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Old 14-12-2016, 05:55 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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Cool Request-user reports-Orion SkyScanner,StarSeeker SkyWatcher Herritage,Star Discovery

Why, you may ask, is Ed asking for user reports for these scopes? No, I am not planning to buy one.

My interest lies in the fact the Orion SkScanner 100 and the Skywatcher Herritage 100P are Newtonian designs that have, as far as I can tell, fixed primary mirrors. There is no provision for collimation of the primary mirror. I would consider these a step above the 76 mm Funscope and FirstScopes that also have fixed primary mirrors.

In addition the Orion StarSeeker line goes up to 150 mm and chances are these same OTA are available under another name. I think Skywatcher Star Discovery may be the same OTA, likewise having fixed primary mirrors. If you are interested, the 150P is reviewed in this video. At about 7 minutes he speaks extensively about the fixed primary nature of the OTA for 3 minutes.
https://www.youtube....h?v=mhhs65AWdCk

I have been reading the user reviews on the SkyScanner 100, the least expensive of the Orion group, and they have been quite good, even among people who clearly have experience and have other more expensive scopes. And an internet search for threads about collimation issues of the Orion scopes has not produced any results.

My interest is to see how these perform over time. Some of these have been on the market for more than 5 years but I would consider them of recent design. It could come out of the factory well collimated but do they hold? Or do they degrade in a year and get put in the garage sale box? I can't find any such reports.

I might consider recommending one of these to someone and want to feel confident that they are going to hold up well for 5 years or more.

If you have one of these or another Newtonian with a fixed primary mirror of 100 mm or more, I would love to hear your experience, good or bad.

Please, I am only asking for user reports not a debate on the merit of having collimation provision on a Newtonian. Let the products and the users tell us if this is a viable design.

Last edited by AEAJR; 14-12-2016 at 11:35 PM. Reason: Correction in the title, fixing some typos
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Old 14-12-2016, 07:25 PM
Wavytone
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Conclusion I've had for some time is:

There are low-end "budget" scopes intended for little kids who don't know anything about telescopes, have no idea collimation might be desirable let alone be capable of doing it. They will be happy if they actually manage to point it at something and get any image out of it. In addition there's a high likelihood they'll pull it apart and it won't be quite the same again afterwards.

These same users will also probably give it half a dozen sessions before they lose interest and dad puts it under the house to be quietly forgotten and eventually tossed out.

That's why these scopes are built of of the cheapest possible materials, have no adjustments, and are designed for a user about 1 metre tall to use on a table.

There are also larger versions of same for bigger kids, particularly some 10"-16" dobs that also aren't built to survive more than a dozen nights out and have only the most rudimentary adjustments, and are mechanically very flimsy.

This is nothing new; low end junk telescopes have been around for decades. Not for nothing was Tasco also known as Trashco.

Last edited by Wavytone; 14-12-2016 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 14-12-2016, 11:23 PM
AEAJR (Ed)
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Wavytone

I apologize if my request was not clear. I am looking for owner/user reports. I take it you don't have one of these. As the request was apparently not clear I reworded the title to make it more clear.

However, I will comment that the limited number of user reports I have read, some by people with significant experience and higher end scopes, have been quite good. They don't agree with you.

So I have come to the community to see if I can get additional input from people who own these scopes.

Last edited by AEAJR; 15-12-2016 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 15-12-2016, 08:27 AM
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sil (Steve)
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I DO own both the Orion SkScanner 100 and Celestron Firstscope scopes. The firstscope was a disappointment for visual but its mirrors did respond well when paired with a Baader Hyperion eyepiece. Its let down is the included eyepieces being such poor quality its off-putting to use as supplied.

The Orion SkScanner 100 is a huge improvement in build quality and out of the box usability. Its supplied eyepieces are actually good to use and of course improvement are noticeable with a Baader Hyperion eyepiece. My other scopes go up to a C11, but for enjoyable star hopping I love the Orion, it's still the only scope I've seen Neptune with. I know its small and looks like a toy and obviously this is where most comments I've seen come from. Its an aluminium tube and cooldown and collimation havent been a factor, had mine for maybe 5yrs now. I find it an ideal starter scope for people unsure if they want to get into astronomy instead of the most expensive response other usually give of "just buy an 8" dob". The Orion is highly portable and even has a tripod thread underneath so it can be mounted on a standard camera tripod. Its red dot finder is great but on desktop scopes of this sort of limited practicality. I mainly image rather than do visual so when imaging the orion is usually out to give me something to do. Build quality is great and I've never had a problem with any part of mine. Its a perfect size for anyone of any age to move around, put into a gym bag to travel to a dark site, is simple to use and easy to share they sky with others. Gear snobs can keep their stress about letting strangers near their scope in the dark the worse exploring fingers can do in the dark with the orion is to defocus the eyepiece. There are no concerns over storage room or needing to buy extras for it, out of the box its ready to rock and easy to use, nothing confusing or unpleasant to soil the experience for first timers, its a scope that genuinely encourages second looks.

Neither of these scopes would focus with a Baader Zoom eyepiece and I have converted my Celestron Firstscope into a whitelight filtered solar scope which it does well again using a better eyepiece. Likewise my tests of webcam imaging with both were a failure due to lack of focus (yes i know neither are suited to imaging).

I wouldn't consider the orion 100mm as a budget scope, its every bit as worthy as all the other consumer scopes on the market (which are all considered low-end by pros anyway). It's a serious scope for looking at the sky and doesn't claim to be otherwise.

The Firstscope I would say is an overpriced "budget" scope, with its cardboard tube design I can't see it holding good collimation in humid regions. It gives poor views out of the box until you pair it with a good eyepiece which beginners wouldn't know and their astronomy will likely halt at this point.
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Old 15-12-2016, 08:34 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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Sil,

Thanks for the report. Yours is consistent with so many others I have read.
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Old 18-12-2016, 02:08 PM
AEAJR (Ed)
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Anyone else have one of these scopes who would like to share their experience?
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