Discovery Truss 15"

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Discovery Truss 15"
I was particularly impressed with looking at a floor model 12.5" version so I ordered this 15" scope. Packing was not an issued as it was a will call. The primary and cell did come in its normal shipping carton and was excellently packed with expandable foam. The mirror was flawless with no pinholes, sleaks or scratches.
The woodwork is not quite up to other premium dobs but is still attractive and fuctional. The truss poles come in attached pairs which simplify assembly and collimation.
The focuser is a very nice DX3 JMI 2" Crayford unit.
Set up is simple and repeatable. You don't have to number the pole pairs to get collimation and the secondary has non-tool finger knobs to ease seconday collimation in the field. My unit came with a small fan for cooling, a telrad and a nylon light shroud.
I am still tweaking my collimation but these first couple of observing sessions have been wonderful. The optics are quite good for a large scope. I would say it doesn't quite match the mirrors I have seen by Carl Zambuto but that is why the price of this scope is so affordable. Zambuto mirrors are almost twice the money. Discovery does their own optics in house. In fact, they did many earlier optics for Celestron and Orion back in the 90's so they do have a very good reputation in the industry.
Some downsides are the top heavy situtation with balance. If this is a standard problem it would seem that they need to reengineer the TD scopes a little. When large eyepieces and any optical finders are added the mirror box end needs about 8 to 10 lbs of addtional counterweight. I just wrap some wrist weights around the mirror cell and the scope is fine. Once balanced, the movement is very smooth. I would put the movement up the the best of them. I can track planets at 260x with out any problems.
The mirror cell is not the best. It is a standard fixed cell out of a tube that has been modified. It works and supports the mirror and collimates but after you see an Obsession or Starmaster mirror cell you'll understand where some of the money savings comes from.
Overall, this is a fine large aperture scope that fits in the backseat of a standard sized four door sedan. It assembles easily and gives images that are equal to or 95% of anything out there. For the price, it cannot be beat in this current market. If a person is shy on funds for the top, premium dobs then these TD scopes should be able to satisfy almost all observers in quality. They really are a well thought out bargain.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
By: cosmosphil
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