Skip to comments.John Dobson, 1915–2014 (Amateur Telescope Innovator)
Posted on 01/16/2014 9:22:47 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets
The long-lived master of sidewalk astronomy died peacefully on January 15th. Emerging from obscurity in 1968, he introduced simple ideas that revolutionized how amateurs make and use large reflecting telescopes.
(Excerpt) Read more at skyandtelescope.com ...
Yeah, just got one last year. It’s really a great scope. You get a lot of telescope for your money with a Dobson.
A lovely device particularly for those who don’t do finicky
A Dobson bump?
I always wanted to build one but didn’t have the space.
My father told me when I was about 4 years old that when good people die a new star is born. I will be looking up tonight to see if I can spot one for this wonderful man. He was a good man and was easy to talk to at Astronomy Conventions.
Yup. It pivots in just 2 directions. You simply swing it around by hand, although they did eventually come out with motorized Dob mounts.
I could point you at the wikipedia article for the shortcomings of Dobsonians. They are, however, unrivaled for visual astronomy and ease of use. The problem for beginners was that before the dob, the market was dominated by junk scopes at the low end and astrophotography scopes at the other. When my wife says, "What's that bright star?", it takes ten minutes to set up my dob, and show her Jupiter. Grandkids, wives, sweetheart, and friends don't have the patience of equatorial alignment.
Paint your Orion red and blue and tell people you made it yourself!
I met him at a star party a few years ago. Besides being a mooch, he was a pretty good guy.
A friend of mine won a 12.5 dob at that same star party in a raffle. As she was 79+ and couldn’t walk well, she didn’t really need the scope, but, she was proud of it. Got him to sign the scope and everthing.
Me, I’ll stick with my Equatorial mount. I like being able to look straight up. :)
Ok OK, I have had plans to convert my scopes to dobs. Build a mount that could hold anything from a 12.5 down just by using a bigger altitude bearing for the smaller tubes, but, it hasn’t happened yet.
I first heard of John Dobson during an old 6-part PBS series called The Astronomeers.
Ever since, I’ve wanted to buy a Dobsonian Telescope.
I think it’s time that I finally do so.
For my own use I have a really superb refractor with great lenses
A lot of people prefer refractors, especially for visual observation of the moon and planets. A dob still gives you the most light for the buck, and very satisfactory performance.
You might try to find a small (4-6”) used dob on line and see how you like it. If not sell if for what you paid. A 6” dob is easy to handle and use.
Built my own with specialized optics. Am very happy with it.