goodson (New Moon) who replied. The 12" scope was sold, but he gave me some build options that were within the ballpark of my budget. I was amazed at what I could get within my price range. So next, I ask "what would a 16" cost?" Long story short, I had Ryan build me a 16" classic with a GSO mirror. The scope has been nothing short of amazing. I know the custom mirrors are really, really good, BUT I just couldn't swing the custom structure with a custom mirror. I have been very happy with the GSO mirror. I think the function of the scope is very mportant, and my scope moves like butter, it's precise, and it makes observing so enjoyable. Anyway, that's my story.

barlaliblo

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 12:44:54 PM »
I got it down to 2 scopes. JPAstrocraft or StarStructure. I went with StarStructure because it's all metal.

soecolerfe

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 10:11:37 AM »
Quote
I think Waite would be good to consider, too. I have yet to see one myself, but they look nice and his mirror making videos are cool.

http://www.waiteresearch.com/

I've talked to albert h. aboutgw's scopes and he thought the alt bearing would kangaroo when observing at 800x mag cause they're not shaped like a "D".

I felt the scope move, it didn't give me any sense of that, although I didn't look thru it at 800x mag either, but I do have a good sense if it would.

smalmonica

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 12:10:30 PM »
Quote
I got it down to 2 scopes. JPAstrocraft or StarStructure. I went with StarStructure because it's all metal.

24 inch Horizon looks like it would be amazing, and a Lockwood f/3.3 mirror to boot!

planvelsynchcest

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Re: Choosing a custom Dob Maker
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2018, 01:46:12 PM »
Quote
I got it down to 2 scopes. JPAstrocraft or StarStructure. I went with StarStructure because it's all metal.

These two guys are making the highest quality dobs in the US at the present time. I was so impressed by John Pratte's design that I had him make some components for my 32" and bought them back to Australia for fitting into my SDM dob.

John's design and engineering are what separates his dobs from everyone else. If I lived in the US and wanted a dob constructed of wood, John would be making my dream scope.