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Found 19 results

  1. Hi all, So, i've just begun my journey into Astronomy and subsequently have fallen into the rabbit hole of Astrophotography, as stated in the title i currently own a SkyWatcher Skyliner 200P FlexTube SynScan Dobsonian Telescope however as you may all know the dobsonian mount isn't really feasible for long exposure photographs and have started researching EQ Mounts and will most likely go with the Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro GOTO Mount & Tripod however i have seen comments about not being able to convert the FlexTube models of telescopes and was wondering if anyone here has had any success converting a SW flextube telescope to work on a EQ mount using tube rings? Thanks!
  2. Only my second time observing Saturn last night so thought I'd try imaging it as the sky was nice & clear for once! All taken with Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200p + 2x Celestron Barlow + QHY5L-II-C. 100 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets in Astra Image 4.0 Cropped & tweaked in CS6. 23/05/16 UT 23:55:23 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK. Here's my second attempt. ROI was smaller so it gave me a slightly higher magnification. 120 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets in Astra Image 4.0 Upscaled & tweaked in CS6. 23/05/16 UT 23:56:14 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK.
  3. Hello again, After many hours of researching and asking on forums I’ve decided not to go down the imaging road as I’ve come to realise it’s way out of my budget. Now after realising this I’ve narrowed down to three telescopes that I’m considering on getting purely for visual use.. Skywatcher 150p 150pl or the dobsonian 200p. What is the difference between the 150p and the pl? I’m after something that can let me see enough detail on planets that I’ll enjoy and also allows me to get views of deep sky objects. I have been talking to Martin from FLO as well and still can’t decide. I’m hoping you can help me make my decision. I’d also like to know how comefortable these three are as I’ll be most likely doing long sessions for sketching. My budget is £400 max. Thanks for for the help (again).
  4. Thinking about getting a skyliner 200p dobsonian, maybe even the 250p. Looking for advice on these scopes and if they are a good buy at all? Previous scope was only a small 70mm refractor. Looking for good general viewing capabilities, for planetary and deep sky objects. Been out of astronomy for few years, but am getting back into it now. Thanks
  5. Next year is a big birthday and I am considering buying myself the Skyliner 16 inch flextube https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-400p-flextube-dobsonian.html and a trailer to carry it in! If anyone has one, is it a good choice?! I do not want a wholly scaffold tube so the flextube seems an ideal compromise. How often and easy would collimation be for this beast? And what weight + length is the OTA when telescoped down?
  6. Hello, Am very new to this so apologies right from the start. I have recently just bought a skywatcher akyliner dobsonian 200p and i set it up. However the image is very blurry even when i remove all magnification and just look into the primary mirror eveything looks very blurry including the moon or nearby trees etc. I am unsure what the issue could be as i am eager to get started on my stargazing! Could someone please assist me or at the very least point me in the right direction. Kind regards
  7. Hi, I've just ordered a Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO from FLO. It will replace my wonderful 250px which is simply taking up too much room amongst my kids' growing population of Peppa Pig and friends! Will I miss the wider field of view and the light gathering capabilities of the big(ish) dob in my little backyard in averagely light polluted Bedford? I've read good things about the MAK but I'm nervous! Part of my motivation was that I want to be able to share the joy of the night skies with my young kids (6 & 3). The dob is fabulous but it's not that easy for them to see through the eyepiece without knocking it off target. I have an HEQ5 Pro mount (which I've never used). I'm hoping that, along with the MAK, the kids might have a better chance of seeing things and being inspired rather than frustrated. I'll almost certainly sell the 250px asap and free-up the space for 'Peppa Pig land'. I hope I'm not making a grave (and expensive) mistake! Best wishes, Jason
  8. I am looking for a Skywatcher 350p dobsonian, please PM me if you are considering selling yours or have second hands on offer thanks Dom
  9. First Light Report of the Skywatcher Skyliner 350p Flextube (manual) I managed to get the new 350p Flex Tube out last night for the first time since I received it on Saturday (not too long to wait). I saw on the weather last night that there was going to be clear skies from 9 o clock onwards. I knew that this time of year it wasn’t going to get proper “astro” dark until 1am or later and that the moon would be out and full by then and that I needed work in the morning so accepted that the session would have to be conducted under twilight conditions at best and was more of a test run to get a feel for the scope, practice setup etc. I had yet to get the scope to focus on anything as it would not come to focus on anything I can see during the day (due to fences and surrounding houses nothing from my garden is visible further away than 2-300 feet). Set up first. This scope is obviously large and heavy. I had it set up inside the shed so I took the OTA off and put it on the shed floor (carpeted). I then took the panels (side, front and other side) off the turntable base as a single object, so I left the 3 panels stuck together to save time completely breaking it down to 4 pieces. The screws which allow the base to be taken apart and rebuilt are a little small for my hands and the holes in the base which your hands have to work are also a little cramped and prone to skinning your knuckles, so be warned! I then carried out the turntable to the lawn then carried out the panel section. I found it a bit of a pain to try and get the screws into the holes of the turntable as there is nothing to align the panels to in terms of position. You have to wiggle it and sort of hit and hope in a way on the first one and the second one. Once you have 2 (any 2) secured you are good to go on the rest as it’s all held in alignment then. After this was done I fetched the OTA, plonked it on the base and collimated it. Collimation was out by a tiny bit on the primary as expected. Total setup time from opening the shed to collimation was less than 10 minutes, probably closer to 8. Half of this was spent faffing around trying to screw the base part to the turntable part. Hardly difficult or a lengthy process in reality. Once set up the scope literally dominated the space. I have a large garden by modern standards but from being used to seeing my 250px on the lawn (what I thought was at the time quite large) compared to this it put a massive grin on my face. I couldn’t wait to get an eyepiece in it! The only thing in the sky at this point was Saturn as I couldn’t even see the brighter stars. It was very bright still (I’m sure you all feel my pain here). I got Saturn into the finder scope and then saw it in the eyepiece and set about trying to focus it. I could not get the scope to focus with a 1.25” eyepiece in a 35mm extension which is the same measurement as the extension that is provided with the scope. This leads me to believe that out of the box this scope would not find focus with it’s supplied equipment. Very odd. Thankfully I have other scopes and plenty of options. I grabbed a 50mm extension off of another scope and put this in with a 2” to 1.25” converter from my Meade diagonal which adds a further 8-10mm. All my 1.25” eyepieces come to focus in this configuration with about 20mm more back focus to play with, so I’m not hard up against the limit of travel on the focuser. My other 2” eyepieces come to focus fine in the 50mm extension on it’s own with a reasonable amount of back focus still available. Ergonomically the scope is really nice to use. Much higher off the ground at mid elevation (40-60 degrees) than the 250px so you are still seated but more comfortable. At and close to zenith the scope is close to being visible at standing and depending on your height you may well be able to look into the eyepiece directly. I’m 6 foot more or less (possibly slightly over) and at this point the eyepiece is an inch or two lower than my eye line at standing so I can spread my legs wide to lower my eyeline or crane my neck down to meet the eyepiece. Neither works for extended viewing so I raised my adjustable seat (Mey stool from FLO) to maximum elevation and perched on it. The stool provides enough height that I can rest my weight on it at any eyepiece position although the higher the stool gets the less stable it becomes. It was more than sufficient to allow me to rest my weight and view for extended time. The scope itself moves really well with the provided bearings. Smooth in both axes. It feels tail heavy even with my 24mm Meade UWA (which is a good 1kg+) so I’m not going to have to worry about counter balancing heavy eyepieces, quite the opposite in fact which is nice. I actually applied tension on the handle to prevent the tail end dropping rather than the nose. In terms of views it wouldn’t really be fair to post anything here about the views because it wasn’t dark it was twilight. I pointed it at a bright star (Arcturus) and I was surprised how bright it was. You can really see the magnitude difference between stars a lot more with a larger aperture. This was an unexpected wow moment, I was likely “blimey, how bright is that!”. In any scope you can see these bright stars easily apart from their neighbours at the eyepiece but in this scope they are incandescent by comparison! I noticed a lot more colour in the fainter stars than I have become used to. Many more red/ blues / whites and gradients of them all are visible where I’d become more used to seeing an occasional red or blue star and most white. Saturn looked good but seeing was very poor. For some moments it came into view, sharp and my jaw hit the floor. I can’t wait to get a good night of seeing and visit our other solar system objects. I am now getting much more magnification out of my eyepieces due to an increase in focal length from 1200mm to 1650mm. This made me feel like I now need an 8mm and a 10mm to fill the gaps between my 6.7mm, 8.8mm and 11mm. Delos is calling. I probably need a 6mm too in fairness as my only 6mm is a BGO. Considering it’s still twilight at the point I’m viewing I managed to very clearly see M13 and M57, very clearly. I could barely even see the bright star near M13 to find it by eye to give an indication of the sky brightness. I had to rely on averted vision looking at the sky to get and idea where to look and then scanned the area with my finder scope and eventually found it. This scope, I am utterly convinced, will blow me away when I actually look through it in the dark. By this time the moon had started to show itself and it was 11 o clock (still twilight!) and I decided that the moon was going to wash out whatever the fading twilight was leaving behind so I packed up. The pack up… well I took the OTA off and carried it to the shed. I then looked at the base and thought, do I really want to take that apart and rebuild it? I should just try carrying the whole thing. So I bent down, grabbed a handle on each side and lifted the whole thing as one object (using my legs to lift and leaning backwards). The handles are in a good position to keep the load well spread across your back and legs and it made it a really easy lift/carry. It went right through the shed door with an inch or two on each side of clearance. I put it down and loaded the OTA back on it and covered it up. This will be how I set it up from now on which means it will take the same amount of set up time as my 250px, less than a minute each way! Arguably grab and go I’ll follow up with a second light or a full on review of the scope when I’ve had a good few runs on proper dark skies with it but suffice to say the scope does not disappoint in any shape or form and I am as pleased as punch.
  10. I've been asked on a number of occasions, how I managed to do planet astrophotography with a manual Dobsonian telescope. So I have created a tutorial, to help fellow owners create a worthy image. I hope it makes sense and you find it useful. Dob AP Tutorial.pdf
  11. Hello, I'm currently using the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P reflector telescope with the 10mm and 25mm EPs that came with it. I have been viewing for a while now and think its time I upgraded the eyepieces. My budget is around £500. I'd like to be able to get a range of EPs that will provide me with wide view and higher magnification viewing (a shorter length, longer length and a barlow (or perhaps a powermate but I dont know much about these other than they are seemingly better than barlows - perhaps a little over budget)). I enjoy both planetary and DSO viewing though if I had a preference it would be the latter. I wear eyeglasses having astigmatism in both eyes so eye relief is important. I mainly view from rural areas but will sometimes get it out in my rather light polluted back garden, so I am flexible with exit pupil size (the maximum being 31/35mm I reckon). There is quite a selection of vendors and I am hoping you folks can help me narrow down my choices with some first hand experience Cheers, Nathan
  12. Hey folks 2-3 months ago I started my first thread in the beginners section and thanks to all of you guys, I finally decided to get myself a Skyliner 200P! (YAY) But here's the thing... I fear a little that I'll be fed up by the stock EPs and given the fact, that I already have to pay 60€ for the shipping fees AND that FLO gives a good discount on the BST EPs, I decided to jump the rope and immediately order myself other EPs Now my question is, which EPs should I buy? I want to get some beautiful clear filling views of some galaxies and messier objects, but I also want to zoom in the maximum I can get out of the 200P Are there any buzz killers amongst them or are they all equally good? I thought of getting 2-4 EPs and a 2x barlow. Thank you for any advice folks Abe
  13. Part 1. Having purchased a skywatcher 200p dobsonian telescope at the end of last year i feel it was time to start modifying it. This is a thead about all the modifications i have done so far and any that i plan to do. It might help others who have purchased the same scope ( i certainly needed help ) The first thing i noticed was i was struggling sometimes to locate objects in the 9x50 finderscope due to the stars sometimes being dim due to light pollution even using the both eyes method. So the first modifications was to install a rigel quickfinder. I mounted this ontop of the existing 9x50 finderscope. When all three are lined up (scope, finderscope and rigel) it makes putting objects in the scopes field of view alot easier!! (I especially like the illuminated circles ) Here is the first modification. I know its to the scope and not the mount but the rest of the thread will be about the mount.
  14. Skywatcher 14” FlexTube Dobsonian GOTO with extras Skywatcher Skyliner 350P 14" F/4.5 FlexTube GOTO for sale. Comes with : Skywatcher PowerTank 17Ah. Heater strip on the secondary mirror. does NOT come with the Dew Controller. Telrad Finder and Telrad Riser Base. Skywatcher 9x50 Finderscope 25mmSkywatcher Super Plossl eyepiece Skywatcher 2x Barlow lens. Dual-Speed 2" Crayford Focuser with 1.25" adapter Astrozap light shroud for Skywatcher FlexTube Cheshire Collimating Eyepiece Laser Collimating Eyepiece. This a big scope with great views. Can be used as a goto or a push to scope. In excellent condition. The scope can be assembled and disassembled in about 10 minutes or so. £1000 Buyer collects. Nottingham NG7 Area. Thanks
  15. Skywatcher 14” FlexTube Dobsonian GOTO with extras Skywatcher Skyliner 350P 14" F/4.5 FlexTube GOTO for sale. Comes with : Skywatcher PowerTank 17Ah. Heater strip on the secondary mirror. does NOT come with the Dew Controller. Telrad Finder and Telrad Riser Base. Skywatcher 9x50 Finderscope 25mmSkywatcher Super Plossl eyepiece Skywatcher 2x Barlow lens. Dual-Speed 2" Crayford Focuser with 1.25" adapter Astrozap light shroud for Skywatcher FlexTube Cheshire Collimating Eyepiece Laser Collimating Eyepiece. this a big scope with great views. can be used as a goto or a push to scope. in excellent condition. The scope can be assembled and disassembled in about 10 minutes or so. £1250 Buyer collects. Nottingham Area. Thanks EDIT: Decided to put a reason why I am selling this scope. It's been a fabulous scope (some of you folks may have seen it at the last SGL star party). But fitting this and my 11" sct in the car is a massive squeeze (I did have a 9.25 at SGL and just managed it, with the tents and stuff). So I have decided regrettably to sell. More images can be arranged, and by all means come and view it (no obligation).
  16. My first night imaging Saturn. After going through all the AVI's this is my best result from the lot Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200p + 2x Celestron Barlow + QHY5L-IIC. 250 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets & tweaks in Astra Image 4.0 24/05/16 UT 00:30:46 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK.
  17. I have had my 300P dobsonian for nearly a year now, and it has occurred to me that I finally may be qualified enough to write a review about this little beast. I think it would be good to avoid details on how it was delivered or what accessories I have bought for it. Similarly, I will not spend much time discussing how it performs when observing in detail, because that belongs, I believe, somewhere in the observing section. Anyway, as you might have guessed, Skywatcher Skyliner 300P dobsonian telescope is no midget. Simply put – it’s big. Its OTA is big, its dobsonian mount is big, it weighs a lot, it’s pretty hard to handle; pretty much as you might expect. I reckon that having a 12” dobsonian (solid tube) is the reasonable maximum for one person (albeit strong) to handle. With smaller telescopes, like 4.5” or even 8” ones, transportability of such device is not really a primary concern for most people, but when it comes to 12” and larger, moving the thing about can really become an issue. Luckily for me at least, I am – I like to think – a strong person, so I had no problem to devise an ideal transporting procedure when I want to take this baby out for observing. I am fully aware that the primary concern when moving a telescope is its weight – I am afraid that I do not know the exact figures of 300P, but if I would guess, I would say the telescope weighs some 40 kg (sorry about the metric), with distribution being 50/50 mount/OTA, but I cannot be sure. I have described my first impressions of the scope here: Skyliner 300P dimensions: Base diameter: 64 cm Base (mount) height: 78 cm OTA diameter: 35 cm OTA circumference: 114 cm OTA length: 144 cm "Parked" position height: 160cm Total weight: A lot! (cca 40 kg) Optics The heart of this puny thing is a parabolic primary mirror of 305 mm diameter (12”). It is actually pretty funny because the secondary mirror is therefore roughly the same size as the primary in my Firstscope 76 – this thought always makes me giggle. Well I know that there are plenty of you using larger scopes than 12” and those of you who do have my sincerest admiration, but I reckon 12” is the practical limit for me and probably always will be. Anyway, the primary has a focal length of 1500 mm, which means that even though it is an F/5 scope, its OTA is quite big, being some 140cm in length. The secondary mirror is held in place with a four-vane spider assembly, which allows you to adjust its position in all four directions to make it as dead centre as possible. I have also heard that it is best to have the vanes tightened like a string, but I am not sure about advantages of this one. When observing bright objects or stars, you get the traditional diffraction spikes, as expected. You can adjust the secondary in all ways and direction imaginable, but the great thing is that once you do it properly (so that, say, a laser beam from a laser collimator is spot on the primary centre spot), it does not move at all, even when you treat the scope roughly, so you might not need to adjust the secondary for quite some time, which is quite good, given the size of the secondary mirror. The primary mirror, being as heavy as it is, does not hold its collimation that well so tweaking it once in a while (I check it every time I head out) might be good. I should note that the primary mirror cell has pre-prepared holes for one 80x80mm fan in the back, for mirror cooling, which I think is handy, and easily exploitable. One thing that might present a problem is that it’s F/5 scope, meaning that it’s quite demanding on the eyepieces. Me, personally, I am not a perfectionist, so somewhat blurry stars on the edges of the field of view don’t bother me, but I can see how that might be a problem for some people. Anyway, there is not really much you can do about, except for whining about it, or buying an eyepiece that almost matches the price of the entire telescope. Take your pick. The focuser is a classical Crayford 2” focuser, which I think works quite well - you can adjust the tilt of it, and it is really firm and solid, even when you use pile up optical elements on top of one another. I bet there are better focusers for the job, but for me, using the scope purely visually, it works a treat. You can even fit it with a standard Synta motorized focuser, which makes the pin-point precise focusing (on planetary and Lunar observing) even easier. OTA The OTA is made of metal, and pretty much all of the OTA (primary mirror cell, focuser, etc.) are made of metal as well. Only thing made of plastic that I can think of are the two barrels supporting the OTA as it sits on the mount, and they are the weak spots of this scope’s build quality. The plastic parts touch the metal tube, which results in occasional squeak and creak now and then, which can get really annoying. Apart from that, it is all quite pleasantly well made. Of course, when considering the OTA’s shape and size, it all rather resembles a large dustbin; this means that every knock on the OTA gets amplified and it all sounds a bit too hollow, or tubby, which on one hand does not really feel assuring regarding the scopes build quality, but on the other, it is a great tool for scaring away stray wildlife at night - you just knock on the OTA and they are gone. I am given to understand that wildlife is scared by unnatural sounds, so this one fits the bill nicely. The finder scope is located in quite a convenient place, but I can’t really comment on using the default straight-through finder, because I have immediately replaced it with an RA finder (same spec), but I can see that using the default finder may get a bit awkward when you try locating something near the zenith; there is no problem with my RA finder in this area. Furthermore, the size of the OTA leaves you enough room for additional accessory to be mounted on - I myself have mounted a red-dot finder on it, as seen in the pictures, but there will definitely be no issue in trying to fit something like a Telrad or Rigel finder to it, or, indeed, using a small refractor for a finder (but you have to keep an eye on the OTA’s balance. Furthermore, the default matt black paint with which the inside of the OTA is painted, is really not bad, but I have taken the liberty of flocking it already link here: ) - I actually don’t believe it helps a great deal, but it is good to be able to exploit the performance capabilities of the optical system to the limit, and flocking can’t do any bad. Naturally, the OTA itself functions as a “bulletproof” dew shield for the primary, but surprisingly, you can get the secondary dewed up - it happened to me once, it was really unexpected, even despite the heavy dew-fall, and when this happens, all you can do is pack you stuff and call it a night. One thing that really bothers me though is the dust cover for the OTA - when it’s cold outside (and it usually is), it probably shrinks which means that when you pack your things and head home, the cover keeps falling off of the OTA, which is really annoying. Dobsonian Mount The OTA sits on a dobsonian mount - very basic, totally functional. It is made of chipboard material, and when I built it together, I was worried about it swelling up from water, so I glued all parts together, leaving no slit uncovered for water (dew to be precise) to get in it. What was surprising for me was that despite the fact the online description said the mount would come with Teflon pads, it came with roller bearing instead (for azimuth axis). It was quite a pleasant surprise, thought I reckon there was a mistake in the description in the first place. The OTA is cradled on four plastic knobs, two on each side, which works quite well, although sometimes, the resulting movement in the altitude axis stammers a bit - I have seen some DIY modifications, where people replaced the knobs with ball bearings, and I think it might be worthwhile, but for now, I will go with the default setup. There is even a shelf for your eyepiece with holes in them (three for 1.25” and one for 2” eyepieces), which seems nice, but for me, it is in a rather awkward position. Once the warranty is void, I can feel modifications coming, primarily in the mount area. Transporting it The OTA sits on a dobsonian type mount, which is made from chipboard, and there are only two hand screws (functioning as tension screws) that hold the thing together. So when you remove the screws, you can move the OTA and the mount separately. It is good to grab the OTA by the primary mirror cell at the bottom with one hand and support it at least 2/3 of the way up with another – that way, you have quite a good firm grip of the thing. Only thing you really need to be careful about then are doors (for obvious reasons). When I head out observing by car, I usually load the OTA first. Now with our Megane estate, it is not a big deal – I just fold one of the back seats down, and lay the OTA in gently through the boot, and eventually secure it in place with a seat belt. Initially, I was worried about scratching the thing when moving it so I wrapped it in a bed sheet, but it has proven unnecessary, and even dangerous that it might slip out of the sheet. When I transport the thing by a small hatchback (Clio), the things get a bit tricky – I have to fold down the front passenger seat and remove the rear seat to let it fold flat. Then I place the OTA on the front passenger seat and secure it with a seatbelt. I think that you can see the catch at this point – no company when observing; and, it is useless to try and load the OTA transversely, because it would not fit (unless you have a Hummer or something). So I can see that transporting the scope with a small hatchback can indeed be very tricky, but I can manage it (I even think it is easier to load it in a small hatchback anyway, but that is just my point of view). Once the OTA is in, I load the mount in the boot – there is no problem with the estate car, but hatchback struggles, and I have to put it in horizontally - it is like solving the Hedgehog in the Cage puzzle. Operating it For some, the mere dobsonian mount the scope sits on can be a limiting factor, but I think that the very essence of the mount makes the scope amazingly easy to use. Of course that being only Alt-Az type mount operated only manually, you are limited to visual observations only, or occasionally, some webcam planetary astrophotography (but even that is hard enough with high magnifications). However, I as yet have no tendencies to step into the astrophotography area (because I don’t want to bankrupt myself), so for me, the combination of large scope on a dobsonian mount is ideal. You can set up the telescope, despite its size, in less than 3 minutes I’ve checked), even when you are on your own. Of course you stretch your back a bit, but at least it’s quick and very simple. From then on, it is just simple point-and-shoot principle, which I think is fabulous. All you need is to get accustomed to the whole flipped image idea, and anyone can enjoy himself. I once invited a friend over for some observing, who has never seen a telescope of any sort up close - he was able to observe Jupiter and follow it on his own in 10 minutes or so. This just proves it large scope/dobsonian mount is a really foolproof concept, even though it’s purely for visual use. Observing with it As you might have guess, the scope’s primary area of use is DSOs, and I have to confirm that it performs really well. I can finally dive into observing dim and small galaxies and galaxy clusters, and I can finally see some famous objects like the Stephan’s Quintet or the Veil Nebula. As you might expect, objects like Orion nebula look fantastic, and I can even see some nebulosity around the Seven Sisters in Pleiades. The dust bands of the Andromeda Galaxy pop out miraculously, and I am able to resolve individual stars in every globular cluster I have tried so far. Furthermore, the bright image enhances the colour experience, which means that when for example observing open star clusters, their different colours become apparent. Sometimes, I just try and sweep the sky randomly, and there are blobs and fuzzy patches appearing in the eyepiece all the time. The sky never looked so full to me! Planetary nebulae and larger galaxies finally show some internal structures, and with the image being so bright, observing planets with high magnifications delivers really good contrast. There is no point in going into details, but a list of some of my observing reports is below: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/150839-yet-another-unexpected-session/ http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/150457-unexpected-session/ http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/150127-surrounded-by-forrest-19th-may-2012/ http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/139441-at-last-a-full-on-session-with-my-12/ Upsides Good on DSOs Great on DSOs Again great on DSOs Dobsonian mount is easy to use Great value for money Quick and easy to set up Good Crayford focuser Decent stock finder scope (8x50) Bracket for 80x80 fan Mostly comfortable viewing positions Downsides Big and heavy Big Heavy Hard to transport, takes up a lot of room Occasionally squeaking Manual movements only Alt-az only Visual only Hard-to-reach EP shelf Secondary mirror can dew up Dust cover keeps falling off of the OTA
  18. Friday night I used my Skywatcher Skyliner 200p dobsonian for the first time. The seeing wasn’t great , some high clouds. To give an idea of conditions I could just make out the “head” of Delphinius with naked eye. I had set up the Skyliner ( see photo) on some small paving stones although I didn’t try to level it. Carrying the scope out to the garden in two pieces was simple , I have added a couple of luggage straps to help. Moving the scope as an assembly can be done using the two handles to lift the assembly and I managed, during the session ,to move to another area of the lawn to view another section of sky. I have since experimented with a sack trolley which makes moving the full assembly a cinch and I will use this when I go to our local dark sky location I have added a Right Angle Viewfinder and a Telrad to the Scope and using a 30mm EP I firstly made sure that they were all aligned, by choosing a bright star in the centre of the EP and tweaking the two finders to get their agreement. I could see the “box” of Hercules and I have previously seen M13 and M92 with the 130p so I thought that this would be a nice comparison for the 200p. The movement of the scope was smooth in Altitude and in Azimuth. I have added a single piece of milk bottle washer to the centre bolt and this has freed up the rotation. From my experience with the 130p I know where M13 and M92 are . It seems obvious now but it does help that I know what I am looking for and it’s the same viewfinder as on the 130p so I am looking for something with a degree of faintness that is easy to miss. I aimed the scope with the Telrad judging against the top right hand start of Hercules, then located the fuzz of M13 in the viewfinder and then centralised in the 30mm EP. The movement of the 200p was smooth and I was able to locate and centralise M13 very quickly Then I swapped the 30mm for a 12mm Plossl and this is where the dobsonian became a little more difficult, the 200p has a longer focal length than the 130p and more magnification and narrower field of view therefore any twitch can send the object out of the view and sometimes its hard to find it again. I found that I can control it better in Altitude if I” embrace the dobs’”. I am sitting next to the tube eye at the Eye piece if I need small adjustment in Alt I lay my arm along the length of the tube and allow my arm to get heavier. Not a push more a relax. Azimuth nudges at high magnification are more difficult to get with precision. I expect practice will improve matters. M13 was lovely, more detail , bigger ,more stars resolved less fuzzy than the 130p Finding M92 was a bit more difficult, I used the Telrad to guess approximate location and then zig zagged with the viewfinder .The viewfinder has about 5 degrees of field of view so I reckoned a submarine depth charge pattern sweeping a line of 5 degrees to the left then dropping down to the edge of the viewfinder and then a sweep to the right.. it worked and there was M92. Again bigger , brighter and more stars resolved I spent the next hour enjoying the views easily sweeping the scope around the sky, so many stars in such poor seeing conditions ,I am looking forward to darker skies. So in summary I am very happy with the Skywatcher Skyliner 200p Dobsonian. I was up and running in 5 minutes, the EP height is perfect for viewing when seated ,there are more stars on show and greater magnification available. I am going to sort out some fine control for viewing under high magnification but here I am nit picking, it’s a great scope. As a little postscript; As mentioned I have been using the Skywatcher Heritage 130p, also a Dobsonian, for a while, and the experience in using the smaller scope has been very useful as a grounding for this bigger tube. SOme basics that are easy to take for granted ,for example I have some knowledge of the types of eyepieces to use when tracking down a target, some idea of the major constellations, use of sky maps, stellarium and planisphere , some understanding of what to expect when looking for fuzzies etc. I would really recommend that someone new to the hobby ,experiment with the lower cost options it certainly pays dividends when using bigger kit. I wont however be getting rid of the 130p, its portability, great optics and wide field of view gives it a place in my shed.
  19. Hi, Does anyone have any experience converting a Skyliner 200p dobsonian (Non Go To) into a Go To telescope? Can this be done? Any help is appreciated. L
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