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Is LX200 12" easy to transport in a car?

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#1 Petrus351

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:44 AM

Hello everyone:
I understand, that it depends on the car size. I´m from Spain, and I have a Seat Altea XL car, that it´s considered a medium size one in Europe.
Aside from this, how much does the fork and ota set weigh?
Greetings from Pedro (Spain)

#2 rmollise

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

The scope/fork combo is close to 90 pounds and the tripod is also very large and heavy. It is not something most folks would consider even close to portable, it is _transportable_ and that is it. If you want to transport a scope in this aperture range around in a typical sedan and set it up yourself, you need to think "C11" instead. Unless, of course your name really ain't "Pedro," and is really "The Incredible Hulk"... ;)

#3 tomcody

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

I used a 12" LX200 for years, the scope/forks weigh about 85 lbs, the tripod 50 lbs and the super wedge about 25 lbs.
The easiest way to carry it in a car is to use one half of the foam packing and place it in the trunk, place the scope in the foam and cover with something like a blanket. The tripod can go on the back seat. You still need to lift 85 lbs into and out of the car and set it on the tripod. I used a custom short tripod, (kits available to convert the standard tripod), this made it easier to lift the scope onto the tripod.
As I got older, my back got weaker, and I went with a smaller scope.
Rex

#4 neotesla

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

I have transported one for a star party, and I have to say even if you are in good shape, it would be best to do this with two people. Replacing the handles with Peterson upgrades may help, as the are more ergonomic than the stock ones, but it is still a 90lb lift for the fork and OTA assembly.

http://www.petersone.../get-a-grip.htm

#5 Petrus351

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

Thank you for your responses.
I´m going to buy a new scope, but I´m thinking about several options. I have a C9.25 and a C8, and my main goal is planetary AP and just occasional visual deep sky. My wife wishes a C14, as she feels this scope it "the real jump" from a C9.25. If I´m not wrong, Uncle Rod says that at least an aperture of 3 inches, is the minimum one to be considered important; isn´t like this, Rod?
We´re going to buy a new house in the mountain area. It´s a house with a garden, and it´s possible to use a wheeled tripod, in order to move the scope in and out the house.

#6 orion61

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

6" APO if you have the Cash?
your 9.25 is a fantastic scope for Planteary AP.
I have an LX200 12" and I just cant use it that much due to seeing.BUT on those great seeing nights WOW!
I'd never have the 12 as my main instrument, at least in the Midwest where I live. I'd get to use it 4 nights a month.

#7 Keith Howlett

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

Hi Pedro,

I used to drive around with a 12 inch LX200 in a medium sized car, it was an old 3 series BMW. I found it quite difficult getting the scope in and out safely because of the weight of the OTA/fork assembly. I did fit the Peterson handles which helped a little.

If I were to do that again I would probably go for a Celestron - the OTAs are substantially lighter than the Meade equivalents.

I have a different scope now in an observatory which has greatly increased the number of nights that I can observe even when I only have a little spare time. I am sure that the option that you mentioned to roll the scope in and out on a wheeled mount would be a big help.

Cheers,

Keith

#8 rmollise

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Thank you for your responses.
I´m going to buy a new scope, but I´m thinking about several options. I have a C9.25 and a C8, and my main goal is planetary AP and just occasional visual deep sky. My wife wishes a C14, as she feels this scope it "the real jump" from a C9.25. If I´m not wrong, Uncle Rod says that at least an aperture of 3 inches, is the minimum one to be considered important; isn´t like this, Rod?
We´re going to buy a new house in the mountain area. It´s a house with a garden, and it´s possible to use a wheeled tripod, in order to move the scope in and out the house.


I will say this: You will find a C14 on a German equatorial mount MUCH easier to manage and haul around than a freaking 12-inch fork mount scope.

#9 Petrus351

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

[/quote]

I will say this: You will find a C14 on a German equatorial mount MUCH easier to manage and haul around than a freaking 12-inch fork mount scope. [/quote]

Yes Rod; I´m sure it´s much easier. I asked about the fork mounted LX200, because I always liked it very much, but I understand now that the best option is a C11 or a C14 on a gem.
About a 6 inch apo, I´m sure it´s a great planetary scope, but as it has been discussed thousands of times, a 6 inch apo, even being premiun optics, can´t compete against a C14 for planetary imaging. Maybe a 6 inch apo has superb contrast, but the resolution, light grasp and focal lenth of a C14 are decisive in order to get those giant superb Jupiter images, that almost always come from C14´s and bigger scopes.
Greetings from Pedro (Spain)
As an example, I took this Saturn picture this year with my C9.25. I haven´t used any Photoshop features, such as layers, etc.
I gess, if I had used a C14, the final picture would have been much better and bigger. This is the main reason I wish a new bigger scope.

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#10 orion61

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

Thats a great shot of Saturn, My biggest point is , unless you are in an area of the World where you have very steady
skys the bigger scope will not perform as well as your 9.25 MOST of the time.
I have a 12" with superb optics, It just gets outperformed
by my early C8 on Planetary most of the time due to MY skys.
I'm just making sure that, If you havent had that big of a scope before, you knew what to expect.
That large fork mounted scope most likley
(after the inital newness)get used less because of the
extra weight of lugging it around, than a smaller scope.
I'm with Rod on this one OTA and GEM.

#11 Dunkstar

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

If your wife wishes for a C14, does she also wish for an observatory in your garden too? ;) if your new house isn't badly light polluted, mount the scope on a pier and eliminate the need for transporting. A good GEM should also cover you if you want to travel with the scope.

#12 rmollise

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

[quote name="Petrus351"] [/quote]

I will say this: You will find a C14 on a German equatorial mount MUCH easier to manage and haul around than a freaking 12-inch fork mount scope. [/quote]

Yes Rod; I´m sure it´s much easier. I asked about the fork mounted LX200, because I always liked it very much, but I understand now that the best option is a C11 or a C14 on a gem.
About a 6 inch apo, I´m sure it´s a great planetary scope, but as it has been discussed thousands of times, a 6 inch apo, even being premiun optics, can´t compete against a C14 for planetary imaging. Maybe a 6 inch apo has superb contrast, but the resolution, light grasp and focal lenth of a C14 are decisive in order to get those giant superb Jupiter images, that almost always come from C14´s and bigger scopes.
Greetings from Pedro (Spain)
As an example, I took this Saturn picture this year with my C9.25. I haven´t used any Photoshop features, such as layers, etc.
I gess, if I had used a C14, the final picture would have been much better and bigger. This is the main reason I wish a new bigger scope. [/quote]

Fine picture. Some people forget that light gathering is as important in planetary imaging as in deep sky work.

#13 Petrus351

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

My intention is to leave the new C14 on a wheeled pier, so I don´t have to mount and unmount the ota every time I need to use it. The house is in a mountain area, away from light polluted areas. I gess the main concern about C14´s must be the longer times to get thermal equilibrium isn´t it? Could you please tell me if so?

#14 Petrus351

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

Yes Rod:
When I first read your book I could see a picture of you with your orange fork mounted C14, and I felt "envy" :bow:, and at the same time I thought: "what a monster" (the scope, not you ;)) but I said "I wish I had one". So when you say such a scope is difficult to manage, you know what you´re saying, and the same for the rest of the people that are writting answers in this thread, as they also know the experience.
About the importance of light grasp of a scope in planetary imaging, is easy to understand, as the greater the light grasp, the less you need to increase gain, and you can use a faster fps rate. The focal lenth is very important too, as the longer one gives images in a bigger scale.
And what about the times to reach thermal equilibrium in a C14?
Thank you all for the replies.

#15 Bill Barlow

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

Excellent..excellent Saturn image. Wonderful/beautiful colors..

I own a C14 and can offer some feedback on cooling. If there is a large temperature drop from where the scope is stored to the outside environment, then it may take 2-3 hours or more for the tube to be thermally stablized..or maybe never if the temperature continues to fall. Here a Lymax cat cooler may help. The newer black non HD C14 OTA's now have the two cooling vents on the rear cell to help with cooling the big cat a little faster. The visual planetary and deep sky views through this size of a scope are fantastic. Seeing globular clusters at 430X with a 9mm Nagler is awesome! I also own a very nice Meade 12" ACF OTA that is easier to handle than the C14. But I'm sure a fork mounted LX200 M12 would be hard to manage by one person. Good luck..

Bill

#16 Petrus351

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:12 AM

Thank you very much for your replies.
Bill: Do you find much difference in performance, between the Meade 12" and the C14? I ask this, because the Meade is a little less heavy than the Celestron C14 ota, and therefore easier to handle.

#17 Bill Barlow

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

To answer your question, yes, I can see a difference in image brightness, mainly when viewing fainter/distant galaxy groups like the Hickson's or Arp's. I compared the views of Hickson 68 and 99 and Arp 308 and could see more with the C14. But on the brighter targets/Messier objects, there is less of a difference seen at the eyepiece at similar magnifications/exit pupils. Both gave great views of Jupiter the last time I has each one of them out earlier in December. So if you aren't going to try and find these distant/faint galaxy groups, then I would probably lean to the Meade 12 ACF. Or if you have dark skies already, then the Meade 12 will go deeper than the yellow zone I observe in. Good luck with your choice..

Bill

#18 Petrus351

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:33 AM

Thank you Bill.

#19 Scott Beith

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

The newest C14's and C14 Edge OTAs (as well as the 11" Edge) can be fitted with active cooling via:

http://www.deepspace...on-system-fo...

I hope this helps.






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