Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date: 06/26/2003 12:01:44 pm PDT
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.22.20)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=255132
Overall Rating: 2
Optics:1 Mount:4 Ease of Use:4 Value:2
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date: 02/15/2005 02:23:36 pm PDT
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.25.61)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=419874
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>After my experiece with the Hardins, I ordered a 10" Orion dob, which is leaps and bounds better in terms of construction, and most importantly, optical quality.
I don't agree. I work in a telescope store, and have directly compared the Orion and Hardin 10-inch scopes. I've never seen a scope from either company that wasn't optically excellent (and I've seen hundreds), but I'll say more about that later. The differences are in the construction.
First, the casting on the Orion scopes is inferior. If you run your finger along a metal edge, you will find burrs and seams, and some of them are fairly sharp. The Hardins have smooth edges.
Second, the Orion altitude-bearing design is poor. To separate the tube from the base, you have to unscrew two knobs which have to be held the right way up to keep the bushings and sleeves from falling off. You end up with six loose pieces in your hands. The springs on the Hardins are permanently attached, so there's nothing to keep track of.
Third, the secondary on the Orion scopes is stuck on to a narrow stalk with a blob of glue. That makes me nervous. I haven't heard of one falling off, but I prefer the clip that the Hardin scopes use.
Finally, the focuser knobs are so close to the tube that you can't fit you fingers all the way around the knobs. If you turn them more than half of a turn, you have to either adjust you grip or squash your fingers. (This is more annoying than it may sound!) The Hardin scopes use nice Crayford focusers with no problems.
To be fair, the Hardin scopes do have one problem. They have an azimuth bearing that turns too easily. We fix it by putting pieces of felt in the base to add a bit of friction, and that clears it up nicely.
I will say something more about the Hardin optics because your experience wasn't typical. All of the Hardins I have tried have been great. I have seen the moons of Jupiter as perfect little disks, and detail inside the Great Red Spot at 500x with stacked barlows. I have seen Saturn's C ring and counted four stripes in the B ring. The close stars in the Double Double show more space in between them than the width of the stars themselves. All of this takes good seeing of course, but that's when good optics count!
I own a Hardin 10-inch Dob.
Sean's Astronomy Shop
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