Thinking About a New Scope? Think Big!


From the Obsessed

18" UC Owners

Andy K., 18" UC owner in Dallas, Texas - May 30, 2021

Obsession 18" UC

Hi, Dave,
I took delivery of an 18UC in January. While I've played with it in my driveway to familiarize myself with it, I hadn't got a chance to use it as intended until now. But recently I packed it all into my BMW sedan and took it along on a trip to my 2nd home in Phoenix. And from there, I made a day-trip (noon to noon) to a dark sky preserve in NM, where I spent the night with it. It was fantastic! It amazes me that I was able to roll into a campsite at 6pm with a telescope, the same size as the one at my university's observatory, in pieces in my car, and be peering at galaxies by nightfall. I'm very pleased!

Andy K

Richard M., 18" UC owner in Snellville, Georgia - December 15, 2020

Obsession 18" UC

I really enjoy my UC18 (SN1298) and have now added the ServoCat to the system along with my Mallincam DS287m. I am capturing amazing images with the smallest (but most sensitive) of the Mallincam cameras (I attached an collage of some of my photos). Every clear night during the waning moon will have me outside on my deck with my UC18 and DS287m even in my heavy light pollution of Atlanta.

Richard M

UPDATE December 27, 2020

Just want to thank you for designing and building my UC18 telescope!

I purchased your book a couple decades ago and read it through several times before purchasing the telescope.

The anticipation of clear skies for observing / video capture with my UC18 makes me feel young again.

Richard M

Yakov Grusovskiy, 18" UC owner in Moscow - December 10, 2020

Hello Dave,

I just wanted to write to you that I received your telescope very quickly and recently it saw the first sky. Clear nights are very rare for December in Moscow, so I was very lucky. The telescope performed very well! Thank you for it.

Yakov Grusovskiy

Thanos Kafkas, 18" UC owner in Athens, Greece - November 3, 2020

Obsession 18" UC

Hi Dave,
Sorry too for the late answer. I was waiting for a chance to take the telescope outside of the city. I picked a weekend and I can tell you I enjoyed it very much.

The transport was not too much trouble, even though the 18'' telescope is much bigger than my previous one (8" dobson) and heavier. The design of the UC, I find it to be very clever and easy to assemble and disassemble, even by one person. The VMB is easier to move by two people but I did it myself all the same. In short I want to say that even though I live in an upstairs apartment in the city, I didn't think twice to pack it and take it for a trip. At the field, I found the wheelbarrow handles very helpful and well thought of. I managed to move the scope through a not so flat and rocky field, with no problem at all. As I said before, the assembly after the second or third time is very easy. Another thing that I found very well designed is the balancing of the scope and the motion in general. I have on the UTA the telrad, a 9X50 finder scope, light baffle and a heavy eyepiece and with all other accessories of the scope (light shroud, battery for fan, primary baffle), I only use one counterweight tube. Also I find the motion very smooth and accurate. I could track Mars manually at 500X with no problem.

The alignment of the mirrors also is quite straightforward (5min procedure) and I think the barlow collimator is very helpful. Feathertouch focuser is a pleasure to use and very beautiful to look at. Ripstop nylon shroud slips around the trusses easily and is very well designed. I find it mandatory.

Regarding the views, well, the telescope removes all the second thoughts you might had. I didn't have the time to search for a lot of new targets, so I reviewed some famous one. M57 was awesome, very bright and clear, as were some other planetary too. It's impressive how high you can raise the magnitude without losing brightness. M31 Andromeda using a low power eyepiece was impressive too, with two stripes of dust easily distinguished. Mars at opposition was also jaw dropping, the detail I could see at 300X or even at 500X, I haven't thought possible. I can see a little coma at f/4.2 indeed at low powers, but I don't think (personal opinion) that is so irritating. I haven't used a coma corrector yet.

All in all, I am very happy with this scope, it's a fine instrument indeed and I am really looking forward to my next session.

Keep up the good work!!

Thanos Kafkas
Athens, Greece

Boyd Levet, 18" UC owner in Sisters, Oregon - July 29, 2020

Obsession 18" UC

Greetings from one of the darkest night sky sites in the U.S. Ochoco Mountains high desert mountain top, site of the Oregon Star Party. During the pandemic, there are no star parties. But it is always possible to get out to the wilds solo, keep safe and have the sky to yourself. The 18” Obsession Ultra Light is the best instrument for my observing, offering worry-free transport on washboard, bumpy roads, and breaking down in strategic pieces for ease of hauling in most any vehicle. This summer’s lists included planetaries, distant galaxies and showpiece Nebulae that filled ten nights running. Not to mention Jupiter’s many bands and the striking red color of its Great Red Spot! Downside this summer was the absence of many friends, to whom I might have invited to my eye-pieces, and said the usual “Oh Wow! Come See This!”

Can’t say enough about the 18” Ultra Compact. Truly a star-stopping performer!

Boyd Levet

Ron H and family, 18" UC owners in Palos Verdes Estates, California - May 23, 2020

Obsession 18" UC

Dave, The last few nights under the stars have been the best of my life; I couldn’t be happier. I will keep you updated.

Thank you for delivering the telescope so quickly.
I’m amazed.
Ron H

Tim M., 18" UC owner in Watertown Wisconsin - May 30, 2020

I was out until 4am last night. Wonderful scope and the 13 Nagler is a really nice magnification for globulars and planets. The globulars were great even with light pollution and the moon. I saw amazing detail on Saturn and Jupiter last night I’ve never thought I would see outside of photos.
Should have bought this as my first scope years ago.

Booked a place in the U. P. just North of Newberry for the week of new moon in July - thanks for the recommendation

Tim M

Andrew B., 18" UC owner in Birmingham, Alabama - November 12, 2019

Finally getting some great use out of my new UC 18”! Last night was really nice – Saturn was the best I’ve seen but some of the star fields were pretty spectacular as well.

Many thanks,

Andrew B

Jean-Yves GRUFFAT, 18" UC owner in Annemasse France - October 3, 2019

Obsession 18" UC

I got my brand new UC 18" outside and this is a real pleasure! Saying that is great is a euphemism: Going from 8" to 18", well, there is no word for describing what I feel. This opens new perspectives and several years of astronomic nights.

I haven't used ramps for putting the scope in my car yet, but the compactness is really helpful.
I'm a happy and proud Obsession telescope user!


Richard Miller, 18" UC owner in Snellville, Georgia - October 3, 2019

Great, thanks Dave. I am a little surprised how much I enjoy my scope. I think the Argo Navis really adds a level of ease to my viewing sessions and made it possible to get the target on the narrow field of view of the camera. The camera lets me share my experience and that is a lot of fun.
Richard Miller

Ron H., 18" UC owner in Palos Verdes Estates, California - December 10, 2018

Dave, the telescope is incredible. The last few nights under the stars have been the best of my life; I couldn’t be happier. I will keep you updated. Thank you for delivering the telescope so quickly.
I’m amazed.

Ron H

Nathan N., 18" UC owner in Moreno Valley, California - July 16, 2018

Hi Dave!!!
OMG this scope is amazing. Like ridiculous amazing. You guys are awesome.

Thanks! I absolutely love this scope, and I'm super happy with my purchase. You rock.
Nathan N

John Sommerer, 18" UC owner in Laurel, Maryland

Obsession 18" UC

Dear Dave, I just got back from the Winter Star Party, where the scope was a big hit. I left the 18UC tracking on Jupiter, with about 250x, so I could later watch an emergence of Europa from behind the planet. Everyone’s mind was blown, including mine. I also had a “first,” seeing the horsehead nebula visually, without a filter. With a 2” H-beta filter (borrowed from a nearby observing friend) it was downright easy.
Thanks again,
John S
Laurel, MD

Raanan Yechezkel, 18" UC owner in Hod HaSharon Israel - June 16, 2018

Hi Dave. Just wanted to say thanks again for making this 18UC. Had an amazing night yesterday. We usually have quite a bit of dust here but now and then, when we’re lucky we get a moonless cloudless dustless Friday. Yesterday was such a night. I got to see Jupiter with details that I’ve never seen before on any scope. It was early enough so I didn’t need and filters (I use filters for Jupiter at night because it is way too bright when your eyes have already dark-adapted). I got to use my 6mm ethos (x364 with the paracorr) which I already thought I’d never be able to enjoy. I saw spiraling clouds on the band that houses the great red spot. Just like in photographs. People who came by (Gill too) were blown away. It’s not that much of a light gathering challenge, I know, but for such a clear image at x364, the optics have to be very good. I am sure they are the best I’ve ever used.

I went on later to watch M64 (Black Eye Galaxy) and M104. Both were stunning as were all the other object that night.

It takes great seeing to appreciate a quality scope. I finally got to enjoy my Obsession properly.

Thank you!

Mike I., 18" UC owner in LA California - May 11, 2018

As an ex classic 20 inch owner and now a 18UC owner, I can tell you that the scope is fantastic. Was tracking Jupiter (very low in sky) at over 300X without issues! And, the image, with questionable seeing, out performed a nice 5 inch APO next to me! LOVING the scope. Absolutely AMAZING design. Smooth and easy to track at high power. Easy set up and it takes up such a little amount of space. In fact, it takes up no more space than my Mewlon 250.

Mike I

Steve P., 18" UC owner in Woodbridge, Virginia - March 28, 2018

Obsession 18" UC

Steve with 18UC in the trunk of his BMW

Obsession 18" UC

Moon shot with an 18UC and hand held iPhone

Dave you have created an amazing telescope. At 300X it’s just spectacular on the moon. Clear, crisp, bright amazing details I have never seen before. What an incredible telescope! I absolutely love it!
Steve P

Chuck J., 18" UC owner - February 27, 2018

You can appreciate my joy with your design. After struggling with the behemoth 20" XXX-XXXXXXX, which would take me FORTY FIVE minutes to setup and collimate, the UC 18 took me about fifteen on my first try. I think I shed a small tear of joy in the garage. I rolled it out just as the horrible clouds parted and my first light was on Luna! What a treat! That 20" didn't even hold a candle to the mirror in this Obsession! Then this morning I looked at Jupiter, the difference is amazing. Now I understand the "obsession".
Chuck J

Update: March 6, 2018

I must really say, that the Obsession is a joy to use and view through. I have had many, many scopes before it, and right now I can't see any more after it. It is my forever scope.
Chuck J

Raanan Y., 18" UC owner in Israel - January 13, 2018

Obsession 18" UC

Was out last night for the first time. I’m very happy with my new Obsession. I saw details in familiar objects that I’ve never seen before. I had an 18” S……... till now so I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed but this scope is simply better. Orion Nebula looked very different. I could see details in the nebulously rather than just a cloud like figure. M33 showed a lot more details too, I could see the spiral arms for the first time. I also saw the horse head nebula for the first time. Mechanically the scope is beautifully built too and runs very smooth. Thank you for a magnificent scope!
Raanan Y

Ram S., 18” UC owner in Buffalo, New York - June 22, 2017

Never seen anything like it. Completely blown away! The entire Milky Way looked like the way a densely populated nebula would through my smaller scopes.

Tom M., 18” UC owner in Reisterstown, Maryland - April 25, 2017

The functionality of the combined systems is very impressive. What a joy to own such a fine instrument. I have done some limited viewing in moderately dark skies, in my driveway. The views are jaw dropping with the killer mirror and the TeleView eyepieces. Can’t wait to get it into dark sky land.

Thanks for producing and delivering such a great product.
Tom M

Stefan G., 18” UC owner in Wiruna, Australia - Dec. 1, 2016

We have had some fantastic nights with this 18" UC. Only last Sat night I saw the best view of Tarantula that was the most amazing view that a bunch of us had seen ... EVER. Thanks again for the last year of beautiful views through your handiwork and craftsmanship.
Stefan G

Rob T., 18" UC owner in Houston, Texas - March 6, 2016

Hi Dave,
I just completed a "first light" weekend at the Houston dark site with my 18 UC and wanted to let you know that I love that scope! Transport and setup were a breeze, Argo & Servo worked great, but most importantly, the views, even at 300x were stunning. No wonder most Dobs I see around are made by you!
Rob T.

Kelly McGrew, 18" UC owner in Land O Lakes, Florida - February 12, 2016

Obsession 18" UC

Everyone who buys one of your scopes no doubt tells you how amazing these scopes are - and I’m no exception. Big, fast, and it glides. A friend who was here from Korea overnight will probably be selling one of his motorcycles when he rotates home in order to finance one of your scopes. He has an 8" Dob but after looking at M42 under our stable Florida winter skies for 30 minutes through the Obsession using a Tele Vue 21 mm Ethos and a 13mm Ethos he's got his eye on at least a 12.5-incher. Amazing views!

Thanks again!
Kelly McGrew

Matt Dahms, 18" UC owner in Long Beach, California - February 10, 2016

Hi Dave,
I did my first collimation and got to spend some time doing some back yard observing. Even in fairly heavy light pollution, the Orion nebula looks absolutely outstanding! Better than I've ever seen it before (including under some very dark skies).
Thank you for such a wonderful instrument.
Matt Dahms

Dale Knuepfer, 18" UC owner in Cachi, Argentina - November 5, 2015

Hello Dave, I want to Thank You Again for all the assistance in this shipment of the UC18. I finally had the chance for First Light 2 nites ago & the performance simply reinforced the excellence of your telescope models. M8,47Tuc, M31, NGC253, & NGC2070 among other targets were acquired effortlessly. The mechanical simplicity of observations was frankly quite impressive.

Dale Knuepfer

Jim Sofia, 18" UC owner in Ottawa Canada - December 30, 2014

I have had my 18UC for 6 years and transport it in the trunk of my Camry, with back seats folded down, it is a comfortable fit and room for more gear, like camping, etc. The views, especially through such eyepieces as the Ethos 13 are quite magnificent!
Jim Sofia

Boyd L., 18" UC owner in Sisters, Oregon - July 28, 2014

Obsession 18" UC

Boyd L with 18UC at Rimrock Ranch Star Party in Sisters Oregon.

I live under the darkest sky in North America, but I've never had the breath-taking views now at my eyepiece as I have with the 18" UC! The Veil Nebula presents more detail than I could have ever dreamed. Other astronomers take a look and one-after-another just say "Wow!" "Fantastic!" Add the O III filter and it's just picture-perfect stunning in all its character. You are spot on: The 31 Nagler and the new 13 Ethos make an outstanding duo. I could name all the destinations of my intergalactic travels so far, from the Whirlpool to the Ring to M 13 and the adventure is just beginning with each of them! There's so much more to see and I can wait for more! The lines at the star parties in the Oregon high desert outback testify to the fact that with this 18 UC you have thought of everything. Collimation with the laser takes 2 minutes, and even with bumpy country roads, everything holds extremely well from start party to star party. My Ford Escape is perfect for transporting everything I need to bring along, with room to spare. Combine the portability with the excellence of this fine instrument and I could not be happier. Thank you, Dave, for your nurture from my transition from my former Dob life to this over-the-top UC 18!

Boyd L., 18" UC owner in Sisters, Oregon - June 15, 2014

Hi Dave,
I'm pleasantly stunned by the success of the 18 UC right in the middle of the full moon, easily seeing, with surprising detail, the Ring Nebula, M-13, and M 81 & 82! Amidst all the moon-glare, there they were!
Boyd L.

Alex P., 18" UC owner in Boston, Massachusetts
December 13, 2013

Just a quick note to let you know I received the telescope yesterday from UPS. Spent the morning today unpacking and assembling. I have to say, I am very impressed with the fit and finish. When I was trying to decide what kind of telescope I wanted, every discussion of Dobsonians I read said something to the effect of "yeah, the quality of Brand X is fine, but of course, it's not an Obsession..." Now I understand. It's a beautiful machine, and clearly displays the time and thought you have put into figuring out how to build these things. I was also really pleased with how easy the collimation was with the laser barlow tool - maybe took me 20 minutes total, including checking the focuser (which came from you perfectly aligned, at least to the limits of my measuring ability). The moon sets here at 3:00 AM tomorrow, and you can bet I'm gonna be out there giving this thing a try, 5 degrees F or not.

Have a great one,

Gabriele, 18" UC owner in Pasadena, California - December 10, 2013


Dear Dave,

I finally had the time and the good weather to try out the telescope. Well, it’s an amazing instrument, by far the best one I've used so far. And it’s not the first scope with a diameter larger than 40cm that I've used!

The first object I looked at was the Veil nebula, without any filter. It was astonishing how many details there were. And adding an O3 filter made the view simply spectacular. I could go on for pages describing all the other objects, from the Stephan’s quintet to the Helix nebula.

Thanks for the instrument. It is as amazing.

Gabriele Vajente
California Institute of Technology
100-36 LIGO Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Ray McDougall, 18" UC owner in Toronto, Canada September 10, 2013

Hi Dave,
Just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you so much for this beautiful instrument. It is life-changing - really, these are the views of which I've dreamed since I was the happy kid with the new 3" Edmund Scientific reflector for Christmas in the 70s. The Veil is beyond words, and M15 with its blazing centre blew me right away. Amazing to be able to discern the star colours in the globulars like this. Love the Wild Duck - each star a bright glistening gem. The Crescent is just as in the photographs. I won't go on about them all, but each new object is an adventure. How am I ever going to wait for the changing seasons to bring me all the rest? I could ask for no better than this.

Thank you so much - this scope is a dream come true.

Ray McDougall

Randy Schatzman, 18" UC owner in Redmond, Washington
August 17, 2013

I wanted to circle back following our recent experience with the 18" f/4.2 UC. We took the instrument to the Oregon Star Party last week. In short, we were hugely impressed with its performance. We had several evenings with both great transparency and stability and quite easily split Epsilon Lyra into 2 pairs among a number of doubles we observed.

Great job with the telescope, the details are amazing. I can't say enough about how thrilled we are.

All the best,
Randy Schatzman

Jon Stewart-Taylor, 18" UC owner in Burgaw, North Carolina - August 17, 2013

Hi Dave K.
M11 in particular was amazing. I'd never realized it is almost rectangular: it looked kinda like a street map with so many bright stars arranged almost in a grid. The spring and summer globulars looked very nice, as did the Ring and Dumbbell nebulae. The Veil was easy to find, and I could trace the filaments for several eyepiece FOV in either direction.

I wouldn't have been able to store or transport a scope this diameter without it being the ultra-compact model. I'm really looking forward to what it will do under clear, transparent skies.

Jon Stewart-Taylor

Doug Murphy, 18" UC owner in Leesburg, Virginia - March 18, 2013

Doug Murphy

Hi Dave,
We haven't talked in a while and I am hoping all is well with you. I am still loving my 18UC and continue to do video with it. Honestly, it's like having HST right in the back yard. I can tell you that over the past year or so I have been having great luck getting objects in the 15 arc min field of the Mallincam on every go-to with your scope. The RMS pointing error is down to 3-4 arc min using the TPAS on ArgoNavis and takes just 5 min to do. It's really fun.

Cheers, Doug

Jeffrey Kaszczuk, 18" UC owner in Lavon, Texas
February 27, 2012

Jeffrey Kaszczuk

Brief "first light" in my back yard last week, M42 and Jupiter. Then, we took the scope to our dark sky spot in the Caddo National Grassland in northeast Texas. Brought along a buddy with his 12" Skywatcher. His Skywatcher sat alone and unused all night. I couldn't peel him away from my scope HAHAHAHA!!! The feathertouch focuser is awesome. The entire scope is awesome. Once the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus set, we started our galaxy hunting. Best one of the night was M51. I AM VERY, VERY, VERY SATISFIED WITH THIS TELESCOPE. Thanks Dave!! My friends may be contacting you about making one for them!! Some pics attached.

update: August 21, 2012

Just got back from a RAINY Ft. Davis. Clouds broke Saturday night so we set up in the dark. The TRIFID NEBULA was AWESOME!! Think I may have seen a tinge of colors.  The scope handled the travel very nicely. No problems with it whatsoever! Set up and collimated in the dark (QUICKLY!!) using headlamp only. Travel buddy brought along his 12" SCT and Plossles. Looked through several of these over the years, still un-impressed.

John Kutney, 18" UC owner in Las Cruces, New Mexico - February 24, 2012

John Kutney M42

Dave, As mentioned several months ago, I planned to send you an astro-photo when I configured my altered UC 18" Obsession for astrophotography.

You may recall that I ordered separate truss poles (2 inches shorter) to obtain back-focus for my Canon DSLR. I also fine tuned my ServoCat with the AutoCal feature to get the best gear ratios. Main issue I have is the wind catching the shroud over the truss poles causing some jitter. If I take the scope to the desert I can eliminate the shroud and push the exposure to over a minute. Attached is a photo of M42 with the UC 18" at 30 seconds and ISO 3200.

Gunter Wiese, 18" UC owner in Switzerland - Sept. 2, 2011

Gunter Wiese

Hi Dave, Last weekend we finally had good seeing to go out with our new Obsession 18" UC. The viewing was just great, a lot of guys were surprised of all the nebulas and galaxies we could see.

We are very pleased with the good service and the perfect shipping. Assembling and collimating is easy, and the Argo Navis works perfectly. It's just great to go out with this telescope.

Thanks a lot.
From Switzerland, best regards
Gunter Wiese

Joel Kilpatrick, 18" UC owner in Riverside, California - May 30, 2011

Hi, Dave. I've taken the scope out a few times, and I'm very pleased.  I've been observing for fifteen years with small telescopes.  Last week, for the first time in my life, I clearly saw the spirals in the Whirlpool Galaxy and M101.  Both galaxies looked just like their photographs--but to me these images were worth so much more than photographs, because I was seeing the actual galaxies with my own eye. Another first for me: seeing the "Pillars of Creation" in the Eagle Nebula.  That was a personal milestone.  Swan Nebula looks better than a photograph, since no long exposure can completely capture the delicate and intricate interplay between its many wisps of nebulosity. Lagoon and Trifid are breathtaking, sublime. Black Eye Galaxy totally resembles its photograph: I could feel it looking back at me with that heavy, cyclopean oculus. M13 is shockingly large and bright: I'm afraid to get any closer to that monstrous arachnid of stars. Veil Nebula is like delicate sinews of muscle stretched across the black sky. Yikes! Setup is easy. Collimation is easy. The scope makes perfection almost too easy.   You've put together a telescope that has changed my view of the world permanently.  Thank you so much!~Joel Kilpatrick

Johan Moolman, 18" UC owner in South Africa - May 5, 2011

Johan Moolman

Hi Dave,
Yip - the 18 " UC Obsession performed truly exceptionally! Views of the galaxies (Hamburger, Sombrero, Southern Pinwheel, Leo triplets, Markarian face, antennae, Siamese twins etc. etc, etc...!), clusters, nebulae, planetaries etc. were truly fantastic!! Thank you!

Johan Moolman
National starparty - Kambro padstal, Karoo, South Africa

Cliff L, 18" UC owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba - April 4, 2011

Cliff L

Hi Dave,
The scope is great. It's easy to set up and fun to use. I took it out to our club observatory a few nights ago. The pundits were impressed.

I bought mine based on the recommendation of one of our club members who has a 20" Obsession - who knows? Maybe you'll have more requests from our members.

Cliff L

Marc-André Paradis, 18" UC owner
in Saint-Louis du Ha! Ha!, Quebec - November 2, 2010

Hi Dave, It’s Christmas! The telescope has arrived and is assembled. I took my sweet time and savored every minute of the whole process. I have collimated the optics and tried it on landmarks around the observatory and must say that I can’t wait for the sky to clear up. This telescope is out of this world in many aspects. Yes it’s big, yes it’s compact and easy to assemble but what is even more impressive, is the quality of your craftsmanship my friend.

The scope is going to Quebec for a congress of science teachers and comes back next week for our press conference to launch our new astronomy school workshop. Again, I’m most impressed with the quality of this instrument.

Best regards, Marc-André Paradis

Trevor C., 18" UC owner in Guelph, Canada - September 4, 2010

I know that you must have been told this before but allow me to reiterate - it is an absolutely brilliant bit of craftsmanship that no doubt will be a joy to use. The last time I felt this way was in the predawn hours of December 25 when I was 7 (I got a cool train set that year)!

Trevor C.

Tony Buckley, 18" UC owner in Sydney Australia - August 30, 2010

I have just completed 10,000 miles driving around the Australian outback with an 18 inch UC aboard a Toyota 4WD, and observed from as far north - for me, as latitude 12 degrees south.

The UC was the ideal scope to take on rough dirt roads, sometimes 600 miles between towns, being the most compact and travel friendly big dobsonian and in fact the actual one that Dave Kriege used here himself a few years ago.

Tony Buckley

Gerrit H., 18" UC owner in Osnabrueck, Germany - October 17, 2009

Four weeks ago I was in the Alps at 2500 meters height above sea level. There I had my best views on Cirrus (a dream with the 17 mm Ethos), Stephan's Quintet, Cat's Eye nebula and Jupiter.

Gerrit H.

Gene T., 18" UC owner in San Antonio, Texas - October 1, 2009

When I finished assembling my new 18" UC, I just let it stay assembled in the living room for two days. I was enthralled with the engineering and how well thought out this telescope is. I finally took it all down. It is stored on my side of the closet. It takes up less room than my 12.5 inch Porta Ball. And, the Porta Ball has a fairly small foot print.

I hope to join you at a star party sometime.

Gene T.

Alan M., 18" UC owner in El Cajon, California - July 24, 2009

This is a cool, stripped-down, 1/4 mile racing machine you have in the 18 UC. Oversized carbs (aperture), polished and ported (teflon bearings), hot exhaust system (2 inch focuser), lightweight but rigid frame, and no wasted weight anywhere. Slide in a Nagler of your choice for the best Earthside view "south" of the Hubble. A racing machine if I've ever seen one. And the focuser, my oh my, it's the smoothest throttle you could ever want, with Five to One Nitro on the left. You have outdone yourself by creating the all-black Stealth Bomber of the Dob world!!.

Alan M

Doug Kent, 18"UC owner in Colorado Springs, Colorado - July 12, 2009

I absolutely love the 18UC you built for me! I took the back seat out of my Suzuki compact crossover and have tons of room left over for camping gear. I could not believe how much M51, M99 and Trifid looked like their photographic appearance.

Craig Anderson, 18" UC owner in Herndon, Virginia - June 23, 2009

Hi Dave, I experienced "first light" with my new 18 Obsession UC at the Rocky Mountain Star Stare in Colorado last week. The scope is a great performer and I was awestruck with the views. I have done some astrophotography and one of my favorite pictures was M13 through my AP155. When I looked at M13 through my new Obsession, it was better than the best picture I've taken of that object. Unbelievable. Spiral arms in galaxies, dust lanes in nebula, color on the Dumbbell and Trifid, a tour of planetaries in Cygnus, and a tour of globulars in Ophiuchus. Wow! The ARGO is also great and I was able to use it without even opening the user manual (which is good, because I forgot to bring it to the star party). Several folks came by for a look and there were a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs" from owners of even larger scopes. Thanks so much for a wonderful and innovative telescope.

Kevin L., 18" UC owner in North Liberty, Iowa - June 10, 2009

I can't tell you how much I love this scope -- it's really wonderful. Transporting it is a joy, and the OMI mirror is absolutely incredible. I've spent as much time as I can rediscovering my favorites and hunting down new ones.

John R., 18" UC owner in Richmond, Virginia - January 31, 2009

Easy to set up. No "eyestrain" to see my favorite deep sky wonders. Only minimal collimation needed when set up. Takes high magnification well. Good Optics, Fits in my small car.
Kevin L.

Stacey G., 18" UC Owner in Wheeling, Illinois - August 24, 2008

Through the scope, Jupiter is amazing. We just kept going back again and again to look. It is better than any magazine picture and we had a full moon last night. PS, Love the scope, it is amazing.

Frank & Liz J., 18" UC owners in Bay City, Texas - July 18, 2008

I took my new scope to the Brazosport Astronomy Club Meeting and it was a big hit. They were excited, to see how easy it assembled, they could not keep the eyes off the size of the main mirror, and were taken away as the drive system moved the scope. The club members loved the detail put into the planning and building of this scope. It was a lot of fun, I can't wait to bringing it to one of our club viewing nights. Clear Skies

Ron R., 18" UC owner in Austin Texas - June 27, 2008

We had a total blast at TSP '08 and I seemed to be quite the celebrity with my 18" UC. It's definitely the scope that has quite a buzz going on right now. Lots of folks dropped by and wanted to feel the smoothness of the motion and check out the views. All were blown away by the scope. Some were also fascinated and impressed your minimalist design with the smaller number of trusses and only three spider vanes. I've ordered the servo cat from Gary Myers and should get it sometime in July. This sure is an awesome scope and I've been enjoying it as often as I can. David Nagler was there and I picked up an Ethos 13mm and a Nagler 31mm Type 5 and what a combination that makes with the already wide field that an F4.2 has! I'm a wide field junky and this is wide field heaven! Thanks again!

Ron R., Austin Texas

Frank J., 18" UC owner in Bay City, Texas - June 6, 2008

I took the 18" UC to Austin, TX and had an incredible time. The Austin Astronomical Society allowed me use of their site. The views were spectacular and I loved the way the scope setup. Good viewing.

Ron R., 18" UC owner in Austin, Texas - May 22, 2008

Hi Dave!, I wanted to say thanks for such a great job on my Ultra Compact 18", it's an awesome scope, and an absolute pleasure to use!

Doug Murphy, 18" UC owner in Leesburg, Virginia - April 15, 2008

Dave, Gary, Gary, James, Al, Jim,

Finally got everything together and the scope is working beautifully. I am giving the scope TLC and keeping that beautiful 18" f/4.2 mirror and my eyepieces locked up in a vault.

Everything about the system is first class. I got to appreciate the quality and stability of the Obsession-AN-SC integrated scope for the first time last night. Unbelievable!!! Aligned on Sirius and Aldebaran and did a GO-TO to Rigel that was it. Every one of 20 objects distributed all over the sky was in the eyepiece each time. Saturn tracked dead center in the eyepiece for over 15 min, the longest I took it. This was my first experience with Obsession movements, servo motorization, and digital navigation and the whole experience was fantastic. And all from Leesburg with our bright Washington, DC skies. AN is proving quick to learn and use, and the 2 star alignment method is lean and elegant. The encoders are working fine with no slippage. All parts of this system from Obsession, Wildcard, StellarCAT, OMI, Televue and Catseye work together seamlessly.

The scope's axes are built precisely square. The views are stable with no shaking or vibration. 18" UC is very stable, with minimal torsion or hysteresis and no sticky behavior in the bearings. Lovin' that! The OMI mirror is close to perfection and I am eager to do a star test in stable air. Love the wide-field views with Televue eyepieces. AN is an absolute pleasure, and the servo motorization is truly fantastic. The movements to objects are all so precise, the accelerations and decelerations are smooth, the tracking is superb. And all these mechanisms working together -- it just all works!

Thanks for helping me get up and going. Now to celebrate, first with family, then with friends. I hope I don't lose track of you guys. Clear skies,

Doug Murphy, Leesburg, Virginia
Obsession 18" UC #10

Stacey Greenhill, 18" UC owner in Wheeling, Illinois - April 15, 2008

Hi Dave,

First light, amazing!!!! Definitely worth the wait, and that was at the end of my driveway under a streetlight.

Chris K., 18" UC owner in Sunnyvale, California - March 29, 2008

Dave, I have had two sessions using 18"UC #26. I wish I could describe just how much I appreciate this telescope you've made for me. It surpassed every expectation I had. Quick, easy set up & take down. Collimates well. Smooth motion. Views that took my breath away (even with poor seeing). My Obsession has unlocked the heavens and night will never be the same.

Clear skies, Chris K.

Doug M., 18” UC owner in Leesburg, Virginia - March 20, 2008

Dave, The 18UC arrived safely yesterday. I read through your setup instructions and watched your DVD for putting the scope together. It looks very handsome and lean. There is no way I could have created a scope like this on my own. Every feature reflects thought and experiment and your many years of experience with working with your hands (with machines as well as teeth). I really look forward to using the new scope.

Bernard Chevalier, 18" UC owner in Chaponost, France - March 18, 2008

First light a week ago of the 18" UC N° 14 and I am fully satisfied with it. Mechanics are wonderful, smooth as well as precise, whether conditions did allow a full check of optics but seems great anyway.

Jim Walsh, 18" UC owner in Mansfield, Texas - October 19, 2007

Hi Dave, I'm writing this to you from my campsite at Okie-Tex, where I took delivery of 18" Obsession UC #1 this week. You've done it again! I think you've just opened up a whole new chapter in amateur astronomy -premium ultra-portable dobs!

The design of the scope is ingenious and just full of cool little ideas that are executed flawlessly. And of course, optically, it is a stunner! I was the most popular guy at Okie-Tex once word got out that I had the new UC set up. Add in the Ethos eyepiece and observing just doesn't get any better than that!

You're a true artist and visionary. Seriously.

Thanks again, Jim Walsh