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Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope: 1 (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) [Kindle Edition]

Neil English
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the 1960's, American amateur astronomer, John Dobson, designed a revolutionary kind of astronomical telescope featuring a lightweight large-aperture reflecting system on a simple mounting, using the then-revolutionary material called teflon. The design combines simplicity and portability with large-aperture prowess. Thirty years later Dobsonians remain supreme for visually observing faint deep-sky objects and are one of the best-selling large telescopes in the USA and Europe. This popularity is reflected in the recent increase of companies now heavily marketing Dobsonians, in particular, Meade (the "Lightbridge" range), Orion USA (XT Intelliscope series), and Skywatcher (Skyliner and Flextube models). This book is the ultimate guide to buying and using commercial Dobsonians, both 'Econo' and 'Primo' models, with in-depth accounts for the various models (plus accessories) on the market and descriptions of the many innovations that amateurs have made to optimize their telescopes' performance.

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From the reviews:

“If you are considering purchasing a Dobsonian telescope … this book would be a very wise investment. ‘Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope’ is split into 2 sections, Part One deals with choosing which Dob is most likely to satisfy your requirements, Part 2 progresses to using your Dob once you have taken ownership. … this book is an absolute must. … If, like me, you are not currently considering joining Dobson’s revolution … then this book is still a really enjoyable, interesting read.” (Paul Rumsby, Best Astronomy Books, October, 2011)

“This book opens with a brief history of the inventor of this simple telescope design … followed by a study of the main elements of the scope. Like the rest of the book, this section is well-illustrated and the text is easy to follow. The main chapters feature thorough reviews of popular commercial examples, and the contributors combine quantitative date with qualitative experiences, which are invaluable. … It is informative and successfully conveys the passion many astronomers feel for these impressive, yet affordable instruments.” (Mark Parrish, Sky at Night Magazine, February, 2012)

“This is a welcome addition … and is equally useful to the first-time buyer of a Dobsonian telescope and the existing owner of an older instrument. … the problems and challenges faced by photographers together with their solutions are a very useful guide to the subject. … Whether you are looking for simplicity or wish to embrace modern technology this book gives you all the information you need to make the right choice and to get the most out of your observations.” (Valerie Stoneham, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1227), April, 2012)

From the Back Cover

In the 1980’s, on the sidewalks of San Francisco, amateur astronomer John Dobson began showing throngs of people how to build and use large aperture scopes, often from scraps. The Dobsonian,‘Dobs,’ are now the best-selling large telescopes in the world. There are a great variety of different Dob styles, ranging from elaborate and decorative creations to simple mass market designs, and new models appear all the time. In this title, Neil English presents the ultimate guide to buying and using a commercial Dobsonian for recreational astronomy. He provides in-depth accounts of the various models (plus accessories) on the market – both economy and premium – together with describing the wealth of innovations that amateurs have made to their Dobs to optimize their performance in the field.

Even after thirty years of innovation, the Dobsonian Revolution shows no signs of abating. Find out where the future lies for these large aperture ‘scopes and the exciting avenues John Dobson’s vision will take us down in the coming years.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9124 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Springer New York; 1 edition (25 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008B45U3Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,078,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choosing & Using a Dobsonian Telescope 4 Oct. 2011
The Telescope market is vast, with a number of popular brands producing 3 main types of telescope, each of which can be further broken down into subtypes and sizes. Cost can be equally confusing with scopes ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds (GBP). It is little wonder then that so many people buy a scope that is unsuited to their needs. What is required is some pre-acquisition research. If you are considering purchasing a Dobsonian telescope, commonly shortened to `Dob', or if you are unsure which telescope type to buy, the small outlay on this book would be a very wise investment.

`Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope' is split into 2 sections, Part One deals with choosing which Dob is most likely to satisfy your requirements, Part 2 progresses to using your Dob once you have taken ownership. The first chapter gives a brief insight into the life of John Dobson, the man who started the Dobsonian revolution in 1960's California. Dobson was instrumental in bringing large aperture telescopes to the masses in a simple and inexpensive form.

Dobsonian telescopes, at their most basic, are Newtonian Reflectors mounted on `Lazy Susan' cradles. Chapter 2 takes the reader through the Newtonian telescope; the components, tube design and how mirrors affect image quality then pauses to reflect on the positives and negatives of this type of telescope. The remainder of part one, chapter's 3 to 8 catalogue the best instruments currently available, each chapter dealing with increasingly larger apertures, from mini 3 inch Dobs to 30 inch monsters. In each aperture class the main contenders are discussed and their assets and drawbacks aired.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited Use For Non-US Readers 6 Mar. 2012
I was surprised by this book. A UK-based author, using Patrick Moore's name to add kudos. So you'd expect plenty of UK or at least EU-based stuff, right? Well, what you get is essentially a collection of reviews on mainly telescopes made - and in most cases only available from - the US. Seeing as you can get a very good British or Chinese Dobsonian here in the UK for very reasonable amounts, it escapes me why anyone would want to read about a US-made Dobsonian that will cost you a huge amount in export duty to acquire. That, plus the propensity of US telescopes to be so large as to be utterly impractical for the average amateur.

The book certainly has lots of useful information, but yet completely skips obvious things a newcomer wants to know about, like the best way to clean the mirrors of your Dobsonian, for example.

Is it worth getting? Not unless you really want to import a telescope from the US, because it's a text squarely aimed at an american audience, with non-US readers considered, it seems, as a very late afterthought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are buying a Dob consider buying this... 10 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope
Neil English. Published by Springer (Kindle edition)

The reason for buying this book are that I am considering buying a Dob’ sometime in the next 12 months and wanted to prepare for this and understand more about these types of telescopes.

Recently I bought the Springer edition book on eye pieces for the same reason and it certainly helped when I bought some more up market EP’s.

Even the Kindle editions of these books are not particularly cheap but as I live overseas I get them more or less instantly and do not pay postage which would add another £15-20 to China.

I have not seen the hard copy edition of this book.

The book is well presented and each chapter covers a different aspect from the history of the Dob’s to what accessories that might or should be considered along with the purchase of the Dob’ itself.

There is an excellent technical section on the design and manufacture of the mirrors, Strehl numbers, F ratios and how they can work for or against you and the magnifications you intend to use.

A large part of the book is dedicated to the products from various Dob’ manufacturers and works up from the small apertures to the 10 – 12’’ and beyond, plus a section on the custom design and massive OTA’s. The author has also taken time to include user reviews by people who have bought and used the various designs. This was useful.

All in all a very good book and one I will re-read over the next months. The Kindle edition is semi searchable (I am reading it on a Samsung Galaxy 10.1) and all the images are present, however some of the photos, images of Dob’s in the dark in a garden do not really work. More care could have been taken.
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