- 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:
2) Read the article at Sky & Telescope
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.
- 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
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
make sense?) more later, Jeremy V.
- I keep putting off getting a "proper" observing chair; I currently
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
around my yard. This is what Dr. Clyde Tombaugh (discovered Pluto)
with one of his dobs because no one spot in his yard offered a
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
in the pictures (tube horizontal) seems clumsy to me.
Jeremy Vecoli, Mpls, MN
- --- In email@example.com, stjerome@u... wrote:
> I keep putting off getting a "proper" observing chair; I currentlyHi Jeremy,
> 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
> around my yard. This is what Dr. Clyde Tombaugh (discovered Pluto)
> with one of his dobs because no one spot in his yard offered a
> 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
> in the pictures (tube horizontal) seems clumsy to me.
> Jeremy Vecoli, Mpls, MN
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: