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  #1  
Old 17-12-2018, 09:14 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Skywatcher 12” Goto Dobsonian - a big thumbs up

The clouds cleared around 9.00pm down the south coast so decided to use my new Skywatcher 12” GoTo Dob ( only for the second time as the first time was cut short by cloud )
Once aligned ( which only took 5 minutes ) I went straight to M42 and popped in an Ethos 21mm “Wow what a view” , incredible detail and clarity and plenty of nebulosity
Next was NGC104 47 Tuc and used a 24mm Panoptic, the detail was amazing until it dropped behind a tree 20 minutes later
The Moon was descending over to the west so I used my 13mm Ethos and got the whole moon with incredible detail ( very stable minimal turbulence )
I went on to finish the night with some double stars and open clusters etc
All in all this new scope exceded my expectations
Alignment is really easy to do compared to PA on my HEQ5 astrophotography rig.Like my AP rig, I’m meticulously in levelling etc makes all the difference with your Goto
Goto is extremely accurate for a big scope, hits the target every time
Tracking is good
I have an adjustable drum stool so viewing is very comfortable at all heights
The only criticism I have is the scope doesn’t come with adjustable feet for levelling, so I bought some furniture adjusters with rubber bushes and that sorted that out
The motor is bit loud but hey it’s moving a fair bit of weight
I do prefer the GSO dual focusers but the Skywatcher is ok I suppose
I was a bit worried about moving this scope around as I’m nearly 60 and a light frame 70 kg but with a Bunnings parcel trolley, a piece of foam and a strap it’s quite easy ( garage to viewing spot about 10m)
I set mine up with Dew heaters on the secondary , finderscope and eye pieces so my nights won’t get cut short by dew. I also fitted a SW fabric shroud which eliminates stray light and dust getting in
My previous dob was a solid tube 10” nudge nudge which got me started in the hobby but this 12” Goto is a real winner
Tonight’s looking ok so can’t wait to get out there and power up

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 19-12-2018, 11:46 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Does anyone else own a recent Skywatcher 12” GoTo Dob ?
Would like to hear their comments, any criticism, initial expectations , improvements etc.....

Cheers
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  #3  
Old 19-12-2018, 12:33 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
Woohoo it's clear

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Hi Martin

I have had one from 2014 and it has worked very nicely since.

Enough aperture that from my semi rural site outside Canberra it shows plenty of faint things well and the big ticket items very nicely. The GOTOs are pretty good, landing everything in a 17.3mm Delos eyepiece and often in middle.

I haven't felt the need to modify anything. I have the shroud and I use a Kendrick heater strap wrapped around the outside of the main tube just forward of the primary mirror and this keeps the dew off the primary, a dew strap for the eyepiece and I use a small 12V hairdryer to zap the secondary as required.

It's a good affordable GOTO scope that has enough aperture to show plenty, without being too big and heavy to deter its use My only slight negative is at higher powers the alt/az tracking can be a bit jerky and the object can wander a bit but it is tolerable.

Mike

Last edited by strongmanmike; 19-12-2018 at 12:48 PM.
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  #4  
Old 19-12-2018, 01:43 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hi Mike
Thanks for replying
How do you level your scope , I had to buy furniture adjusters with 10mm thread , cut them down a bit and fit rubber bushes , works a treat to get it level
Also your primary dew heater , I didn’t know Kendrick make such a large wrap a round heater to fit the big 12” tube ?

I really happy with my 12” a great scope !!

Cheers
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  #5  
Old 19-12-2018, 01:58 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Hi Mike
Thanks for replying
How do you level your scope , I had to buy furniture adjusters with 10mm thread , cut them down a bit and fit rubber bushes , works a treat to get it level
Also your primary dew heater , I didn’t know Kendrick make such a large wrap a round heater to fit the big 12” tube ?

I really happy with my 12” a great scope !!

Cheers
Hi Martin

I have 4 large square pavers set in the ground into a big square that are pretty level, I plonk the scope on there, do a two star alignment and I am away...simples! I don't think leveling is as critical as most think, it just puts the second alignment star closer in case you don't know the sky very well.

Yes Kendrick make a 12" Dew strap (I had it for an Meade 12" SCT) and it wraps around the tube fine

Mike
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  #6  
Old 19-12-2018, 02:03 PM
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MattT (Matthew)
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Hi Martin,
Good write up of the Skywatcher GOTO dob.

I had a 16” GOTO for a while and while the views were excellent, globs in particular, I was stuck in Melbourne with it. Sadly it got very little use so I sold it. Tracking and GoTOs were excellent though. With the conditions here I never got past a 9mm eyepiece, which I think is somewhere round the 200x magnification. Much preferred to use my 6” f12 Refractor.

I hope you enjoy your 12” for a long time to come.

Matt
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  #7  
Old 19-12-2018, 02:38 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Mike
Thanks
My viewing location is on the driveway which has a slope of a couple degrees , hence the adjusters ( also I’m a bit meticulous with alignment etc....I like my second alignment star to end up bang on target in my illuminated reticle eye piece
I might buy a heater strip for the primary just to cover all bases
Matt
Thanks
Yes you need good dark sky’s to maximise the use and capability of big Dobs
I had a 10” solid tube in Sydney and could only see a limited amount of objects
Down at my holiday pad south coast my 12” is unbelievable ( as mentioned in my write up )

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 20-12-2018, 09:41 PM
newxr (Serge)
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Power source

Hi
I have recently purchased the same scope and generally happy with it. I am using a 7.2Ah SLA battery as a power source but feel this may prove to be unsuitable in the long run. I am thinking of getting the powertech power bank sold by bintel as a more permanent solution. It is rated at 42Ah but at 3.7V which I think would be about 13Ah at 12V. This should be sufficient and the unit is only 1.6kg (lighter than my current SLA). Anybody have any experience with the unit or maybe have an alternative?

Thanks in advance
S
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  #9  
Old 20-12-2018, 10:28 PM
newxr (Serge)
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Power source

I think this is the same unit packaged differently and much cheaper.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/100W-150...4AAOSwNX1cBQdG
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