Thank you so much for your information, Alan. I have a Meade 80mm short tube, which works fine and super portable, but not powerful enough for DSOs. I do lean on the 6'' reflector for the bigger aperture. but I never used a reflector before, really want to give it a try. Do you think how long is the mirror's coating going to last under reasonable maintenance?
I have an 80mm f/6 achromat, the tube only 80mm longer. Your Meade is an 80mm f/5, the tube only 80mm shorter. I'm well aware of the limitations of both.
The 6" f/5 Newtonian of the Orion "StarBlast 6" is Synta's base model. The plastic focusser is dreadful, in both construction and performance; but the adjustable cell which holds the primary-mirror is first-rate.
This one, however, comes with a 2" focusser, which can be useful for the low-to-medium powers in future...
It's a house-brand, but it's manufactured by GSO; a very good thing, that. You'd get a much better telescope in getting that one over the Orion kit, and this mount will support it...
...and at or near the price of the Orion "StarBlast 6". This mount would also support it, and comes with slow-motion controls...
Both mounts would also support the Orion "120ST" achromat, for that matter. I'm somewhat curious as to why you did not enquire as to why I had abandoned the particle-board Dobson-mount of my "StarBlast 6". Didn't you suspect that something must've been wrong with it?
It's up in the attic now. I got tired of wrangling around with it outside. It's compact, but not all that small, and heavy. I got a bit of a strain on one side just before I chucked it upstairs. Now that it's on a tripod, it's like a whole other telescope, and much easier to use, hence my suggestion of the GSO 6" f/5 and the Orion or GSO alt-azimuth. Now, there's really only one advantage with the "StarBlast 6" over that: it can be upgraded to a computerised push-to in future, if desired...
Or, you can get it already equipped with same... https://www.telescop...yCategoryId=340
It's not a go-to, however, as it doesn't include motors.
Incidentally, a 6" f/5 Newtonian is the closest you can get to an all-rounder, with magnifications ranging from a low binocular-like 20x, and up to 200x and beyond with the aid of 2x and 3x barlows. That would give you the ability to observe the gamut; everything in the sky, satisfactorily, and with no false-colour. I've had my own trained on Jupiter, at high power, and with a variable-polariser; gorgeous it was, the festoons and whorls sharp as a tack during a few moments of steady seeing. Saturn wowed and amazed, and with its moon, Titan, trailing alongside. I agree that a 6" f/5 is specialised, somewhat, however it is certainly most capable of high-power observations; max out its aperture even, and up to 300x, and beyond, else you'll never know what you might've missed otherwise. There is one thing, however: the higher in power you go, the harder the telescope must work to keep up, and that requires a near-perfect or perfect collimation(alignment) of the optical-system.
Modern mirror coatings can last ten years, fifteen years, even twenty, depending, then you send them off to be stripped and re-coated, but only if the figurement of the primary-mirror had proved exemplary, or even above-average, during those years. Salt, however, is a mirror's enemy, as it is for many things.
Edited by Sky Muse, 20 September 2018 - 11:06 AM.