Quote: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.
Quote: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.