Preliminary review of the Astrosky 11" f/5

Bought a new toy? How about writing a review for it? Post it here!
Post Reply
User avatar
VinSnr
Administrator
Posts: 2306
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Andromeda Galaxy

Preliminary review of the Astrosky 11" f/5

Post by VinSnr »

Ok...I received quite a number of PMs asking me about the Astrosky dob. I received it about a week ago (now you know why the weather is bad), and I haven't really use it yet. But I think I can give some preliminary impression about the scope.

First of all, this scope took 11 months to reach me. Forget about the 3-4 months delvery written on Astrosky webby. However, it could also because I ordered at the wrong time. Hurricane Katrina swept through James' (owner of Astrosky) house at the time I made my order. So I think at least 2 months were wasted waiting for him to rebuild his house.

The scope is equipped with Woden Optics mirror. The specs looked impressive, 1/10.68 PV-wavefront and strehl ratio at 0.971. Good enough for most skies. However the dealing with Woden is less than satisfactory. There is a lot of ding dong between Woden and Astrosky and that took at least 6-7 months before Woden showed the mirror. Infact, I have to step in and settle whatever dispute that is between them. I certainly do not expect myself, being the client, to settle problems between the manufacturer and his vendors. But to be fair to both side, both were very co-operative and fortunately I managed to finally get the mirror done.

The finishing on the scope is very good to almost top notch, definitely at the kind of level that I can never do myself. But definitely not Obessesion kind of finishing either although it look good enough to admire at. The scope is abit overbuilt because I believe the frame is for 12.5". But that's not too bad.....it adds more rigidity to the structure.

When it was shipped to me, a lot of parts were dismantled. Both the alt spokes were removed for shiping purposes. The secondary was also removed. Optical encoders and the Sky commander were removed too. So there is a bit of assembly work but James labeled all the parts pretty well and it's not too difficult to put them together. As for the shipping, I thought he packed it really well except for the mirror which I think can be done better. Anyway, nothing was damaged. Shipping from Vpost cost me SGD$315. Not too bad.....except that one (out of the 4 boxes) of the boxes was delivered on a different day

The fully assembled scope was checked on a few critical areas. There were complains before that the alt spokes are not square with the rocker box causing the alt movement to be corked towards one side. Fortunately for this scope, the spokes are squared with the rocker box. The alt-bearings were also glued nicely in place. For the rocker box, azi-movement is just nice; not too stiff and not too smooth.

Next check..the spider hub. This one has to be exactly center and it was done pretty well too. No off-center spider hub here. The focuser was next checked for squareness and I use a plumb line tied to the spider hub to check for left-right square. Very accurate here too. BTW, the focuser is a dual speed Moonlite and it's a joy to use. The encoders holding screws were also placed at the right areas, so no problem with that also.

Overall, I think the scope is pretty well made. When fully assembled, it moves very nicely. But I didn't like the use of clamps to clamp down the UTA with the tubes. It works well, but just not my preference. However, on the other end of the tubes, Astrosky uses ball sockets which is easy and convenient. I like that.

Now the only dissapointment is that I ordered the scope with a secondary dew heater option, and hence expected the scope to be wired up to some batteries. But no. What Astrosky did is just give me an Astrosystem dew guard dew heater. He expects me to stick the dew guard behind the secondary and run the wires myself. Maybe I didn't make myself clear, but when someone order that option, I thought the manufacturer would run the wires and everything making sure the scope comes with a dew heater for the secondary? Anyway, no big thingie to run those wires myself.

Ok..coming to the tailgate. This one uses the standard Kriege tailgate open design. Not difficult to understand how this tailgate works but I guess some instructions on putting in the mirror and adjusting the sling would be appropriate especially for newbies. To be fair however, he does have a webpage giving some rough instructions on what to do with the sling and the mirror pins but I think he should have included that with the scope.

All in all, besides all those ding donging and delays, the scope was well designed. You get what you pay for. I don't expect a super premium scope for just USD$1900 (inclusive of sky commander, US domestic shipping and upgraded dual speed focuser) but credit to James, the scope came in a better shape than I thought. He could however, add a few more professional touches like doing up the dew heater, adding a nice manual or something.

I will try to post up some photos when I am free.

User avatar
rlow
Posts: 2347
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 7:36 pm
Location: Jurong

Post by rlow »

Great, Vincent! When can you show it to us? Are you bringing it to next Friday's event?

User avatar
ariefm71
Posts: 2304
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:15 pm
Location: bedok

Post by ariefm71 »

Thanks, Vin. Waiting for the pics... :)

User avatar
VinSnr
Administrator
Posts: 2306
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Andromeda Galaxy

Post by VinSnr »

rlow wrote:Great, Vincent! When can you show it to us? Are you bringing it to next Friday's event?
dun think so. still yet to centre dot the mirror. feeling lazy already

Post Reply