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Skywatcher Exlorer 150P on EQ3-2


tomw28
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Firstly I would like to thank everyone on this forum for helping me to decide to buy the Explorer 150P. I am very grateful for your help and I look forward to being able help others when I'm more knowledgable my self.

The scope was ordered from FLO, who were also really helpful, with the warning that the delivery may be some time. As it was, this wasn't a problem and it arrived just under a week later, in two huge boxes. As the scope is partly a birthday present, I was meant to wait a couple of weeks before opening it. As you can imagine, that didnt rely work, and less than a day later the box for the mount and tripod was opened. The mount was easy to set up, and to me felt extremely solid and well built, although the only thing I can compare it to is my old mini-dob. My only critisism would be of the setting circles, which look and feel flimsy and appear to be there for show more than anything.

The next day, Saturday, I quite unexpectedly sold my old scope, leaving me scopeless. Guess where this is going!!

After a bit of begging, being helpful and generally being nice, it was agreed the new scope could be opened!

After opening and checking everything, the scope was attached to the mount and the business of collimating began. The secondary was quite a lot out, and it was harder than I expected to get that positioned well. After a few minutes though it was centred and angled correctly, just leaving the primary to be aligned. This to was out by a considerable amount, but I found it a lot easier to correct this than the secondary. The OTA felt very reassuringly solid, yet light at the same time. However hard I tried, I couldn't find a fault with it!

As the day continued, and the forecast not looking ideal for the evening, I lugged it all out into the garden to align the finder and decided to take a look at the moon. Due to the finder being spring loaded on one side alignment was extremely quick and easy, making it time to have a look at my first target, the moon. Using the supplied 10mm EP and barlow, I was absolutely blown away. The detail, even at 3:30pm, was mind-blowing. The views were almost photographic, so good I could hardly take it in. It felt as though I could reach out and touch it, one of the most powerful moments I have had in astroy.

As it began to darken, I began to wish I wasn't going out, especially as it was staying completely clear. Just before we went out though, it was just dark enough to be able to locate Jupiter. If the moon was good, Jupiter was even better. For the first time, I could see detail on the surface, and it was brilliant.

When I got back, happy as Leicester had beaten Derby 2-0 (sorry but I had to mention that!), it was starting to become cloudy, but before the cloud completely covered everything, I had a quick look at the Orion Nebula, Andromeda and the Pleiades. Even though my vision was nowhere near dark adapted, the two fuzzies looked brilliant, brighter and crisper than I had ever seen before, while the Pleiades where as mindblowingly beautiful as ever.

The thing I noticed most about the scope was the crispness and cparity of the views. The Crayfor focuser felt very smooth and precise, and the focus lock was also very helpful The build of whole thing has really impressed me and I can't wait for some more clear skies!

Thanks for reading my ramblings and I'll update you with my next session.

Tom

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Great review of a scope I was going to buy, glad it has delivered some stunning sights to you. I hope my scope comes this week. The waiting is becoming unbearable for me. Reading these reviews is encouraging though; it gives me something to look forward to. Just hope we have some decent clear skies this coming week.

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I bought one of these on Saturday from Rother Valley Optics. The good thing about buying from the shop was that Ian ( at RVO ) opened up the box and checked the collimation, which he had to adjust. As this was my first scope it was very interesting to see it out of alligment and the adjusting process.

I agree with the comment about the setting circles but otherwise a great package for a beginner like me.

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very interesting read! i was torn between this and the 130p AZ Synscan as an upgrade from my 114eq! im reading a lot of good reviews for the 150p! i might buy the tube assembly and try to find a cheap second hand eq5! does the eq3-2 seem sturdy enough for webcam imaging? nice buy any way!

Alex

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Hi,

I bought my 150P from Rother Valley Optics a couple of weeks ago and like tbird Ian checked the collimation for me in the shop, actually it was spot on straight out of the box.

I have really enjoyed my first views with this scope, but because of the awful weather have not been able to give it as much use as I would like.

We seem to have chosen the same objects to try out our scope and like you I was really impressed.

Enjoy.

Clear skies.

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I think so and if its polar aligned it should track quite well, certainly well enough for a 2-3 minute video.

Tom

I've got the 150PL and I do find it able as long as you get the polar scope centred and the mount aligned. I have noticed a wobble if you give it a knock but you see that the mount doesn't move but the rubber feet do. I have thought about perhaps trimming them a bit or even finding a new tripod for the head but the expense puts you into EQ5 territory.

basically, if you're imaging you're not near it, touching it or causing it any vibration so it's fine. My only imaging issue is not having a laptop so to focus the webcam I had to adjust a smidge, run indoors to check and then adjust accordingly.

anyway, great report and congratulations of a cracking scope.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

I've got the 150PL and I do find it able as long as you get the polar scope centred and the mount aligned. I have noticed a wobble if you give it a knock but you see that the mount doesn't move but the rubber feet do. I have thought about perhaps trimming them a bit or even finding a new tripod for the head but the expense puts you into EQ5 territory.

basically, if you're imaging you're not near it, touching it or causing it any vibration so it's fine. My only imaging issue is not having a laptop so to focus the webcam I had to adjust a smidge, run indoors to check and then adjust accordingly.

anyway, great report and congratulations of a cracking scope.

Ive got same scope what ive done is put fine sand in legs doesnt take that much but the results are great the vibration stops alot faster.
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