"A precision instrument that breaks the stereotypical Dobsonian mold to deliver stunning planetary and deep-sky performance in a compact, readily transportable package."
"The upper section of the FlexTube containing the secondary mirror assembly and Crayford focuser extends with effortless precision on three rods that are easily locked into position at their greatest extent. Despite repeatedly collapsing and extending the instrument in the course of an prolonged observing session, the FlexTube's optics remained in perfect alignment."
"It would be easy to pigeonhole the 305mm FlexTube as an innovative, transportable Dobsonian for the deep-sky enthusiast, but it's much more than that. Its stunning planetary prowess will have many observers redefining what short focal ratio Newtonians are capable of."
"Having used a wide range of Sky-Watcher Newtonians over the years, I've often expressed my pleasure at the the consistency and precision with which the mirrors are polished and figured. In my Astronomy Now review of this instrument's predecessor, the Skyliner-300P, I wrote of its enviable optical performance for the price. I didn't think the 305mm FlexTube would surpass it, but it does."
"Saturn is often described as the jewel of the Solar System, but to see it in all its 24-carat splendour you need a 12-inch FlexTube. In recent memory I haven't seen such a sharp and richly rendered image of the ringed planet as that delivered by the 305mm FlexTube on the night of April 8th, 2008."
"I was able to use the 305mm FlexTube on a wide variety of celestial objects under what passed for fine observing conditions from my heavily light-polluted suburban locale. Messier 3, the stunning globular cluster in Canes Venatici, was resolved into a ball of innumerable stars, some held with direct vision right across the core. Messier 82, the starburst galaxy in Ursa Major, easily revealed mottled dusty filaments across its nucleus. Edge-on galaxy NGC 4565 in Coma Berenices showed the dust lane along its slender form. And so the list went on."
"Mars, just 6.6 arcseconds in diameter, revealed its 90% gibbous phase with ease. But what surprised me was plainly identifying the Syrtis Major near the planet's meridian at such a distance from Earth."
Ade Ashford, www.scopetest.com
A COLLAPSIBLE TRUSS-TUBE DOBSONIAN DESIGN THAT REQUIRES NO REASSEMBLY --THE ULTIMATE CONVENIENCE!
SkyWatcher does it again. An old favorite gets a complete facelift with new features and upgraded components!
The venerable Dobsonian reflector design has recently undergone some important upgrades and improvements: SkyWatcher is pleased to introduce the all-new Collapsible Dobsonian complete with Crayford focuser the ultimate in large aperture portability and performance.
This elegant truss tube design was carefully engineered to combine ease of use, extreme portability and consistent performance in an affordable package. Unlike other truss tube designs, the SkyWatcher Collapsible Dobsonian does not need to be disassembled between uses. It transports as two compact pieces that can be assembled and ready to use in just seconds! It is easy to collimate once set up, and it holds its collimation throughout the evening!
The bearing system has been redesigned as well. The new SkyWatcher Collapsible Dobsonians feature buttery smooth azimuth bearings. Even the twelve-inch model can be rotated with just the push of a finger. Like our traditional Dobsonians, the new Collapsible Dobsonians feature SkyWatchers patented tension adjustment control on the altitude bearings. This eliminates the need and added cost of clumsy counterweight systems to balance the telescope.
To top it off, all of the new Collapsible Dobsonians are shipping with ultra smooth Crayford focusers. 90 degree finderscope is also available. Contact your local distributor for information.
Sky-Watcher 12" DOB: Deep-Space Hero!
The Sky-Watcher 12" DOB is a big gun. If you are shooting for well resolved, elusive 12th-magnitude fuzzies, you now have the power. In fact, a very significant wow-factor extends down to viewing the stuff people usually concentrate on with 8" and 10" telescopes. Except they say, "WOW!", when they view through this super aperture amateur 12" SW telescope. You can not only be a hero to yourself, but a mystical guru to other backyard astronomers, scout groups, friends, and neighbors. Astronomy is a great hobby to share, and a SW 12" DOB makes you potentially the hit of any star party. Well, so much for ego satisfaction—the point is—the SW 12" DOB is a serious telescope that will be purchased by a serious amateur who wants serious deep-sky penetrating resolution. Be advised this Light Chariot is one sweet astronomical ride!
Viewing Through the SW 12" DOB
Everything in deep-space appears brighter, and wider in extension with the SW 12" DOB. Many of the more challenging to resolve objects in smaller diameter telescopes now reveal their essential structure. Objects just within the threshold of a 10" aperture now appear more prominent and may be worth dwelling upon for extended periods. Comet hunters will delight in the fainter magnitudes that are possible to discern in the SW 12" DOB. Here at last is a telescope within the threshold to tackle elusive deep-space gems like the Horsehead Nebula in Constellation Orion. Located in Constellation Perseus, M76, is a very faint nebula of 11th magnitude. The SW 12" will capture this baby like you want to see it. M97, a planetary nebula in Ursa Major is very faint, but as a serious amateur you will want to see it. No worries, the SW 12" DOB will fulfill your quest. M61, a spiral galaxy in Constellation Virgo, will reveal spiral arms as you would hope to see them, but you will need a SW 12" telescope to resolve them well. The list goes on, and you will delight in planning your own journey of exploration.
The incremental resolving power of the SW 12" aperture is beyond just being impressive, it's within amateur astronomy's super aperture threshold where the lucky observer is able to resolve well, many, many objects that smaller telescopes just don't have the horsepower to detail satisfactorily because they can't pull in enough light. Again, Sky-Watcher's compact, collapsible optical tube design makes this super aperture 12" DOB a far more practical decision to purchase.
The 12" Sky-Watcher Establishes a New Standard in Large Aperture Ease-of-Use
Observing with a Dobsonian has been described akin to shooting ducks in a gallery because it is so easy to find your target. Just swing your SW DOB to the quadrant of sky to be searched, and scan the vicinity. An 8x50mm Right Angle optical viewfinder provides both magnification and light-gathering to help narrow your search for those elusive fuzzies when star-hopping. The standard-equipment backlash-free 2" Crayford Focuser insures ultra smooth focusing adjustments. Multi-coated, 4-element Pl?ssl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) provide a spacious 52? Apparent Field of View.
To ensure mechanical ease-of-use, SW uses a high performance Teflon bearing system in both axes combined with tension adjustment in altitude to facilitate setting the appropriate amount of friction, assuring smooth vertical and horizontal manual movement without free-play from small bumps or gusts of wind. This also eliminates the need to have a balanced optical tube as in an equatorial mount. Sky-Watcher's Teflon bearing system is preferable to the use of ball-bearings. Ball-bearings make unintended movement of the optical tube more difficult to control. Fortunately, at low power, deep-space objects leisurely drift through the field of the SW 12" DOB, so constant mechanical adjustment of the telescope's orientation isn't needed to keep objects in the field of view.
Sky-Watcher's revolutionary truss-support concept allows the optical tube's front and back cells to collapse together, aligning on the truss support rods which can then be locked down for easy and secure telescope transport. This one piece, low-hassle OTA design is mechanically simple and results in large aperture telescopes that can be reasonably handled and transported by one individual. This innovation gives Sky-Watcher users tremendous functional ease-of-transportability.
Sky-Watcher Uses Quality Components Throughout
The Sky-Watcher 12" DOB utilizes quality components throughout. Pride of workmanship manifests itself in high quality standards of optical and mechanical fabrication. The polishing process for primary and diagonal mirror yields smooth mirror surfaces ensuring good contrast, and properly corrected optics show minimum alterations to the optical wave-front.
On each primary mirror, and elliptical diagonal mirror aluminum is vacuum deposited to the front glass surface and then over coated with hard quartz (SiO4). Additional layers of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) and (SiO4) are then applied. Dust covers are provided to help keep your DOB clean when not being used.
The mechanical and structural components of the OTA exhibit rigid construction and outstanding stability. The mount construction is sturdy and rigid. Mount design, while simple, facilitates smooth motions about both axes. Quality accessories enhance the observer's viewing experience.