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Orion XT10 or StarHopper 10

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#1 Acadian

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:54 AM

Sorry for all the questions, but I was just wondering what the opinions were about the Orion 10" vs the StarHopper10".. I can get the StarHopper for almost $100 cheaper then the XT10, but I was wondering if there was something that made the XT10 better.

#2 Almach

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:25 AM

Sorry for all the questions, but I was just wondering what the opinions were about the Orion 10" vs the StarHopper10".. I can get the StarHopper for almost $100 cheaper then the XT10, but I was wondering if there was something that made the XT10 better.


I can only speak with regard to the XT10 ... as it is the only 10" reflector scope I've had any experience using ... and that scope is a nice piece of equipment. Good quality components for the price.

Starhopper owners are welcome to chime in.

#3 3imo

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:38 AM

I just recieved an XT8. I am really impressed with the quality of this item. I feel like knocking it down a flight of stairs will not even scratch it.

Hope this helps.

#4 Spaced

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:27 AM

Acadian,

I'm doing this from my notoriously unreliable memory, so consult the Orion website to verify. I'm aware of two differences: (1) The XT 10 and Starhopper have different Alt. tension systems. The Starhopper has a simple tension spring, while the XT 10 has a sort of disc brake type system, adjustable with knob twist. I have an XT 10 and find that system to provide good tension adjustment for a variety of EP combo weights. To me, this difference alone justifies the increased cost. (2) (Here's where I don't quite trust my memory) The XT 10 has a pyrex mirror, while the Starhopper uses a different, less desirable glass. And then, of course, is the obvious third of two differences: You can later retrofit the XT 10 with digital setting circles.

Hope that helps.

#5 coopman

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:57 AM

Post deleted by coopman

#6 rocco13

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:24 PM

Just to clarify some earlier posts...Are you talking about the XT10 Classic or the XT10i?

The latter is the more expensive, better designed base and altitude bearing system resembling a disc brake. That version comes with the azimuth encoder disk, so all one has to do is to purchase the Intelliscope controller package (which comes with the altitude encoder disk) to make it a full Intelliscope version.

The Classic model has the similar spring-tensioned mechanism, and CANNOT be retrofitted/modified to accept the Intelliscope system.

#7 BillP

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:57 PM

Sorry for all the questions, but I was just wondering what the opinions were about the Orion 10" vs the StarHopper10".. I can get the StarHopper for almost $100 cheaper then the XT10, but I was wondering if there was something that made the XT10 better.


As Rocco said, if you mean the XT10 Classic, then they are basically the same excapt for the glass of the mirror...plus the Orion Classic has a promo going where you get a laser collimator and star map with it for $549...so only a $50 difference from the Starhopper.

However, if you can stretch to $619, then I would set my sites on the Orion XT8i. It comes with a right angle finder (absolute necessity for the neck muscles IMO), has a more forgiving f/6 mirror (so will show less coma off-axis and you can get better performance with cheaper eyepieces), smaller central obstruction due to longer FL so a bit more contrast and probably better on planets, much easier to tote out the house or to a dark site, plus has the object locator computer with digital circles.

So if you don't mind 8 inches instead of 10, then I'd give the XT8i the nod for the $600 mark as all the other pros more than make up for the loss of 2 inches (which IMO will only matter for DSO and only if you live someplace where fairly dark - by back yard is lim mag 3.5 so for DSO my 6" does as good as my 10").

-Bill

#8 esd726

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:05 PM

XT10 ALSO comes with a RA finder.
They really ARE a must, totally agree :grin:
Rick

#9 Acadian

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:39 PM

lol now I'm back to the choice of getting Orion XT10i or the Orion XT8i. I can get the XT8i for 549 CDN (w/o Intelliscope Controller.) or get the XT10i for 799CDN (w/o Intelliscope controller).. Too many choices lol

Cold Lake, Alberta is probably pretty dark, but that's a pretty big jump in price between 8 and 10... sigh :smash:


Thanks for the info



- Ken

#10 Bob W6PU

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:59 PM

I bought a new Starhopper base that I remounted my 10" Treckerscope on.

I have had a poor experience with the Alt tension adjust system.

It went bad(pulled the brass bushings out of the Alt hubs) after a week!

I own a new Orion 12" Intelliscope with COL. The "disc brake" tension adjust system on this scope is a real dream, as is the rest of the scope and optical system...I rate it Five Stars+.

My advice, get a Orion XTI system( not the cheaper one with the springs) with or without the Computer Obj. Locator, which you can add later...you won't be sorry!

Bob :grin:

XT12i with COL

10" Coast Inst. "Treckerscope Newt., circa 1956

32mm Vixen Plossl, 21mm Stratus, Nagler 16T5 and 12T4
BO/TMB 7mm and 5mm

Barlows: 2x Shorty Plus, 2.5x Televue, 3x Coast Inst.

#11 Acadian

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:02 PM

I own a new Orion 12" Intelliscope with COL. The "disc brake" tension system on this scope is a real dream, as is the rest of the scope and optical system...I rate it Five Stars+.

What does with COL mean?

#12 Bob W6PU

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:20 PM

I own a new Orion 12" Intelliscope with COL. The "disc brake" tension system on this scope is a real dream, as is the rest of the scope and optical system...I rate it Five Stars+.

What does with COL mean?


COL is an abbreviation for Computer Object Locator, it is a electronic DSC/encoder system,(digital setting circles) refer to your Orion catalog under XTi Dob. reflectors for complete Info.

The cheaper version of the Orion, does not have a provision to add a COL, and the base assembly does not have the "Disc Brake" Tension adjust system that allows you to compensate for heavier weight eyepieces such as the Hyperion, Stratus, Nagler, or Hyperion 35mm Scopos, which is a wonderful two pound bemoth!

Bob :grin:

#13 Acadian

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:22 PM

OK so if it says XT10 Intelliscope, but you have to add the Controller then it's still an XT10i?

#14 werewolf6977

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:26 PM

Funny about those Alt Hub bushibgs. I carry my 6" Starhopper assembled by the handles (have for over 2 years), and I've never had a spot of trouble.

#15 Olivier Biot

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:05 PM

Folks,

Please only post first-hand experience.

Cheers,

Olivier

#16 esd726

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:49 PM

I never had a problem with even the 31 t6 in my XT10 in regards to balance. Those tension springs hold wonderfully IMO. Now with the hardin I had even without an eyepiece init it moved like crazy.
Just saying if the ONLY reason you would consider the more expensive Orion dob is because on "movement" I wouldn't worry at all about the cheaper (IN PRICE) one.
Rick

#17 Dave Bender

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:50 PM

I have a 12" Starhopper. I understand the optics are made in Taiwan and are better than the Orion which are made in China. Otherwise, the Starhopper is junk. The bearings are lousy. The vertical is locked by tightening the handle. When tightened, the metal insert pulled out of the plastic bearing. The horizontal tension is set by a non locking bolt that loosens constantly. The primary mirror adjustment screws are a joke. I modified them by putting a thicker nylon washer outside and a metal washer and lock nut inside and eliminated the spring. I am in the process of using the optics to build a truss dob of my own design.
Neither Celestron or Orion were very helpful. Read the book "Astronomy Hacks" for ways to improve either brand dob.

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:51 PM

>>Just saying if the ONLY reason you would consider the more expensive Orion dob is because on "movement" I wouldn't worry at all about the cheaper (IN PRICE) one.
Rick
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A few thoughts...

1. Regarding the motion, my old OPT Starhunter 10 is essentially identical to the Hardin referred to elsewhere in this thread. It has the older "correct Tension" system and I have found it handles heavy eyepieces quite well. I use it with both a 8x50 finder and a Telerad. Even with these plus a Paracorr and a heavy 2 inch eyepiece, it is stable at all altitudes.

Last year, with the stock bearings, I was able to track Gamma Corona Borealis across the Zenith at 800X, I don't think you one can ask any more of a standard DOB...

2. Besides the Starhopper 10 and the Orion XT series, I would seriously consider one of the GSO DOBs such as the Zhummell. The two main advantages I see the the Zhummell over the Orion is the better quality 2 speed Crayford and the slightly slower F/5 focal ratio. In my experience, F/5 is right on the borderline of Paracorr country, the Orion's F/4.7 is a step or over the edge...

A bit of history... The original XT-6, XT-8 and XT-10 really made a splash for Orion. When Sky and Telescope reviewed 6 8 inch DOBs in 2000, they liked the Orion. This scope was made by GSO. Later Orion switched manufacturers to Synta and GSO has been markeing their scopes through a variety of vendors, at one time Starhoppers were GSO scope, currently, I don't. But all these scopes started out with Orion. The Meade Lightbridges are also made by GSO.

If you want the Intelliscope then the Orion is you only option (unless you buy separate DSCs which can then be used with any scope or multiple scopes.)

Otherwise though the added features of the GSO scopes certainly are attractive and I myself would go in that direction were I buying another 10 inch DOB.

Jon

Jon

#19 Achernar

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:55 PM

I haven't seen a Starhopper in person, but I do know a guy who has the Orion XT-10 Intelliscope. It's a quite nice telescope that's lighter and smaller than my 10-inch F/4.5 Discovery Dob. In general, fit and finish is good, and their optics are no slouch when well collimated. The object locator is very good and helps a lot when your skies are as light polluted and murky as mine are.

Taras :watching:

#20 Acadian

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 07:09 PM

I haven't seen a Starhopper in person, but I do know a guy who has the Orion XT-10 Intelliscope. It's a quite nice telescope that's lighter and smaller than my 10-inch F/4.5 Discovery Dob. In general, fit and finish is good, and their optics are no slouch when well collimated. The object locator is very good and helps a lot when your skies are as light polluted and murky as mine are.

Taras :watching:


Did you look at DSO or Planets with it?

#21 MarkVA

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:03 PM

2. Besides the Starhopper 10 and the Orion XT series, I would seriously consider one of the GSO DOBs such as the Zhummell. The two main advantages I see the the Zhummell over the Orion is the better quality 2 speed Crayford and the slightly slower F/5 focal ratio. In my experience, F/5 is right on the borderline of Paracorr country, the Orion's F/4.7 is a step or over the edge...


Agreed on all counts, 2speed focuser from Zhumell mostly made me go with them. I would advise caution going with Zhumell since the recent Netshops change-over. While the product is a great package and a great buy, if you have any issues, the only available option is a full scope exchange. This is quite a departure from what Zhumell was like up to a month ago.

#22 Spearman87

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 04:03 PM

A bit of history... The original XT-6, XT-8 and XT-10 really made a splash for Orion. When Sky and Telescope reviewed 6 8 inch DOBs in 2000, they liked the Orion. This scope was made by GSO. Later Orion switched manufacturers to Synta and GSO has been markeing their scopes through a variety of vendors


Thanks for pointing that out. I'm getting some help in my own search from a friend who is going through a lot of the old Sky and Telescope issues at the library. He told me how they raved about the Orions during that time, but we didn't know about the changes in suppliers. I'll probably go with an Orion or Zhumell 8" in the end. Some aspects of the Zhumell sound preferable. But the change in ownership and possible decline in customer service (which I've been told was excellent under the previous management) is still a worry in the back of my mind.

#23 s.b.nights

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 04:35 PM

I haven't seen a Starhopper in person, but I do know a guy who has the Orion XT-10 Intelliscope. It's a quite nice telescope that's lighter and smaller than my 10-inch F/4.5 Discovery Dob. In general, fit and finish is good, and their optics are no slouch when well collimated. The object locator is very good and helps a lot when your skies are as light polluted and murky as mine are.

Taras :watching:


Did you look at DSO or Planets with it?


I regularly observe DSO's and planets with my XT10. The views on DSO's are fantastic and I've seen the GRS and the Cassini Division with it.

#24 Bowmoreman

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:01 PM

OK so if it says XT10 Intelliscope, but you have to add the Controller then it's still an XT10i?


XT10 Intelliscope is same as XT10i (abbreviation)... Plain XT10 is XT10i minus the COL (which can be added)... all else is same
XT10 classic is different mount/base/tensioners.

I have first hand and only positive experiences with XT10i... know nothing of pros/cons associated with XT10 classic.

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