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.
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.