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Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Generation II Dobsonian Telescope
Explore Scientific 12" Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope

Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Generation II Dobsonian Telescope

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Your Price: CAD4,859.00
Retail Price:CAD5,202.07

Your Savings:CAD343.07(7%)

Usually ships in 5-7 business days
Part Number:DOB1645-01

Choose Options or Accessories if Applicable

Explore Scientific DOB Telescope Accessories
ES-DOB1012SHR Explore Scientific Shroud for 10" and 12" Truss Tube DOB (+CAD149.00)
ES-DOB16SHR Explore Scientific Shroud for 16" Truss Tube DOB (+CAD199.00)
DOB-CW DOB-Counter Weight Set for DOB1045-00, DOB1245-00, DOB1645-00 (+CAD99.00)
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Product Highlights

  • 16" / 406.4mm Aperture
  • 1826mm Focal Length, f/4.5 Focal Ratio
  • 10:1 2" Two-Speed Helical Focuser
  • Red-Dot LED Finderscope
  • Floor-Based Manual Alt-Az Mount
  • Altitude Tension Clutch
  • Dual Radial Main-Mirror Fans
  • Tool-Free Breakdown and Assembly

This is a Generation II telescope. All updates have been performed on this telescope. 

No telescope type has influenced amateur astronomy as radically as the dobsonian telescope. Before the introduction of this telescope type by John Dobson the vast majority of amateur telescopes were small inadequate refractors on shaky mounts - just good enough to show the polar regions on mars or the rings of Saturn. Bigger telescopes, like the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, were restricted to the relatively small group of amateurs that could afford them.The brilliant combination of simple - but effective - mechanics and the largest aperture available led to a worldwide triumph of this concept. No other telescope type offers you so much light for your money as a good dobson. We have taken the motto "held together by gravity and driven by yoghurt power" and offer a modern version of the classic - designed by amateur astronomers for amateur astronomers. Despite its large aperture the telescope can be transported easily even in small cars and is assembled within minutes without tools. The construction was optimized for maximum rigidity with a minimum of mass. The combination of big altitude wheels and a optimized aluminium-sandwich construction allows for small movements even at high magnifications. The focus position is already positioned to accept our coma-corrector. The ideal workhorse for the deep-sky enthusiast. A telescope with 406mm aperture gathers more than 3300-times more light than the naked eye. Details on planetary surfaces stand out even to unexperienced observers, and countless deep-sky objects show details. Bright globular clusters are resolved down to the core and the view of the lunar terminator will provide a unforgettable experience.

Dimensions for mobile use: Rockerbox 550mmx550mmx330mm; Mirrorbox 480mmx480mmx300mm; Trusses approx. 1250mm
Modern 406mm truss-dobsonian telescope in full aluminium construction
  • Modern secondary mechanics - the collimation is easily achieved without tools and keeps collimation well during transports
  • Modern primary mirror cell - the telescope mirror can be collimated from the front while looking through the eyepiece and is supported by a modern floatation system with radial roller bearings
  • Large altitude wheels provide smooth and precise movement even at high magnifications
  • Secondary unit and altitude wheels fit into the rocker box and the mirror box includes a cover for transport so that the whole telescope breaks down into only two aluminium cases and the trusses
  • Extremely high rigidity construction
  • Dew-resistant because of aluminium construction: no deforming press board due to the exclusive use of metals
  • Lightweight: the aluminium profile/aluminium plate construction reduces the weight to about half of the mass of most press board designs of this price range
  • Two large radial fans for fast thermal equilibrium


Optical design
Newtonian Reflector
Mount Type
Objective diameter (mm)
Focal length (mm)
Magnification (with included accessories) up to
Warranty (Years)
Focus Group
Advanced Amateurs
Visual enthusiasts
Power supply 1)
12V Batteries or mains adapter
Rain/Dust protection caps
Dust protection caps for open aperture and eyepiece holder
Aperture ratio
Angular resolution (arc seconds)
Mount type
very good
Field of application
Deep Sky Observation
Lunar observation
Planetary observation
Obstruction (%)
Primary mirror diameter (mm)
Material OTA
Focusing system
2" Crayford-Focuser with 10:1 Reducer
LED-Red Dot Finder
Material Primary mirror

Weight Primary mirror: 66.1 lb / 30.0 kg
Rocker box: 22.0 lb / 10.0 kg
Total: 88.1 lb / 40.0 kg

Packaging Info
Package Weight 109.0 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 50.0 x 25.5 x 19.5"

In the Box
Explore Scientific 16" f/4.5 Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
  • Collimation Assist Tool
  • Red Dot LED Finderscope
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty, Extendable to Transferrable Lifetime Warranty with Registration
  • Suggested Accessories: 2-inch HR Coma Corrector ; Explore Scientific Waterproof Eyepieces ; Focal Extenders

    Reviewed by Steve Collingwood / Images:

    Dobsonians remain a firm favourite with amateur astronomers seeking manageable and affordable large aperture telescopes. Though the simple altaz design of the Dobsonian mount has seen many refinements over the years, at its heart it is still an incredible piece of engineering.

    This 16-inch truss tube offering from Explore Scientific is shipped in one box, with the rocker and mirror box pre-assembled and the other components ready to fit together by way of thumbscrews. While many commercial Dobsonians use rolled steel tubes and wooden rocker boxes, for this instrument they have been constructed from aluminium. The low-profile square design of the rocker and mirror boxes allows for a very strong and remarkably efficient system indeed. This is great if you want to travel to a darker location for a night’s observing or have limited storage space.

    The 16-inch primary mirror is made from BK-7 glass and has a focal length of 1,826mm, giving a focal ratio of f/4.5 –a short focal length for its size. The dual-speed 1:10 rack and pinion focuser is well made and can easily support heavier eyepieces. The unit felt very responsive with no image shift in use with a range of eyepieces. An extension for the drawtube is supplied.

    Our initial assembly progressed slowly at first, as some of the internal threads were poorly cut on our review scope, but once rectified we were able to put the telescope together with relative ease. The instrument has clearly been designed so it can be assembled by one person. Although we found this a little tricky at first, after a couple of times it was no trouble at all. 

    We took the telescope out under the night sky with our own eyepieces, as none are supplied out of the box. Allowing the optics to reach ambient temperature for optimum performance can often take quite a while with larger optics, but the in-built cooling fans allowed the telescope to cool down sufficiently in less than 30 minutes. These fans are powered by eight D batteries (not supplied); their battery box can be strapped to the body of the telescope.

    Unusual collimation

    Collimation out of the box was close, but did need minor adjustment. Aligning the optics only took a matter of minutes. Primary mirror adjustments are made from the front of the mirror using the supplied long-reach collimation tool. 

    Care needed to be taken to avoid touching the mirror’s surface, but aside from that this method proved remarkably quick and effective. Secondary adjustments are made with large thumbscrews located behind the secondary mirror mount and, while unusual, they worked extremely well, enabling the whole operation to be carried out while still at the eyepiece.

    Once cooled and collimated, we aimed the telescope at the Orion Nebula, M42. With a 30mm eyepiece we were greeted with a wonderfully rich view of the nebula and the stars in the centre. We then increased the magnification and moved on to Jupiter, revealing plenty of contrast and detail on the bright planet. Framed by the four Galilean moons, Jupiter was an impressive sight even though seeing conditions were relatively poor. However, we did find accurately sighting the telescope quite tricky, as the supplied red-dot finder was not very sturdy. Once a target was centred, the large wheels and base-bearing surface ensured a positive movement, enabling smooth and accurate tracking and good balance.

    Overall this instrument was a pleasure to use, though the finishing touches on the telescope weren’t as good as they could have been – giving it a more of a ‘prototype’ feel. Yet these can be considered minor issues as it is extremely practical. 

    The excellent optical performance and compact, lightweight nature of this Explore Scientific Dobsonian remain true to John Dobson’s original design ethos while also giving a design update and superb performance.

    Easy to put up, easy to take down

    Larger aperture Dobsonian telescopes can be difficult to manage in terms of assembly, storage and transport, but this instrument is amazingly compact and portable for its class. Its mirror box footprint of 55x55cm is tiny in comparison to many other 16-inch Dobsonians. We found that it could be easily carried through doors, and would even sit on the back seat of many cars. The box also has a hinged lid, ensuring that the mirror inside is protected when stored. 

    The low-profile head assembly is constructed from the same aluminium profile as the mirror box and rocker box, so is exceptionally light and easy to handle. We found that even after transporting and assembling the telescope several times, the optics required only minor adjustment. Throughout its design and construction, practicality seems to be the key. Lightweight materials coupled with basic construction techniques have really made the telescope very usable indeed.

    Focuser - The supplied 2-inch rack and pinion focuser has a 1:10 reduction for fine focus. The drawtube can also unscrew to accommodate the supplied extension barrel. 

    Primary collimation - Adjustments to the alignment of the primary mirror are made from the front of the mirror cell rather than behind it. This enables accurate collimation to be achieved more quickly, and without having to step away from the eyepiece. Doing this requires a special tool, which is supplied.

    Secondary collimation - No tools are needed to collimate the secondary mirror. Adjustments are made via thumbscrews located behind the assembly, rather than the traditional point of directly above. This innovative approach allows easy access while reducing the risk of anything falling onto the primary mirror.

    Altitude wheels - The large altitude wheels proved to be really useful. Making small movements at high magnification can be difficult with telescopes of this size, but the larger diameter trunnions not only provide a smooth and positive feel but also aid balance when using a range of eyepieces.

    Cooling fans - The mirror box houses two battery operated fans: one ‘pushes’ cold air into the mirror box and across the surface of the mirror, while the other ‘pulls’ warm air out. The fans were quiet and effective in operation.

    This review originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

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