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Skymax 127 must have accessories


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I assume you're buying the all-in-one kit like this one https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-skymax-127-az-gti.html ?

I bought the same kit (albeit the Skymax-102 version) originally and I found that the vibration at higher powers was just too bad on that tripod. I had to buy the steel tripod upgrade (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-accessories/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html) before I was happy. You might consider getting the 'scope, mount head & that tripod separately in the first instance.

The other thing I have found useful is one of these: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/baader-t-thread-to-125-helical-focuser.html. I struggle with the built-in focuser when observing, so what I do is get it into a rough focus at the start of a session then leave it alone, using the helical focuser between the 'scope & diagonal for fine focus instead.

Edited by JBadger
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Many thanks for the replies. The heavier tripod makes sense. In fact, all of the suggestions make sense! Budget isn't limitless and would be interested in recommendations for additional eyepieces.

What a great forum this is!

Steve

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3 hours ago, Steve Reed said:

Many thanks for the replies. The heavier tripod makes sense. In fact, all of the suggestions make sense! Budget isn't limitless and would be interested in recommendations for additional eyepieces.

What a great forum this is!

Steve

Hi Steve welcome to SGL! 

I use a Skywatcher Mak 127 as my main telescope on an AZGTi mount and am loving it every time out. 
 

Top accesories in my first year with have been: ditching the supplies Red Dot a finder in favour of a Skywatcher 9x50 RACI finder side by side with a Telrad optical sight.  Makes directing the Mak’s slightly narrow field sooo much easier. 
 

On eyepieces, the 25mm that came with is pretty decent but the 10mm is a bit rubbish. 

I bought an 8 - 24mm zoom which covers from 67x - 188x in the Mak. I have the Baader Hyperion IV and can recommend but the cheaper Hyperflex seems well thought of. 
There’s a 2.25x Barlow that goes with it which turns the zoom into a 10mm -  3.5mm - 150x -428x  for the odd night that will stand very high magnification. 


You’ll want something that gives the maximum field of view possible in the Mak (which I believe is 1.04 degrees).  You can do this with a 32mm Plossl (I got a generic one from TS Optics and it’s lovely and sharp).  If you want the same field with a bit more magnification, the Baader Hyperion 24mm fixed fits the bill and is my main galaxy-Hunter. (If you’re feeling flush the Televue Panoptic 24mm would be the luxury option for this job). 
 

Others here have mentioned the AZ GTi upgraded clamp from ADM which makes a surprising difference to stability.  I also added a PB70 “puck” so that I can use the mount more securely in “manual mode” - (the AZ GTi’s  Azimuth clutch is the one thing on it that seems a bit flimsy so lots of owners tighten it up and leave it like that, using an alternative pan base like the PB 70 for manual). 

Have fun, it’s a super practical scope with lovely optics, all you need are for these clouds to clear! 

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I've had this telescope/mount combination for a few weeks and so far the only mod I've made is an electric focuser. I lack the engineering skills of @banjaxed so I bought this:

Sky-Watcher Auto Focuser | First Light Optics

and followed this guys video with his supplied 3D printed back and accessories:

 https://youtu.be/yWQPqdAQ_ps

it works well for me. I'm hoping for a RACI finder in my Xmas stocking ( I don't like grovelling on the ground to look through the red dot finder!) and I'm considering upgrading the diagonal but so many people consider this to be an unnecessary upgrade.

Edited by LaurenceT
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4 hours ago, Steve Reed said:

Many thanks for the replies. The heavier tripod makes sense. In fact, all of the suggestions make sense! Budget isn't limitless and would be interested in recommendations for additional eyepieces.

What a great forum this is!

Steve

There's an excellent condition & bargain priced 32mm plossl in the classifieds... (shameless plug *cough*). 😁

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I've had a Skymax 127 (albeit on a SynScan AZ GOTO mount) for six months now. It's my first scope and I've made several upgrades.

I'd definitely recommend a power pack, to avoid trailing cables. I have a Celestron Powertank and I'm very pleased with it. I bought this upgrade before the scope even arrived!

1 hour ago, SuburbanMak said:

ditching the supplies Red Dot a finder in favour of a Skywatcher 9x50 RACI finder

My Mak came with a straight 6x30 finderscope but I got tired of crawling around on the ground very quickly and upgraded to the Sky-Watcher 9x50 Right-Angled Finderscope which is much better optically and means the finderscope and main eyepieces are orientated in the same direction.

A few people here have mentioned how sensitive the focus knob can be. It is, and I've tried various fixes. I had a Baader Helical Focuser for a while but found that touching it set the scope vibrating, plus it turned when I adjusted the Baader Hyperion Zoom, so I've got rid of it. I also toyed with a motorised focuser but they are a lot of faff to fix as there isn't one made for this scope. I now use a modified cloths peg which was recommended by many but I thought may be a little basic.

P1060109.thumb.JPG.8ca05233d15ba8a242f0c187d9dc6a69.JPG

Actually it works brilliantly! Light touches on the end of the peg give very fine focus adjustment without vibrating the scope. I should have just done this straight away instead of looking for a hi-tech solution.

You will need more than just the basic 10mm and 25mm eyepieces that come with the scope. I started by adding a Baader Hyperion Zoom which is still my main eyepiece, but I've since spent more on eyepieces than I did on the scope and mount! My current favourite is an Explore Scientific 68° 24mm.

 

Edited by PeterC65
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1 hour ago, LaurenceT said:

I've had this telescope/mount combination for a few weeks and so far the only mod I've made is an electric focuser. I lack the engineering skills of @banjaxed so I bought this:

Sky-Watcher Auto Focuser | First Light Optics

and followed this guys video with his supplied 3D printed back and accessories:

 https://youtu.be/yWQPqdAQ_ps

it works well for me. I'm hoping for a RACI finder in my Xmas stocking ( I don't like grovelling on the ground to look through the red dot finder!) and I'm considering upgrading the diagonal but so many people consider this to be an unnecessary upgrade.

Just wondering how you managed to fit that motor focuser to a Skymax 127. 🤔

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I also have the SynScan 127 model like @PeterC65 and also like him opted for the low tec focuser mod. This is a simple 3D printed glow in the dark fitting that slips over the existing focus knob. Although not perfect it gives me good enough sensitivity to achieve focus at high magnification. A power supply is essential to operate the go to with any amount of accuracy. When I first bought the scope I tried to operate it with 8 x Duracell batteries and despite the batteries being new the go to was hit and miss. No issues whatsoever with the power bank. Eyepieces are an essential upgrade IMHO. The 25mm is useable and the 10mm is poor. I also bought the Baader Hyperion Zoom and Barlow, a range of BST Starguiders and several flat field eyepieces. I would recommend getting an 8mm and a 15mm Starguider eyepieces and using your existing 25mm to get you started. I also couldn’t stand the 6x30 finder and swapped it for a telrad which I love using. Oh and I dew shield of course which I made myself. Good luck as it’s a fantastic little scope.487DE8AA-EFAD-4389-91D9-9B20B9104F06.thumb.jpeg.9cc268a1fb50b61fc1a42559bab99764.jpegC3371483-87F1-4B29-A443-9319B93FA502.thumb.jpeg.eebb3bc01692d68becaaf12da02db634.jpeg

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6 hours ago, bosun21 said:

A power supply is essential to operate the go to with any amount of accuracy. When I first bought the scope I tried to operate it with 8 x Duracell batteries and despite the batteries being new the go to was hit and miss

This is very true. On a cold night, on AA batteries the mount is not reliable.  It needs 12v

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12 hours ago, LaurenceT said:

Check out the second part of the video I linked to.

Thanks, I didn’t know you could get an adapter for the Skymax. It looks like a great idea but mine was more fun and a lot faster 😀

Edited by banjaxed
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Welcome. I have this scope too with the AZ-GTi mount and tripod. It a great portable setup. I have since added a felt lined dew shield (absolute must have), 12v powertank as running from batteries is unreliable and ditched the red dot finder for a Astromaster 9x50 RACI. Payload is something to look out for too, I think if I remember rightly the scope is 3kg and the AZ-GTi has a limit of 5kg so be mindful of the weight of any upgrades.  As others have said and I agree with, the focuser is fiddly so I must try a few of the suggestions in this thread. I got some additional Celestron eyepieces along with a 2.5x Televue Powermate also. I know some suggest hanging a counterweight from the tripod to anchor it down too if budget is a premium but I find the clutches on the legs can slowly slip at times if overloaded. I since upgraded to an EQ5 anyway as I'm considering a second widefield scope and fallen down the astrophotography rabbit hole. Generally, if I go anywhere on vacation the AZ-GTI comes with me.

Edited by rob_r
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I've been using the 127 Mak (not the same mount) for about 12 years now. In my opinion, essential accessories include a dew shield (DIY works well) and something better in the eyepiece line than the Skywatcher offerings. Two that I use most with my scope are the Hyperflex 7.2 - 24mm zoom, plus a decent 25mm wide field eyepiece such as the X-Cel (I use this one, but there are many others). The zoom performs well at the higher mag end where the limited field of view doesn't matter so much, and the 25mm gives you good views of easier galaxies and other DSOs.

Chris

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Starting out myself and added a Svbony helical focuser, this has an SCT adaptor which then screws on to a mak to sct adaptor. While using it can cause some shake the locking screw acts as an index so you can feel how much you have rotated the focusser. This is a double helix so the diagonal/eypiece does not rotate. No one had a desiccant cap in stock so I made one up from a 1.25 to T2 nose, a T2 dustcap, a cheap 1.25 filter with the glass removed and replaced by a bit of aluminium mesh, and an o-ring to give a nice fit to the focusser.

The case is a Challeger 5014 from Trifibre.

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