Thinking About a New Scope? Think Big!
From the Obsessed
22" UC Owners
John Nymark, 22" UC owner in Edina, Minnesota - May 20, 2013
I have to tell you Dave that your scope is a work of art. I put it together a day or so after I got home. Amy and our daughters were quite amazed at the transformation from mirror box one minute to completed scope the next. Truly elegant engineering, form and function. They also couldn’t get over that we fit the 22" into the Corvette Z06. John Nymark
Bill Magan, 22" UC owner in Cortlandt Manor, New York - May 5, 2013
As always the scope itself was excellent. M 64 looked like a photo. NGC 4565 was stunning. And lots of little NGC and IC galaxies were easy. I look forward to getting the scope out under dark skies.
Eric S., 22" UC owner in Cave Creek, Arizona - November 20, 2012
Had first light on Saturday, medium-dark area but with a lot of moonlight - very impressive so far though - I must say that outside of photographs, I have never seen anything like that level of detail on Jupiter. At 300X the red spot was clear and sharp, as were the turbulent swirls behind it.
Paul Koller, 22" UC owner in Austria - November 4, 2012
I got my UC 22" in March 2010. My friend Justin Kabaus, who lives just 10 miles away from my location wanted to see this big dob - so I invited him in spring 2012 to see it. He decided to get the same -> so he ordered his UC 22".
We had a really impressive observing session together on the night of 16/17th Sept 2012 with some other hobby astronomers at a really dark place -> Mountain HOHE DIRN (app. elevation 3500 ft).
After finding the supernova 2012ei in NGC 5611 (app. 13,6m) we observed so many objects under best conditions.
- pn JONES 1 and Stephans Quintett in Pegasus
- eg NGC 891 in Andromeda, ...
- Uranus, Neptun, Jupiter (too bright -> the dark adaption is gone for several minutes, ...)
- M42 colorful + multiple Star Trapez with 6 members, ...
We could not stop observing till the morning was dawning - satisfied all over !!
Justin Kabaus made the video of this remarkable meeting - now it is linked to your homepage.
Paul Koller (:-)))
Hohe Dirn - Deep Sky Nacht
YouTube video (slide-show) of Paul Koller and Justin Kabaus of Austria with a pair of 22 UCs at Hohe Dirn mountain.
Mike B., 22" UC owner in Florence, Arizona - September 12, 2012
Hi Dave, great to make the Okie-Tex star party and the opportunity for us to meet. I am very pleased (actually ecstatic) about my new 22" Ultra Compact. It is the best in design that keeps on impressing. Tell everyone the entire Virtual Mirror Box fits into my small car KIA Spectra trunk. Plus with the wheelbarrow handles and some angle positioning, the Virtual Mirror Box passes through my 33" wide door. Result is most light gathering, best in class quality, and able to transport or store in house.
Next clear sky weekend I setup at home.
Sandy C., 22" UC owner in Pearland, Texas - August 23, 2012
The 22 UC performed magnificently with the 17mm Ethos. What a great combination for star hopping! Besides the usual showcase M objects, which all looked great under the dark sky, I easily saw all 5 members of Stephan's Quintet, several of the faint Arp galaxies around NGC 7331 and a few planetaries in globular clusters. The 8mm Ethos was great to see detail in the galaxies. The dust lane in the ghostly NGC891 was especially memorable.
Eric T. de Jonckheere, 22" UC owner in Elko, Nevada
December 19, 2011
You had asked in your last email if I would send a picture of the scope after it was finished. I wanted to wait until first light before I sent anything off to you. After putting my 22” UC together, I had to wait for three weeks due to the “new telescope curse” before getting it out for “first light”. Last Friday night the sky was finally clear. It was a little cold at around 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The transparency and seeing were on the good side of “okay”.
My skies are not the clearest, or darkest in the world, because of the proximity of where I live relative to town – however, I am not complaining one bit. Truly “dark skies” are only a 20 minute drive away, however, I wanted first light to be in my back yard. An estimated NELM for that night was around 6.0. I must admit that I was ill prepared for what I was going to see through the 22” UC. I knew it would be good, but I had NO IDEA of what I was about to see!
After allowing the optics to equilibrate [acclimate] with the cold night air for about an hour, I needed to finalize the collimation. I must say that I’ve never had a telescope that is this easy to collimate. The build of the telescope in conjunction with the barlowed laser technique made for an exceptionally easy collimation. It took only five minutes. At this point, the last thing I needed to do was to align the Telrad. I used Alnitak for this task. I also performed a star test on Alnitak and was quite simply astonished. It was as close to perfect as I have ever seen – I also had no idea that Alnitak had a “brother”. After doing the star test, I immediately noticed that it was a binary system. I was able to see a much smaller, fainter, star right next to it. I now know that it is actually a triple system.
The first object (and one of my favorites) I chose to observe was Betelgeuse. I love Betelgeuse because it is so close and bright. Once I had Betelgeuse centered in the Telrad, I took a look into my 31mm Nagler eyepiece. The sight that I saw was simply breathtaking! Betelgeuse was perfectly focused and ablaze with its’ brilliant orange light. It was so beautiful that it (truthfully) almost brought a tear to my eye. At this point, I knew I was in for quite a treat. Jupiter was my next target as it was very bright and high in the sky. People often say that there are no planetary views as good as through a top-notch APO refractor. While this may be true for some scopes, it certainly was not for my 22” UC. Jupiter literally snapped into focus. The view through my 17mm Nagler showed two, very distinct, very red, equatorial bands. They were bustling with detail. Swirls and notches within the bands were clearly visible. There were five moons visible in the eyepiece. My only complaint was that Jupiter was too bright, which is not really a complaint as it was easily remedied with a neutral density filter – after this the brightness/contrast was perfect. I have never seen Jupiter look like this, through ANY scope. I’d be happy to wager my view against the “best” planetary scopes out there. Because of the bitter cold, I only had two more targets for that way-too-short “first light” observing session. M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, was my next target. Once again, I’ve NEVER seen a view like this through any other scope. I was expecting a lot of detail, and a lot of detail is what I got. There were filaments and tendrils galore. I never realized that there were more than four stars in the trapezium. With my 9mm Nagler in, I counted seven, however, there were four more that were in extremely close proximity to the “main four” so I guess that the total would end up being eleven. There was one other surprising thing about that nebula – color. There was A LOT of it. The view I’ve had in EVERY other telescope I’ve looked through was grey. The view in the 22” UC displayed blues, greens, and even some places that appeared to be a reddish brown. These were also not “dull” colors. They were definite and beautiful. I NEVER imagined that I’d see color like this in a telescope. I was told, and thought, that you could only see color in astro-photographs. I was wrong! The last target of the night is something I’ve never seen before – the flame nebula. The famous dark nebula nicknamed the “horsehead” is on my observing challenge list -- I wasn’t even looking for it tonight. However, I did want to see if I could see the flame nebula. I had mentioned before that I performed a star test on Alnitak. At that point, I was centered in on the star, and not looking around. I re-centered the scope in on Alnitak. I also used my 17mm Nagler for this task. I looked through the eyepiece, and low and behold, there it was, as plain as day, just above and to the right of Alnitak. I could easily see the dark lanes (I counted three major dark lanes heading down and to my right of Alnitak – there were also several smaller dark lanes stemming from the three major ones). The flame nebula did not produce any color in my eye, however, I did not need a H-Beta filter to see it. I sat and studied the flame nebula for what felt like five minutes, but I am sure it was at least an hour. I could see some amazing detail in the nebula. After I was done observing the flame nebula, I did receive one final unexpected treat for the night. As I scanned around Alnitak, with direct vision, I noticed an even fainter nebulosity. Just above Alnitak, heading up and slightly to the left was a faint, grey strip. I had found IC 434! I never thought that I’d be able to see IC 434 on a night and location like this!. It was less than a minute after this that the seeing diminished for the night. In only a few more fleeting moments was I able to see IC 434. I could have put my H-Beta filter in and begun the hunt for the horsehead, but I was tired and cold, and I had seen way more than I had expected for my 22” UC’s “first light”. I would dream of seeing the horsehead nebula that night while I slept, and will continue the hunt on another night.
Dave, you produced an absolutely amazing telescope for me – a DEFINITE work of art. I COULD NOT be happier. Thank you SO much for fulfilling my dream. Not only did you fulfill it, you blew it away!!!!! I know that I will never own/buy a nicer telescope. I don’t want/need to own a better telescope, because I am pretty sure there isn’t one. The engineering of my 22” UC is amazing. The curves and edges of the wood-working are exquisite. The way the rockers and base are put together is simply genius. The look and function of the UTA is incredible. This telescope looks like it could be a piece of furniture in my living room, or a professional telescope in an observatory. You are a master at your craft and I will DEFINITELY more than recommend your telescopes to ANYONE who wants to by the best that there is. There is NO better than Obsession, which is probably why I see the majority of other scopes advertised as “Obsession like”. Oh, and thank you for your fantastic customer service. It was second to none. One final thought. I would NOT give a rave review like this unless it was 100% true and absolutely deserved. The Obsession 22” Ultra-Compact you constructed for me is definitely deserving of the best review I could give. Amazing Dave…simply amazing. Thank you so much! I hope to see you at a star party some time. If I do, you will have to take a look through the unbelievably fantastic piece of equipment that you produced. Oh, and the 22” UC telescope already has a name – “Inspiration”.
Eric T. de Jonckheere
Exodus Geology Department
Newmont Mining Corp.
1655 Mountain City Highway
Elko, NV 89801
Holger Voss, 22" UC owner in Germany - September 26, 2011
I just want to let you know that the UC22 arrived last Wednesday, everything made it over the ocean in perfect condition . Last night I had first light under less than perfect transparency conditions, but the new toy worked perfectly right from the start. The scope balances with my Ethoses perfectly without any counter weights, and the focal plane is at the perfect spot for my eyepiece collection. I was impressed with the setup of AN+SC that you already did, I expected some time fiddling with parameters. The views were outstanding and a good step up from my trusty "old" 15" classic. I hope to get under dark skies next week - at least all the stuff fits into my Audi A4 hatchback - quite remarkably for this aperture. Thanks a lot.
Life's good with an Obsession! I had another enjoyable night out with the new scope with exceptional seeing (but poor transparency, again). I never saw before all these details in the blue snowball and on Jupiter. Wow! Attached please find a picture. Feel free to use it on your web site along with any excerpt from our conversation if you like.
All the best,
Paul & Charlene Kerans, 22" UC owners in Dashwood ontario, Canada - May 17, 2011
The scope set up very well and we only had 1 chance so far to view. WOW!!! Im sure you herd it all before, we are very happy with our new telescope. I attended a RASC public info session and the Obsession was all the rage with the members of the club.The skies have been the pitts, but can't wait to get out again.
Thanks again and much gratitude for your skills.
Paul & Charlene Kerans
Paul Koller, 22" UC owner in southern Austria - August 26, 2010
Dave, let me thank You for making this absolutely portable big scope. It is really impressive and gives soooo bright views! This is it, I was always dreaming of!! It will last many, many nights to look for all the possible objects I can reach with this giant. As a guide for the future I got now THE NIGHT SKY OBSERVER´S GUIDE Vol 1 + 2 + 3 (William Bell Inc., USA) -> so the potential of the instrument is necessary to find all the listed objects.
With the help of ServoCat GoTo and the ArgoNavis DSC it's really fun to jump from one object to the next. For me visual observing has got now a new dimension. I can find soo many different targets in short time, there is no problem to make public viewing and tracking of objects gives the easy possibility to use high magnifications.
Greetings from one that is now really obsessed !
Paul Koller (:o)))
"Emberger Alm" in southern Austria
Paul Johnson, 22" UC owner in Perth, Australia - August 13, 2010
G'day Dave, Last night I finally got my 22" Ultra Compact out to a dark site. I am happy to report that it fully lived up to all expectations - the optics, build quality, and electronics. Once the two star alignment was done, the telescope tracked accurately all night and it was able to find every object that I asked for.
Many of my old favorite objects look different through this new telescope due to the extra detail and the amazing number of stars coming into view around them. Globular clusters were resolved to the core as promised and I have never had planetary nebula's appear so bright in an eyepiece. I saw more galaxy's in the one night than I have ever seen before in my old scope - and averted vision was not needed.
Everyone in the group that I went out viewing with last night wanted to have a look to compare it with their view and they were all very impressed.
Thanks for producing such a high quality device. I am sure that this telescope will give me a lifetime of enjoyment.
Jürgen Breitung, 22" UC owner in Germany - May 22, 2010
Unfortunately the last days in Germany were cloudy, cold and rainy. But last night I had first light with the 22" Obsession UC in my backyard. Even with quarter moon and light pollution of nearby city Bad Kreuznach the 22" performed like a "starlight vacuum cleaner". M 13 was resolved into the core with 20mm Nagler but Hercules itself was hard to detect with naked eyes standing right over the city. In M97 the eyes were seen even under these conditions. I m looking forward for really dark skies. The scope is moving buttery easy and has an appearance more like a classic 18 incher. I have had an 16" self-made and 18" commercial Dobsonian with a couple of drawbacks but the overall mechanic execution of the Obsession 22" UC looks and feels more Mercedes or BMW like. Thanks Dave for this wonderful tool. Last night at 4:00 AM I finished my first session with a german Weizen Beer. Even my wife Ulrike says that this scope is the final choice for me and I agree.
Mr Cho, 22" UC owner in South Korea - April 8, 2010
I can't believe still what I've watched thru this dob last night. All of the messier star clusters were resolved, moreover its were better than the photos. We could identify the M27 as the nickname " Crunched Apple"..and the handiling weight was almost same as 11" sct with EQ mount..
What so aaammmaaazzzing...!!!
David D., 22" UC owner in Melbourne, Australia - March 16, 2010
Dear Dave, I have just had first light through “my” UC 22. It is a beautiful instrument. Many thanks! The only downside I forsee is that my wife will become an “Obsession Widow”.