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Hey guys. After many years of waiting, I've decided to finally go for my first telescope. Yet, today find myself stuck between two excellent entry-level options, so I'm looking for some help.

Before I get straight to my questions, I'd like to share some information about what I'm expecting to do with the equipment (among other stuff). 

- Objectives: Deep Sky, and some planetary observation. No interest in astrophotography, GoTo, or any other device (maybe/eventually in the future). 

- Budget: Given complementary I'll be getting a 2x Barlow (SkyWatcher; achromatic), and a starguider laser collimator (1.25-2), these are my two best available options to fit on its range.

- Light pollution: Low-Med. 

Being that said, here are my questions:

- Mount: After days of heavy research, so far hardly found a review about it; What do you guys think about the AZEQ AVANT type of mount?; Could it beat Dobsonians?; Would it be a better option in my case? and if so, why?

- Conventional Tube vs Heritage's Compact Flex Tube: What are the differences (pros-cons) I can expect from one and the other? (despite no difference between mirrors and diameter).

- Explorer 130P AZEQ AVANT (newbie question): Would it be possible to transport the whole structure armed from one spot to the other in my yard? 

Any help/opinion welcomed. 

Happy 2019! 

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Welcome to the Stargazers lounge.

For £26 more you could buy a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P  over the 130 Avant if all you want to do is observe visually.

I would also invest in a Cheshire sight tube over a laser. The Cheshire more reliable, but a Laser when Barlowed does make for an easy field check to check your collimation, but ultimately, defocusing a Star will tell you if the scope is setup right.

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1 hour ago, Charic said:

Welcome to the Stargazers lounge.

For £26 more you could buy a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P  over the 130 Avant if all you want to do is observe visually.

I would also invest in a Cheshire sight tube over a laser. The Cheshire more reliable, but a Laser when Barlowed does make for an easy field check to check your collimation, but ultimately, defocusing a Star will tell you if the scope is setup right.

1

Hi, and thanks for the welcome.

Great suggestion on the Skyliner, though I'd have to double up my budget. Hopefully, I'll be able to do it by late 2019. 
 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Floyd1995 said:

Explorer 130P AZEQ AVANT

Sorry my bad! I thought your budget included the Avant?

Still worth a good look, even if you do discount it, in favour of something else!

No-one said this will be easy ?

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9 hours ago, Charic said:

Sorry my bad! I thought your budget included the Avant?

Still worth a good look, even if you do discount it, in favour of something else!

No-one said this will be easy ?

2

Yep. It does include the Avant.

Skyliner 200p (flextube) + accessories (Cheshire sight tube + 2x Barlow) > £510 

Explorer 130p (With AZEQ Avant) + accessories (Cheshire sight tube + 2x Barlow) > £373

Heritage 130p + accessories (Cheshire sight tube + 2x Barlow)  = £208 

Was actually considering these prices (given there's no more available options in my country). So, guess it's my bad ?

I'll stick to the visual 130mm 'debate' though: Does the explorer w/AZEQ Avant mount worths the price difference? 

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The difference is in price I think is the AZEQ Avant mount. The telescopes have minor differences but will effectively see the same.

It looks to be a new mount offering, photos imply it has a wedge showing, can't see what the mounts payload is.

Edited by happy-kat
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12 hours ago, Floyd1995 said:

Budget: Given complementary I'll be getting a 2x Barlow (SkyWatcher; achromatic), and a starguider laser collimator (1.25-2)

The barlow is good optically, but is not threaded for filters if that is something that concerns you. I would not buy a laser for either of the scopes you are considering. The laser is best used for collimation of the primary mirror. With the 130ps the primary is fixed so a laser is of no use and with both scopes the plastic focusers will have enough slop to deflect the laser beam. I think a cheshire would be less susceptible to error and the Heritage 130p is short enough that you could reach the primary collimation bolts whilst looking though a cheshire. For a larger Skyliner 200p you would need the laser for primary collimation.

 

12 hours ago, Floyd1995 said:

Mount: After days of heavy research, so far hardly found a review about it; What do you guys think about the AZEQ AVANT type of mount?; Could it beat Dobsonians?; Would it be a better option in my case? and if so, why?

This is one of Skywatcher's newest mounts and as you ave found, there is little information about it. If you haven't already found it have a look at this video:

Looking at it we can see that it is a pretty lightweight mount and the 130ps is the largest telescope available with it. We've seen the tripod before on the Pronto/AZ5/AZ-GTI and it is a bit flimsy, but it uses a 3/8" thread fitting so if you have a good quality photographic tripod you can replace it easily. The obvious downside to this mount is that it lacks a puck to easily connect to a  dovetail and instead requires the dovetail to have a suitable screw hole. It's probably not a mount you would buy with the intention of adding another telescope to. The advantage it has over the Heritage mini-dob mount is that the tripod allows you to use the telescope in a standing position out of the box. The Heritage mini-dob is a table top scope, you need something raised up to put it on so that it is at a comfortable height.

With regards to the telescopes they should be largely the same optically. One thing of note is that the 130ps has a plastic 3-vaned secondary spider. This will result in 6 diffraction spikes on bright objects, compared to 2 spikes from the single vane in the Heritage 130p.

Edited by Ricochet
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7 hours ago, Floyd1995 said:

Yep. It does include the Avant.

Skyliner 200p (flextube) + accessories (Cheshire sight tube + 2x Barlow) > £510 

Explorer 130p (With AZEQ Avant) + accessories (Cheshire sight tube + 2x Barlow) > £373

Heritage 130p + accessories (Cheshire sight tube + 2x Barlow)  = £208 

Was actually considering these prices (given there's no more available options in my country). So, guess it's my bad ?

I'll stick to the visual 130mm 'debate' though: Does the explorer w/AZEQ Avant mount worths the price difference? 

 

I know we're continents apart, and  there's delivery charges to consider, but the SkyLiner 'Classic-Solid tube" sells here for about £275. There is little to set up on the solid tube,  takes up the same amount of floor space for storage, but just needs a little more height, compared to a collapsible scope, and the images will be the same.

Skyliner 200P + Cheshire + 3x Starguider eyepieces ( there are several brand names of this popular eyepiece )  for £450, cheaper if you source second hand.
You can also collimate quite successfully just by using  the lid off one of those old 35mm film tubs? ( avoiding the Cheshire )  You  simply place a 1mm hole dead centre in the lid, cleanly slice of the tubs base, re-apply the lid and pop that into the focuser tube. These tools are simply to aid the alignment of your eye, axially to the scopes axis, nothing more. And of the two eyepieces supplied, the 25mm works reasonably well, but upgrade that 10mm to the 8mm or better still 12mm BST Starguider ( or similar branded ) and you could have a decent setup for about £365 uk, and that's including £40 delivery if it was that much? 

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7 hours ago, Ricochet said:

With the 130ps the primary is fixed so a laser is of no use and with both scopes the plastic focusers will have enough slop to deflect the laser beam.

Figured it'd work for either of both (130mm/203mm) according to this demonstration. However, will keep that in mind. 

 

7 hours ago, Ricochet said:

The advantage it has over the Heritage mini-dob mount is that the tripod allows you to use the telescope in a standing position out of the box.

Being that the only advantage, there's an easy fix for a cheaper price. 

xhenrry.thumb.jpg.6dd0bb693ac5c0669afc64

7 hours ago, Ricochet said:

With regards to the telescopes they should be largely the same optically. One thing of note is that the 130ps has a plastic 3-vaned secondary spider. This will result in 6 diffraction spikes on bright objects, compared to 2 spikes from the single vane in the Heritage 130p.

I'd always go for the 130P tube, no matter DOB or AZEQ Avant. This due to the fact that while researching I've found the 'PS' most likely handy for AP, rather than visual experience. 

Considering these details, along with the suggested video's review and given details about the mount, I'm starting to see the Dobsonian 130p as the best option. It'd comfortably fit my budget and leave me the chance to add more accessories. This without significant differences between the tubes, which has been my concern from the very first, as well as it's been the hypothetical advantages an AZEQ mount could bring to me. 

Thanks for the outstanding reply! 

 

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The 130p mirror on either heritage or general 130p (assuming same mirror) is not suitable for prime imaging as needs to be moved further up the tube, which might be tricky with the 130PS as the primary is fixed. Easier in the heritage as you just collapse the trusses slightly though the focuser really only likes the weight of a webcam.

 

The heritage OTA can be mounted on a decent photo tripod (with EQ type clamp and ball head and fits straight onto many astro tripods as it is general dove bar on it.

Edited by happy-kat
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8 hours ago, Charic said:

and you could have a decent setup for about £365 uk, and that's including £40 delivery if it was that much? 

It actually is. But as I said yesterday, I'm hoping to afford it by next year. One thing I can say is, both the Heritage and Explorer are excellent gear to get started, and that's - after all - what I'm doing here. 

Thanks very much for the advice!

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50 minutes ago, Floyd1995 said:

'PS' most likely handy for AP

That's the pDs. The ps is a new cheaper/lighter weight version. 

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We have a Heritage 130 that is a great scope with vg optics, actually I havn't heard of one giving sub par performance. It easily mounts on manual alt az mounts and the dob mount works well.

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+1 for the Heritage 130P. You will see from my signature that I have several setups, but it is the Heritage that I use if I want to start observing quickly.

Geoff

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