SW Skymax 127 SupaTrak

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

SW Skymax 127 SupaTrak

Post by dazcaz »

Hello all,
I've not been here for ages due to not getting much time to look skyward...
I've bought a new toy to complimet my SW 200 HEQ5 Newt.
I've just bought the SW Skymax 127 Mak and the new SupaTrak mount.

I was a bit wary of the new mount. I'm not a big fan of arm mounts, they look a bit "Toy like" on a cheaper 'scope.

Basically, I wanted something to live mainly in the motorhome. Something light and easy to set up.

This is exactly what the Sm127 is.

The tripod could be a bit sturdier, but then I'm used to an HEQ5 which is about as sturdy as you can get :)

The whole thing is small and compact and very easy to use, once you'e read the manual and not jumped to conclusions :)

I'm very impresses with the scope.
First light was the Moon. Very bright, but superb detail. The craters around the edges were very nicely shown with loads of detail and the shadows were great... I *MUST* buy some filters!!!!!!

I then moved onto Saturn, which is not too far above the moon at the mo.
Even though the moon was very bright, Saturn and it's rings were very well defined, and the detail was wonderful, even at very high magnification (300X). I was very impressed that this very small 'scope was giving me images that were as good as, if not better than my large 8" newt.

Next stop was M42. Very nice indeed, though the lack of aperture was now beginning to show. What it lacks in light gathering, it more than makes up for with sharpness and detail.

I then moved onto Mars, which is now quite high in the sky above Orion.
Sadly viewing in this area of the sky was quite poor due to hazy cloud, but Mars was pretty decent through the haze, but no features could be seen.

This was my first look through a mak. I've used Maks (or Cats as we call then in photography) as lenses, but never as a scope.
I was very impressed by the detail and contrast given buy such a short tube. I'm used to an 8" F4 newt which is great at catching light, but does lack a bit in the detail side of things.
The view through the Mak was puchy. Colours seemed better. I'm slightly colour blind and at low lightl evels most stars planets etc look the same colour to me. Through the mak, no such problems. For the first time ever, Mars looked red to me :)

I was deciding on which scope to buy for the motorhome. I was tempted by the SW 150PM Newt, but that is basically just a smaller version of what I already have. I chose the SM127 as it complimets what I have. it does things that the 8" newt doesn't do very well. It's also small and light which is the main reason why I was buying a second 'scope.

The great thing now is that I can always use the mak on my HEQ5. I might even be able to piggy back the mak on top of the 8", but that might stress the HEQ5 a little too much.

I'm looking forward to taking a few pictures through the mak. It should give me better images of saturn, but I'm not sure if the SupaTrak mount will take the weight of the 127 and a Nikon D-80 :) I might be Ok with a small compact in video mode... We'll have to wait and see.

The new 'scope is coming on holiday for the next week. if I find clear, dark skies I'll put it through it's paces and hopefully get a few photos along the way.
if I do I'll post them if I think they're worth it.

This new 'scope is perfect for the motorhome, and a great 'scope for the garden too :)

My new toy came from Steve at First Light Optics.
Ordered Tuesday, arrived Wednesday. Great service and great prices.
He's also happy (or at least he seemed to be) to lsiten to somone umming and ahhing trying to decide what to buy. He gives great advice, and is open and honest.
Thanks Steve, FLO made my first steps into serious astronomy very easy and relatively painless. Both my scopes were from FLO and I'm very happy with them indeed.

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
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Hoogeveen, The Netherlands

mak 127

Post by geitejager »

Nice to read your story Darren! I once owned a self-made 200mm Newton which was heavy and too big for set-up whenever I wanted. Been out of astronomy for years but bought me a SW mak 127 some time ago. Very nice and easy to use. It is small and solid and on a decent mount it is very stable. In the winter it takes some time cooling down but it is worth it.
I especially like the star clusters like M37/38. (and the moon!!)
Lets hope for many dark and cloudless nights. (The first is getting more and more difficult nowadays)
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:18 pm
Location: N England

Post by paulst »

HI, ive just bought the same scope myself. Im looking forward to some clear nights, (I hope). I already have a skywatcher 102 mm refractor (short focus) but wanted a decent scope for the Moon & Planets.I wanted a nice portable scope that doesnt take up much room, so the mak 127 seems ideal.
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:02 am

Post by kethed23 »

I also own a SW scope on a SupaTrak mount. Beware,guys. I have had three mounts break on me, and a handset with a 'weird virus thing' (his words not mine) which broke any mount I plugged the handset into!

Make sure to set up the scope properly before tracking - one thing not mentioned in the manual is the fact that you must make sure to account for mechanical backlash by moving the scope in the 'tracking direction' at the start of tracking. I still cant get mine to track very accurately even with all this!

I was lucky, as I could take mine back to the shop easily - which was lucky as I had to take it back three times!! All this said, the actual 'scope (130mm f/5 Newt) performs admirably!

I hope you have better luck with the mount,
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:18 pm
Location: N England

Post by paulst »

Ive not been able to use mine yet, I cant remember the last really clear night, fingers crossed for at least one good night in the next few days. :)

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