"KenS" <ksargent@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
> Hello all,
> This is my first post to the group as I am new to the hobby - although
> I have had a lifelong interest in Astronomy and Cosmology. I am
> considering my first scope and have settled on the Orion XT8 - or, at
> least an 8" Dobsonian (I've don't a LOT of reading here and elsewhere,
> and the postings here have been invaluable).
> My question is this: is there any reason to pay the extra money to get
> the Intelliscope over the Classic assuming that I am not interested in
> using the positioning electronics that the XT8-IS accept. Even without
> the goto module, the IS is $120 > than the Classic. If that $120 is
> buying me higher quality, important features, etc., then I'll consider
> it. But if the only meaningful difference is the electronics, then I
> see no reason not to get the XT8-C intead. I am intersted in learning
> the sky and it seems to me that the best way to do that is with a map
> and manuala approach.
> Am I missing something?
> Ken Sargent
A friend or ours has the XT8 without electronics, and he is very happy with
it and I have enjoyed the views as well. We have relatively dark skies
(pushing mag. 6) and so have no problem seeing enough stars to find
anything. I wouldn't pay anything for the electronics, as I don't want them
and they would detract from my/our style of observing, where finding the
object is at least as important as observing it. I helped my friend rebuild
the bearings with teflon and Ebony Star, and I think we both think that a 2"
focuser would be an improvement for low-power widefield viewing with 2"
nebula filters. The primary mirror is good, but not great.
I would like to recommend building a basic dob with a great mirror.
Building a dob is a basic woodworking project, easily doable with hand
tools. A decent homemade dob will ergonomically out-perform an XT8, and a
top-quality mirror will provide better views. You will not save any money,
and in fact you can spend quite a bit more if you buy top-notch parts
(focuser, secondary, spider, primary) - better parts than those found on an
XT8. However, you will understand your scope inside and out, and you will
never have to ask how to collimate it, or be frustrated by some lack in its