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Hi

I am just starting out and I have read good things about Skywatcher telescopes so i'd take the plunge and spend around £200, all I am really after is a scoper that can produce a pretty clear image and last a while so that I don't want to rush out an but another scope incurring even more cost.

I am going to list a few links if that's ok with a few thoughts and I hope I am on the right track.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-Explorer-Newton-Telescope-Parabolic/dp/B00CYHSZCC/ref=sr_1_99?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1386761431&sr=1-99&keywords=skywatcher

Looks like a good scope but am I right in thinking that the 130P is sharper as it is parabolic

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-Explorer-Newtonian-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B002ED1XMK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1386761536&sr=1-1&keywords=skywatcher+130p

This is the P I was reffering to

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-SKYLINER-150P-PARABOLIC-DOBSONIAN-TELESCOPE/dp/B005KBR5P2/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

And a 150P which I would assume is better but I am a bit stumped as to why, and was wondering how tall the stand is (does it need to sit on a table) or can

a tripod be used but that would incur more cost so is this a bit pointless.

Thanks for any advice.

(hope the links are ok to post) :/

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No-one has mentioned Stellarium yet. It is a free software download. I leave the computer on and refer back to the screen every now and again to help with my navigation while observing. It is worth ge

OMG OMG OMG that was awesome. Lastnight I had a quick looky with the 8" Dob for the first time, the scope was aligned ok so no collimation was needed which was a good start, I then preceeded to get t

Really the 150P is the better - if and only if the intention is visual only! If you secretely have idea of imaging at all then the dobsonian is not the scope to go for. So first be honest with yoursel

Really the 150P is the better - if and only if the intention is visual only!

If you secretely have idea of imaging at all then the dobsonian is not the scope to go for.

So first be honest with yourself and decide that.

The 150P should be fine for height, at 150 and f/8 that makes 1.2 meters so that will be more or less where the eyepiece sits. For low objects you will have to bend over a little - comes with the design.

The 150P on the dobsonian is the slower variant of the 150P - used to be 150P and 150PL (L=Long (not very imaginative)).

Easier to get higher magnifications, bit easier on eyepieces and it generally holds collimation better = less maintenance.

Most obvious is it is 150mm not 130mm, so 33% more light.

Drawback is you track everything by nudging the scope, no future option for motors. But most do not have a problem with this aspect.

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Generally speaking the larger the mirror the better. The 130 and 150 refer to the diameter of the reflecting mirror. There are a lot of Dobsonian fans on this forum so they would suggest that you go for the 150p. I'd agree with them as you're getting a bigger scope for your money. This scope will be fairly large so unless I'm very much mistaken it can sit on the floor with you sat on a chair next to it.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

People also often recommend buying from a reputable telescope dealer as they can offer advice on purchases. I can recommend First Light Optics (often referred to as FLO and the link goes straight to the 150p) and I'm sure many others will say the same. They are the sponsors of this forum and their link is at the top of the page.

Good luck with any choices you make, you've come to the right place.

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Scoper.........Hi, P=Parabolic is the better design. The 150P is better because it has more aperture. The bigger the aperture the better the scope for seeing fainter objects. Magnification is all about Focal lengths My 200P has a focal length of 1200mm. If I divide that by my eyepiece of 8mm I get 1200/8=150x Magnification. So ultimately, get the biggest aperture you can afford, magnifications come second. The 150P you link to is misleading. This telescope sits on the ground and is about 4' 6" high. You need to decide on your astronomical desires. Just observing/looking or photography? The best for observing in your links is the 150P, The 130P tripod could be motorised for tracking and photography, but their not going to be very sturdy. Mounts have to be rock-solid. If your just wanting to look at the night skies, the 150P is a better option in my opinion. You would want something bigger maybe later in life, so rather than the 150P I'd suggest the 200P which sits between the 150p -250P? For me at present I wont be upgrading my 200P for visual observations. Im very happy so far!

Wow! the two guys above type quickly, there was nothing when I started typing  :shocked:

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First off, don't shop at Amazon.

Some of the recognised retailers sell stuff on .

But you may as well deal directly with the shop for phone advice, and better customer servcie.

The forum sponsor FLO is a good place to window shop for Skywatcher equipment.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher.html

Once you know what you want, you can google around for the best price (including Postage)

Tripods are mainly used for Astro photography.

You need tracking motors for those - so manual controls will be useless

A Dobsonian base is normally best for visual observing - and cheaper.

The eypieces which come with the scopes are good enough to get you started.

But expect to spend another £200 over the next few years to upgrade the 25mm and 10mm stock eyepieces (it's what Christmas and Birthdays are for)

Next  - don't sell your self short now, and regret it later.

A 6-inch dobsonian will be great, but an 8-inch is better, and the 10-inch is better again.

The 8-inch dobsionian is the best value for pound notes per inch apperture.

try to get the best one you can afford, and the biggest one you can safely store and move around.

My 8-inch 200p Dob I have stands about 4 foot tall in a corner of the house (the tube length is 1.2m).

The 130P on the tripod will be even bigger / heavier / and more difficult to set up

Any scope on a heavy tripod would need dissmantling into 2 or 3 parts to be stored away, then put back together again to view.

The 18kg dob can be picked up and moved in one go, dust caps off, and ready to go.

There are too many ifs and buts about what your best choice would be.

Photo tripod, or Dobsonian

Car transport or back garden viewing

£200 Budget or better performance

I was advised to go Dobsonian because I didn't want to do photography.

The 8-inch is my size and weight limit for transporting the thing around.

Your limit appears to be £200 expenditure.

Start with the Skywatcher 6-inch dob as a starting point.

Then see what else ticks the boxes for your intended use.

Personally - I would try to stretch to an extra £50 or £80 to get the 8-inch for slightly better performance.

I got mine for £250 on an Ebay Best Offer auction.

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Also - it would be best to see the scopes in the flesh, and talk to the owners.

Big Nev on the forum helped me out by explaining the advantages of his scope.

And at the local astro club event, they allowed me to have a look through some different gear to see which equipment met my expectations.

Try before you buy.

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Hi guys and thanks for all of the replies,

So Dobsonian as I understand if the type of form factor, how the thing is built as opposed to tripod mounted.

What will we be veiwing, well the ISS, Iridium/s if possible, the moon and if allowable some further planets.

Would I like to take photographs, yes I would so I should of mentioned that.

So I am still a tad stuck as to what would be me ideal scope.

All good fun though :)

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And I suppose I could go to £250...

The photography experts will be able to advise on the best kit for £200-£250.

As I understand it, you will need a tripod mounted scope with motors, plus an auto-tracking or Go-To function.

Dobs will allow you to take a snap-shot photo at one point in time only, without the function for long exposures.

In the meantime - keep an eye out for best offer options from this photography shop on Ebay

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Phil-Burton-Photography/Telescopes-/_i.html?_fsub=2489134018&_sid=140348648&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

A phone call to one of the retailers might help.

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The photography experts will be able to advise on the best kit for £200-£250.

As I understand it, you will need a tripod mounted scope with motors, plus an auto-tracking or Go-To function.

Dobs will allow you to take a snap-shot photo at one point in time only, without the function for long exposures.

In the meantime - keep an eye out for best offer options from this photography shop on Ebay

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Phil-Burton-Photography/Telescopes-/_i.html?_fsub=2489134018&_sid=140348648&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

A phone call to one of the retailers might help.

Hi, I meant £250 for a scope, and I would most likely only take one shot at a time so a Dob could be the one.

This one really peaked my interest, it was posted earlier on.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

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I originally bought a newt on a manual EQ mount.  Hated it.   Took it back and bought a Dob.  LOVE IT!

Just my opinion, but EQ mounts are only good for motorized tracking.  Operating them manually is a pita.

Buy the 150 dob.

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Reflectors are great scope and will serve you well,but you will need a good knowledge of the night sky so I would suggest on clear nights getting to no the constellation ,so many people are let down by astronomy ,because they can not find things because they do not know what constellation is what that's half the battle and the fun ,I loved looking for things with a dob,it's great but a little knowledge goes a long way

Good luck with your purchase shop around for the best deal Xmas is here and some sites/shops give extra goodies away at this time of year

Pat

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Good choice, 8" will show a lot! But in order to see faint galaxy spirals, dust lanes you will have to transport it to a truly dark location...

:-)

If it needs to be portable, the "Heritage 130p" is about the largest you can carry/backpack.

As for photography: A DIY Barndoor mount is the most affordable and easy way to start, less hassle, no epensive mounts required.

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No-one has mentioned Stellarium yet.

It is a free software download.

I leave the computer on and refer back to the screen every now and again to help with my navigation while observing.

It is worth getting a book and Stellarium to find your way around.

Once you have found an object 2 or 3 times, you can normally go straight to it.

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No-one has mentioned Stellarium yet.

It is a free software download.

I leave the computer on and refer back to the screen every now and again to help with my navigation while observing.

It is worth getting a book and Stellarium to find your way around.

Once you have found an object 2 or 3 times, you can normally go straight to it.

Ha ha that is really odd as I have just downloaded that software and I am having a proper look at the .rtf manual.

As for the poster above Reeny saying I need to be in a truly dark place, luckily I am in the sticks a bit and in failing that I can use my wifes purse as that's never seen the light of day, lol.

:)

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As has aready been stated if just for viewing a nice big Dobsonian would suit you fine and come at really good prices but definately buy from either FLO or Wex Photographic as you get much better deals.

Either decision you make good luck and im sure whatever you go for will give you endless hours of pleasure :)

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As has aready been stated if just for viewing a nice big Dobsonian would suit you fine and come at really good prices but definately buy from either FLO or Wex Photographic as you get much better deals.

Either decision you make good luck and im sure whatever you go for will give you endless hours of pleasure :)

I bought it from somewhere else at a cheaper price than FLO, I would of bought from FLO as being the sponsor and all but Steve never returned my calls, he must have been busy.

I did however get the Dob 200P as posted earlier and it is exactly what I want for my needs, thanks for all the help guys.

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I took these photos for scale against a standard internal door

The 8" dob is 4 foot tall, with a 9-inch tube diameter.

SW1.JPG SW2.JPG

That is awesome, backs up my right choice thanks to people as yourself.

Thanks again. :D

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OMG OMG OMG that was awesome.

Lastnight I had a quick looky with the 8" Dob for the first time, the scope was aligned ok so no collimation was needed which was a good start, I then preceeded to get the finder scope in the correct position for spotting and got that done easily by lining it up with the moon etc, I then looked at the moon properly with the supplied Super 25 Wide Angle Long Eye Relief eye piece and holy ploppy pants what a lovely view, I was in no way prepared for the amount of light that was coming into my own eys, it was a bit like close up flash photography.

So I then decided to use the Super 10mm eye piece, well I nearly fainted, that was awesome, Im sure I saw Wallace & Gromit waving at me, lol, but seriously that was crazy the amount of detail I have seen already, so I turned my attention to a bright dot above the moon and slighty to the right, Google Sky Maps said it was Jupiter, so I had a look again with the Super 10mm and could not believe my eye's, I am looking at another Planet whilst I am in my back garden, I even saw the cloud formations as thin lines on the surface of Jupiter and two bright dots either side which I am guessing are the moons of Jupiter.

This is my first ever look through a scope and it has blown me away, I can see why you guys buy all the gear and spend hours outside.

A big thank you to all the people who helped me make the right choice of scope.

MERRY BLOOMIN XMAS.

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