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  • stjerome@uswest.net
    I recently bought an Orion XT8 and am interested in hearing from other Skyquest owners out there.
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 29 10:27 PM
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      I recently bought an Orion XT8 and am interested in hearing from
      other Skyquest owners out there.
    • Ken Coates
      I ve had one since November of last year. I m having a great time looking at DSO s and planets. In December of last year, I got a few days of very steady air,
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 2, 2000
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        I've had one since November of last year. I'm having a great time
        looking at DSO's and planets. In December of last year, I got a few
        days of very steady air, and the views of Jupiter and Saturn were
        fantastic. One night I saw 7 cloud bands on Jupiter and the shadow
        transit of IO.

        I think it is a great starting telescope. My main recommendations to
        new owners are:
        1) Build/Buy an observing chair. I built one the one at:
        http://members.tripod.com/denverastro/seat.html

        2) Read the article at Sky & Telescope
        http://www.skypub.com/resources/testreports/telescopes/0001sixdobs.htm
        l
        about 8" telescopes and make the 2 modifications they recommend:
        a) Add some felt pads below the mirror to support it better.
        b) Add some milk jug washers on the center bolt. I used 6 and they
        make the azimuth motion much smoother.

        3) Get a 1x finder. I bought the Rigel Quikfinder, and I'm very happy
        with it. It fits in between the eyepiece and the finder and doesn't
        affect the balance at all.

        I've since upgraded the finder to a University Optics 8x50 Right
        Angle finder with an Amici Prism. This has greatly improved my star
        hopping ability. It has a 4.2 degree field of view, so it is easy to
        use with Telrad overlays on star charts. It did require me to add 4
        lbs of counterweight to the bottom of the OTA. I used ankle weights
        and taped them to the outside of the tube. The extra weight means
        that I only need to use one tension spring to maintain balance.

        Ken
      • stjerome@uswest.net
        The S&T article was the deciding factor for me to get one, plus there are 2 Orion dealers in Mpls. (No shipping!) I also use a Rigel finder. I also have a
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 2, 2000
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          The S&T article was the deciding factor for me to get one, plus there
          are 2 Orion dealers in Mpls. (No shipping!) I also use a Rigel
          finder.
          I also have a Meade ETX, and the Orion is my first Newtonian. The
          finder bracket on the XT8 has too small a curve where it contacts the
          tube. I used coarse sandpaper wrapped around an old sonotube and
          sanded a new curve onto the foot of the finderscope bracket. (did
          that
          make sense?) more later, Jeremy V.
        • stjerome@uswest.net
          I keep putting off getting a proper observing chair; I currently use a 5 gallon bucket with a padded seat lid; it usually works ok. I am considering mounting
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 5, 2000
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            I keep putting off getting a "proper" observing chair; I currently
            use
            a 5 gallon bucket with a padded seat lid; it usually works ok. I am
            considering mounting the entire scope on a lawnmower frame to wheel
            it
            around my yard. This is what Dr. Clyde Tombaugh (discovered Pluto)
            used
            with one of his dobs because no one spot in his yard offered a
            complete
            view. I do use the carrying handle on the box, but I keep the tube
            vertical and steady the top end with my free hand. The way they show
            it
            in the pictures (tube horizontal) seems clumsy to me.
            Jeremy Vecoli, Mpls, MN
          • John Decker
            ... Hi Jeremy, I dont presently own a skyquest, but am interested in finding out about them. I have a great source of astronomy chairs. Its Jim Flys cats perch
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 5, 2000
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              --- In skyquest-telescopes@egroups.com, stjerome@u... wrote:
              > I keep putting off getting a "proper" observing chair; I currently
              > use
              > a 5 gallon bucket with a padded seat lid; it usually works ok. I am
              > considering mounting the entire scope on a lawnmower frame to wheel
              > it
              > around my yard. This is what Dr. Clyde Tombaugh (discovered Pluto)
              > used
              > with one of his dobs because no one spot in his yard offered a
              > complete
              > view. I do use the carrying handle on the box, but I keep the tube
              > vertical and steady the top end with my free hand. The way they show
              > it
              > in the pictures (tube horizontal) seems clumsy to me.
              > Jeremy Vecoli, Mpls, MN

              Hi Jeremy,
              I dont presently own a skyquest, but am interested in finding out
              about them. I have a great source of astronomy chairs. Its Jim Flys
              cats perch observing chair. You can buy it built, or as a kit. I just
              recieved one and couldnt be happier. It has a foot rest, and if needed
              (Im 5'8"), I can view from 6' at eyepiece! Check it out at:
              http://home.earthlink.net/~flyj/cecphome.html
              Clear skies
              John Decker
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