Orion SkyQuest XT10 (IntelliScope) Dobsonian

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Brand and Model:Orion SkyQuest XT10 (IntelliScope) Dobsonian
Price ($USD):669.95
Attributes: checked Go-To un-checked PEC
f Ratio:4.7
Focal Length:1200
Finder:9 X 50
Electric Power:
Weight (lbs):55.4
Dimensions (w/h/d):

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Orion SkyQuest XT10 (IntelliScope) Dobsonian
01/11/06. I have had this scope for about 10 months now. It is my second scope, the first being a 60mm Meade Christmas present refractor (the Wal-Mart Wonder). The puny little Meade did get my foot in the door, but the XT10i kicked me through. I decided on the XT10i after checking one out at a local star party. There, I compared the XT10i to a 8" Meade LX200, 10 and 8” Hardins, Meade 12.5 Dob, and a Celestron C6-R. The XT10i won the night with the best views, easiest set up and maneuverability, and the best price for what you get. The next day I bought the scope, but held off on the IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator. I would save that gizmo for another time, choosing to learn the ways of star hopping first. Two weeks later I was ripping holes through the sky. Visually it’s a very nice and professional looking scope. It is very easy to set up. Just set the base down, place the tube on the bearing cylinders and tighten down the tensioning and retaining knobs. The whole assembly weighs in around 55 pounds, and can be carried short distances as long as you’re walking on the ground and not having any back problems. Carrying the thing up and down steps is not so easy due to its bulk and awkward shape. A quick disassembling is usually the easiest for steps and carrying long distances. When the tensioning knob is tightened to the “sweet spot”, the tube moves on the Dobsonian mount with ease, no stiff areas or sloppiness. Where you move it, it stays. The optics are amazing, providing fantastic views of galaxies, nebulas, planets and moons. It’s easy to collimate, especially with a laser, and it rarely needs it. I think I have aligned the optics around 3 times in the 10 months of owning it. Cool down time is not much of a problem. In the summer time, it’s ready to go as soon as you get it outside and assembled. In the winter it takes about 20 minutes (30 min for extremely cold weather) after assembly for the optics to stabilize. The 9x50 finder scope provides nice views also, wide and sharp and it is extremely easy to adjust up to the center of the FOV. It does its job as well as a finder scope can, but I may add a Telrad or a Rigel QuikFinder for easier star hopping in the future. The focuser is very smooth for a rack and pinion. No backlash or slop, and like the tube and mount above, when you move it, it stays. It accepts both 1.25 and 2.00 diameter eyepieces. The only thing I had to really tinker with was the plastic 10” dust cap. It was very loose and fell off easily when the scope was pointed below 0 deg. I fixed the problem by wrapping electrical tape around the dust cap boss for a tighter fit. So far this has been a fantastic scope for me. The XT10i is a heck of a bargain for its size and what it can do.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
By: madeingeorgia1974
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=549639

Orion SkyQuest XT10 (IntelliScope) Dobsonian
After reading all the info available and taking the advice of retailers, I bought an XT10i in the UK about 3 Months ago, my first scope since a childhood 70mm refractor, 30 years ago. It seemed to be the biggest 'Bang' for the 'Buck' (or Sterling) available, and I was particularly attracted to the intelliscope feature, which gives computerised 'push to' targetting, without the motorised 'goto' price. The scope and Intelliscope cost £699, whereas a 10" goto SCT such as a Meade would be over £2000 in the UK. A SCT will allow astrophotography (which will cost another arm and a leg), but won't necessarily give any better visual observations or more pleasure.

The appeal of the Dobsonian design is the simplicity. There is very little to go wrong, no battery or power cables required, and the optics on the XT10i are excellent, allowing good viewing of faint DSO's such as Nebulae on a modest budget. The ultimate compliment is I believe Al Nagler, God of Eyepieces, has an XT10i for personal use.

Initially I found my OTA had been roughly handled in the factory and dented, an unusual occurence, and although the optics were excellent I accepted a replacement which was despatched swiftly. -Orion's customer service is outstanding. I also had a minor fault on the intelliscope which was replaced, but don't want to give the impression the scope's not well made, I was a bit unlucky and the final set-up was worth persevering for.

Set-up is very straight forward. I have a bad back but find the seperate tube and base can easily be carried and in action in about two minutes. It will easily fit across the back seat of my Audi in order to take it to dark sites, the 12" would be too bulky. Star alignment again takes a couple of minutes, and you're off. I keep mine in an outbuilding to avoid waiting for mirror cool-down. Mirror collimation is straight forward but rarely required.

The intelliscope is easy to use and hugely assists finding targets. In a couple of hours I'll look at 15 or 20 pleasing DSO's, planets or clusters. Following the direction arrows to the target is quick and quite good fun, you do get satisfaction from quietly turning the 'cannon' yourself, rather than pressing a button. It makes you feel as if you and the scope are a connected symbiotic working unit.

I bought a Orion premium 8-24 zoom to go with the scope which is very versatile and fun, Other useful initial accessories are a red/white LED light, Moon and Nebula filters, and 2x Barlow. For ultimate viewing I'd go for one or two Naglers, a 12mm T4 or 11mm T6 being the most versatile with this scope. Flocking is an affordable enhancement, and as there are a few mutterings about the stiction on the azimuth bearing, I found the best way to ease this was occasionally polish the wooden base with a good wax.

Overall, I'd say its an outstanding choice for an amateur viewer wanting to effortlessly see awesome DSO's on a modest budget. There is a very helpful and enthusiastic skyquest-telescopes group on Yahoo to get advice from. Its given me huge pleasure and although intending to buy some good eyepieces, the scope will do me just fine for the foreseeable future. In the words of the helpful retailer who sold it (SCS Astro), the next step up from this scope would not be portable and would require an observatory.- and a very big budget !

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.24.183)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=577927

Orion SkyQuest XT10 (IntelliScope) Dobsonian
Good choice, believe me!!!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:6 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.152.227)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=593550

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