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Orion XT6i - Intelliscope

Posted by Anir Bhat   08/17/2014 05:45AM

Orion XT6i - Intelliscope
This is little late to submit a review for a scope that has been discontinued. However Orion still sells IntelliScopes in 8" and higher versions.

I was getting little lazy hauling around my 55 lb Zhumell Z8 Dob and was spending a lot of time searching for DSOs from my light polluted backyard. One fine day I saw an ad on Astromart for used XT6i with flocked tube and Reverse JMI focuser. I picked the scope and then waited for a month for the clear skies.

First Impression:

XT6i is relatively light at 35 lb. I carry it in and out in one piece. The collimation is extremely easy being f/8. Additionally I attached a home made cooling fan using rubberbands to speed up cooling. See photos attached. The altitude movement friction is controllable using the knobs. The base is quite sturdy and robust for a tube that is so light.

IntelliScope Alignment :

This is where I had read some scary reviews on accuracy of the system. I was pleasantly surprised. Important thing is that Dob must be resting on a solid surface. My wooden deck was good enough.

For alignment the key is pick up two stars relatively close to each other, not more than 100 deg apart. In summer I picked up Deneb and Altair or Deneb and Polaris. Also plan ahead of time which stars you plan to pick up and do not spend too much time between the two alignments. With this method I was consistently getting war factor of 0.2. Almost all objects I located using the Intelliscope system were in my FOV of 15 deg wide angle eye piece (80X mag). With Intelliscope I saw so many double stars, Globulars and open clusters that I could never star hop to. I was surprised by how many DSOs I saw in a short period of time.


With 6" aperture the views are good. Not as bright as my Z8. But they are good enough to see some detail. On the other hands the views of planets are sharp. The maximum magnification of 160X worked the best. More than that the the images seem to get washed out.

I don't have any cons at this point. I wish this focuser accepted 2" eye pieces.


In general a great telescope for beginners living in light polluted cities. It is not a grab and go but it is a lighter package. The intelliscope allows to you see lot more in a short period of time. I am really surprised that Orion would discontinue a scope that this good. I would definitely recommend the Intelliscope system especially for solid tube Dobs.