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erseavetir

Thinking of buying a better telescope for looking at moon's craters and I need suggestions

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OMG, I just discovered the Maksutov-Cassegrain session on that Turkish site so here goes another important question:

Let's say, on Monday the shipment company told me that the customs would create issues for us etc. and that we wouldn't be able to get the "Sky-Watcher SkyMax-127 AZ5 Deluxe" from that non-Turkish site, but that my father will still prefer a Maksutov due to the weight issues etc. 

There are still these four Maksutov options on the Turkish site, from most expensive to least

1) SKYMAX-127(EQ3 PRO SYNSCAN)
1,460$ USD
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127EQ3-PRO-SYNSCAN,PR-100467.html

2) SKYMAX-127 (EQ3-2)
1,132$ USD
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127-EQ3-2,PR-100450.html

3) SkyWatcher Skymax-127 SynScan™ AZ GOTO (f/1500) 5'' Computerised Maksutov-Cassegrain
1,046$ USD
http://www.teleskobum.com/Skymax-127-SynScan-AZ-GOTO-f1500-5-Computerised-Maksutov-Cassegrain,PR-12435.html

4) Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak
720$ USD
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127-SUPATRAK-AUTO,PR-100466.html

Interestingly, they all have the 127mm/1500mm and x254 specs but only last two is on the alt-az mount and I don't know if they could be controlled manually because they seem to have those controller things attached to their mount?

Considering my father's needs, what do you guys think which one of these would be the best option for him out of these four? 

I am thinking the 3rd one looks the best, especially if it's both manually controllable and also it can automatically lock on the moon while my father observing the moon and recording it with his phone etc. Also, that one comes with 24 months guarantee and on the other ones it doesn't say that but maybe they forgot to include that information so I am also planning to call them on Monday and ask about that and also ask if they help with collaborating issues if we can't figure that out with my father ourselves.

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I think you are probably worrying too much about collimation. Maks are known for their robustness and I suspect that only a small percentage of owners have ever collimated theirs.

With respect to the choice of mount I think alt/az is going to be preferable from a balcony. This leaves you with options 3 and 4, which only work when powered. "Manually" moving them means pushing up/down/left/right buttons on the keypad, not pushing the telescope by hand. This might mean of the local telescopes the manual eq3-2 is the best choice and you could probably set the altitude so that it almost works like and alt/az if necessary.

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An advantage of Maksutov and Schmidt Cassegrains is that, should your father wish to use a bino viewer - 2 eye viewing  - at any time, the viewer does not need any extra accessories (apart from identical 2nd eye piece), as refractors do. 

Looking at the Moon using a bino viewer is more immersive than with a single eye. All the advantages of binoculars, but at much higher magnification. 

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4 hours ago, 25585 said:

An advantage of Maksutov and Schmidt Cassegrains is that, should your father wish to use a bino viewer - 2 eye viewing  - at any time, the viewer does not need any extra accessories (apart from identical 2nd eye piece), as refractors do. 

Looking at the Moon using a bino viewer is more immersive than with a single eye. All the advantages of binoculars, but at much higher magnification. 

Stop it!!!!!!. A binoviewer is the final piece of my astro gear wanted. Christmas is only 185 days away.

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Oh thank you for clarifying the manual thing Ricochet, I thought manual meant by hand. And bino viewer sounds like a great addition later on 25585, thank you for the suggestion! 

Btw, I've talked to my father and he can't wait to get his hands around the Maksutov and he loved the alt-az idea more as he is used to that so this is my current plan:

On Monday, I'll call DHL Express and ask them if the customs have any problems with sending/receiving Mount &Tripod and the OTA and then (as the user Sky Muse on the other forum suggested me), I'll just purchase the Mount & Tripod first to see if it comes safely first:
312$ USD (overall with shipment included)
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

and then the OTA if everything goes well:
324$ USD (overall with shipment included)
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-ota.html

or if push comes to shove and they have a problem with the OTA but not the Mount & Tripod, then after receiving the Mount/Tripod safely, I can send the same OTA from the Turkish site (with 9-month installment payment option):
610$ USD
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127T-Tube-Assembly,PR-100484.html

Or maybe the DHL Express will let me know that sending both Mount/Tripod and OTA will be OK and that I'd just have to pay %20 tax on it, then I can just buy the whole thing for 595$ USD everything included and not have to pay for the shipment twice over and deal with paying the tax once (if they ask for tax) and my father can set up everything in the same day:
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-skymax-127-az5-deluxe.html

So it will all come down to what this shipment company will say about customs on Monday morning and then I'll let you guys know what's going on.

Lastly, I am also wondering something and I'd like to confirm this for the last time to get rid of my aperture fever for once and for all:

IF the money was not an issue, would buying one of these OTA's instead of the 127mm one that we are thinking of would change anything when it comes to quality and everything else, considering my father's needs:

SKYMAX-150 PRO (OTA)
1,173$ USD - 150mm/1800mm - f/12 - x450
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-150-PRO-OTA,PR-100485.html
or 875$ USD on non-Turkish site if they say it's OK with customs: 
https://www.astroshop.eu/telescopes/skywatcher-telescope-mc-150-1800-skymax-ota/p,4069

or

SKYMAX-180 PRO (OTA)
1,720$ USD - 180mm/2700mm - f/15 - 540x
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-180-PRO-OTA,PR-100486.html
or 1,333$ USD on non-Turkish site: 
https://www.astroshop.eu/telescopes/skywatcher-telescope-mc-180-2700-skymax-ota/p,4927

1) Stupid question but would all of the OTA's (127, 150 and 180) also fit to this alt-az mount?
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

2) With more aperture, the image quality gets better right? Will that additional quality differ much from that of 127mm to the point of it being worth it to invest in one of these and not buy the 127mm version?

3) We know that these apertures have more zoom power but will any power beyond 250x worth it and worth it for the moon with the alt-az mount that we'll buy? I know that all my father wants to do is just zoom more and more and still see everything better. I am thinking that with those OTA's that has way more power than 250x, at least he'd be able to zoom over 250x and possibly still get to see acceptable images (around 300x or over) vs 127mm wouldn't allow that for him, maybe? Btw, I remember him telling me once that he'd love to catch a meteor hit the moon (which I later Googled and learned that it's not possible to do that but I don't want to ruin his fantasy xD).

4) If I already had the 127mm and came here asking for an upgrade in the future, would you guys then suggest me the Skymax 180 Pro OTA when it comes to seeing the moon's craters closer with better resolution with the same alt-az mount?

5) When it comes to collimation and the telescope having to adjust to the temperature of outside for a while and other things of this nature, would buying the 150 or 180 vs the 127 cause more problems to my father?

I am sorry for all these questions but I am a bit picky when it comes to purchasing stuff and I love learning and most importantly, I just want to blow my father's mind and for him to just enjoy his retired time on this earth to the fullest while being proud of me more than my little brother :D

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Payload capacity of that az5 is 5 kilos. The 150 on Google is naked OTA 5.6 kilos.

To give your father a challenge why don't you suggest he does the lunar 100 challenge.

As to whether the views are considerably improved with each jump in aperture I can't comment. 

Perhaps you should do your own research too on what can or can't be imported and what import duties might be applied.

Edited by happy-kat
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Ohh thank you for letting me know about that, I actually didn't even think about the payload capacity thing or else I would've checked it on the specs and also when I said "If the OTAs would fit the alt-az" I was thinking about like the screws and everything else would fit together for the 150 and 180 just like it seems like everything fits for the 127 according to the picture on here:
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-skymax-127-az5-deluxe.html

But yeah, I guess I should've thought about the weight issue first :) As you said, the alt-az says it can hold 5 kg and according to the astroshop.eu site, the 150 pro version seems to be 5,6 kilogram and the 180 pro version is 7 kg so I guess those options are out of the question with the alt-az I am thinking of buying. However, the weird part is that according to the Turkish site, the 150 pro option is near 3 kilos while the 180 pro option is near 4 kilos which was very confusing, but I just checked the specs on other sites like Amazon as well and it seems like the Turkish site made a mistake on the specs indeed so the 150 pro and the 180 pro is out of the question I guess, and here comes the 127 hopefully. 

You are also right, I need to do more research myself as well and I was actually planning on calling the shipment company and the websites that sell these mounts and OTAs on Monday but on the other hand I wanted to make sure that you guys would approve what I am doing and lead me to the best possible option according to my father's needs because you guys are the real experts and I wouldn't want to do a major stupid mistake and disappoint my father :D I do appreciate all of your help a lot though, I feel like we are very close to succeeding in bringing together my father and his best telescope or should I say his new baby that he'll look after for as long as he can :) 

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I would start on the lighter side with the 127 Mak.  It is surprisingly light at slightly under 4kg.  The front corrector lens just about perfectly balances a diagonal and typical 1.25" eyepiece at the rear.  As you go up in Mak diameter, the weight quickly piles on at the front because the corrector gets thicker and wider, necessitating longer cool down times as well.  The biggest change in going to a Mak for your father will be the sharp views at high powers.  Let him explore the limits of the 127 and let him decide if he needs more aperture later.  You also don't want to go too heavy because then you won't want to haul it out as often.  Also, the focal length really shoots up with the 180 Mak being an f/15 instead of an f/12.

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4 hours ago, Louis D said:

I would start on the lighter side with the 127 Mak.  It is surprisingly light at slightly under 4kg.  The front corrector lens just about perfectly balances a diagonal and typical 1.25" eyepiece at the rear.  As you go up in Mak diameter, the weight quickly piles on at the front because the corrector gets thicker and wider, necessitating longer cool down times as well.  The biggest change in going to a Mak for your father will be the sharp views at high powers.  Let him explore the limits of the 127 and let him decide if he needs more aperture later.  You also don't want to go too heavy because then you won't want to haul it out as often.  Also, the focal length really shoots up with the 180 Mak being an f/15 instead of an f/12.

Thank you for the suggestion. I am actually now thinking that the 180 would be an overkill indeed, considering:

1) 7 kilo weight / overloading the mount and the weight of it piling on at the front as you said.

2) I assume my father would never need to pass the x450 power that 150 offers.

3) Cause longer to acclimate to the outdoor conditions / longer cool down times.

even though 180 would giveout brighter and more detailed visuals than 150, these 3 main factors alone swayed me from 180 vs 150.

However, when we talk about 127 vs 150 these are the things I am considering when I think about buying 150 over 127 (correct me if I am wrong please)

Firstly, I've decided to not buy the AZ5 because I'd much prefer buying this mount that the user Freezout on the other forum suggested:

333$ USD (including shipment)
https://www.astroshop.eu/mountings/apm-mount-atz-with-slow-motion-controls-and-tripod/p,53025

vs buying this AZ5:
312$ USD (including shipment):
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

Because I'd just have to pay 21$ more and I'd get an 8-kilo load capacity mount vs a 5-kilo load capacity mount (more future proof for possible upgrades).

Meaning, now carrying the 5,6 kilo 150 pro won't be an issue at all just like carrying the 3,4 kilo 127.

Now these are the main reasons I'd consider buying 150 over 127 according to my noob opinion but it's formed with everything I've read on both forums so far :D

1) 450x power vs 250x power (yes I still got that power fever) AND 1800mm vs 1500mm. As far as I understood, if let's say he could catch good visuals on 300x power, those visuals would look way cooler on 150 vs 127 as 150 would at least support that kind of power while 127 wouldn't.

2) 150 use Schott glass for the clear lens at the front, aka the "meniscus" and 127 doesn't.

3) We would never need any upgrades in the future when it comes to OTA and my father would be fully satisfied with everything for years to come.

4) Light gathering capacity is 460, vs 329 on the 127.

5) 150mm would TRULY blow my father's mind vs the 127mm, as the 150 would be a bit more than 2x upgrade considering he is using 70mm now and you guys told me before that I'd at least need to make a 2x upgrade to blow his mind and 2x would mean 140mm, not 127 and the 150 would be even more than that.

What do you guys think? As I said, please correct me if I am wrong as this is a big decision for me but so far, I believe 150 is a clear winner over 127 considering the reasons listed above.

BUT, I just watched this great review video of the 150:

And the 1-hour cooldown time seems like a lot so I'll let my father know about this and see what he says. Though I assume he can just leave this in the balcony forever and cover it with something to protect it from rain etc. (not sure if the rain would be an issue for the telescope). Maybe it might be better to start off with 127 and in a year or two, buy the 150 as well...

Also, the 150 comes with a price of course, almost double the price in fact xD so I'll talk with my father again and then decide if we can afford 150 over 127, I know I can afford the "APM Mount ATZ" for now but we'll see if it will be welcomed by the Turkish customs first...

Edited by erseavetir

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Based on the sample of people who post on this board the 127 Mak seems to be the sweet spot between aperture and cooldown/portability/cost. Of course there are people with the other sizes but there appears to be a spike of 127 ownership compared to the others. When people talk of doubling aperture they usually mean by area which means a 1.4 increase in diameter (so 100mm+). 

With regards to the az5 mount if I remember correctly the capacity of the mount head itself is 9kg, but the tripod supplied with it limits the capacity to 5kg. The az5 uses a 3/8" connection so the head can be mounted to any decent photographic tripod. You may find decent photographic tripods easier to come by locally should you wish to upgrade the payload capacity in future. If your father only observes from a single position on the balcony you might even want to consider building a pier for the mount head to permanently sit on and then you father just stores the scope inside and carries it out to the pier when he wants to observe. 

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5 hours ago, Ricochet said:

Based on the sample of people who post on this board the 127 Mak seems to be the sweet spot between aperture and cooldown/portability/cost. Of course there are people with the other sizes but there appears to be a spike of 127 ownership compared to the others.

1

I see, in that case I'll just go with 127 over 150 then because that cooldown time and the price of it is insane compared to 127 and of course there is the portability with 3kg vs 5,6kg. I also asked that Youtuber guy who reviewed the 150 Mak under his video and even he suggested for me to get the 127.

Quote

When people talk of doubling aperture they usually mean by area which means a 1.4 increase in diameter (so 100mm+). 

I am a bit confused by this statement. So since my father has a 70mm which is 2.75 inches, and the 127mm would be 5 inches, that would mean 5 - 2.75 = 2.25 inch increase in diameter which would mean way more than doubling the aperture? But 127mm - 70mm is just 57 mm so the "(so 100mm+)" comment at the end also confused me further.

Quote

With regards to the az5 mount if I remember correctly the capacity of the mount head itself is 9kg, but the tripod supplied with it limits the capacity to 5kg. The az5 uses a 3/8" connection so the head can be mounted to any decent photographic tripod. You may find decent photographic tripods easier to come by locally should you wish to upgrade the payload capacity in future.

This means that the az5 would easily be able to handle the 127 Mak right since the OTA of 127 is just 3 kilos. (However, it wouldn't handle the 150 with the 5,6 kilos perfectly so that further eliminates the 150 option for me, though according to this user the 150 would also fit on there: https://goo.gl/Dk6QgM but I wouldn't want to risk it):
https://www.astroshop.eu/mountings/apm-mount-atz-with-slow-motion-controls-and-tripod/p,53025

Quote

If your father only observes from a single position on the balcony you might even want to consider building a pier for the mount head to permanently sit on and then you father just stores the scope inside and carries it out to the pier when he wants to observe. 

That's a good idea as well, I bet my father would be interested in doing something like that so I'll let him know, thank you very much!

Edited by erseavetir

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1 hour ago, erseavetir said:

I am a bit confused by this statement. So since my father has a 70mm which is 2.75 inches, and the 127mm would be 5 inches, that would mean 5 - 2.75 = 2.25 inch increase in diameter which would mean way more than doubling the aperture? But 127mm - 70mm is just 57 mm so the "(so 100mm+)" comment at the end also confused me further.

You previously wrote this:

14 hours ago, erseavetir said:

5) 150mm would TRULY blow my father's mind vs the 127mm, as the 150 would be a bit more than 2x upgrade considering he is using 70mm now and you guys told me before that I'd at least need to make a 2x upgrade to blow his mind and 2x would mean 140mm, not 127 and the 150 would be even more than that.

When people talk about needing to "double" they usually mean the light gathering area, so you would use the square of the aperture rather than the one dimensional diameter measurement. i.e for a telescope with aperture D to be double that of a smaller scope with aperture d:

D^2 / d^2 = 2

D = sqrt(2d^2)
D = sqrt( 2 x 70mm^2)
D = 99mm

So to get a worthwhile improvement over your father's current 70mm scope you need a scope with an aperture of 99mm or more (which I rounded up to 100mm before), not one of 140mm (=2x70mm). The 127 Mak is above the 99mm limit, so is a worthwhile improvement.

At least that's what I assume was meant by a 2X upgrade, as at a glance I can't see any post here where such a comment was made.

 

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Oh I see, thank you a lot for the explanation! 

Quote

At least that's what I assume was meant by a 2X upgrade, as at a glance I can't see any post here where such a comment was made.

You are right, I just noticed that wasn't said on this forum and said on the other forum by the user Tom Glenn and this was the thing he said:

Quote

In addition to resolution, which scales linearly with aperture, the aperture affects image brightness.  This factor scales as a square function, so a 2x increase in aperture yields a 4x increase in image brightness when viewed at the same magnification.  Anytime someone says they want to upgrade their scope and have their minds "blown" at the difference, I suggest you need to be in the vicinity of a 2x increase in aperture.  Resolution will go up 2x, and image brightness by 4x.  That is a meaningful difference that will surely impress. Since you are also limited by budget and practical considerations, I agree with those recommending a 127mm aperture scope, as this is fairly close to 2x the aperture of the 70mm your father currently has.

I would not go below 127mm in aperture, because although almost anything will be an improvement over 70mm, if your father really wants to be impressed by the ability to see craters up close, you want more aperture.  Even 150mm would be better, but then you get into problems with the budget, and the mount, and the effort it takes to set up and cool the scope.  But just as a reference, years ago I upgraded from a 115mm aperture scope to a 235mm aperture scope, roughly double the aperture, and the difference was truly mind blowing.  So I would not spend hundreds of dollars on a scope that is only slightly larger than the 70mm he has now.  127 would probably blow his mind, at least for a few years until aperture fever catches up with him.  A scope of this size would also be a much better performer on Jupiter and Saturn than his current scope.

 

and this is why I thought 2x upgrade would mean a 140mm aperture. 

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40 minutes ago, erseavetir said:

Oh I see, thank you a lot for the explanation! 

You are right, I just noticed that wasn't said on this forum and said on the other forum by the user Tom Glenn and this was the thing he said:

and this is why I thought 2x upgrade would mean a 140mm aperture. 

No, reading that he was actually talking about doubling to 140mm plus. 

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Another vote for the 127mm Mak. I was so impressed with my Skywatcher Skymax 127, with Synscan Goto, that I bought a second one to use at my holiday home in the south of France.

This is the setup in a backpack, and the whole lot, with a few eyepieces and a couple of sets of batteries (it also works well from a 12V, 2A plug-top mains supply) weighs under 11kg.

765243222_SkymaxBackpack-Annotated(R).thumb.jpg.24a8caaecb3df4d3ec2f0a982fa542a1.jpg

As mentioned earlier in this thread, the Mak. is a very robust design, and I have not had to touch the collimation adjusters on either setup. The Mak will work well on any Az/alt mount, manual/tracking/Goto; but if you are using high magnification, I would suggest looking for a mount with, at least, tracking. The tripod mount allows you to set a comfortable seat height for viewing over a balcony rail.

This is my setup in France, with a modified webcam replacing the eyepiece, and feeding the image onto the laptop's screen (great for recording videos of the Moon, Jupiter & Saturn).

294024167_Skymax127MCTinFrance(R).jpg.f1e7b777b8dbf7baf4e3ebfa84e6bb0e.jpg

You have probably noticed that the best contrast on the Moon's craters occurs with a half-moon, where the sunlight is sideways-on at the terminator (where light and dark halves meet).

Geoff

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This is my setup in France, with a modified webcam replacing the eyepiece, and feeding the image onto the laptop's screen (great for recording videos of the Moon, Jupiter & Saturn).

That's super cool and I know my father would love that. May I ask what was the webcam replacing eyepiece that you purchased? 

Btw, I've seen your kit sold in the Turkish site:
http://www.teleskobum.com/Skymax-127-SynScan-AZ-GOTO-f1500-5-Computerised-Maksutov-Cassegrain,PR-12435.html

but I was told that you wouldn't be able to control the telescope by hand as in making it move up,down,right,left by your hands and I know my father would love to move it around by himself.

I've also seen this previous/worse version of that mount on here but I guess this one wouldn't follow the moon and would work well with a webcam eyepiece and PC?
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127-SUPATRAK-AUTO,PR-100466.html

When I first mentioned about purchasing one of these two on the other forum, the user Sky Muse told me this:

Quote

Right off the bat, I'll tell you that the AZ GOTO mount is the outdated predecessor to the SLT go-to mount.  If you're going to get a go-to version, get the SLT, as it's fully-featured.  Now, the SupaTrak is a motorised, tracking-only mount, and that may be just the thing for your father.  No, neither the AZ GOTO or the SupaTrak can be operated manually, but if either mount croaks in future, the telescope itself can be easily disconnected and transferred to another mount of your choice, or his choice.  You'll want to make sure you get a 12V adaptor for your father to use, if you choose the SupaTrak, instead of using 8 AA batteries(yucks) to power it.  I had forgotten about the SupaTrak's existence.  I think it may be on its way to being discontinued, but I don't know that for certain. Also, since the Moon is much nearer to the Earth, and larger, he can push the magnification up and beyond what he would use for observing the planets.

And I've actually already purchased this alt-az mount:
https://www.astroshop.eu/mountings/apm-mount-atz-with-slow-motion-controls-and-tripod/p,53025

and I was planning on purchasing the 127 OTA next:
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127T-Tube-Assembly,PR-100484.html

BUT, I may go with the SupaTrak (http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127-SUPATRAK-AUTO,PR-100466.html) because it comes with the same 127 OTA and also the tripod for just additional 109$ USD (instead of buying the 127 OTA alone) and also the SupaTrek comes with 6x30 Finderscope instead of the Red-Dot Finder that comes with the single OTA (not that I would know which one is better) but that sounds like a good deal for me IF "motorised, tracking-only" means that the mount will find and track the moon itself while my father looking at the eyepiece or using a webcam eyepiece which I know he'd love to use. 

This way he would have a mount with tracking motor and an alt-az mount in case something happens to the motorized mount or when he'd want to use the telescope by hand.

 

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UPDATE:

I've talked to the shipment company (DHL Express) and they've told me that anything with the ability to zoom requires hard to get allowance papers for it to pass the customs so ordering the OTA from the non-Turkish sites won't be an option, unfortunately.

However, they've told me that I wouldn't need any allowance papers for the mount & tripod so I've just ordered the tripod&mount below, due to it having 3kg more load capacity than AZ5 and I assume this one will handle the 127 OTA better considering the additional accessories/future upgrades and it only costs 21$ more than AZ5 anyway. According to the site, it will take around 3-9 business days to ship it to Turkey:
https://www.astroshop.eu/mountings/apm-mount-atz-with-slow-motion-controls-and-tripod/p,53025

The shipment company said that I will also need to pay %18 tax for the item to pass the customs, which will be around 62$ USD on top of the 333$ USD but oh well, it will serve my father well.

After he receives the mount&tripod safely, then we'll get the OTA from the Turkish site for 609$ USD (but at least they offer 9-month installment payment option for 75$ USD per month, 675$ USD in total).
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127T-Tube-Assembly,PR-100484.html

or I may end up getting the SupaTrak instead for the reasons mentioned in my previous comment:
http://www.teleskobum.com/SKYMAX-127-SUPATRAK-AUTO,PR-100466.html

I'll let you guys know later on when my father receives everything and how much he'll like his new telescope vs the old one as well!

Thank you so much all for your help! (Ricochet, happy-kat, Louis D, LukeSkywatcher, John, Peter Drew, Cornelius, Varley, cv01jw, 25585, Stu, xvariablestarx, cletrac1922, cjdawson, Geoff Lister)

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18 minutes ago, erseavetir said:

May I ask what was the webcam replacing eyepiece that you purchased? 

The webcam is a modified Philips SPC 900nc. It had the lens assembly removed and replaced with a specially-moulded plastic adaptor to fit in place of an eyepiece. Unfortunately, Philips stopped making that particular camera; it had the advantage that it was very good in low-light situations.

The SupaTrack variant uses the same mount as the Skymax, but the handset does not have the built-in database to move the mount to a particular point in the sky. The left/right/up/down buttons give you similar control to manual movement, but require some electrical power.

Edited by Geoff Lister
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I see, thank you for letting me know! One last thing:

So the SupaTrack would have the "left/right/up/down buttons give you similar control to manual movement" but it wouldn't have a feature where once you are locked in the moon, it would follow the moon itself etc? I'd assume by your comment that you'd have to push the buttons to move the telescope while the moon moves which makes me wonder if it would be a good fit when using a webcam eyepiece?

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I managed to use a really really inexpensive webcam I bought on eBay on the Moon. Just needed a bit of diy and it worked fine. The Moon is very bright and the cheap webcam saw it easily.  (It could not pick up Jupiter though).

Before ordering anything else you might want to check the mounting method of the OTA is compatible between tripods and if not is there anything else you would need.

Why not down load and read the manual, which you will need to do anyway for any gear, so as you can support your father but also understand the capabilities before making a purchase.

Red dot finders are simple but work.

Edited by happy-kat
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Quote

I managed to use a really really inexpensive webcam I bought on eBay on the Moon. Just needed a bit of diy and it worked fine.

Do you still have the link to that item, or do you happen to know that item? I might as well order that one for my father for now since it can take 3-4 weeks for Ebay to send items to Turkey. Btw, I didn't understand what you mean when you said "Just needed a bit of diy and it worked fine." 

Quote

Before ordering anything else you might want to check the mounting method of the OTA is compatible between tripods

That was the tripod that was suggested to me on the other forum so I assumed it would be compatible with the SkyWatch 127 OTA but after you said that I also asked the website I ordered the mount&tripod from and they also said that they are compatible.

Btw, I have a small update to make regarding my purchase of the mount&tripod:

This is something I said before:

Quote

 

I've decided to not buy the AZ5 because I'd much prefer buying this mount that the user Freezout on the other forum suggested:

333$ USD (including shipment)
https://www.astroshop.eu/mountings/apm-mount-atz-with-slow-motion-controls-and-tripod/p,53025

vs buying this AZ5:
312$ USD (including shipment):
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

Because I'd just have to pay 21$ more and I'd get an 8-kilo load capacity mount vs a 5-kilo load capacity mount (more future proof for possible upgrades).

 

However, after my purchase, I've realized that the mount&tripod does not actually cost 333$ USD overall. I have no idea how I came to that number, must've done my math wrong but the real number is 397$ USD overall.

I was just reading the comments again on both forums and realized that the user Sky Muse on the other forum suggested me another site for the same mount&tripod before:

Quote

and in that site, they sell that mount&tripod for €247 vs €294 on the other site and they also ask for only €13 Euro for shipment instead of the €45 that the other site asks which means the one on the teleskop-express.de costs €260 (304$ USD) overall while the one on the astroshop.eu site costs €339 (397$ USD) overall which is a 93$ difference for the same item (or at least it looks same to me after looking at both) so I've just successfully canceled the one I ordered from astroshop.eu and then ordered the one from the teleskop-express.de. (Though I should also note that the purchasing experience on astroshop.eu felt more smooth than teleskop-express.de because on teleskop-express.de they didn't mention how long the delivery would take and also every time I tried to pay with a Credit Card, the site would always try to open PayPal which felt a bit sketchy but it's probably a technical problem that they'll fix soon so I just paid with my PayPal account, fingers crossed everything will go well and my father will receive his mount&tripod soon).

1.png.3c6c05e3ae9031ed8745601cf6187766.png2.png.856d6132fbef0b0de711b6882485b242.png

Just a heads up for people in the future who is reading this, always make sure to crosscheck how much the same item costs on different websites, including the shipment payment.

Edited by erseavetir

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I think you have chosen a good scope for your father. Just be aware that the very high magnifications will not result in good, clear images often. This is an issue with the steadiness of the atmosphere and not the scope. Observing the Moon I would say that 200x / 225x would be useful most of the time but rarely will more than 250x produce good viewing results.

 

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15 minutes ago, John said:

I think you have chosen a good scope for your father. Just be aware that the very high magnifications will not result in good, clear images often. This is an issue with the steadiness of the atmosphere and not the scope. Observing the Moon I would say that 200x / 225x would be useful most of the time but rarely will more than 250x produce good viewing results.

 

That's good to know. I just wanted my father to have the option of having as much power as he can so that his telescope would support any zoom that would be acceptable on the moon and I was assuming that 300x would've been the absolute max when it comes to getting acceptable visuals on some days and since my father uses his telescope basically everyday, he would've been able to catch those rare days and be further impressed by the telescope.

Also my father cares about good/sharp visuals but he also enjoys just zooming more and more even though he doesn't really get good visuals from it (he just likes feeling like he is on the moon I guess) so this is kind of why I wanted a telescope that would at least kinda support any zoom power he would try on the moon BUT if going over 250x will produce good views very rarely then I think I made the perfect choice with this telescope. 

And especially compared to 150, I know that my father won't want to deal with long cooldown times and the dew at all, and adding the cost and the portability/weight to that, 127 will be just perfect for him and I just CAN'T wait to see his reaction when he is first looking at the moon. I really wish I would be there with him when he is first testing it out but I am hoping I will be there with him on Skype at least :) 

Edited by erseavetir

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9 hours ago, erseavetir said:

I've talked to the shipment company (DHL Express) and they've told me that anything with the ability to zoom requires hard to get allowance papers for it to pass the customs so ordering the OTA from the non-Turkish sites won't be an option, unfortunately.

Unless you ordered a zoom eyepiece, nothing about that OTA zooms.

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