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Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145p


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Okay so I ordered a Skyhawk 1145p from telescope shop and it arrived on time which is all very well brilliant fast service from them, but the blumming weather has now cursed me and I've only be able to do a star collimation test. So I thought I'd give a "First impressions " review and then add "First Light" to this later tonight, I hope!! :D

Okay, so it arrived in a box, bigger than I was expecting, which for once I was pleased about (I hate excessive packaging but I guess optics it really is necessary). It was one large box, I fought to open with a pair of old scissors, only to find inside another box I'd have to slide out, I opened this box to find all the components, guess what... individually boxed. :p

After much box opening and package removing and about 10 minutes to put it all together it looked lovely, must say the manual made it more difficult so I did the right thing, and threw it aside and got stuck in! ;)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

MOUNT

I must say, anyone who is concerned about buying this is EQ1 mounted, do not worry. I think its perfectly sturdy enough to do the job for visual observations. I also really like the slow motion controls, think it really makes the set up for me! This being my first equatorial mount scope I feel I will need practise to get used to the movement, abit more practise needed than Az. It has setting circle dials on the mount (As in picture) several members have encouraged me to use these but I understand they will be very limited in accuracy, but I would like to learn how they are utilised anyway for future reference.

OTA

Lovely blue colour, nice simple Skywatcher logo on it, classic looking design, will look nice in the backroom whilst its not in use. The tube itself whilst feel light, only about 2kg, feels remarkably sturdy, includes a piggy-back camera screw ideal for my diggy camera and also a Red Dot Sight which I must say is actually better than a finderscope as my personal preference (Until the battery runs out). Only thing bad thing I probably have to say about the tube design is the bottom of the tube has a soft patch which could easily be knocked and I think its the bit that is backed onto the mirror cell, maybe I've misunderstood a purpose for it I don't know, soften bumps to the OTA?

The centre of the mirror is also marked, which I assume is to aid collimation procedure, The spider vanes are very thin, 0.5mm (Apparently) and are blackened. These vanes themself can be moved slightly and has the normal small screw adjusters for the secondary mirror, which a toolkit came included for bits needed to complete/adjust the assembly.

NOTE: On doing a star collimation test, I found it was collimated out of the box :D

EXTRAS

Okay so came included with the 10mm and 25mm EPs which aren't not bad for extras at all, will be sufficient for me to christened the scope. Whilst I have tried the barlow, I think I will use it very reluctantly, but again its an extra.

I will conclude the review hopefully tonight once I've tested it on a few objects.

Edited by Karlos
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Okay I couldn't edit this, so I hope this isn't breaking rules double posting.

***** FIRST LIGHT *****

After a little bit of trouble getting used to the EQ mount and its movement, I tried the scope on Saturn with looked small but vey nicely crisp after playing with the focusser, and I think I could make out a pin ***** of its largest moon (Insert name of it here) when the weather was much calmer, I found I had alot of glare so I've order some filters to see if this may help, I did experiment with the dust cap with the hole in the centre, but after thinking it through, it does dim the image but surely affects the resolving power of the scope immensely.

I was pleasantly surprised by the 25mm eyepiece its definately my favourite giving nice widefield views at 20x Mag and a generous 2.6 FOV, which seems to collect many many stars in a single view, beautiful! Whilst I've not yet established my limiting magnitude I have no yet targetted any Messiers specifically, suggestions for the brightest most shiniest ones would be appreciated :(

I found that the stars on my first test run were slightly eccentric so I checked the collimation the next day, using my eyes, a film cap with a hole and the centre marked mirror and Astro Babys Collimation guide http://http://www.astro-baby.com/collimation/astro%20babys%20collimation%20guide.htm , which resulted in lovely stars the next evening focussing almost to a perfect pinpoint, I think if I was using a bigger reflector a collimation tool maybe required :)

So to conclude, I would recommend this scope to anyone who is keen to learn the basics first, i.e. Constellations, Star clusters, Star Hopping etc. and has reasonable expectations of a scope from this price range, I don't think you can go wrong :eek:

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  • 2 years later...

Thanks Karlos. I started considering this scope as my first, and then got seduced into thinking a few pounds more could be well worth it, and having read more posts about practicalities, I am swaying back towards smaller is easier and more practical to use regularly. I was considering an Explorer 130P, what do you think?

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I think most would recommend going for the 130P if the money is available.

We have the 1145P, just bought it last week as an xmas present for my son. Managed to use it twice now without the wife realising. The first time the collimation of secondary looked a little out, so wanted to get it right for him. I am totally amazed how good these little scopes are, Jupiter looked amazing. Even against my own 8" newt the view held up well. And M45 with a 30mm Plossl was dead impressive.

So even if you have to settle for the 114P you won't be disappointed.

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