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Orion ST80 is back

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334 replies to this topic

#326 Mitrovarr

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:14 PM

The AZ-GTi can also be moved manually while aligned and would probably be worth considering in the same use case. I'm hoping to get one for my small scopes (including an ST80).
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#327 hcf

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:39 PM

The recently released ST80 on an EQ1 combo sold out in a heartbeat at $250.

Another similar option is the Meade Adventure 80 (a ST80 clone, but less expensive), which is back in stock ($100) and a ES EXOS Nano EQ mount ($130) which is better than a EQ1.

 

You do get a tripod/diagonal/eyepieces (quite useless) with the Adventure 80, and a decent backpack and RDF.


Edited by hcf, 24 February 2021 - 12:57 PM.

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#328 jcj380

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 07:11 PM

You do get a tripod/diagonal/eyepieces (quite useless) with the Adventure 80 [...]

Disagree.  The EPs make good dust plugs.  wink.gif


Edited by jcj380, 24 February 2021 - 07:12 PM.

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#329 tkay71

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:31 PM

I looked at the AZ-GTi and went with the SSIV as it both looks and on-paper asserts to have more robust mounting capabilities as-shipped. This appears to be reflected in user commentary on the respective mounts. Several have claimed the SSIV can handle C8 class instruments, especially after swapping out the tripod for something more stable, which is not the as-shipped capability but is nonetheless an apparent capability. As mentioned 150mm would be my limit. Orion sells such packages but the price point didn't make as much sense to me as the ST80 package since I can sell the OTA and effectively get a slightly discounted new mount. To my eyes hanging anything above 127mm on the AZ-GTi appeared not feasible, which ruled it out.

 

I finally attached the RDF tonight, no issues, works splendidly for alignment. Sidereal tracking is really good for visual use, I left the rig for 50 minutes on M42 last night, had to run out for a bit and when I returned the object was still very near center, not too shabby at all. I'll try lunar tracking in a week or so. Object location is more than satisfactory and genuinely convenient to quickly show a handful of pretty things to those with shall we say less enthusiasm for the hobby.

 

So I guess to date all the product research is paying off.

 

In case I sound like a salesperson, all is not totally well. Both axes are far too stiff to truly 'swing' the scope as I want, especially in azimuth where it matters most. These can be adjusted but it does require a 1.5mm hex key and 22mm cone wrench, items not everyone will have, and really the unit should ship exactly as is shown in the product videos. It didn't. Nor should one have to invade the chassis to get the desired behavior, which I will do tomorrow, whereas others may not care and just be content with the motorized motion. Orion was nice enough about it, offered to replace the mount head, provided instructions for adjustment, assured me that the procedure wouldn't void the warranty, etc. We'll see how it goes. I don't mind tinkering, but at this price point for new product I definitely should not have to.



#330 Mitrovarr

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:14 AM

Eh, I've given up on anything working out of the box these days. Everything complicated needs tweaking to function.

 

I bet that SSIV mount is pretty impressive carrying the ST80. Seems like a lot more mount than is needed for that little scope.



#331 tkay71

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:37 PM

It is definitely more mount than is needed for an ST80, no doubt of that. Pity I couldn't find one in the pre-owned market, it wasn't for lack of effort and patience. The shipment was delayed by the storms last week and I was hoping something might spring up and I'd just send it all back unopened. That didn't happen and I figured why not, it's a box, it's here, I get 30 days, whatever.

 

The impressive part of the mount is the tracking/go-to capabilities. Get it leveled and it works really well, especially the tracking. Since the accessory tray is already level enough the setup including alignment is maybe two minutes once you learn what the app wants you to do.

 

I was able to coax more freedom of motion out of it and now I can swing the scope as advertised. The process isn't too bad, but yeah, it didn't work out of the box, it needs to.

 

As for those cheap eyepieces, they want a higher focal ratio, then they give barely adequate results. This means stopping down the scope by capping and removing the center plug, about 44mm final aperture. Not ideal to say the least.



#332 Mitrovarr

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:54 AM

Hey, at least you could find one. Finding scopes and mounts isn't easy right now!



#333 tkay71

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:51 AM

Amen to that. I got into the hobby last summer, exclusively binoculars, didn't even bother with a photo-tripod, assumed I'd get bored. Eventually I found myself doing things lacking precedent, such as wandering around my backyard at 3AM in 22 degree air temperature with a beach chair and binos, or no binos, just gazing upward, usually bothered that the sun had decided to interfere, ultimately trying and failing to explain to everyone else that, no, I'm not the only one, really, others do this too, seriously, just read CN, they can't all be making it up, in fact this is pretty normal behavior compared to the really serious star party types, and no, CN is not even in principle a conspiracy of optics retailers coercing consumers into elaborately detailed product reviews, it's a real hobby and people just want to share!

 

Anyhow one does this enough and realizes, whatever this is, it's not going away, probably time to invest in a scope.

 

So one looks and finds that, yes, after much, probably overmuch, research into various kit possibilities, it really is a conspiracy of some sort, there's almost no product actually available! To the extent that I even called Orion, made sure they had stock prior to order, didn't want to wait any longer, tried but failed to get what I wanted in the pre-owned market, which essentially was something genuinely portable that allowed me look, easily share the view, dabble with cameras, etc., without any serious investment. And that's what I got and true, it's probably $100 overpriced but again, it's a conspiracy of optics retailers, this was bound to happen, some machine learning algorithm predicted it, in fact I really didn't overpay $100 because, you know, I have a cash back credit card, that's all free money (right?), it's actually paid for, no worries bro, just go have fun with your new toy.

 

Which I am.



#334 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 10:52 AM

ST80s seem to multiply... snagged another one last night locally.  Cheap enough that it is begging me for a 2" focuser.  Too bad everything is out of stock...


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#335 laurelg9

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 03:10 PM

I bought an ST80 on here maybe two months ago.  It's a joy, tbh, and a great addition to the dobsonian and binos. Sometimes, I'm able to get the dob, the ST80 and the binos out all at the same time and I feel like the luckiest gal in the world with machines to look at stars and whatnot.  

 

someday, i'd like a 2" focuser for it.  


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