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durr

10" Skywatcher Dobsonian

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Since buying this telescope I have not really had the chance to give it a good nights viewing until recently which in one sense was ok because it gave me time to get used to this type of telescope. One of the first extras that I bought was a HoTech laser collimator which was probably the best tool I have bought in a long time. Due to my moving the tube around the collimation was off by some margin. Placing the laser into the 2” slot and following the instructions the laser was quickly aligned along the optical path within I would say 5 minutes and gave perfect in and out of focus star views. I also bought a shroud from FLO which is really essential to keep stray light out, although where I live is not too bad.

The construction is very good and surprisingly robust to say the least and the folding mechanism was easy to use and also held its collimation very well. The telescope needs to be leveled in order to operate the tracking mechanism and there seems to be a bit of back play in the motors, but once you get the hang of this you can get the tracking device working very well. You can also operate the mount by hand but it is stiffer than a normal Dobsonian due to the motors I suspect but still is quite usable. The locating slews are more than adequate and will quickly get you to any part of the sky quickly so make sure you align the telescope due north and set your latitude so your tracking kicks in when selected. The operational manual for the telescope is easy to use and again once the latitude and the leveling of the telescope are set up you just need a star atlas and of course a finder on the OTA and away you go.

I would be interested if anyone had any suggetions for photography as far as the focussing mechanism is concerned. I tried to bring my camera to focus, which is a Canon D40 but it was too far from the secondary so do I need to invest in a new focusser and if so which one?

My first objects were the three star clusters in Auriga M38, M36 and M37 which even in my light polluted area really stood out well and very bright with plenty of detail. NGC 869 & NGC 884 were my next subjects and again using a X31 eyepiece gave me a really good view of this famous double cluster. The moon is outstanding with so much detail it’s like you are actually flying over the planet observing from just a few thousands of miles. I think lunar photography would be possible without too much trouble especially with today’s cameras. Altogether I am pleased with this instrument and I think much serious work could be undertaken if one wished. If you have a really dark sky then I would think about the 12” but for me the 10” is just great. Steve

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Congrats with your new scope !

This type didn't exist unfortunately when I purchased my 10" Skywtcher... The tracking system makes your scope much more convenient, but I cannot judge about it how good is it for imaging. I think you can do serious planetary imaging like it is now.

For deepsky you need to take long enough ( >2 min ) guided exposures, and this is not supported by the tracking mechanism I think.

Nevertheless, for imaging the Moon you should be able to use your Canon camera. I replaced the original focuser with a Moonlite one, and I can easily get the sensor into direct focus, but look around if there are other low profile focusers for this purpose.

I suspect you will have balancing issues when the Canon hangs on the scope, this can be solved by attaching a sufficient counterweight on the back side ( f.e. by using small supermagnet(s) ).

Good luck !

Janos

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Nice review. Still undecided on my future scope. This one is not yet completely out of the running! <G> In a non-linear progression the 10" actually seems to provide the most "bang" for the weight? :hello2:

- Dobsons SkyWatcher Flextube

Do you keep it in one piece or assemble it prior to observing? :)

If the former, could you tell me how TALL the complete scope is, in the stowed (vertical) position? I can estimate this, but just wondering if the 10" could potentially live in my outside store... Add some wheels etc. No worries, if it's too cold outside! :)

P.S. I did see similar reference to the "backlash" phenomena. Dunno whether it was "solved", or remained a "feature" - But might be worthy of a Web search?

Edited by Macavity

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I always keep the scope in my house and just carry it outdoors when I need to observe and I have never taken it apart to store it. I am 58 years old but can lift this scope easy and carry it where I need to observe from. A good item to have is an observing stool because when fully extended the telescope even when mounted is not that tall and I find a stool great for observing. Try to get an ex office stool one that is telescopic, this will make your observing sessions much more pleasurable. The backlash isn’t that much of a problem and like I said earlier once you get used to how much backlash there is you can compensate for it. I will measure the dimensions of the telescope for you tonight and let you know. I think for the amount of mirror you get whether 8”, 10” or 12” these scopes are well worth the money. Also the beauty of these telescopes is that they are simple to use and don’t take forever to setup and they also force you to learn your way around the sky. I have an EQ6 Pro with a 5” ED refractor on and finding stuff to view isn’t a problem but the Dobsonian is a different ball game altogether so maybe you should also buy a good star atlas also. Johnderby wrote up an excellent article on putting wheels on this type of mount along with a fan the article is well worth reading. Altogether a beautiful scope and you will definitely be wowed by the views. Steve PS thanks Janos for the focusser info.

Edited by durr

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Durr

I just joined this forum and this is my first post to someone: in this case to thank you for your review on SW collapsible 10" Dobson. It gave me the final push to go for it. I had read several reviews and also received a few pieces of advise fomr other but you touched 2 topics that helped a lot:

Weight. In my supreme ignorance (I have no telescope at all so, this is my first purchase!) I was not fully aware of how a Dobson is mounted. I was considering moving the whole 27 kg in one piece. I need to move to darker spots no more than 5 to 10 minute drive from home. I travel a lot and I have a pretty good idea of what it is to move around a 27kg suitcase. Then I realized (shame on me) that you can move the scope in 2 separate pieces and that is no drama at all. Mind you, I am 59, still fit but...you never know.

Tracking engine. You just mentioned was I was wondering about: that you can operate the scope also without the tracking mechanisms but uit is a bit stiffer. Sure I could have asked that to a a dealer where I live (Germany) but they most probably would say just "Yes, you can". But nothing beats the comment of someone actually using the scope. First hand experience.

So, thanks for that great review and also for the comment on the HOTech collimator. I'll sure get one too.

Clear skies (by warned: I may come with more questions to you..)

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I have the very same scope and am really pleased with it. Someone on SGL suggested fitting lockable castors to the base, which allows me to move it around the decking really easily. Collimation is a constant challenge, so bobs knobs and a Hotech definitely help make it simpler. I found flocking the OTA appears to improve contrast on the likes of planets and the moon. I really have had some stunning views through this scope.

Alex

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Hi Steve, Yes I have recently acquired the same model as you and am pleased as punch, easy to carry and assemble in minutes, quick to set up, bucket loads of light and looks very nice to boot! I also got the hotech collimator which makes collimation a breeze.:)

Now all we need are some clear skies...

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