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Hi everyone 

I am just starting out in astronomy and I’m looking for some advice, firstly I am looking at getting the Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 as I have read it’s a good all round scope and quite portable. Secondly is which mount to go for Sky-Watcher eq3 pro go to or eq5 pro go to,I understand the eq3 is big enough for the Skymax 127 but I would like to get a refactor if all goes well with the Skymax,it’s just that some of the scopes I’ve been looking into are slightly above the 6.5kg load of the eq3 would this be ok if only slightly over say 7.5/8kg or should I go for the eq5, it just seems a bit of overkill and expense if I don’t get another scope. 

One last thing as I live in Glasgow which has quite light polluted sky’s,will I be able to see whatever I get the go - to mount to point at say a nebular or galaxy.

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Posted (edited)

Get the EQ5 goto future proof, I have a 4 and 5 inch refractor that I use on the EQ5.

As for Nebulas and Galaxy's the brighter ones yes you can see them some will need a filter to tease out and some you will have to go to dark skies to see.

there is plenty to look at with clusters globular and open to look at, then there are double and multiple star's to go for which are ideal from light polluted skies as that does not matter.

good luck with your choice and I hope this has helped you.

Edited by wookie1965
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Hi , I was going to suggest the sw 200p as a great all round first scope. But I think you have already have your heart set on the skymax, so I will let other members advise on this.

When it comes to the fainter objects ,DSO. Then these can be picked out sometimes in light polluted areas. But in my opinion you just do not get the true woow factor with faint DSO in light polluted areas. For the fainter DSO you really do need to go to a dark site to get them to pop to your eyes. Many faint fuzzies I can just make out in light polluted areas can be a bit of a let down. But in a dark site location then just pop to the eyes and the difference in viewing experience is just Sooo much better. It really is worth a trip to a dark site now and again if you really wish to get the best out of your scope on the fainter objects.

Good luck

 

 

 

 

 

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You might want to check out the Bresser 127 mak as well. More expensive but has the edge in performance partly due to it actually being a full 127mm aperture unlike the Skymax 127 that is about 118mm. Has a few other nice touches as well. Hard to find second hand though so buying new is proably necessary

 https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bresser-telescopes/bresser-messier-mc-127-1900-maksutov-cassegrain-ota.html

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Hi Charlie and a warm welcome to the SGL. I am afraid that the light pollution in Glasgow will limit the DSOs you can view. I live in Lenzie , which is not quite as bad but still have to travel for decent dark skies. The Mak 127 is a decent scope and will serve you well especially on the Moon and planets but the field of view you get can make it more difficult to find DSOs. You will certainly benefit from using a Go To Mount as star hopping can be difficult in light polluted skies. I hope this does not sound too discouraging. I observed from Glasgow for many years and still managed to see many wonderful objects.

I would also recommend that you visit a meeting of the Astronomy Society of Glasgow. The meetings start up again next month and you can get lots of friendly advice there. You can get details from their website.

If I can be of any further help please don’t be afraid to ask.

All the best John.

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Thanks everyone for your advice, I will most likely go for the eq5 mount and look into the Bresser 127mak to be honest I never really looked into Bresser scopes as I was informed that they weren’t quite as good as the rest, I think I have been wrongly informed and will be looking into Bresser scopes , no pun intended. I will look into when the astronomy society meetings are held and hopefully get to next months meeting thanks John .

 I am still a bit undecided on which scope to buy, I am thinking of the sw127 mak or Bresser 127 mak or should I go for a refractor ?. I’m a bit confused with long and short focus long are best for planets /short for galaxies,nebula and dso,does this mean if I buy a short focus scope I won’t be able to use it to look at the planets and visa versa with a long focus.

Does it not require as much magnification for dso,nebula etc

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Bresser makes a wide range of scopes from the cheapish small refractor stuff to some very nice scopes. 

The mak is at it’s best on lunar / planets but also very good on small DSOs. It's the narrow field of view that you have to be aware of. BTW no one scope does it all. Most have a few scopes such as a mak, refractor for widefoeld and perhaps a dob. Dobs are great on the fainter DSOs. You can’t get more aperture for the money than a dob and they are easy for the beginner to use.

I’ve had a couple of the Skywatcher / Celestron 127 maks but have now moved on to the Bresser mak.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Charlie 2436 said:

I will most likely go for the eq5 mount and look into the Bresser 127mak

 

On 27/08/2019 at 15:05, Charlie 2436 said:

Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 as I have read it’s a good all round scope and quite portable.

I'm  bit perplexed why you want to mount an 8 pound scope on a 44 pound mount if you're concerned about portability.  I put together an alt-az setup similar to the Sky-Watcher AZ4 mount for my daughter's Celestron 127 Mak.  At 18 pounds, it's a lot lighter.  With scope attached, it's less than 30 pounds.  If you went with an aluminum or carbon fiber tripod, the weight would be even less.  If you have to pick up the mount and scope to dodge trees and buildings to see various parts of the sky, you're going to find out how unwieldy the 127 Mak/EQ5 combination is at over 50 pounds and very top heavy.

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19 hours ago, Charlie 2436 said:

Thanks for the info John, I will probably go for the Bresser it seems like a really good scope. 

Indeed, as I have the Explore Scientific 127mm, and the exact same telescope as the Bresser...

kit3b.jpg.6dd7fc40334f427fbf636140e7ec0875.jpg

I finally decided not to wait on Synta to "pony up" to the aperture stated within their distributors' and vendors' listings.  To get the full aperture, the primary-mirror must be over-sized, and they've refused; but not JOC, the manufacturer of this one.  A dew-shield is an absolute must...

1769119070_dewshield3.jpg.4d0c2ecd508e16bd09d102dc468ccb51.jpg

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38 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

Indeed, as I have the Explore Scientific 127mm, and the exact same telescope as the Bresser...

kit3b.jpg.6dd7fc40334f427fbf636140e7ec0875.jpg

I finally decided not to wait on Synta to "pony up" to the aperture stated within their distributors' and vendors' listings.  To get the full aperture, the primary-mirror must be over-sized, and they've refused; but not JOC, the manufacturer of this one.  A dew-shield is an absolute must...

1769119070_dewshield3.jpg.4d0c2ecd508e16bd09d102dc468ccb51.jpg

Boom!  There it is in the very next post.  Almost exactly what I was talking about.  A 127 Mak on an alt-az mount.  Very portable, compact, and easy to move around.

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Just now, Louis D said:

Boom!  There it is in the very next post.  Almost exactly what I was talking about.  A 127 Mak on an alt-az mount.  Very portable, compact, and easy to move around.

Yes, but that's the alt-azimuth that came with the telescope.  I had been wanting that mount for my smaller telescopes, and several months before the telescope was considered, so in the end I got the two things that I had been wanting all along, within a single kit, and for a relative song and dance.  Bresser includes that mount, in black, and with a kit or two. 

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My own was collimated bang-on upon arrival...

1337785535_collimation-052419b.jpg.d9f878f120131b58e403dc53a11e876c.jpg

OTA3.jpg.5023c39f315b4a9c4172fed3daa332f3.jpg

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However, the galaxy in Andromeda, the galaxy most readily seen, is at least 6 full-Moons wide.  Galaxies that would fit within the field-of-view of a Maksutov, and that one at a 1900mm focal-length, are indeed small enough to fit, but would the 127mm aperture reveal them; perhaps from a dark site?

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Posted (edited)
On 27/08/2019 at 15:05, Charlie 2436 said:

Hi everyone 

I am just starting out in astronomy and I’m looking for some advice, firstly I am looking at getting the Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 as I have read it’s a good all round scope and quite portable. Secondly is which mount to go for Sky-Watcher eq3 pro go to or eq5 pro go to,I understand the eq3 is big enough for the Skymax 127 but I would like to get a refactor if all goes well with the Skymax,it’s just that some of the scopes I’ve been looking into are slightly above the 6.5kg load of the eq3 would this be ok if only slightly over say 7.5/8kg or should I go for the eq5, it just seems a bit of overkill and expense if I don’t get another scope. 

One last thing as I live in Glasgow which has quite light polluted sky’s,will I be able to see whatever I get the go - to mount to point at say a nebular or galaxy.

Actually, this is the closest you can get to an all-round telescope; for example...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-150p-ds-ota.html

...and with magnifications ranging from a low 23x, nigh a binocular-like power, to 200x and beyond.

In the beginning, you can combine it with a manual EQ-5... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-deluxe.html

...and simply motorise the RA-axis for tracking only... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-accessories/single-axis-dc-motor-drive-for-eq5.html

However, a Newtonian upon an equatorial is not for flitting from one object to another within a short span of time.  You would have to rotate the telescope's tube, during the mount's revolutions, and therewith the focusser to a more comfortable observing position; in short, to observe an object for longer periods, and to take pictures even.

But then, I wouldn't consider an EQ-5 as being as portable as the telescope itself.  It is neccessary however for automatic tracking, but not for taking a few pictures with a smartphone or other.  Have you considered the freedom and greater portability of an alt-azimuth; for example...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt-azimuth/skywatcher-skytee-2-alt-azimuth-mount.html

You might not want to place a Maksutov on that however, as a Maksutov can't "see" well enough to find its way among the stars.  It needs a go-to to help it along, ideally, and as one's first telescope.

In any event, a go-to mount, albeit beneficial in its manner and way, is going to drive the price up.

To give you idea of the size of a 150mm f/5 Newtonian, this is my own, and with a standard, table salt-shaker by comparison...

1558268902_6f5z2.jpg.d36c45fecedd51ab9996cad8f3c9e65a.jpg

It's rather portable in its own right.

Edited by Alan64

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Thanks for your advice everyone. I think portability is where I need to go,as I said I live in a light polluted area. and as I am just starting out I don’t want to be off with mediocre views , so I am going to have to go to darker sites maybe not really dark sites but better than the city. So with that in mind I was thinking of the 127 mak and the SW az gti go-to mount and tripod about 8kg in total and would fit in the back of my car easily, I know it may not be the best setup but at least it might fuel my interest and then I can look at better set ups.

So if anyone has had any experience with the 127 mak and the AZ-gti go-to mount your input would be greatly appreciated 

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I have the azgti and 127 mak. Its a great setup. You will need to consider how you are going to power the mount. The one thing I would say is that I found controlling the mount with my phone was a bit awkward so I bought a synscan hand controller.

Steve

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Thanks for your advice Steve that was one of the things that was concerning me I am not that good with mobile phones and apps controlling things, aren’t the hand controllers quite expensive. I see flo does a power pack but I wasn’t sure if I would need one roughly how long do the batteries last,also is it quite easy to setup the go to alignment etc.

charlie 

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9 hours ago, Charlie 2436 said:

Thanks for your advice Steve that was one of the things that was concerning me I am not that good with mobile phones and apps controlling things, aren’t the hand controllers quite expensive. I see flo does a power pack but I wasn’t sure if I would need one roughly how long do the batteries last,also is it quite easy to setup the go to alignment etc.

charlie 

Hi Charlie,

I got the handset from astroboot £90 they still have them for that price.

I went for the 17ah powertank. The reason being that you will probably need to power dew strips too. Don't know what it's like on batteries as never used it like that.

I also think that the tripod in the kit is a bit weak too.

Alignment is simple. And for looking at moon an planets it dosent need to be done as the mount will track just fine.

Steve

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One thing I would suggest is go to a local astro club and have a look at different stuff. I did and it was really useful.

On a side note I'm now using my mak alongside a 150pds reflector on a skytee 2 manual alt az mount and it great. No alignment just simply pull and push the mount and with slow motion controls its fab. I find I'm using the gti less and less.

Steve

Edited by Steve Clay

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Any kind of refractor, f8 and above, requires a heavy mount. Those long tubes love to wobble around :smile:

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Thanks for your advice Steve. I am looking into the local astronomy club it starts back this month.

once again thanks for all your advice. I will keep you posted. Ps I don’t know how you do a message on the forum, as I said I am a bit of a techno fob.

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2 minutes ago, Charlie 2436 said:

Thanks for your advice Steve. I am looking into the local astronomy club it starts back this month.

once again thanks for all your advice. I will keep you posted. Ps I don’t know how you do a message on the forum, as I said I am a bit of a techno fob.

Do you mean you don’t know how to post messages on different parts of the forum ?

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