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Going to Puerto Rico

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#1 BSJ

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:58 AM

I’ve got a chance to go to Puerto Rico. It’ll be the furthest south I’ve ever been.

The smallest scope I have is a ST 80 that I could put on a medium duty camera tripod. It’s an OK scope, but not much better than binoculars. I also have a short tube f5 130mm reflector which works really well on my Voyager mount. But that mount is too heavy for plane travel. Has anyone put a 130mm on a collapsible, camera style mount and been reasonably satisfied? What tripod was it…?

#2 core

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:02 AM

I've had both a A80SS (Vixen Short tube) and a SLT130 OTA (130mm f/5) OTA out to dark skies on trips, and the 130 was definitely much better on DSO's - do you plan to carry on board the OTA? I'd imagine checking it in would require a rather substantial case for protection.

Anyways as for mounting, the 130 works very well with a Porta/PortaII head mounted on a tripod (Giottos 9371 in my case); the head detaches nicely and shouldn't take up too much space in the luggage. I like the offset mounting (like the AT Voyager) for zenith view and the slo-mo controls.

For a really lightweight mount combo I've had it on a DwarfStar head with CF Tripod (Vanguard Elite 1) and it works surprisingly well - head+tripod is just under 5 lb! It may take a while to dampen vibrations at medium power, but imo alot of it comes from over-extending the center column for the OTA to clear the tripod when viewing overhead. Still, it tracks very well, and extends to standing height use easily.

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#3 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

You got to hurry! Scorpius is setting early... ;)

#4 core

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:42 AM

Just a quick pic of SLT130 on a Porta/Tripod combo ... this was just this past summer at ~9,000' altitude (CO), the views were incredible!

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