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Thoughts on my next scope


johnkirkpatrick
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Hey folks, to cut a long story short.

Im looking for a new scope in july and cant seem to make my mind up at all,lol

Im torn between a skywatcher skyliner 300p or a skywatcher explorer 200p with the eq5 or eq5 goto.

My worries are collimation and the dob will prob need the most.

but really i want the best for my money as £700 will be my max(:))

also considered the skyliner flex-tube 300p but worries me there is the mirrors are very exposed.

I would love to hear any of you opinions on which to get and even welcome other scopes to consider.

I will also need ep's and filters. and found celestron ep set in a nice case for £160 in FLO, are they any good? as they are in my budget.

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I moved from an 8-inch dob to the flextube 300 because I wanted to see fainter DSOs than I could see with the 8-inch, and I haven't been disappointed - it's a great scope. But you see a lot of them on sale from people who've found them too bulky and never use them. So you need to ask yourself why you want a new scope - what do you want to do that you can't do at present? And how much physical effort (as well as cash) are you willing to put in, so as to achieve that goal?

On planets I find the Flextube actually inferior to my Orion 8-inch, but I didn't buy it for that. As a scope that I can easily get to my dark site, set up very quickly, and that shows me lots of stuff, it's ideal. I use an Astrozap shroud on mine so there's never any chance of anything falling on the primary. I collimate every time I use it - laser on the secondary and cheshire for the primary, takes a couple of minutes. I made sure I learned to collimate properly on the 8-inch before buying the 12-inch because I knew I'd need to get used to it. But it does hold collimation pretty well, even after a bumpy car ride, so I could get away with being a bit lazy.

For me it will always be dobs, because they're just great for DSOs. But you've got to get the right tool for the job - once you've figured out what the job is.

Edited by acey
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I'd agree with the comment that the dob will be best for visual. I'd consider getting just one eyepiece rather than a set as well.

If this is your "next" scope I assume you already have some eyepieces. With that in mind I'd blow all your eyepiece budget on a single piece. The eyepiece I use most is a 30mm Aero ED. Buying it's meant I have fewer eyepieces, but then I can only look through one at once.

Hey folks, to cut a long story short.

Im looking for a new scope in july and cant seem to make my mind up at all,lol

Im torn between a skywatcher skyliner 300p or a skywatcher explorer 200p with the eq5 or eq5 goto.

My worries are collimation and the dob will prob need the most.

but really i want the best for my money as £700 will be my max(:))

also considered the skyliner flex-tube 300p but worries me there is the mirrors are very exposed.

I would love to hear any of you opinions on which to get and even welcome other scopes to consider.

I will also need ep's and filters. and found celestron ep set in a nice case for £160 in FLO, are they any good? as they are in my budget.

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the first and only scope I have is an atromaster 130eq md. I want a good al rounder as I change from planet to neb to the moon etc in one night lol. the reason i chose the ep set was it came with filters and various eps. but understand what u mean. What about the explorer 200p? for an all rounder?

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I think the 200p takes some beating as a good all round scope, yes, a bigger dob will show fainter DSO's and a long FL refractor will give better contrast on planets and double stars so unless you're planning on having one of each a medium size newt on an EQ or dob will be easy to set up and give great views.

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I'm another who thinks the 8" F/6 Skywatcher dobsonian is a great all-round scope. At F/6 it's easier to collimate, holds it's collimation better and is a little more forgiving of budget eyepieces as well. With a smaller secondary than faster scopes it's planetary definition is very good.

I had a 12" dobsonian for a while and, though the views were excellent, I found it's bulk meant that I was not using it too often so I've downsized now to a 10".

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An 8-inch F6 is a great all-rounder - I used my Orion for about nine years and loved it. Whether you go for dob or EQ is up to you but it's the right sort of size for what you want to do. I could pick up the whole dob - scope and base - with one hand.

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I have a 200p on an EQ6. I really like it, but then I've never looked through anything bigger!

As for changing between the moon and nebulae in one night: the moon will always be the last thing I look at because it kills any night vision that might have been able to demonstrate as I try to avoid the irritating street lamps I am surrounded by.

the first and only scope I have is an atromaster 130eq md. I want a good al rounder as I change from planet to neb to the moon etc in one night lol. the reason i chose the ep set was it came with filters and various eps. but understand what u mean. What about the explorer 200p? for an all rounder?
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If the Moon's up I don't look at DSOs at all (in fact I stay indoors). And remember, if you get your scope in July and you're observing from Dumfries (as your sig says) then it's not a great time of year for DSO viewing anyway, because the sky never gets dark enough. Stick to Moon and planets until mid-August.

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I had a 300 Flextube Dob. I went for the flextube as storage was tight at the time, but after I used the scope a few times I realised I had not saved much by not getting a rigid tube. And the flextube is heavier! It did produce some spectacular views, even with light polution! The primary did get dustier than I would expect and dew on the secondary was an issue too without a solid tube or shroud.

I also had a 200p on an HEQ5 Pro but didnt like the bending and stretching required to see through the eyepiece when the scope was in different positions.

I sold both, and now have a SCT ( my favourite type) but if I was to get another Newtonian design I would go for a rigid 10" dob, a compromise between performance and size and very quick to set up.

Collimation was never really an issue with my Hotec collimator, it was so easy to adjust collimaton if needed and took just seconds to fine tune.

But, you have plenty of time to ponder, I would suggest a visit to a good store and look at them in the flesh.

Allan

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I was faced with a similar choice. In the end I decided to save a little more than my initial £800 budget in order to buy a 300P Flextube Auto. Unfortunately I've not had the chance to use it yet, but will post a brief first light report as soon as I get some clear skies.

What I can say is that the new scope doesn't take up any more floor space than my 130PM did (when you include the tripod, mount and OTA). It stands at around 1m in height when collapsed, so again isn't too imposing. I too was concerned about collimation, as I'd heard I would need to collimate the dob literally every time I used it. Seeing as I only collimated my 130PM once in the several months I owned it this worried me. However I invested in a HoTech SCA laser collimator, and this is a truly excellent bit of kit. I'm now able to extend the scope and collimate in about 5 minutes.

I went for the 300P as I am mainly interested in DSOs (although do like a spot of planetary observation too!) and wanted the light grasp that a big dob offers. I couldn't go bigger than the 12" for 2 reasons - cost and portability. I opted for the Auto as I haven't had a dob before and wasn't sure if I was up to nudging the scope repeatedly. An added bonus is that I'll be able to use my rudimentary digiscoping set-up to capture the planets, the moon and potentially some of the brighter DSOs.

The scope is currently £1015 at FLO. I bought the Astrozap shroud too, although have since found that I could have bought some neoprene and velcro and made a DIY version for £10 - £20.

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Well my mind changing has been set either explorer 200p or the skyliner 250xp.

I was thinking is there a thread on here that has a review about both. as in my garden the explorer 200p would allow me to see lower in the horizon and the skyliner would limit me to higher views. I would mainly use for dso's but also planets. Another quick question, I have a street light right infront of my garden its one of them yellow lights, would a LR filter help with this, I tried to view Orion last night and the light from the dam street light was totally stopping me from looking at it.

The 250xp dob is what I really want as its an extra 2" of mirror for the same money than 8" with the 200p explorer.

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Here's a thought: you could get a Skywatcher 250p OTA (£400) and an EQ-5 (£200). I had my 250 on an EQ-4 for a while and only the flimsy EQ-4 tripod let it down, the mount was ok. Though you will need an extra 5.4kg counterweight to those supplied with the EQ-5..

That lot is still under your £700 budget.

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Here's a thought: you could get a Skywatcher 250p OTA (£400) and an EQ-5 (£200). I had my 250 on an EQ-4 for a while and only the flimsy EQ-4 tripod let it down, the mount was ok. Though you will need an extra 5.4kg counterweight to those supplied with the EQ-5..

That lot is still under your £700 budget.

I think an EQ5 will be a little lightweight for the 200p, I used an HEQ5 pro with mine and it just coped.

Allan

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