On this page, I present some information about my current telescopes. Further below you will find a tabular overview of the basic data for the telescopes.
Note: Here you will find an overview of all telescopes that I own and owned.
In the course of time, I have already tried a couple of telescopes and extended my "collection"several times, but also reduced again it at times. The reasons for the changes were of a different nature, and often the criteria "large aperture" and "weight/transportability" conflicted with each other. At the moment, my collection* consists of the following devices, including a Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount, on which I can also use my telescopes more comfortably:
*) I do not present the Sky-Watcher/Omegon Infinity 76 telescope for children here.
The following overview lists the various options offered by the individual telescopes:
|Telescope||Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P||Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS||Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA|
|Type||cheap Dobsonian scope ("toy"...)||Newton tube; this was years ago the typical kind of a beginners' scope for "real" hobby astronomers||Maksutov-Cassegrain tube|
|Aperture, Focal Length, Focal Ratio||100 mm, 400 mm, f/4||150 mm, 750 mm, f/5||100 mm, 400 mm, f/12.7|
|Light Gathering Power, Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude, Resolving Power||204, 11.8 mag, 1.15"||459, 12.7 mag, 0.77"||212, 12.7 mag, 1.15"|
|Maximum Magnification||150 x (200 x)||approx. 225 x (300 x)||204 x|
|Magnification with 32 mm / 4 mm Eyepiece||12.5 x / 100 x||23.4 x / 187.5 x||40.6 x / 325 x (too high) => 186 x (7 mm)|
|Used as...||travel scope; telescope for a "quick look" (is the fastest to put to use...); for moon, planets, and brighter deep sky objects (wide field telescope)||telescope for home use or to be moved to observation locations in a car; for moon, planets, and a lot of deep sky objects||moon and planets telescope; travel scope (but already a little bit heavy...); telescope for a "quick look" (moon, planets)|
|Usable with My GoTo Mount?||yes||yes? (tube weighs 5.5 kg)||yes (but finder is located poorly...)|
|Usable on Bases of other Telescopes that I Own?||yes: on Omegon mini Doson base (but this is less stable)||no||yes: on Heritage 100P and Omegon mini Dobson base (the latter is rather instable, though)|
|Sun||yes (with solar filter size 5)||yes (with solar filter size 7)||yes (with solar filter size 5)|
|Moon||yes (I own a gray filter for the moon)||yes (I own a gray filter for the moon)||yes (I own gray a filter for the moon)|
|Planets||yes-and-no (planets are rather small...)||yes (but planets are still small; therefore the Skymax-102...)*||yes, but the upper magnification limit is 200 x|
|Deep Sky Objects*||yes (the brighter ones; low magnification)||yes (the brighter ones, but quite a few; still low magnification for details)||yes (the brighter ones; more magnification, but high focal ratio = slow)|
*) I am still lacking sufficient observation experience for more concrete statements...
Further down, you will find a table with additional technical data for the telescopes.
I bought this telescope at the beginning of July 2015 as a travel scope, because I was not satisfied with the performance of the smaller Heritage 76. It is not as easy to transport as the 76, but performs much better (it has a parabolic mirror) as at least my sample of the 76.
Apart from its own mount, I also use the tube on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount.
Skymax-102 on Heritage 100P base
Skymax-102 on Heritage 100P base, other side
Ditto, details (focuser, diagonal mirror)
Purchased at the end of May 2016. The Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA (focal length 1300 mm) is a Maksutov-Cassegrain tube, which allows higher magnifications than Newton telescopes of the same aperture. Therefore, it is useful for observing the sun, the moon, and the planets. Most of the time, I use the tube on the base of the Heritage 100P, but I also use it on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount.
For details see page Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA Information (4" Maksutov-Cassegrain). For technical data see below.
Purchased at the beginning of April 2017. This telescope tube replaces my 8" GSO GSD 680 Dobsonian telescope, which was still too heavy for me (on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount). First experiences with this telescope tube look promising.
|Optical Design||Maksutov-Cassegrain||Newton (Parabolic)||Newton (Parabolic)|
|Primary Mirror Diameter||102 mm||100 mm (4")||150 mm (6")|
|Focal Length, Focal Ratio||1300 mm
|Resolving Power (arc secs)||1.15"||1.15"||0.77"|
|Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude||12.7 mag||11.8 mag||12.7 mag|
|Maximum Practical Visual Power||204 x||150 x (200 x)||ca. 225 x (300 x)|
|Optical Tube Dimensions
(diam. x length)
|27 cm length||11.5 cm x 37 cm*||18.2 cm x 69 cm
18 cm x 68 cm*
|Net Weight Basis||---||1.3 kg*||--|
|Net Weight Optical Tube||1.9 kg||1.2 kg*
(2.5*/2.8 kg complete)
*) my own measurement