Orion SkyQuest XX16g GoTo Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope Review


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The Orion SkyQuest Dobsonian is huge, heavy, and yet built for ultimate transportation and assembly benefits.

The XX16g is a serious telescope for the most serious of astronomy hobbyists.

Its price tag, aperture, and truss tube design are tell-tale clues as to who would make the best use out of owning one.

While everyone wants to see more with this large primary mirror, strength-challenged hobbyists will have a difficult time managing it.  

But, if you’ve set your sights on new targets, have a dedicated location at home to observe from or the man-power to travel with it, the XX16g could be a good fit for you.

Zooming in…

✔️ Best Feature: 16” aperture

Worst Feature: Still heavy

👌 Ideal For: Celestial Viewing, Stargazing, Lunar & Planetary Observation, DSO Viewing

  • Optical Design: Reflector
  • Aperture: 406 mm (16”)
  • Focal Length: 1800 mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/4.4
  • Eyepieces Included: 28mm, 12.5mm
Man Standing Next To Skyquest Xx16g Telescope
Image – Credit – Telescope.com

Our Verdict: A large aperture Dobsonian is a must-have to complete every telescope collection. To seek out more celestial enlightenment with a scope of this size, you’ll need a few extra things like hauling equipment and a couple of accessories that are not included with the buy. But, if you’re prepared for the expense and you want to add GoTo to the mix, the XX16g is a must-have.

Who is the Orion SkyQuest XX16G GoTo Truss Tube Best Suited to?

The massive 16” GoTo truss tube Dobsonian is not for a beginner or the weak. This is one enormous telescope setup for the most eager astronomers that are looking for spectacular views with the works. No, it’s not for imaging, but it does get you seeing things in detail that were only faint fuzzies in your smaller scope.

This is a Dobsonian worth taking out to dark skies or to punch through light pollution to see more than ever. If you already own or are willing to buy hauling equipment, this could be a convenient, big telescope that would serve you well.

How Does the Orion SkyQuest XX16G GoTo Truss Tube Perform?

YouTube video

The SkyQuest XX16g is a computerized Dobsonian. You can realize your dreams of seeing multiple new galaxies with the large 16” aperture and GoTo mount. You can also see every planet in our solar system and even see Pluto.

For simpler handling, you can bypass the SynScan hand controller and use your smartphone to control the mount and make small adjustments needed to track. Mechanical mount performance is exceptional and well-behaved. You’re paying for high-precision servo motors, closed loop electronics, and of course, the collapsible truss rod design.

The optical quality is phenomenal and takes you on a glorious tour of the night sky to see wonders like you’ve never seen before, and GoTo will automatically home onto new targets to enhance your experience.

If you’re observing near zenith and you’re shorter than 6 feet tall, you’ll want a step stool as the eyepiece will be 72” above the ground.

Features & Benefits

Orion Skyquest Xx16g Goto Truss Tube Telescope
Image Credit – Telescope.com

16” Aperture

With low-expansion glass and high-transmission aluminum coatings on the 16” thin, curved-back parabolic mirror, you have a 30% increase in light-grasp over a 14” and 77% increase in light-grasp over a 12”. Needless to say, there is no comparison when you put a 16” next to a smaller one.

This gigantic Dob provides exceptional performance for bringing to life what was once faint fuzzies. You can see faint color, spiral structures, star separation, and all those intricate details you never thought you could make out.

The optics acclimate quickly to ambient temperature helping to cut down on the cool-down time thanks to the unique design of the parabolic mirror and the open ventilation mirror cell. For such a large reflector, obstruction is within reasonable parameters with only a secondary mirror obstruction by diameter of 22%.

8-pole Truss Tube Collapsible Design

This Dobsonian is what’s known as a truss tube collapsible telescope. There is an upper tube and lower tube that houses the optics. They are separated and held in place via the 8 truss poles that comes in pairs. While it can be assembled alone, it’s easier to assemble with more than one pair of hands on board.

Disassembly for packing up takes approximately 15 minutes. When you’re setting up, the reassembly process can be slightly longer and can take up to 30 minutes to get put together. A good portion of this time is from assembling the all the counterweights to achieve the right balance – yes you will want to remove these before transporting them as there are nine altogether that weigh 2.2 lbs each.

Does the collapsible Dobsonian require collimation more often than a solid tube?

Frequent collimation will likely be needed because of inevitable movement when taking apart and reassembling the truss rods. A collimation cap and knobs are included to help get it done.

GoTo with Closed Loop Electronics

The GoTo is very accurate, and a two-star alignment process is all it takes to get it aligned. The XX16g is motorized with servo motors powered with a separate purchase of a 12V power supply. To support the heavy load of the huge OTA, there are thrust needle bearings in the azimuth axis and ball bearings in the altitude axis.

Because the mount has dual encoders and closed loop electronics, you can unlock the clutches and manually slew whenever you want without ruining the GoTo alignment. Think along the lines of pushing the tube into position most of the way and finish off with GoTo.

Of course, its main benefit is automatic slewing and tracking. Whether you use or don’t use the GoTo, alignment remains accurate. With auto tracking, unguided planetary imaging could be done, and short exposures and stacking could possibly allow for DSO astrophotography.

WiFi-enabled

Man Standing Next To Orion Skyquest Xx16g Telescope
Image Credit – Telescope.com

Since everything seems to have WiFi these days, it makes sense that this high-end Dob with GoTo would be WiFi-enabled.

With this feature, you can download the appropriate app to your smartphone or tablet and control the mount directly from it. You won’t be limited to having to use the cabled hand controller even though it’s backlit and has good size buttons. Options and versatility is the idea.

Limitations

Skyquest Xx16g Goto Tuss Tube Telescope
Image Credit – Telescope.com

Still Heavy

Let’s face the facts – weighing in at approximately 200 lbs fully assembled, this beast of a telescope is still an extremely heavy setup. It’s a 16” Dobsonian telescope, of course it’s heavy!

However, as a collapsible Dob, it’s easier to transport than a 16” solid tube scope because it’s designed to be taken apart without tools and reassembled at the site. Yes, you will need some loading equipment even though the base has built-in carry handles, but if you’re considering a scope this big, this is an expectation you should have already known, right?

Popular Questions

Does the Orion XX16g Come with an Included Cooling Fan?

A cooling fan is not included with the Orion SkyQuest XX16g GoTo telescope. However, a fan cooling system can be installed on the truss tube Dobsonian telescope. It must be purchased separately.

Is the SkyQuest XX16g GoTo Good for Astrophotography?

Although you have GoTo with a large aperture, it is not designed for astrophotography. This is a Dobsonian-style collapsible telescope and has motors on an alt-azimuth mount. It cannot track with the rotational accuracy as that of an equatorial mount.

Long exposure astrophotography without periodic error compensation and rotational axis tracking on an alt-az mount, even a computerized one, is not recommended.

Where is the Orion SkyQuest Telescope Made?

The Orion SkyQuest XX16g Truss Tube Dobsonian is made in China but shipped from their distribution centers in the U.S. and The Netherlands.

Must a Light Shroud be Used with the Truss Tube Telescope?

A light shroud is not a must-have accessory, but it is nice to have to block out excess light. However, it is an essential accessory along with an ISO-12312-2: 2015 solar filter and dust caps for all optics for any type of solar viewing.

Can you see More Through Light Pollution with the Orion SkyQuest GoTo Dobsonian?

The SkyQuest XX16g will certainly improve visibility in any location including light-polluted areas. An LPR (Light Pollution Reduction) filter will help with viewing DSOs especially nebulae by filtering out wavelengths that do not stem from celestial objects.

Conclusion

The XX16g GoTo Dobsonian telescope is a giant beast of an optic, but it’s more than worth it to add it to your fleet of scopes as your high-end visual-only telescope.

You may be intimidated by its sheer size and features, but it wouldn’t be the best of the amateur market if it didn’t intimidate you a little bit. Besides, it will last you a lifetime which is plenty long enough for you to learn and know it inside out.

If you have the man-power to haul and assemble it, the budget to afford it, and the desire to see new and familiar targets from a whole new level of seeing, the SkyQuest XX16g was made for you.

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