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I'm completely new to telescopes and know nothing but I want to learn and I need some advice!
I have a budget of £200 which I can't stretch. I really like both the Skywatcher Heritage 150p and SW Skyliner 150p which I believe has been along longer than the Heritage.
I would like to take the scope out occasionally to dark skies (so the heritage would be easier to transport) but with 2 very young children at home the reality is that I will mostly be using the scope in the back garden.
Obviously both scopes are 150p but come with different accessory spec (specs below).... please could someone advise which would give me the most bang for my buck?!
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x30 & x75
Highest Practical Power (Potential): x300
Diameter of Primary Mirror: 150mm
Telescope Focal Length: 750mm (f/5)
Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm
Parabolic Primary Mirror
3-arm Secondary Mirror Spider Support
Red Dot Finder
Wooden Alt-Azimuth Mount
Collapsible/ Extendable Tube Assembly
Weight Approx 7.5kg
Supplied with Gift Box
33% more Light Gathering than 130mm
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x48 & x120 Highest Practical Power (Potential): x306 Diameter of Primary Mirror: 153mm Telescope Focal Length: 1200mm (f/8) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm Parabolic Primary Mirror 0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports 6x30 Finderscope Direct SLR Camera Connection Wooden Alt-Azimuth Mount with Accessory Tray 73% more Light Gathering than 114mm Many thanks!
Found various threads on here and other forums about flocking dobsonians/newtonians but couldn't find specific images of disassembly of the very popular SkyWatcher Heritage 130p flextube and flocking of the OTA.
So having ordered some DC-Fix black velour sticky back material (can be got from various places including FLO) I thought i'd share some photos of the process from start to finish as it may help someone else in the future...
Images below with notes...
1. Focuser and shield flocking
This was the easy bit. A strip stuck inside the focuser, and just unscrew the shield, draw round it, cut the material and align and smooth down. In the last image above you can already see the significant improvement on reducing reflections comparing the flocked shield to the unflocked tube...
Notice my version of Bob's Knobs on the secondary mirror which are just black steel M4 25mm knurled thumbscrews bought off ebay for about £7 - along with the thumbscrews already on the 130P primary mirror this makes any fine collimation easy and completely tool free!
For full stealth mode I've also painted the edge and rear of the secondary mirror, and any exposed screw heads with blackboard paint to reduce reflections.
2. OTA disassembly and tube before
Note the cutout in the lower primary housing and the top ring. This aligns with the ridge of the tube seam, and means there is only one way to reassemble the telescope tube and mirror and one place for the handful of screws (4 at the bottom, 3 at the top). You'll also need an allen key to remove the 3 bolts for the dovetail mount. Simple!
Now you're ready to Flock 'N' Roll! 👍🏻
3. Flocking the tube
You'll need approx. 50cmx29cm of the material to do the tube in one go, starting along the seam. As others have described just take your time here, peel off about an inch of the backing and get the edge aligned with the tube seam stick down firmly and smooth out any air bubbles.
Then slowly keep peeling more backing (rip and remove if the excess gets in the way) and smooth down as you go, turning the tube and affixing the velour material.
4. Finished flocking and close up during application so you can see contrast/reflection comparison of before and after.
All in all only took around an hour so not a hard job as long as you prepare and concentrate! I ordered one sheet of 45cm x 1m material which was plenty, however if your not as confident you'll get it right first time then order 2m so you have more to spare if you need to start again.
Looks great, so as always I now just need clear skies to go play and see the difference it makes!
I have been away from this forum from possibly July - I never find a lot of time to do anything these days, same to be able to relax reading and interacting Astronomy forums.
I asked here a few ideas about making a solar scope or modifying whatever I had and I was recommended to also see Solar Chat Forums and I did.
Thanks to solarchatforums I have been able to do something decent and here is what I have done so far - very slowly!
1. I purchased a second hand PST and replaced its ITF with Maier one from the US and it finally had a clear image coming through + moved Etalon screw to third position - all the usual thing everybody does [after I researched it]!
2. used a new SCT screw-on short focuser [used once or twice on a LX200 R Classic] and using Teflon tape I screwed the PST Etalon to the focuser and purchased a 2" adaptor to fit on Etalon.
3. then used a Chinese 2" to 1.25 and modified the 2" side socket taking internal ring off and making 3x 120° threaded holes and 3x nylon thumb screws and used that as an adaptor to fit the original PST eyepiece holder - strangely enough at present this adaptor is also used as a tilter ... until I buy a proper camera tilter
4. then fit the above eyepiece holder into the SCT focuser with 2" to 1.252 adaptor in it and screwed the whole Gold PST tube with Etalon in it and made a BETTER PST - see image
5. I also initially tried a 2.2x DSLR camera Lens magnifier in front of PST and it decently works too - so PST will be fine for full solar disk mainly and without the 0.5 angstrom - not forcibly needed, I am probably around 0.7 as it is!
6. more importantly, I decided to make my own 90mm solar scope using the above bits and pieces.
7. with the help of Solar Chat Forums [great guys with a lot of knowledge, some are professional - i.e. they know the optics mathematical details - which helps] I purchased a cheap Bresser AR90/900
8. the ONLY usable thing there ... is the main tube, a nice and thick tube - the rest is ALL plastic!!!
I dismounted all parts and saw tube shorter ... a bit too much ! - I could have saved ~6cm really as I went with original ideas, but forgot I was using a different telescope from my initial thoughts - silly me!
So, I added a 6cm extension - no problems there to reach the 20cm inward needed for the PST Etalon which has ~20cm FL
9. initially I used a Tuna Fish 100g tin to adapt the SCT focuser onto my AR152 and fit Etalon inside the focuser to get near the 20cm needed- lets call it Quark unit - which it is really!
It worked well, so I decided to add a second focuser to tune the Etalon ... getting back to AR90/900 ...
10. I was trying to avoid overspending, I could not afford to spend too much - then I remembered I had a unused AR102SX which in my mind I guessed ... the focuser should over AR90/900 and it did!
It just fits perfectly - then drilled three holes for the holding screws et-voila'
11. I purchased a second hand 75mn Baader D-ERF and fit it INSIDE the AR90 tube at about 20cm inside from the front air-spaced doublet lenses, as there are the usual internal rings soldered in and just sit on it and I have about 70mm aperture - i.e 70mm width from the D-ERF for photons to get through.
At that ~20cm distance from front lenses the beam is still very large - probably about 60-65mm - there is no heat in between - no need for air-escaping holes
12. when I have the time I will make a solar finder scope and fit it on the tube - not that is really needed - I usually use CDC to get there almost over The Sun [having an almost exact spot on the yard!] - then use my eye without eyepiece and look thourgh the PST eyepiece holder for solar shinging and centre the telescope over The Sun.
Well, it works well after tuning Etalon focuser correctly and then focusing/tuning Etalon etc. - the usual.
See some images - still learning imaging/processing and a lot more to learn about Solar ... a lot!
I will probably need to get a Power-mate 2.5x when I can afford it!
1st mod - without the original black box - it works so much better - better focusing and sharper viewing too.
This is the AR90/900 shorten tube with AR102SX focuser and adaptors to test it normally
This is complete with the Quark Unit on the right side
Since this image there have been some changing - do not use the revelation adaptor any more and added a 6cm 2" extension.
Here are some images:
It's been a long time since I've posted in this forum, anyway I've picked up a Skywatcher 200p F/6 dobsonian as a DIY project whilst I continue to work on a new telescope from scratch, (I've started to grind the mirror).
I'll be making improvements to this dobsonian as a project and learning experience, I've already got a temperature controlled fan which has a probe that can measure both mirror and ambient temperature. I'll be measuring the primary mirror with my in progress Foucault/Ronchi/Bath Tester when that's finished in the next couple of weeks, may even refigure it depending on results.
But I'm most excited about this right now. The blackest Black Paint as an alternative (hopefully better alternative) to flocking!
This stuff is seriously black and flat, I backed it on kickstarter and received 3 bottles along with goodies.
I plan on painting the area opposite the focuser, area around the primary mirror, inside the focuser drawtube, potentially the secondary mirror holder and edge of the secondary also.
It's a shame I don't have any flocking to compare it with but it looks incredible.
This video shows just how impressive it is (moreso than my little tester I've done).
I'll try and get some decent before and after pics.
After a lot of thought on how best to mount my heritage 130, trying a photo tripod & not being 100% happy with vibration. I decided to make adapted tripod to accommodate the good dobsonion mount that comes with the scope. I purchased a small Goto tripod from astroboot for little money. Cut a top from a piece of MDF & painted it black. Drilled 3 holes through the top into the Goto mount & bolted it together. Cut down 3 22mm chair leg rubber feet & attached to the top for the dob feet to sit in securely. Placed a level bubble & strengthened the leg spreader with some washers to take up slack. The mount is light weight & really sturdy. All for the cost of around £45.