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Hi steve,

I have never used a SW 150, but i have used the smaller 130 and i own the 200p,

Both are great scopes, Stunning views of both planetary and DSO.

Only problem i have ever had with the 200p, was the size of it. Its quite a big scope, and isnt light in weight. It does make it a little bit more difficult to image with, as the scope can catch the wind and wobble. with time and persistence, results are great.

If the scope is just for visual, i have no bad remark other than carrying it to and from the mount it can get heavy. they are great scopes.

Just remember if you get the scope to buy a collimator at the same time.


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The difference in size and weight between the 150 and 200 is negligible in my opinion.

The 200P is around 10KG and 4 foot in length. I personaly didn't find it difficult to move or mount when in use, but I appreciate others may not concur.

The 150P is probably around 8KG and 3.5 foot in length? There's a really good comparison image somewhere, I'll try and dig it out ...

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it really does depend on the person. I dont have a problem handling my scope, but i can imagine, younger and older people could have. I dont think a 13yr old will have much trouble, but as i said it is down to the person.

As for collimating, its the process of aligning the mirrors and the eye piece.

Its not a difficult process, but it is important to make sure you get good viewing. A collimator is a piece of equipment that helps you align the mirrors and EP (eyepiece)

I hope that helps :D

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I've got the 150P. I used to have it on the EQ3-2 mount (not goto), and if an old bloke like me can manage to get it in and out of doors, I'm sure it wouldn't pose problems for the average 13-year-old lad.

It's best to remove the OTA and counterweight(s) from the mount while you're carrying it about and preparing to set it up. That makes it easier to handle, and it avoids putting undue strains on the moving parts of the mount.

I've had some grand views of the Moon with my 150P, also Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and a few deep space objects, since I bought it.

A 200P on an EQ5 mount would be significantly heavier. It's not just the weight of the scope, but the mount is heavier and the counterweight is heavier too. I recently bought a CG-5 mount (Celestron equivalent to the EQ5) for my 150P, and I do notice the extra weight! When I upgrade to the 200PDS telescope it'll be heavier still!

I do think you might struggle with a 200P/EQ5 setup, Steve. I may be jumping to wrong conclusions, and you're a big, strong lad. But Wouldn't you curse yourself if, just once, you dropped it?

I'd suggest you stick to the 150. And if you're not already in the scrum for your school rugger team, see if there's a gym nearby where you can do some weight training!

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Hi Steve

I recently got the 150p on an Eq3-2 mount from FLO. The price was very competitive and as far as my (very limited) knowledge about scopes goes, this is an ideal starter scope. The reasons i chose this one over the 200p dob is the EQ3-2 mount. If (like myself) you mainly do visual stuff then its very good. To give an example, i used my scope from within my home (i was too ill to go out) and was looking through a window with reinforced wire runing though the glass AND i live right in the middle of newcastle upon tyne. Yet despite those major problems, i was easly able to see jupiter and its rings ( nearly fell off my seat!)

As for the EQ3-2 mount, it gives more flexability with regards to taking photos of planets etc etc. I recently purchased a Xbox360 webcam for £3 (including delivery) and following the advice on this site, have modded it to take photos/images. Sadly poor weather has stopped me from doing this at the moment, but im sure it ill work fine.

Overall, id give the 150P a very good raiting.

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There is not much difference in size and weight between the Skyliner 150P and 200P dobsonians. The Explorer 150P and 200P are quite different, from the Dobs and from each other. In length especially and the EQ mounts are heavier than the Dob mounts but you can take them all to bits and move the bits separately.

Best to get a telescope from a respected astronomical retailer rather than ebay or something. I have bought most of my kit from FLO. First Light Optics - Reflectors

Edit: I need to work on my typing speed :D

Edited by RikM
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Will you be geting any help from parents when using or setting up the scope, Also a collimator is a tool for aligning the primary and secondary mirrors on a newtonian scope, this is an essential tool and you WILL need to use one on the 150p I have th esampe scope and collimate or at least check collimation regularly, there are tutorial videos on you tube and also on astrobaby's website. It isnt easy to do to start off with but does get easier with practice.

Have you thought about storage for the scope when not in use they can take up a bit of room.

I realy hope that you get all the answers you need, just keep asking questions, and dont worry if you think the question is daft or you dont think you will get a reply. Im 45yr old and I've only had a scope about 14 months and am still on the bottom of a steep learning curve.

It is rewarding when you see sights like saturn and its rings for the first time, which is easy for the 150p and a reasonable eyepiece.

Hope this helps,


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150P = Parabolic mirror

150PL = Parabolic and Longer focal length

150PDS = Parabolic and Dual Speed focuser

None of them are better, it just depends what you want from the scope. If you are more interested in planets then the PL is the one to go for, but it is more wobbly on the EQ3-2 mount.

If you are more interested in widefield views and deep sky objects and want to try taking deep sky pictures with a DSLR through the scope then you want the P or PDS.

I have the P, but if I was buying new today I would get the PDS.

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150P is f5, 150mm diameter apeture and 750mm focal length

150PL is f8, 150mm diameter apeture and 1200mm focal length

150PDS is f5, 150mm diameter apeture and 750mm focal length but with a dual speed focusser.

To be honest, you probably would not need the dual speed focusser and the PL is going to be much harder to fit onto the mount, it will certainly be a bit heavier than the 150P. Also if you want to do photography later on, the faster the scope the better (Lower f number).

If I was in your position, a 150P would be the choice to go for.

This is only my opinion of course because I have a 200P. Oh and start saving after yuo buy your scope ;-) You will want to upgrade things as you grow into the scope. Nothing to do with the scope, but you will want to do more and more with it ;-)

Oops Rik beat me to it lol

Edited by idbvideo
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ok cheers guys but a quick Q

with the manual tracker (which i think it comes with plz let me know)

do you line up the object your looking at, and turn the tracker to keep up with it rather than move the scope?

Oh and will you guys be happy to help guide me when i set the mirrors up or (i think its called callaminating them?)

anyway, thanks agin and plz put any extras that i will need as i new post


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If you polar align the mount (point the RA axis at polaris), then yes, once you find and object in the scope, just turning the RA slow-mo knob will allow you to follow the object. You can also get tracking motors which bolt on and do the turning for you.

Collimating the mirrors is not too hard once you work out which reflections you are supposed to be looking at. Once you get to that point, pop a question on here if it's not clear and we can help you with it.

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I agree with Rik's and Ian's posts (above).

You won't "need" any extras, if you buy the 150P and the EQ3-2 mount together. It'll come with everything you need to start viewing the skies. However, after you've tried the telescope out a few times you might start to "want" some extras! It happens to all of us! Better eyepieces, a polar alignment scope, a collimating eyepiece ...

Oh, and books.

Get "Turn Left at Orion". An absolutely superb book for guiding you to the most spectacular, most exciting, most interesting things to be seen in the sky. In fact I'd probably say it's worth getting this book even before you put in your order for your telescope!

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ok. just looking at the 150PDS is there anywhere/one that sells them slightly cheaper than 400??!

if not irl just buy the 'P'

and one more thing- is it 'safe' to buy a new one online. i dont want to spend hundreds of pounds for a 'fake' telescope if you know what i mean?


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I can't find a 150PDS and EQ3-2 for less than £408

The standard 150P/EQ3-2 kit from FLO is £279 First Light Optics - Skywatcher Explorer 150P EQ3-2 / EQ3 PRO GOTO

If you buy online from a real telescope supplier you should have no need to worry. Take a look in the supplier reviews section before choosing where to place your order. Some have a better reputation for good service than others.

I wouldn't recommend you get a scope from ebay or Amazon unless you know exactly what you are getting.

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steve, i think its great that u r doing so much research before you buy a scope. dual speed focuser would be good but an extra £130+ is a lot of money. i would just get the 150p and later if you want you could upgrade the focuser to dual speed but you probably won't need to. young people seem to have much steadier hands and better eyes than us oldies. the money you save would be better spent buying a collimating tool and you'd still have about £100 in the bank. good luck with your search and let us know how you go.


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Hi Steve

I know this is not the supplier review section, but you will find it really hard to beat First Light Optics. Not only are their prices competitive, but their customer service is second to none.

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Hi Steve,

I dont know if you ever looked through a scope but a lot of newbs end up dissapointed with what they see !

dont expect to see the images on the web that are in colour ... as a rough idea have a look here Field of view Calculator<script src="title2.js"></script> it shows the apprx. size of an object with the scope / eyepeice you choose.

It is however pretty amazing when you find / see Saturn or Jupiter on a night of good seeing, and well worth it ! remember you are seeing the real thing, not a picture someone else has taken !

Bit like watching JessieJ on telly and then seeing her live !

I personally would go for the standard 150P/EQ3-2 kit First Light Optics - Skywatcher Explorer 150P EQ3-2 / EQ3 PRO GOTO as Rik said. I think you would get more use from it as its that bit smaller / lighter so you wouldn't be thinking twice about setting it up, you'd just get in there at a moments notice if the clouds ever brake !

Good luck with your choice

p.s. I have to state that in no way does the JessieJ comment reflect on my musical taste ... i was just aiming the post towards the younger generation! :D

Edited by knobby
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