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Skywatcher 130 f/5 PDS - mini review

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#26 johnpeter2

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 11:28 AM

Looks good to me, too, so I have ordered one!

 

I am struggling to collimate the 130PDS, followed so many guides including the well known Astro-baby tutorial. I just cannot get the three primary clips to appear. Did you have any luck with collimation? Cheers

Can't get any or all of the clips to appear?  What kind of collimation tool are you using?

 

John



#27 Deeko76

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 02:27 PM

Looks good to me, too, so I have ordered one!

 

Can't get any or all of the clips to appear?  What kind of collimation tool are you using?

 

John

Have a Cheshire tube and a hotech laser collimator. After about 4 hours (no kidding) I  finally managed to do it. Used the Cheshire first and then laser collimator confirmed it. I had to move the secondary down toward the primary by about 5mm first, and the Cheshire had to be far out in the focuser otherwise I couldn't see the primary clips. The secondary tilt adjustment was also a nightmare to get right. For the record I have a 250px dob and that was easy to collimate, esp the secondary. The 130 PDS collimation experience was is enough to make me seriously think about buying a frac :/



#28 johnpeter2

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 05:33 PM

Have a Cheshire tube and a hotech laser collimator. 

 

Maybe you need a collimation cap.  With my smallest reflector, a 114mm f4 Meade, I am not able to see the primary clips with a sight tube but have to use a collimation cap.  In a few days, I should be able to see if that is also true with the 130 pds.

 

John



#29 RJF-Astro

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 02:17 AM

I am struggling to collimate the 130PDS, followed so many guides including the well known Astro-baby tutorial. I just cannot get the three primary clips to appear. Did you have any luck with collimation? Cheers

I did, but no clips visible either. I think because of a small secondary. From what I have read it is not that important, as long as the optics are centered. 

 

I have mine collimated with laser and cheshire, next step is a star test. That will be the deciding test for me. Still waiting for some stars though...



#30 Deeko76

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 03:25 AM

I did, but no clips visible either. I think because of a small secondary. From what I have read it is not that important, as long as the optics are centered. 

 

I have mine collimated with laser and cheshire, next step is a star test. That will be the deciding test for me. Still waiting for some stars though...

Yep! Patiently waiting on the stars to reveal themselves again. Lots of cloud cover forecast here in the UK for many weeks. Trying to remain optimistic about my 130PDS collimation efforts as the star test will reveal all :)



#31 Deeko76

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 02:20 PM

Star test was a raging success :) Perfect collimation - perseverance with it has paid off.


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#32 RJF-Astro

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:10 AM

Ok, finally I had some clear skies, if only for about 2 hours. So I set everything up for a quick imaging session. In the end I got about 1 hours worth of h-alpha subs.

 

My first impressions of image quality are very positive. Collimation seemed spot on, although I did not spend any time startesting as I wanted to collect as much photons as possible. 

 

The stars look good across the field. There is some hint of optical error in the corners but not much. Certainly less compared to my previous scopes, including the SW 100ED, which costs twice as much including corrector.

 

The only thing that happened was the secondary dewed up quickly. It was cold and the humidity was high. But it seems that a dew cap is mandatory and I might have to look into secondary heaters. 

 

But anyway, here's some pictures. First there is an abberation inspection from PixInsight, then there is the edited image. I took the cave nebula, new to me. The final stack is 44 minutes of 240 second h-alpha exposures. 

 

mosaic 130pds.JPG

 

20191017 Cave Ha stretched.jpg


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#33 JosephR

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 07:46 PM

I use this scope on a Manfrotto gearhead which is wonderful ergonomically.  I initially had difficulty focusing with my binoviewer, but it works well with a Moonlight low profile 1 1/4” adapter.

Attached Thumbnails

  • E4E397AE-D542-4251-B138-9DB2267E9443.jpeg

Edited by JosephR, 18 October 2019 - 07:51 PM.

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#34 25585

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:20 AM

TS Concenter is a good secondary alignment tool https://www.teleskop...Telescopes.html



#35 aatdalton

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 12:03 AM

Love my 130PDS. Ordered it from First Light Optics and since we don't have to pay VAT in the US, paying for shipping ended up being pretty much a wash. 

 

I don't know of another scope that gets you 130mm aperture, f/5 optics, 2-speed crayford for only about $200. What a deal! I actually wish it could be sold even more a la carte as I had no use for the 28mm LER, nor the 8x50 straight through finder. Maybe include a Bahtinov mask instead or a top dovetail bar. 

 

It's also very pleasant to use for visual. I was just enjoying some great views of the moon the other day. Nice sharp optics and it makes me want to install a 2-speed focuser on my 8" dob. 

 

Anyway, I will continue to recommend the 130PDS as a wonderful option for someone on a budget. I do wish it were sold in the US so it would be easier to recommend to others. 

 

I've since upgraded to an Atlas, but here it was on my CG-5 with a DSLR doing just great. Big hollow tubes sure don't weight very much for their size.

First Real Light CN.jpg


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#36 lakland5

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 06:00 AM

Love my 130PDS. Ordered it from First Light Optics and since we don't have to pay VAT in the US, paying for shipping ended up being pretty much a wash. 

 

.....

 

I've since upgraded to an Atlas, but here it was on my CG-5 with a DSLR doing just great. Big hollow tubes sure don't weight very much for their size.

attachicon.gif First Real Light CN.jpg

Looks great!  also cold (frost on the tube?)...



#37 aatdalton

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:16 AM

Looks great!  also cold (frost on the tube?)...

Yep, been hovering around 20f for a bit here. Next upgrade is going to be diy yoga mat dew/frost shield. 



#38 grafton

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 08:29 AM

I purchased the Skywatcher 130mm PDS a few days ago. Shipping took about 4 days from the U.K. and was about 50 bucks. The diffraction pattern star test showed essentially identical in and out of focus diffraction patterns, a very nice optic. Here is an LRGB image of the globular cluster M15 taken last night.

 

L=R=G=B= 125 seconds. Taken with a SBIG ST-402MM CCD.

 

 

 

m15GC.jpg

 

Ed in Houston


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#39 rml63

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:16 AM

As a novice I bought my SW 130P new in 2016.  I am trying to figure out what astro cam would best suit it?  I like the Mallincam Universe and the Astrel 183 colour is a very interesting all in one camera.  Any suggestions welcome.

 

Thanks

Mike



#40 RJF-Astro

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 01:16 PM

Hi Mike, both could work fine with the 130PDS. However, I would advise you to ask your question in the imaging forums. Both cameras are very different (small mono cmos vs. large color ccd). And in your signature I see the iOptron Skyguider as a mount. If that is the case, I would advise you to look for a heavier mount, because such trackers are not well suited for anything more than a small 300-400mm fl refractor (guided).
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#41 Haribok

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:50 PM

sorry, can you help me? I need to know precisely the distance of the spider's rays and whether they are all four equally spaced.

thanks


Edited by Haribok, 28 October 2019 - 04:51 PM.


#42 RJF-Astro

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 04:05 AM

sorry, can you help me? I need to know precisely the distance of the spider's rays and whether they are all four equally spaced.

thanks

From what I can see they are equally spaced. The length is 6cm each, distance is more or less equal. But I would say this depens on the holes in the tube where the vanes are mounted?



#43 RJF-Astro

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 02:46 PM

Last week I had a really good, clear night with the 130PDS out. This time I had a dew cap on and that made a big difference. Although dew point was close to ambient, I see no trace of dew on my images, with a session lasting almost 6 hours well into the night.

 

I did both H-alpha and O3 on the Heart nebula. Focus looked fine on both, but afterwards I noticed that the corners of the H-alpha-subs are slightly worse. My estimation is that the focus is slightly off. It is not noticable in the center but it is on the edges. The O3-subs look very tight, with only some optical error in the far corners:

 

Ha:

 

_20191031_IC1805_Ha_1u_mosaic.jpg

 

O3:

 

_20191031_IC1805_O3_mosaic.jpg

 

And the final image (1,2 hours Ha and 2,5 hours O3):

 

20191031 IC1805 HOO pixelmath def.jpg

 


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#44 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 04:52 PM

It is my express hope that SkyWatcher will bring something like this to the USA.  See post #3 from this thread.


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#45 vkhastro1

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 10:36 AM

The Skywatcher 130 PDS, 150 PDS and 250 PDS OTAs are in stock at La Madison de L'Astronomie in Montreal if someone is interested in purchasing.

Great prices in $CDN !

I highly recommend this retailer.



#46 grafton

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 11:54 AM

I tried out my Skywatcher 130 PDS on the moon a few weeks ago. A 3x barlow and an ASI120mm video camera was used. When I first received the scope a few months ago I did a star test and noted that the optics were very good.

 

The crater Copernicus:

 

copernicus.jpg

 

 

The crater Clavius:

 

clavius.jpg

 

 

Ed in Houston


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#47 vkhastro1

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 07:58 PM

Ed,

 

Very impressive photos !



#48 bstewart

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 09:57 AM

Really useful reviews on here. Sounds like a smashing scope.

I'm interested in mounting on an SW-EQ2 mount.

Do you think it'll play nicely or is it a bit heavy? 


Edited by bstewart, 11 March 2020 - 09:58 AM.


#49 vkhastro1

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 10:54 AM

The maximum load capacity of the Skywatcher EQ2 varies from different sources - 3.6 kg to 4.1 kg.

Taking the lower # of 3.6 kg is should work.

However I take the manufacture’s # with a grain of salt and would say between 2.5 kg to 3.0 kg.

 

The Skywatcher 130 PDS weighs 4kg with rings plus Vixen mounting bar.

For visual you need the 2” extender to reach focus and add an eyepiece (at least 0.5kg for a light weight 2” one).

 

From this info, the Skywatcher EQ2 would definitely not be suited for the Skywatcher 130PDS.

A better option would be the EQ3 mount or my preference a good alt-az mount.


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#50 bstewart

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 12:25 PM

Really useful advice thanks.

 

The maximum load capacity of the Skywatcher EQ2 varies from different sources - 3.6 kg to 4.1 kg.

Taking the lower # of 3.6 kg is should work.

However I take the manufacture’s # with a grain of salt and would say between 2.5 kg to 3.0 kg.

 

The Skywatcher 130 PDS weighs 4kg with rings plus Vixen mounting bar.

For visual you need the 2” extender to reach focus and add an eyepiece (at least 0.5kg for a light weight 2” one).

 

From this info, the Skywatcher EQ2 would definitely not be suited for the Skywatcher 130PDS.

A better option would be the EQ3 mount or my preference a good alt-az mount.




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