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    Horsham, West Sussex, UK

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  1. Now this looks interesting. As you say there is also a 127 version. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-skymax-127-az-gti.html Will look into this a little more. Cheers, Nigel
  2. Thanks - yes I have seen those before and have heard that they are pretty good. But to be honest I’d be happier to spend more money for something more useable. I do like the idea of the motor tracking and the goto. Any idea where I can find the weights of the Skywatcher scopes - their website just says shipping weight 20kg for both the 102 and 127. I imagine that they are both lighter than that - but guess they are pretty similar as most if the weight will be in the mount/tripod. Cheers, Nigel
  3. My general idea is 1) if the moon is particularly nice outside my house, easy enough to bring downstairs and have a look ratherr than thinking it is far to much faff (like with the 150PL) I had 2) to be able to throw into the back of the car and then a single shortish walk at the destination Basically, it is not so much the weight but being able to carry it all myself in one journey and be relatively simple to set up. The thing with the Skywatcher 150PL I had, basically it needed multiple journies, not so much the weight but because of the awkwardness. I’d have to carry the (1) tube, (2) mount head (3) tripod (4) weights and other stuff. Too many journies and too much assembly, disassembly. So I want to be able to carry in one journey, either in one piece or tube in one hand, tripod in the other. Bits and pieces in rucksack. Also could anyone explain what cooldown is? I’m guessing it is letting the scope adjust from being brought from the warm indoors to the cold outdoors so that all the mirrors and mechanics need to contract/settle down/demist so that everything is clear and aligned. Is that correct and how long does that typically take? Cheers, Nigel
  4. Thanks, I posted because I’ve just been out shopping and saw a Celestron 4SE in a high street science shop - not that I would buy it from there, but it prompted me to start thinking. Given my last experience I’d probably try to get a second had one. Anything to choose between the Skywatcher, Celestron and Meade offerings. I’m aware of the limitations of the small Maks but figure if I don’t get something portable then it isn’t going to get used. What about small refractors - are they worth considering? Cheers, Nigel
  5. I would like to do a bit of astronomy, just basic stuff, moon and planets I think. Trouble is sky is hardly visible from my small garden because of tall trees at the back, so I need to travel to view and I really want something portable. I did have a Skywatcher 150PL with EQ-3 mount which I bought on impulse off a friend, but the thing was so big, heavy and cumbersome that I never once used it. So I sold it last year. But still interested, so wondering what is the best compromise for something pretty portable. Cheers, Nigel
  6. This describes my concern very well. I now realise that my EQ3-2 is fairly lightweight in the world of telescope mounts. The OTA isn't heavy just long so awkward to carry carefully - I appreciate that there are more manageable OTAs. It 'lives' in a loft conversion mostly to be out of the way as I don't use it. I noticed that when I took it outside at the weekend to do some photos, just that was a real pain - I had to make 4 trips up and down two flights of stairs (Mount, Weights, OTA, Accessories) and by the end of that I was sweating a good deal. I'll wait until after I have made contact with the Horsham group. It really depends on what sites they use and what is the access. I really don't want to be lugging that stuff multiple trips and any distance. Cheers, Nigel
  7. Horsham, West Sussex, UK I will add it to my signature. There is a Horsham Astronomical Group (HoAG) and I have just registered with their forum. Cheers, Nigel
  8. If I used the EQ3-2 with a small OTA would that mean that I would only need the small weight (or none at all). Not entirely sure what the weights are - I'm guessing a counterbalance but no idea how to use them - how many and what position. Cheers, Nigel
  9. Thanks, yes I keep seeing the 80ED cropping up often in my research. What is so special about it. In the link to FLO they say that they have broken it down to sell as components but being a begiiner I'm not entirely sure what they have removed and what that means. Cheers, Nigel
  10. Hi Eria - I've just been thinking whether I should keep the mount. Is the EQ3-2 mount any good? I wonder whether I should just be looking to buy a different OTA. I guess my one concern is that the mount is hefty enough on its own - but realistically am I going to find anything that is any lighter without being flimsy? Is there a market for OTAs on their own. Cheers, Nigel
  11. Yes, a shame that my garden is not suitable, but moving home is a bit drastic. Certainly if I ever do move, maybe after the kids have moved on and settled then I shall be looking at the garden. Not sure about a 200 Dob - one of my friends in the original group had one and it was huge - not very portable as the tube didn't appear to detach from the base without using tools. Cheers, Nigel
  12. Hi, So here is my story. I have been interested in getting a scope for many years. A few years ago a group of my friends started showing interest and I got encouraged to buy something. I was offered a Skywatcher Explorer 150PL on an EQ3-2 mount by a work colleague - when I saw it I was very impressed so bought it and because I was so caught up in the moment I added a polar scope and a 2-axis motor drive. Very excited for a while, organising some outings with my group of friends but the outings never happened and interest faded. Then cold reality kicked in that I bought a scope that was too big, cumbersome and heavy for me to use. My garden is not suitable - it is small and tall trees at the back and the house makes the view of the sky extremely limited. So it has sat wrapped up in its box unused. I have decided to try and sell it and if successful maybe consider something else. But what should I get? My main requirement is portability - if it isn't easy to take somewhere then I doubt it will get used. I appreciate that portability will limit what you can see but I don't know to what extent. In terms of budget - I would rather spend to get something decent, but at the same time don't want to spend a huge amount - let's say up to £500 for starters. It would be nice to do some photography but again I recognise that portability and astro-photography may be mutually exclusive. Appreciate any suggestions. Cheers, Nigel
  13. Thanks, that's good advice - I will try that - though hard to imagine that someone would pay £50 shipping (I'm guessing at that price) for a £200 scope. Cheers, Nigel
  14. I still have the original boxes with the polystyrene cradles. The cost is more of a concern - two big heavy boxes - insured. This isn't an expensive sale so the post would wipe off a huge part of the proceeds. Also I'm not convinced that many couriers would insure it - they have loads of exclusions these days. Cheers, Nigel
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