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Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

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#1 Olivier Biot

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

By Ray Sanders.

#2 BDS316

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:42 PM

I read with interest the review of the XT8. I have had one for five years now. When I bought mine it cane with the 2 inch rack and pinion focuser, rather than the superior Crayford, and a few things that are now absent from the current model; a navigation knob, an eyepiece rack, and a (long gone) 10mm Plossl eyepiece.

I have made several upgrades to mine, as noted in my sig. I was never able to get the azimuth motion smooth enough. My aftermarket replacement base is a big improvement.

The XT8 is a capable scope with (in my case anyway) good optics.

I noticed that you put the Telrad behind the dovetail. I considered this, but I had to bend down too far, so I removed the dovetail and put the Telrad higher.

It should be mentioned that the 8 inch GSO Dobs are more nicely equipped and a better deal for the money. Also, Orion has a policy of not selling replacement parts to anyone who is not the original owner, which lowers the resale value.

#3 KevinS

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:06 PM

Nice article Ray. One other thing about the "Classic" XT series is that it is a gateway "drug" into modding and ATM. It's the Honda Civic of telescopes. Lured in by the low price point, modest performance and solid design. I find it irresistable to leave alone. It is not only great to learn the sky but it's simple design and solid construction lend confidence to those willing to take it all apart and put it together again - (no doubt with some upgrades). There are enthusiast sites for these telescopes and what can be done with them. Lately, I'm taken with the challenge of seeing just how much can be done with this 8"f6 workhorse. A tinkerer's dream.

#4 Avi

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

Bryan, I should consider myself fortunate to still be young enough to have good knees and a good back. ;-)

I wanted to keep the dovetail on the scope so as to use my laser pointer.

The eyepiece rack I believe is an optional accessory for the XT8. I'll have to double check.

I read with interest the review of the XT8. I have had one for five years now. When I bought mine it cane with the 2 inch rack and pinion focuser, rather than the superior Crayford, and a few things that are now absent from the current model; a navigation knob, an eyepiece rack, and a (long gone) 10mm Plossl eyepiece.

I have made several upgrades to mine, as noted in my sig. I was never able to get the azimuth motion smooth enough. My aftermarket replacement base is a big improvement.

The XT8 is a capable scope with (in my case anyway) good optics.

I noticed that you put the Telrad behind the dovetail. I considered this, but I had to bend down too far, so I removed the dovetail and put the Telrad higher.

It should be mentioned that the 8 inch GSO Dobs are more nicely equipped and a better deal for the money. Also, Orion has a policy of not selling replacement parts to anyone who is not the original owner, which lowers the resale value.



#5 Avi

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:15 AM

Thank you for the compliment! I do agree that the XT8 ( or XT6 for those on a lesser budget) are excellent "starter" telescopes.

As for ease of use, I do believe a young child ( 8+ ) could operate one easily.

Personally, I'm not much of a telescope modder, but I have heard from others that the optics are decent enough to justify placing it in "upgraded" bases and tubes.

On the Honda Civic note, I wonder how much a carbon fiber optical tube would be? ;-)

Nice article Ray. One other thing about the "Classic" XT series is that it is a gateway "drug" into modding and ATM. It's the Honda Civic of telescopes. Lured in by the low price point, modest performance and solid design. I find it irresistable to leave alone. It is not only great to learn the sky but it's simple design and solid construction lend confidence to those willing to take it all apart and put it together again - (no doubt with some upgrades). There are enthusiast sites for these telescopes and what can be done with them. Lately, I'm taken with the challenge of seeing just how much can be done with this 8"f6 workhorse. A tinkerer's dream.



#6 KevinS

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:03 AM

Ha! I wouldn't dare! I'm bad enough with drilling holes in the XT "stovepipe". Doing that to CF would break my heart (and the bank)

#7 Deep13

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:52 PM

Wait, you mean a scope without tracking, computerized guidance, field-flattening lenses, a complex structure, dew chasers, coffee makers, gigantic honey-combed mirror, step-ladders or the latest whirly-gig devices and that doesn't cost a gazzillion dollars? What's wrong with you?! :jump:

#8 AstroNot

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:50 PM

I got one of these right before Christmas as my first telescope, and I have been having a total blast with it. I chose it after having read here and elsewhere that it was a good choice for a first scope and it seemed like something I'd be happy with for a while. I got a starter set of 5 Plossl eyepieces, barlow and filters at the same time.

It is no reflection on the quality of the scope, but rather an indication of how much fun I have been having that I already want to upgrade. If I hadn't trashed the box the base came in I would return it and get something larger. If anyone in CT wants a nearly new scope at a modest discount, let me know.






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