Orion XT10

Aperture fever came on quickly.  I bought an Orion XT10 in Feb 2003 and have since used it as a test bed for myriad modifications.  Some of these have proven useful, others, not so much.  Here are some of the modifications that I have found useful.

This list is prioritized in the order that I would do things if I were to start all over again. It does not include things like binoculars, books, charts, red flashlights, eyepatch or magazine subscriptions. It also does not include the most important thing a new telescope owner could do: join a local astronomy club. That single act will teach you more and save you more $$$ than any other thing you could do.

Without further adieux, here’s my list:

  1. Shower Caps
  2. Cheshire/sight tube
  3. 2x Barlow
  4. Focuser Re-Lube
  5. Unit power finder
  6. Milk jug washers
  7. Observing chair
  8. 100x eyepiece (12-14mm for the XT6,8&10)
  9. Laser collimator + barlowed laser target
  10. Flocking
  11. Accessory Tray
  12. Focus lever
  13. Equatorial platform
  14. 25% neutral density filter
  15. Eyepiece Case
  16. Cooling fans
  17. Crayford focuser
  18. Ebony star
  19. UHC and OIII filters
  20. Binoviewers
  21. Magnets for counterweights
  22. Color filters
  23. Altitude hub mod
  24. Short Tube 80mm achromat for finder

If you told me to pick 3 things on that list that I would never give up, those three things would be the observing chair, the eq platform and the binoviewers. Those 3 items have added the most pleasure to my astronomical observing. I would be curious to see what others would list as their 3 indispensable items.

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