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Another help thread!

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Sorry about all the threads, just a few questions.. :rolleyes:

1. I keep hearing people going on about 'cooldown' of a telescope. What does this mean? Is it important?

2. If I was to get a Skywatcher Explorer 130 does it have good possibilities for upgrading? Would I be able to upgrade it to goto or whatever it's called eventually?

That's it for now...

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a cooldown is to get the scope to ambient tempreture,it helps get rid of hot air currents in the tube its self.and i think you can get that scope on a goto mount as well as a non goto


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Cooldown: Is letting the optics cool to ambient temperature, this can take anything from 30mins to a couple of hours.

You won't get peak performance from your scope until things have cooled and settled.

I think the SW135 comes on an EQ3 mount, which is pretty basic.

You can get an RA drive which would allow you track objects in the sky, but I don't think GOTO is an option.

You'd need to think about an EQ5 type mount with the upgraded driver motherboard and motors. I think the "upgrade" alone is around 250bgp.

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The cooldown is allowing the temperature of the air inside the scope to reach the temperature of the surrounding air. If this doesn't happen you get air currents circulating in the tube that affect the views. Different scopes require different cooldown times. My refractors seem good to go in the time it takes me to setup... the Mak takes at least 30 - 40 minutes.

As for adding goto to the 130.. it depends on what it's mounted on, and whether the mount has a goto upgrade available for it or not.

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The cheapest way BY FAR to get GoTo for the Explorer 130p, is to buy it with the GoTo from the beginning £239 here <click>

If you want to get GoTo later it's a much more expensive route to buy the GoTo mount £189 here <click>

The first option is therefore a bit like getting the scope for £50 ! :rolleyes:

There are other options - with more expensive mounts - but if you were going down that route you'd be better off spending a little more money still and getting a Explorer 150 instead.

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Ah gottit - the 900mm FL one with the spherical mirror. I see now...

Well - at the end of the day it's a tube! - so whilst you can't convert the mount itself into GoTo, the telescope will attach to most common mounts - the AZ GoTo mount included, should you want to do that in future. In practice though - when you've got money in future - it would make more sense to sell the scope on for around the same as what you paid for it, and use saved-up cash to pay the difference for a GoTo scope.

However, on such a tight budget, I'd forget about GoTo for now and spend any extra cash on building up a modest eyepiece collection, using second-hand eyepieces that (again) you can sell for the same price you paid for them.

I think you'd get more enjoyment for your money that way.

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THe 130/900 has a 1.25 eyepiece fitting which means it only accepts 1.25" eyepieces. Thats ok because they are the most common size.

Eyepieces come in 1.25" and 2" mostly. Older telescopes sometimes have .965" fittings.

I assume the scope is the same as this one Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130

That would give you the option of adding an RA motor later on. An RA motor will allow the telescope to track an object once you find it and its a rather nice little add on.

Most peope never upgrade their first scope much as they usually move on to a bigger scope when finances allow.

Your first acquisition should be a red light torch, download stellarium (its free) as a meand of finding stuff and some extra eyepieces but get some eyeball time in first with the ones with the scope.

1.25 eyepieces come up second hand all the time in a vast range of types and costs.

You can always ask on here if your not sure and I am sure no sellers on here would mind you asking other peoples opinions on the board. I know I wouldnt because I'd want a beginner to get good all round advice.

The 130 in all of its forms is a nice scope to start with and lots of people on here have started with them.

If you need help or advice dont be afraid to ask.

If its any use to you I have a beginners guide on my own site which explains some of the terms of this lark in a simple and straightforward way - I tried hard to make it just for beginners. The guides here So you want to buy a telescope ? - Part 1

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Thanks Astro, see you helping around here alot :)

I have StarMap Pro on my iPhone which is very helpful although I feel a compass would be handy with it.

I guess people suggest red light stuff as it doesn't ruin your night vision?

Thanks for the help guys, just gotta raise the funds now. Should have the money by monday/tuesday pending an ebay sale :rolleyes:

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Yes - a red light torch preserves your night vision. You can just get a normal torch and put some red cellophane on the front or paint the front lens with a thin coat of red nail varnish. Technically thats a cheap option but unless you have a wife or g/f who happens to have some red varnish (and will let you use it) it can end up expensive. Nail varnish isn't very cheap.

If your stuck - as your on a budget - just get a basic torch and let me know your address via a private message and I will send you some spare red gel I have to mask the torch with.

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Oh another question to mainly skywatcher 130 users.

How much space does it take up? Is it easy to store?

Does anyone have a picture of them or someone with one of them too so I can see how big it is? :rolleyes:

I think I'd prefer a SW heritage 130. Due to it's portability but everywhere I've looked I can't find it second hand.

Edited by Briggsy
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I've changed my mind and due to being able to move a heritage 130 around easier I think I'm gonna go for one of them. It's £15 above my budget but I can make it up.

Does anyone on the forum have one?

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If you take a look at my 130 PM review here Review of the Sky-Watcher 130PM at the very top of the page is a small pic of me with a 130/650 (thats the shorter tube version). I'm a woman of about 5'6" high if that gives you any sort of a guide. The long tune version which is what you were going for is around a meter in length. The EQ2 mount would fit in a small sports bag and the tripod is about the same size as a camera tripod. You can get an idea of the EQ2 mounts size by taking a look at one of my guide where there is an EQ2 mount with my hands on it. My hands are about average size. The EQ 2 guide is here Simple Polar Alignment for Beginners

Hope that gives you a rough idea.

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