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Opinions on Astromaster 130 and 114


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What are peoples opinions on these?

Found them on Amazon and I'm looking to get my first telescope off there as I can get a £20 voucher.

Would it be better to try and get a skywatcher heritage dob or skywatcher 130? One problem is they aren't on amazon.

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I've got a Skywatcher Explorer 130 and I like it very much, had it for about 2 weeks. Found the German EQ2 mount a bit tricky to master at first with the counterweight and all, but if you've got the patience and time it does come good. I saw Saturn for the first time with it last night and it was pretty epic. That said I will probably look to getting some better eyepieces in a few months time as my interest grows.

I would say if you've got the time and patience then go for an EQ mount, if not then go for the dob but I have no idea about its general performance.

I can give you the website I got my scope from if you want.

Haha, look at me, had a scope for 2 weeks and already dishing out advice!

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How much did you pay?

I can raise about £90 I think for a scope. I was gonna couple that with a £20 amazon voucher seeing as you can't get the skywatcher 130 on there though I wasn't gonna get it.

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The Astromaster 130 and the Skywatcher Explorer 130/650P and Heritage 130P all share the same mirrors so they should all perform about the same optically. The Explorer looks to have a better specification regarding the spider vanes that hold the secondary mirror. The skywatcher telescopes use 0.5mm thin supports for the secondary to reduce diffraction and light loss whereas the Celestron looks to use thicker plastic vanes and seems to use a lot of plastic around the focuser.

Peter

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I have owned a SKy-Watcher 130PM and have also helped out two beginners with Celestron Astromaster 130s.

Heres what I thought.....

Mount

Celestron one looks nice but wobbles badly, locking knobs slip, lots of plastic feels tacky, tripod wobbles super bad on both I looked at.

Skywatcher - primitive and not the greatest thing since sliced bread but it works and works well. Reasonably solid for a small scope like the 130 tripod looks feeble but is rather stronger than you might believe, tripod leg fittings in plastic always looked scarily fragile to me.

Scope

Celestron one has horrible thick spider vanes made from plastic versus Skywatcheres elegant ultra thin metal ones.

Celestron collimation is a nightmare as the secondary is supported from a single centre screw and three tilt adjusters only. The two I have seen had about an inch of just thread - collimation was a nightmare with both of them added to by the mirror not being centre spotted (a tough job for a newbie).

Focusers on both are plastic but adequate for a small scope. The Skywatcher one can be tuned to be pretty good but I dont know about the Celestron one.

Finder scope

Skywatcher 130 (mine anyway) had a cheap but functional red dot finder attached to the scope via a Vixen accessory shoe which allows the user to change the finder of required. The basic red dot with the Skywatcher had variable brightness and worked pretty well. Celestron have the finder moulded into the front part of the scope, on/off and no variable dimming and the red dot is WAAAAAYYYY too bright.

Views - Cant say - never used the Celestron under a dark sky (and to be honest I wouldnt want to with its wobbly mount) the optical quality should be the same though as all the mirrors come from Synta. Skywatcher 130 was a gem on views.

What would I buy for me ? Skywatcher 130 without a doubt.

Thats my two penneth from hands on with both of them.

Edited by Astro_Baby
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So basically I should maybe save up a bit more and get a skywatcher 130?

Or try and find a pre owned one.

I think you would get much more satisfaction from the Skywatcher product. I've seen the Astromasters and Astro Baby has confirmed what I suspected from their appearance - "all that glitters is not gold".

If you penny pinch too much now you will get more frustration than pleasure - astro scopes are precision instruments so there is a reason why decent ones cost a little more.

Used is a good way to go either on the classifieds here or on the UK Astro Buy & Sell web site.

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A dealer website puts the shipping weight at 7kg for the whole thing. I would have thought that was a bit light myself. Then again maybe thats why the 200/HEQ5 feels so heavy - one of its counterwights is 5kg on its own no wonder it feels so much heavier than my old 130 !!!!

Edited by Astro_Baby
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How much did you pay?

I can raise about £90 I think for a scope. I was gonna couple that with a £20 amazon voucher seeing as you can't get the skywatcher 130 on there though I wasn't gonna get it.

I paid £150 for my skywatcher from the site I used but looked around a bit more afterwards and (as always happens with these things) I discovered I could have got it for around £135-140.

With regards to the weight question, it's not too heavy to carry around but it does depend how far you need to take it. I'm fairly lucky in that I live in the countryside and can walk into the field at the bottom of my garden and set up, and I keep mine in an outhouse. I wouldn't advise lugging it up stairs everyday unless you really need to.

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ive got a celestron 130 eq im completely new to astronomy, ive found the scope easy to use with lost of advice from these forums :rolleyes:

i got saturn on my first night and M13 on my second.

i have replaced the finder with a rigel quick finder as i just couldnt use the one attached to the 130 eq

i think its always better to be a month more patient and put what ever you can save extra on. you get what you pay for tho the 130 EQ is still giving me great fun

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Astro_Baby is spot on, I own the astromaster 130eq md and did me ok, but the skywatcher would be imho the better choice, reasons are, its far too wobbley the red dot finder is as much good as no good and the mount is very poor quality , after a few uses bits began to just break off. and its very hard to collimate the secondary mirrior if it ever comes to having to do that and you would have to centre mark the PM your self, but the optics are good and the supplied EP's are ok too. and had soom great views of clusters and Saturn was good, its really really good on the moon.

Edited by johnkirkpatrick
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I have had a Celestron AM 130n for 6 months and have had no problems at all with it

I upgraded the rdf to a Rigel QF and got a 6mm plossl but that is all

and I have had endless good views with it.....

But then I have never owned a Skywatcher so cannot compare them....

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