Link- Want a Coronado PST right now? I do. That’s how I found DiscountTelescopes.com.

Image of Sun in hydrogen-alpha light Discount Telescopes is also a brick-and-mortar store called “Out Of This World” in Mendocino, CA. I found them via Coronado’s site, and they are an authorized reseller. I was calling every company Coronado listed, in hopes of scoring a PST immediately, or at least before Mercury transits the Sun on November 8.

After an afternoon of hearing “we can order it for you,” and seeing web sites that quoted 7 days to 7 weeks until the scope was in stock, I called the “Out Of World” store (800-228-8252, 10:00AM to 5:30PM Pacific Time) and talked to James. He verified the PST was in stock. Woo hoo! Since I wanted expedited shipping, which was going to require he measure and weigh the box, he promised he’d call back with the shipping charges after he finished with a few customers he was helping in the store. He called back when he said he would.

That conversation was the most fun I had all day–not only was the telescope in stock, but we chatted about the upcoming Mercury transit, getting some practice with the scope before then, our Comet SWAN experiences and how it had flared in the previous day, how beautiful CA and Mendocino is, how great and popular the PST is, how I was going to use this scope to introduce my Dad to Mercury, how James suggested trying different eyepieces, and even more. It was a thoroughly enjoyable, personable and professional buying experience, and James clearly knew his astronomy.

I recommend James and Discount Telescopes very highly. My scope should arrive on Thursday, so you can imagine what I’ll be doing that afternoon! And if you also want to get a PST before the Mercury transit, save yourself a lot of time and just call James.

(Disclosure: None. I have no relationship of any kind with this company or its employees, except as a regular, paying customer.)

Update 2/2/2008- It seems that the store no longer sells telescopes, only binoculars and spotting scopes. I sent an email to inquire; I’ll update again if the news changes.

(solar image in hydrogen-alpha light © Greg Piepol, www.sungazer.net, used with permission)

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