Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS Information (6" Newton)

Look | Basic Data | Photo Attempts | Visited Sky Objects | First Conclusions | Links

On this page I provide some information about my 6" Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS (150 mm / 750 mm, f/5) Newtonian tube (purchased at the beginning of April 2017). I bought this tube as a replacement for my 8" Dobsonian telescope GSO GSD 680, which is a very fine telescope but became too heavy for me. I therefore sold it. When buying the 6" tube, I also hoped that it can be used on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount as the maximum possible option. Thus, all my telescope tubes would then be also usable on my GoTo mount. More on this, below... Since there is only a small gap between this tube and the Sky-Watcher Heritage P130, I gave the latter away to a friend.

At the beginning, I used the Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS tube on the Dobsonian base of the Sky-Watcher Heritage P130, although this combination was a bit shaky and wobbly. Since I no longer own the P130, I use the 150PDS only on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount now. This mount can carry a maximum load of 5 kg (the identical Orion StarSeeker IV mount is advertised as being able to carry a maximum load of 6 kg). The 6" tube was advertised at online dealers as weighing about 5 kg. After the purchase, however, I found a tube weight of even 6 kg on the Sky-Watcher Website. My own measurements revealed a weight of about 5.5 kg - plus viewfinder and eyepiece. The whole affair definitely seems to be a bordeline case, and only experience will show whether this is indeed a workable combination in the long run.

See here my experiences that I made so far with "overloading the mount with a 6" Newton tube."

 

Look

Unpacking

Outer package

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Opened package

Ditto

Styrofoam

Ditto

One of the Styrofoam pieces was damaged...

Package content

Content of accessories box

Ditto

Accessories

Tube with protective paper, oblique rear view

Ditto, oblique front view

Ditto, seen from above

Ditto, no paper, side view; note the Vixen-style prism rail

Ditto, oblique view from above

Detail: Focuser with 1:10 dual speed transmission

Looking into the tube

Ditto, here you can see the mark on the primary mirror

Accessories:

6 x 30 finder, 28 mm eyepiece (2"), 2" extension ring for visual observations, tools

Box weights and size:

NW = 7 kg, GW = 9 kg

80 cm x 39 cm x 34 cm
79 cm x 40 cm x 35.5 cm (my own measurement)

 

Explorer PDS150 Telescope Tube on Heritage P130 Rockerbox

Note: I do no longer own the Heritage P130 (and thus, its Dobsonian mount)

Explorer PDS150 Telescope Tube on Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo Montierung

 

Basic Data for Sky-Watcher Newton Telescope Explorer 150PDS (in Comparison)

Telescope
Meade
Sky-Watcher Skymax/Heritage/Explorer
GSO
8" 10" 12" ETX 90EC 102 76 100P 114P P130 150PDS GSD 680
Optical Design Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton
(Parabolic)
Maksutov-Cassegrain Maksutov-Cassegrain Newton (Spherical) Newton (Parabolic) Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic)
Primary Mirror Diameter 203 mm 254 mm 305 mm 96 mm (90 mm) 102 mm 76 mm (3") 100 mm (4") 114 mm (4.5") 130 mm (5") 150 mm (6") 200 mm (8")
Focal Length, Focal Ratio 1219 mm
f/6
1270 mm
f/5
1524 mm
f/5
1250 mm
f/13.8
1300 mm
f/12.7
300 mm
f/3.95
400 mm
f/4
500 mm
f/4.38
650 mm
f/5
750 mm
f/5
1200 mm
f/6
Resolving Power (arc secs) 0.56" 0.45" 0.38" 1.3" 1.15" 1.51" 1.15" 1.01" 0.9" 0.77" 0.58"
Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude ca. 14 mag ca. 14.5 mag ca. 15 mag 11.7 mag 12.7 mag 11.2 mag 11.8 mag 12.1 mag 13.3 mag 12.7 mag 14.5 mag
Light Gathering Power 841 1316.7 1898.5 165.3 212.3 117.9 204.1 265.2 344.9 459.2 816.3
Maximum Practical Visual Power ca. 550 x ca. 600 x ca. 700 x 325 x 204 x ca. 100 x (152 x) 150 x (200 x) 170 x (228 x) ca. 195/220 x (260 x) ca. 225 x (300 x) ca. 300 x (400 x)
Optical Tube Dimensions (diam. x length) 28 cm x 115 cm 35 cm x 119 cm 40 cm x 144 cm 10.4 cm x 27.9 cm 10.4 cm x 27 cm n.a. 11.5 cm x 37 cm* n.a. Tube collapsed < 37 cm
(14.5") long
18.2 cm x 69 cm
18 cm x 68 cm*
23 cm x 115 cm
Net Weight Basis 9 kg 12.2 kg 15 kg n.a. --- n.a. 1.3 kg* 1.6 kg 3.1 kg* -- 11.2 kg
Net Weight Optical Tube 10.9 kg 17.2 kg 21.3 kg n.a. 1.9 kg n.a. 1.2 kg* 3.7 kg 3.25 kg* 5.0/6.0 kg
5.5 kg*
9.5 kg
Net Weight Complete 3.5 kg 1.75 kg 2.5*/2.8 kg 5.3 kg < 6.5 kg or 14 lbs. appr. 21 kg

Dark Blue: Telescopes that I still own; italic and dark red: telescopes that I owned; black: for comparison; *) own measurement

 

Photo Attempts

First Moon Photos with the Camera Held to the Eyepiece

The following photos of the moon were taken at the beginning of April 2017 (April 1, 2, and 3; on April 3, it was half moon). They were taken using the 1:50 method, that is, with the camera held to the eyepiece. In this case, I used my Ricoh GR (28 mm equivalent) at ISO 1600 and underexposed to avoid flare.

I used a 16 mm and a 7 mm UWA eyepiece. With the latter, I was able to see the full moon, but not to "catch" it.

April 1, 2017

    

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

7 mm eyepiece (approx. 107 x) - 2000 pixels - 3200 pixels

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

April 2, 2017

7 mm eyepiece (approx. 107 x) - 2000 pixels version - SW

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version - SW

April 3, 2017 (Half Moon)

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

7 mm eyepiece (approx. 107 x) - 2000 pixels - 3200 pixels

 

7 mm eyepiece, section (approx. 107 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

Comparison of the Days

         

April 1, 2017

 

April 2, 2017

  April 3, 2017 (half moon)

April 6, 2017

    

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 107 x) - 2000 pixels

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

16 mm eyepiece (approx. 47 x) - 2000 pixels version

 

Visited Sky Objects

So far, I have visited (and documented...) the following sky objects with the Sky-Watcher Explorer PDS150:

 

First Conclusions

Since I own the Sky-Watcher Tube Explorer 150PDS only for a short period of time, it is too early for any definitive conclusions (see below). My first impressions are, however, very positive. I particularly like the dual speed focuser, which makes focusing much easier for me. And this scope is much easier to handle than the bulkier and heavier 8" GSO GSD 680 telescope. While the GSD 680 pushes me to the limits with ist weight, I can carry and handle the Explorer PDS150 still fairly easily. However, it is a little bit difficult to attach the Vixen rail to the base - I need three hands for this. It is therefore safer if you have another person to fix the locking screw.

Sky-Watcher Tubus Explorer 150PDS on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo Mount

Admittedly, I have not observed a lot of sky objects with the 150PDS so far. But I've already used it at least on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount in order to gain some exprience with this combination. See here my experiences that I made so far with "overloading the mount with a 6" Newton tube."

Comparisons

I did a first quick & dirty comparison with the 8 "GSD 680 Dobson telescope using M 42/43 and M 35 as targets (April 9, 2017). Since my eyepieces do not allow me to use both telescopes at exactly the same magnification, such a comparison is problematic, though. Overall and not surprising, the view in the GDS 680 seemed to be brighter and more contrasty to me, but the Explorer PDS150 was not bad either. Although I was decided to sell the GSD 680, because it was too heavy for me, this comparison made me a little bit uncertain again about this matter. But in the end, I parted from the GSD 680, as nice as the telescope was, and gave it to a dealer in commision to sell it for me (in the meantime, it was sold).

A few days later (April 9, 2017), I did a comparison with the 5" Heritage P130 Dobson telescope. Again, I was not able to operate the telescopes in parallel at exactly the same magnification. Overall and hardly surprising, the view was somewhat better in the PDS150 than in the P130, although I would not say that the differences were huge. On the whole, however, I could not see any advantages in owning both telescopes, although the P130 is certainly better suited to traveling. Therefore, I gave the P130 away to a friend in mid-April 2017.

Further Experiences

Further experiences with the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo Mount can be found on page Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo Mount - First Experiences.

 

Links

 

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made by walodesign on a mac!
07.11.2017