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How do you use your Grab and Go Refractor?

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36 replies to this topic

#26 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:39 PM

Here is my grab-n-go setup (82mm f/5.5 twin refractors on Half Hitch mount/carbon fiber tripod) to backyard.

I take a whole thing (27lb), walk out to backyard and a few more eyepieces in my pocket. It is 30 seconds or less to start observing.

Posted Image

It has been foggy, visibility 100 meters :(


#27 prestonrich


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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

C5 on a half-hitch mount and BIPH. Pretty much does it all.

#28 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:19 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.

Humm... mirrors reach thermal equilibrium in 15-20 minutes... An 8 inch scope supports 400x when the seeing is stable, even more on double stars. Even with a fan running, I have never experienced an 8 inch Newtonian that would provide a clean star test at 400x after 20 minutes of cooling down.

One can always make the argument that a larger scope is still "grab and go" and that the greater aperture provides more light grasp and more resolution... I can have my 16 inch F/4.42 up and running is less time than my 8 inch F/5 and it clearly has more light grasp and potentially more resolution... But..

This idea that one is "wasting one's time", what is it exactly we are doing? This is a hobby, if one is enjoying the night sky, that is what is counts. You might be "wasting your time with an 8 inch", I am not "wasting my time" with any scope, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing.


#29 droid



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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:20 AM

My grab and go is my 60x700 Widger scope. Living in a light polluted sky on most of the hurry up and view nights limits me to brighter objects anyways.
That said the 60x700 on nights of good seeing shows me galaxys, star clusters , the ring nebula, and nebula.
Planets when available, the sun with the filter on, and the moon is awesome.
Granted the 16 inch will blow the 60 out of the water on trips to dark sky sites.
But grab and go for me is seeing whats available after work, or on those times when driving to a dark sky site isnt possible.

#30 Garfield


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

I'm just in the process of swapping my grab'n go setup (which is my only scope BTW) from an Orion 102ED to a new-to-me SV90TBV (flourite version expected by the end of the week). It will be used only in binoviewer mode (Baader Maxbright w/o corrector) mounted on Tak-teegul alt-az and Gitzo tripod that is permanently set up in my study, ready to be quickly trotted out the door for those 20 minute sessions when the skies are clear enough. I tried this earlier with an SW 120 Equinox but it was too long to get out the door easily, and was at the upper end of Teegul's capacity. I have to say the little Orion ED worked well, but I had a chance to pick up the Stellarvue for a good price and I liked the fact that it's just a tad shorter but at f7 still provides decent views of solar system objects (which is why I chose the SV over the TMB92). Anything that delivers on quality @100x is good enough for me.

For me, two-eyed viewing is a requirement.

BTW I really like Tammy's setup with the Kowa Highlander, but wish it had 90-degree oculars -- due to light pollution I'm always observing near zenith. APM is also working on a new high-power binoscope which will be interesting to see when it arrives.

#31 astrogaffer


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:35 PM

I like the Televue 76 mounted on a dwarfstar on a vanguard carbon fibre tripod. This make a very quick and light grab-n-go for those unplanned sessions involving the planets, star clusters, double stars and brighter galaxies and nebulae. This is my most used setup just due to the convenience. It matches well with most of the opportunities as they come up with the weather and moon phases, often on week nights when observing time is at a premium.

#32 StarStuff1



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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:50 AM

Ultimate refractor Grab 'n' Go. Combine with a Gen III image intensifier eyepiece (IIE) and let the fun begin! :cool:

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#33 HandyAndy


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:10 PM

I now use the Opticstar AR80S as my travel grab and go scope as its too heavy for its intended use as a guide scope on a cut down Rank builders level.

I have a TSFlat2 and a SH 2" Diagonal with front filter threads it screws into.

The focal plane of a 24mm Hyperion in 2" mode with Skywatcher Sodium Filter on is just a few mm above the back of the diagonal. At the 109-112mm back focus on the TSFlat2. My friend turned a bit off the diagonal output end so the Hyperion could reach down far enough.

The combination works very well with colour free stars and its just eyepiece curvature degradation at the edge, easily focused out.

It seems to work with other eyepieces as well. With a 40mm TMB Paragon its got a wider field than the 7x50 RACI finder.

Also just got a SH WO 7.5-22.5 zoom for daylight birding.

All in the bag the 80mm came in. And I keep a cheap manual EQ5 mount, with fold out legs, in the car for it.

All a bit serendipitous.

#34 nirvanix


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

Stuffed my Orion 100 f6 frac and a video tripod in my backpack and travelled through southeast Asia. What a hoot to show people who have never even seen a telescope (let alone look through one) the moon and Saturn. By the way in Thailand they call the Pleiades 'The Seven Chickens' - it's a very food-centric culture. :p

#35 walt99


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:31 AM

40 mm hydrogen alpha solarscope piggybacked on 80 mm f12 achromatic refractor with a white light solar filter . The sun was ringed with prominence yesterday , tho no sunspots were visible . It's cold . I can stay inside and watch . . .

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#36 Red Shift

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

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.

Your KEYWORD is "Rollout".
Not everyone has a physical situation like yours.
Some of us have "CARRYOUT" - down stairs, etc


Some of your fellow Astronomers ( amateur or professional )
are HANDICAPPED as well.

As the owner of an 8" F/6 DOB I agree with your assessment of light grasp. As a recent above-the-knee amputee that has to carry a scope down a set of stairs, I don't agree with your assessment regarding portability versus the pleasures of transporting & viewing thru a smaller instrument.

#37 FirstSight


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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:36 AM

My grab n'go is an NP101 I often keep set up in the garage, where I also keep my 12" dob reflector ready-to-go but for collimation and rolling out on a hand-cart. So the difference in set-up times is the extra 5 minutes to check and adjust collimation on the dob, plus sometimes I need to hook up the battery to the fan on the dob if the garage temp and outside ambient temps differ. OTOH with the NP101 there's the essential step of leveling the tripod since my driveway has a very gradual, variable slope to it, just enough to make it prudent to remove any risk the tripod might tip over if not leveled. With my OCD that takes two or three minutes to get that bubble on top *exactly* centered.

So for my particular circumstances, net the grab n'go differential is less than five minutes between the NP101 and the 12" reflector. Even so, for home driveway observing sessions, I'll pick the NP101 four out of five times.

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