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new xt8 or a used used starhopper 10

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#1 dodomang

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:42 PM

OK so I'm looking to buy a good dobsonian telescope and i have gotten offers for a brand new in box Orion xt8 for $300, shipped. I also got a offer for a celestron starhopper 10 inch that is used but in good condition, the owner also fully flocked the telescope and he wants $425 for the telescope, shipped. I'm still in high school so money is a big factor but willing to pay the $425 if it is worth the extra $125. Regardless of which telescope I buy I'm still going to buy a few Meade 4000 eyepieces. Which scope do you think I should get or do you think both telescopes are not good deals and I should look for another ? :help:

#2 panhard

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:08 PM

The only thing that I would be concerned about with the used scope is the packaging. If not packed properly it is a recipe for disaster. Here is what a new Orion is worth. Orion

#3 Mark Peterman

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

Personally, based on my experience, I would go with the 8" Orion.

My first scope was an 8" (StarHopper acutally, circa 1998). Then I had a 10" Discovery - heavier, bulkier, and not much visual difference at the eyepiece. I've not had a scope yet that I have used more than my first two 8" dobs.

Other considerations -

If he hasn't replaced the stock focuser on the StarHopper, that will be the first thing you will have to do.

If the 10" StarHoppers had the same single stalk secondary holder as the 8" did, that will be the thing you need to do at the same time you do the focuser. (it's heck to center, and collimate with that single stalk)

#4 Gilbert D

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

How about Zhumell Z8($378) or Z10($489)? The accessaries seems to be much better, especially the dual speed focuser.

#5 panhard

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

The xt8 the OP is looking at is only $300.00 that is quite a difference.

#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:05 AM

I would go with the 8". At F6 your eyepieces will be cheaper, and with new enhanced coatings the mirrors will last longer. If you are in high school now, you could be using this scope for many years so new coatings (especially enhanced coatings that last twice as long) are a real plus. Also the construction of the scope may last longer being new.

At F6 a dual speed focuser is nice but not a necessity. You could always upgrade that later if you can't swing it now. Flocking the tube is more critical if you are observing in a light polluted area. Not sure about your situation in that regard, but I would hesitate to pay $425 for an old Starhopper even flocked.

#7 frito

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:38 AM

get the XT8, starhoppers are older sonotube dobs made by discovery. they are not bad telescopes but they are more of a pain to use and keep collimated correctly than an XT8, plus the XT8 will work perfectly fine with cheaper wide field eyepieces.

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:42 AM

get the XT8, starhoppers are older sonotube dobs made by discovery. they are not bad telescopes but they are more of a pain to use and keep collimated correctly than an XT8, plus the XT8 will work perfectly fine with cheaper wide field eyepieces.


The Sonotube Starhopper made by Discovery was an 11 inch. The 10 inch Starhopper is a modern steel tubed scope that Celestron sold maybe 5 or 6 years ago.

It was never quite clear to me whether they were made by GSO or Synta, the focal length would tell, if it's 1250mm it's GSO, if it's F 1200, it's Synta.

As I recall the webpage claimed the OTA was aluminum rather than steel... don't know if that was true. I also recall it had a rack and pinion focuser rather than a Crayford...

In any event, a brand new 10 inch F/5 GSO Dob from Astronomics/Astro-Tech etc is $500, shipped to your door and comes with better accessories including a very nice 2 speed, 2 inch focuser. $425 is too much for the Starhopper, at the right price, it could be a good scope. Nearly 10 years ago, I paid $240 for a 1 year old GSO Dob, it's still going strong.

As far as the "Brand New in the Box" XT-8 for $300... that could be a good deal or it could be over priced as well. Without seeing it, it would be hard to tell. Again, $300 is a lot of money for a scope that can be bought new for less than $100 more. And BNIB can mean anything. It might be 8 years old with a rack and pinion focuser and a red dot finder. It might not be BNIB... Or it could be a year old with Intelliscope...

It is just hard to know but unless the scopes include some accessories that are worth real money, both are over priced by my cheap-skate buy everything on Astromart or Craigslist mindset.

Jon

#9 CosmoSat

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

How about Zhumell Z8($378) or Z10($489)? The accessaries seems to be much better, especially the dual speed focuser.


I too would recommend the Zhumell Z8 Deluxe Dobsonian Reflector Telescope over the orion as for 80 bucks more the accessories it ships with is still worth a lot more than what the orion comes with(no optical finderscope, just the one eyepiece and a single speed focuser).

For the eyepieces I would suggest u the..
Agena 1.25" Enhanced Wide Angle 6mm Eyepiece
Agena 1.25" Super Wide Angle (SWA)15mm Eyepiece
GSO 1.25" 2x Achromatic Barlow Lens

Clear Skies!

#10 panhard

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

OK so I'm looking to buy a good dobsonian telescope and i have gotten offers for a brand new in box Orion xt8 for $300, shipped. I also got a offer for a celestron starhopper 10 inch that is used but in good condition, the owner also fully flocked the telescope and he wants $425 for the telescope, shipped. I'm still in high school so money is a big factor but willing to pay the $425 if it is worth the extra $125. Regardless of which telescope I buy I'm still going to buy a few Meade 4000 eyepieces. Which scope do you think I should get or do you think both telescopes are not good deals and I should look for another ? :help:

Sat read his post. Money is an issue here. Why are you suggesting something that costs more? :foreheadslap:

#11 CosmoSat

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

Sat read his post. Money is an issue here. Why are you suggesting something that costs more? :foreheadslap:


I'm still in high school so money is a big factor but willing to pay the $425 if it is worth the extra $125. Regardless of which telescope I buy I'm still going to buy a few Meade 4000 eyepieces. Which scope do you think I should get or do you think both telescopes are not good deals and I should look for another ?


And its not like he is getting those two deals he mentioned at throw away prices, so why not save some more and get something good..

Clear Skies!

#12 dodomang

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

I actually got another offer it is a used Orion xt10g goto dobsonian and he wants $465 shipped that sounds like an amazing deal but what do you think

#13 pftarch

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

Can you physically look at any of the scopes that you are talking about?

Jon Isaacs has pointed out that a used dob can be a very good deal, and I think most folks here would agree with Jon's opinion on most things, but I am guessing that he would feel that used is appropriate IF you can do a hands on review of the condition of the scope, especially if this is a first scope.

I am in the camp that thinks for the extra $78 go for the new Zhumell, Astros Tech, etc. (GSO) 8" dob. (I would actually recommend the 10", but money may not allow that.) I personally like the new bearing system better than the Orion XT system (but that is personal), and for $78 you get a two speed focuser, a fan, a RACI, and the piece of mind of a warranty.

Good luck however you choose to go!

#14 BDS316

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:36 AM

Can you physically look at any of the scopes that you are talking about?

Jon Isaacs has pointed out that a used dob can be a very good deal, and I think most folks here would agree with Jon's opinion on most things, but I am guessing that he would feel that used is appropriate IF you can do a hands on review of the condition of the scope, especially if this is a first scope.

I am in the camp that thinks for the extra $78 go for the new Zhumell, Astros Tech, etc. (GSO) 8" dob. (I would actually recommend the 10", but money may not allow that.) I personally like the new bearing system better than the Orion XT system (but that is personal), and for $78 you get a two speed focuser, a fan, a RACI, and the piece of mind of a warranty.

Good luck however you choose to go!


Speaking of piece of mind, there is another important consideration with regard to buying used; Orion will not provide customer support for those who are not the original owner. You can't get replacement parts; you can't even buy them. If a used intelliscope has an electronics failure the new owner is SOL.

If you buy used, make sure that the original owner of record agrees to deal with Orion in case something goes wrong down the road.

There is a thread about Orion customer service going on right now on the equipment forum.

#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

I actually got another offer it is a used Orion xt10g goto dobsonian and he wants $465 shipped that sounds like an amazing deal but what do you think


That's a $1300 scope that is no more than a year or two old. Something is fishy, that's way too cheaep. As Brian pointed out, it seems Orion only provides support for the original owner. This is a propriety design, you are out of luck if there is a problem that requires parts or service.

I suspect that's the reason the way too cheap price. The seller is not the original owner, the mount has failed.

Jon

#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

I actually got another offer it is a used Orion xt10g goto dobsonian and he wants $465 shipped that sounds like an amazing deal but what do you think


That's a $1300 scope that is no more than a year or two old. Something is fishy, that's way too cheaep. As Brian pointed out, it seems Orion only provides support for the original owner. This is a propriety design, you are out of luck if there is a problem that requires parts or service.

I suspect that's the reason the way too cheap price. The seller is not the original owner, the mount has failed.

Jon

#17 catboat

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

That's sound advice from Jon. If nothing's wrong with that xt10g, the seller wouldn't have to ship it -- folks would be beating down his door. But if there's anything wrong with the electronics, you're sunk.

An 8" f/6 dob is a great scope for novice or aging veteran alike -- a good aperture and easy to move about. All off-the-shelf dobs have room for improvement, and the wonderful thing about simple dobs is that you can make those improvements yourself. A great learning experience.

I'd take a risk on an ultra-cheap used 8" but buying new gets you the benefits of warranty and/or a better package -- and minimal hassle if anything is damaged in shipping. If you can't see it or test it first, buying new is the better option.

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

If nothing's wrong with that xt10g, the seller wouldn't have to ship it -- folks would be beating down his door.



Exactly...

Jon

#19 BDS316

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

If nothing's wrong with that xt10g, the seller wouldn't have to ship it -- folks would be beating down his door.



Exactly...

Jon


+1

#20 BigC

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

Both scopes mentioned in the original post are good but maybe a bit high priced today.

Add me to those recommending a new scope for just a few dollars more;a new 8" Dob with warranty,support,and accessories delivered to one's door for $400 is much safer buy than unknown condition used and unsupported scope for $300-400.I'd buy the xt10g IF it was demonstrated to be fully functional and realize Orion's policy means being stuck if goto breaks.

Bettwer just get a Z8 or astro-tech 8

#21 Galicapernistein

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

One advantage of the XT8 is it's ruggedness - I have never had to do anything more than minor tweaking to get collimated, even after transporting it to a dark sky site.






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