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Orion SkyScanner Table Top Dob

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:03 AM

Orion SkyScanner Table Top Dob

By David Elosser

#2 tnakazon

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:42 PM

Hi David,

Thanks for this review on CN - very well organized, a pleasure to read!

This was my main observing scope for a little over two years (and still use it on occasion), so I can certainly confirm that it is a really nice telescope, especially for the price.

Just a few things I'd like to add:

o) The two eyepieces are actually 3-element Kellners, which is probably why there was a noticeable improvement when you switched to Orion Sirius Plossls. Still, I personally have no problems using Kellners for observing.

o) The ¼"-20 bushing is removable, so that you can attach a more substantial tripod with a 3/8" threaded post onto the tabletop tripod. I use a 055XDB Manfrotto basic tripod on this scope.

o) I used this scope primarily as a deep-sky instrument and this is where its strength lies. If you take this scope to a semi-dark orange-zone "suburban" site, all the Messier objects are relatively easy targets, especially if you live south of 35N. Will be able to view a ton of non-Messier DSO's with this scope as well.

A Newtonian this compact and portable with a 4" parabolic mirror is a good deal, especially for the price (currently $99 at Orion). Fun for experienced adult observers as well as children just starting out.

#3 David E

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:24 PM

Thanks Charlie! I was a bit embarrassed to miss that the eyepieces were Kellners, I really didn't pay that much attention to that as I've seen some refractor packages in this price range that come with Plossls. These eyepieces work quite well in spite of the fast focal ratio of the scope. I also noticed, but didn't mention in my review, that the optical tube must be positioned high up on the dovetail rail to allow operation at zenith. This throws the scope a little bit out of balance but I didn't really have any troubles using the supplied eyepieces.

#4 tnakazon

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:19 PM

Terry (tnakazon) posted on 7/14.

Sometimes I'll take the OTA off the tabletop and use it on my Vixen Mini-Porta mount with slow motion controls.

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#5 David E

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:46 PM

Terry (tnakazon) posted on 7/14.

Sometimes I'll take the OTA off the tabletop and use it on my Vixen Mini-Porta mount with slow motion controls.


That makes a great combination. :waytogo: The standard Vixen-style dovetail rail is a nice touch, allowing the user to mount this ota on just about anything. Here's mine mounted to the Universal Astronomics Dwarf Star on a Bogen tripod.

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#6 tnakazon

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:09 PM

Nice!

And here is my scope with the tabletop mount attached to a Manfrotto 055XDB tripod. I removed the 1/4-20 thread adapter from the tabletop so I could attach the Manfrotto, which uses a 3/8-16 thread size.

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#7 David E

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:58 PM

Of course, sometimes the best way is just simply on the ground!






.

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#8 tnakazon

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:51 PM

Actually my most productive/memorable observing session with this scope was using just the tabletop mount. I sat it on a stone wall at first and then on a drinking fountain later. Couldn't believe how many objects were now within reach of this scope once I moved to an orange-zone suburban site, compared to observing from a light-polluted white/red zone.

Nevertheless, thank goodness for the tripod bushing at the bottom of the tabletop mount.

#9 galexand

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:19 PM

I love this scope. I have some reservations about the altitude movement. And collimating it didn't improve things as much as I'd hoped (stars are still a little coma-esque in the outer 2/3rds of the view), though maybe I just did a bad job collimating it... but it *is* F/4.

But while I had it apart to center-dot the primary, I decided to blacken the tube. I just rubber cemented craft store black felt to the inside of the tube (can't wait until it starts dropping fuzz on my mirror, knock on wood). I put a little strip of felt along the inside edge of the focuser tube.

Wow! What a difference. Spent the next couple hours looking all around the moon with hardly any glare, especially compared to before.

#10 tnakazon

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:43 PM

Greg, there's still going to be coma in the outer field of view with this scope since its an F/4, but if the scope was miscollimated before like it was on mine, center spotting and collimating via the secondary mirror will make a noticeable difference, especially on the planets and double stars.

I've had black felt inserted inside the tube for over a year, no fuzz droppings on the mirror...

#11 mattyfatz

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:23 AM

I enjoyed this article. I've been looking into this scope for sometime. The fixed primary worries me a little, but I still think I'm going to get one.
Thanks for this article!

#12 David E

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:15 PM

Nice!

And here is my scope with the tabletop mount attached to a Manfrotto 055XDB tripod. I removed the 1/4-20 thread adapter from the tabletop so I could attach the Manfrotto, which uses a 3/8-16 thread size.


Man I wish I had that photo to use in my review, that one really shows off the finish of the optical tube. I couldn't get any of my photos to do it that much justice.

#13 David E

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:18 PM

Greg, there's still going to be coma in the outer field of view with this scope since its an F/4, but if the scope was miscollimated before like it was on mine, center spotting and collimating via the secondary mirror will make a noticeable difference, especially on the planets and double stars.

I've had black felt inserted inside the tube for over a year, no fuzz droppings on the mirror...


Yes, there is definitely some coma there typical of a fast Newt, but using better eyepieces did improve the edge performance a bit. Thanks for the flocking tips. My local Hobby Lobby store sells plain and adhesive backed felt, if I decide to get industrious some day.

#14 David E

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:21 PM

I enjoyed this article...


Thanks Matty. Let us know how you like it. I think mine will be used more on the DwarfStar as it's more convenient.

#15 tnakazon

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:03 PM

Man I wish I had that photo to use in my review, that one really shows off the finish of the optical tube. I couldn't get any of my photos to do it that much justice.

Thanks David - I like to take my scopes out to the desert to do photo shoots (along with stargazing). Let me see if I have any other sexy pics of the SkyScanner to post...






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