A couple of years ago I was in Egypt and got the chance to go out into the desert for a spot of stargazing with a Meade LX200 and was blown away at what you could see (even without the use of a telescope) in an area with no light pollution. As soon as I got back from the holiday I rushed out and bought a Celestron Powerseeker 114 Newtonian. This is a very basic beginner scope but it does have many downsides, mainly caused by the wobbly EQ1 mount. However it did give me the chance see a few great things like the rings on Saturn, Jupiter and some of its larger moons, Mars & Venus (though not too clearly) and some cracking views of our own Moon. Most of all though it gave me a passion for viewing the night sky. Not long after Christmas I decided I would like to upgrade to something a little more stable which would give me great views of planets and the moon, but I was on a tight budget (the wife insisted!) so after a fair bit of searching on here I decided that the Skywatcher Skyliner 150P dobsonian was the scope for me. I was lucky enough to win a new one on ebay a couple of weeks ago (for £155) and the 2 large boxes duly arrived a few days ago. Assembly was very straight forward and the instructions were very easy to follow. The thing that struck me immediately was the quality of the parts appeared to be very high and well designed. After assembling the scope I aligned the finderscope and was pleased at how secure the mounting for this was, hopefully I won’t have to reset it as often as my old scope. On the Celestron it didn’t have a dovetail mount so the finderscope did used to need re-aligning before each session which was a real pain. Next I checked collimation, it was reasonably close but not perfect. Using Astro Babys guide to collimation and a Cheshire Collimator purchased from FLO I had managed to get it all spot on within a few minutes. I’m a shift worker so have to work nightshifts, but luckily my boss is quite flexible and as long as get my work done he’s not too worried about what I get up to. I work in West London, so light pollution is a major issue (especially as I was using the telescope in a well lit carpark!) so my expectations were not too high, but I couldn’t resist using the scope for the first time. So last night I got to work at around 7pm and I noticed that there was a nice ‘toenail’ Moon and what I assumed was Jupiter right next to it. The scope was quickly assembled and I immediately lined it up on the Moon and was immediately impressed with the view, I was using a Celestron Omni 12mm eyepiece and the image appeared lovely and crisp with good crater details which I was pleased with considering the fact that the scope had had no real cool down time before I started using it. I then thought I’d have a look at Jupiter and turned the scope to it, what a joy the dobsonian mount is to use. I was a bit surprised at what I saw in the eyepiece though as instead of the usual planet with a couple of moons orbiting it, I had a white disc with a dark edge on it. It was only after a few seconds that I realised that I was actually lined up on Venus! This was confirmed when I slewed over to the next brightest object in the sky and was presented with a really excellent view of Jupiter, banding clearly visible, along with 4 of the larger moons. I was so impressed with the amount of details I was getting. I was still using the Celestron 12mm eyepiece which I’d used in far darker skies with the Celestron scope, but this looked far more detailed. I then went back to work for a bit and came outside again at around 4am to have a crack at Mars and Saturn. I quickly found Mars but unfortunately it was just a bright light with no real details on it – can anyone recommend a decent filter to use to improve this as I’ve never had much luck viewing Mars? After a few minutes of trying to improve the view on Mars I decided to give up and have a look at Saturn. What a wonderful sight I was presented with! A really crisp image with the rings looking clearer than I’d ever seen them. I could also see what I assume was Titan slightly below Saturn. I decided to have a look at it through my 2x barlow and this made an already impressive sight even better. So all in all I had a really successful first night with the scope. Very pleased to see 4 planets and the moon in one night, and I’m now totally in love with this telescope! It’s so simple to use compared with the EQ mount on the Celestron, and it literally takes seconds to set it up. I can’t wait to try it out again with it properly cooled down and in a less light polluted area once my shifts are over, I’m hoping that I may get to see even more. If you are looking for a great quality telescope but have a sub £200 budget then I thoroughly recommend this scope. It really is a fantastic piece of kit.