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2nd hand Skywatcher Explorer -150P Query.

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Hi. I'm going to look at a pre-owned Skywatcher Explorer -150P this week.

I don't know anything about these scopes other than what is read on the net.

Any pointers on what I should look for? Seller has it sitting at £140.



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Things to look for:

Any obvious damage to the tube ( dents, missing screws, end cap etc )

Look down the tube to see how clean the primary mirror is. A little dust / dirt is ok, damage such as flaking aluminium coatings are not so good.

Look through the focuser tube at the secondary ( the same checks applies as for the primary )

Check the mount over. Is there anything missing, such as the tripod leg braces, counterweights or accessory tray. Check the tripod locking clamps to make sure they are not damaged.

Assemble the mount, without the telescope on top, and see how stable the mount is. Try twisting the mount and look for any movement in the tripod. The tripod should not twist but if it does the pivot bolts can be tightened up.

Check the RA and Dec clutches. When tightened there should not be any play in the axis. Any play in the Dec axis can be adjusted out using the small hex screws on the side.

If everthing looks ok place the telescope on the mount and balance the telescope in the RA and Dec axis. Once balanced try moving the telescope around on the mount to check the smoothness of the bearings.

Put an eyepiece in the focuser at point the telescope at a distant object. Focus on the object and see how sharp the image is. If it is night time point the telescope at a star and focus on it. Then defocus the star and see if you get concentric circles, if they are not concentric the telescope will need collimating.

The standard eyepices the come with the 150P are a 10mm and 25mm, not brilliant but should be ok for now.


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You also get a barlow lens with these usually - not a brilliant one but nonetheless it should be there.

Also check the T-bolt azimuth screw and altitude screw - make sure they aren't bent or stripped.

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Wow....I knew that i'd come to the right place for advice.

That all sounds good stuff. Certainly a lot of simple things that can be quite important if faulty/missing/wrong.

Thanks for the help and advice guys. Might do a follow up post and let you know how I get along with the item.

Once again, thanks for all your help.


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Ok folks. i bit the bullet and took your advice.

Bought the telescope today and hope to have it out within the next few nights.

Many thanks for all your help and advice on what to look for. The scope seems to be in very good condition but will check the optics later.

Will keep you all posted.


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  • 1 month later...

I have been succesfully using the scope during the few clear nights that we have had and have really enjoyed seeing my first clear view of Saturn and the other popular targets in the sky. But as the scope is not going to be a permanent setup in the garden I'm looking for something to store it in.

So. My next question is.......Has anyone any thoughts on a storage box/case that the scope can be kept in to avoid damage?

So......Over to you guys.......Thanks.


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