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JonM

Skywatcher Skyliner 200 Dobsonian. The beginning

14 posts in this topic

Telescope?authkey=Gv1sRgCImhgc3FsbXXIg#5514612375637270882Hi,

My new telescope arrived today. I thought i’d write this to help those still trying to decide what to go for. I'm by no means an expert,far,far from it. In fact,this is my first 'proper' telescope. Apologies for the length of the 'review',and for the simplicity!!!:)

It was between the Skywatcher 200 Dobsonian,or the Skywatcher Explorer 150 Newtonian. I went for the dob on account of the extra aperture and various reviews around here.

I ordered the Skywatcher ‘Skyliner’ 200 Dobsonian from First Light Optics. Sadly, they were waiting for stock to arrive at the suppliers,so i had to wait(not easy). I can’t fault the service as Martin did keep me posted on progress. To say i was excited when i walked in the door to see two large boxes would be an understatment.

attachment.php?attachmentid=42356&stc=1&d=1283970925

So,i immediately set to unpacking. I unpacked the smaller box,which held the base,plus all the tools needed for the job.

attachment.php?attachmentid=42357&stc=1&d=1283971177

The instructions are very well done,even i,a complete disaster at anything involving DIY plowed through the set up quite easily. It took me just under 45 minutes,which,considering my lack of skills in flat pack building,isn’t too bad

attachment.php?attachmentid=42359&stc=1&d=1283971347

Next came the big box. The big grin returned as i opened the outer box,then the inner box,and there she was..all snug and protected in lots of polystyrene.

I carefully got the tube out and unwrapped the wrapping,and then placed it onto the base. I will say that the weight really surprised me. I was expecting it all to be quite heavy,but i found it all very easy to lift and move around. It may be that i’m used to lifting because of my job,but it really isn’t that bad at all.

attachment.php?attachmentid=42361&stc=1&d=1283971475

Another thing that surprised me was how easy it is to swivel and tilt. I’d read about the teflon making it all smooth,but it really is something. It’s easy to swivel,and yet it stays dead still when you stop. The same for the tilt,using the tension handle is equally as easy. Just a slight nudge and it stays where you want it. blumming marvellous. I’m definitely going to change the finderscope,not to keen on the whole back breaking manouvers needed to look through it. It’ll do for now though.

The size of the whole thing isn’t too bad either,although my wife disagrees on that.

attachment.php?attachmentid=42362&stc=1&d=1283971644

I’m six foot,with the scope pointing straight up,the highest point reaches my chest,so you can hopefully get some idea about the height of the scope. I also brought a cheshire collimator,as i figured it’d be best to check the optical alignment before going outside. I read through Asto Babys guide,and,to be honest,i couldn’t work it out. I read,re-read,and then,after about half an hour,i suddenly understood,it all clicked. It was a bit like the film ‘The Matrix’ really. I had no idea what on earth was going on for most of that film,and then it just clicked and i understood. I agree that collimation is a time intensive process!!. But spend enough time digesting what has been written,and hopefully it’ll all fall into place. Luckily,everything seemed to be collimated. Thankyou Astro Baby for the guide.:blob10:

The weather looks like being rubbish for tonight. I will add a first light review once i’ve been out with it,can’t wait. All in all,i’m very impressed so far. The scope looks great,moves great,isn’t bad for moving around,and feels quite sturdy.

If you’ve got this far,thankyou for sticking with me.

Jon M

Edited by JonM

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Congrats Jon,

Looking forward to you're first-light report :blob10:

Mark.

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Jon, this was my first scope too and its an excellent way to get going. I'd definitely recommend getting a 90 degree finder scope and I added a Rigel to mine too, it makes star hopping so easy. Looking forward to the first light report. I set the finder scope on mine up with Saturn, a truly awesome first light experience.

Enjoy!

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Nice, I have one of these too and it's a cracking 'scope. Sounds like your base is a bit better than mine too, mine is ok but needs a bit of work to make it smooth.

Second the recommendation for a right-angle finder and a Telrad/Rigel Quikfinder RDF (I have the latter, but they're both good). Together they make finding things straightforward - I use the RDF to centre on a bright star near the target, and then the RACI along with

SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Chart - The Pocket Sky Atlas

and

Torches - Skywatcher Dual LED

to hop to what i'm looking for!

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Hi, you won't go far wrong with a Telrad and there's loads of Telrad charts on the net. I made a dewshield from a bit of foam sheet and some stick on velcro patches.This is my favourite scope, it'll really open up the skies, all we need now is

clear skies, Nick.

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I have this scope too and it is really good optically.

I made two mods :-

1. Put Protostar flocking paper opposite the focuser - contrast was improved.

2. Put a cooling fan on the back - massive improvement in image stability.

Enjoy.

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my first scope too:D can vouch for the ra finder(aquired an orion 9x50 from a fellow sgl member)and also bought a telrad,although i have yet to find a suitable spot to mount this,had some nice views of jupiter but not got into stars yet as i,m still swatting up and waiting until i know what i,m looking at good luck with your new toy:hello2:

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I just got one as well and only had the chance of a hour of clear sky and I love it, Jupiter was lovely and the moon is stunning much better than my 5", you wont be disappointed let us know about your first light.. I still to try it out on dso but hoping tonight or tomorrow

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Congratulations - a great 1st "proper" scope !.

Another vote here for either a Telrad or a Rigel Quikfinder in place or, or as well as the optical finder (there are times when you need both).

The best way to check the collimation of a scope is using a star - looking at the images either side of focus will soon tell you if collimation adjustments are needed.

Hope you get first light with it soon !.

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Regarding finders, yes, a right angle finder saves a lot of wear on your neck! For the gunsight types, go for the Rigel as it only weighs an ounce or so. The Telrad is good, but very heavy and you'd need a lot of lead at the mirror end to counterbalance it's weight. Telrads are fine for big dobs with heavy mirrors.

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Looking forward to seeing how you get on with your dob as I am one of those you mentioned still not sure which one to get!

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I had a Skywatcher 8" with a Pyrex mirror for 5 years before I went up to a Rev 12". Everyone in our society commented on the (high) quality of the images and frankly, they were better than various 8" Schmitt Casses. Don't think any more, go for it!

Check the prices at Teleskop-Service: Dobson Teleskope von GSO . When I bought my Skywatcher from there, I saved around £100 on the UK price.

GSO dobs would be worth checking out too; they make Revelation, Hardin, Meade Lightbridge and others. See http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/84376-revelation-12-dobsonian-4.html post 91 for the result of a professional test of a Rev 12" mirror set.

Edited by derekm

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Thanks for that Derek. I will check out that link and have a look at the other dobs too. Like everyone else, money is tight at the moment so second hand/saving money would be great for me at the moment.

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Hi JonM, I too look forward to hearing how you find this scope once the weather improves.

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