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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value
The Skywatcher Explorer 130mm Reflector is my first telescope and I am not disappointed.

I bought this after reading the review from the The Sky at Night magazine so a nod from Sir Patrick is good enough for me.

Set up took less time than I thought and setting the sighting scope in daylight proved easy.

I was lucky to have a clear night...
Published 17 months ago by Ironcap

versus
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great but not what i expected
I bought this telescope in the hope of starting astrophotography. After many failed attempts i have given up trying, its great to look through at nebulas and planets etc, but i really wanted to take pics with it. I can get shots of the moon ok but that is it. I had a look around the internet to see if i had done something wrong, and i have found out it cannot focus on...
Published 13 months ago by D. J. Anderson


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value, 19 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
The Skywatcher Explorer 130mm Reflector is my first telescope and I am not disappointed.

I bought this after reading the review from the The Sky at Night magazine so a nod from Sir Patrick is good enough for me.

Set up took less time than I thought and setting the sighting scope in daylight proved easy.

I was lucky to have a clear night with a full moon on my 24hrs and was blown away by the detail on the moon then on a star cluster.

I now look forward to many chilly nights learning more about the night sky and how to get most out of the telescope.

Recommend.
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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Value for money, 4 April 2012
This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
Received this scope as gift from my wife and given that she knows nothing of telescopes or astronomy I was a little skeptical of the likel capabilities of this Newtonian scope. I was very wrong. As an entry level scope I would have no problem recommending this product to someone putting a toe into the water for the first time.

My initial experience of astronomy was as a teenager in the 1970s using an old army surplus aircraft spotting scope - 2.5 inch refractor. Ever since then I've debated getting back into the hobby but time and expense as usually formed a significant hurdle to overcome. Since taking delivery of the Skywatcher I find myself looking at the weather forecast checking for clear night skies.

Features:
The equitorial mount with its motorised RA drive works well.
The eyepieces supplied do a good job of providing a wide range of magnifications.
The general quality of the optics seem to be excellent value for money.
Finderscope is a 'red dot' finder. Since taking delivery of the scope I have replaced this with a more conventional 6x30 finderscope which fitted onto the existing mounting with the minimum of fuss.

Downsides:
Polar alignment without a built in alignment scope is not as easy it could be.

I have also started down the road of astrophotography using a DSLR camera inconjunction with the telescope. Early days but it looks promising.
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178 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skywatcher Explorer 130m Telescope - a good buy, 13 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
After looking at the reviews for all the reflectors in the £100 to £200 range, and looking at reviews and info on other websites I decided to go for the Skywatcher Explorer 130m. I went for the motor drive just in case I needed it as some reviewers said I would. I also bought a moon filter which is a must.

I found the scope ok to assemble. You just need to get your head around what everything does by reading all the instructions carefully. I found aligning the red dot with the scope quite easy - in the day I focussed the scope on a double chimney a quarter on a mile away and then set the red dot. I was amazed at how well the scope works in the day even with the 25mm lense. I couldn't wait for a clear night. Unfortunately due to torrential rain and wind I had to wait a while.

Tonight it was very cold, very windy but a clear sky. The scope was excellent. I saw Jupiter and two of its moons with the 10mm lense! I also viewed the craters on the moon which were amazing. The only problem I had was the judder from the wind, however as I said this week is very windy with gale force winds forecast all week (13/12/11). The lenses seem fine to me. The barlow is excellent and gave particularly good detail of the moon - too windy to use on Jupiter because of judder. Excellent piece of kit for the price, very well built.

One other thing - I have an app on my iphone which finds stars etc and has red night mode, the app is called 'star chart' - this is excellent as it finds constellations, planets, stars or messiers so you know what you are looking at and where to point the red dot finder, and it doesn't blind you in the dark. I also have a planisphere which is useful for the price you pay.

Not used the moter yet to track but it is offputting when Jupiter, or the moon for that matter, constantly move off out of view, so you have to keep tracking manually. Hope this info from a very happy beginner is useful.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total beguinner to astronomy, very happy indeed., 17 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
I have only had the Skywatcher explorer 130m for 2 weeks but I am very happy with the product and with what can be seen.

I don't normally write reviews for products, but considering there is so much conflicting information out there for people buying their first telescope I thought I would let people know my experience so far. I will be honest and say that I did not purchase the product on Amazon so I can't comment on their particular service, but like myself I am sure people come here to look at reviews wether they choose to purchase from here or not.

First impression when it arrived......
The telescope and mount were of a quality that exceeded my expectations, and it was well packed with bubble wrap around all the important things, the eye pieces (ep's) are kept in separate boxes and everything was easy to find.

Building the telescope.......
Like most men I normally just dive into building things instead of looking at the 'destructions' but after reading other comments on the building process, I thought I would be better to nerd up and read. The build is really not that difficult and took around 30 minutes, the weights and mount were a little bit heavy at times so I would suggest adult help in the event a puddle jumper was planning on tackling it themselves. The only part I found a little confusing was the motor drive fitting instructions. The picture is not all that clear on the diagram but once you attach it in various ways it becomes clear which one works the best. The telescope is pretty big and does take up a good bit of room. The scope is about 3ft long and at its lowest on the mount stands about 3ft high (at the highest around 6ft). I was planning on taking the scope of the mount for storage when I'm not using it, but to be honest it would be too much hassle to put it on in a hurry if I wanted to dash out when there was a break in the clouds so my advice is to make room for it in one piece.

First use.......
Don't be alarmed when you first connect the eyepiece and focus in to see terrestrial objects upside down, this is normal for a reflector scope, hence why its not used normally in this environment. Setting up the red laser finder is a must. Its as simple as centring a distant object while looking through the telescopes eyepiece. Once focused then now look through the laser dot finder and adjust the small knobs on the finder until the laser dot is on the distant object. I set mine up looking at an electric pylon around 3 miles from the house. People have mentioned that they are useless, but in my opinion they must not have set it up correctly, because I find it to be very accurate. Another tip is to make sure you look through the laser finder with both eyes open. All that remained was to then point the dot at something in the sky and focus in using the various eye pieces.

Eye pieces........
The eye pieces that come with the telescope (10mm, 25mm and 2 x barlow), are more than capable of viewing the moon, and planets. Tonight was perfect for viewing Jupiter which was in the south and its moons were also clearly visible. For the total novice out there like I am, basically the smaller the eyepiece the greater the magnification, but with less field of vision and light. 25mm by itself will give a full view of the moon. The Barlow lens will then further magnify these eye pieces by two. From other reviews its clear that better eye pieces mean better visuals, and I am sure in the future I will invest in more as the times goes by, but for the meantime the current set up is more than enough.

Recommendations......
A moon filter is a must when viewing the moon, especially if its full, or else it will give you a sore head. Buy an astronomy book of the stars. I purchased the Philips guide to the night sky written by Sir Patrick Moore (from amazon for my Kindle) it was less than £3 pounds and it gets you looking in the right places. Its written to accommodate all ages which is good for some younger astronomers too. I have also been advised to buy a planisphere which can help you locate things in the sky and also download a few apps on to my phone which are available.

What's next....
I haven't fully set the telescope up regarding tracking using the motor feature yet, and I'm still reading up on how that all works but having read other comments its worth doing it properly. In the future I am sure I will invest in a set of 'better' lens', and I would also like to set up the eye piece with a camera or webcams so I can record images. All of which is possible with after market attachments for this telescope.

Conclusion.....
If you are looking for your first telescope, like I was, then this is a perfect start. I read review after review and in the end picked the one I thought was best. I assure you if you purchase this one with the idea of learning abit about the night sky you will not be disappointed. Its ideal for all ages and on a clear night with the standard set of eye pieces you will be able to see plenty.

If anyone needs a bit of advice or has a question they would like answered honestly then feel free to leave your email in a comment of this review and I will try to help out the best I can.

Good luck
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks great but yet to experience its full potential, 13 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
Getting there with this item. Only way I have star-spotted previously was to look up!! It is taking a while and we have had limited clear skies to get out there.

I would say it looks great, but it is bigger than I expected. An item I look forward to using for many years to come.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starter scope, 13 May 2012
By 
R. Spencer "Rusky Rover" (Wilts, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
I was a bit overwhelmed at the size - I just hadn't realised how big it would be when assempled on the tripod. A solid piece of equipment and although tricky to set up at first for a novice like myself, with a bit of practice, I got to understand what I was doing.

Because the weather hasn't been that great recently, I have only managed to assemble it once on a clear night, and had an impressive view of the moon. However, I had hoped to focus on Mars and Venus but haven't quite mastered that yet. I haven't yet operated the motor drive - I'm going to get to grips with the actual scope first. However, it's amazing how frequently you have to adjust to the controls to keep locked onto the target.

I think the instructions could be a bit clearer, plus the outside of the scope is easily scratched by the mount grip rings. However, I'm still learning, but overall I'm very impressed so far by the quality of this kit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent First buy telescope!, 12 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
This is my first time dabbling with a telescope but I can say for the money it was well worth it. Took a bit of reading the instructions along with a review on stargazer.com to figure out how to use it to its potential but we got there. I have seen some people say it isnt good for photography but my daughter of 13 has some excellent quality pics of the moon taken with her mobile phone so find this unfounded criticism. My partner also last night got quite a good quality picture of saturn showing the rings also with her phone so again, not sure the problem there.
If I had to give one negative it would be the motor that comes with it to track the stars or objects your looking at. Either Im not doing it correctly or the manual movement using the buttons is nowhere near fast enough to make it useful. After about 15 minutes of messing and fiddling I got frustrated and took it off and manually adjusted the aim of the telescope using the red dot which once I aligned the mirrors was spot in, making finding your target with any zoom lens really easy to do.

Not much else to say other than if your thinking of buying a telescope and are not sure where to start, This would be an excellent purchase. As with the mount and lenses provided you can see enough to get you feeling amazed and looking for the next thing to buy to further your viewing pleasure. I know I have already purchased and additional lens that will allow me to view objects even further than I can at the moment, which is quite far indeed. Ill be getting a filter or 2 to see if I can find and see nebulae and I wouldnt be doing that unless the telescope I was using hadnt got me hooked enough to spend the money on additional items.

Would 100% recommend this product
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 1 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
This telescope is brilliant. We are complete beginners and have used it once so far. For the money it is worth every penny. We saw Jupiter perfectly and its moons. We havent looked at our moon yet but can't wait.

It took quite a while to set up but it really is worth the time. I'd recommend getting a constellation app if you have a smartphone as it helps you to locate the stars easily. You have to be careful when looking through the scope not to knock it or lean on it as the image you see wobbles easily (this may just be because we are beginners and need more practice using it).

The 2x barlow lense is great. You will also need a moon filter if it doesn't come with one. We bought 'a guide to the night sky' by Patrick Moore which is cheap yet very helpful.

I would recommend buying from Phil Burton Photography. Phil and his colleagues were very helpful and are able to assist you if you need it, even after you've bought it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great views - provided you're out of the wind, 3 Feb. 2014
By 
Joseph "rzan3" (yorkshire, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
I gave this four stars instead of five for two reasons really: the mount is barely able to handle a tube of this weight - the image is very unsteady in even the slightest breeze - and the the supplied eyepieces are no good.

Having bought a BST Explorer 18mm (branded as starguider) from skies the limit, i really noticed how poor the original eyepieces were - they really let the main mirror down, which is great. I am looking at buying a 6mm william optics spl for planets, but that will come later.

Advice for newcomers: join the forum stargazers lounge for advice, download the free program "stellarium" which gives a full view of the night sky as seen from your location, with a massive database of objects.

Collimation came near spot on (mirror allignment)

Now for the views: So far, Jupiter has revealed four bands or so on the surface and 4 moons, The moon yields amazing detail of the seas and millions of craters, the orion nebula through the BST eyepiece was large and bright - with details in the clouds just visible from my location (in a town, in a jungle of street lamps); The Andromeda galaxy is a large, milky white object that is stunning but requires extended viewing periods to really appreciated, likewise with M81 and M82 - two galaxies in one field of view :) they were amazing and in the cigar galaxy i just made out the recent supernova. Of course there's a juge range of objects, but they are just a few - the main thing is that this is a great beginner telescope.

The mount - unsteady, but the motor seems accurate once polar alligned - I was observing andromeda for about 2 hours and didn't need to make adjustments. The Worm Gear seems to struggle with moving the tube, unless the clutches are to the point of over tightening - i can live with this, but it's annoying. Am considering buying the EQ 5 mount to replace it, which will easily cope with the weight, and allows for tube upgrades in the future.

Overall, great visual telescope for beginners like myself, I highly advise setting it up away from the house, in shelter from the wind and allowing the mirror to cool down to ambient temp. before use. Also, it is a must that the eyepieces are upgraded - forums have advice, but generally the BST Starguiders are seen as the best under £50 eyepieces available, though there are a fair few other types which review very well in the same price bracket.

Under £200 this scope cannot be beaten. If you have the budget, go for the 200p dobsonian, or the eq 5 explorer 200p.

Happy viewing, clear skies :)
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for starting out, 14 July 2012
This review is from: Skywatcher Explorer 130m Newtonian Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
The Starwatcher brand is well thought of in astronomy circles and this and many other SW products were given very good recommendations by Sky at night magazine.Many people on popular astronomy forums have recommended this brand. The scope is aimed at beginners and is good value for money but its limitations must be taken into account.the 130 tag is the mm of the tubes circumference.The bigger the size the more light is let in.Magnification means nothing if you cant see the object so 130 is a good starting size.the supplied eyepieces are good but would benefit by being upgraded.25mm wide view-10mm closer view.Check to see if it comes with a 2xbarlow lens as this increases the lenses magnification.A moon filter-1.25mm is a good extra if not supplied as a full bright moon will hurt your eyes.Take no notice of the pictures of the sun because without a full solar filter that's impossible.The motor is battery powered so an adapter or power tank would help in the long run.the EQ mount needs to be polar aligned each time its used( axis pointing to north-latitude adjuster to your latitude-52degrees-uk.and the scope pointing at polaris.A free programm called stellarium(download from internet)will give you all the posistional info you need.As a tool this scope is very good value for money but dont expect to see giant planets in your eyepiece,not even £2000 will give you that.Bear in mind its limitations and potential extras you will need,(one tool called a collimation tool is essential to line up the mirrors if they go out of position.Badly collimated mirrors will give poor images)...
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