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Mini review on Orion Optics 350 dob.


jakey
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I have always wanted a large DOB and when OO offered the chance for the deluxe version at no extra cost I jumped at it. I sent an online order for the 350 DOB with the free 1/6 wave and hilux upgrade and was told that I would receive delivery in about 2 weeks.

One month later it arrived. The box holding the OTA was split and had two holes in it. I insisted the delivery man stayed until I checked the ota very carefully. Fortunately all appeared okay.For such a large tube I didn't think that it was suitably packaged. With great haste I unwrapped the boxes in the garage and started to set up the DOB mount. It consisted of three bits of metal, they appeared of good quality and were heavy enough to support the ota.But what a nightmare I had putting it together. It took me three hours to piece together the three bits of metal, I dread to think what the neighbours thought of the cursing and swearing lunatic that had broken into my garage. I eventually got it together but the set up seemed to defy the laws of engineering.

I then went to the OTA, for its size it is very light, the paintwork was (for a change) of high quality. The OMC 200 I had previously purchased from OO looked like it had been given its final coat via a paintball gun.

One thing I did notice though the tube has a crease all the way down where the metal has been rolled into a circle. I am just splitting hairs here because the crease is never shown upon any of the adverts.

I then fitted the 50mm finder onto the OTA. This was easy to do and it seems to be of an excellent optical standard.

Two weeks later, after suffering the new scope bad weather curse ,I go it out into the back garden. It took thirty seconds to Set up, very impressive compared to the ten minutes I usually took with my EQ.

I pointed it at Mizar to carry out a star test, put in a 10mm Parks e/p and started to focus. Five minutes later I was still trying to focus. That cursing demented man had now broken into my garden! Two weeks, I waited two weeks to use a scope that would not focus :) I nearly did to the tube what Basil Faulty did to his car when it broke down.

So the following day I contacted OO and explained my issue. I had to return the focuser and all the adapters back to them via first class post, which I had to pay for(slightly annoying.) The following day my focuser was returned with a new silver looking extention tube attached to it. As luck would have it that night was clear so I again set up the DOB. The star test was disappointing it looked like a small half moon. So I got my trusty laser collimator out and set to work. The scope was way out and I mean waaaay out. Sorted this out and again locked onto Mizar.

Bang! There it was, the best star image I had ever seen with my own eyes.

It was perfection. As for the mount a hard kick would settle in the e/p in less that two seconds. I then zoomed onto M57, it was astounding as was M1, M31 and M33. These were without any doubt the best views I have had in thirty years of astronomy.I even pulled my wife out of bed so she could see (and paid the price the following morning.)

To summarize see below.

Pros

Killer optics

Fantastic stable mount, so easy to use

It just looks so good in my garden.

Cons

Building the mount, you will develop tourettes!

Poor alignment

No instructions

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A good report there Jakey.

Sorry to here you had so many troubles setting it up. I would of thought that given Orion Optics reputation, that things would of gone alot easier for you. I guess, it just goes to show :?. At least you got it sorted now :)

Andy

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Thanks mate, OO have a good reputation for their optics, I honestly believe that you cannot beat them. But they, IMHO, do have issues with quality of service and getting things right first time. This is the second scope I have bought off them, I will I am sure be buying a third sometime. Just for the optics.

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sounds very similar to my experiences. damaged box on delivery (way to thin) optics way out (loose secondary to the point of almost comming adrift) crayford needing to be sent back, and to hell and back to get the mount lined up! Great optics :) 250mm OO Dob hilux 1/8pv orion f6.3

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it is unfortunatley a very familiar story when it comes to astro equipment, I do not know any other retail product where the customer puts up with so many issues.

Imagine PC World, tescos or such the like having such a "get on with it attitude" that so many astro suppliers have.

Anyone got a soap box icon that I can use?

It really gets me that there are "astro companies" out there who think that they are doing us a favour, not the other way around.

This is not a dig at any particular Company but I am sure we all know at least one.

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Jakey

Good report. Glad you got the views you wanted in the end.

Regarding the alignment issue my view is that it is more to do with the 'caring' couriers than OO.

My OO scope was fairly well aligned when it arrived but I still pulled it apart and re-collimated it.

Cheers

Ian

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Good mini review Jakey.

Orion Optics Newtonian mirrors are always optically superb. Sometimes other little things let them down a bit (average focusers,tubes that sometimes flex etc) , but hey we can put up with that for the stunning views they give when well collimated.

cheers

Dave

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