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jasonT-5

my amateur review of the Skywatcher 130m eq2...... for that first time buyer :)

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Hello

As the title suggests im just going to give my thoughts and opinions on the Skywatcher 130mm Newtonian Reflector telescope on an EQ2 mount,....this was my first ever scope just last year and seems to be a polular starter scope, i was a complete novice when purchasing so id hope to give a review aimed at anyone just looking to buy as i was when buying this scope, im no expert so apologies to the more experienced amongst you :)

Ok........

I was fascinated in astronomy, looking in books and magazines etc and mostly looking up! Id quickly decided (as you do) to look into a telescope for the first time and as a complete novice i started looking on the internet having no idea what i was really looking for.....

I stumbled onto varies Skywatcher scopes mainly due to the fact that they were nicely priced!, i only had around £150 to spend.

The term "Newtonian reflector" meant nothing to me at the time but i stumbled across a video from on youtube demonstrating the 130mm reflector on an EQ2 mount and it instantly struck my attention!, it seemed a fancy bit of kit and far bigger than the expected small stereotypical refractor type scopes people think of when thinking about telescopes (or at least what i thought)

Not really knowing what i was buying i decided to go ahead and go for it!!....including the R.A motor drive for around £170 ......as i like tech bits :)

Putting the scope together was nice and easy as the instructions were not to bad, the EQ2 mount is already complete and the counter weight shaft and tube rings simply both/screw on. The tripod that comes with the scope is very good in my opinion, its nice and sturdy and can get the scope low enough for chair use or for children, or high enough to make it impossible for me to see through the eyepiece....im 5.8ft.

The tripod simply bolts to the mount and then its simply a case of putting the tube assembly in the tube rings and its ready to set up, balancing the setup is easy when following the instructions.

As a total novice i instantly became confused by the EQ mount.....wondering why i couldn't push the scope where i wanted it in what i classed as a simple way but with a little reading and trial and error i quickly became used to the correct usage of an EQ mount, its worth knowing as a first time buyer that the EQ mounts can be a little bit awkward to work with until you get used to the movements of the mount and setting it up but trust me in saying dont be afraid just read up on it, watch videos and have a go...the EQ mout will quickly become your friend haha and setting up will take minutes , once you do this you realise how useful it is being able to stay on a fast moving targets like the moon and planets simply by turning one of the slow motions..... which brings me onto the slow motions themselves....

The EQ2 comes with a slow motion control for both the R.A and DEC, both of these are smooth and easy to use giving a nice smooth control over the image in the eyepiece even at higher magnifications which is really nice!!, nothing more annoying than using your hands to move a scope only to have the image jump miles of the target and spoiling the view.

The added motor drive is a real bonus, i used it to follow targets such as Jupiter and the moon while taking pictures through the lense with a digital camera held at the eyepiece (before i new digiscoping was a real thing with proper mounts available) which is really nice and easy and very rewarding for a beginner to attempt, i even took smart little pics of the moon using a phone camera through the eyepiece while the motor drive kept me on the moon, kept me occupied for hours!

The only problem with the EQ2 that i found is within a few weeks the worm gears and bearings needed tightening up a little as there had become alot of slack and jumping around in slow motions and movements of the mount, easy to do but im a mechanic so gears and bearings are fine for me.

And finally....the scope itself

The 130mm is a nice aperture for a beginner in my eyes, although the mirror on this scope isnt a parabolic type like the 130P i have found it to give great images using the 10mm and 25mm eyepiece along with the 2x barlow supplied with the scope. Unfortunately most of my viewing with the 130 was at first from my home in Sheffield amongst the light pollution but despite this ive seen really rather sharp images of Jupiter showing clearly two of its cloud belts and of course 4 of the moons :) , Saturn was a truly incredible sight through the 130, the rings showed a nice clear gap and i could see its moon titan also.

The first sight through it was the moon!, as the moon came into the field of view i was first surprised how incredibly bright and crystal clear it was!, i was pleased to find that a simple moon filter improved my views massively and the fine detail was so apparent.

Finding objects using the the red dot finder supplied with the scope is a doddle, once set up you can simply put the red dot on the target (handy for poler aligning) and its on the eyepiece :)

I upgraded the eyepieces as i went along, first a 3.6mm which was nice because it took the scope right upto its max recommended zoom of around 260x which i found to be pretty good on Saturn and in the right seeing conditions even Jupiter.

Next came a 40mm Plossil which is awesome for finding deep sky objects and looking at clusters etc, and i found a good Plossil 6.3mm, 10mm and 12mm really improved my views of the planets!!, i hadn't had the telescope long before it needed collimating despite being handled with care, i made my own collimating eyepiece using an old 1.25" camera film cartridge with a pin hold directly in the middle (i found it to be very accurate indeed!) although the collimating screws on this 130 were poor in my eyes, very awkward to play with unlike the nice precise smooth ones on my 10" Skywatcher dob but i managed it either way :)

So there we have it, for me the the Skywatcher 130mm scope was a great first scope and id recommend it to the beginner who is willing to play around with a slightly more advanced setup to a basic mount etc, it really got me into stargazing, a pleasure to use!!, i still use it regular even though i now have a GOTO Refractor and a 10" Dob reflector...

Apologies for a rather poor review people, i gave it my best but maybe it will help someone as a first time buyer :) ......hopefully ha, and i enjoyed writing it ;)

many thanks

Jason

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I enjoyed reading that Jason, a well balanced review:)

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I'm a newbie.........and that is my scope :) haven't looked through it though........CLOUDY SKIES !!!!! :( great review, I'm looking forward to it

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Hi Jason, a useful review. I agree with you that these do make a good starter scope and after you have upgraded are perfect for grab and go. I have relatives in Sofia and bought one of these, over there, and left it so there’s a scope to use whilst visiting. It’s also been fettled :rolleyes: . I notice in your sig that you also have the Skywatcher 707AZ GOTO, have you tried fitting the 130m to that goto mount. According to the sales blurb, for that mount, you can fit the 130 P ? Just a thought… :smiley: Laurie

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The sales blurb says that the 707AZ has "a lighter-weight version of the SynScan AZ GO-TO". My first scope was the SW SynScan Explorer 130P and the OTA is quite heavy, the lighter-weight version may not cope with it.

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Even though this is an older review, it's the only one that's confirmed the difference between the 130M and the 130P - the parabolic mirror. Just need to decide which I'd rather have, the motors or the mirror..

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Really good review, I've been thinking about buying this scope...

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Hi all,

I bought my son this telescope, the Skywatcher Bk 1309 Eq2

With the standard eyepieces 10mm 25 mm and Barlow Lens.

So far it has been quite disappointing, because the only thing we are able to see is the moon.

Point it at Mars (August 2018 with Mars in opposition) and we just see a tiny small red spot. Saturn: nothing.

I am sure we are missing something. Do we need different eye pieces? Better pointing? Could anybody help us get started?

 

I would hugely appreciate any help and more than willing to give more information if needed. We're both trying to become more enthusiastic.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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Posted (edited)
On 08/08/2018 at 13:17, Mark-H said:

Hi all,

I bought my son this telescope, the Skywatcher Bk 1309 Eq2

With the standard eyepieces 10mm 25 mm and Barlow Lens.

So far it has been quite disappointing, because the only thing we are able to see is the moon.

Point it at Mars (August 2018 with Mars in opposition) and we just see a tiny small red spot. Saturn: nothing.

I am sure we are missing something. Do we need different eye pieces? Better pointing? Could anybody help us get started?

 

I would hugely appreciate any help and more than willing to give more information if needed. We're both trying to become more enthusiastic.

 

Cheers,

Mark

Hi Mark and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Is the finderscope or RDF aligned with the main OTA? - this is where many beginners make the mistake. If "No!" then centre the OTA on a distant object (i.e. TV antenna/aerial/mast, etc. that is about 1-2 miles away), then adjust the thumbscrews on the finder to bring it into the same position until you see the same view in both e/p's, starting with the 25mm and working up to the 10mm and keep tweeking. Depending on where you are located, make sure the target is not close to the horizon as the heat will cause the surround air to boil & bubble. I am in the south UK/GB and is going through a very warm/hot spell at the present with daytime temperatures nearly 40 degrees C. / 104 degrees F.

Edited by Philip R

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