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Old 02-02-2021, 09:36 PM
Azza449 (Aaron)
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Saxon 8” Dobsonian or Bintel 8” Dobsonian?

Hi everyone,

This is my first post so I hope I’ve done everything correctly. I am aware there are some older threads asking the same thing, however I believe some details might have changed, so I thought it was worth making a new one.
I am looking into buying my first telescope and was hoping for some opinions. Originally I was looking at a refractor but am leaning towards a Dobsonian now. I am unsure of what the better option to go with is: Saxon’s 8” deep sky Dobsonian or the Bintel BT202-B 8” Dobsonian (I am looking at both of their websites to compare).
I have contacted Bintel asking them their opinion and they said their product was better than Saxon’s (not sure if that’s just the business talking up their products or if that’s the truth?). I can drive to Saxon’s store in Melbourne, whereas I can’t drive to Bintel, located in NSW, so I would have to pay an extra $50 shipping I believe.
What do you guys think?
P.s sorry for the longer post, just trying to include everything.

-Aaron
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Old 02-02-2021, 10:04 PM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Hi Aaron
Welcome to the forums.
As far as the telescopes are concerned, the Saxon brand is just re-branded Skywatcher and Bintels' is re-branded Guang Shen Optical. Both are good quality telescopes from respected manufacturers, with very nice optics and will give a lifetime of viewing experiences. Can't really say that one is better than the other as there probably isn't a lot of difference in their performance anyway so you can't go wrong with either of them.
Every store wants to make a sale so there is always a degree of sales pitch from whatever store you talk to but Bintel are knowledgeable and helpful as are most, if not all the astro retailers in Oz. Guess it comes down to price ( similar ) and buying convenience.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:52 AM
astro744
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I think you get a bit more with the GSO such as a 30mm Superview eyepiece and also two speed focuser as well as two other Plossl eyepieces. The GSO primary mirror cell has easy collimation knobs too. (Not sure if Saxon has this).

Bintel has knowledgeable staff and will not try and sell you something you won’t be happy with, (pity you cannot visit their store which is difficult now due to Covid anyway as they typically have floor stock on display). Bintel sell both Saxon and GSO so they are not going to talk down something they don’t sell. The GSO is a little cheaper too at Bintel. Perhaps ask the vendor in Melbourne to explain the features of the Saxon and see if they can show it to you if they have floor stock.

I bought a used 10” Skywatcher for the kids which has the black single speed focuser as the Saxon and the only problem I have found is that there is a stop preventing insertion of a 2” collimator as well as use of a Paracorr as it prevented focus. Now my kids don’t use the Paracorr but I found that for a f4.7 telescope to have this flaw was puzzling. I believe the later white focuser had this issue fixed, not sure if the Saxon is the same as the early Skywatcher focuser. In any case the 8” is f6 so collimating is easier by eye and you won’t need a Paracorr (unless you are very picky with coma and won’t know this for many years). You can also get a 1.25” collimator rather than 2”.

That said though you would be happy with either as a first telescope and whichever you choose I hope it brings you much joy observing the stars. I would consider a Telrad reflex sight as a vital accessory which you can ‘stick’ on the tube as the Telrad base has double sided tape. It will greatly assist you in pointing.

Whatever you choose, enjoy!
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:42 AM
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mura_gadi (Steve)
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Hello,

Assuming your referring to the solid tubes here as GSO don't do a collapsible tube. I think for the extra $50 your better off with GSO for three reason as listed by others;
1) Dual speed focuser
2) Bob nobs
3) Right angled finder scope

The dual speed is a nice step up, esp if you manage a night of high magnification seeing, the bob's nobs make collimation at night so so much easier and the right angled finder scope makes life a little easier as well.

All up those 3 options would cost you far far more than $50 in after market upgrades and the first two are really worth it imo. So if the Saxon doesn't have the first two at least, I would recommend the GSO over the Saxon.



Steve
Ps. Bobs nobs are a tool free nut/screw set used to collimate your scope. The other option is a philips head screw and a 2/3mm hex key which can be tedious in the dark. While I find my 8" SW hold collimation fairly well even after several road trips, for best viewing a quick star test at the start of each session is not a bad idea... after the scope has cooled/acclimated of course.

I would much rather have bobs nob than keep searching for my hex keys, I must have about 6+ of them by now and still search for them every time I go to collimate! Which makes me a little lazy at times and doesn't give the best nights viewing possible if I had made the effort to tweek the collimation at the start of the session.

Pps. After you have used the scope for a while, pull apart the focuser, if you find you are leaving two thin wear marks, grab a sanding stone and flatten out the strip on the draw tube.

Last edited by mura_gadi; 03-02-2021 at 06:55 AM. Reason: added Pps
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:38 AM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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I am not going to help I feel, but
I prefer Skywatcher scopes I have had four (an 8 solid tube, and three collapsible (10, 12goto, and the 10 I still have now)
I particularly like the collapsible style, so much easier to carry and store.

Having said that , and in line with Steve's comment, for each of the last three I have done (and recommend):
Replaced the straight through finder scope with a right angled finder
Replaced the collimation screws on the secondary with Bob's Knobs.
Wished to get a two speed focuser.

And as mentioned by astro744, ground out the stop on the focuser to allow the use of a Paracorr and 2" collimator.

So if these come standard on the GSO (Bintel) that would have to enter into calculation.

A seldom mentioned feature of the Skywatcher (and I assume Saxon) is the ability to be able to attach a camera (DSLR) to the focuser without a T mount adapter. (you still need a T Ring (specific to the brand of camera) but not an adaptor. A small thing admittedly.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:06 AM
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Tulloch (Andrew)
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Having owned and used neither of these, I cannot help you decide here. However, I did want to mention that I believe that buying the Goto version of either scope would be worthwhile, if you are able to afford it. Everything is easier with Goto, the objects stay in the EP/camera for longer making focusing and observing easier, finding the objects is much easier, photographing objects (especially the planets) is significantly easier, it's just a better experience all round.

You can buy (Skywatcher) Goto kits for the OTA afterwards, but you will pay extra for this. Just one (more) thing to consider

Last edited by Tulloch; 03-02-2021 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:10 AM
astro744
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Make sure any right angle finder you get is Right Angle Corrected Image (RACI) type otherwise the finder field of view will have the star patterns reversed (not simply upside down but back to front) compared to the view in the main 'scope, unaided naked eye view and printed star chart view.

A Telrad or other red dot finder complements a right angle finder nicely as it gets you in the general area you are searching in quickly.

Last edited by astro744; 03-02-2021 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Added last sentance
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:58 AM
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doug mc
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I have had experience with both scopes. The GSO has a smoother operating mount, and not by a small margin. The right angle view finder will be a lot easier on your neck. The dual speed focuser is better also.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:27 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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I’ve owned and used both Skywatcher Goto Dobs and Bintel GSO solid tube dobs ( 8” , 10” and 12” )
Currently have a Skywatcher 12” Goto dob and love it
In my experience with both brands of dobs -
1/ Optics are very similar ( hard to differentiate )
2/ Construction build is of a slightly higher standard in the Bintel GSO dobs
3/ Focuser and adapters are better quality in the Bintel GSO ( extrusions are manufactured better , more solid material and threads and grub screws are more precise ) I find the grub screws in the Skywatcher dobs really poorly machined. The Bintel dual speed focuser I find smoother and more precise especially with fine focus
4/ External and internal paint finishes are about equal
5/ Bintel don’t make a Goto version in their dobs , Skywatcher do and the AZ Alt mode in Synscan is extremely good , very accurate once aligned
6/ Secondary and Primary Collimation screws are slightly better and easier to use in the Bintel GSO ( I’ve never bothered with bobs knobs ) takes me a few minutes to collimate, no big deal
7/ For the price the Skywatcher Goto dobs are hard to beat , excellent value for a complete package

IMHO
I used an 8” and 10” solid tube dob for a year and found it a bit frustrating towards the end trying to Star hop and find objects, although you do learn the night sky quickly. I did waist a lot of time looking at Star maps etc... so I decided to buy a Goto and never looked back. I can plan a nights observing ahead and just slew to each object and go back to them as well.To do that with a standard push nudge dob takes a lot of time and sometimes you never find the object again
My recommendation would be to save up some more money and buy a Skywatcher 8” Goto dob ( around $1900 ) or
If you intend never to bother with or think you will never want to use a Goto in the future, buy the Bintel 8” solid tube dob ( $699.00 )
PS: just remember you can still use the Skywatcher 8” Goto dob as a manual push nudge dob as well , but then that defeats the purpose of Goto which is an exciting , time saving and fun feature, watching your scope slew around to objects and when it stops , take a look , adjust your focus and see your object right there in the FOV !!

My 2 cents .....
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:03 PM
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mura_gadi (Steve)
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Hello again,

The goto is nice option, even if you don't set up the tracking, being able to move the scope via the controller does help keep the fast moving planets nicely in the center of the FOV. (Field of View)

Not sure where your located, but we had a 8" SW goto on sale in gumtree for $800 just before Christmas. If its your first scope and your not sure of committing, second hand purchase may be worthwhile. But try your local astro club and see if anyone might be willing to help you scope out the scope before buying one second hand.

No-one likes to get a dud...



Steve
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:17 PM
Azza449 (Aaron)
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Thankyou heaps everyone, I really appreciate everyone's input and knowledge!! It is quite a bit of stuff to process haha. Because this is my first scope, I feel that going the cheaper option (Bintel GSO, I hope that is worded correctly haha) may be better to start off with. Just to make sure I enjoy the hobby before investing more. (Having a tracker would be very fun and make life easier though!!)
I think I definitely will talk to the Melbourne Saxon store to try and compare some of the things mentioned already, to see if they match or are lacking in areas.
Ideally going with the Skywatcher (I believe it was?) would be better as I can drive and pick it up. However, it sounds like the main three things mentioned might decide which option is better.
Ps. If I decide to attach a camera to it, is it better to have an adapter provided with the telescope? Or what would I need?
Pps. When I did talk to Bintel, as I believe Astro744 mentioned, they did mention the Bintel dob does come with a wider range of eyepieces (2 plossl's + a superview eyepiece vs 2 plossls through Saxon), also apparently their focuser is better and they have a better base. (some of that stuff has already been mentioned though, but I thought I'd confirm that Bintel also said that)
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:34 PM
astro744
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For the added cost of GOTO one could buy a couple of very nice highly corrected wide field eyepieces that could be used on this and ANY future telescope you are likely to ever own and provide a lifetime of very pleasing views. Your GOTO on the other hand would be limited to this telescope.

GOTO is a nice feature for the tracking although is intended for seeking initially to get your target (provided it is aligned correctly each night). For tracking though you really only need an equatorial mount or platform. GOTO more than doubles the cost of your telescope unless you can find one used for a good price.

I personally prefer to seek and locate objects myself and commit to memory their location which I then test myself the next observing night and the ultimate test is then the next season when the same objects return to the same part of the sky at the same time.

Note there iis an alternative to GOTO and that is PUSH-TO. You can add the latter easily later yourself, all you need is an encoder kit and black box to talk to your iPad or iPhone which needs to have SkySafari app. I use the NEXUS-II unit on one of my Alt-Az mounts and it is great for helping find stars and planets in the day time which is what i’ve used mine for. I tend not to use it at night because I prefer printed star atlases.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:57 PM
Azza449 (Aaron)
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Yeah I think I might try and invest in some good quality eyepieces, as long as I do enjoy the hobby. Rather than payer a little over around double the price to get a GOTO. It might be better to try and start collecting a basic collection of other accessories before investing into expensive mounts. I also agree and I think I would like to try and learn the sky a bit and enjoy the hobby as much as I can (Even though I may get frustrated A LOT haha)

Ps. I realised in my last reply I referred to the Bintel GSO as the cheaper option, that was comparing to a GOTO. The extra $50 or so may be better off the pay, compared to the Saxon dob. But again, I will try and get in contact with Saxon and see if I can find out about these details.
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Old 22-02-2021, 05:59 PM
Azza449 (Aaron)
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Hello everyone, in case anyone is looking back to find out what telescope I decided to go with I thought I’d post this last post. After some research I have come to the decision that I am going to buy the Bintel (GSO) version, rather than the Saxon (skywatcher). This came down to the fact that the Saxon dob does not come with a right angled finderscope. It only comes with a straight finderscope, whereas Bintel have a right angled one included. If I was to purchase one it would cost around another $200 I believe. So I have decided it may be better for me to get the Bintel dob.

Thankyou heaps everyone who has helped me reach this decision with their input and knowledge.
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