Secondary mirror collimation was jumpy, but once achieved, the beam from our laser collimator held its central position throughout the range of sliding truss positions, suggesting that you could take the tube from your car, lift it into the mount, extend it, and start observing straight away.
The mount doesn’t have a roller azimuth bearing. Instead the base just has three Teflon pads; a simple approach and we loved the slightly stiff (but smooth) action it gave, which complemented the plastic altitude bearing arrangement. The resulting friction can be adjusted using one of the threaded locking handles, which secure the scope and provide two useful lifting points for manhandling the whole setup into position. We found the extra friction became necessary since the scope was a little top heavy, especially with large eyepieces, but it was easier to change eyepieces without the scope being knocked off target.
The 2-inch Crayford focuser functions as it should, but lacks some of the refinements seen on other scopes. A 2-inch and 1.25-inch adaptor are provided, which use set screws rather than compression rings, and the design prohibits changing to another type of adaptor. The view through the 9x50 right-angle finderscope is the same way up as the sky, which is a more intuitive arrangement when hand-pushing from star to star. The finder’s optics appeared slightly better than the GSO’s.
Set up and go
The mount was accompanied by a helpful set of instructions, and thoughtfully the scope arrived with all the tools required. Sky-Watcher includes two 1.25-inch eyepieces – a 10mm and a 25mm Supper Plössl – both of which worked very well. The 25mm eyepiece produced a dazzling Beehive Cluster with excellent star colours. The 10mm provided enough magnification for planetary use and we were able to discern surface detail on Mars and resolve Saturn’s rings and major moons. Switching to our wide-field test eyepiece allowed us to compare the deep-sky performance.
When it comes to those little extras, we appreciated the provision of a couple of plastic knobs close to the focuser – convenient for slewing the scope (Posted on Jan 16, 2013)
Anyway so it was super easy to set up, you will need another person to help you out but it's a very easy set up and it's HUGE! I was amazed by its size. It's very heavy to carry but it's a collapsible so it's easy to transport which I haven't done yet (don't carry the telescope by your self, I damaged my back and had to put it back it place so get 1 more person to help).
I tried it for the first time on the moon and I had a few difficulties but that's because we set up the lenses and such at night. So once I got it done I aligned it to the moon and it was FANTASTIC just amazing. I also looked at Jupiter and you could just see its moons and its stripes, just amazing. But the next night I realised the Barlow lens was making the image blur that day and I was disappointed but then I removed the Barlow lens and the moon was magnified more than it was the day before so the was excellent. Just the sad thing is you cant see stars and the other planets clearly :( but it just might be because I've only used it twice so I'm going to test it out more. Just to let you know don't screw the bolt on the bottom of the platform of the telescope as it makes it hard to turn the telescope plus the finder scope isn't properly aligned with the image but that just might be from my setting up :) (Posted on Dec 19, 2012)