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I've been spoiled by my XT6

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#1 shortbread13

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:10 PM

So I've been casually researching what my options are for travel visiting family, camping (binoculars, short tube refractors, small SCTs) and I am just spoiled by the bang for the buck, ease of use, and what I've been able to see with my XT6 even in light polluted skies. It's hard for me to ignore those aspects of a dob when looking into other scopes.

I'm still getting used to the upside-down orientation when comparing my view with a sky chart but really, I'm a dob fan. :jump: Maybe I'll just have to try to bring the XT6 on my travels. :D

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:12 PM

Maybe I'll just have to try to bring the XT6 on my travels.



:waytogo:

Jon

#3 kfiscus

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:20 PM

+1

#4 astrophile

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:50 PM

Maybe I'll just have to try to bring the XT6 on my travels. :D


I would. Any refractor that offers comparable views will be large in & of itself, and require a mount/tripod combo that is large and heavy too. Even a comparable CAT & mount/tripod will take up room.

Plus, those smaller XTs are practically bulletproof. Go for it!

#5 epee

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:32 AM

While not the most compact thing, a 6" dob IS lightweight and very capable for its bulk. The chief drawback as a travel scope is the size of the base since that won't fold up. Taking it apart and putting it back together takes tools, time and puts serious wear on the pieces.

I would be tempted to investigate mounting the tube on a tripod; just for trips as a folding tripod would cut down the bulk considerably. A simple "L" or wedge shaped piece of wood; tapped on the bottom for the tripod bolt and drilled through the side for one of the factory altitude bolts might be all you would need. Oh, and a reasonably sturdy tripod of course...

#6 Pinbout

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:38 AM

Maybe I'll just have to try to bring the XT6 on my travels.



get a 8" f5 mirror set from agena astro and make this :grin:

Posted Image

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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 11:08 AM

The chief drawback as a travel scope is the size of the base since that won't fold up. Taking it apart and putting it back together takes tools, time and puts serious wear on the pieces.



Bases that are easily disassembled are relatively easy to make. Your current base could move modified with some pieces of angle aluminum so it could be repeatedly disassembled and stored flat.

Jon

#8 Ed D

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:21 PM

If you think you're spoiled now just wait 'till you take your XT6 with you to a dark campsite.

Ed D

#9 shortbread13

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 02:30 PM

The reality is I could make it fit, we have a midsize pickup (though we bring bikes)...we will have to be more efficient in how and what we pack when we camp. When I transported my XT6 home from the Orion store the OTA sat perfectly underneath the rear passenger seats wrapped up in my daughter's sleeping bag. :waytogo:

Jon, I like your idea of the angle aluminum for the base...otherwise if there's room I'll just leave the base alone...

Ed, I'm sure I'm going to love the views camping!!

Now a collapsible one like Pinbout's example is very cool!

Ok, I'm going to admit that even though I mentioned looking at smaller scopes, I'd probably rather take my XT6 traveling and get a larger scope to complement it in the future! :silly:

-Rosie

#10 GOLGO13

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:50 AM

I compared my XT6 to my much more expensive 103mm Vixen refractor. Now in all fairness a better comparison would be a 5 inch refractor vice a 4 inch. But, the XT6 held up quite well. Basically the XT6 is brighter (no surprise) and the 4 inch refractor was sharper. Now, both scopes are probably similar in terms of grab and go (4 inch on my vixen porta mount, and XT6 is pretty small).

Now, the mechanics on my refractor are better (moonlight focuser). Probably the biggest benefit to me with the refractor is cool down. But the XT6 isn't bad with cool down, especially if you put a fan on it.

One thing I did that really helped the XT6 mechanics is an FRP modification (a thin board ususally used in bathrooms). That made the movements of the scope really smooth.

I actually don't mind the focuser on the XT6, but it's certainly not great.

Either way I agree that the XT6 is a great value and grab and go scope. Especially when I got it (it was only $234 at that time). Nowadays at $310 it would probably be better to get an apertura 8 inch F6 at $400. Still, I like the scope very much.

I also will use my XT6 for outreach situations where I don't care if it took a hit or two.

#11 Achernar

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:27 PM

From a dark site, your 6-inch can show galaxies I cannot see at all from my red-zone driveway with a 15-inch. Some of the greatest astronomers of the 19th century did their work with you guessed it, a 6-inch telescope. From a good site, you would be able to see 12th magnitude objects, if they are small in apparent size. For many people wanting to see deep sky objects, the answer can often be found not in bigger telescopes, but a tank of gas to get them to darker skies. I've had a 6-inch for over 30 years, and still use it despite having a 15-inch because it not only has a respectable light grasp, it is an excellent planetary telescope too.

Taras

#12 Darren Drake

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:42 PM

6 inch f/8 mirrors are not hard to make well. My XT6 totally rocks. I had it set up next to an AP superplanetary on Saturn. The views were basically the same. The owner of the refractor actually preferred the image in the dob as did another viewer. Because of it's small secondary and lower susceptibility to thermal issues it should be no big surprise that they can compete with similar sized apos.

#13 shortbread13

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:24 PM

I really would love to bring my scope to a darker site...I can't wait to see what it can do!

I mean I was so happy to find the Dumbbell Nebula recently, even though it was an extremely faint fuzzy. Maybe it was because I found it...I can't imagine my reaction when I see it in darker skies. :bigshock:

Really nice to know how many of you more experienced folks like the XT6!

#14 LDW47

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:15 PM

I owned an 8" Skywatcher, sold it and bought a 6" Skywatcher ! I use it more, still get great views and it is a lot easier to move around and I'm not a weak person ! It's just a perfect size scope to compliment my Skywatcher 120mm Short Tube and 102mm Antares acro's !

#15 Locoman

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:35 PM

Your post made me think about mine which I have stored away. I got it out the other night and had fun with it. I forgot how easy it is to carry. It could be called the ultimate "Grab n Go".

#16 Alan K

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:35 PM

I use my xt6 about a dozen times for every one time I use my 8 inch SCT. Love it!

#17 azure1961p

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:19 PM

The chief drawback as a travel scope is the size of the base since that won't fold up. Taking it apart and putting it back together takes tools, time and puts serious wear on the pieces.



Bases that are easily disassembled are relatively easy to make. Your current base could move modified with some pieces of angle aluminum so it could be repeatedly disassembled and stored flat.

Jon


Exactly - a few wing nuts & bolts and it'd be a fast set up. Buy some sections of aluminum angle or one long one, cut it to size and mount them at key points. I epoxy my angles to aid reinforcement. Beware of those little angle irons that are not proper to 90 degrees and will cause gross misalignments . There's a reason for it but its only causes issues here - plumb true 90 degree aluminum angles are the way to go.



Pete

#18 Ed D

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:37 PM

I have no problems with the base for my XT6 when we go to the Everglades. After loading it into my compact hatchback I stuff the empty space in the base with backpacks, food containers, etc. Everything has to come out when we get there anyway, and packs up just as easily when we leave. For me it's the tube that takes up space across the back seat.

Ed D






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