Orion Starblast


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Brand and Model:Orion Starblast
Price ($USD):$169
Type:Newtonian
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:4.5 inches
f Ratio:f/4.0
Focal Length:450mm
Finder:red dot
Electric Power:no
Mount:dobsonian
Tripod:
Weight (lbs):13 lbs
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:Kids Will Have a Blast Probing the Heavens
Orion offers quality telescopes for youngsters that are easy to use and will inspire their natural inclination to explore. The StarBlast, pint-sized in stature, is a real reflecting telescope that's super-simple to use and yet manufactured with the kind of quality you'd expect in more expensive models.

The StarBlast is a point-and-view telescope that swivels smoothly on its sturdy, low-profile base. It comes pre-assembled and ready for action right out of the box! Just carry it outdoors by its built-in handle, place it on the ground or on a picnic bench, and let the fun begin!


Inside the StarBlast's aluminum tube are quality telescope optics, including a 113mm (4.5") parabolic mirror. Kids will see spectacular views of the Moon's craters, the planets, star clusters, and lots of other exotic space stuff. Aiming the StarBlast is easy with the EZ Finder II "red dot" finder scope. One-year limited warranty.

Vote Highlights Vote
Orion Starblast
I read the positive reviews in Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines, but never had any intention of getting one. However after attending a star party and falling in love with this neat little telescope, I decided to buy one.

These rich field scopes do a great job on open clusters, but they also work well on the moon and some of the brighter Messier galaxies. I haven't yet looked at any planets. The supplied kellner eyepieces are servicable but plossls will do a better job on the edge of field views. My only complaint with this telescope is that out of the box it has to be set up on top of a table in order to get the eyepiece up at a comfortable viewing height. I found an inexpensive and easy fix for this by installing 3 removable 28 inch table legs allowing use of this scope out in the field.

My particular scope has been souped up somewhat. Beside the previously mentioned table legs, it has flocking paper on the inside of the tube, a Rigel QuikFinder and a Bader solar filter which was used to observe the transit of Venus.

In my opinion the 2 advantages the Starblast has over the Edmund Astroscan, is the primary mirror can be colliminated, and there is no window to dew up. Overall the optics are decent, its idiotproof, and at a very good price. This a good starter scope or a nice second telescope. Highly recommended.

August 13, 2005
I still have this scope, mostly I use it as a grab and go for a quick look at the moon and sun (with a Bader filter). It doesn't give great planetary views but it still is far better than the Orion Short Tube 80. I see that Orion now offers these on an EQ-1 mount for $199. That sounds interesting and might resolve the tabletop mount issues.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: PaulHart
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=398248


Orion Starblast
This is my primary scope for visual and photography. Although I put mine in an EQ-1 with motor for some bright DSO and planetary photography. Even after owning a 90mm refractor and a 90mm Mak, I still use this 4.5" f/4 scope the most. I don't like the tabletop design though, but it is more portable in its' original minidob design. As a widefield scope, this is not suitable for high power planetary views. But it CAN still deliver a decent high power view, although not as sharp as some scope designed for it.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:5 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.80.194)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=590932


Orion Starblast
Little cool-down time. Smooth dobsonian mount. Images of moon and stars fields as good as a Meade ETX 90(I've taken decent through-the-lens digital photos). Coma nearly absent in the f/4 optics when barlowed. Supplied 6mm e.p. is a bit of a strain on the eyes, however, at this price one can easily
supply more. This is a no-excuse scope. No reason why one
cannot observe if only for a few minutes. Lastly, collimation is
simple. Most "fun" scope I've had.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:7 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.137.13)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=483650


Orion Starblast
The optics are the worst I have ever seen. Given that this is a budget scope with a very fast mirror, one would not expect great optics; but the optics on this scope are truly awful. I called Orion and suggested that I had perhaps gotten an usually bad mirror and asked what kind of improvement I might get if I bought a replacement. I was told that my mirror was probably typical, and a replacement would probably be no better. I've noticed that Orion's clearance/seconds list usually has one of this scopes on it. This scope can only be used for about the same thing you would use a binocular: low power, wide field viewing. For this use, it's fine. It's use as a telescope with only moderate magification is a complete failure. This scope easily falls in the category of "department store" telescope -- in the low end of that category.

The mount is clever and nicely done. The mechanical aspect of the scope is the only reason I didn't send it back. Maybe, one of days, when I get around to it, (etc. etc.) I might see about replacing the optics with something tolerable. The mirror might make a good project for an ATM to try his/her hand at figuring a small, fast mirror. This mount with some tolerable optics would make for a very handy scope.

An adult with enough telescope experience to understand the severe limitations of the scope and the source of those limitations might find a use for the scope. However, I think a child or an inexperienced observer will find the scope to be a frustrating mess.

Overall Rating: 5
Optics:1 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:4
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.34.46)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=474840


Orion Starblast
I wanted to buy a small telescope that I could use for quick observations, maybe to take out for 20-30 minutes on a clear weeknight. For this purpose, this is an excellent telescope. I believe that I’ve used it more in the last two months than I’ve used my larger 10” Meade LXD55 in the last two years. The telescope only needed minor aligning. The optics are nice. I’ve had enjoyable view of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. I was easily able to see cloud bands on Jupiter. I’ve also been able to see M13 and M57. The azimuth movement is very smooth. Altitude is alright. The only down side to the Starblast is its height. The eyepiece is quite low when the Starblast is set on the ground. It really it really needs to be set on top of something such as a picnic table. I created a nice stand using a 3’ barstool. Overall this is a great telescope if you are looking for something small and light for quick observing. It would also make a great beginner’s telescope.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.48.120)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=440358


Orion Starblast
I bought the Starblast in response to the excellent reviews it had been getting in Sky & Telescope and elsewhere. Over the years I have had 2 Astroscans and they had always been my most used scope. Easy to take out for a few minutes of viewing, setting up and the nice wide field of view was what I enjoyed most about the Astroscans. The negatives were the sometimes sticky focuser, the susceptibility of the optical window to dew and the tendency nfor the image quality to degrade significantly from 80x to 100x. It did not do well on planets over 100x, and we all enjoy nice views of saturn and Jupiter. I received the starblast in perfect collimation right out of the box. The mirror is center spotted, the secondary can be adjusted, the primary can be adjusted and it comes with an aline collimation tool. The EZ finder is a very nice red dot finder. The altitude tension can be adjusted easily and azimuth is smooth. The focuser is a nice rack and pinion far easier to use than the Astroscan's. It has an eyepiece rack that holds 3 eyepieces. It came with a 17mm and 6 mm Explorer two eyepiece. Actually the two eyepieces are very usable with the 17 framing the Pleiades nicely and the 6 gives nice 75x views of the moon and planets, though not with very good eye relief. I use a 25mm Sirius plossl for excellent wide field views, a 10mm Sirius plossl for 45x views of open clusters and I use a 5x powermate and 2.5x barlow. We've had some exceptional nights this march and I have observed saturn and Jupiter at up to 250x (9mm ortho and 5x powermate)! Though the images were somewhat soft, Cassini's division was easy as was shading on the planet surface and banding on jupiter was nice. I regularly use it at 180x (12.5 Antares plossl with the 5x powermate), and love the views of the planets. The 4 trapesium stars are sharp and one wouldn't believe this is a 4.5" F-4 scope. It is far more than I expected, and my friends are just as impressed with it. It has become the recommended entry level scope for anyone who asks. It is one scope that I doubt I will ever part with and is likely to be used far more than my other scopes.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.116.198)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=426771


Orion Starblast
Actually a very nice little telescope. The best thing is that it's so small and lightweight you tend to use it more. Very good for "quick" views when you don't feel like dragging out something heavier.
The optics are suprisingly good as well. I was clearly able to see Cassini's Division on saturn as well as a darkening of the polar region.
Overall, a pleasant scope. Use a solar filter for quick views as well. The optics cool down rapidly. I also ordered a dovetail and rings for times when I want to use it mounted on my SkyView Pro mount.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.100.198)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=417932

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