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  • Skyscanner Review - tough to use

    Most of the threads here discuss the big Dobsonians, which is great and so far very informative for me. When I go big, i am going to go at least 10 inches of aperture. But for now, I have a little 4 inch Skyscanner tabletop telescope.

    Pros- This thing has pretty good optics. The bands of Jupiter are pretty clear and the views of the M42 and the Pleiades and other star clusters are pretty good. I haven't had much luck finding other DSO's but I attribute most of that to inexperience and light pollution. The included eyepieces are OK but I have several others that I use more often. There are some little touches that are nice such as a nice flat black coating inside the tube. The red dot finder is Ok as well. Focuser works fine but fine focusing is a little tricky.

    Cons- Ergonomically, this telescope is a nightmare. It is almost impossible to crane your neck enough to use the finder and the eyepiece sticks straight up, which makes it too high to look through from a sitting position. I became so frustrated that took the scope off its little base and attached it to a photographic tripod that I have. This put the eyepiece at about a 90 dgree angle to the side and put the finder more or less on the top of the scope, where it is actually usable. It is a lot more difficult to center objects in the viewfinder but that is because the tripod I am using is a pretty crummy one. Not the fault of the telescope. The little half-Dobsonian type base is very nice to use so I want to get the telescope back to that.

    I have decided to unscrew the dovetail from the scope and am going to move it so that when the telescope is reinstalled on the wooden base, the eyepiece will be in the attitude I described above when the telescope is on the tripod. I will probably just epoxy the dovetail to the tube. I hate to take the primary or secondary off the telescope because the primary is not adjustable for collimation, and I am afarid I will mess that up if I dissassemble anything. When the epoxy sets I will probably put a couple of short self-tapping screws into the tube to make sure it stays secure. I can use the same type of self-tappers to plug the screw holes for the dovetail. Hopefully, the dovetail is not already cemented in place. I looks like it is held on by two machine screws and nuts.

    This Skyscanner could be a really great scope if the ergonomics were not so horrible. As-is I cannot recommend it. Why sell a telescope as a tabletop telescope if it cannot be used from a tabletop?
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