Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by -philip-

  1. Morning! Well I’m in a field in Cornwall and using my new 127 Mak for what I intended, a grab and go for camping. 

    Last night I had what I think is the best observing of Saturn I’ve ever had. I could even see a band around the planet. Proper “wow” moment and had a crowd around me in no time wanting to have a look! 

    I am curious about what the best Eyepiece would be for this telescope for planetary viewing? 

    I have:

    Super Plossl 25mm & 10mm (the 10mm is the one I had most success with last night)

    williams optics 6mm SPL

    starguider ED 18mm and 8mm 

    is there anything I could add to this collection that would be particularly good with a 127 Mak?

    Ta :)

  2. Mucho gusto!  I love BCN, amazing place. I have been many times, last time was for the Grand Prix.. :)

    The telescope you have is in my opinion one of the best, I had one, I loved it, and I miss it a lot! I hope you have lots of happy hours exploring the sky with it :)

    • Thanks 1

  3. I live a few miles from Exmouth beach, I've been thinking about taking my brand spanky new grab-and-go 127 mak down for a night of observing with a flask of something hot.. Is there anything in particular I should be thinking about when setting up on the beach? It seems like a great place to have views without any trees etc in the way..?

  4. Morning! From a fellow beginner (well a couple of years but all of this is still pretty new to me) my first telescope was a manual dobsonian, I learned my way around the sky with it and the help of a startracker app on my phone. I really enjoyed that dobsonian! I got rid of it and bought a telescope with Goto and if I am honest, I struggled with the Goto, it's one thing more to worry about, with the power pack etc. To this day I really miss my manual dobsonian, so much I am thinking of replacing my 250 Dob which has Goto for a 200p manual Dob..

    I've just bought a 127 mak that has a WiFi AZ mount, and I have found it much easier than the Goto, I would recommend the WiFi version and the SynScan app to anyone as it is just so easy to use and very portable, the viewing of planets through it have been very good.  I guess it also depends on what you want to observe.

    Don't give up, your frustrations will fade when you first see the planets, shadows on the moon etc. Do you live anywhere where perhaps you could meet up with someone else who has a dobsonian who could help you?

    • Like 1

  5. 36 minutes ago, A McEwan said:

    Glad that the Mak is working out for you! I've had a few - they perform very well.

    Why do you wish to add a 4" refractor as well? The views will be pretty similar - unless it's the faster f5 refractor for wide-field views? 

    Personally I miss my 8" f6 Dob too. It's a very good contender for "All-round-scope" of the century.


    I was thinking of the refractor for more DSOs and the wider field, for when not just looking at planets. 

    I am impressed with the Mak, I am not sure what I was expecting, but the detail I saw on Jupiter last night was better than I've ever seen through my 200 or 250 dob. I'm looking forward to taking it away on a few trips and may pop to Exmouth Beach at the weekend if there's clear skies. It really provides a bit of freedom that I've always wanted, but never had with my Dobs. 

    Twists and turns is right! I change my mind and back again multiple times per day about what to do with my current Dob.. That I've really missed my old 200p manual dob a lot is telling me to get it back.. I know the 250 with all the Goto is a cracking telescope, I've just not got on too well with it..


  6. 20 minutes ago, fiestazetecmk2 said:

    I agree not everyone wants (or needs)a goto setup.I enjoy my 200p skyliner. Worth every penny.IMHO. 

    Yes I think I will be selling my big 250 dob with Goto, with the money perhaps buy a 4" frac to go onto the AZ GTi mount and go back to a manual 200p skyliner. Then I've got everything for home or trips away.

    • Like 1

  7. Thank you everyone for your advice, it’s been really useful! 

    Well I picked up the Mak today, it was very easy to set up and the SynScan app on my phone seems to be controlling it brilliantly. Clear skies permitting I’ll be using it this week and weekend. I may well buy the 4” frac that fits on the mount too! 

    Before I decide one way or another about what to do with my 250 dob i’m going to get it out again this week and have a go at understanding it a bit more. If the WiFi control works for me, buying the WiFi dongle that retrofits the dob might be an option. I’ve already asked my mate if I can have the manual 200p dob back anyway! 


    • Like 1

  8. 3 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

    I don't see why you are ordering a 127mm Mak with Wifi when you did not get on with the GoTo on the large Dob.  Likewise the Startravel with Wifi you mention in the post above.

    You mention the C8 SE in passing.  This is (for a GoTo) very quick to set up and also lightweight - you can just carry the whole assembly outside and start aligning it.  Should be lighter that a Dobsonian of the same aperture. It's even quicker to align with Starsense (which increases the budget even more).

    As it happens I have both a 127mm Mak and a Startravel and they are completely different in character - one is good for high power viewing (double stars etc) and the other for widefield - not very good on planets though the bundled barlow seems to improve things a bit.


    I guess I thought the mount is easier to lug around compared to an EQ mount and the WiFi through the phone app seems simpler than Goto. The 8SE is one I’ve always had my eye on as a potential home scope that’s portable for trips away 

  9. 6 minutes ago, Rob Sellent said:

    I prefer using scopes that are quick and easy to set up, cool down reasonably fast, have quick alignment and generally where there's no faffing about. For these reasons, like John and Stu, I prefer more minimalistic solutions. Again, aperture helps but if a scope becomes a drag to setup, takes too long to cool down and align etc, then its probably not going to be used that much and overtime will be negleted. Certainly, aperture doesn't always rule and there are times when less is more.

    Another anecdotal insight is that I have few scopes and to be honest my 12" dob only takes a fraction longer to set up than my 3" frac, for example. There's also a 10" dob at home, until recently a 4" frac (finger's crossed another one is on its way as we speak) and a SW Mak 127. In terms of set up they're all pretty much alike. I carry the newts out in two parts, I carry the fracs and Mak in two parts. In terms of performance the little Mak is the worst. No doubt I have a lemon but in terms of cool down, contrast, crispness and sharpness of planets and double stars, the Mak can not compete with the smaller 3" or 4". In terms of light grasp it cannot compete with the 10" and 12". Even when given really long cool down times and kitted out with the paraphernalia of a heater and yoga mat the Mak is still marked at a disadvantage. 

    With reflectors, I've practiced with an 8", 10", 12" and 14". In terms of general everyday usage, my own sweet spot is either the 10" or 12". The larger OTAs and rocker boxes are only a tad heavier than an 8", have better light grasp, similar cool down period (especially if equipped with a fan) but in no way get to that 'monster', heavy weight stage of the 14". In terms of wide-fields, contrast, crispness and sharpness, I prefer decent refractors over Maks or SCTs. 

    Sure, this is all anecdotal and everyone's millage will differ, but if it were me running a similar dilemma as yourself, I'd sell the 10" GoTo and with those funds generated I'd get a manual dob of similar aperture and replace the Mak with a nice, secondhand 4" frac for those off-the-cuff moments when you just want to 'grab n go'.


    Really useful thank you.  Would you rate this? https://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar/sky-watcher-startravel-102-az-gte.html I had thought of it as an alternative to the Mak. 

    • Like 1

  10. 4 minutes ago, Stu said:

    The old saying that the best scope is the scope you use the most remains true! I've spent long periods of my observing life using 4" refractors (or smaller) because they are so convenient, quick to set up and can still give some wonderful views.

    I've recently bought an 8" f8 Oruon Optics scope, and similar to your f6 find that I am using it alot, because it is so quick to setup and easy to use. I use mine on an EQ Platform quite alot when I'm observing planets and the moon so I have tracking and don't need to nudge very often. I enjoy observing both manually and with Goto, it depends on circumstance and mood. Star hopping under a dark sky is so much easier than at home where I see relatively few stars with the naked eye I find it disorienting. I tend to use Goto at home for those reasons.

    Not sure what your budget is, but I wonder if a 10" Orion Optics dob might be worth looking out for on the used market. They have aluminium tubes and bases and are lighter than the Skywatcher equivalent, certainly alot lighter that the goto dob. That would give you something easier to setup and use and maintain the light grasp. Otherwise just grab another 8" and enjoy it!

    The 127 will give you some excellent views under dark skies. The AZGTi is an excellent mount, very quick to setup and use. If you have an Android phone then you can easily link it to Skysafari and benefit from much easier object finding. Having tracking for high power observing is very useful even if you are not sold on Goto. If you don't get on with it then something like an AZ4 or 5 would be nice and simple to setup and use manually.


    That's really useful thank you, for grab & go it will mostly be viewing planets, FLO did recommend this as an alternative to the Mak actually https://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar/sky-watcher-startravel-102-az-gte.html but I wasn't sure about the planetary views.. 

    • Like 1

  11. 1 minute ago, iPeace said:

    As I suspected - you already know all you need to know to proceed. :icon_biggrin:

    Yes you might be right, I might get the one I sold back, I pretty much gave it away to a friend who hasn't used it once in a year! If I can do that, I will still have the 250p to get used to or sell..

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1

  12. Quote


    I'm curious about the 127 mak I've just bought (although it's not delivered yet so could potentially change my order) as a grab-and-go which needs not much setting up would you recommend it or are there others that I should consider? It's for camping trips, holidays, last minute dash to the beach when there's clear skies.. 


    Also am I right in thinking there's a wifi thingy-me-bob that I can attach to the dob which will let me control it via my phone like the 127?

  13. 43 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

    All observatories are refined "sheds", provided it doesn't leak a shed should be fine to store a telescope. At least you're not thinking of giving up on astronomy and if all else fails, you have the comfort of knowing that a 8" Dob can still be worthwhile.    😀

    Definitely not giving it up, too curious. Not interested in taking photos especially as there's so many on facebook groups and on here, I love looking at things with my own eyes. Saturn still gives me goosebumps. Personally I'm invested in astronomy, I am looking for a course of some kind to get a better understanding (There's a GCSE astronomy course at local college) I just need to get my set up right..  My garden has a couple of trees that obscure the sky, but there is a huge field very close so also want something I can take easily enough, the dob I can't do that easily as need the powerbank, the case with lenses etc so it's very much a home scope, I am just unsure if I should get rid and get something else (I had thought about the 8SE) which is more portable... Although as others have said I might miss the aperture. Decisions decisions.. 

    • Like 2

  14. 41 minutes ago, Mike JW said:

    Aperture is king (unless you stick with doubles, lunar and planets). I use to use a 127 refractor but saw so much less than my 8" scope that I had at the time. The 127 was always a disappointment compared to 8 inches of aperture. My C9.25 saw even more but slightly less good on doubles.

    I would never be without a GOTO system (Dob or equatorial) - I see so much more and with a driven system higher magnifications can be used and hence finer detail detected.

    My scopes are always kept in a shed/garage - ventilate it everyday to prevent any damp.

    A portable set up that I have used is: iOPTRON MiniTower Pro with a C9.25 on it. Set up time was 10 minutes. Use to have all mounted in the shed such that I could lift it straight out. Also use to use my 8" scope on it.


    The 127 I've bought (pick it up on Monday) is really for camping trips, also I have a cottage booked in Pembrokeshire in October so wanted something to take with me, I can't take my Dob and the dogs in the boot.. :)

  15. 51 minutes ago, iPeace said:

    My largest telescope - ever - is an 8" f/6 Newtonian, like your old 200p. And it's enough for me. Like you (it seems), I prefer manual control. I've never used anything with motors - and never will.

    Your post reads like you already know what you should do - find someone with a 200p who wants to trade up.


    In any case, thanks for sharing and good luck!

    I really miss the nudging around to find what I want to see and it also helped me get a grip with knowing where everything is.

    • Like 3

  16. I love the retrofitted handled and wheels, that might work for sure. Although I admit that the only place I can store it is in my dining room without having to go up and down stairs, which isn't very popular at home! Could the telescope safely be stored in a shed outside?

    10 minutes ago, Trikeflyer said:


    2 Add wheelbarrow type arms to the dob base (see pic attached) 

    If it’s the go to, then we need to know more to advise.

    Good luck, but don’t sell the dob, at least not yet, 





  17. Morning!

    I started off with a 200p manual skyliner dob which I loved, I learned a lot with it, we became friends! I am not sure what the motivation was, perhaps my characteristic impatience and wanting to move onto something new, I sold it and bought the 250px skyliner flextube DOB with Goto, and let's just say we don't get along...

    I've struggled with the Goto (see above re impatience), I haven't had the Goto working once, and the weight and awkwardness to lug it around has led to me barely using it, when I used to use my manual 200p DOB much more frequently.

    I've just bought a Skymax 127 AZ-Gti WiFi as a telescope I could take camping, I am debating though whether to sell my Dob now and cut my losses, perhaps just have the 127 as my main scope at home or away, or keep the dob, get over my fear of it and persevere, or sell it and buy something else for home - maybe the old failful manual dob again.

    Anyways I hope that made some kind of sense! Would really welcome your thoughts and in particular if anyone has a 250 dob how they manage with moving it around etc.





    • Like 1

  18. I remember watching the Sky at Night when I was very young, on an old black and white TV when I was supposed to be in bed completely mesmerised by him, although not entirely understanding what he was talking about..

    • Like 1

  19. Hi, it's been a while - so much so I can't remember previous account log in details damn it.

    I live in Devon, I enjoy astronomy although when I think about the distances etc my mind implodes a little.

    I started with a 200p manual DOB which I loved, I replaced it with a 250 DOB with Goto which I don't love so much (I've struggled with Goto and how much of a beast it is to move around), and I've just bought a SkyMax 127 mak AZ-GTi WiFi which should be arriving on Monday. I've used my telescope much less since I bought the 250p Goto, I think I've been a bit scared of it! So the more portable 127 I am hoping to take on camping trips and up into Dartmoor.

    Anyway greetings from Broadclyst. :)

    • Like 1
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.