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10" GSO Dob
Submitted: Monday, 16th January 2006 by gaa_ian

Having started seriously in Amateur astronomy 2 1/2 years ago, with the formation of our local club, I did the usual seach the Net for answers on what my first scope should be.

I quickly discovered the first rule of amateur astronomy "appeture rules" the second thing I discovered is that the scope you can easily use is the best scope that is going to keep you interested & involved in the discovery of the night sky.

After reading many articles on US forums & sites, it quicly became apparent the the best Value/Quality/ease of use scope was a dobsonian (Dob) mounted Newtonian Reflector. As there was no IceInSpace back in those dark days , a bit more searching revealed two possible suppliers in Sydney as the best option, one offering a keen price & one offering a fair price & great service, there are many more suppliers in the market today.

The 10" GS Dob was the biggest availible then so the decision was made & a few weeks later I had my new scope! Assembly was easy for the Base (Ikea style with instructions) the optical tube assembly (OTA) was not to hard to work out (but no instructions). That is the main difference between the Keen priced supplier & the fair priced one (comprehensive instructions) !

After collimating (aligning the mirrors) the scope (a topic covered elsewhere in this forum) it was out for first light for the scope. My first discovery was that the 4mm & 6mm Plossl eyepieces are pretty useless (but that is a whole seperate topic). The most useful eyepieces I would have to say are 9,15,25 & 40mm focal lengths. Trying to over magnify is usually the first thing a newbie will do (yep I did it too ).

First light was a while ago for me, but as I recall it went like this:
First impressions were awesome, Omega Centauri & M42 were superb, planets were good, but the level of detail less than optimal. This is where the hunt for better quality short focal length eyepieces comes in. After collimating the scope & cleaning optics (had quite a few dusty observing sessions by now) seems this was the only thing left to try.

Spending $150 plus on good quality eyepieces (first seibert optics & now Teleview radian) certainly made a difference. I have yet to check for pinched optics as described elsewhere in this forum. Star tests have always looked good to my with the GSO dob I received.

There are several modifications that can be easily made to the GS Dob & again they are covered comprehensivly elsewhere in this forum, but in summary they are:

  • "Milk Jug" washers under the center bolt of the base to reduce the friction on the outside teflon pads
  • Adding a couple of "key rings" to the OTA tension springs to reduce the Altitude tension
  • Adding a couple of heavy duty lockable castors to the base, to enable easy deployment of the scope for that impromptu observing session.
  • Adding a couple of handles near the OTA pivot point to allow easy moving of the newly mobile scope.

As with any scope, quality eyepieces will make a difference to your viewing experience, particully at higher magnifications (shorter focal lengths 3 to 10mm). If you are a visual observer, who wants to take some planetary & Moon photos (see Icemans great photos with his Dob elsewhere in this forum), this is all the scope you will ever need (unless you get a serious case of aperture fever!)

So how big is big enough ? If you can afford the space, get the 12" model, if space & or weight are an issue, consider the 8" or 10" models.

Would I buy one again given my time over? Yes ... in a second, but I would get the 12".

I hope this helps you in your decision to by your first scope, you have done the right thing in any case, you have come here to the "IceinSpace family".


Click to Enlarge
Wheels on the base

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Extra handles

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Knob and Telrad on the OTA
Review by gaa_ian. Discuss this review at the IceInSpace Forums.
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