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Model: SWskyliner300pFlexTubePart Number: 10158
Truss-tube version of the Skyliner 300P
"It would be easy to pigeonhole the 305mm FlexTube as an innovative, transportable Dobsonian for the deep-sky enthusiast, but it's much more than that. Its stunning planetary prowess will have many observers redefining what larger aperture, short focal ratio Newtonians are capable of. In short, it's a precision instrument that breaks the stereotypical Dobsonian mold to deliver stunning planetary and deep-sky performance in a compact, readily transportable package."
"Like it? I love it!"
Ade Ashford' Scopetest review
Features & Specification
Hi Everyone.This is a review for the Skywatcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube Dobsonian and the excellent service and prompt delivery from FLO.I ordered the Skywatcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube Dobsonian on Monday morning about 11:30, by the time I had got home and got to my e-mail around 15:00 Hrs I had got an E-Mail from FLO informing me that my order had been dispatched and that I could track it as well.It is now Tuesday less than 24 Hrs after I had initially made the order and I am now sat here the happy proud owner of a very beautiful and heavy Skywatcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube Dobsonian.The Dobsonian turned up in spot on condition considering that the rain in Mansfield is absolutely hammering it down the boxes arrived in dry shape with the odd cut in from the wrap around it, this had no effect on the actual Dobsonian.Anyways I managed to lug it home and up 3 flights of stairs, me and our lass managed to get it up the stairs with no problems,I must admit that after a cuppa I started to make way in getting into the excellent wrapped boxes and the padding that was used kept the Dobsonian firmly in place.Putting the Dobsonian up was a real joy to be honest, its like being a kid again and opening up ya prezzies, I was excited and buzzing at the ease in which I could make the mount up, the instructions were very clear and all pieces needed was in the boxes.Only issue I have now is the weather where I live is being an absolute bugger, I cant wait to use this brilliant and beautiful piece of kit and I will also update my review more once I get around to actually observing with the Dobsonian.Cheers FLO for a brilliant and 1st class service.Mark aka SGL mark117h
First off, thank FLO for being patient with my questions. I was torn between the 12" and the 14" as an upgrade from a GSO 10" Dob. A lot has been said about a 2" increase in aperture wasn't worth the while and that was my main desire to go for the 14". Having talked to the guys at FLO and weighed the pros and cons, I decided to settle for the 12" Flextube. Why?Upon receiving the 300P Flextube, my first reaction was...phew!! I'm glad I didn't go for a 14". This scope is not massive like you might imagine, but if you do the maths you'll realize that a 14" would've been a monster sitting in the lounge. I think the 12" is the practical limit to what you can actually move around, unless of course you've got biceps like Popeye. The Base was assembled quite easily without having to look at the instructions book (which wasn't in the base box, rather the tube box). It seemed solid. Also and nicely finished, I'm quite happy with the fact that Sky-watcher uses roller bearings on this model. Having used these on my GSO Dob, I've grown appreciative of how great they are in comparison with other available solutions.The OTA. Photos don't give it justice frankly. It's a beautiful, very solid piece of equipment. I always thought that the Flextube model looked rather flimsy in pictures. But let me tell you this, it's VERY solid, which explains why the OTA is a bit on the heavy side. My first light was a couple of hours - enough to test the scope capability and make sure everything was fine. If they say a 2" step in aperture won't make much of a difference, then in my experience they're mistaken. I could instantaneously see improvement on a list of objects. Sufficient to say that 40% more light collection over the 10" was definitely worth the upgrade. Things to consider and that's just a personal point of view: 1. If you're fussy, go ahead and upgrade the focuser. The stock one is a single speed and not the best of kind. I upgraded to Moonlite CR2, and it's money well spent. Make sure you get an extension tube with this focuser as some eyepieces especially Televues won't reach focus without enough back travel. 2. I'm not in favour of the nylon cover of the secondary mirror. It would've been ideal if Sky-watcher provided a plastic dust cover as the one for the primary. Or they could sell them separately?!3. Beware of the fact that because it is a truss tube you might need a light shroud to protect against dew and fend off some side light. It's not absolutely necessary if you don't have a lot issues with nearby streetlights or humidity. 4. Invest in a dew shield (or make your own), this is a big scope and is more prone to dew. 5. Sky-watcher - in my opinion - could've used an easy to grip knob for the base plate. I'm not expected to use wrenches every time I want to heighten the tension on the declination axis, am I?Conclusion:The optics are excellent and the general build is satisfactory - if not excellent in some areas. Despite the dew issues which I'm working on rectifying at the moment, the scope is wonderful and worth the investment. Highly recommended.
This is a superb telescope, best I’ve used in over 40 years of stargazing. The quality of the main optics is astounding; however I’ve only given it 4 stars because of a series of minor, but annoying faults that are by no means unique to this particular telescope.The feet on the base are too narrow for soft ground, had to be replaced with wider bits of wood.The eyepiece rack is in the wrong place, needs to be on the side.The base needs a spirit level.The large plastic cover over the bottom section of the tube needs a small knob so that you can remove it easily.There is way too much friction in the altitude bearing, at least one trunnion needs a thin smear of silicone grease.Even with a 400g widefield eyepiece in place, the tube still needs a 300g counterweight at the top end to balance properly.And finally, what is perhaps just a personal preference; it would be nice to be given the choice of either a conventional finder or a red dot unit when ordering.None of these mods would increase the price of the scope, but for me at least, they would really be the icing on the cake.--------------------------------------------------Update March 2014 - I've been using the scope for 5 months now and can say that I am still delighted with it. The optical quality has been outstanding on a variety of objects, and no re-collimation has been required. I heartily concur with the previous reviewer in saying that the 12" is about the limit in size for convenient portability. The base only just fits through my shed door, and I use a sack truck and mini pallet to move the main tube around.I never really liked the standard altitude bearing, and have replaced the original small plastic lugs with larger glass/moly filled PTFE blocks. These, combined with the excellent roller bearing in the base now give me the smoothest Dobsonian mount I have ever used.
The diameter of the mount base is 65 cm. The height when collapsed for storage is 120 cm. When extended the eyepiece is approximately at eye-level. Tube weight is approx 27 kg. Mount / rocker-box weight is 34 kg.
First Light Optics LtdUnit 7 Budlake UnitsBudlake RoadMarsh Barton Trading EstateExeter, DevonEX2 8PY
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