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Members Equipment

Club members have a wide range of telescopes, binoculars and cameras.

Here members provide personal opionions of their equipment.

Isle of Man Solarscope
Model Solarview
Type Solar
Manufactures website Manx Precision Optics Ltd
The Solarview Telescope gives spectacular views of the surface of the sun including solar flares and sunspots.

It’s extreme portability means a quick setup for viewing.

The downside is that the Hydrogen Alpha filter is not designed for dark night viewing, but it is a wonderful addition to have to view our “hot star”, the lovely sun.

Ann and Ken

Model Celestron Astromaster 90
Type Refractor
Manufactures website www.celestron.uk.com
Celestron astromaster 90mm refactor on a manual equatorial mount.


Model Meade LXD55
Type Schmidt Newtonian
Manufactures website www.meade.uk.com
Meade LXD 55 10 inch Schmidt Newtonian on a goto equatorial mount controlled by a Meade autostar controller.


Model Canon ESO 1200D
Type Digital SLR
Manufactures website www.canon.co.uk
My camera is a Canon ESO 1200D digital SLR.


Model Skywatcher
Type Dobsonian
Manufactures website www.skywatcher.com
This is my first telescope. Its very easy to transport and setup - although the base is heavy.

I bought it from First Light Optics and have had excellent pre- and post-purchase help and advice from them.

The scope came with 3 eyepieces and you can easily see Saturn and the 4 moons of Jupiter through it.


Model Skywatcher EQ3 with GoTo
Type Reflector
Manufactures website www.skywatcher.com
Scope is a Skywatcher EQ3 with GoTo. It is a 750mm reflector.

Affordable, reflectors are a good starter scopes as you get good viewing at a reasonable cost

As the light does not pass through a lens, you don't get false colours

Parabolic mirror cools down quicker once the scope is outside (tube scopes which are sealed can take longer) so viewing gets started quicker!

Eyepiece is at the top of the tube which can make for more comfortable viewing

The secondary mirror can block small amounts of light (minimal) which cause 'diffraction spikes' that can radiate from bright stars

Requires 'collimation' or periodic realignment to keep mirrors aligned

Can require some 'getting used to' when aligning via the eyepiece as it is 90 degrees angle to the tube

Notwithstanding the con's I think the reflector is a good starter scope and I have had great views of Saturn & Jupiter with mine.


Model Skywatcher Skymax 127 with SynScan GoTo
Type Maksutov/Cassegrain Reflecter
Manufactures website www.skywatcher.com
Scope is a Skywatcher 5” (127 mm) Maksutov with SynScan GoTo software


Affordable, this model is one step up from the entry level Skywatcher Maksutov.

Skywatcher telescopes are well respected and the optics provide good value for money.

If you think life is too short for star hopping, a GoTo system seems a good option. This system has a database of over 40,000 celestial objects which you can slew to by selecting from the control handset. Of course, the optics can only show you a much smaller selection of the brighter objects.

The GoTo drive requires a power source and the supplied one consisted of 8 AA batteries in a plastic pouch suspended from the mount. This lasts about two evenings and is woefully inadequate.  A 12V power store is essential. Skywatcher ones can be purchased but it is cheaper to get a car jump starter from Halfords or Maplin. Once this is done the hardware set up works very well.

The set-up and star alignment software has a distinctly old-fashioned look and is less easy to use than the adverts claim.