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It's so BIG!


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My new (to me) Skywatcher 180 Pro Maksutov, of course! Golt-tubed and bought 2nd-hand. It arrived today and I'm just so impressed by the size of the thing! My GP mount should take it ok and I can't wait to try it out on Mars, which is showing so much detail at the moment. It came with a dew-band attached, and all the standard accessories.

Focusr seems a little stiffer than on my 127 Mak, so I'm thinking about a helical upgrade to help with fine focusing, but other than that - I just can't wait for a clear night!

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It looks great !.

I keep looking at that one and the 6" as I used to look at the Intes Mak-Cassegrains a while back. My only fear is that the cool down time would be such that the scope would not get used as much as it deserves - my scopes have to live indoors you see.

When you think how much Meade used to charge for their 7" mak-cass - I'm sure the Skywatcher would be better optically as well.

I'll follow any reports on performance with great interest ;)

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That's a real beastie! Do let us know how you get on with it..I've only ever had one Mak, an OMC 140 by Orion which at 140mm was a fair bit smaller..it was a fabulous scope, almost refractor like images..my only issue with it was the cool down time, it was a good 1hour to 1.5 hours in the late summer - and I kept it in the garage!

Look forward to your first light report:)

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Welcome to the 180 club! ;)

To improve the cool-down time you could always use an Cat-Cooler, either bought or home-made. Some-one on here made one a while back as well - yep here it is, posted by nathkrul.

Had mine for over a month now and still ain't had a chance to us it yet. :)

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Thanks folks! I would like to mount it in tube rings, so have a silly question to ask. How is the front corrector plate removed, to gain access to the two nuts that hold the dovetail bar in place on the inside of the tube? Does it unscrew like my 127Mak or are the four screws near the front end of the tube part of the fixing arangement?

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And one other question: The focus knob is sort of stiff. It rotates freely for about 2/3 of a rotation, then gets stiff for the remainder, then loosens off again, and it ciontinues like this through all its travel. Can this be adjusted out somehow?

Thanks, Ant

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Sorry, can't answer either question. ;)

But a thought, as you seem to like pimping your 'scopes' focusers. Would a Feathertouch SCT MicroFocuser fit and work on the 180? In fitting it you could find / cure the root of the problem.

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And one other question: The focus knob is sort of stiff. It rotates freely for about 2/3 of a rotation, then gets stiff for the remainder, then loosens off again, and it ciontinues like this through all its travel. Can this be adjusted out somehow?

Thanks, Ant

That doesn't sound right to me. All the Maks I own have smooth movement of the focuser. The IM603 has alot more resistance than the others but doesn't bind in the way you describe the 180. My Skywatcher 150 Pro is smooth throughout the focuser travel. You might want to check for any obvious damage or any signs that the focuser mechanism has been removed from the tube.

Peter

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You might want to check for any obvious damage or any signs that the focuser mechanism has been removed from the tube.

Peter

Not sure what to look for really. The outerside of the focuser seems undamaged, there is no scuffing or burring on the plate. The scresws that hold that plate through which the knob passes are unburred - look like they haven't been touched. I'll see what the seller says.

Feathertouch SCT fine focuser? Hadn't thought of that... Thanks for pointing it out!

In the meantine, for precise fine focusing under high powers, I've added a Borg 7135 helical focuser. Oh, and the famous lego tyre mod for better grip on the focus knob! ;)

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I think I fixed it!

The shaft passes through, and is held in place by, a circular plate with three screws, 60 degrees apart from one another. I loosened them and played with the focuser to see what happened. It felt smoother, so I rotated the plate 60 degrees and tightened the screws again. Still stiff, but I noticed that when the screws are loose there is a small amount of lateral movement for the shaft, and in some positions it's stiff, in others smooth.

I positioned the shaft so that it felt smooth all the way, and held it carefully in that position while I retightened the screws. Feels smooth all the way now - buttery in fact! Of course, I haven't even looked through this thing once yet - and still can't - but at least the focuser is smooth now! Hope I didn't break anything... ;)

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