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Skywatcher Skyliner 200P FlexTube GOTO


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So this is my first ever telescope.  It arrived in two huge boxes, and took me about 40 minutes to put together.  I also cannot fault the packaging - absolutely brilliant.  It weighs too much in its mount to shift more than a few inches, but in two pieces mount and telescope it is quite moveable.  Purchased from FLO t comes with the straight through finderscope, but this is not so easy to use and I already have a right angled one purchased after just a couple of observing sessions which makes a huge difference.  Having nothing to compare it with I have to say that I am quite impressed with what I can see.  On the second observing session I split the Orion trapezium in to 4/5 stars with the supplied 10mm lens. 

The Goto is not entirely intuitive without the book to begin with.  Instead I would class it as 'OK' and it undoubtedly functions easier with some knowledge of bright stars to line it up on, when I get the star identities right for the callibration it drives the telescope to new targets quite impressively.  What I like is the fact that when I get it wrong giving it a push into position doesn't seem affect it and it just tracks on from the last place you leave it.  I've been pointed at SynscanInit 2 for my phone and this is worth having as it gives all the information needed to program the electronic unit.  As someone with no sky experience I am using a combination of that and Stellarium to identify set-up stars in my location.  I think the unit will be easier with more familiarity, once it is setup finding the ready programmed objects is much easier and it even knows which objects cannot be seen from the current location.

The lens mounting system is quite simple and easy to do in the dark - I've had no problems interchanging them, though I can already fill the three lens locations in the mount and new ones will have to go elsewhere when I use it.  I haven't tried using the camera mount yet, but it does come with one for use in the future.

Mind you I'm quite certain that it is possible to suffer from telescope envy - I've already seen larger versions and have wondered if I should have gone 'bigger'!! LOL 

skywatcher sm.jpg

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Congrats on a great new scope, sounds like aperture fever is starting to set in already ;)

I was umming and ah'ing over which size to go for and went for the 300, they start getting really heavy as you increase the aperture and I don't think anything bigger would fit in my car so I'm happy... for now ;)

 

I don't like the finder either, but I can play be with it for pointing at he star at the start of the goto alignment as after that the caps go on and it doesn't get used again.

 

Most of my EP's don't fit in the rack as the are too wide, I just put them back in the box.

 

I think if you are setting it up roughly the same time each night the same alignment stars should be visible.  The 2 star alignment works well for me, the bright star alignment rarely works as it always seems to pick ones behind trees.

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38 minutes ago, D4N said:

I think if you are setting it up roughly the same time each night the same alignment stars should be visible.  The 2 star alignment works well for me, the bright star alignment rarely works as it always seems to pick ones behind trees.

Hi Dan

I reasoned the same thing with the two alignment stars - the problem the second time out was that I couldn't remember what I'd used the night before - I've now got a notebook and have drawn where I found the stars relative to what few things up there I do know.  As you have discovered the two star alignment seems the most satisfactory solution, but it does rely on knowing what I am pointing it at. 

By the sounds of it most beginners seem to um and ahh before buying.  I posted a thread and got lots of advice posted which helped my decision making process - I was miles from any shops or clubs to go and see things.  I did only want to spend £500 if I could have got away with it, but as I got more advice I knew that I wasn't going to be content with a 6", I also found out how big these things can get (huge! was the answer), I also knew that my knowledge of the night sky was very much lacking and when I found out about computerised finding and tracking I decided that sounded very useful to me esp. as I had tried my ex's ancient telescope many years ago and didn't like the 'nudge' scenario esp. when wanting to share the views with family members.  Computerised finding would also help with finding my way around.  So at that point I looked to see what I could find that would be a minimum 8", have a computerised mount, and be portable/shiftable by just me.  The 8" skywatcher flextube seemed to meet all those criteria - yes, it did blow my £500 budget, but that starting point did mean that I wouldn't persuade myself into your set-up much though I might have liked it - storage of it might also have been problematical - I don't have much space to store my telescope and collapsible nature of the flextube has a lot going for it in terms of storing it and allowing me to move it.

So, all in all, I guess I am lucky to have what I have.  At the moment I don't know how 'into' it I might actually get and already it is a lot to spend on a 'hope I like it' gadget, so although bigger might be nicer I think what I have is probably as nice as I need at the moment (and reading the beginners section it seems many folks are not as fortunate as I am so I should really think myself lucky to have what I do) and maybe if find I do get really into things some smarter viewing lenses might keep me going. 

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Yes goto is great, it was interesting starting out with an EQ2 mount but I quickly learnt to hate it.

You have a good scope and mount combo that is fast to set up once you learn a few stars and get used to pressing the right buttons.

 

For me it wasn't so much the goto that I wanted as the tracking.  I can find thing pretty well but I don't want to be tracking manually at high magnification and I also like the fact that I can show my kids stuff through it whereas with a manual mount there isn't much chance of that.  The encoders also mean that if they nudge it the alignment isn't lost.

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Ditto.  At the moment I've had a couple of sessions and have ended up finding the objects myself and then allowed the tracking to work.  I guess when it functions the goto will be nice, but as with yourself it is really the tracking abilty that I wanted 

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  • 8 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Joc, found this post really useful as I'm about to pull the trigger of buying the same scope :)

It will be my first, so want to make sure it's the right one. Also wanted to come under £500 but I also want goto, and have heard 8" is the best way forward.

Question (hopefully not too stupid) - what did you place the scope on? It doesn't come with a mount does it?

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The complete scope and mount is shown in the photo in the 1st post in this thread. Thats how you use the scope but obviously it would be pointing more "skywards" so the eyepiece would be at a more reasonable height for a seated observer. Something like this (this is the 10 inch non motorised version):

 

Sky-Watcher-10-Collapsible-Dobsonian_html_9d15ee0.jpg

Edited by John
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11 minutes ago, John said:

The complete scope and mount is shown in the photo in the 1st post in this thread. Thats how you use the scope but obviously it would be pointing more "skywards" so the eyepiece would be at a more reasonable height for a seated observer. Something like this (this is the 10 inch non motorised version):

 

Sky-Watcher-10-Collapsible-Dobsonian_html_9d15ee0.jpg

Hi John, that viewing chair is awesome, I'm assuming this is a stock photo, but do you know if it was purpose built or commercially available

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Yes, as John says when you buy the telescope it comes with everything that is in my first photo above.  A chair is def. useful to have and I have several.  I got a couple of rotating white plastic bar stools (a tenner each from the well known auction site) and an ironing stool.  I have one of the bar stools set low, one set high and the ironing stool even higher.

The 8" can be little back aching on targets closer to horizontal and the chairs are useful.  I also have a little folding table that I take out with me. 

I have also made a platform from a water butt stand, a sheet of plyboard and some bolts.  Now the stand is a Good thing - it makes using the telescope much more comfortable - I just sit entire set-up in the photo onto it.  The slight issue with it that I've found is that it isn't robust enough.  I quite like the added height, but the sides give a wobble that dumping the entire setup directly on my gravel doesn't so I have reluctantly gone back to using it from the ground where things are much more stable.

If you do get the same telescope and Goto you won't regret it.  To come in under £500 you might need to go second-hand.  I hope this helps.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi JOC,

I am looking at getting the same telescope - how have you found using it over the last couple of years? What sort of objects have you managed to see? Did you ever get your DSLR attached? Also, how portable is it? Are you able to lift and move it on your own? I'm a reasonably fit and healthy 32yo but would possibly need to carry it a few 100m at a time, do you think that would be possible? 

Thanks!

Matt

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6 minutes ago, seven_legs said:

Scope is light enough to move around for me and i am a fit 53 year old. 

Sorry wrong topic😊

Thanks seven_legs. Just checking I'm not being dense (it definitely wouldn't be the first time...), i take it you mean the scope with the mount attached?

Matt

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Hmm OK so maybe either the 200P with GoTo or the Bresser 10" (that's not the first recommendation I had for that 'scope).... I wonder how my fiancee would react to the 10", it looks quite a beast! I have no doubt bewteen now and actually being able to buy a telepscope I'll change my mind 1,000 times....

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