Design: 10 inch Dobsonian operating at f/6.Description: Large reflector on a Dobsonian mount. It ships with two Plossl eyepieces, a moon filter, and 8x50 finder scope along with premium Pyrex mirrors. The PDHQ is the premium model which also includes 96% reflectivity coatings on the mirrors and an excellent 2" JMI Crayford focuser.
everyone! This will be a review of my most recently purchased telescope,
Discovery's 10 inch Premium DHQ. This is a 10 inch aperture Newtonian
reflector operating at F/6 (focal length of 60 inches, in this case), mounted on
a Dobsonian style mount.
The 'scope came in excellent shape, thanks to Discovery's very careful packaging. Every piece that could possibly break is packed in foam to a degree that it's almost a pain to get into. This however, is a "good thing" and is well worth the little extra bit of work it takes to get everything unpacked and ready to go.
Once the 'scope was together and standing in my living room, I had to admire how attractive it is. The apple ply base is nicely finished, and has an almost furniture quality to it. The tube is also nice, painted black, and a very good job done on it at that. The outside of the tube is a nice gloss, while the inside has a very nice blackout job done with what looks like a very flat yet dark black paint. Many Dob tubes come painted with a flat black that actually seems more of a grayish tone, and not nearly as dark as this.
Lots of 'scopes look good though, now let's talk about what this 'scope is like to look through. Once the telescope was collimated, the first thing I did was point it at Polaris to star test the 'scope. This is always a good choice for Dob owners because it is about the right brightness, and tracking is not an issue while you are doing your tests. Results of the star test on this 'scope, (at least on my example) are excellent. Perfect diffraction rings, the same in and out of focus. If it wasn't for the central obstruction, you would honestly think you were looking through an apochromatic refractor. In fact, in focus images of stars also remind me of looking through a good refractor, as stars are resolved into hard little pinpoints. No coma at all. None. If all the mirrors that come with these are as good as mine, this is going to be one of those 'scopes that is noted for excellent optics.
Moving on past the star test, and into observing as we all like to do it, I have to hand out more accolades to this 'scope. Planetary images are nothing less than spectacular. Saturn's ring system reveals all of it's gaps and divisions. The disk of Saturn shows cloud detail that lesser mirrors would have a hard time duplicating on the disk of Jupiter, much less this blander colored, harder to see globe. Speaking of the viewable disks of worlds this 'scope actually resolves Titan into a disk that is a hard globe, not mushy as it is in other ten inch 'scopes I have owned, or used. Looking at Jupiter reveals four moons resolved into disks, and cloud details that are fantastic. On nights of good seeing, forget about counting "bands" the whole planetary image is filled with detail. I can't wait to see how much of Mars I'll be able to see through this telescope later this spring and summer.
Deep sky images are also fantastic with this 'scope as you would figure after hearing about it's planetary performance. The Orion nebula (M42) reveals folds, and wisps, and details that will keep you staring at it for an hour. Star clusters and galaxies reveal as much detail as I can remember seeing out of anything anywhere near this size class. You have to start getting into some pretty good sized apetures before this thing is going to be significantly out performed.
Last, but not least, in the optics section of this review, comes the focuser. This telescope comes with a 2 inch JMI Crayford style focuser that is a joy to use. Smooth is the operative word here. No backlash, it just flat out works great. If you were to price this unit to upgrade a current 'scope you owned you would be shocked that is included as standard equipment. This is what Discovery means when they call this a "premium" I guess. Only the best optical components need apply.
Now, before any of you out there start thinking that this review is all roses and hearts, it's not. There are caveats. There always is.
While this telescope does not have any optical problems I could detect, and is in fact excellent, it does have mechanical short comings. The 'scope has a sliding balance system that is kind of a hassle to use. What's more, balancing just the optical tube with no eyepiece weight, the bottom of the telescope tube catches on the bottom of the rocker box. Balanced for heavier eyepieces, the problem will only get worse. This prevents you from pointing at anything on the zenith. Maybe this would not bother some folks, but I think you should be able aim the 'scope straight up overhead if you want to. Maybe the guys thought "oh not a big deal, it's just Dobson's hole". I don't know. I'm working on the problem, and experimenting with bungee cords to see if I can find "just right tension" (We don't want any copyright or patent infringements here).
All in all, I would recommend this 'scope to anybody who wants the best at a somewhat affordable cost. Even though the price has gone up since I bought mine, it still falls with in our group's price guidelines.
p.s. anybody who e-mails me on clear weekend nights, please do not expect a response until late the next day. Me and the Premium ten will be out in the yard together, hunting down "stuff".
Respectfully, Ed Conley
Submitted by Ed Conley - firstname.lastname@example.org - USA
This is a first impression review. My scope arrived in perfect shape via UPS. Very easy to put together. Only problem was a bent mirror clip that was easy to fix. This scope is a 10 in. f/6 with a Telrad finder. This scope is very heavy at 64lbs but worth it. It came with the JMI focuser which is excellent. The mirror is Pyrex 2 in thick. The optics are excellent on the first star test. The balance and movement are great. So far this scope has perform way better than I thought it would. Views of Saturn have been the best I have seen and Jupiter is unreal too. The 2 in focuser is a pleasure to use with WF EP'S. IF YOU WANT A VERY GOOD SCOPE FOR ABOUT A GRAND THEN THIS IS THE SCOPE TO GET. I HAVE ALREADY ORDERED A 15 IN. THANKS BOB HART
Submitted by Bob Hart - email@example.com - Southern Indiana