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Orion starblast 4.5 eq vs skyhawk 1145P

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I don't know about the scopes but I wasn't impressed with their 10mm EP, the Skywatcher that came with my scope was better and that's pretty poor. I have heard their scopes are good but so are skywatcher to be fair. It's a personal choice thing I think.

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Orion (USA) use the same optics as Skywatcher in many scopes, including the 4.5" / 114mm newtonians I think. Orion Expanse eyepieces are the same as the Skywatcher UWA's and a noticable improvement over the ones that come as standard with Skywatcher scopes which are a much simpler, cheaper design.

If the two were close in price, I would go with the Orion for that reason.

Edit: I think the Starblast is on an alt-azimuth mount so if you want an equatorial you would need to consider the Skywatcher.

Have you considered the Skywatcher Heritage 130p flextube ?:


It's in the same price bracket, is very compact and portable and has a similar mount to the Starblast 4.5. The extra aperture would be very useful.

Edited by John
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I have been looking at the SW 1145p too. £125 incl. mount, 10 minute astronomy have a guide how to make a dob mount for a few pennies. Nice little portable scope - and it comes in black. Why is it out of stock with FLO though ?????

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The Orion EP I had was a Sirius and it was similar in looks to the skywatcher EP but was not as sharp so I sold it. I haven't had an Orion Expanse EP. The Orion scopes certainly get good reviews but there are a lot more skywatcher scopes over here in the UK so you will hear about more problems. Try and get to see some in the 'flesh' and then decide. At the end of the day it's personal choice.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi All-

I'm also interested in the differences between these two scopes. On paper, the Skyhawk and the Starblast are *nearly* identical. The comparison is a bit complicated, however, because there are 3 versions of the Starblast 4.5, with subtle differences.

Skyhawk: 500m focal length; 25mm & 10mm modified acromat EPs; sometimes comes with a 2x Barlow; EQ1 tripod.

Starblast 4.5 Dobsonian: 450mm focal length; 17mm & 6mm modified acromat EPs; table top dob base.

Starblast 4.5 EQ: 450mm focal length; 15mm & 6mm Orion Expanse (Skywatcher UWA) EPs, EQ1 tripod (99% likely exact same as Skyhawk).

Starblast 4.5 Imaging OTA: 450mm focal length; just the tube, with some other imaging mods

Despite appearing like identical twins, the Skyhawk and Starblast have very different internet review records. The Skyhawk is billed as "Britain's top starter scope," and most reviews for it come from SGL from first time scope buyers. On the other hand, the Starblast seems to be loved by experienced American observers as a great 2nd/3rd/4th telescope, describing how expensive EPs (like TeleVue Naglers) bring out the best in it. See, for example Ed Ting's review (http://www.scopereviews.com/page1ab.html#2) , Uncle Rod's love note (http://uncle-rods.blogspot.de/2009/02/joys-of-simple-things.html), or so many postings on CloudyNights.com.

In all likelihood, the two scopes are made in the same factory, have the same optical performance, and the same amount of sample-to-sample variation. But I can also believe that a re-seller like Orion, who seems to care enough about the scope to swap in different eyepieces, might also have different quality control requirements.

I'd love to find someone who has done a side-to-side comparison, or has pushed the Skyhawk like in Ed TIng's Starblast review. I'll give it a go if I can find either scope over here in Germany (and if these clouds ever go away!)

Hope this helps!



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Hi Amit and all,

I bought the first of Doug's alternatives 18 months ago as a family scope for my 10 year old:

Starblast 4.5 Dobsonian: 450mm focal length; 17mm & 6mm modified acromat EPs; table top dob base.

The tube is well finished and solid. The focusser as you would expect is plasticy as is the red dot finder. The dob is certainly portable and solidly made - it needs to be on a table or a solid support - I use a dustbin in order to raise the eyepiece to a level comfortable for adults. The eyepieces supplied are labelled Explorer 11 and the paperwork describes them as Kellners. Following the American reviews cited by Doug, I got Hyperions. They give much better views - we have seen Saturn's rings, bands on Jupiter and moons and good views of the orion nebula. The moon is spectacular. As a starter scope, I'd recommend it for children or as a portable scope with better eyepieces. Dark skies will reveal some fainter fuzzies. I'm about to buy a better scope, but I'll hang on to the orion for trips to dark sites with the children or simply looking at the moon and planets. The dob got us all learning our night skies.



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