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Skymax 127 Vs Celestron 127


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I imagine this topic has been covered before, but I'm currently trying to compare the Skywatcher skymax 127 AZ-GTI Vs the Celestron nexstar127 slt.

 

Apart from the obvious difference being the mount and one being operated via your one whilst the other is operated by a handset. Is there any other differences I should know about? I know some people have said that the celestron mount is sturdier and that it's alignment procedure is easier to use. Although I'm not sure if they're refering to the original skymax 127 or the new wireless model when making the comparison. Link bellow so everyone knows which version I'm talking about.

 

http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/beginners-telescopes/skymax-127-az-gti.html

 

 

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One of my four scopes is a Celestron 127slt. The scope produces beautiful images, and the mount tracks very, very well.  The tripod is pure d crap-it shakes like jelly. I bought a used 4/5se tripod, and using a bolt and three neoprene washers, cured the shakes.  It is an absolutely wonderful little scope and alignments are quite easy. 

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1 hour ago, Dave Matison said:

One of my four scopes is a Celestron 127slt. The scope produces beautiful images, and the mount tracks very, very well.  The tripod is pure d crap-it shakes like jelly. I bought a used 4/5se tripod, and using a bolt and three neoprene washers, cured the shakes.  It is an absolutely wonderful little scope and alignments are quite easy. 

 

From what I've heard, when compared with the original GoTo skywatcher mount the celestron is more stable. Although the new AZ-GTI mount is apparently the sturdiest of them all. I'll wait for more feedback. 

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4 hours ago, Spier24 said:

I imagine this topic has been covered before, but I'm currently trying to compare the Skywatcher skymax 127 AZ-GTI Vs the Celestron nexstar127 slt.

 

Apart from the obvious difference being the mount and one being operated via your one whilst the other is operated by a handset. Is there any other differences I should know about? I know some people have said that the celestron mount is sturdier and that it's alignment procedure is easier to use. Although I'm not sure if they're refering to the original skymax 127 or the new wireless model when making the comparison. Link bellow so everyone knows which version I'm talking about.

 

http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/beginners-telescopes/skymax-127-az-gti.html

 

 

I have the Skymax 127 on an az gti mount, though the mount and tripod only arrived this week so not used it in anger yet due to lots of cloud formation, but looking at videos online and a rough try from my lounge the alignment process is quite simple, you can level the scope horizontally and pointing north then align with two stars and good to go. Via a wedge, counterweight bar and weights with a firmware upgrade the mount can be used in equatorial mode. The Skymax isn't really a 127 aperture it's more like a 119mm aperture but when I've used mine it has cracking views and so sharp on planets, double stars and also some dso are possible, I'm delighted with my Skymax 127 beautiful scope, just want the clouds to clear to try my setup out. Clear skies 

Edited by LeeHore7
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So far as I am aware, the Celestron and Sky-watcher 127mm Mak OTAs are essentially the same.  As for the mounts,  I prefer to use a handset as I feel it is more reliable as you don't have to deal with the vaguarities of wi-fi.  I remember working in a lab where they had to rip out the wifi connections to the laptops as other gear there interfered with it.

Re software, I prefer the Nexstar system as it seems more user-friendly. You don't for instance have that Synscan bother of having to align the mount north before you start.  And it has a useful 'solar system align' feature.

Re the tripods, the SLT tripod is quite wobbly and I try to avoid its use as far as possible, by putting the 127mm Mak on a totally different and more solid mount/tripod, or using the SLT mount with a sturdier wood tripod.  I suspect the other lightweight mounts cited are not a whole lot better.

I hope this helps.

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Hi,

I got a skywatcher 127 as first scope recently and before buying I made some researches and was considering the celestron model too. At the end I went for sky mak considering the models were equivalent as performances but the az gti mount was more attractive. Unfortunately cannot tell you if the optical performances are really similar as I never tried the celestron. I am happy of how the mak performs on the Moon, bit disappointed about planets  (at least with the higher magnification eyepiece). I want to say something more about the experience with the mount (But be aware that I did not try it a lot until now). A feature that you did not mention that I find very useful is the possibility of using it without power like a simple az mount thanks to free encoder Tech. I find the mount also  quite stable and solid.  However I have serious problem when I use the app (also thinking to send it back to check it). Tracking is not precise and I believe having also connectivity (or functional) problems as allignment procedure stops with the scope pointing at completely wrong positions. I have used 8 batteries AA unti now, and I will give few other attempts with a different power supply before seeking for assistance as I was never happy of the performances. I read some similar complaints around on different forums and wondering if there is a real issue with this mount or I was just not lucky. I read also very good reviews of the mount, just want to underline my experience with it. 

Forgot to say,

A potential benefit from the AZ gti was the possibility to update to equatorial mount. I do not know that much of this though as I did not make researches 

Edited by Dario
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Generally sounds like the AZ-GTI mount is sturdier than the SLT mount. I hate to think what the mount was like oh the original 127 GoTo because most people say that the celestron version had a sturdier mounting.

 

Also to the guy who had issues with the mount, go for a power back instead of the AA batteries. The mount won't really work properly if the batteries aren't at full charge.

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8 hours ago, Dario said:

Hi,

I got a skywatcher 127 as first scope recently and before buying I made some researches and was considering the celestron model too. At the end I went for sky mak considering the models were equivalent as performances but the az gti mount was more attractive. Unfortunately cannot tell you if the optical performances are really similar as I never tried the celestron. I am happy of how the mak performs on the Moon, bit disappointed about planets  (at least with the higher magnification eyepiece). I want to say something more about the experience with the mount (But be aware that I did not try it a lot until now). A feature that you did not mention that I find very useful is the possibility of using it without power like a simple az mount thanks to free encoder Tech. I find the mount also  quite stable and solid.  However I have serious problem when I use the app (also thinking to send it back to check it). Tracking is not precise and I believe having also connectivity (or functional) problems as allignment procedure stops with the scope pointing at completely wrong positions. I have used 8 batteries AA unti now, and I will give few other attempts with a different power supply before seeking for assistance as I was never happy of the performances. I read some similar complaints around on different forums and wondering if there is a real issue with this mount or I was just not lucky. I read also very good reviews of the mount, just want to underline my experience with it. 

Forgot to say,

A potential benefit from the AZ gti was the possibility to update to equatorial mount. I do not know that much of this though as I did not make researches 

Seems like you possibly have a faulty mount or it's due to using AA batteries. I've been told that it's much better to get a power pack as the night won't function well on AA's unless they're at full or near full charge. 

 

How's the stability of the mount? I think km correct in saying that the Skywatcher one has an aluminium mount where as the celestron has a stainless steel one.

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Just now, Spier24 said:

Seems like you possibly have a faulty mount or it's due to using AA batteries. I've been told that it's much better to get a power pack as the night won't function well on AA's unless they're at full or near full charge. 

 

How's the stability of the mount? I think km correct in saying that the Skywatcher one has an aluminium mount where as the celestron has a stainless steel one.

Yes, thought of the batteries but I have feeling it is a faulty one. I am taking a bit of time to test it in ideal conditions, and in case I am going to ask for assistance to the seller. This is a bit annoying above all if needs to be sent out as probably it takes time. I said that because if more reviews are experiencing similar problems it could be an aspect to take in account (waiting times can be annoying). For the stability, I believe you are correct, should be alluminium. However in my opinion is more solid than it looks in picture. Because of the fact this is my first mount I have no elements to compare though.

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29 minutes ago, Dario said:

Yes, thought of the batteries but I have feeling it is a faulty one. I am taking a bit of time to test it in ideal conditions, and in case I am going to ask for assistance to the seller. This is a bit annoying above all if needs to be sent out as probably it takes time. I said that because if more reviews are experiencing similar problems it could be an aspect to take in account (waiting times can be annoying). For the stability, I believe you are correct, should be alluminium. However in my opinion is more solid than it looks in picture. Because of the fact this is my first mount I have no elements to compare though.

 

I've not seen any other reviews about the mount being faulty so I don't think it's very common. 

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I have owned three of the AZ-GTi mounts , one of them was faulty .. but two were superb . The tripod that they are supplied with is at best adequate but it does the job . In The end though i bought a steel tripod with 3/8” bolt . It made the mount rock solid and I am regretting selling it . In fact , I am thinking of investing in another one . As for using the az-gti with batteries , I used it for 4 nights without any problems , however a different power supply would be my preference. 
I can’t comment on the Celestron scope but I have used the skymax skywatcher one and as long as you let it cool down it gives great views . 
Choice is a great thing until it’s you that has to make it . Lol it’s a  bit of a lottery as you will get lots of opinions from genuine people on here . 
Whilst a handset is great as actually pressing buttons on a cold night gives more feedback than trying to press a phone screen or a tablet , but I actually prefer the modern wifi method . 
just my opinion of course . 
good luck in what ever you decide. 

Edited by Stu1smartcookie
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1 hour ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

I have owned three of the AZ-GTi mounts , one of them was faulty .. but two were superb . The tripod that they are supplied with is at best adequate but it does the job . In The end though i bought a steel tripod with 3/8” bolt . It made the mount rock solid and I am regretting selling it . In fact , I am thinking of investing in another one . As for using the az-gti with batteries , I used it for 4 nights without any problems , however a different power supply would be my preference. 
I can’t comment on the Celestron scope but I have used the skymax skywatcher one and as long as you let it cool down it gives great views . 
Choice is a great thing until it’s you that has to make it . Lol it’s a  bit of a lottery as you will get lots of opinions from genuine people on here . 
Whilst a handset is great as actually pressing buttons on a cold night gives more feedback than trying to press a phone screen or a tablet , but I actually prefer the modern wifi method . 
just my opinion of course . 
good luck in what ever you decide. 

Those are the two differences between the Skywatcher and the celestron models, the tripod and the handset. The celestron align process seems easier but the Skywatcher one isn't that hard either. I'll probably end up going with the Skywatcher model due to how shaky the celestron tripod is supposed to be.

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10 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Whilst a handset is great as actually pressing buttons on a cold night gives more feedback than trying to press a phone screen or a tablet

I have 3 similar, and yet very different, mounts, with the same tripod.

Comp3(R).jpg.b9dfa61876a002323b0ae685bbc421d0.jpg

The Skymax has the Synscan GoTo handset; the Skyprodigy uses its built-in webcam to plate-solve for alignment, and a different wired handset and software interface; and the Cosmos uses a WiFi link to my tablet. Whilst looking through an eyepiece, I find it much easier to use a handset with proper, tactile, buttons; than trying to press "virtual" buttons, somewhere towards the edge of my tablet's screen.

12 hours ago, Spier24 said:

I've been told that it's much better to get a power pack as the night won't function well on AA's unless they're at full or near full charge.

Each of the above mounts are supplied with an 8-cell battery holder, that sits in a little satchel, and plugs into the external supply socket. These are designed for use with 1.5V alkaline cells, and the mount's electronics needs close-to 12V for reliable operation. If any of the 16 spring or pad contacts are not pristine, the increased resistance can cause the voltage to drop, particularly when the mount is slewing at maximum rate. I tend to use a 12V, 2A, plug-top PSU; and for a portable supply, a pair of 6V, 2600mAh battery packs, borrowed from my radio-controlled model sailing yachts, and a "Y" lead to get 12 to 14V. These sit neatly in the satchel, and I have added stick-on plastic hooks to the mounts, to hold the satchel.

1945991191_PowerSources-Annotated(R).jpg.7e19f0ebb7b949273d83788898ffa520.jpg

Geoff

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Neither mount will be sturdy until one upgrades the tripod.  I run my AZ-Gti on an old EQ6 tripod.  That's sturdy!  I use all sorts of scopes on it, ED80, Lunt solar scope, SW 150 Mak, WO Megrez 90 etc.  No AA battery mount in my experience will run or track reliably until the power supply is upgraded. I use my Dewalt cordless drill battery (with its USB charging hood) stepped up from 5V to 12V using an adapter cable.  The cable can take 800mA which is more than enough for the mount.  One battery will last two nights between charging. Alignment? It's a doddle using the Synscan App on an iPhone. You can choose various options for that like Brightest Object, North level etc.  I often use the setup for Solar imaging and it tracks fine all day.

9C4169AE-EF63-47E0-9563-5C7D2865CFE3.JPEG.36e0b6aeb9036137ff5a27db4d712219.JPEG

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1 hour ago, Owmuchonomy said:

Neither mount will be sturdy until one upgrades the tripod.  I run my AZ-Gti on an old EQ6 tripod.  That's sturdy!  I use all sorts of scopes on it, ED80, Lunt solar scope, SW 150 Mak, WO Megrez 90 etc.  No AA battery mount in my experience will run or track reliably until the power supply is upgraded. I use my Dewalt cordless drill battery (with its USB charging hood) stepped up from 5V to 12V using an adapter cable.  The cable can take 800mA which is more than enough for the mount.  One battery will last two nights between charging. Alignment? It's a doddle using the Synscan App on an iPhone. You can choose various options for that like Brightest Object, North level etc.  I often use the setup for Solar imaging and it tracks fine all day.

9C4169AE-EF63-47E0-9563-5C7D2865CFE3.JPEG.36e0b6aeb9036137ff5a27db4d712219.JPEG

I already plan on getting a power pack after the numerous issues I've read about the mount not operating properly with batteries. Although from what I've read the AZ GTI mount is sturdier than the SLT mount. Also great photo! 

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I've got the AZ GTi and put it on a Vixen Custom tripod. The result is a much firmer base and better go-tos.  The one the mount comes with is ok'ish, but the upgrade is very much worth it. You can use a handset with the AZ GTi if you have one kicking around. However, I use the Synscan app which works with Sky Safari to really open up possibilities.  The tube is a Skywatcher 127 Mak, which I'm pleased with.   I run the mount with Eneloop rechargeable batteries no problem.   I have used the same tube with the SLT mount, but prefer the AZ GTi.

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Just to put an end to what's been an interesting thread. I've managed to find a comparison and it appears that the Az Gti mount is sturdier than the celestron slt or skywatcher GoTo mount :)

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The OTA's are identical as far as I know. The AZ-GTi is generally very highly regarded, but you'll want to upgrade the tripod at some pooint. 

I picked up a used 127 on the old AZ GOTO mount earlier this year and the tripod is a bit naff. It's also difficult to change the tripod because of the unique bowl of the GOTO / SLT mounts, although I've seen it done. 

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4 hours ago, sputniksteve said:

The OTA's are identical as far as I know. The AZ-GTi is generally very highly regarded, but you'll want to upgrade the tripod at some pooint. 

I picked up a used 127 on the old AZ GOTO mount earlier this year and the tripod is a bit naff. It's also difficult to change the tripod because of the unique bowl of the GOTO / SLT mounts, although I've seen it done. 

The old skywatcher 127 goto and the celestron 127 are both supposed to be quite wobbly.  Very nice scope though.

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On 17/01/2021 at 16:01, Spier24 said:

Just to put an end to what's been an interesting thread. I've managed to find a comparison and it appears that the Az Gti mount is sturdier than the celestron slt or skywatcher GoTo mount :)

any chance you can link to that comparison?

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8 minutes ago, chris-star said:

any chance you can link to that comparison?

I'll try to find it again, but i definitely read somewhere that the az gti mount and tripod are sturdier than the original GoTo setup.

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I don’t have any experience with the Skymax but the Celestron 127 was recommended by someone in my astronomy club as her favourite even though she had bigger scopes. I bought one in 2013 and it has been my main scope since then. It is so much fun to use I have been reluctant to buy anything else (although I just bought my first refractor). I upgraded all the eyepieces (I use BSTs and a Baader MK IV zoom), the RDF and I use a Celestron lithium power tank which has a brilliant red light that shines on the accessory tray when I’m setting up). I find the optics fantastic, the GoTo system is ridiculously easy to use and the mount is a bit wobbly but I haven’t changed it. I find that if I don’t extend the tripod legs and use it on a soft surface (grass) it is acceptable for me. It has been a brilliant visual scope, it’s been on many holidays with me and I am very glad I bought it.

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11 hours ago, Nicola Fletcher said:

I don’t have any experience with the Skymax but the Celestron 127 was recommended by someone in my astronomy club as her favourite even though she had bigger scopes. I bought one in 2013 and it has been my main scope since then. It is so much fun to use I have been reluctant to buy anything else (although I just bought my first refractor). I upgraded all the eyepieces (I use BSTs and a Baader MK IV zoom), the RDF and I use a Celestron lithium power tank which has a brilliant red light that shines on the accessory tray when I’m setting up). I find the optics fantastic, the GoTo system is ridiculously easy to use and the mount is a bit wobbly but I haven’t changed it. I find that if I don’t extend the tripod legs and use it on a soft surface (grass) it is acceptable for me. It has been a brilliant visual scope, it’s been on many holidays with me and I am very glad I bought it.

I've only heard good things about the scope. I believe the only differences between the Skywatcher and celestron versions is that the celestron tripod is a bit sturdier and the celestron alignment system is easier to use. Although the new Skywatcher az gti is supposed to be he best of the bunch in terms of tripod stability.

 

If I get the scope then I'll probably just upgrade the eyepieces to some standard skywatcher plossls. 

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