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Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT?

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#26 EFT

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

Thanks for all the info guys, lots of good feedback.

I've looked through a 80mm refractor and feel that it doesn't quite suit what I'm looking for. For quick 10-20minutes views I'm happy to just use one of my binoculars.

What I'm mainly looking for is something that is easy to transport around and can give decent views of solar system objects (dso is a bonus not requirement) without requiring a lengthy cool down time. 30minutes is fine.

It seems to be a toss up between the 127Mak and Nexstar 5se/6se from what i've gathered?


I would still include the C8 in there with either a cat cooler on the standard C8 or active cooling on the C8 Edge.

#27 Sarkikos

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:27 AM

orion61,

My bounce time went from 7 sec to 2.5 to 3. HUGE improvment.


The bounce time for my 90mm Mak on my 501HDV head and 055XB tripod is ... well, there is no bounce time! It's absolutely rock solid. But then again, it is just a little 90mm Mak. :grin: Like I said, I use it mostly for Moon gazing.

I can use the 5" on a heavy photo tripod too.I keep it my Garage for quick cool down. It also does better than most people think on the brighter Deep Sky stuff.


I'd like to put my 6" Mak on a photo tripod, but I don't think that's feasible. I really can't even mount my ST80 with Crayford upgrade on a photo tripod. I need to mount anything heavier than my 90mm Mak (and lighter than my 8" Dob) on either a GEM or a Voyager alt-az. I virtually always pick the alt-az.

Mike

#28 berobertsmd

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:05 AM

If it comes down to 5SE or 6SE, IMO, cool down times for these would be very similar, vs 6SE and 8SE. Also, of course, with the 6SE, you're getting another inch of aperture over the 5SE. The upper unit assembly on the 6SE is different than one used on 4/5SE. The 6SE uses the same one used on the 8SE, which you can see if you compare the images of the upper arm assemblies of 5SE vs 6SE on Celestron webpage. Also on Celestron, under tripods, is NexStar 6SE-8SE tripod, # 91203, for $519.95 The 4SE/5SE tripods do have built-in wedges, which are not on the 6SE/8SE tripods. As I mentioned, you'll need a power supply, 12V, or 110 adaptor. 8 AA's won't last more than a few hours, at best, but keep some AA's in the scope. Thanks for starting this topic. I've seen a lot of good ideas. Good luck finding the G&G that's best for you.

Bruce

#29 Patrick

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:05 AM

Grab and go is a very personal term meaning different things to different people at different times. For quick looks of the night sky, I'm very contented with my 15x70 Oberwerk triplet binocs. They aren't designed for planetary, but they work great for the moon and Milky Way objects. They also work great for checking out the locations of Jupiter's moons. I can mount them on my 501 head and 475b tripod or hand hold them for short periods of time, depending on my energy level.

If I want to go deeper, then it's beyond "grab and go" and the cpc1100 is the next easiest scope to setup and use.

Patrick

#30 markgf

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

I don't mean to butt in, but if Grab and Go is about weight:

6SE: 30 lb
8SE: 33 lb
6" Dob: 35 lb
5" Refractor: Same as 6se if on alt-az mount?
Nexstar 127 SLT (Mak): ~27 lb?
Nexstar 130 SLT (Newt): ~27lb?

The Celestron site doesn't give mount weight for SLTs but the tubes (18 lb) are about 3 lb lighter than 6se tube.

Cool down time, if needed, is less with the reflectors. Lightness is probably with a 4" refractor. Economy is with the Dob. Optics is with 8SE...?

I've been having trouble with this one myself. Am leaning toward making two trips outside, one with an assembled dob, the second with a chair etc.

Good luck...Mark

#31 mclewis1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

Interesting choices indeed.

The published 30 lb weight for a 6SE is for a complete setup with the tripod. Someone could if they wanted to even split the SE scopes into 3 very manageable pieces of about 10 lbs apiece (ota, fork arm/base, tripod). The 8SE is the same only with a 3 lb heavier ota. The SLT scopes are similar but with a slightly lighter weight fork arm/base and tripod. Most folks will carry these scopes as one piece unless they are going up and down a bunch of stairs.

A 5" achromatic doublet refractor on an alt az mount could indeed be in the same range with a light weight mount/tripod (15lb ota and 13lb mount/tripod for something like an AT Voyager) but it won't be nearly as stable to use as one of the SE/SLT combinations and not something you'd want to carry as one piece (very unwieldy). That heavier ota really should be on a heavier mount/tripod.

The 4" refractor and lighter weight alt az mount is a very attractive and easy to manage combination but still not something you'd want to carry very far as one unit. The longer tube and weight out at the end of the refractor makes it a bit tougher to carry when on a mount than the scopes with shorter tubes (SCT/MCTs).

IMHO the really nice combination is the c6 ota and light weight alt az mount - it's just over 20lbs and very easy to move around (with great light gathering capabilities and optical quality).

It's really important to carefully consider your own specific environment and capabilities. To me "Grab n Go" is an interesting mix of weight, and complexity, and ease of use characteristics that really varies depending on someone's individual requirements.

#32 coutleef

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

i have used my 8se on a ES Twiligth mount and tripod and it was reaaly stable and easy to use.

the trick is to keep the 8se OTA in a shed outside or an unheated garage so that cool down is minimal. if you have to bring outside the 8se then it is not grab and go but grab and wait. in winter my scope go from 70F down to -30F, so even doublet refractors need some cooldown time. But my 8se requires at least two hours to reach equilibrium.

but if you plan in advance a 6se or 8se are nice scopes to have.

#33 desertlens

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

IMHO the really nice combination is the c6 ota and light weight alt az mount - it's just over 20lbs and very easy to move around (with great light gathering capabilities and optical quality).


I would agree. Here's what I'm working with:

Posted Image

C6 over an AT Voyager mount.

#34 orion61

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

NexStar 6 is by FAR the best Grab & Go scope that combines performance and weight. The views through these are amazing
they are built great and have Go-To, what else do you want,
Honorable Mention Meade LS6, superb optics and contrast!
!@& mak, 3rd place but are blown away on DSO's

#35 dscarpa

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:44 PM

Once I got the hang of it I found it very easy to carry my C-9.25 on a Unistar-Sokkia tripod for a total weight of around 50 lbs. That said I do some pretty heavy duty weight training. My understanding is that The Hulk is partial to a C-14 as a grab and go. I take my SCT out before sunset and cool down hasn't been an issue. Keep in mind I do live in the land where water remains a liquid. David

#36 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

I wish the C6 would go on sale again. I don't think I could dead lift a C-9.25, much less a C-14.

:grin:
Mike

#37 Tim J K

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:06 PM

HighPoint Scientific still has the C6 for $400. I bought one from them. It's a great scope. Very helpful and friendly customer service too.

#38 Keith

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:59 PM

when the price delta is $100 or less between the 5SE and 6SE, I see no reason why anyone who is doing JUST a little bit of research, would choose the 5SE. This is because when celestron lowered the 6 and 8 by $200 initially, and the 4 and 5 by $100 initially, it brought the 6 and 5 within $100. Other than more aperture, the mount for the 6se is the same as the 8se, and the 5se now shares the 4se mount. Unlike the old days where the 8 and 5 were on same mount, the 6 took the 5's place and the 5 got bumped down.

6SE all the way.

FYI, the 127mak and C6SCT are about the same weight, due to the longer tube and heavier corrector on the mak. Cooldown is a HUGE issue, the mak cools slower than the SCT, also due to the corrector. The comments about it (mak) not working with 2" eyepieces are only partially true, with an adapter ring, a 2" SCT diagonal threads right on and gives good views.

#39 Moey

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:15 AM

I think the majority of votes go to the Celestron Nexstar 6se and it's what i'll be purchasing hopefully within the next couple of weeks :D

Thank you all for the kind help and sound advice.

#40 t.r.

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

Good choice and report back with your first light experience. Also, if you have any set-up issues this is the place to get immediate (sometimes within minutes) help.

#41 berobertsmd

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:47 AM

Sounds good Moey! Don't forget they are on sale now! You may want to check sevral sources,

#42 MRNUTTY

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

I wish the C6 would go on sale again. I don't think I could dead lift a C-9.25, much less a C-14.

:grin:
Mike


I dead lift a C6 and AT72ED mounted on an ioptron minitower up two flights of stairs. It's pretty easy, and I love the views. I get it all tweaked up and ready to go before sun down then haul it up at twilight. By dark it's redy to go.

#43 rmollise

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 09:19 AM

Before this thread ends, I want to come clean. My favored grab-n-go is not a CAT of any kind, but a little Orion StarBlast. More practical in that role than even my Orange Tube C90, I think. Light, wide field, 4-inches. Just about perfect for me--for now. :lol:

#44 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

I got a used 8in lx200 unmounted [~350], I added the dovetail and put it on a medium duty photo tripod with a alt/az mount [dsv-1]. added the finder shoe for the 8x50 finder and also change the visual back to 2in so I can you my es 35 70°. makes a world of difference.

Posted Image

I can pickup the kit and carry it upstairs from the basement with one hand.

Posted Image


Those are really beautiful pictures.

#45 stevew

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

I want to come clean. My favored grab-n-go is not a CAT of any kind, but a little Orion StarBlast. :lol:

Rod, how disappointing. :bawling: :lol:
I find that Grab and Go is all about the mount.
My C8 on an E.Z.Touch mount works for me.

Steve

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#46 Kevdog

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

Once I got the hang of it I found it very easy to carry my C-9.25 on a Unistar-Sokkia tripod for a total weight of around 50 lbs. That said I do some pretty heavy duty weight training. My understanding is that The Hulk is partial to a C-14 as a grab and go. I take my SCT out before sunset and cool down hasn't been an issue. Keep in mind I do live in the land where water remains a liquid. David


I carry my C11 NexStar GPS and tripod together out 30 feet from my garage onto my driveway for viewing. Too much hassle to take it apart. I'm 5' 7" and 150lbs, so not exactly bulky and I don't find it an issue.

I wouldn't want anything smaller! But other people have different views on grab n go I guess :) Cooldown isn't a problem as I usually set it out before putting my 5 year old to bed and by the time we're done, the scope is ready to use! :D

#47 berobertsmd

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:52 AM

I leave my NexStar 8SE upper unit and tripod set-up. It's easy to move outside intact, but even if separate it's simple quick set-up. I have my tripod site marked, so I don't have to re-level each time. Whenever I first even think about a viewing session, I'll move the OTA outside to start cooling. Then by the time I move other gear outside, allow time for light accommodation, and finish set-up; cool down is usually not an issue. Heaviest item is about 20#. This gives a quick enough set-up for me and the advantage of go-to positioning I desire. Cool down would be even quicker with the NexStar 6SE being considered, IMO.

#48 orion61

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:11 AM

Before this thread ends, I want to come clean. My favored grab-n-go is not a CAT of any kind, but a little Orion StarBlast. More practical in that role than even my Orange Tube C90, I think. Light, wide field, 4-inches. Just about perfect for me--for now. :lol:

Hey I had one of those but mine had pretty bad SA I have heard they usually have goood optics. I'd like to try the 6"

#49 prestonrich

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:31 PM

C5 is best for me. C5 and C6 both have same rear baffle hole sizes so best wide angle is via the C5. Great w/the BIPH!

#50 GeneT

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

Since you have a 14.5 incher, I recommend the 6.






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