Orion SkyQuest XT8i Intelliscope Telescope Review
The Orion SkyQuest XT8i is an advance on the Classic XT8 and a price leader when it comes to the motorized XT8g. What makes the XT8i unique from the Classic XT8 is that it has a built-in computer. This computer has a database of more than 14,000 fascinating celestial objects. The motorized XT8g takes it one step further by moving the telescope automatically for you. That makes it more suitable for entrance level astrophotography (which you may decide you want to do if you get really into astronomy).
As an entrance telescope, the XT8i is a great start. having your data already processed will ensure you see great objects on your very first night out. And that will keep your motivation going strong for the next star-gazing night!
*If you haven’t already done so, you might want to check out the review on the base Orion SkyQuest XT8 before reading on about the Intelliscope add-on feature (or check out the complete details here. That page will give you some good information on the telescope itself along with some images of what kinds of night objects you can see, while this page is dedicated more towards the computer and software.
Questions and Answers about the Orion SkyQuest XT6i:
Q.) Is the Orion XT6i motorized?
A.) No, it’s human run! You will alter the scope manually — which is faster, quieter and eats up less batteries than motorized systems.
Q.) If it isn’t motorized, how does the Orion XT6i system find objects?
A.) When an object is selected on the telescope’s computer, two guide arrows (altitude and azimuth) with numbers are shown on the LCD screen. You will then move the telescope in the direction of the arrows until the numbers become 0.0. Then the object will be in your view.
Q.) Is the Computerized Object Locator compatible with other telescopes?
A.) No. The specific dimensions of the Orion SkyQuest XT6i are hard wired into the computer.
Q). Can I use an Orion IntelliScope without the Computerized Object Locator?
A.) Absolutely! Without the Object Locator the IntelliScope Dobsonian is just like a standard Dobsonian –with a bunch of design features not found on other Dobsonians.
Q. How many objects are found within the IntelliScope database?
A.) There are more than 14,000 objects in the database (you will probably never see them all):
• 840 NGC Catalogue objects
• 5,386 IC Catalogue objects
• 110 Messier Catalogue objects
• 837 single, double, multiple, and variable stars
• 99 user-defined objects
• 8 Planets
Q.) How do you set up the Orion IntelliScope system so that it knows where it’s pointing?
A.) First, turn the tube so it’s vertical and press Enter. Then point the telescope to one bright star, then another, pressing Enter each time. Finished! The telescope is now fully oriented and ready to go.
Q.) What encoders does the computer use?
A.) The IntelliScope system operates with two magnetic, 9,216-step high-resolution digital encoders. The azimuth encoder is a part of the telescope, the altitude encoder comes with the Computerized Object Locator.
Q.) How long will the battery last?
A.) The 9-volt battery that comes with the telescope will last between 30 to 50 hours. Using the dim setting for the LCD monitor will help conserve your battery.
Q.) Can the Orion SkyQuest IntelliScope tube be easily removed from the base for transporting?
A.) No problem. Just unthread and remove the large knob on each of the two side panels, then lift the tube from the base (this is explained in the manual).
Q.) Can I take photos through the Orion XT6i?
A.) Astrophotography is not really recommended. The reason being is that there is no automatic tracking device on this telescope. For many objects, you want a longer exposure to let in the very limited amount of light and if the telescope isn’t moving in tune with the object this could be a problem.
Q.) Can the Orion IntelliScope be moved by astronomy software?
A.) It sure can! Check out this recommended software. It makes star gazing a lot easier and it’s fully compatible with the Orion SkyQuest series!
For more details on the Orion SkyQuest XT8i, go here.