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Help Me Choose Please


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Hello, this is my first post but I've been a lurker for weeks. I've been doing a LOT of research and now need a little help. Originally I had set my heart on a Skywatcher Explorer 200, however, budget wont allow, so i'm now down to a choice of 4 (2 actually but different models)

Skywatcher Explorer 130/ 130P I'm aware that the difference is the 'P' has a parabolic mirror, but does the difference in cost justify any difference in performance between the 'P' and the non 'P'?

Absolute extreme of my budget is Explorer 150, but again a problem in choice, what performance difference is there between the 'P' version and the 'PL' (long) version?

Also, is the difference in price between the 130 and the 150 a justifiable difference? Is the performance much different?

Mounts would be the EQ3-2 for the 150 and EQ2 for the 130.

If anyone is selling any of the above or a 200P with mount at the right price I'm very interested.

many thanks.

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Get one with a "P", the parabolic is worth having.

Get the one with the EQ3-2 mount. It is bigger, better and can be upgraded with motors later if you want.

Concerning the P or PL, down to choice but I think that the P has the edge, in that it is shorter but no difference in performance. Remember that the PL will get by with less expensive eyepieces which may be a factor.

You will have to check the For Sale section to see if anyone is selling, alternatively try U.K. Astronomy Buy & Sell and see if there is something suitable there.

Edited by Capricorn
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If you need to transport it often to a dark site go for the 130.

If you'll be observing at home then the 150 will allow you to see more. I would personally go for the PL since it will provide more satisfying views when used with cheaper EPs.

One of the main things you left out of your post is the mount. Either you have your mind set on EQ (if so ignore this part of my reply) or you haven't given much thought to it. Be sure to learn the differences between Equatorial and Dobsodian mounts as it will affect both the observing experience as well as the time needed to setup the scope. I'm not trying to push any specific type of mount on you, just pointing out the choice in the mount is as important as the choice on the scope as it will affect the way you observe.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

Have looked at the various mounts, budget removes motorised as a choice at the moment, I'd rather have a good scope on a decent non motorised than an average scope on an average motorised mount.

EQ looks the one for me, won't be much travelling, I live about 770 ft above sea level in an area that is quite dark, best views are NW to NE as the back of the house faces roughly North.

So, the viewing difference between the 130 and the 150 are quite noticeable then?

Edited by TopHouse
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I'd get the 150 on the EQ3-2. The aperture wont make THAT much difference but the 150 on an EQ3-2 will give a bigger range of upgrade options later on.

A 6" Newtonian is a pretty powerful beast really and would give good views. My sister as the short tube version but I think if I were buying and size and weight weren't a major factor I'd go for the long tube as it will be easier on EPs.

Oh - also the short tube is I believe fitted with a Crayford focuser which the long tube isn't. That might slant your choice.

Either way I'd give Steve at FLO a ring and see whats what. You never know there might be a deal to be hand.

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Ok if you have the patience, the 200p scopes do come up on the 'for sale' section, sometimes including the mount sometimes without, either way it's worth a go. Check out my signuture, most of my gear is second hand - basically I've spent half the going 'new' rate for astro gear and loving ever minute of this hobby!! So good luck on which ever way you decide to go but for me second hand is great!! :hello2:

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