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Hello!

Does anyone have thoughts or good/bad things to say about Orions 8" Dob? Seems many in the U.K lean towards the Skywatcher. I have an Orion reflector and love their customer support here in North America but I'd like to make the right choice on the next upgrade ( in two weeks or so). Price for the Orion is about $50.00 less than the Skywatcher and I've heard it also comes with better eyepieces, any thoughts would help! Thanks

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Both of the 8" dobs are almost the same! I think they are manufactured by the same company, only the names are different. Orion seems to be a very popular brand in the USA.

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Yes, they are both made by Synta. Here is a post comparing the quality of Synta and GSO scopes: http://www.cloudynig.../fpart/all/vc/1

In my experience, the main problem is the crappy bearings they supply on their smaller scopes. I had the XX12i and that had Teflon/Ebonystar, which was adequate. The XT and smaller XX scopes skip the Ebonystar laminate and the result is bad static friction and nasty motions. Thankfully, a cheap mod (gluing laminate to the underside of the rocker) will fix the motion. It's actually rather frustrating that these companies don't get the bearings right. It's not like good bearings are a secret: the concept of the Dobsonian mount is founded on cheap but silky smooth motions. I can understand why they're cutting corners to hit price targets, but the bearings aren't the thing to skimp on. They could save money elsewhere, such as supplying the scope with only one eyepiece (everyone upgrades the cheapo eyepieces anyway).

So, yes, the scopes are made in the same factory but you should still check out the differences between them because they come with different stuff as standard and perhaps one of the suppliers has better support than the other. Given that they basically cost the same, I suspect the quality is the same. Note, however, that different brands could be made in the same factory and still be of different quality. This is is because they might be fabricated on different lines or have to pass different quality criteria (to justify one being more expensive, which in this case doesn't seem to be the case). A good example is Foxconn, which makes most of the electronics we use.

Edited by umadog
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I have the XT8 Intelliscope, this seems to be the main difference between it and the Skywatcher version. The Intelliscope "push to" system works well and the optics are excellent. :smiley:

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Yes, I've looked through a couple of 8" Orions (one inteli and one plain jane) and the optics were excellent in both. My old XX12 was no slouch either. I suspect given the poor seeing we get, the difference between an good GSO/Synta mirror and a true premium mirror will be hard or impossible to see.

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My first telescope was an Orion XT8 and it was/is a fantastic scope. The Dob base was very smooth and quite sturdy, I never had any problems with it. The telescope tube ended up being mounted on an HEQ5. :)

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Good choice! I also had an Orion XT8 to start with, it was a great scope with good optics. Now I have the Orion 10" intelliscope which has been fantastic. The bearings seem to be ok to me.

There is a quick mod which can be done by cutting a circular washer out of a plastic milk carton and placing it between the two parts of the base bearing.

This helps to give the side to side movement a bit of a help if it is sticky. However it depends on the scope, it might make it too loose, it`s just a matter of experimenting.

A quick internet search will give lots of info on some mods people have done.

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  • 3 months later...

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