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This vs. that and what minimum mount/tripod

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#1 psi_chemie


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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

I'm dreaming of a setup I can get part in a backpack and the other parts of the setup on the luggage rack of a bike. I want to go out on all the paved paths we have to find dark pockets to observe from.

I've got a small dob, but for this I want a different observing experience. I want to be seated on a small collapsible chair or just kneeling, and looking through a diagonal with a scope on a tripod mount.

Is a good photo tripod out of the question for even the lightest of these?

I also would like slow motion controls. I suppose an eq mount is out of the question.

Also tracking I suppose out of the question considering the weight of these items?

The OTA weights would have maybe a 1.25" barlow and a small not the huge giant heavy but small quality plossl eyepieces, light but decent 1.25 diag, and a rdf, so I am thinking with mount plate the weights I am dealing with are the OTA weights below plus maybe 1.5 lbs.

Here are the three:

celestron c6a 6" sct, 37%co, 10lbs, 1500mm, 25 mm mystery ep, 6x30 finder, star diag starbrigtht xlt coating, 399highpoint, no case

orion 5" mak, 31%CO, 8.6lbs, 1540mm, 25mm plossl, 6x26 finder, 45 erect diag, multi-coated, 399orion, soft case

celestron c5 5" sct, 37%co, 6lbs, 1250mm, 25mm mystery eyepeice, 8x20 finder, 45" erect diagonal, xlt coatings, 539optcorp, soft case

of these, the c6 seems the greatest value. it's also the biggest so if i would have a miserable time with a small mount vibrating that i'd need a bigger then non-portable mount?

The orion apex 127 is a good price also but I loose an inch and it's only 1.8 lbs lighter?

so to really go light the more expensive of the three, Celestron c5 and I loose an inch to the c6.

Really how much does the aperture differences and COs matter when I am going to be biking to dark pockets to observe from? if the 1 inch is worth the extra weight I really don't mind.

I figure I can carry a 15 lb pack on my back, fairly good size, and another 15 lb fairly good size pack, even something like a small mount and collapsed tripod.

So should I consider a 4th scope- the new etx 90 package for 399??

I think the tendancy of recommendations would be for some kind of quality alt-z mount and tripod. budget is not unlimited but I'll save up a little for quality.

Thanks for reading my spelling errors and bad grammar and all. I'm pumping out lots of text in lots of places right now.

ALSO note I will have a smartphone with skymaps, 12x50 binos and a planisphere.

Kind regards!

#2 psi_chemie


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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:45 PM

Ahh, then I found this:


Vixen 110 on porta II mount. Just the ticket.. researching.

#3 orlyandico


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:07 AM

I think a small refractor is more convenient. SCTs have long focal length. Narrow field. More vulnerable to jiggles. Why not something like the 80mm Stellarvue ED with carbon tube?

#4 Mkofski


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:16 AM

I think a sort focal length 80 to 100mm refractor would transport better than a Mak or SCT. If you wanted to do astrophotography a ioptron IEQ30 is very light but for visual with goto Celestron makes some lightweight mounts.

#5 Hikari


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

What about a nice chair and a nice pair of binos?

For small telescopes, a Mini Borg might be your thing.

#6 psi_chemie


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

Yes, I meant to include that my first plan is to locate and study object with binos and then use the scope for a different view.

I will check out the Mini Borg. There are too many options. I may just right some dob-style mount for this project.

Thanks for your replies,

#7 JMW


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

I think a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod is the best performer for rock solid steady and low weight. I use one with a DM4 for my grab and go. It handles a SV115T without any problems. A used Mini-Hitch mount would be lighter and have slow motion controls. It weighs about 3 pounds. The mini-hitch on a Gitzo could be under 9 pounds and handle a 80mm refractor without compromise.

This isn't a cheap solution but it shows what is possible when low weight and stability are most important.

#8 psi_chemie


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

Mini Hitch, Mini Borg, and the Gitzo,


#9 BuffaloTri


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

You may want to switch to a RACI if you plan on kneeling or sitting low to the ground. A straight through finder will get uncomfortable really quickly.

#10 psi_chemie


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:22 PM

I'm processing this and I'll post an update and hopefully an evaluation of the system I end up with early next year;)




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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:09 AM

I often have to carry my OTA/mount/accessories in my backpack, traveling on public transport and walk long distance to a dark site to carry out visual observation of sky objects.
I consider a C5 OTA weighing 5.5 lb is comfortable to carry. A Manfrotto 410 grarhead with slow motion control (2.7 lb) is very suitable. A photo tripod (Series 2, with the top leg at 28 mm diameter, weighing about 4 lb) can do the job. All add up to less than 15 lb.

C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST

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