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Skywatcher 300P FlexTube Auto Dobsonian - Transport & Travel


Craig
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So last night I took my 300P Dob out for it's first use away from home. It was a fantastic evening with clear skies, great seeing and no dew problems. I couldn't have asked for more.

The first thing to note about the evening was getting the scope from the house to the car. This is a big beast...

Getting it to the car was easy enough, but the scope is very heavy and it's a good trek from my kitchen to the car. If you're gonna get one of these, be sure you are physically capable of shifting it around. Getting it in the car was not as simple though.

First of all the tube, even when collapsed down, takes up the entire back seat of my car (a Renault Laguna, a good sized vehicle). The base sat comfortably in the boot but I had to take the parcel shelf out. There was room either side of it for storage of bags and other kit, so not a big problem.

I arrived at the site, set up the scope in about 5 minutes and started some observing. One of the chaps there, a member of the Derby & District Astronomical Society (DDAS) called Rob, spent most of the night with me and my scope. We hunted out clusters, double stars and various Nebulae together. It held it's collimation perfectly which was pleasing, especially considering the 45 minute drive over not-so-smooth roads.

I didn't align it or set the latitude during setup (laziness!) but even so, it tracked remarkably well and needed only minor adjustments.

The biggest issue we had with the scope was the finder. It's awkwardly depending on what you're looking at. At some stages, I was literally squatting on all fours to try to keep steady whilst searching, not very comfortable or dignifying! I'm going to replace this with a right angled finder and also purchase a Telrad.

Everybody commented on what a superb scope it was, how well it performed and how simple it was to use (though one chap just could not get to grips with the controller... He "push'n'shoved" instead. :D).

The exterior of the scope was pretty iced up by the end of the night, along with the car, but the primary and secondary mirror both remained dew and frost free throughout. My biggest issue was actually the eyepieces dewing up, but they soon cleared. On the shopping list next are the astroshroud and dew shield, to improve the protection.

All in all, a pretty good evening. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to anybody, as long as they are capable of lifting it.

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Nice scope Craig, wish I had gone bigger now. Yeah a right angled erecting finderscope and a Telrad are essential if you own a dob (in my opion), they have made my life so much easier and don't really cost the Earth.

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Wait until the Leo/Virgo/ Coma galaxy groups come into view, then the 12" comes into its own, giving good views, but as you mention just about reasonable portability. I don't think I could cope with anything larger but Iam happy with the performance of it.

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I need to be at a dark site for finding fuzzies, my neighbouring local sports facilities with their bright as day lighting puts paid to getting them from my garden.

My next door neighbour has put up a 150 watt security light, for his dog! But it's my damned cats that set it off. :huh:

If you start at the back end of Leo and swing it east and down a bit ( Getting the technical stuff lol) there are so many galaxies it gets difficult to identify them. My best bag this year was the Antennae Galaxy in Corvus, which Ibbo and myself found when we were at SGL6.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antennae_Galaxies

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I'm used to my 200p dob, anything bigger always seems so huge, having said that I'm building a 12" at the mo and I'm slowly getting used the size as bits are added.

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Nah! It's just a baby it's like my old 16" has given birth :lol:

Only kidding they are big and you do have to be pretty fit to move them around. I found on mine the secondary always dew/iced up and thats why I made up that heater. The primary never iced up. To stop the eyepieces dewing up keep them in your pocket until ready. And never breathe on them.

Baz is right when he says that these excell at galaxies, when the Coma//Virgo constellations are available you see so many of them, your Messier count goes up loads.

Btw your scope looks ace.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest kirkster501

Hey guys, rebooting this old thread.  Anyone got any further opinions on this baby please?  I woudl like to get one but doing some due diligence first.  Any pictures of one next to some sort of well known object - a wheelie bin or something so I can see the size of one please?  I can keep in my garage all the time but woudl like to see how large they are.....


Many thanks, Steve


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Guest kirkster501

Thanks Mick.  Any chance of sharing a photo please?  One with it collapsed down and another "up".  Both next to the wheelie bin?  I see you are in Nottingham like me too :)


Edited by kirkster501
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Have a look at my gallery Steve - there's a pic of mine at Kelling - it's behind a low windbreak but in front of other stuff that gives you a good idea of height. There's also a pic of the whole thing in front of some trees. :)


 


http://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/gallery/image/175-dob1shrunk/


 


http://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/gallery/image/880-group2/ 


 


(the second one is collapsed with a green cover over it).


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If I had a GOTO version I would not have sold mine either. They are brilliant scopes, I absolutely rate them. I keep looking at getting another, but my brain stops me doing so. :D


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