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How do you use your Grab and Go Refractor?

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#1 Pentax Syntax

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

I often use my SV80 ED deluxe refractor as a 'canary in the mine' to determine sky transparency and/or seeing for planets. Because of its rapid equilibration to ambient temperature its ideally suited for that. Then I decide which (if any) of the 'Big Guns' to drag out. Of course, on many nights, that little refractor does so well, I don't bother with the bigger scopes. Other ideas?

#2 dlapoint

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

As a perent of a child with special needs, observing time is often limited to 30min to and hour. So the little scope gets used alot.

#3 Kon Dealer

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

When I go in the car to a dark site/go on holiday.
The 'frac doesn't get bumped out of collimation, nor do I have to wait for it to cool.
In the back garden I mainly use my CATs

#4 Spyke

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:16 PM

Reading through all the grab'n'go discussion recently, it occured to me that I don't really own a true "g'n'g" setup.

My most easy to handle scope is the Swift 60mm f13.5 mounted on an AZ-3 and kept in the shed. So, very easy to use in the garden - "grab'n'go for local use" but I'd have to demount it and transfer it to car for carrying around which would probably eliminate it from g'n'g really.

But, in the garden, I usually plop it out and insert an eyepiece and can be viewing literally in less than a minute. Unfortunately, the light pollution in the garden means that the ONLY targets available to me there are planets, the Moon and a handful of bright double/multiple stars. Even open clusters barely show up.

For those purposes, and with those limitations, the 48-year-old scope performs well for my quick looks, and for longer sessions when I don't want to set up a big scope for any reason.

Ant

#5 Pentax Syntax

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:43 PM

While the definition of grab-n-go is subject to debate, the small refractors are hard to beat. I think limited time, lack of need for alignment make a lot of sense. I started with a little 60mm TASCO 50 years ago and still remember how beautiful the stars looked in that scope. Perhaps that is part of the attraction of the little 80mm I now often use.

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:56 AM

I often use my SV80 ED deluxe refractor as a 'canary in the mine' to determine sky transparency and/or seeing for planets. Because of its rapid equilibration to ambient temperature its ideally suited for that. Then I decide which (if any) of the 'Big Guns' to drag out. Of course, on many nights, that little refractor does so well, I don't bother with the bigger scopes. Other ideas?


I have a few "grab and go" refractors but the ones I use the most are William Optics 80mm Megrez II FD and a TeleVue NP-101.

From my backyard, I use them as general purpose scopes, enjoying seeing what I can see, some double stars, a planet or two, various deep space objects.. They also double for bird watching.

From a dark sky location, I use them as companions to my larger Newtonians, mostly using them at relatively low magnifications and enjoying the widefield, richest field views they can provide. Sometimes I test my skills by hunting down fainter galaxies and the like that are easy a 12.5 inch or larger scope but are a real challenge in a 3 or 4 inch.

As far as using them to determine the seeing, I think this is counter-productive. If one is going to be using a larger scope that needs real time to cool down to perform it's best, (true of both Maks, SCTs and Newtonians), it is best to get it out there and cooling down before sunset.

Jon

#7 RussL

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

The Celestron Wide View 80, f5 achro (same as an ST80) came first. It made me wonder why I had wasted so many years not seeing a richfield view of the heavens, for heaven's sake. After nearly fifty years it was like discovering astronomy anew all over again. So, then I decided to go up a notch, but still stay within grab n go boundaries, and bought a 120ST, also an f5 achro. It's like the ST80 on steroids, so to speak. I put it on an eq2 to save weight. Spindly, yes, but don't laugh, it works. If I want detailed views of planets, the moon, or anything else I have an 8" SCT I can drag out, when I'm in the mood. The best news of all is that I'm using my f5 ahro refractors for just what they were designed to do best, so I am satisfied.

#8 Mr Onions

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:08 AM

I walk one mile to my outreach site with either the 76 or 80mm refractors.
That's my G&G.
Now here's the strange part, it's an IDENTICAL distance on the way back,coincidence or what.

#9 galexand

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

Last week I got a 60mm f15 on an EQ mount for use as a grab-n-go (what can I say, it was very inexpensive). I thought I would use it on the odd clear nights when I'm too impatient for newt cool down. I thought maybe sometimes I'd shove it in my backpack and bike to a darkish site.

So far in the real world, I've dragged it outside, did wild-guess alignment on polaris (clouds to the north), fished out an eyepiece, lined it up on jupiter or luna. Then I have a conversation in my mind like, "my, 60mm is awfully limiting, if even jupiter is dim. ... Man how come jupiter doesn't have any bands? What happened to aldebaran? You can't see the hyades in this toy, what junk. ... Oh look it's cloudy to the east as well." Then I re-cap the EP, fold up the scope, and carry it all in.

On the bright side, with the refractor I really can carry the whole setup (scope on tripod, laptop, extra sweater, EP box) in one trip, which was exactly the dream.

Hope someone finds this user story inspiring. :bawling:

:praying: :praying: :praying: (Dear God, I know I must be punished for buying a new telescope, but that was the best night I've seen in a month) :praying: :praying: :praying:

#10 Scott Beith

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:17 PM

My SV80ED on a SV M1 serves as my G&G. Besides G&G duty it also handles Solar and travel assignments.

I don't use it for a test to see if I want to drag out a bigger scope. I just grab what I want to use on a given night.

#11 desertlens

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

For those nights when the clouds dissipate late or I'm just feeling lazy, it's hard to beat my little 70mm and a small box of volcano tops. Sometimes a short wide field session can be very rewarding.

#12 tomchris

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

My Tele Vue 85 is my most used scope..usually from my back deck as a G & G. However, my newly bought Ranger has become my easy travel scope which will be in my car on trips-so simple to set up and use.

#13 Lt 26

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:11 PM

SV70 on the M1 with the extension column and handle. Assembled it can easily be moved down stairs, through halls and doorways.

At night I us a 32mm plossl and an 11T6 with a barlow for backup. No balance issues here.

During the day I use a lightweight 1.25" 45* and a 15mm Titan. This gives me a fixed 28x and is the only lightweight combo I have found that does not mess up the balance. During the day this is important due to the amount the focuser gets racked in and out. Even the T6s were too heavy.

Dereck

#14 tigerroach

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:18 AM

I bought my TV-76 as a travel scope. I keep coming up with other excuses to use it though; for example, in August for Perseids night I didn't want to fuss with the big reflector since we were supposed to be watching for meteors. So we brought the 76 along and had a great time using it for little peeks here and there to spice up the meteor watch. It is so simple to set up and use that it was never a distraction from the main event.

#15 la200o

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

Gotta love that TV76; I use mine off my back porch for quick sessions looking at the moon, planets, bright DSO's, or just cruising the Milky Way. It's overmounted on a Gibraltar, but still a grab-n-go.

Bill

#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

Gotta love that TV76; I use mine off my back porch for quick sessions looking at the moon, planets, bright DSO's, or just cruising the Milky Way. It's overmounted on a Gibraltar, but still a grab-n-go.

Bill


Bill:

My first really good refractor was a TeleVue Pronto and I have since moved on. I would like to have a TV-76, essentially the same scope as the Pronto but it's a true apo with a somewhat larger aperture. It would be hard to justify when I have a very good 80mm William Optics Megrez II FD. I often use the 80mm FD on a Bogen 3040/3047 mounted sidesaddle, good for astro, good for terrestrial.

Jon

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#17 roscoe

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

I have been keeping my 60mm ATM/Carton at my workshop, which is a few miles from home, so if I'm there in the evening, I can grab it and go outside for a look-around. As I built it there, I think it feels at home there ......
Russ

#18 Pentax Syntax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

Gotta love that TV76; I use mine off my back porch for quick sessions looking at the moon, planets, bright DSO's, or just cruising the Milky Way. It's overmounted on a Gibraltar, but still a grab-n-go.

Bill


Bill:

My first really good refractor was a TeleVue Pronto and I have since moved on. I would like to have a TV-76, essentially the same scope as the Pronto but it's a true apo with a somewhat larger aperture. It would be hard to justify when I have a very good 80mm William Optics Megrez II FD. I often use the 80mm FD on a Bogen 3040/3047 mounted sidesaddle, good for astro, good for terrestrial.

Jon

Posted Image



Hi Jon. Beautiful view and nice scope. That vista is really something.

#19 Pentax Syntax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

I often use my SV80 ED deluxe refractor as a 'canary in the mine' to determine sky transparency and/or seeing for planets. Because of its rapid equilibration to ambient temperature its ideally suited for that. Then I decide which (if any) of the 'Big Guns' to drag out. Of course, on many nights, that little refractor does so well, I don't bother with the bigger scopes. Other ideas?


I have a few "grab and go" refractors but the ones I use the most are William Optics 80mm Megrez II FD and a TeleVue NP-101.

From my backyard, I use them as general purpose scopes, enjoying seeing what I can see, some double stars, a planet or two, various deep space objects.. They also double for bird watching.

From a dark sky location, I use them as companions to my larger Newtonians, mostly using them at relatively low magnifications and enjoying the widefield, richest field views they can provide. Sometimes I test my skills by hunting down fainter galaxies and the like that are easy a 12.5 inch or larger scope but are a real challenge in a 3 or 4 inch.

As far as using them to determine the seeing, I think this is counter-productive. If one is going to be using a larger scope that needs real time to cool down to perform it's best, (true of both Maks, SCTs and Newtonians), it is best to get it out there and cooling down before sunset.

Jon



Fair enough Jon about the cool down issue. The main reason I take the little refractor out is to check seeing for the 120mm F11 achromatic refractor I have. Its great on planets but a bear to set up and usually not worth except when seeing is excellent.

John

#20 la200o

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:16 PM

Wow, what a picture. And look at that (almost) clear sky.

Bill

#21 terraclarke

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

On the deck it's been a toss up between the SV80/9D on a Televue panoramic mount and my AT72ED on a Vixen Portamount. However my "new" Unitron model 114 60mm altaz with Unihex is a game changer. It's out the door and observing within a couple of minutes with either of these.

#22 KWB

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

Of course, on many nights, that little refractor does so well, I don't bother with the bigger scopes. Other ideas?

Hello and welcome,John :)

That's a pretty good idea from my standpoint,being an observer that does most of it from my suburban backyard. I enjoy using this type telescope for it's ease of use and focus on what it is capable of showing,as opposed to what it can't.

Enjoy! :grin:

#23 tomharri

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

I don't. Have come to the conclusion- If you don't have 8", you are wasteing your time. This f/5 is easy to rollout, remove caps, and in 15-20 minutes the mirrors have reached thermal equilibrium, and you are ready to go! More light grasp and resolution than a 4" refractor at any price.

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#24 Mr Onions

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:21 AM

So someone with 7" astro-physics or APM is wasting their time?
My friend Antony from Scotland recently observed 8 bands on Jupiter with a 60mm Swift refractor.
Was he wasting his time?

#25 tomharri

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:58 AM

For grab and go, large refractors are not, and 60mm's, well what can you say.....that is why we bought other scopes.






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