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Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Telescope Reviews:Orion SkyQuest XT6 (Intelliscope) Dobsonian

Scope arrived with incorrectly sized screws, precluding mounting the telescope. A call to Orion was answered quickly. The tech rep acknowledge it was a problem they were aware of ("Sometimes the connectors for the screws are sunk too deep") and suggested I purchase longer screws. The mirror is excellent for the money. The mount tends to be a bit tight (cut plastic circular washers out of plastic gallon water or milk jugs and insert between the platform around the center bolt to aid movement)but is otherwise very solid with a good carrying handle. The telescope tube features a hand grip under the lip of the scope to aid in aiming, one of the best ideas I've seen for a newtonian body. The focuser is excellent, one of the best on any scope. The finer scope is good but is difficult to use due to the short "legs" - get a right angle scope that you can look in and then go right back to the main eyepiece. The finder scope mount is very good and, though easy to knock out of alignment, is very quick to be realigned. If it were not for the wrong sized bolts this would an easy "9," possibly a 10 overall rating, but sending out scopes with known flaws and leaving it up to the user to fix them is not a practice which would be acceptable in any field other than astronomy. ("My new Ford was delivered without an ignition switch. When I asked about it they said they knew some cars were being shipped without one and suggested I run down to NAPA and buy a new one." See what I mean?)

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:5 Ease of Use:7 Value:9
Weight: 12
Date: 02/20/2002 08:36:18 am PST

Replies: 0

Entry: Astronomy:Places To Buy:Orion Telescope & Binocular Center

I purchased a Super EQ Mount with 6" rings. It arrived without a manual. The bolts to hold the rings would not go all the way in so they flop with about 1/4" of play. Call #1: Omitting the manual was an error, the Orion rep said, and he directed me to their website where I could download a PDF copy. I had to call back to talk about the rings. Call #2: The tech rep acknowledged the problem - "others have encountered it." He did not know if it was because they had not drilled the rings deeply enough or had the wrong sized bolts. He recommended getting additional washers, which I had already figured out but had hoped they had replacement bolts. This is the second product from Orion that has arrived with the wrong sized bolts, the first being a 6" Dob. In both cases the tech rep was already aware of the problem and in both cases the suggestion was to go fix it myself. Prices are good and service in terms of delivery time and telephone availability is good. But shipping products that require assembly without manuals is a pretty clear indicator basic quality control is lacking. Continuing to ship the wrong sized parts which make the product unuseable is worse. After 30 years of being an amateur astronomer, I have become convinced that the "amateur" refers not to the people doing the observations but the people selling us the gear.

Overall Rating: 5
Price:8 Service:8
Weight: 10
Date: 02/20/2002 08:22:13 am PST

Replies: 0

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