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littlebeagle

Skywatcher Skyliner 200P FlexTube GOTO - Advice

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Hi,

I've been thinking about getting a telescope since last Christmas, I decided against it then as I was worried about how much use I'd get out of it, so instead decided to sit on it for a year and order the sky at night magazine see if it was one of those things I would quickly lose interest in. Well 12 months later and I'm still interested so am going to take the plunge.

I'm pretty much settled on the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P FlexTube GOTO. Most of what I've read suggests a dobsonian is a good mount for a beginner and although I have spent a few nights trying to navigate my way around the stars I'm far from confident so a goto would be much better for me to begin with.

So with that scope in mind, I'm wondering what else I'll need to go with it?

I will be getting a power tank rather than relying on batteries, so that's one thing.

Eye pieces are confusing me though, can I buy either 2" or 1.25" barrels for this scope (Dual-Fit 1.25"/2" Crayford Focuser is the part of the spec confusing me)? Has anybody got any recommendations for a couple of eye pieces to go with this scope? What about filters? I fully suspect I'll spend my first winter content to look at the moon and planets. What about a collimator?

Has anyone done photography with this scope? I understand it comes with a slr connection but most of what I read indicates a dobsonian isn't very good for photography.

I seem to have rambled :icon_confused: a bit more than I planned, my main question was about the eyepieces.

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Hi

Does the scope not come with two eyepieces as standard kit?

Normally they do, and I would advise just using the supplied ones for a while as you get used to the scope.

You will require a collimation tool of some description either a Cheshire eyepiece or a laser.

Regards Steve

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Everything made sense to me till the last few lines. That dreaded word Astrophotography.

You will have an incredible scope for observation, but a bummer for photography.

Cheshires seem to be very popular collimators

Edited by sabana

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Hi, great scope btw, 2"ep's are great for widefield, something like a panaview 32mm would be great, then for high powers you use the 1.25ep's maybe a 7mm x-cel lx or one of the bst explorers. You will also need a collimator, I would recommend a Cheshire. Welcome to sgl.

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Thank you for your advice, wasn't sure if I needed extra eye pieces to begin with, going by your advice I don't :icon_confused: .

Will I need a filter to look at the moon to begin with?

Sabana, thank you, I'd read dobsonians weren't very good for photography, I wondered if there would be a different opinion on a motorised version, it isn't a major concern, my main interest is observation.

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Hello littlebeagle,

Your telescope will come with two adaptors which fit into the focuser. One is sized to accept 1.25" eyepieces and the other accepts 2".

I agree with Steve's advice to use the supplied eyepieces to start with. For collimating I use a cheshire rather than a laser, but it's up to you and your budget.

Clear skies!

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I would recommend getting a moon filter. The moon can be very bright when observing and I find it a bit uncomfortable viewing without a moon filter.

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Some people get away without a moon filter, I'm one of them, but others need it. See how it is for you.

For me, the major advantage of a motorised scope is the tracking. I love the tracking on planets. Even if you never us the GoTo, the tracking is wonderful.

Don't buy a "power tank", though. Just get yourself a big deep-cycle battery. Cheaper.

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You need to be careful with those things. If it's designed to start a car then presumably it's designed to optimise cold-cranking amps so may not be deep cycle. What work very well are those gel batteries for things like wheelchairs and alarms. Do a google shopping search for "gel deep cycle." Shoot for about 18 amp hours. That way you can power dew heaters as well as the drives. You will need to buy a charger too, though, so that increases the price. You may need connectors, I don't know how the scope is configured. They're easy to make, though.

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Thank you for your help guys, I've took the plunge and ordered the telescope, can't wait to get it.

Have to confess I went with the skywatcher 7ah power tank, I know it was overpriced but I was worried about connectors and things, I can always change to a more powerful one at a later date, when I'm more confident in what I'm doing.

I've ordered the scope, a cheshire collimator, a moon filter and the power tank.

I will no doubt be back on these forums more often in the future :icon_confused: .

Once again thank you all for your quick response and help.

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Sounds good! Tell us how it works out. It's true that the Powertank is the "plug and play" option.

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Well I ordered it on Sunday from First Light Optics, and got home and a neighbour had taken it in ;) .

It's a substantial weighty bit of kit, I've put the base together, does the telescope just sit on the base without the need to be screwed on or anything (I haven't got the telescope out yet)?

Typically it's cloudy and blowing a gale outside so I won't be using it tonight ;) .

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Everything made sense to me till the last few lines. That dreaded word Astrophotography.

You will have an incredible scope for observation, but a bummer for photography.

Cheshires seem to be very popular collimators

A bummer for photography? ;) They are pretty handy for Planetary imaging. ;)

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-planetary/165327-jupiter-grs-nov-27th-very-good-seeing.html

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Well 3 nights and apart from very brief glimpses of Jupiter and the Moon (with my binoculars) it's been far to cloudy to even bother taking my scope outside.

In my boredom I decided to align the finder scope, there is a hill behind my house and at the top the local pub have put a big ST Georges flag on it, perfect target I felt.

Here's the view through the 10mm eyepiece.

ff8b941a.jpg

Here is a view from my back window without using the scope.

8e3d54a2.jpg

The flag which can't be seen on the camera is at the crest of the hill.

I hope I get a clear night soon.

(Photo was taken with an iPhone, it was actually a better picture than using my digital camera).

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That's a cracking picture of the flag, shows the 10mm ep is not all that bad, don't consider any other accessories until you have used what you have got, you have all the essential stuff, stay with it and enjoy it!

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It impressed me too, won't be getting anything else till I've used it a few times, then will get an eyepiece with better relief as I tend to wear glasses more than contacts.

Hoping I get clear sky tonight so I can see something a bit more impressive than the flag at the top of the hill ;)

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First Light

Went upstairs and looked out my bedroom window noticed I could quite clearly see the moon and Jupiter, ran and looked out the back room and it was still cloudy, so moved the scope into my bedroom for a quick look at both objects, all I can say is wow, struggled to line it up at first but once I did I was amazed.

Then as luck would have it the sky was almost completely clear, so I raced to get set up outside for a better look, spent the best part of an hour looking at the Moon and Jupiter through the two eye pieces supplied, simply stunning!!!!!

After I'd spent over half hour flicking between the Moon and Jupiter I decided to try and use the Synscan, it failed miserably, I suspect I set up wrong but not sure how/where/why, so went back to what I was doing before, and then the clouds started rolling in, where did I go wrong? This is what I did....

1) Location (Huntington, Staffordshire, UK)

002,04'W

52.41 ' N

2) Timezone (GMT)

+00:00

3) Today's Date (03/12/2011)

4) Time - The current time

5) Daylight Saving

No

Then began brightest star alignment, I had already lined it up to Vega as that was the brightest star I could see but the handset wanted me to line up Deneb (which I think I found) I lined it up, I think, to be honest I struggled, would be much easer if I could have changed the star to Vega any idea how I do that? Told it I had done it, then it started slewing to Sirius, which was a problem as it's below the horizon, when it had finished slewing the scope was pointing East but very high in the sky.

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Just realised my first mistake, it's MM/DD/YYYY so I actually set the date as the 12th March 2011 oops.

Have I got the co-ordinates right? If anyone can help with that? Huntington is very close to Cannock UK.

How do I change the brightest star it suggests, Vega would have been much better.

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Answered my own question about the star I'm lining to.

So that just leaves the question about the co-ordinates?

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hi after a whole lot of deliberation and looking at different scopes i am now thinking of getting one of these and wondering how you are now getting on with it have you done any ap withit if so hows that looking ?

also have you looked at orions nebula if so how good does that look are you pleased with the scope i have had an evostar for over a year now woith a celestron 12mm on it but now want a more powerfull scope and totally confused as to what i should get and this one kind of fits the bill

so any help would be good

thanks

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I was just looking for collimation advice on google (the scope has been through 2 house moves since it was last used) and the first result was my old post from 6 years ago. I saw the request for a review now I've had it some time, although the request is old if anyone else searches for this scope they also may stumble here.

I only use it a few times a year at most, my old house had a north facing garden and so wasn't the best and the size of it makes travel to a dark sky site a bit off putting. My new house however has a south facing garden and is darker as well :) . So while my knowledge of the night sky is better than it used to be, I still consider myself a bit of a novice astronomer. I'm still using the eyepieces that came with as well as a barlow I picked up at a later date.

 

  • Setup - Put the scope outside for an hour or two so it cools to ambient temperatures then use the 2 start alignment.
  • Tracking - As long as the base is level and 2 star alignment has been done tracking has been pretty reliable.
  • Of the supplied eyepieces the 25mm is good, the 10mm is average. I really should sort out a replacement for the 10mm it's on my to buy list now I'm getting back.
  • I love the view of orion's nebula through the 25mm eyepiece.
  • As I live in a town I spend most of my time looking at the moon, planets, star clusters and binary stars. The scope copes with it all well. I can get ok views of some of the brighter nebula's and things like the andromeda galaxy.
  • The spotting scope that comes with it isn't great, I quickly upgraded to a red dot finder from first light optics.
  • The power lead supplied with the skywatcher power tank was loose and kept causing the scope to lose power require re-alignment, I replaced it with one from first optics that was longer and frankly much better quality.
  • I have just (today) updated the synscan handset to the latest firmware having been using the one supplied in 2011 until now. It worked perfectly first time from a windows 10 machine.
  • Travelling with the scope, I haven't moved the scope in my new car but the base used to fit in the boot of a mk5 astra sport without putting the back seats down (take the parcel shelf out) and the scope itself safely strapped into the passenger seat with a couple of extra elastic cords. Collimation stayed pretty good on short journeys.
  • The scope is still working well, touch wood I've only had one problem with was the scope slipping, a quick chat with first light optics where I got the scope from and all I had to do was tighten a single nut.

 

Finally I see I asked about astrophotography and it's fair to say you probably won't do all that well on nebula's (I haven't tried) but I've had some success with a modified webcam on the planets. To use a webcam with the flextube don't expand the scope all the way up, from memory leave it down about an inch and you'll be able to get a focus. These were taken some years ago and Saturn was done from a dark sky site. I'm sure with more practice I could get even better results.

 

 

The moon taken afocally with an iphone (I can't remember if it was a 3 or 4)

 

CIMG0810.jpg

 

Jupiter

 

Jupiter_24032012_2050_zpsa8jtqeza.png

 

Saturn - Webcam

 

Saturn5_zpslbzxwadi.png

 

Mars - Webcam

 

Mars_24032012_2054_zpsnyxazr7a.png

 

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littlebeagle, the advice may not be timely for the OP, but I've owned this scope since last December and because I won't wake up early in the morning, and the weather's been somewhat grim anyway, the only planets we've seen is Venus (some really nice views of the occluded planet as you might imagine - she's hardly been hiding lately!) and mars (seems too far away to be anything, but a minor dot of light at the moment).  I am on starters orders for the big two above to come into view in the earlier evening later on this year and should be 'blown away' to get sights similar in detail to those you show above. 

The Saturn and Mars shots were through a webcam.  A beginner here - so that's where you put a webcam into the focuser and take a series of shots in a video stream and software stacks for you - yes?  So that effectively just uses the focal length of the telescope tube itself to get the apparent magnification?  So in the shots you post above are the images of the planets in the pictures cropped, or when you look are the planets visually can you get them a similar relative size in the eyepiece and if so what sort of size (mm) eyepiece would get magnification like that (assuming that it's possible)?  I'm just utterly intrigued to know whether when I finally view these planets if my kit is sufficient to see a similar level of size and detail as in your images and whether I have the eyepieces to do so.  The possible prospect of seeing something akin to your photos is currently quite 'droolworthy' and I need to know if I should lower my expectations.

Edited by JOC

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Hi 

Just thought I'd say dso astrophotography is not completely out of the question with your scope - I have the 250mm version and have managed a few OK shots.

Check out the no-eq dso section in imaging for pointers.

Here's one of mine of m31:

M31 stacked 9m30s -curves123x2.jpg

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