Comments from EducatorsBelow are some comments we have received about our products.
"[W]e have used a standard GoDome for several years, and have experienced some frustrations. While the entrance/exit is a nice idea in theory, we haven't found that it works quite so well in practice, partly because it's a bit of a squeeze for audience members to go through it, and partly because the weight of the entrance/exit causes the dome to sag down on the door side...
Some of this frustration would have been lessened had we not had the round-trip-to-China shipping turnaround issue [for repairs]. We use our portable planetarium a lot, and can't be without it for very long at a time, usually. ...
In the end, we decided to replace our GoDome with a Digitalis dome. So far, it looks like that design is going to work much better for us. It does have a regular zippered entrance/exit without the big airlock of the GoDome. Despite that, or maybe because of it, the Digitalis dome seems like it's working better for us overall, and having folks enter and exit is actually quicker and less problematic that squeezing through the 'birth canal' of the GoDome. And as I understand it, the Digitalis dome is made in the US, so getting repairs done should prove to be a much quicker turn-around. It also weighs considerably less than our GoDome."
Richard McColman, University of North Carolina's Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Chapel Hill, NC. Excerpt from posting on Dome-L mailing list.
"The Kappa on our Spitz dome is better than I ever thought... the projections, starfield, full dome video, etc. is quite amazing even when compared to a system that costs many times more."
Kurt Kruger, Piner High School, Santa Rosa, CA
"[Our Zeiss starball] projector itself was great but we could not find any 'good' new shows for this format (slides). I told my boss it was like having a perfectly running car that required leaded gas to run. It works fine but no fuel available. Everything is going digital. Nobody wants still pictures (slides) anymore!
The cost to maintain the Zeiss was terrible... Just the computer upgrade for the Zeiss was more than the cost of your entire system...
Most anyone can run the Digitalis system with little training. Thankfully our entire group decided the Zeiss/Sky Skan system was outdated and we needed to move into the digital age."
Jim Duke, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR.
"We are all absolutely delighted with our new Digitarium Kappa system! The system is reliable and very easy to use and the graphics are superb. It was a joy to work with the people at Digitalis!"
Ken Rumstay, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA.
“Oh, my God. I came [in to school] on my vacation and stayed by myself for a day. I love it. I grew up in planetariums. I’ve always wanted to make it [more part of the curriculum] here... It teaches astronomy that you can’t do in the class; this is not a textbook. It goes above and beyond in helping kids understand the concepts.”
Frank Viggiani, Sixth Grade Science Teacher, Bronxville, NY. (Newspaper article.)
"This is by far the best quality in which I have seen our shows projected on a portable system. All details of the content that were put in can be seen on the dome. Thanks to the resolution, brightness, and contrast of the [Digitarium] Epsilon system, you can conclude that for the first time portable systems have met the same quality standards as their large dome counterparts."
Robin Sip, Mirage3d, The Hague, Netherlands.
Note: About 40% of our customers use their systems in permanent domes.
"We are extremely satisfied with the performance of the Digitarium Epsilon projector, which [was] the top of the line of the Digitarium projectors. We especially enjoy the alignment-free operation of the single projection system, plenty adequate brightness for our 30-foot dome, and excellent image quality from the hi-definition projector (effective 1200 pixel diameter)."
Alan Gould & Toshi Komatsu, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA. Great Western Observer, Winter 2010.
"... here's something that I find incredible. I can load the entire planetarium rig plus a powerful compact sound system into my little Toyota Matrix and transport it and me at about 31mpg, and with no assistance can unload and set up or tear down and load back into the car in a little over a half hour for either procedure. How cool is that?"
Jon Salley, Cosmos Planetarium, KS.
"Overall, I would rate Digitalis Education and the [Digitarium] Alpha 2 system as a +12 on a ten point scale. The service is second to none. It is the most intuitive system to operate of any I have tested (Digital Starlab, mirror systems, others which cost several times the cost of the Alpha 2) The product is very robust."
Max McKelvey, Oatland Island Education Center, Savannah, GA
"Your system is so Zen! It makes everything else look complicated (and silly)."
Ian Downie, Amalgamersive Media
"This past weekend, I stopped in my classroom to grab a test. While I was rooting through my files, I let my 9 year old daughter try out the [Digitarium] remote. She was able to do a lot of different tasks after only 15 minutes! This program is very user friendly - thank goodness, because I am NOT a computer whiz."
Kristy Zehr, 9th grade Earth/Space Teacher, Bermudian Springs High School, York Springs, PA
"With a public event coming up this weekend, and my being absent meaning no planetarium show (for the second month in a row), something had to be done. So I decided to look into [our] Digitarium's scripting feature. All I can say is, wow, wow, wow!
"I spent the whole weekend learning the commands, and have put together a 45 minute show that I think is far superior to any live presentation I have done. I love the ability to embed narration, graphics, and music into the presentation instead of having to switch to the DVD drive. It’s like PowerPoint on steroids!"
John Zimmerman, Taylor Observatory, Kelseyville, CA
"There's nothing worse than sitting there with a group of kids and the technology doesn't work or you don't know what to do. But this really is simple. You can do it all with the touch of a button."Robby Cramer, Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Grand Haven, MI
"I have been amazed at the support Digitalis has provided for their Digitarium. The product is constantly evolving and new functionality is being added all the time. I will always remember hearing the kids gasp in awe at seeing Saturn in all its glory from the moon Mimas for the first time. This is as close as you can get to your own private observatory/spaceship/time-machine!"Darren Townsley, Star Dome, Winnipeg, Canada
"In July, our first Beginners' Session using the [Digitarium Alpha] planetarium was a big hit -- it was hard to get people to go outside and look at the REAL stars, although it was a beautiful night."Catherine Koehler, Battle Point Astronomical Association, Bainbridge Island, WA
"I lost count of the number of 'wows' I heard over the 10 days of the festival. I was doing 5 or 6 shows a day. 60 kids per time on the 4 school days and around 400 people through on the public days.
"At any rate, the [Digitarium Alpha] projector worked brilliantly. In extremes of temperature ... I'm really happy with the performance."Iain Smith, Discovery City Learning Centre, Wirral, UK
"Our university purchased a Digitalis unit and I am thrilled with it! The unit allows you to show the sky anywhere on Earth, show all of the celestial motions, and show constellations individually or [altogether]. There are a lot of labeling functions, and the unit is very easy to set up.
"The remote makes operations extemely easy, and they have developed a scripting function as well. I've used starlabs in the past, but I really love the digital unit. I would strongly recommend Digitalis to anyone planning to purchase a portable system."
Shawn Laatsch, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
"Just wanted to let you know that we received the projector last week and had it up and running literally within 10 minutes of getting it unpacked. It is a wonderful machine. All of the astro faculty here are very pleased with the purchase and are already coming up with lots of ideas of how to use it in their classes!"
Charles Kerton, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
"I really liked all the different options available with the remote control and the Digitarium Alpha projector... I was really impressed with the deep sky objects. With the older students I like to teach them about the zodiac and what it is. It is really nice to be able to set the time for noon and whatever date you want, then turn the atmosphere off and show them what stars and constellations are in the sky at that time... I have nothing but good things to say about it."
Larry Parfitt, CESA 11, Turtle Lake, WI
"Wow! The Digitalis projector is a true innovation for portable planetaria. It is compact, one-piece and easily transported -- no more multiple cylinders, no more tiny planet pieces or moon magnets. The software it contains increases a hundredfold (maybe more) the capacity of topics we can do in the portable planetarium. We will now be able to bring high quality, in-depth astronomy programs to communities who cannot visit a fixed planetarium. Thank you, Digitalis!"
Elizabeth Wiles, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA
"This new planetarium is a wonderful tool for teaching astronomy to our community college students. It presents the science of astronomy in a spectacular, and often beautiful way. Coupled with the fact that it is also very easy to use and even update, it is a digital planetarium for the 21st century."
Dr. Mike Inglis, Suffolk County Community College, Selden, NY
"In a Planetarian Forum article last year (2003), the question was about what would you most like to see in new planetarium innovations. I submitted the need for a very low cost digital star projector system as my number one priority for new hardware development. In the race to make available a very low cost digital star projector, the folks at Digitalis, with their Digitarium Alpha, have taken the early lead and are to be commended for their pioneering efforts in this realm."
Alan Gould, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA
"I love starting a presentation with an afternoon sun, and atmosphere and horizon turned on... the sun slowly sets and the stars come out. You can literally feel the awe felt by the audience when this happens. [...] I never get tired of hearing the involuntary gasps of excitement and surprise when you zoom in on a deep sky object. One of my favorites is M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. You feel as though thousands of stars are going to shower upon you..."
John Zimmerman, Taylor Observatory, Kelseyville, CA
"I used the Digitalis planetarium and loved it! I have used two other types of portable planetariums and this is the best. The digital controls are easy to use. The number of slides and options for a planetarium show make this set up a delight to use. The audience reactions were very positive."
Barb Johnson, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA