Overview of My Current Telescopes

Introduction | Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P | Sky-Watcher Heritage P130 | GSO 8" GSD 680 | Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA | Basic Data of My Current Telescopes | Links

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 an overview of all telescopes that I own and owned.

 

Introduction

In the course of time, I have already tried a couple of telescopes and extended my "collection"several times, but also reduced it at times. The reasons for the changes were of a different nature, and often the criteria "aperture" and "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 smaller telescopes more comfortably:

Dobsonian Telescopes

Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope

The following overview lists the various possibilities offered by the individual telescopes:

Telescope
Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P Sky-Watcher Heritage P130 Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA GSO 8" GSD 680
Type cheap Dobsonian scope ("toy"...) cheap Dobsonian scope (but already adjustable) Maksutov-Cassegrain Tube Beginners' Dobson for "real" hobby astronomers
Data
Aperture, Focal Length, Focal Ratio 100 mm, 400 mm, f4 130 mm, 650 mm, f5 100 mm, 400 mm, f12.7 200 mm, 1200 mm, f6
Light Gathering Power, Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude, Resolving Power 204, 11.8 mag, 1.15" 345, 13.3 mag, 0.,9" 212, 12.7 mag, 1.15" 816, 14.5 mag 0.58"
Maximum Magnification 150 x (200 x) approx. 220 x (260 x) 204 x 300 x (400 x)
Magnification with 32 mm / 4 mm Eyepiece 12.5 x / 100 x 20 x / 162.5 x 40.6 x / 325 x (too high) => 186 x (7 mm) 37.5 x / 300 x
Use
Used as... travel scope; telescope for a "quick look" (is the fastest to put to use...) transportable telescope,but feels too heavy for me for this purpose; can also be quickly assembled (but has to be carried around in two parts...) travel scope (but already a little bit heavy...); telescope for a "quick look" (moon, planets) telescope for home use or to be moved to observation locations in a car
Usable with My GoTo Mount? yes yes (tube weighs 3.25 kg) yes (finder is located poorly...) no, only on its own rocker box
Usable on Bases of other Telescopes that I Own? yes: on Heritage P130 base, which look, however, oversized for this tube no yes: on Heritage 100P and Heritage P130 bases; the latter is somewhat oversized for this tube but more stable no, only on its own rocker box
Usage Ranking 1 3 2 4
Observation
Sun yes (with solar filter size 5) no yes (with solar filter size 5) yes (with solar filter size 9)
Moon yes (I own gray filters for the moon) yes (I own gray filters for the moon) yes (I own gray filters for the moon) yes (I own gray filters for the moon)
Planets yes-and-no (rather small...) yes-and-no (still small) yes, but upper limit is 200x yes
Deep Sky Objects* yes (the brighter ones; low magnification) yes (the brighter ones; still low magnification) yes (the brighter ones; more magnification, but high focal ratio = slow) yes (better, at least, than any other telescope that I own...)

*) 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.

 

Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P

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).

Apart from its own mount, I also use the tube on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount.

For details see pages Sky-Watcher 4" Dobson Information and Sky-Watcher Dobson Heritage Comparison. For technical data see below.

 

Sky-Watcher Heritage P130

Purchased in February 2010 (initially as a travel scope, but it is a little large for this purpose...). This telescope lies between "toy" telescopes and serious amateur telescopes. It is still fairly easy to transport and offers a surprisingly good performance (adjustable parabolic mirror with center mark). Negative points are an inaccurate focuser and the trembling platform.

Apart from its own mount, I also use the tube on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount.

For details see pages Sky-Watcher 5" Dobson Information and Sky-Watcher Dobson Heritage Comparison. For technical data see below.

 

GSO 8" GSD 680

Purchased at the end of March 2016. This telescope replaces my 10 "Lightbridge Dobsonian telescope, which had become too heavy for me. First experiences with this telescope look promising, but the weight is still fairly high for me...

For details see page GSD 680 8" Dobson Information. For technical data see below.

 

Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA

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 (or P130), 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.

 

Basic Data of My Current Telescopes

Telescope
Sky-Watcher Skymax/Heritage
GSO
102 100P P130 GSD 680
Optical Design Maksutov-Cassegrain Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic)
Primary Mirror Diameter 102 mm 100 mm (4") 130 mm (5") 200 mm (8")
Focal Length, Focal Ratio 1300 mm
f/12.7
400 mm
f/4
650 mm
f/5
1200 mm
f/6
Resolving Power (arc secs) 1.15" 1.15" 0.9" 0.58"
Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude 12.7 mag 11.8 mag 13.3 mag 14.5 mag
Maximum Practical Visual Power 204 x 150 x (200 x) approx. 220 x (260 x) 300 x (400 x)
Optical Tube Dimensions
(diam. x length)
27 cm length 11.5 cm x 37 cm* Tube collapsed < 37 cm
(14.5") long
23 cm x 115 cm
Net Weight Basis --- 1.3 kg* 3.1 kg* 11.2 kg
Net Weight Optical Tube 1.9 kg 1.2 kg*
(2.5*/2.8 kg complete)
3.25 kg*
(< 6.5 kg or 14 lbs. complete)
9.5 kg
(appr. 21 kg complete)

*) own measurement

 

Links

 

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28.02.2017