Restoring an Obsession

Obsession Telescopes are something of a standard in the astronomy community. David Kriege was one of the first to start building truss tube dobsonian telescopes commercially, bringing portable large aperture telescopes to the astronomy community. These telescopes were a bit of a revolution in the pursuit, with sizes unreachable only a decade before, when a 10″ or 12″ telescope was considered big. When I built my 18″ it is David Kriege’s book I used for much of the design, following in the footsteps of so many amateur astronomers.

20" f/4 Obsession Telescope
The restored 20″ Obsession telescope set up at hale Pohaku on the side of Mauna Kea

A 20″ f/4 Obsession donated to the observatory has presented a challenge and an opportunity. The telescope was the prized possession of Bob Michael having been ordered new directly from Obsession. The telescope is serial number 004 with a manufacturing date of June 1st, 1990. As David started Obsession Telescope in 1989, this is a very early example of his work. For many years Bob and his wife used this telescope to observe, completing the Herschel 400 and other observing projects. Unfortunately he was forced to give up astronomy due to age and glaucoma, donating his equipment to the observatory.

Continue reading “Restoring an Obsession”

Night of The Dobs

Star parties at Hale Pohaku are very informal affairs. You never really know who is and who is not going to show up. We just don’t plan that much.

It had just been too long, I had not had a good night out with the telescope for months. This dark moon Saturday was not going to be missed, I packed up Deep Violet and headed for The Mountain. I knew a few folks would be there, certainly Cliff and Tony. The rest of the folks were a surprise to me. As the evening progressed more and more ‘scopes showed up, a few more familiar voices in the darkness.

All The Big Dobs
Almost all of the big dobsonian telescopes to be found on Hawai’i show up at the VIS for the night.
We had picked a decent night. The transparency was fairly good, and the seeing was great. We enjoyed views of Jupiter better than I had seen in quite a while, Probably years. There was the red spot, moon shadows, even the moon Io could be clearly seen transiting the disk.

The only real issue was the wind, it was annoying. A couple of us moved our telescopes into the patio area of the MKVIS, where the building offered some shelter at the expense of blocking some of the sky.

Continue reading “Night of The Dobs”