Sky-Watcher Skymax-102: Compact and razor sharp images
This compact telescope, with its razor sharp images and multi-coated optics excels in medium to high magnifications of the surface detail of the moon, planets and double stars. You can also use this telescope for terrestrial observations. Because of its compact form it is very portable and easy to use. The Skymax is also very durable and has low maintenance needs.
Maksutov Cassegrain / catadioptric
The Skymax-102 is a catadioptric telescope that combines the best characteristics of a refractor and a reflector telescope. With a focal length of 1300mm, but still a short tube this telescope is ideal to take along because of its compact design. This is obviously very helpful if you take the telescope to areas where you do not suffer from the city lights (light pollution).
The telescope has a 1.25 inch fitting for the eyepiece. Standard two eyepieces are supplied, 10 mm and 25 mm.
The Skywatcher Skymax-102 is available in three models:
- The Skywatcher Skymax-102T (without tripod)
- The Skywatcher Skymax-102 Synscan AZ GoTo
- The Skywatcher Skymax-102 EQ2
Skywatcher Skymax-102T without tripod and without mount (model 1)
This model comes without a mount and tripod, and assumes that you already have a stand which you will mount the telescope on. With the optional tube rings and dovetail of the Skywatcher you can mount this telescope on almost any Vixen / Losmany accepting dovetail tripod.
The Skywatcher Skymax with GoTo function has a different type of tripod than the Skymax EQ. The Skymax with GoTo has a SynScan tripod and the Skymax EQ2 an EQ2-tripod. Below you can read about the differences between the two types of tripods.
Skywatcher Skymax 102 with Synscan tripod (model 2)
Skywatcher Synscan AZ: a stand for the beginning amateur astronomer. This telescope comes with a GoTo Alt-AZ Synscan alt-azimuth stand. Because of its GoTo function, this tripod is mainly used by beginning amateur astronomers.
Automatic and super fast
The Synscan has over 42,900 objects in the computer database. The Synscan can be used with most popular planetary software. After you have given a command, the GoTo system finds celestial bodies super fast and follows them automatically.
The Skywatcher telescopes recommended for SynScan are: Startravel-102, Explorer-130P and and Skymax-127.
Properties of the Skywatcher Synscan AZ:
- Mounting type: azimuthally
- GoTo system: Yes
- Includes accessory tray
- Identification of unknown objects
- Weight: 9 kg
- Maximum load: more than 5 kg
- Power supply: 12 V DC or AA batteries (not included)
- Quiet operation
- The Synscan can be used with most popular planetary software .
- Suitable for: the beginning amateur astronomer
About the included GoTo system
The included GoTo system will allow you to find stars and planets at the touch of a button; some properties of the GoTo system:
- SynScan ™ Database: Total of 42,900 objects, including complete M, NGC, IC & SAO catalogues
- Alignment method: Two stars or brightest star
- Accurate to 10 arc min
- Tracking methods: Sidereal, Lunar, Solar
- Slew Speeds: 1.0x, 2.0x, 16x, 32x, 64x, 128x, 400x, 500x, 600x, 800x
- Ready for PC use: can be used with Planetarium software.
- SynScan Handset Firmware upgradeable via the Internet
- Power: 12v DC connector (sold separately) or AA batteries (sold separately)
Skywatcher Skymax-102 with EQ2 tripod
for both beginners and experienced astronomers (model 3)
This stable tripod is suitable for both beginners and experienced astronomers.
The stability of the tripod is essential for ease of use. Unstable stands work as a tuning fork and cause vibrations in the eyepiece hindering your observation. Fortunately, the Skywatcher EQ2 is very stable.
Expandable with various motors
If you intend to follow astronomical objects a motor is a must. The Skywatcher EQ2 does not come standard with a tracking motor but is extendable with two types of motors:
- RA motor with a single speed (1x sidereal) for tracking objects on the horizontal axis. This motor runs on batteries
- RA motor with 3 speeds (1x, 2x & 4x) for tracking objects on the horizontal (Right Ascension) axis. This motor runs on batteries
360 degree slow motion tracking gear on both x and y axes with flexible controls makes this tripod special.
Properties of the Skywatcher EQ2:
- Mounting type: equatorial
- Maximum load: 3.6kg
- Slow motion control: yes
- Includes accessory tray
- Height: 76-119 cm
- Weight: 12.5 kg
- Aluminium tripod
- Ideal for watching deep-sky objects
- Suitable for beginners and experienced astronomers
Review of the tripod
Here you can find a review of the Skywatcher EQ2
Reviews of the Skywatcher Skymax-102 telescope
Several reviews talk very positively about the Skywatcher Skymax. Especially the compact shape and razor sharp images appeal to most people. One drawback of the Skymax is probably that the telescope needs much time to cool.
Some photos taken with the Skywatcher Skymax-102