Sky Watcher SkyMax Maksutov 180mm OTA

Mounting new rings on Sky Watcher 180

The SkyMax 180 came with a Vixen mounting bar which I have found difficult to use at night due to the the large bulk of the tube. Therefore, I thought it would be useful to change it to a Losmandy bar. I also wanted to add a handle to make the scope easier to handle in the dark.

I have been drilling and bolting my new Orion telescope rings to create a cradle with Losmandy bar and handle for my SkyMax 180 scope this New Year’s morning!

Below = finished product. When I removed Vixen bar there was big crunch as inside the student a nut and holding bar fell off thankfully not onto mirror or corrector plate. So I had to remove the corrector plate and cell to get them out of tube and remove second nut from other bolt golding Vixen bar – needed to get it off to give room for the rings. Then 4 old belts required to pad out the rings bit big for tube. I had bought an aluminium bar for top of rings which I drilled this morning for the rings and to create mounting holes for the handle I purchased from Germany. I bought that one particularly because it has a slot in the middle of the handle – convenient for mounting another mounting bracket onto which I can place a guidescope held centrally so it does not imbalance the scope in use.

My new baby – Sky Watcher SkyMax Maksutov 180mm

Well, new to me any way. 2nd hand off AB&S – bought specifically for planets.

“First Light” (for me) was on Tuesday night – Mars big – limited detail as very windy but held planet in field of view quite a few minutes – some surface detail but hoping for more on still nights.

Also tried it on Double Cluster and Pleaides – OK but without the zazz of my 10″ Dobsonian! (as you’d expect 10″ just brings in the light and gives that wonderful diamonds on velvet effect I love so much!)

…..But clearly has resolution.