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Telescope

by Deano

Sky Watcher 200p

telescope

My telescopes is a Skywatcher “Explorer” 200p, which¬† belongs to the category of reflector telescopes. A reflector telescope is equipped with a mirror instead of lenses. The big advantage here is that you do not suffer from chromatic aberration (coloured fringing around high contrast edges). The highest practical power being x400. I chose this telescope after much deliberation, but as this performs really well in the “bang-for-buck” category and is very well-built, it was a fairly obvious choice.

My only regret is that I chose the model with the cheaper focuser, a single speed offering with zero finesse; cheap it is indeed. The internal tolerances of the mated surfaces are measured in meters, not millimetres. Alas, it does the job its supposed to and since I motorised it with an accurate automatic focuser I’ve never looked back. Being of rack-and-pinion construction, it handles the weight of the DSLR I attach to it well.

Properties of the Explorer 200P

  • Diameter of mirror: 200mm
  • Focal length: 1000mm (f/5)
  • Eyepieces: (1.25″)
  • 9×50 Finder scope

Mounted on top of my Telescope is an 80x300mm ‘scope and a QHY5L-II colour camera for guiding.

Modifications

Focusing

The addition of this great Christmas present in 2016 was just what the doctor ordered. I now no longer have to touch the scope (causing all kinds of picture ruining wiggles), I just use the laptop and clickity-click, the focus shifts. Perfect.

telescope

Motorised ASCOM focuser.

Contrast

Next on the to-do list was the light absorbing coating on the inside of the of the telescope – it’s rubbish. Light enters the scope from street lights, bedroom lights, errant moons and stars etc. and bounces round inside the tube ruining the inky-black skies and contrast that I so long for.

The solution was to line the inside of the ‘scope tube with flocking material to absorb that errant light and you can clearly see the difference that it’s made to in this photo i took while it was 50% covered.

 

telescope flocking

Flocked inner tube.

Telescope Mount.

I chose the Skywatcher HEQ5 “GOTO” motorised mount because…. well, it came as a great deal with the scope. I mean, I read all the reviews and things and it was capable of doing everything that I wanted it to, but really the deciding factor was that it was a one-stop-shop from First Light Optics (not affiliated). It was NOT a bad choice at all, its a great mount! I also love how formidable it looks when it’s fully set up and the ‘scope is mounted.

telescope telescope set up

Telecope or Mortar?