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Skyliner 200P FlexTube vs EXPLORER 200PDS


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Skyliner 200P FlexTube AUTO vs EXPLORER 200PDS EQ5 Newtonian Reflector.

Hi Guy's I'm a newbe to SGL, so first of all Hello!!

I am looking to buy my first telescope, I've been researching for about 1 month now. My choosen scope has changed many times, first it was Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT then I spoke to someone who worked in a telescope shop and they convinced me to go for the Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT, then I found out that if you really want to get some good deep space views it all about the Aperture.

And that is how I ended up with Skyliner 200p and Explorer 200pds, My budget is strictly £500, I understand that the skyliner is big but I have room to place it.

I'm edging towords the Dobsonian due to the AUTO tracking and how easy it is to use. But on the other hand the Explorer can upgrade to a GOTO. At this stage I'm not really bothered about taking photos, Iknow my way round the stars and at time like star hooping. Is there anyone out there that have usde both models and can confirm which one they prefer over the other.

Please help me guys

Thanks for reading:confused:

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My only gripe with the Auto tracking and Goto version of the Skyliner is just how incredibly unpleasant they are to use manually. If you just wanted to push your way round the sky, it's not the best experience. The motors cause too much resistance. And it all sounds like a creaky old ship as you push it around.

If you don't plan to ever push like an old school dob, then it won't be an issue.

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As per the previous post the Auto and GOTO dobs aren't meant to be manually pushed about for observing. The ability to manually push them is only intended to allow you to quickly reposition the OTA rather than wait while it slews with the hand control.

If you get the manual solid tube 200P dob you can always move the OTA to an EQ mount later on, and this would also allow you to get a more suitable and heavier duty mount than the EQ5.

There are other solutions but they'll cost you. I use a StellarCAT GOTO system with my OO 14" dob which allows me to totally disengage the drive and use it manually if I wish. Downside is you could probably buy a few 200P GOTO dobs for the money.:D

John

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Thanks guys for your replys, using the scope manually would be something that would attracts me, it such a shame that the mounts on the AUTO cant be disconnected. the more thread I read the more Im steering towards the Dobs.

John, you have the StellarCAT GOTO system, how is that used it's a software right?

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Thanks guys for your replys, using the scope manually would be something that would attracts me, it such a shame that the mounts on the AUTO cant be disconnected. the more thread I read the more Im steering towards the Dobs.

John, you have the StellarCAT GOTO system, how is that used it's a software right?

StellarCAT is a complete dob drive system with all the motors etc. Much, much higher quality mechanical components that you would get with a regular commercial dob such as the SkyWatcher.

It gives me complete flexibility. I can use it totally manually or with just the tracking engaged (with it's built in computer) or with the the full computerised Digital Setting Circles for full GOTO or even manual push-to with the Digital Setting Circles engaged for object location. And of course it can also be controlled from a laptop.

It is the total flexibility that I like, but as previously mentioned It's not cheap and you have to install the system yourself.

John

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BLIMEY!! What a system, that is the kind of system I would love to have (one day maybe) . can you change the system to other scopes or does it only fit one scope?

so if you had to buy either the skyliner 200p or the explorer 200pds which one would you choose?

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As per the previous post the Auto and GOTO dobs aren't meant to be manually pushed about for observing. The ability to manually push them is only intended to allow you to quickly reposition the OTA rather than wait while it slews with the hand control.

If you get the manual solid tube 200P dob you can always move the OTA to an EQ mount later on, and this would also allow you to get a more suitable and heavier duty mount than the EQ5.

There are other solutions but they'll cost you. I use a StellarCAT GOTO system with my OO 14" dob which allows me to totally disengage the drive and use it manually if I wish. Downside is you could probably buy a few 200P GOTO dobs for the money.:D

John

I understand what you are saying John. Unfortunately all three auto/goto Skyliners i have used failed at some point in the night. Power problems, handset problems and motor problems. All had to be used manually. I suppose at least with an EQ you can release off the clutches and go manual. With these you can go manual when all fails but you wouldn't want to for long.

I guess deep down i really do not like them much.

But that system you have John looks the dream ticket. have you cake and eat it.

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so if you had to buy either the skyliner 200p or the explorer 200pds which one would you choose?

I know I'm biased but I would go for the Skyliner 200P dob, for a number of reasons.

It's cheaper, so as Orion says, you could afford to buy some accessories / eyepieces.

You can star hop and already know the night sky.

You're not limited to the EQ5 as, and when, you put the OTA onto a GEM. This is an option I bore in mind when getting my 200P and if I do go down this route then I would look at a HEQ5.

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Orion, I have read your fantastic review of the SW Skyliner 200p, and to be fair it was your review that is making me think "do I really want a motor", sometimes the freedom would be good, however if I want to do DSO then surly a AUTO/motor would be a huuuuuge help.

Everyone who I have spoken to about Dobs all rave about them

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I understand what you are saying John. Unfortunately all three auto/goto Skyliners i have used failed at some point in the night. Power problems, handset problems and motor problems. All had to be used manually. I suppose at least with an EQ you can release off the clutches and go manual. With these you can go manual when all fails but you wouldn't want to for long.

I guess deep down i really do not like them much.

But that system you have John looks the dream ticket. have you cake and eat it.

Is it just me or are there a lot more complaints about the reliability of the Auto and GOTO dobs since they were "improved" compared to the earlier Auto versions and those who have upgraded them to GOTO? Perhaps it's just because there's a lot of the newer versions out there and hence more scopes to have potential complaints about.

John

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BLIMEY!! What a system, that is the kind of system I would love to have (one day maybe) . can you change the system to other scopes or does it only fit one scope?

so if you had to buy either the skyliner 200p or the explorer 200pds which one would you choose?

The drive units are intended to be left permanently attached, although you can swap the electronics over to another scope that has the drive units fitted so that you wouldn't have to have to have two complete systems.

As to which scope to buy a lot have gone down the buy the 200P dob first and then later on get the EQ mount.

John

Edited by johninderby
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if I want to do DSO then surly a AUTO/motor would be a huuuuuge help.

If you want to do visual deep sky observing then auto/motor is probably last on your wish list. You don't need motors to track at the low powers used for deep sky stuff and hand slewing around the sky is much quicker.

Regards Steve

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I had a manual 12" FlexTube, then after a year of great observing upgraded to the 14" FT GOTO. The motor is noisy and a bit slow, but I have found it accurate and used it most clear nights over the last 6 months (I think I bought one within days of them arriving at FLO).

The advantage of the GOTO and tracking is speed of finding the object and holding it in the FOV at high magnifiaction - no more "nudging". With weather in the Glasgow area being so bad, every minute of observing (rather thsn finding) an object is precious.

Having said that, I did love the manual Flextube - it was a pleasure to use and the optics were surprisingly good.

Cheers

Tom

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