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Skywatcher Skyliner 300p Flextube


ZOG
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Not a proper first light report yet but that will happen, hopefully later this week (according to the weatherman).

The Skyliner 300p Flextube arrived yesterday in 2 boxes, a medium sized one, and a BIG one.Thanks Steve for getting it to me so quickly.

The smaller box contained the flat packed base with all the fixings and tools (for some reason Skywatcher always seem to provide tools that are slightly the wrong size, hence allen keys and spanners do have a tendency to slip.

The assembly of the base was straightforward enough although there were no instructions in the box. Syntas website does have a downloadable .pdf file so I used that. Made sure to grease the Az bearing and the mount runs nice and smooth.

Now for the big moment, opening the OTA box. OMG, this thing is BIG, and heavy, and in it's Black Diamond livery, absolutely gorgeous.

The wife took one look and uttered the momentous words, "it looks like an oil drum" :(

The scope had been christened.

In the box with the OTA were the 2 supplied eyepieces, a huge finder (are these things focusable ? this one seems to be slightly out), the 2 inch and 1.25 inch adaptors, and lo and behold, tucked away between the foam packaging and the outer box, the instruction manual. This is stupid, it should be in the mount box as that's the first one that anyone will open. The scope now also comes with 2 dust covers (dustbin lids) :D

I fitted the finder, lifted the oil drum onto the mount, screwed in the tensioning handles, extended the tube, and had a play..........very smooth indeed. a quick look outside, (it has been clear all afternoon) and there was some broken cloud about, so I quickly carried the scope outside and left it to cool for half an hour as I wanted to do a star test to check collimation. I dont posses a collimator of any kind, apparently the American version of this scope is supplied with a collimation cap but the UK version isn't.

Put the Meade 36mm super plossl in the focuser, swung the scope to Aldeberan, and focussed on it, the focuser is very smooth. The star lit up the eyepiece like a beacon, I've never seen it so bright, and better still when taken out of focus both inside and outside, showed an airey disc that to my eyes was perfect, and this is straight out of the box. I raised and lowered the top of the scope a few times and it didn't seem to affect the collimation at all. Centered the finder on the star and looked up. M45 almost at zenith and a thick bank of cloud rolling in quickly. Swung the scope round to M45 and OH MY GOD it didn't even fit into the fov of the 36mm and the stars were brilliant !!!

Then the cloud rolled over and that was that.

To summarise, this scope is heavy but transportable in two parts, a stronger man would be able to carry it in one but not me, it's also bigger than I imagined.

I was a bit concerned about "driving" a dob, but with the tension correctly adjusted it moves smoothly with just finger pressure.

The whole thing will fit into the boot of the car so I can get away from my heavily light polluted location and take the road towards Kielder which is 50 mins away but I know of a couple of nice dark sites on the way :lol: (note, Kielder observatory are having an open night on the 28th so I'll be going up to join and if the sky is clear, the scope will be going with me)

The Astro fix locator is due to arrive this week :lol: and this will be a real enhancement for me. GOTO is cool but it makes you lazy and you learn less, I think this push to system will correct that.

But, that first fleeting glimpse of the Plaedes has convinced me that I'm tumbling head over heels into a love affair that will last a long long time.

Proper first light report to follow.

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I'll try to post some pics later, I forgot to mention that I went on the IRC channel to moan about the clouds and got talked into getting very drunk by a couple or 3 extremely dubious characters. You know who you are !!! :(

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The finder does focus - you twist the black surround of the big lens at the front to focus and then lock it using the knurled/grooved ring that sits behind it. Took me a few days to work that out with the finder as well.

Its a monster tube for sure - heres hoping you didn't let the clouds out of the box :(

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My Skywatcher Skyliner 250p Flextube came today. :hello1:

Built the base up, got the tube out the box and when I was setting it up on the base noted a dent in the lower part of the tube and one of the silver locking thumb screws has been snapped off! :crybaby:

Looks like FedEx have not been too kind to me this Xmas!! :nono:

Ahhh! It is the season of good will, and they were in a hurry!

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That's it, you've convinced me. Now saving saving up to get the Skyliner 300p Flextube ilo the Skymax 127 SupaTrak.

I'd never heard of the Astro Fix, but that sounds like a nice piece of kit. Can you do a review of that as well please?

My first scope was a Celestron C8 Computerised, (which I stupidly sold, must have been the original push to?), followed recently by a Helios 130 refractor on an EQ3-2 mount. (Didn't like the vibey mount so that went too).

What is the total weight of the complete set up please?

Steve

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If it stays clear tonight I'll do a review of the Astro fix when it's away from any ferrous metal interferance, although on the first run out it did put most objects in the FOV of a 32mm EP You can find out more about it here,

http://www.manortronics-force-gauges.com/Telescope_examples.html

Not sure of the weight but it is heavy, I can't carry it in one piece, but the base and OTA are easily transportable seperately. From my short experience though, I can highly recommend the scope.

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  • 5 months later...

My dad had that wallpaper in the 1970's :)

On a serious note with 12" of aperture you to see so much, you will be amazed. If I was you I would ditch the finder and get a telrad, so much easier to use on a dob.

Have fun and look forward to your observation reports.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OR ... you could also consider a Rigel Qwikfinder instead of a Telrad - it is much smaller and works equally well. At least, I use one on my 12" Flextube, and it works a treat.

From Qwikfinder to 8x50 finder to EP giving x100 Mag in 3 easy steps. Works a treat. :)

M13 at x167 (9mm EP) is a fantastic sight in this scope. Lunar craters, mountains and rilles just jump out at you. Absolutely fantastic to drift over the Lunar surface at about x250 Mag - so much detail.

As you can see - I like this 'scope - It has converted me from a GOTO SCT to Dobs.

Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Heheh - Not so much (but a bit!) taller than Kayleigh. Lately, I have been wondering if a Dobsonian of such ilk would be "tall enough" to peer over the side of a typical shed-type observatory. Maybe I'd need a "concrete block". LOL. Food for thought, anyway! I am fairly convinced the 10" version would be nearer my personal (physical fitness) limit. Though I see (fear) it is a slightly "faster" scope... :)

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  • 1 year later...

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