Hi all, This is my first time blog and first time on stargazers lounge. Every time I have had a question relating to astronomy my google search always pointed me to this website. It is the best place for reviews of pretty much every scope on the market and it was the place I came to which ultimately led me to buying my first ever scope, a skywatcher skymax 127 synscan. I couldn't afford the high end scopes but I know that it would be pretty redundant buying a cheap scope because a background in Forensics taught me too well that cheap optics in any system are just pointless. I have a need for detail, what else can I say!!! First of all, THANK YOU people of stargazers lounge, you helped me out in choosing my scope and I thought for my first blog I may as well review my scope, which I hope will be usefull for other beginers because we are all in the same position and probably know as little or as much as me when it comes to a first scope. So here is my opinion on my new scope; When the scope arrived I couldnt wait to get it out of the box and set up! Everything was nicely boxed up and labelled. the set-up manual was excellent and easy to understand. I had done many weeks research prior to purchasing my scope to shop around for the best deal and scope for my budget, which was around £400-£450 tops. The mount was easy to set up and is rather robust and sturdy. Unfortunately the scope does not come with a mains adapter but I found a Celestron model for £20 on ebay which is designed with go-to scopes in mind as it supplies enough amps to the scope whilst slewing and has a surge protector in to stop and power surges frying the scope which is a very expensive setback. Other adaptors will fit the scope but often don't have a high enough amp count or protection. The other alternative of course it the battery pack which takes 8 AA batteries, but i think the mains power supply is better in the long run. To say I had never set up a scope before, the AZ mount and dove-tail bracket meant that the scope was up and running in ten minutes tops. I was extremely pleased with the ease of the set-up. Unfortunately, living in the north, I had to wait over a month before I had even remotely good seeing! My first trail run of the scope came on a cold February evening with jupiter overhead. This was my first target. I was a little rushed for time and clouds were drawing in so alignment was out of the question, I literally ran out on my driveway with the scope and an extention cable and manually slewed until Jupiter was in my finder scope, which I aligned earlier during the day first with the 25mm eyepiece and then again with the 10mm super plossl. The scope took no real time at all to cool down to reasonable viewing conditions and Jupiter was a fantastic sight to christen my scope with. I swithed to the 10mm eyepiece that came with the scope and got an okay view but I knew this would most likely be the first eyepiece to upgrade. A whole month later I tried my first alignment and made the rooky mistake of not leveling the tripod so the alignment was a little out every time. Once I had sorted this however, after a few trail and errors and minor height adjustments I got a satisfactory alignment and found every target I searched for was withing the FOV or at least near the centre of my crosshairs in the finder scope. Once again I was very pleased. I have had the stellarium software for years and purchased a 232 serial port converter that fits the cable supplied with the scope and after a bit of fiddling managed to utilise the telescope control function. This is by far the coolest feature of the scope. Assuming you have aligned the scope correctly, simply plug in, connect the scope and their are over 100,000 objects on the stellarium database that are just a click away. The handset control is fairly straight forward to use and a manual is supplied to help get to grips with the different features. The identify function and full catalogues are useful, but obviously if you are using stellarium, the FOV is displayed virtually on screen and in most instances you will know what you are looking at because you have the info on your laptop screen. For any folk out there looking to get into astronomy with a similar budget, I would highly reccomend this scope. I must say it is a great scope for planetary viewing and observing the lunar surface. For the money it is a great scope to start with and is also good enough to keep as a planetary scope if you are thinking of upgrading at a later date. If i were to buy a more expensive scope for deep sky observatoins, I would still hold onto this scope because it also has the benefit of being light weight and compact, which is great if you live further north when you may only get an hour of viewing before the clouds roll in. There is literally no messing. carry out, plug in, get viewing. Thanks to anyone who has took the time to read this post, It was a first attempt at a blog and I aim to refine them as I get used to the format, but I look forward to being part of the online community and sharing the enjoyment of star gazing. THANKS!!!! Liam :grin:
Hi all! New to stargazers lounge, any cool stuff to look out for tonight?