flyingdutch20 Posted December 30, 2022 Share Posted December 30, 2022 I remember in the early '70s seeing Ursa Minor in its entirety with my bare (young) eyes in our back garden. At the time I thought that was normal. From a young age I was attracted to the night sky. I just loved looking at stars. It took me another 30 years to actually buy my first telescope, and it was a mistake. A superstore piece of refractor cr*p with a wobbly desktop mount. However it gave me views of the moon and showed me Saturns rings and Jupiter's moons. I was sold! I bought a small 2nd hand Orion Optics (UK) Newtonian on a light equatorial mount and the views massively improved, but I could not get on with the equatorial mount. Then I found Vic Maris' article 'New to Astronomy' (since then updated but the idea is the same: https://www.stellarvue.com/new-to-astronomy/) and I completely connected to that. Get a simple but good quality telescope with a stable simple mount and learn the skies with wide-field optics (small fast scopes)! At that time Vic Maris' company Stellarvue had a special offer of their Nighthawk, an 80mm doublet refractor with stable tripod and basic alt-az mount. However, this little scope wasn't as 'basic' as what you would get from the major telescope brands, this had a 2" dielectic diagonal and came with two excellent eye pieces, a 2" 30mm eye piece and a 1 1/4" 15mm. I've had some wonderful explorations of the sky with this combination. From this experience I learned that it is worth going for quality rather than quantity. I've had this scope for more than 10 years now and whenever I take it to star camps people are still amazed by the views it produces - I love it. But with a big birthday coming up, I decided that I should allow myself another scope, one that really gives me something different from my little refractor. That of course had to be a Big Dob. At the various star camps I did have the opportunity to look through several big dobs from 12" to 24" and everything in between and knew that it would give me the views that I could not get from my refractor. It also gave me a shortlist of requirements for the Big Dob. I saw some absolutely beautiful home made dobs which I would have bought in an instance, but also realised that I would not be able to build myself - I am an avid DIY person but I just know that precision is not my 'thing'. So it had to be something built by someone else. I started looking at the various options; how big do I want to go, can I afford new or do I want to look at second hand, what about go-to, DSC etc. I didn't want stepladders so that limited me to 12" - 15". Learning from previous experience I knew that I would be better off choosing simple setup but high quality so the shortlist became very short. Excellent optics, simple build, large bearings for smooth operation. So I read up about every dob that I could find and that is where I came across Taurus, a small Polish telescope maker that makes absolutely stunning looking truss dobs with high quality optics. I found a number of reviews from various buyers in Europe. To be honest, a couple of these reviews showed problems but Taurus dealt with those issues swiftly and professionally and the reviewers ended up raving about their telescopes. So after a number of conversations with Adam from Taurus, I pulled the trigger and put my name down for a 14" with the upgrade optics. This was mid September 2022. Then the wait began... I continued reading up on everything truss dob that I could find. Loved the stories of self-build thinking 'maybe one day, when I've retired', but kept reconfirming my decision. Throughout October and November I had the occasional email conversation with Adam from Taurus 'yes all is still going to plan' which typically ended up me buying more accessories to be included... But mid December an email arrived from Adam - we're about to pack your scope for shipping - Yippee! Will it arrive before Christmas? Fingers crossed. I followed the tracking every single day and on 23rd December I got a phone call from the couriers that they had a shipment to clear at the border. They needed some extra information for the clearance. This being 23rd Dec meant of course they would not turn it round before Christmas😞. Oh well, maybe between Christmas and New Year... On 29 December at lunchtime a Big parcel arrived, a nice wooden box, 40Kg worth of telescope! But only one parcel (of two). Oh no, they didn't deliver the truss poles! Let's hope and prey that they will get delivered as well today .... But no, the truss poles missed the connection to the distribution centre and I will have to wait until tomorrow. And worst of it all, absolutely stunning sky so it could have been first light with Jupiter close to a crescent moon, Mars, Neptune and Uranus all on view. Anyway at least I got to unbox part one. The wooden box is an excellent protector for the content - everything is super sturdy inside. All the parts are wrapped beautifully so no damage on any of the components. The oak varnished wood looks absolutely stunning and everything fits together as it should. I even managed to get the DSC working with Sky Safari, pretending to align with Polaris and then directing me to Aldebaran and M1 (obviously :-)). I chose the 'Pro' mirror which comes with a test sheet and that seems to be ok to me. I can see one tiny blemish on the mirror but for the rest it looks spotless (apart from the centre spot of course). So below some pictures of the unboxing part one. 23 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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