11 April 2011
Last year I ordered a new Dobsonian telescope from Rob Teeter (Teeter's Telescopes) in New Jersey. I met Rob at NEAF 2010 and asked enough questions to be satisfied that he could build what I wanted.
The telescope, a 14.5" f/4.5, was delivered on schedule in October. After testing it for several weeks at my light polluted home (~18.3 mpsas) and at a darker site (19.3 mpsas), I was impressed that most everything I evaluated met or surpassed expectations. Since I documented my findings as I tested, I realized that I could write an article and share my findings. I approached Astronomy Technology Today magazine and they were indeed interested, so I submitted the article with photos and waited to hear about a publication date.
The Publisher of ATT notified me that the article would appear in the March/April issue but I didn't know it would be the cover story. When the digital edition of this issue was released the first week of April, friends notified me of the cover. (I am still waiting to receive a hard copy by mail.) What a pleasant surprise!
I am delighted to share my assessment of the quality and detail that Teeter builds into his products with others who are shopping for a truss Dob. I also look forward to writing an evaluation of the optic provided by Waite Research. I can say now that qualitatively it is a very good mirror, but I have not quantified its figure. The seeing in North Carolina over the winter is not good enough to do critical star testing so I am waiting for a night with excellent seeing. I also plan to bench test the mirror with both a Ronchi grating and a Foucault tester.
To Rob Teeter, thanks for building such a fine instrument. I look forward to pushing it to its limits!