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My new scope!


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After several months of being all alone my 130PM now has a companion! I received my new Skyliner 300P Flextube Auto from FLO 2 days ago and have just finished assembling / collimating it. I thought I'd take some shots to highlight the difference between the 2 scopes!

I absolutely cannot wait to get out there and use it, both Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be clear here so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

From the quick play I've had with it, I can say for certain I like the focuser much more on the new one - it seems to have less play in it than the system on the 130PM. Also adjusting the primary is a doddle thanks to the knobs on the bottom. However I'm not too sure about the finderscope, and think I may plunder the RDF from the 130PM. The unit moves smoothly in azimuth, although moving the OTA in altitude seems a little haphazard - sometimes the OTA jiggles a little when I release it which might get a little frustrating as that tiny movement will represent a sizeable chunk of sky! Perhaps using the hand controller will help.

I'm looking at power options for the motors at the moment, I've got 8 batteries in there for now but will get a more permanent solution as soon as I can.

When I've been able to use the 300 under clear skies I'll write a quick first light report. I am very excited - if my maths is correct this one gathers 5.5 times more light than the 130PM (or 2609 times more than a dark-adapted pupil!)!

On a final note, FLO were superb - I received the scope and all the accessories I ordered 2 days after placing the order and James was extremely helpful throughout. I'll definitely be buying from them again!

Pic below, please excuse all the bedroom clutter!

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Congrats on the new purchase soooooo envious:D

I swapped my 200 on a Heq5 Goto for a Skyliner 200 dob just before Christmas and to be honest i have enjoyed the dob loads more:)

With you on the finder thats why i swapped the 9x50 for a Telrad only used it briefly because of work and weather but can easily see the benefits.

Enjoy the simplicity of the dob

Andy

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I was expecting it to be big, but the pictures online really don't do it justice! I was gobsmacked when I extended the trusses for the first time. My only reservation is that I have 3 flights of stairs to traverse to get outside - going down is probably going to be okay but the ascent might force me to get back to some gym work!

130 as a finderscope, eh? Don't give me ideas!

Although the 130 came with a motor drive I couldn't get the hang of it, and despite the equatorial mount for all intents and purposes I was using it as if it was a dob anyway. I hope the auto tracking on the 300 is good enough for some basic pics of the moon and planets, but really I am interested in DSO hunting and figured the extra aperture was more important than a mount that would support serious imaging.

I've heard good things about the Rigel Quikfinder, how does that compare to a telrad? I was thinking I could perhaps pop one of those next to the finderscope in order to have my cake and eat it (or something).

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It is a great design, considering the size of the scope it really doesn't take up too much room when collapsed. It takes under a minute to go from collapsed to extended (or vice versa) which is a plus too.

The tracking was what made the purchase irresitable to me, I just loved the idea of a big scope in a reasonably portable package that was capable of tracking targets. Of course I don't know how effective the tracking is yet, but will definitely write a few lines on it once I've been able to get out there.

Below is a pic of the scope collapsed. Considering that there is no mount of tripod to store it doesn't really take up any more floorspace than the 130 with all its bits! The discerning viewer may spot the shroud is absent in this pic, the reason for this is the pic was taken before I attached the shroud. You can collapse/extend the scope and the shroud stays exactly where it should be - another clever design!

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I've heard good things about the Rigel Quikfinder, how does that compare to a telrad? I was thinking I could perhaps pop one of those next to the finderscope in order to have my cake and eat it (or something).

I can't comment on the Telrad, but I use the Rigel alongside the 9x50 on my 250PX dob, which is works well as a good combination. Incidentally I also upgraded the finder itself to a RA one.

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After a decent battery and charger I think that will be my next purchase! Seems like a bargain at £30. I've had a look at some RA finderscopes but as they tend to be around double the price I think I'll stick with the Rigel. As I'm used to going from 1x to the eyepiece of the scope hopefully that'll work okay!

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Nice purchase :)

I'm looking forward to your first light report. Have fun with it and I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the views.

I've gone over to a telrad on my Lightbridge, which I'm happy with, but I used to love my RDF too.

Fingers crossed for clear skies....

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I've just popped out to look at the sky during a break at work and it looks like tonight might be the night the 300 gets its first taste of the night sky! I am touching wood as I type this, hopefully I've not just jinxed myself!

Unfortunately I won't be able to travel to my usual dark site as I need to be close to home this evening. The limiting magnitude of my back yard is usually around 4.2, which hopefully will be adequate for a test run. I've already drawn up a shortlist of targets, getting very excited now!

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Well...the first light report is going to have to wait until I've been out tonight I think!

I did manage to get 2 hours under clear skies yesterday, unfortunately a comedy of errors prevented me from using the scope fully. Part of the problem was unavoidable (bad light pollution and tall buildings on all sides of me that prevented viewing many objects) but a big part was down to me being a plank. I cooled, collimated and aligned the scope with no problems, but totally forgot to align the finderscope! My RDF from the 130PM was also no good, so I was left with 12" of light-gathering power but no means of accurately directing the scope!

I did however experiment with the hand controller, and again had mixed results. I'll save the details for a proper report but suffice to say it doesn't always behave as you'd like it to! Not all doom and gloom though - I did manage to view the Moon and Saturn, both of which were stunning.

The biggest victory I had last night was regarding moving the 300 around. It is much easier than I imagined. My room is on the 3rd floor, and getting the OTA downstairs was no problem at all. I'd estimate it weighs somewhere in the region of 15kg, and when collapsed is not too bulky to be awkward. The base was more tricky, being wider, but still not a problem. Very pleased I moved it alone, as it means I'm not at the mercy of someone else being around if I want to pack the kit up and go. Bonus!

I am going to align the finderscope and the RDF today, and hopefully get out for Round 2 this evening. The weather doesn't look as accommodating as it was yesterday, but hopefully I'll have long enough to really give the scope a workout.

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I have the Rigel and a right angled finder on mine. With a wide field eyepiece I only use the Quikfinder - just point in the vicinity then slowly pan till you find what you want.

Good luck tonight.

Mike

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I can definitely see the appeal of both. Looking through the finder was really quite awkward, the OTA almost seemed to be in the way at times! I need to invest in a decent battery and charger first, as I don't think the batteries I'm currently using will last for very long. Once that purchase has been made a Rigel / Telrad and RA finder are next on the list!

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