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New Scope - Orion Skyquest XT10

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#1 bthrel

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:09 PM

So got a deal on this lightly used Qrion Skyquest XT10.. Appears to be in very good condition, mirrors are clean and alignment seems spot on via the alignment tool provided. Going to give it a test whirl tonight.. Any tips on what to check or mods to the mount to make it better, or general Dob advice, its my first Dobsonian scope. There was no finder so plan to mount a telrad maybe or a green laser dot I have laying around ... Any and all advice much appreciated ...

 

 

Cheers

 

Brian

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#2 NightF0x

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:03 PM

Definitely check out Venus, Leo Triplet (M95, M96, M105), M5 Rose Cluster, M104 Sombrero Galaxy, M68 Glob Cluster, M27 Dumbbell Nebula, M92 Globular Cluster, M13, M22...I'm sure I can find more if you need some more 

 

I recently purchased a $15 magnetic digital level and a telrad and those 2 alone have improved my success rate on finding objects.


Edited by NightF0x, 23 May 2020 - 07:06 PM.

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#3 Barlowbill

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:07 PM

I have an Orion SkyQuest XTi, 8".  I use an Orion 9X50 RACI finder and a Green Laser on a dual mount.  Could not live without.  Love them.  Enjoy.  


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#4 MellonLake

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:41 PM

I have an XT10. It is a great telescope. I saw over 50 galaxies in Virgo last night. I recommend a Telrad and a laser. I use both. Just remember you can't use lasers near airports and don't point them at planes.

All the best.
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#5 SeaLint

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 10:40 PM

I love mine. I have the EZ Finder II that came with the scope and would highly recommend a reflex-type sight. I have found the Meade 5000 UWA eyepieces work very well with my scope and appreciate their value. I have a laser collimator, its nice, BUT plan on collimating the laser. I just realized today that my relatively new collimator was off. Took about an hour to collimate it, but it will make life easier in the future. Also have a cheshire in the mail to check my work... so probably start with a cheshire, thats what a lot of folks recommend. 

 

I use Sky Safari 6 (Plus/Pro) and really like it to help plan my evenings and see FOV/eyepiece circles overlay on the objects. 

 

The only drawback to the scope is the focuser. Throw a big 2" eyepiece on there with a barlow and it will start to hesitate/stick around common focus positions from wear on the draw tube components. 

 

Yes, please don't shine the green laser (or any laser) at planes/helicopters. Even if there is no damage to the eye, getting hit with a laser in flight requires notification to air traffic control, local law enforcement, an FAA report, internal company/agency reports, and can require being seen by a medical professional for a follow up. It's a huge pain, been there. Christmas lasers?!?! Gahh! undecided.gif

 

Congrats on your new scope! You'll love the view!



#6 bthrel

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:16 PM

Well aware of the laser restrictions ( former private pilot) and Im not close to any airports and would never light up a aircraft. I just purchased a tetrad for the scope and a weaver mount for the laser. Used my new ES 26mm 62° and WOW what a view. Hard to locate anything but pretty sure I saw M51 Whirlpool Galaxy, looked great in this scope..High thin clouds started rolling in so called it a night. Need to look at the mount and see what I can do to smooth it up some, but overall a very pleasant expierance. Oh also was the first use of my new Vestil observing chair, game changer for my back for sure ... More rain in the forecast here in Mid TN, and I need to resume learning on the LX85 as well ... So fun to be back into this hobby.

 

Till next time

 

Brian


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#7 aeajr

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 11:34 PM

When I had my XT8i, my friend had an XT 10.  We used to swap eyepieces and views all the time.  Really nice scope.

 

He has since added an Orion XX14i and I have upgraded to an Aperatura AD12

 

What eyepieces do you have?  That will be your next biggest investment.

 

Telrad is a good idea.

 

I use an AZ scale and an angle gauge to find my targets.

 

Using an angle gauge to help find targets
https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry8120838

 

Printable Setting circles
https://www.cloudyni...ntable circles

 

 

These ar emy low power wide view 2" Eyepieces

 

38 mm 2” - I have the Agena Astro SWA, same as the Orion Q70 series. I used the 38 mm 70 degree AFOV in my XT8i and now in the AD12.  Happy with it but it does show some outer edge distortion in my F5 scope.  I consider it acceptable for the price.  Worked well in my friend's XT10 too.  

https://agenaastro.c.../agena_swa.html

 

20 mm 2” - I also have the Meade 20 mn 82 degree as my second 2” low power wide view that performs well for me in my F5 scope.
https://www.astronom...pieces_c75.aspx

 

 

My 1.25" single focal length eyepieces
 

 

Meade 82 degree  - I have the 20 (above) and the 5.5  I consider them comparable to my much more expensive ES 82s. 
https://www.astronom...pieces_c75.aspx

 

Explore Scientific 82 degree line.  I have the 14, 8.8, 6.7 and the 4.7 and really like them.  Many reports compare these favorably with the premium eyepieces.
https://agenaastro.c...scientific.html

 

 

 

THE ZOOM EYEPIECE INSTEAD OF SINGLE FOCAL LENGTH EYEPIECES – This is my favorite eyepiece. 

 

The zoom is single eyepiece that effectively replaces a range of eyepieces.  Works like the zoom lens on a camera.   

 

The zoom sounds great, but there is a trade-off.  The field of view of the zoom runs from a narrower AFOV at the 24 mm range to a wider FOV at the 8 mm range.  So, like any approach, the zoom is a compromise.  I find that compromise quite acceptable when weighed against the benefits listed below.  I have a string of 82 degree eyepoieces but I tend to use the zoom much more often.  

 

I use the Baader Hyperion Zoom 8-24 mm in my 8” (now sold) and now my 12” Dobs.  Usually this is the only eyepiece that I use in the midrange even though I have others.  In the 8” Dob usually used it with a 1.5X barlow lens attached to give me 75x-225X which was an excellent match for that scope as I frequently topped out around 200X at my location.   You would have the same range in the XT10.

 

In my AD12 12” Dob I use the BH zoom for the midrange, up to 190X and then go to single FL 82 degree eyepieces.  At the low end, as I have a low power wide view 20 mm eyepiece I tend to use the zoom mostly in the 18 mm to 8 mm range.    

 

Lower cost zoom – Celestron 8-24 – This was my first zoom. 

Works well at the price and a good way to test your interest in zooms. $66
Higher priced Zoom – Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm – My main eyepiece in my Orion XT8i – $290
https://agenaastro.c...lanetarium.html

 

  • I never expected the zoom eyepiece to become my primary eyepiece, but it has.
  • With a zoom, the eyepiece seems to disappear as you just move in and out at will, no swapping, no thinking about eyepiece changes
  • The Celestron 8-24 zoom is good and comparable to my Plossl eyepieces
  • The Baader Hyperion is great and comparable to my Explore Scientific eyepieces
  • Watching doubles split as I rotate the barrel is wonderful
  • One filter serves over a wide range of magnifications, no screwing and unscrewing to try other eyepieces
  • Moving smoothly between small changes in magnification helps when seeing is not the best
  • I am always working at the optimum magnification for this target.
  • Sharing the view with others is easier, especially in my manual tracking Dob - I hand it over at low mag so it stays in the view longer.  They zoom back in to whatever magnification works best for them.
  • My eyepiece case has been greatly simplified
  • Kids love the zoom

When I observe, 90% of the time, in all of my scopes, I use one or two low power, then the zoom for the midrange.  Then I barlow the zoom for the high range if I need it, and that is all I use.  I have single FL eyepieces in my kit, but they are rarely used.


Edited by aeajr, 23 May 2020 - 11:40 PM.

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#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:54 AM

Do you have a star atlas or planetarium app?  How about a good observing guide?

 

I discuss these and other matters pertaining to observing in my post (#22) at https://www.cloudyni...mers/?p=5184287



#9 bthrel

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 03:50 PM

Ed, here is my eyepiece lineup so far.. ES 82° 11mm, ES 62° 26mm ( my fav so far) Meade Super Plossl 26 and 9.7mm ( came with LX85), Meade Super Plossl 40mm and a old University 28mm Ortho that I have had for decades ...

 

20200524_081153.jpg

 

Dave,

 

I have the  Sky Atlas 2000.0 Deluxe, Jumbo Pocket Sky atlas, interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas: Field Edition, and Objects in the Heavens 6th edition ...

 

Thanks for all the advice given here ... 

 

Happy Memorial weekend all

 

Brian

 

P.S. I understand that some folks collect the old University Orthos, would be up for a trade for mine if anyone wanted it.


Edited by bthrel, 24 May 2020 - 03:52 PM.

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#10 aeajr

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:15 PM

Ed, here is my eyepiece lineup so far.. ES 82° 11mm, ES 62° 26mm ( my fav so far) Meade Super Plossl 26 and 9.7mm ( came with LX85), Meade Super Plossl 40mm and a old University 28mm Ortho that I have had for decades ...

 

attachicon.gif20200524_081153.jpg

 

snip...

I would suggest you add them to your signature so people trying to help you will know what you have. 

 

This is the eyepiece set that I built over 5 years for my XT8i.  Now they are used in my Aperature AD12 as well as my other scopes.  The Bolded ones are the ones I use the most. 

 

Apertura AD12 12”/305 mm Dobsonian/Newtonian, 1520 mm FL F5 FR
Resolving power -   .4 arc seconds
AA         38 mm/70                    40X and   1.75 degrees FOV   EP 7.6 mm  2”
Meade   20 mm/82                    76X and   1.07 degrees           EP 4.0         2”

ES          14 mm/82                   108X and    .75 degrees             EP 2.8
ES          8.8 mm/82                  172X and    .47 degrees             EP 1.7
ES          6.7 mm/82                  226X and    .36 degrees             EP 1.3
Meade    5.5 mm/82                  276X and   .29 degrees              EP 1.1
ES          4.7 mm/82                  323x and    .25 degrees              EP   .94
ES          8.8+2XB                     344X and    .24 degrees
ES          6.7+2XB                     452X and    .18 degrees
Meade    5.5+2XB                     552X and    .15 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom    63X to 190X and .79 to .35 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24+1.5XB   94X to 285X

 

 

Here is how they looked in my XT8.  Your XT10 is the same FL so will have the same mags.  Again the Bolded ones are the ones I used most. 

 

Orion XT8i – 8”/203 mm manual Dob Newtonian, 1200 mm FL F5.9
Resolving power -  .6 arc Seconds
AA  70           38 mm                31.5 and    2.2 degrees  FOV   2”
Meade 82      20 mm                60X  and  1.37 degrees   2”          

ES 82             8.8 mm              136X and    .6 degrees         
ES 82             6.7 mm              179X and    .45 degrees         
Meade 82       5.5 mm              218X and    .37 degrees 
ES 82             8.8+2XB             272X and    .3 degrees
ES 82             6.7+2XB             358X and    .22 degrees
Meade 82       5.5+2XB             436X and    .18 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom    50X to 150X
Baader Hyperion 8-24+1.5XB  75X to 225X (My most used 1.25” eyepiece in this scope)


Edited by aeajr, 24 May 2020 - 08:17 PM.

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#11 bthrel

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:35 PM

I would suggest you add them to your signature so people trying to help you will know what you have. 

 

 

Noted and my sig has been updated...Thanks



#12 zleonis

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 10:45 PM

I have an 8" dob and it's a design and observing experience that I love. It sounds like you may prefer paper atlases and I'd never try to turn someone from that preference, but the phone/tablet app Sky Safari (especially when paired with a  right-angle correct image finder) is very helpful for star-hopping. The app has any object you would ever think to target, along with charts that show stars as faint as you will ever see (at least with the Pro version), and the extensive database of stars lets you star-hop with the 9th magnitude stars you see in the finder or even with the view through the eyepiece. It can also be helpful that the charts mirror the up/down right/left view that you see, and that you can easily invert the view to match what you see through the eyepiece.

 

I totally understand if 'easiness' isn't your goal when star-hopping, but Sky Safari is a terrific tool (plus it also has uesful information about tons of objects, plus helpful utilities for planning and logging observations). You have to be a bit careful about maintaining your dark adaptation when using a phone or tablet, but with red cling film or red goggles you can make it work.

 

Hope you get some good weather to enjoy your new scope!



#13 bthrel

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 05:47 AM

Thanks for the suggestion Z.. and yes I do like books and bound reference material.. But I have also installed some of the apps mentioned as well as SkySafari ... Still trying to figure out which one suites me best .. Im also going to take Ed;s suggestion and setup an angle gauge to help find targets.. 


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#14 AstroVPK

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 12:22 PM

Thanks for the suggestion Z.. and yes I do like books and bound reference material.. But I have also installed some of the apps mentioned as well as SkySafari ... Still trying to figure out which one suites me best .. Im also going to take Ed;s suggestion and setup an angle gauge to help find targets.. 

 

For the price of a single premium eyepiece, you can upgrade your secondary mirror AND have your primary refigured. I just had this done recently and the difference it makes is astonishing. The views of Jupiter and Saturn the past two nights were just breathtaking! Most places that do re-figures will test your primary for you first to see if it's already OK, so if you're lucky and already have a great mirror, you don't have to get the re-figure. I'd definitely suggest getting an Antares secondary though. 


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#15 aeajr

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 03:53 PM

For the price of a single premium eyepiece, you can upgrade your secondary mirror AND have your primary refigured. I just had this done recently and the difference it makes is astonishing. The views of Jupiter and Saturn the past two nights were just breathtaking! Most places that do re-figures will test your primary for you first to see if it's already OK, so if you're lucky and already have a great mirror, you don't have to get the re-figure. I'd definitely suggest getting an Antares secondary though. 

Not something I would do with a telescope I just bought.  I would use it for a while.

 

Now, what do you consider the price of a single premium eyepiece?  $500?  $700?

 

What's wrong with the secondary mirror on the XT10?



#16 AstroVPK

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 04:27 PM

Not something I would do with a telescope I just bought.  I would use it for a while.

 

Now, what do you consider the price of a single premium eyepiece?  $500?  $700?

 

What's wrong with the secondary mirror on the XT10?

 

I certainly advocate using a scope for as long as tolerable before performing upgrades, but there is a Mars opposition later this year for which the original poster might want the highest optical performance reasonable. A primary refigure for a 10" from OWL is $289.00 + $145.00 for the enhanced coatings + $260 for a 1/30th wave secondary from Antares is ~ $700 which is in the ballpark cost of getting an expensive eyepiece such as a TV Ethos or Docter 12.5mm. I'm just saying that the mirror upgrade is something to consider if one is considering buying very expensive eyepieces because the prices are similar in the 8" -> 12 " scope range.

 

Secondary flatness is important for getting good performance out of the system. From what I've heard, the optical flatness of the secondary is one of the easier places to cut costs when mass producing telescopes because the flatness is not an advertised spec. There's quite a bit of variance in quality of the secondary even amongst the same model & unfortunately the only way to measure the optical flatness is by holding the an un-Aluminized secondary in contact with a reference flat and looking at the structure of the interference fringes. Therefore, the simpler thing to do is to just replace the secondary entirely if one's going to go to the trouble of re-figuring the primary, even if it's not entirely cost effective.



#17 bthrel

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 04:30 PM

Not something I would do with a telescope I just bought.  I would use it for a while.

 

 

Yep, not there yet on this journey, if anything my next purchase will be a Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom or another eyepiece, but still reading about it, seems people either love or hate zooms ... Also want to do some side by side observing with my LX85 8" SCT to see and understand the differences in the two scopes. I never intended to end up with this Orion, but just couldn't pass up the deal and knew it would be an awesome scope ( and it is). 



#18 SteveG

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 11:34 AM

Nice purchase, with good optics, a lifetime scope! I would spend some time with it, learn collimating and acquire some quality collimating tools. Over time, for optical perfection you might want to shop for a used Paracorr.


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#19 Cali

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 10:24 PM

Nice purchase, with good optics, a lifetime scope! I would spend some time with it, learn collimating and acquire some quality collimating tools. Over time, for optical perfection you might want to shop for a used Paracorr.

Steve

 

Can you recommend "some quality collimating tools"?

 

Thx!

 

- Cal



#20 Richie2shoes

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:23 AM

Here is a thread about mods to Dobs.  There's some good info in there.




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