Help my friend

The place to discuss telescopes, binoculars, CCDs and other equipment

Moderators: Guy Fennimore, joe, Brian

Post Reply
dazcaz
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:05 pm
Location: Cardiff
Contact:

Help my friend

Post by dazcaz »

A year or so ago, I showed an old friend what Saturn looks like through my little Skywatcher Skymax 127. We were in a field in the middle of nowhere.
The Skymax is my travel scope.

What he saw blew his mind and he's talked about it ever since.
He's getting on a bit, but is still very much with it, and very intelligent.

He has asked me about buying a scope. He doesn't have a lot of spare cash.

I suggested the Skywatcher Explorer 130. At 135 quid it's dirt cheap for the views it should give.

A little more expensive is the "P" version.

Is the "P" version worth the extra?

My friend is looking at the Heritage 130P Flextube.
He seems keen on this for it's ease of use and storage.
He's also keen to have the parabolic mirror.

I'm not sure if this is his best option, being 250 MM shorter.
I also worry about the exposed bits of the flextube design.
It looks easily damaged or knocked.

So if you were spending 135 quid on a scope would you buy the explorer 130 or the Flextube?

Would you spend the extra and get the Explorer 130P?

I have not experienced the difference between a spherical mirror and a parabolic mirror, so I cannot advise him. I know that the P mirror is better, but isn't this only for shorter focal lengths?

Any advice appreciated
I once came last in an astronomy competition.
I was awarded a constellation prize


Skywatcher Explorer 200 HEQ5
Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak
Celestron C4-R CG-4 mount
David Frydman
Posts: 5366
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

You mentioned his age. This might also involve his fitness and flexibility in movement.
I would think this and the weight and ease of use of the scope are more of a factor than whether the mirror is spherical or parabolic.
If the parabolic version is also smaller and more easily handled then I would advise this if the difference in price is not much.

Also is he observing sitting or standing.

And does he have help carrying the scope out to observe.

He is also getting older so one has to consider whether he can handle it in one or two years time.

Obviously a more durable scope helps.

Regards, David
David Frydman
Posts: 5366
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

You could also ask the sales outlet or shop whether as it is January Sales time they will do the parabolic scope at the same price as the spherical mirror scope. There is no harm in asking.
It may be best if he could actually see the scopes to see if he can carry them.

David
dazcaz
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:05 pm
Location: Cardiff
Contact:

Post by dazcaz »

It seems that he has settled on the Flextube. He is more worried about the storage than anything else :)

I don't know if he's ordered it yet, but It will do him. Not my choice, but it fits his needs.

His can get around OK, his knees are knackered but he's fit enough :)
I once came last in an astronomy competition.
I was awarded a constellation prize


Skywatcher Explorer 200 HEQ5
Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak
Celestron C4-R CG-4 mount
David Frydman
Posts: 5366
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

The scope should be O.K., but if there is light pollution or nearby lights he might need a dark cloth to shield the open scope from the lights.

I used a large completely open Newtonian and it performed well without any shielding, so if the Heritage scope is well designed it might also be O.K.

David
dazcaz
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:05 pm
Location: Cardiff
Contact:

Post by dazcaz »

My main worry with the flextube is that it's not very long so the eyepiece will be quite low on a dob mount.
My friend says that if it is he will build a collapsible table for it. As I said he's quite clever. Has has a workshop. If he's not building home brew ham radio kit, he's knocking something up on his lathe :)

He'll find a way around most problems, but my argument is if he is short of room, then he won't want to have to store a table too :)

I have given him as much information as I can, and he's been looking on the net. He's also had a lot of advice from the guys at First light, so hopefully he will make the right decision for him.
I will pass on the tip about covering the open area if he's likely to get light entering. I never thought of that, but then I've only ever used fully enclosed 'scopes :)

Thanks
I once came last in an astronomy competition.
I was awarded a constellation prize


Skywatcher Explorer 200 HEQ5
Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak
Celestron C4-R CG-4 mount
Post Reply