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Bigwings

First Light. Orion SkyQuest XT10i Dobsonian

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The boxes arrived a while back and packed in alongside was the cloud curse of the new scope.  Build quality was good and the base was easy to assemble if you used the video instructions on the Orion website. The instructions in the box are not so good.

I was torn between the  10" and the 12" but opted for the 10" mainly for handling reasons. This is a big heavy bit of kit and it is easy to handle if you take the tube off and move it in two bits. Assembled I can just manage to pick it up and waddle the 10 meters from the garage to the deck. In the upright position I just bend my knees and place my hands at the top of the holes in the side panel and lift. In the book they show a different method which I think risks your scope and back....

I like the shape of the base... much nicer than a bland boxy thing.

Collimation was achieved using the supplied collimation cap. Three big locking screws and big adjustment screws made this quite an easy task. Having been used to an 8"SCT collimation was not one of my core skills so I acquired a Baader Lazer collimator , followed the instructions to the letter, adjusted the scope to "LASER" standard and being a cynic checked it with the collimation cap. It Looked horrid so did it all again with the cap and sent the Baader back. The star test on polaris last night was GREAT.... 

First Light.....

The conditions were......100% very thin high cloud with some thicker bits mixed in. A little light pollution from the village street lights .

Vega , almost overhead was visible and so was Ursa Major . Others played hide and seek to the naked eye.

Now to upset some of you....

The 9x50 right angled finderscope is very good and gives nice views. Later I found myself just cruising round using this to explore. It is not however easy to instinctively align to the area you want to look at. I have a knee problem and am not going to get down on the deck to sight up the tube for a rough guide.

I have fitted an Orion double scope bracket and the second slot now boasts a laser finder from Rother Valley Optics. A few tweaks to match the laser to the cross hairs on the finder scope and away we go. 

Point the beam at Mizar (laser on for about a second), Check Mizar is centered on the cross hairs of the finder and focus with my Panaview 26mm and focus........

Mizar splits as it appears dead center in the ep.

Its so easy and so accurate and its my solution to the limits of a 90 degree finder and a bad knee but please guys dont take it to a star party it upsets some of the neighbors and take care where you point it. I live under an airway and inside an airfield Air Traffic Zone so I look and listen before use. 

Moving this beast around Alt and Az is very easy and very controlled...I LIKE IT

 

Its mine alllll mine.jpg

Next on to Polaris to do my star test which was good.

Just about to enjoy some stargazing and the cloud thickened....well its the curse of any new scope. So off to bed with the alarm set for silly o clock to wait for Orion to rise.

More in hope than expectation I rose to find Orion just visible through the cloud.

With naked eye I could just see M42 as a lighter patch in the high thin cloud.  Lets have a look then ... WOW I am impressed. The light grasp of this pulls in a fair view of M42 with the Trapesium clearly visible.

So what did first light with this scope teach me.

1. I LOVE DOBS

2. Its worth getting the scope out even with high cloud..its surprising what you can still see .

3. Laser Collimation is not for me.

This scope is nice to use and gives great views ( I haven't commented on the standard ep's that come packaged, you need something better).

I haven't tried the push-to setup yet but will comment when seeing is conducive to hunting DSO's.

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Nice report on a first light. :) It is surprising what you can still see even when the sky is cruddy really. I was out last night with my Goto mount testing a new crosshair EP to align the mount and scope, and even though the sky was very poor in which only the brighter stars were visible, I still managed to see quite a few things still, and was pleased to find the blue snowball planetary nebula for the first time too in Andromeda, even if a little dimmed with the sky conditions.. 

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Nice report!  For collimation it would be worth getting a Cheshire.  If find it very easy to use and accurate to align the focuser axis to the primary mirror (secondary adjustment).

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Nice report and a great start to what will be many adventures around the sky. I`ve had an Orion Skyquest 10" since 2005 and I`m not likely to part with it. 

The 10" size is a nice compromise between portability and light grasp. I`m sure you will find the push to and object locator device will greatly enhance your enjoyment

of the deep sky, simply because you will be able to find more objects in less time, and it works very well. 

I  noticed the difference once I had invested in some expensive eye pieces, so it was money well spent for sure. 

 

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