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Looking for Orion XX16g Review

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#1 linux

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:24 AM

I've had my starter Dob (XT8) for a while now, and like it very much, but it's time to think about a larger telescope. I don't plan on photography and would like to get as large a mirror as I can afford, not to mention set up.

The new xx16g seems like a good product, at least from the Orion Youtube video, but I've not seen any independent review of it yet. Does anybody know of anybody who has received one and could give at least first impressions?

Of interest to me would be the weight of the heaviest piece when fully broken down (including the base; haven't been able to get this from Orion) and the quality of the tracking. Orion does say that it's probably not ideal for photography being an alt-az design, but how long will it keep an object in the eyepiece at high magnifications?

Anyway, I'd really like to hear what any new user(s) have to say.

#2 MikeBOKC

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:02 AM

I don't have the 16g but I do have the 14g, so performance should be fairly similar. I opted for the 14g because of the weight and eyepiece height of the 16 . . . it is a beast, and you will need a step stool to reach the eyepiece near zenith. So far (only been out twice with the 14g) the go tos and tracking are fine, comparable to my CPC1100. The assembled base of the 14g is a two-person hoist, so the 16 would certainly be a challenge to transport and set up. Absent some pretty sturdy wheeled transport, the 16g strikes me as more suited for permanent installation in an observatory, although as Orion advertises, it does break down some. Visually I am very pleased with the 14 and the 16 has the same conical mirror design. For the price both scopes are very good cost-efficient entries into larger aperture, IMO.

#3 linux

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:35 AM

Hey, thanks for the response. Do you break the base down into it's 4 pieces or just deal with it as an assembled unit?

#4 GOLGO13

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:13 PM

My opinion just looking at the specs is the 16G is too heavy. Just be sure you are aware of it's weight and think about how you are going to transport or use it.

I'd probably want that scope to live either in a permanent observatory or something I could wheel out of a garage or something.

#5 GOLGO13

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:15 PM

Another opinion...For the amount of money those cost new, you may consider looking for a higher end dob on the used market. I've seen Premium 16 inch dobs, sometimes with tracking installed, go for around $4K. Something to think about at least. Again, nothing against the 16G...just something to consider.

For instance...right now there is a starmaster 14.5inch F4.3 with a finding and tracking capability on astromart for $4600 (might be able to get that down a little). It has a Zambuto mirror (best you can get in most people's opinion). My guess is that's about half price or more than it was new.

#6 MikeBOKC

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:18 PM

I leave the base assembled and use a dolly for moving from the garage to the yard, but to hoist it into the back of the SUV for transport to a dark site I need a helper to make the lift. I am not sure that even two people could lift the assembled 16g base that way.

#7 linux

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:01 AM

Yeah, I finally got an answer on the base of the xx16g. Even if you disassemble the base, the lower plate is 61#. Probably 80 or 90 assembled. I guess I could handle that, but I read about and talk to too many people who have bought large dobs and then after a while never transport them, favoring smaller aperture refractors or SCT's, then put them up for sale. As I'm in m 60's, I'll have to give this some thought.

#8 lbsgville

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:58 AM

Linux, being in your 60's I would strongly advise against the 16g. I'm 51 and got the 14g and I can handle it. I also considered the 16g but after setting up the 14g I'm sure glad I went with the 14 and not the 16. My 14g bottom plate alone is 54#. I can handle it for now but have concerns about being able to handle it in my 60's. I plan on this being my lifetime scope and will find a way to move it as I get older. If you want a large dob, consider the 14g. I don't think you will get enough out of the 16 over the 14 to make it worth while. You may even consider the 12g, I have read many good things about it and it is a good size that will show you a lot and most of all get used more often than the 16g or even the 14g. Here is a pic of my 14g next to my 10"

Attached Files



#9 rgconner

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

I would give a serious thought at looking at some of the private telescope builders.

The weights published by my builder for his scopes come in at half of the weight of the Orion for the same size.

You will pay a premium, but it is quite competitive for what you are getting.

How much? hard to say because you are getting a much lighter scope and better optics than would come in an Orion scope.
I would estimate $600 to $800 over a same sized scope from Orion, including the GoTo installation.

(And, if your name refers to the Linux OS and your familiarity with it, I bet you could do an installation yourself with no trouble, one BOFH to another.)

More than happy to PM you my experiences with my builder.

#10 kharrison

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:20 AM

I have the xx16g and I am very happy with it. The closed loop electronics work very well. After alignment I’ve pushed it all over the sky and then when I punch in an object it is almost always dead center in the eyepiece. I am my club’s public observing coordinator and take it out to different sites about 2x a week on average. It does easily break down into moveable chunks, and I frequently move it by myself. Orion now makes a cart to transport it assembled (like from garage to back yard). However, there is no getting around the weight issue. The heaviest piece for me is the lower tube assembly because I leave the 9 counterweights attached. I haven’t weighed it, but I estimate it to be about 75 lbs. On the plus side of the weight it is not affected by wind or ground vibration. Of course if you have a bad back it is not the scope for you if you plan on transporting it much. You should go with an ultra-light like the Hubble UL 16.






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