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Granddaughter wants a Dob

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#1 stargazer32864

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:15 AM

    My granddaughter wants a 6" Dob for Christmas, yeah I know it's a long way off. She picked out an Orion Skyquest XT 6" Plus. I've never had anything smaller than the Skyquest XT 8" so I don't know if it comes with a collimation ring on the primary mirror. She's 12 years old and I hope this will get her started on a life long hobby. At least maybe her interest will grow and she won't stay on the computer all the time playing online games. I told her they will suck the intelligence right out of you. So, does anyone know if they have a center ring on the primary mirror?? I can line up the mirror with the secondary mirror as long as there is a ring. But if it doesn't, I will have to get her a refractor. An 8" scope might be too much for her.

 

~Robin


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#2 Bill Weir

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:29 AM

Don’t know about now but my 20 yr old Skyquest didn’t come with one. On the other hand though it really isn’t that hard to add one to the mirror. Took me all of 15 min to do if that long. A simple paper reinforcement ring works fine.

 

Bill


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#3 LMO

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:57 AM

A single manual covers the XT6  Plus, XT 8 Plus, and XT10 Plus.  The collimation procedure outlined in it applies to all three and employs the "tiny ring (sticker) in the exact center of the primary mirror."  A .pdf copy of the manual is online at <https://www.telescop...29609_12-17.pdf>, refernced by a link on the page at the Orion site describing each scope.

   Larry


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#4 sg6

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 03:28 AM

What is the problem?

She wants a 6" dobsonian. If it has a center marker good you don't have to, if it hasn't then you have to add one. You have until christmas to work out how to add one.

She wants a dobsonian not a refractor. Anything else is disappointment, believe me.

 

And she will want 3 or 4 eyepieces, and a cheshire collimator, probably a copy of Skysafari or at least a good sky guide, warm boots, good jacket (try down).

Next year she will need a full imaging rig, you can probably lay off mono and filters until the year after.


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#5 stargazer32864

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 04:05 AM

What is the problem?

She wants a 6" dobsonian. If it has a center marker good you don't have to, if it hasn't then you have to add one. You have until christmas to work out how to add one.

She wants a dobsonian not a refractor. Anything else is disappointment, believe me.

 

And she will want 3 or 4 eyepieces, and a cheshire collimator, probably a copy of Skysafari or at least a good sky guide, warm boots, good jacket (try down).

Next year she will need a full imaging rig, you can probably lay off mono and filters until the year after.

 Lol. You're funny. I can download some astronomy software for her computer. But I'll wait on the imaging gear for now. Next year, if she loves her scope, she might want an upgrade to the Hubble Space Telescope. rofl2.gif
 


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#6 stargazer32864

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 04:07 AM

A single manual covers the XT6  Plus, XT 8 Plus, and XT10 Plus.  The collimation procedure outlined in it applies to all three and employs the "tiny ring (sticker) in the exact center of the primary mirror."  A .pdf copy of the manual is online at <https://www.telescop...29609_12-17.pdf>, refernced by a link on the page at the Orion site describing each scope.

   Larry

Thanks, LMO. I didn't think of looking up the online manuals.



#7 stargazer193857

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 11:52 AM

My granddaughter wants a 6" Dob for Christmas, yeah I know it's a long way off. She picked out an Orion Skyquest XT 6" Plus. I've never had anything smaller than the Skyquest XT 8" so I don't know if it comes with a collimation ring on the primary mirror. She's 12 years old and I hope this will get her started on a life long hobby. At least maybe her interest will grow and she won't stay on the computer all the time playing online games. I told her they will suck the intelligence right out of you. So, does anyone know if they have a center ring on the primary mirror?? I can line up the mirror with the secondary mirror as long as there is a ring. But if it doesn't, I will have to get her a refractor. An 8" scope might be too much for her.

~Robin


https://www.google.c...=bF49xrviPOXXnM

If I, an adult male weighing 160 pounds don't enjoy lifting a 40 pound 8", then I suspect an 80 pound kid likely would not enjoy lifting a 20 pound scope. Depends where handles are though. I showed Saturn to a teenage girl in a park. She told me her father was very into astronomy, but that she could not move it. She did not know the aperture, but from the gesturing, I'm guessing it was 6". 6" is a good size for starting to see stuff. I'd recommend the zhumell z130 or AWB OneSky 130.

#8 stargazer32864

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:05 PM

https://www.google.c...=bF49xrviPOXXnM

If I, an adult male weighing 160 pounds don't enjoy lifting a 40 pound 8", then I suspect an 80 pound kid likely would not enjoy lifting a 20 pound scope. Depends where handles are though. I showed Saturn to a teenage girl in a park. She told me her father was very into astronomy, but that she could not move it. She did not know the aperture, but from the gesturing, I'm guessing it was 6". 6" is a good size for starting to see stuff. I'd recommend the zhumell z130 or AWB OneSky 130.

It's hard to find a place to sit a tabletop scope if you don't have a picnic table in your back yard. The Orion 6" comes with a handle on the base and you can take it apart. I'm sure her daddy will help her with it. And he wouldn't mind taking a peek through the eyepiece. But I will see if he can build her a small platform to sit the scope on. She won't care as long as it's a telescope.

 

~Robin
 



#9 gwlee

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:15 PM

    My granddaughter wants a 6" Dob for Christmas, yeah I know it's a long way off. She picked out an Orion Skyquest XT 6" Plus. I've never had anything smaller than the Skyquest XT 8" so I don't know if it comes with a collimation ring on the primary mirror. She's 12 years old and I hope this will get her started on a life long hobby. At least maybe her interest will grow and she won't stay on the computer all the time playing online games. I told her they will suck the intelligence right out of you. So, does anyone know if they have a center ring on the primary mirror?? I can line up the mirror with the secondary mirror as long as there is a ring. But if it doesn't, I will have to get her a refractor. An 8" scope might be too much for her.

 

~Robin

Yes it does have a center ring for collimation. I have owned at least four XT6 variants and think it would be an excellent choice for a 12 year old. However, I suggest the Classic rather than the Plus. The Plus is more expensive, and the differences are mostly fluff in the 6” size, just not worth the extra cost to me. 

 

The Classic uses springs to fasten the OTA to the base, so it’s very easy to remove the 13# OTA from the 21# base and carry them separately, and, importantly, the springs are captive on the OTA, so you can’t easily misplace them in the dark. The Plus uses a different mechanism with 3 non-captive parts to fasten the OTA  to the base, and the loose parts are easy to misplace in the dark. Otherwise, they are nearly the same scope, so the Plus is an excellent choice too. 

 

If you will be moving the scope for your daughter, and you can easily handle its 41# weight (20# OTA+21# base) the XT8 might be a better choice because it’s a bigger scope, so it will give you a little better views. It also has a better quality focuser, and it’s a 2” focuser. A 2” focuser will allow you to use the 1.25” and optional 2.0” eyepieces that provide a wider field of view. 
 


Edited by gwlee, 29 June 2020 - 05:19 PM.


#10 Chesterguy1

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:35 PM

6”-8” is the sweet spot for dobs in my opinion. Easily transportable (my 8” weighs 40 pounds). I just bought a used Celestron C6, also incredibly light and easy to hoist onto my lightweight Alt-Az so it moves identically to the dob. Now, I’m a reflector/refractor guy, but I’ve been very satisfied with the C6 and it is EASY to move and transport and if you can find a used one the cost is very reasonable.

 

That said, the simplicity of a dob is hard to beat and it’s the best aperture bang for the buck if one can handle the weight/size and is willing to learn to collimate.

 

Chesterguy



#11 daquad

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:12 PM

Between now and Christmas I would give her a pair of 8X40 binoculars, a map of the sky and some reading material that explains the nature of the universe and the solar system.  That will give her some time to learn the sky and and learn if she is truly interested in astronomy and observing.  If she is thrilled with what the binoculars can show her she will be hooked with a 6" dob.

 

This is how I started in astronomy.  When I was 10 years old I was given a pair of 8X25 binoculars for Christmas and I used them to explore the night sky and learned every constellation and major star cluster/nebula that I could see from my back yard.  I had done a lot of reading and knew what I was looking for.  I even followed the nightly dance of Jupiter's moons with that modest instrument.

 

Let her get her feet wet with binoculars.  If it were me I would be out at night observing with her and her binos.

 

Dom Q.



#12 doug mc

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:42 PM

Teach her how to use a trolly (hand truck). Once she is ok with using one of those, she will be looking at bigger dobs in no time.
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#13 AlienRatDog

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Posted Yesterday, 06:09 PM

The XT6 is excellent for her. My daughter (going to be 11 soon) loves her dob, it’s easy for her to set up and use. The optics are excellent and collimation is pretty easy. We just used it last night.
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#14 stargazer193857

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Posted Yesterday, 06:45 PM

Between now and Christmas I would give her a pair of 8X40 binoculars, a map of the sky and some reading material that explains the nature of the universe and the solar system. That will give her some time to learn the sky and and learn if she is truly interested in astronomy and observing. If she is thrilled with what the binoculars can show her she will be hooked with a 6" dob.

This is how I started in astronomy. When I was 10 years old I was given a pair of 8X25 binoculars for Christmas and I used them to explore the night sky and learned every constellation and major star cluster/nebula that I could see from my back yard. I had done a lot of reading and knew what I was looking for. I even followed the nightly dance of Jupiter's moons with that modest instrument.

Let her get her feet wet with binoculars. If it were me I would be out at night observing with her and her binos.

Dom Q.


Her eyes might be too close together. Maybe just give her what she asked for, plus a hand cart.


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