Skywatcher 102 Synscan or MeadeETX 105 Ec

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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:59 pm

Skywatcher 102 Synscan or MeadeETX 105 Ec

Post by fairway8 »

Hi all,
really enjoying browsing this forum and others of course. I have a Skywatcher Heritage 5" collapsible dob. I am very interested in having a go at some ccd imaging.

I have been looking at the two scopes above both 'goto' systems. I understand they are both very different but as an all rounder especially for ccd imaging which would possibly be the best. From what I gather the Meade with its high f number will allow you to rack up the magnification whereas the refractor will give a wider field of view.

I like that there is a dedicated site for the Meade (Mike Weasner) which I feel adds to the interest. Are there any sites dedicated to the smaller refractor ?.

From reading I see that a Baader Fringe Killer is an essential piece of kit for the refractor.

Thanks for your help
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Wellingborough

Post by Brian »

Hi There :)

Just my thoughts -

I don't think either 'scope would make a good "allrounder" for imaging. In fact both are on alt-az mountings which will limit the exposure times possible before image rotation becomes a problem. Alt-az mounts are OK for fast webcam planetary imaging, much less useful for long exposure DSO imaging.

As you say, the Skywatcher is a short-focus widefield instrument. I have the Helios version on an EQ1 and with a 25mm eyepiece it's pretty much like half a big binocular. I've used it very successfully for imaging the Moon, Sun (with Baader filter) and some wide double stars, Mercury and Venus transits, but planetary images are very small (relatively) even with x2 barlow in place. On the other hand, forum member "smerral" has had some excellent DSO images from his 102 synscan (see the gallery), taking short exposures and stacking them in DSS.

The ETX would be a better planetary telescope , giving larger images, except that it's mounting seems to have more than it's share of reliability problems reported. Also it's been out of production for some time AFAIK , so support might be a problem.

If you want a good all-rounder, for DSOs and planetary then I'd suggest an equatorially-mounted Newtonian or SCT,

52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
Ender Of Days
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: north sheffield

Post by Ender Of Days »

The Meade may have too large an f no for deep sky imaging,my 125 is f15 too high for all but the bright Galaxy's,
Visually my 125 is awesome,but looking through the eyepiece whilst tracking in the alt/az mode and its obvious there's 2 motors running to keep the star centred :?
Run in its equatorial mode its a lot lot better,

I know my 125 is a mac cass (not sure of the 105) but the mounts are (imho) superb for visual use,the goto is amazing for me (my first goto) Ive seen more with it than in all my other scopes put together,

But although I plan to get a DSI (or similar) soon,I know ultimately a good mount such as a heq is what I really need :)

If I had the choice between the Meade and the Skywatcher,then Id go for the Meade (through experience) But if I were you id spread my search before jumping in too fast :wink:

JJ.. :)
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69

ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
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