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Celestron Omni 150XLT

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#1 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

I'm considering the Celestron Omni 150 XLT (150mm F/5 reflector).  I'm principally concerned about overall optical and mechanical quality of the OTA.  I'm familiar enough with the EQ-3 class of mounts, and I like the new, improved CG-4, but have no curiosity about it.  In particular, how well does the Omni hold collimation?  This is a "large" grab 'n go option, so relatively good mechanics are, for me, a must.  What are your experiences?  StarBlast 6 owners' opinions are welcome, especially anyone familiar with both.  Really like the 2" focuser option on the Omni, but the collimation mechanics of the two should be awfully similar.

 

Thanks



#2 csrlice12

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:50 AM

This is actually one of the better 6" f5 reflectors available, and actually a very good beginner/intermediate package.  While designed as a wide field scope, it is still capable of cranking up the mag.  But truthfully, a 6" dob is more grabngo then an EQ mounted Newt, overall weight of either system is about the same.......



#3 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:49 AM

Good to hear about the optics.  I agree about the mount and is why I'm not very curious about it.  I have a Synta AZ-4, and the 150 XLT would ride on that 99% of the time.  I like having an EQ mount handy, but it's more of a special project thing for me.  I'm very old school, and don't mind nudging.  I hate the extra weight and fiddling of an EQ, and in practice, rarely bother with one.  Nice to have, but not often used.  An EQ mount is like a Barlow -- no self respecting astronomer should be without one, but you're likely to employ it once or twice a year, if that.  But my post has to do with the optics and mechanics of the OTA, and isn't concerned with the CG-4, cause I'm not.



#4 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 12:54 PM

Gosh, this was my first scope. I regret gifting it to my nephew about 3 years ago.

 

It holds collimation very well, handles magnification like a champ, provides nice wide views and has decent aperture in a very light package.

 

Mine had the 1.25" focuser. The new ones with the 2" focuser should provide lovely wide fields of view...



#5 Starman1

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 02:26 PM

Good to hear about the optics.  I agree about the mount and is why I'm not very curious about it.  I have a Synta AZ-4, and the 150 XLT would ride on that 99% of the time.  I like having an EQ mount handy, but it's more of a special project thing for me.  I'm very old school, and don't mind nudging.  I hate the extra weight and fiddling of an EQ, and in practice, rarely bother with one.  Nice to have, but not often used.  An EQ mount is like a Barlow -- no self respecting astronomer should be without one, but you're likely to employ it once or twice a year, if that.  But my post has to do with the optics and mechanics of the OTA, and isn't concerned with the CG-4, cause I'm not.

There will be positions where the scope will not be able to point really high because of the tripod legs, but if you have the AZ-4 with the 2" diameter legs, it will easily accommodate the 6".

I am a little concerned that the large diameter tube may intercept the base of the mount before the scope is vertical , though.

Can you estimate the distance between the center of the altitude axis, as a vertical line, and the edge of the base as a vertical line?

You'll need at least 4" between those lines to accommodate the rings on the OTA.

 

As for the CG4, it's a good match, and it has decent setting circles with verniers, too.  You could actually use the setting circles to find targets.


Edited by Starman1, 11 August 2014 - 02:27 PM.


#6 gene 4181

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:28 PM

collin, i have the skywatcher 6in f5. you couldn't peel it out of my hands. it'll be the last scope i ever own, i like it that much. i have a friend interested in getting a scope, he asked about the 6in. i told him he could have the new xt 8 instead. you'll like the scope, wide field and high power. i didn't say widest field, of course a 80mm f6 refractor will go wider, but all that field curvature..I got my best view of jupiter in this scope, watched the transit of venus. i could go on. the only hitch in the giddy up is you have to use eyepieces with short eye relief and small eyelens, if that doesn't bother you, go for it. a 2in 28 mm -68 es works real nice for cruisin the milky way.

#7 Eric63

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:15 PM

I agree with Gene.  The 6"F5 is a great scope.  I also use it on my AZ4 and it works great.  Yes, Zenith may be a bit tricky but I wait for objects to move out of that zone.   I also have an EQ5 but I only use it for high power tracking a few times a year.  I can easily push 200x with it and have gone up to 280X in great seeing conditions and the image help up very well.  BTW,  I use a large plastic clothespin for fine focusing.  Works like a charm.  This scope is also a keeper for me.

 

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Eric


#8 Starman1

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:29 PM

collin,. the only hitch in the giddy up is you have to use eyepieces with short eye relief and small eyelens, if that doesn't bother you, go for it. a 2in 28 mm -68 es works real nice for cruisin the milky way.

Not in today's world, where you can get reasonably long eye relief in eyepieces as short as 2.5mm, and long eye relief in eyepieces as short as 3mm.

Even a 750mm focal length is unlikely to need eyepieces much shorter than 3.5-4mm.



#9 gnowellsct

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:36 PM

I've seen a few of these for sale on craig's list and want to go grab them up but then I halt myself and say WHAT ON EARTH FOR?

 

(I have too many scopes)

 

It's nice to see people getting some good results with them.  I am always leery of the mechanicals on these scopes, it is usually the most irritating aspect of using them.

 

regards 

Greg N



#10 Phillip Creed

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:52 PM

A 6" f/5 with a 2" focuser is a lethal grab n' go option for a very affordable price.  You can get more than 3-deg TFOV with a low power ultrawide--enough to see the entire Veil Nebula--and still be able to run up to 300X (50X/inch) or more when conditions allow.  No refractor can deliver that combination of aperture and zero false color without requiring an obscene expenditure.

 

Clear Skies,

Phil



#11 labmand

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:06 PM

Love my 6" f5, great on doubles, but I use my gem always, just makes it so easy to keep 

star centered at high power, and to est. Position angle etc. with slow mo control or 

when using a drive o

r a goto gem , for 

me it just makes everthing easier. The few extra 

pounds of weight to carry out is well worth the effort.

Ok I give up, I tried to edit this post 5 times to correct this mess but no luck

So tried to delete it, that didn't help so.......


Edited by labmand, 11 August 2014 - 08:26 PM.


#12 Starman81

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:34 PM

Collin, I would have no reservations of the mechanical quality of the Omni XLT 150. It was well built, robust.

 

She was a beauty indeed! But for backyard observing, where the light grasp is needed, it was just as easy grabbing the 8" dob. The f/5 XLT 150 would have done great under darker skies for wide field observing, but that just didn't happen for me. 

 

 

 

 

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#13 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:58 PM

Syed,

 

Wow!  What an innovative adaptation for your scope!  That's the latest heavy duty PortaMount, right?  With a nifty extension.  Can you pm me the thread where you show how you did it, or the thread to the guy who showed you?  That's quite nice and exactly what I'd need for my AZ-4, apparently, according to Eric63 and Don above.  I am aware of Orion's, but that thing's 16" and quite heavy.  I need this for this 6" F/5 and maybe a C102GT, hardly a heavy/super long bunch of optics.  I don't own, nor would like to own, a 6" refractor.  I'd take a 10" dob over one any day.



#14 Starman81

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:46 PM

Syed,

 

Wow!  What an innovative adaptation for your scope!  That's the latest heavy duty PortaMount, right?  With a nifty extension.  Can you pm me the thread where you show how you did it, or the thread to the guy who showed you?  That's quite nice and exactly what I'd need for my AZ-4, apparently, according to Eric63 and Don above.  I am aware of Orion's, but that thing's 16" and quite heavy.  I need this for this 6" F/5 and maybe a C102GT, hardly a heavy/super long bunch of optics.  I don't own, nor would like to own, a 6" refractor.  I'd take a 10" dob over one any day.

 

Thanks Collin, I wish I could take credit, but nothing too rare here, just an AT Voyager Mount with extension pier. Usually wait-listed but does pop up frequently enough on the used market... It is definitely a good match for no-frills observing. 



#15 moynihan

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

I have the 2" focuser model. Very fond of the scope. The optics on mine are very good. In fact, i was surprised to see it hold a good image, under good seeing, at about 250x.

I use it on a DVS-3 Alt-Azm mount, which is way more mount than it needs, but it is VERY smooth with no vibration (surveyor tripod on grass).

Mine does not hold primary collimation very well. But using the included collimation cap, collimation is easy/straight-forward, especially since you can look at the image and adjust the back end at the same time, due to it's short length.

Given the price, i assume there may be differences from unit to unit. But mine exhibits very little coma at its outer field, easily ignored.

My only real critical point is that it really should ship with a dual speed focuser, even if that would add a couple bucks to it. 


Edited by moynihan, 14 August 2014 - 01:44 PM.


#16 Starman1

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:50 PM

Press a syrofoam donut onto one of the focus knobs to increase its diameter.  That will slow down focusing quite a bit.

Leave the other one regular size for faster focusing.



#17 Starman81

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:18 PM

Press a syrofoam donut onto one of the focus knobs to increase its diameter.  That will slow down focusing quite a bit.

Leave the other one regular size for faster focusing.

 

A good idea but unfortunately the clearance between the focuser wheel and the base/tube is way too tight to accomodate it.



#18 Eric63

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:46 PM

 

Press a syrofoam donut onto one of the focus knobs to increase its diameter.  That will slow down focusing quite a bit.

Leave the other one regular size for faster focusing.

 

A good idea but unfortunately the clearance between the focuser wheel and the base/tube is way too tight to accomodate it.

 

 

Look at my Plastic clothespin solution a few post up.   I find it perfect for fine focus.  I use the normal knob for coarse focusing and then just clip on the clothespin. 

 

Eric



#19 Starman81

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:06 PM

 

 

Press a syrofoam donut onto one of the focus knobs to increase its diameter.  That will slow down focusing quite a bit.

Leave the other one regular size for faster focusing.

 

A good idea but unfortunately the clearance between the focuser wheel and the base/tube is way too tight to accomodate it.

 

 

Look at my Plastic clothespin solution a few post up.   I find it perfect for fine focus.  I use the normal knob for coarse focusing and then just clip on the clothespin. 

 

Eric

 

 

Of course--nice! The answer was right before our eyes. 



#20 donald41

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 06:26 PM

just ordered the ota from high point. looks like a well built scope, I was going to order orions 6" f5 intelliscope but changed my mind because the focuser looked too cheaply made. I bought a 130 off astromant about 5 years age and the focuser on it looked like the one on the 6" orion, not well made. hope I will be happy with it, from the above statements, looks like I will be.

#21 Eric63

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 11:13 AM

just ordered the ota from high point. looks like a well built scope, I was going to order orions 6" f5 intelliscope but changed my mind because the focuser looked too cheaply made. I bought a 130 off astromant about 5 years age and the focuser on it looked like the one on the 6" orion, not well made. hope I will be happy with it, from the above statements, looks like I will be.

 

Congratulations Donald, you will like that scope.  I really love my 6"F5, I personally find it the ideal all around scope.

 

Eric



#22 Locoman

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:46 PM

You will like it !

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