While I am not sure if it is an issue with the 10" Classic Sky-Watcher, I do not at all like the altitude control on the Flextube version of the Sky Watcher.
A Dobsonian can be frustrating to use if it does not move smoothly and easily and on this particular design, the issue is that if the scope is not in near perfect balance, you have to tighten the handles on either side of the telescope. When you do this, you literally squeeze the side panels in until they come into contact with circular friction rings that are in grooves in the sides of the plastic bearings. Since the sides do not move in exactly parallel, the "pinch" the bearings at the top. This means you have to apply more pressure than would normally be needed if they sides contacted the bearings parallel, which in my version, which uses the same size tube, bearing, and base, this does not happen.
Next is the azimuth bearing. This appears to use some type of nylon glide vs PTFE (Teflon) and them makes the movement on the azimuth stiffer than it really should be.
Now if your scope is in perfect balance, the azimuth bearings are not that big a deal, but if you decide to later put on a Telrad or use very heavy eyepieces and things like a coma corrector, the scope can get very nose heavy so you wind up cranking down on the side plates and this makes fine, slow motion movement almost impossible.
Bottom line... It is inexpensive but in my opinion, it if a frustrating design to use.
In this case, my recommendation would be to go with the Apertura or the Skyline telescope (same scope, different brands). This design has (in my opinion) a superior setup. While it still needs to be balanced, the axles on either side of the scope can be moved on their base places to more finely tune balance. Now the scope has to be taking off of the cradle to do this, but the idea is that you would find a "Neutral" position where you are a bit nose heavy with your heaviest load and a bit tail heavy with your lightest load.
These scopes uses ball bearings in altitude and a Lazy Susan type bearing in azimuth. The altitude friction adjustment is a far better design, and the Lazy Susan azimuth bearings make super smooth and light azimuth motion. In fact, some people have to put in a little path of velcro between the base boards to actually add a bit of friction because motion is so light.
These scope also come with a better focuser that has a low and high speed.
I regret getting the Sky Watcher over the Apertura. I have spend a lot of time on these issues and while I have improved the scope, it is sill not a scope that moves the way a good dob should. I go back and forth with the thought of just selling it and taking a big loss and moving to the Aperature, but I have already invested in digital setting circles and a WiFi adapter so I can use my phone to aim the scope.
My advice is to go to the reflector forum and ask other owners what they think about the motion of the scope. Again, I own the Flextube version, but from what I can see, the Classic uses the exact same bearing system.
So, in my own opinion, this scope has sub-standard altitude and azimuth handling. It just does not move as smoothly as it should and in my own case, this can be very frustrating to use at high power or when tracking closer to zenith, where stiff motion becomes a very annoying problem.
Edited by Eddgie, 05 December 2020 - 09:12 AM.