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Skywatcher Explorer 130p


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So since I've bought this scope in late feb I've only been able to use a handful of times and I've come away with mixed reactions. When browsing I start off with the moon which is absolutely brilliant, amazing quality! But when I venture out to look at some stars etc all I can see is a bright flash. Well if I'm not mistaken that shouldn't be all you can see. When I bought the scope, in the package came the 10mm and 25mm eyepiece . Could this be the reason why I can see anything? In the past I've been looking at the celestron eye piece set but couldn't justify paying that price if it would do anything.

a5etyhyh.jpg

The scope of conversation

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p.html

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The EP provided

Also what is this used for, I can see with and without it so its baffled me

u2egadyz.jpg

On the rings that is keeping the scope connected to the mount has a screw and screw hole in them, what are they for? Im guessing its for a spotting scope but I'm just an amateur haha.

yhy9ytap.jpg

And the last one, I have a eq2 mount, am I able to put GOTO equipment on this or will I need something else?

Sorry for the list they've just baffled me for so long.

Matt

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Would like to know what you mean by a "flash" ?

The 130P should be decent, so suspect something misunderstood.

The eyepieces will be not good, but hold off buying anything yet, they should get you seeing something, use the long one not the 10mm.

The 2 screws are for putting another bar on for mounting accessories, looks like one may have gone.

The small aperture is for bright objects (Moon) usually bright enough that you do not need full aperture. It is off centre to miss the secondary and vanes.

Don't think you can fit a goto to the EQ2, I think the most it will take is a single RA motor. Need an EQ3 at least, EQ5 better.

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If by "flash" you mean a single point of light twinkling in your view then I think that is all about what you are going to see considering the great distance of the suns for which you are viewing, if there is a double star system then may be you can try splitting the single light you see into two to see the double star formation, try locating the Messier objects as they will give greater pleasure but still some of them will be very dim. Don't get hoodwinked by the glossy pics you see in magazines because you will not see that unless your thinking of astrophotography, if you do get into photography it's a steep learning curve but the results can be magnificent if worked at hard enough.

I have the 130p and find it a great scope but am still learning that finding some objects takes a little time and patients, makes the hobby more interesting though in my opinion.

If I'm wrong on any of the above info someone please feel free to correct me as I'm learning too.

Bungielad.

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I have the Heritage 130p, these 130mm telescopes are great regarding budget and portability.

Go download Stellarium, and set up your telescope and eyepieces, I think those have 50 degree of aparent field of view.

Under clear, dark and moon-less skies you will see galaxies such as m51, m81/m82, Pinwheel, Andromeda, nebulas such as Orion, Dumbbell, Ringnebula and many star clusters (m13, or open star clusters such as the plejades or m44), and double stars like Albireo, that turn out to be two close stars with different colors.

Else, as said, stars are so far away that you can not see more then a little dot...

Please keep in mind that Stellarium shows color pictures from the Hubble space telescope, it's going to look more like this

http://clarkvision.com/visastro/m51-apert/

(view is comparable to the 6" if you observe under good conditions and long enough)

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&nv=1&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://www.binoviewer.at/beobachtungspraxis/teleskopvergleich_deepsky.htm&usg=ALkJrhhLgmMQlGERixhALg61XjIRiLxl8A (translated)

As far as eyepieces go, the includes "super" have low contrast, the 10mm short eye relief, and for some object - especially planets - you will need a higher magnification.

My reccomendation for a decent budget kit:

A 30/3wmm Plössl (17€, showing the maximum field on the 1.25" focuser),

a 20mm UWA (32€ shipped, nice 66 degree afov wide angle views)

a 6mm UWA

a 2x achromatic barlow (sw, Seben/orbinar, Meade, under 20€, more expensive ones can be an option but then I'd reccomend another eyepiece)

later a 3.2mm HR Planetary for 40-50€ for example.

Many eyepiece sets you can buy consist of Plössl, and the short focal length (under 9mm) will have a short eye relief and make it uncomfortable to look through, plus their aparent field of view of 50 degree is narrower.

The UWA won't be sharp on the outside of their 66 degree afov, but make it easier to find things anyway and for their price they are excelent.

The barlow fills the gaps inbetween magnification but will introduce chromatic abberation (color seams around objects, less contrast)...

Goto - consider getting "turn left at orion" as it will teach you how to easily find objects without goto, what to expect to see (drawings) and a lot more.

Or a telrad or Rigel quick finder and star charts with circles on them to easily find the objects.

Also a old android phone with a red transparency sheet to protect the eye adaption in the dark, along with the free astro tools, can help a lot, and you can mount it on the scope as sort of a "push to" system.... but a book and a dim red flashlight will keep your eyes adapted better, thus seeing faint details... Takes some practice too, plus any light pollution should be avoided, especially as 5" just starts to show a bit of details on deep sky objects.

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Have you a local astronomy society? If so pop along there and compare the views through other peoples scopes. As long as their is no actual malfunction with yours the views should be similar. You will probably get a lot of help and tips as well as trying out other gear. Much better than reading about it!

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I was going to get the Skywatcher Capricorn 70 but I have decided to wait it out till next pay day and get one of these instead. So any other tips apart from a bigger eyepiece? (Bear in mind I know next to nothing, I will spend the next two weeks trying to cram in as much as possible!)

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If you a really on a budget I can give a thumbs up for the UWA eyepieces too. You will not hear them mentioned that often here, except by Marcus it seems :) The hard core seasoned observers will probably not promote them that much. I only got the 6mm, but given the FOV it provides and the price they can go for just under 30 pounds in the UK it is not bad at all. I bought it mainly for planets, it was the first extra eyepiece I bought. I don't often use it, find it a bit less comfortable to use compared to my 8mm BST, but it could simply be the exit pupil as much as anything due to higher mag also. I wear specs, but I also observe without them, so my eyes are not the best anyway and I find with the UWA I can only use without specs comfortably.

To compare it, at a slightly lower mag my BST 8mm provides a darker sky background and improved contrast, I get richer views on a planet like Jupiter with the lower mag 8mm than I can with the higher mag 6mm UWA, so I almost prefer to use that now for planets in spite of the lower mag. I am tempted to replace my 6mm UWA with a 5mm BST explorer at some stage, though not as high priority. I cannot compare the UWA to anything similar except for my 8m BST, but it is about 1.7 times the price after all, so in that regard you get what you pay for.

I can assure you that the 6mm UWA is a whole lot better than the stock 10mm. I had some great views of M13 on a good night earlier in the year with in the same aperture scope that you own, the 6mm resolved a remarkable amount of detail on that cluster, I then really began to appreciate it for what it was. The moon and planets also give nice views for the price in any case.

If you can go a little higher in price the eyepieces like the BST range IMHO are worth getting to get more out of the scope, without having to pay a lot more, currently they go for 49 pounds, but in that sort of price range £40 - 60 pounds a whole range of reasonable eyepieces open up, not that I have used them or can comment on them.

If you look around the forum you will see the Vixens NPL sold by FLO are promoted here too at around £ 35 - 45, or even something cheaper if your eye can take the shorter eye relief without glasses, like a GSO made plossl which can be similarly priced to the sky-watcher UWA, it is very good too I am told. I cannot find the thread, but I recall one of the mods recommending them highly as being amongst the best optically for that price range( if I got the right one in mind, I think the mod was John, pretty sure he will correct me if I am wrong :smiley: ). .. and there are others.

Finally, may be go to a club or something locally and try a few to see what you think you may be missing. Perhaps it is just a matter of unrealistic expectation what such equipment can offer at that level, and have browse of the forums and eyepiece section. Single stars will always be stars in a scope, mainly pinpoint objects.

Good luck :)

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Your experience is simply one of inexperience, something we all go through and continue with for years. Its unlikely that there is anuthing wrong with the equipment. I wouldn't bother buying anything yet, your scope, with the supplied eyepieces is more than capable of giving great views of some great objects. I'd wait until you are sure you want to continue. Download Stellarium, it's free and will give you the exact location of objects at any time for your location. Try looking for M13 (as already mentioned), it is well placed at the moment. Five minutes looking at that and you will know you made the right decision to buy your equipment !!

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Your experience is simply one of inexperience, something we all go through and continue with for years. Its unlikely that there is anuthing wrong with the equipment. I wouldn't bother buying anything yet, your scope, with the supplied eyepieces is more than capable of giving great views of some great objects. I'd wait until you are sure you want to continue. Download Stellarium, it's free and will give you the exact location of objects at any time for your location. Try looking for M13 (as already mentioned), it is well placed at the moment. Five minutes looking at that and you will know you made the right decision to buy your equipment !!

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I agree with all this; do not spend anything, yet.
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Have you a local astronomy society? If so pop along there and compare the views through other peoples scopes. As long as their is no actual malfunction with yours the views should be similar. You will probably get a lot of help and tips as well as trying out other gear. Much better than reading about it!

Hi john, personally, if I was going to get a 130mm skywatcher then I'd make it a heritage dob. unless you plan to do ap then an eq mount is pretty unnessesary. If you do plan on doing ap, then the eq2 won't really be up to it. the heritage is a great scope, Lightweight, easy to use, very portable and a very reasonable light catching capability. I do ap mostly but I'd never get rid of my heritage 130 :).

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

As always, just my opinion, make of it what you will.

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So any other tips apart from a bigger eyepiece?

I agree with the others, first observing then buying :-)

If you a really on a budget I can give a thumbs up for the UWA eyepieces too. You will not hear them mentioned that often here, except by Marcus it seems :)

Yes, the HR Planetary for example sell from ~40-45€ at ebay, perform better on "fast" telescopes, but it all depends on the budget... Three UWA cost 90€, three Planetary 135€... :-)

There's allways a better eyepiece, but despite the slightly smaller afov, they are great.

Five minutes looking at that and you will know you made the right decision to buy your equipment !!

Agreed! :-)

Hi john, personally, if I was going to get a 130mm skywatcher then I'd make it a heritage dob.

Agreed!!! :-)

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Hope these help...

When browsing I start off with the moon which is absolutely brilliant

Good start, at least you know you are up and running and that everything is working.

all I can see is a bright flash.

If you go from having the moon in focus then move to a star, the star might well be out of focus. When stars go out of focus they turn into big white discs - perhaps you just need to refocus? If you can describe your flash I could maybe confirm this.

Eyepieces, Could this be the reason why I can see anything?

Nope. Have that scope and those eyepieces and you can see loads, nice and sharp. Fine indeed for getting started.

In the past I've been looking at the celestron eye piece set but couldn't justify paying that price if it would do anything.

I would get your basics sorted first. Eyepiece upgrade likely to not sort your problem if it is focus. Only really going to improve things when you get some stuff visible and focussed. Also, don't buy eyepieces till you know what is likely to work with your setup. This will come later and involves calculations etc.

Also what is this used for, I can see with and without it so its baffled me

u2egadyz.jpg

It is the end cap and goes in the open end of your scope to protect it. The removable bit is a way of letting in less light than the fully open end. This makes everything dimmer which is useful for bright things like the moon. The removable cap that reveals the smaller hole can be stored on the slightly smaller non removable bit next to it so you don't lose it.

On the rings that is keeping the scope connected to the mount has a screw and screw hole in them, what are they for? Im guessing its for a spotting scope but I'm just an amateur haha.

yhy9ytap.jpg

Think this is for mounting a camera or bar to support finderscope.

And the last one, I have a eq2 mount, am I able to put GOTO equipment on this or will I need something else?

No you can't realistically convert this to goto. You can motorise it for accurately tracking the motions of stars but not computerise it. That would need a mount upgrade.

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Thanks guys for all your inputs. Yes by flash I mean a small dot that just twinkles. To be honest I thought I'd be able to see much more than that so now I feel slightly disappointed but its not going to stop me for the time being :) so i defiantly know not to upgrade my eyepieces and I'm not buying a new mount or goto accessories. Saves me some money for the car :)

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Glad this topic came up, I've just bought one of these scopes.

Thanks for asking the questions Matt :)

Exactly the same situation here! Thanks for posting these questions :)

Here's my noob question about the 130p - what does the following part of the scope do?

post-31477-0-79574300-1377702010_thumb.j

It looks like a snail shell / concentric cam - I'm not even sure if I've assembled that part of my scope correctly... :-O

Thanks for all guidance given! :)

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Exactly the same situation here! Thanks for posting these questions :)

Here's my noob question about the 130p - what does the following part of the scope do?

post-31477-0-79574300-1377702010_thumb.j

It looks like a snail shell / concentric cam - I'm not even sure if I've assembled that part of my scope correctly... :-O

Thanks for all guidance given! :)

That is the motor clutch. If you were to attach the motor drive to the mount (for tracking objects at the same speed as they appear to move across the sky to keep them centred) then you can engage/disengage the motor with it and revert to manual control.

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Yes by flash I mean a small dot that just twinkles. To be honest I thought I'd be able to see much more than that so now I feel slightly disappointed but its not going to stop me for the time being

Stars don't give you any detail (except size/colour/brightness) as they don't really have any. A star is the same as our Sun but much further away. You need to be close to a sun and have specialist equipment/safety equipment to see detail.

Detail comes from the moon, planets, galaxies, nebulae etc You can also see interesting arrangements of stars such as doubles, open clusters and globular clusters. While these still have no surface detail, the arrangements are really interesting to look at.

You have to be realistic about what you will see too. With the same scope and eyepieces I saw Saturn (although very tiny and without detail except for the main body and one large ring), Jupiter with the spot, some clusters and lots of great views of the moon. There are field of view simulators online that can tell you what you can fit into your view with your setup. Brightness and detail would be a different matter - things like nebulae and galaxies usually look like a very faint grey smudge.

There's loads you can see with your setup though, it's really rather good I think!

cheers

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That is the motor clutch. If you were to attach the motor drive to the mount (for tracking objects at the same speed as they appear to move across the sky to keep them centred) then you can engage/disengage the motor with it and revert to manual control.

Great! Thanks for clearing that up :)

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Don't be disheartened. I have the 130p and so far the only disappointment has been finding out there's a lot more light pollution in my garden than I thought there was.

Certainly check out double stars for something interesting to do with them. Iv been able to split the double double in Lyra with mine quite successfully several times which is always an interesting thing to observe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's my next question, I'm wanting to buy a telescope that can sit on my windowsill or I can take to work with me when I'm on nights for when I can't gain access to my main one wether it being silly hours to get to it without waking everyone up, or simply because I can't take a big telescope into work. I'm wanting one because I see that Jupiter is high in the sky early mornings and I keep missing it either on way to work or coming home.

I don't have a massive price budget for one but if its a few pound over I will venture over, I'm look at £150 at a massive push. Can anyone recommend anything for me?

Thanks

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