Orion SkyQuest XX14g GoTo Dobsonian Review
The Orion SkyQuest XX14g is top of the line in terms of the Orion SkyQuest series. Not only does it have an incredible depth, spying deep into the cosmos, but t’s the perfect telescope if you want to gaze at the sky without constantly playing with knobs. That’s because the XX14g is completely motorized. As soon as you tell the encoder what you want to track, the telescope will do the rest. Unless you’re intent on slewing objects by hand, this motorized dobsonian is the best way to go.
Many experienced night watchers will tell you that you must begin with a non-mechanical telescope so you can learn how to slew the night sky. This may be important to learn, but it can be argued that it’s better for your motivation if you don’t spend all night slewing for individual objects with only a relatively short viewing time. If you’re new to astronomy, you might consider the XX14g if you want to start out with a bang. On your first night you’ll be watching some great objects with ease.
Ultimately, many pros choose a motorized telescope for the purpose of astrophotography. This is a hobby where you take photos of what you’re seeing. If you plan to get into this sport at some point, picking up a motorized 14″ dobsonian now might be the best thing to do rather than purchasing a larger 16″ or 20″ that lacks the encoder. It’s also a thing you might to consider if you’re looking at one of the smaller SkyQuest dobsonians. It really is a great investment to spend a bit more now so you don’t have to make another huge purchase on a mechanized telescope after you buy a camera.
Unlike the Orion SkyQuest XX14i which is able to track 14,000 objects from its database, the Orion SkyQuest XX14g has a huge log of 42,000 celestial objects! That makes this dobsonian a much more extensive instrument, being more in-tune to the lays of the cosmos. Although 14,000 objects is a great deal more than anyone could track in a lifetime, pros who use the XX14g approve of the deeper range the GoTo system offers. It allows a much wider spectrum within a quadrant. There could be only a dozen or so objects from in a specific quadrant using the XX14i, but there will be many scores with the XX14g GoTo system.
The SkyQuest XX14g telescope has great optics and is extremely easy to use. The mirror is center marked to make aligning the optics fast and precise. The optical truss comes equipped with a dual-speed 2 Crayford focuser (with 1.25″ adapter). The 11:1 fine focus knob ensures a quick find. The dobsonian’s open mirror cell design gives excellent cooling of the mirror to ambient temperatures. The cell also has threaded holes so you can mount an optional cooling accelerator fan for even faster equilibration (for more technical information, follow this link).
Included with the SkyQuest XX14g base are optical encoders, drive motors, and pre-installed grears making the telescope’s assembly pretty straight forward. The truss drops into the base on a trunnion and snaps in place with the use of a hand knob. Just point the telescope at two stars and it’s aligned. And when you’re finished for the night, just loosen the knob and pull the truss from the base for easy transport or storage. Handles on the mount’s front and sides make it easy to move around.
This is a great telescope for either the pro, or someone looking to upgrade from a smaller telescope. Many people have gone straight from a small 60mm refractor to the XX14g and have been impressed. It’s a scope that will turn heads when you’re setting it up at camping sites. You’ll probably get a few adults bringing their kids as cover because they want to check out your telescope! Show them Jupiter, or the Crab Nebula or the ice caps on Mars and you might just inspire the next generation of amateur astronomers. More…