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Model: skwatcher_250px_goto_dobsonianPart Number: 10225
With their large apertures, collapsible FlexTube design and SynScan computerised Go-To, Skyliner FlexTube Synscan Dobsonians automatically find and track over 42,900 celestial objects.
The patented dual-encoder design enables you to manually move the telescope anytime and to anywhere you wish - with no need for realignment. Slewing to an object on the opposite side of the night sky no longer feels like watching a kettle boil. Simply push the tube close to the object and let the computer do the rest of the work.
Easy transaction with quick delivery. Packaged well.
This might be a long old review, so hopefully you'll find it useful.I'm going to break this down into two parts - 1: The 'Scope itself and 2: FLO ServiceThe Telescope and Mount:This 'scope was bought for me by my wife as a 40th present after clubbing together with friends and family as I was after an upgrade from my existing 'Dob and I wanted something with GoTo capabilities to maximise observing time from what will mostly be my back garden.Let's not beat around the bush. This is a BIG bit of kit, and you need to be aware of that when ordering. I'd felt that this was about as big as I could get to carry by myself (It's easier to carry in 2 parts base and the OTA) but it is manageable solo. Bear in mind though I'm 6 foot 3 and 15st....I can take the weight, but give the size it's quite awkward by yourself. Don't let that deter you though.Out of the box collimation was required after constructing the base. You'll need an allen key and phillips screwdriver for the secondary mirror - but I was pleasantly surprised to see pre-fitted knobs to the base of the primary allowing you to unlock and align the primary mirror without the need of additional tools. Collimation held well over multiple observing sessions and the odd gentle tap transporting from storage to the garden.The GoTo works well, I will confess to finding the SynScan app on my iphone a lot easier to use that the native handset - mostly because I could slew to an object then fine tune its position in the eyepiece before 'locking' it's position and allowing the mount to track the object whilst I observed. I'm sure you can do the same with the handset....I just found the app easier.In terms of observing, I was NOT disappointed with this. Please bear in mind I live in a Bortle 6 (nearing 7 location) - I've used this over multiple nights before writing the review and have observed the following from my garden:1 - Jupiter. SUPER bright in the EP down to 10mm - Equatorial bands clearly visible on the planet surface, moons fit within FOV of 10mm EP.2 - Saturn. Clearly view of planet and rings, Cassini division viewable over longer observing period, planet quite low in the sky so sub-optimal viewing conditions, detail very good given elevation of the planet3 - Neptune. Pale green star, again low in the sky but viewable4 - Andromeda Galaxy - Galactic core viewable, wider disk now (Put down to B6 Skys and moon spoiling the fun)5 - Albireo Double - High power EP splits the double beautifully and clear red / blue colours shown between the pair. A real treat6 - Double cluster - Viewable in low power, both clusters in FOV sharp definition across most FOV, blurring at edges as expected.7 - Dragonfly Cluster - Fits FOV in 25mm EP. A lovely cluster to view8 - M13 Great Cluster - Viewed very low in the sky, quite faint but that's time of year and under a full moon. Wispy shape of cluster viewable with stars beginning to resolve themselves over a longer observing session, one that will no doubt be spectacular in the summer months when it's much much higher in the sky9 - M15 / M2 - Faint Globulars viewable. Again, B6 skies and the moon washing out a lot of the detail but resolvable.10 - Moon. You'll need a lunar filter so you don't burn a hole in the back of your head. I popped the cap off the primary plastic cover, clear and sharp details across the terminator.In summary, this is a monster of a telescope. It ticks all of my boxes for requirements. The GoTo works well, holding its ability to slew over multiple targets. I have re-aligned mid session twice with no issues. I've found manually aligning to Polaris. Turning the base off and levelling the OTA before switching the base on, selecting 2 star alignment (Polar Aligned) in the App and choosing Polaris (As the base just moves up on the ALT motor) and one of (Vega, Caph, Jupiter, Deneb / Sadr) as the second star all work well and generally drop the target into the FOV of the 25mm eyepiece before fine tuning with the 10mm where needed.Attaching a Telrad finder to the OTA will save you a lot of hassle too when it comes to alignment. But that's a personal choice as I find it easier to get to the general location with the Telrad before fine tuning with the attached finder and then eyepiece. Those are habits developed from a manual dob though.FLO Service.Service from FLO was outstanding - 11/10 quality. The original mount shipped with this had an issue with traced to the encoder on the AZ motor in the base. Alex @ FLO was nothing less that a saint in supporting me in troubleshooting, before determining a repair was needed to the base. This was collected from my house (at no extra charge to me) on a Tuesday, and by Friday it had been returned to me repaired and ready to use. Honestly, I CANNOT fault the level of service and care given to me by the team - It really was a lesson on how to look after a customer and probably won't see me purchase any kit in the future from anyone with FLO. Clear effective communications, and resolved entirely to my satisfaction. A top top job.If you're still with me....thanks for reading. Haha. Clear skies everyone!!
My previous telescope was an ETX-90, but the electronics gave out. After thinking about it I decided visual astronomy was my thing, and so the dobsonian was a good fit for me. I also decided that the goto capability was worth the extra money, as I have enough knowledge of the sky to align the scope - but not a lot more. This telescope fits my needs very well, and has already given me some excellent views despite being relatively new. It is quite big - even collapsed it comes to me chest and I'm a grown man. It is also quite heavy, but not excessively so. Lastly, do expect to have to collimate it. If you don't already have one a laser collimating eyepiece is well worth it.All in all I'm very happy.
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