View Full Version : Hardin DSH8 VS Orion XT8?

2004-Mar-04, 11:56 PM
I'm new to the astronomy scene, and want to make sure I get a good
scope this time. I recieved a scope from Wal-Mart for Christmas,
but I was unable to see anything through it. I've read MANY good
things about both the Hardin 8 and the Orion 8 and I am unable to
decide which I should purchase, or if I should look at another
scope.. $400 is about all I want to spend, and that's pushing it.
I want to be able to view not only the planets, but different deep
space objects. I really don't need a mechanical pointing scope, as
I have a friend who can read skycharts and show me around a bit, and
I believe it'd be more fun trying to find the object myself, as
opposed to having the scope point right to it. The Orion 8 and the
Hardin are the exact same price.
Here are links to each product's description:
Hardin: http://www.hardinoptical.com/dsh8.html
Orion: http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?
itemID=366&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=9&i ProductID=366&relat

So, what it's going be, eh? The Orion or the Hardin? If you guys
were in my position what would you get? Thanks a lot, hopefully
with your help I'll be able to prevent another disaster similar to
the Wal-Mart problem I had.

2004-Mar-05, 12:00 AM
I'll just fix up one of those links for you:
Orion (http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=366&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCa t=4&iSubCat=9&iProductID=366&relateInfo=3&add=yes# tabLink)
Don't know enough about the scopes to help, but I know enough HTML & BBCode to help with that, at least. :)

2004-Mar-05, 12:02 AM
heh, thanks. :D

2004-Mar-05, 12:21 AM
Try searching the Talking Telescopes group on yahoogroups. They discuss telescopes there all the time, and people have probably recently compared some of the 8 inch dobs.

Basically, they are either made in China or Taiwan. Companies like Orion and Hardin put their labels on them. I forget which is which on the two you are considering. A third option would be Discovery, which is made in the US.

I think you won't go wrong with an 8 inch Dob from any of those companies.

I've looked through the Orion dobs at our local club, and they are nice. Orion has a 30 day money back offer, too.

2004-Mar-07, 04:41 PM
The problem with "Talking Telescopes" is that it is populated by people who feel that since they know the names of the factories in Asia, that therefore they know everything.

OK. A little history. Orion developed the XT series with Factory A. Some claim that "Orion just slaps a label on it" but that is wrong. Orion developed the CorrectTension system and put in all sorts of other features to solve the classic dobsonian problems.

About a year after the XT came to light, it was discovered that Factory A was shopping the design around, against the rules of the agreement. It was decided that production of the XT would be moved to Factory B. When the change was made several more improvements were made to the XT line.

Factory A then started selling the dobs to various other dealers. Problem is, these dealers do not have the infrastructure to support their own telescope line. At first the Factory A scopes looked exactly like the XT, but they eventually agreed to make changes to its "look" so as to avoid the confusion.

Some of the dealers boasted that their dobs were exactly the same as the XT. But I know for a fact that this was not true: The reason was the XT's dob base was constructed in the USA. The 'clone' bases were made at Factory A. The poor quality showed. Big time.

One seller of clone dobs was particularly sleazy. He made minor photoshop work of the Orion XT and used Orion's copy word-for-word. He was warned to cease and desist. Oddly enough the introduction of the clones did not effect the sales much.

Some folks claimed that the Factory A dobs were better optically. Even if this were true (and it is doubtful) it is not liekly to be so now: In late 2003 Factory A moved its production to China and now uses a completely different source for mirrors.

Now, one big problem with both Factory A and B is that they are run by optical experts who know optics but do not knowAstronomy. Hence without guidance from actual astronomers, they tend to have little effective direction in imporvements on the scope. Hence, Orion's working with Factory B has resulted in the development of the IntelliScope line. Factory A's big thing has been to add a plastic roller system between the plates at the bottom of the dob for 'smoother movement'. What it does is cuts the weight to a single foot and makes for jaggedy movement.

Some of these clone dealers are actually nice people. So don't get me wrong. But having seen and worked with almost all the designs invovled, I would definately stay with the Orion.

Or Discovery. They're good too.

2004-Mar-08, 03:45 AM
I have a Hardin DSH8. A fine scope. I just wish I had more time to use it. :x