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AP 130EDFGT For Observing Only?

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#1 Peter Natscher

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:32 AM

Any experiences with using a AP 130EDFGT for observing only? The AP front desk told me a few months ago that my name is coming up on the wait list for an offer to buy one 130EDFGT during the next production run in 2013. Should I take the offer? I don't flip scopes. I would use it pretty much for grab&go observing around the house since I'm still totally enjoying transporting larger aperture scopes to dark sites at my youthful age of 62. Would it be a keeper as I get older and tire of managing larger scopes, or will I be underwhelmed by its relatively small 130mm aperture?

#2 Footbag

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

How long ago did you put your name on the list?

Sorry, I cannot help answer your question. I hope to be able to someday.

#3 elbee

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

it's a wonderful scope for observing but don't expect to see views like you are accustomed to with your 24" aperture (or even the 175mm AP). to me it seems like a no-brainer to take it. try it out for a few weeks or months and if it is not to your liking you will have no problem selling it for more than you paid for it. it will be a pleasure to handle vs. your larger gear. given your current scopes, test driving it for awhile and deciding it's not for you, i don't think you can be accused of "flipping". besides, you can alway sell it to a deserving/begging friend for what you paid for it and will likely have a friend for life.

#4 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

How long ago did you put your name on the list?

Sorry, I cannot help answer your question. I hope to be able to someday.


I don't know about Peter, but it took me almost exactly 10 years on the list to get the call from AP regarding my 130EDFGT. After all that time, I declined.

#5 Footbag

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:00 AM

I wish they still had plans to make smaller refractors. I'd love something like a traveler. I could wait 10 years for that.

#6 Paul G

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

Any experiences with using a AP 130EDFGT for observing only? The AP front desk told me a few months ago that my name is coming up on the wait list for an offer to buy one 130EDFGT during the next production run in 2013. Should I take the offer? I don't flip scopes. I would use it pretty much for grab&go observing around the house since I'm still totally enjoying transporting larger aperture scopes to dark sites at my youthful age of 62.


It's a great portable observing scope. I keep mine set up on a Unistar Light Deluxe on a Gitzo 5 series tripod. I'll be 60 next month and have a horrible back but I can easily carry the whole thing out in one trip. It makes a great telephoto lens for daytime birding or photography, too.

Would it be a keeper as I get older and tire of managing larger scopes, or will I be underwhelmed by its relatively small 130mm aperture?


Only you can answer that.

#7 JJK

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:50 AM

Peter,

If you can live with the limitations of a 130 mm aperture OTA, then the AP130GT is a very good choice. I had one (I really liked it) and sold it a few years later (for what I paid) only because I had other scopes that were more portable (AP StowAway & Traveler), much harder to find again (Zeiss 130 APQ), the next major step up in size (AP155 f/7), and I needed the funds for another astro-project. It obviously won't provide quite the same breathtaking views your AP175 f/8 (I have one) or 14" Newt-Dob afford, but it is far more portable and easier to set up.

The neat thing about the AP130GT is that it can be packed up into a relatively small footprint case. There's almost no reason to leave home without it.


Clear Skies,
John

#8 t.r.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

Peter, unless your AP175 is permanently mounted or your 24" is in an observatory, I can pretty much guarantee you will use the 130 more as your grab and go scope of convenience. I'll post about my adventures with the Gran Tursimo as my primary visual use scope when I get the time later tonight.

#9 Cliff C

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

Peter,
I have had mine for a little over 4 years now and love it! The scope is extreemly manageable. I've used it on an EZ-Touch altazimuth mount for sky sweeping and satelite tracking. It will give you a much wider field of view compared to your AP-175 or the big dob. Nice for the upcoming comets.
Cliff

#10 Peter Natscher

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

I put my name on the AP 130EDF list around 2005.

How long ago did you put your name on the list?

Sorry, I cannot help answer your question. I hope to be able to someday.



#11 Mike Clemens

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

I think that means they are moving through time faster than the rate of signups...

#12 Doug D.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:40 PM

I put my name on the AP 130EDF list around 2005.


Oooh, maybe I'm getting close - beginning of 2006 for me... The question is, however, would the 130GT supplant the Traveler as my grab and go? It would certainly be dragged out more often than my 140mm with 4" focuser for visual use!

The 130GT strikes me as a great scope for visual use, I'd be very tempted to consider it even if I had to give up the Traveler to make it happen - as long as I was sure the mount demands were no greater (and that my set-up time was not much different than it is with the 105).

#13 t.r.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

...as long as I was sure the mount demands were no greater (and that my set-up time was not much different than it is with the 105

That is the real catch to the 130! ;)

#14 Daud

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

...as long as I was sure the mount demands were no greater (and that my set-up time was not much different than it is with the 105

That is the real catch to the 130! ;)


What mounts then people are using for visual observing with the 130GT?

#15 JJK

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

I put my name on the AP 130EDF list around 2005.


Oooh, maybe I'm getting close - beginning of 2006 for me... The question is, however, would the 130GT supplant the Traveler as my grab and go? It would certainly be dragged out more often than my 140mm with 4" focuser for visual use!

The 130GT strikes me as a great scope for visual use, I'd be very tempted to consider it even if I had to give up the Traveler to make it happen - as long as I was sure the mount demands were no greater (and that my set-up time was not much different than it is with the 105).


That depends on what you mean by grab and go. I sometimes leave my WO80 f/6 or AP92 f/5 StowAway inside my house on a small Alt-Az mount for true grab & go missions. I don't feel comfortable doing that with my Traveler or larger scopes. Given that, I saw no significant difference between setting up the Traveler and 130GT when I had them both.

I think the mount requirement for the Traveler an 130GT aren't much different. An AP Mach1GTO (or the equivalent) should handle either nicely.

#16 Peter Natscher

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

C7 shows theirs on a Vixen Sphinx equatorial. Looks great and half the cost of a Mach 1. Heck, I could probably keep the 130 attached to a Sphinx and ready to carry out in one piece for fast grab&go.

#17 M13 Observer

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:33 PM

I put my name on the AP 130EDF list around 2005.


Oooh, maybe I'm getting close - beginning of 2006 for me... The question is, however, would the 130GT supplant the Traveler as my grab and go? It would certainly be dragged out more often than my 140mm with 4" focuser for visual use!

The 130GT strikes me as a great scope for visual use, I'd be very tempted to consider it even if I had to give up the Traveler to make it happen - as long as I was sure the mount demands were no greater (and that my set-up time was not much different than it is with the 105).


There is always a penalty for larger aperture and going from a Traveler to an AP130 is a definite increase in size and weight. I run my Traveler on an AP400QMD with Gitzo 5 series tripod for the ultimate in airline portability or a Miller TRI36L. The AP130 works just fine as well but it requires a second 9 pound counterweight on the 400 in addition to the 9 pound counterweight required by the Traveler. While I use the same AP Dove08 style saddle plate, the 130 has much larger, beefier rings than those on the Traveler. The more cumbersome OTA and the extra counterweight means it suddenly it goes from "grab and go" over towards "lug and lumber". I guess it now becomes a case of what you feel is right for you.

#18 Erik Bakker

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:20 PM

Hi Peter,

I had the EDFS 130. Great for observing around the house, just not quite grab and go. If you can afford to get one, just do it and see how it works for you. The mount will play an important role in how grab and go it will be. GP-DX or EM10 will do quite well for visual work, especially on a sturdy tripod. A DM6 would be a great alt-az for the 130.

#19 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:21 PM

Why not make a 130mm aperture mask for your 175 and see what you think?

#20 Erik Bakker

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:31 AM

Why not make a 130mm aperture mask for your 175 and see what you think?


:bow:

Only to find out that perhaps the best grab-n-go for around the house or anywhere else for that matter is .................... :question:
The little Q 3 1/2 :tonofbricks:

#21 JJK

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:28 AM

Why not make a 130mm aperture mask for your 175 and see what you think?


:bow:

Only to find out that perhaps the best grab-n-go for around the house or anywhere else for that matter is .................... :question:
The little Q 3 1/2 :tonofbricks:



The Questar 3.5" is a fine instrument, and the ultimate in grab and go, especially if it's used with the built in tripod legs (i.e., as a table-top instrument).

However, the AP130GT's capabilities are far greater. I found that the Q 3.5 performs as one would expect, given the aperture (William Optics 80 f/6 LOMO apo< Q 3.5" < AP 92 f/4.9 StowAway < AP 105 f/5.9 Traveler).

If Peter is man enough to use the 130GT as a g&g OTA, it'd be a great way to go slumming.

Also, if Peter ever decides to become frustrated, the 130GT doubles as a nice astrograph.

#22 CounterWeight

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:22 AM

I don't understand the long wait, these come up for sale on Astromart every so often. At least there are 4 listed in the last 90 days, one currently.

#23 gillmj24

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:31 AM

It's quite a hefty scope for grab and go. To me it feels heavier than the 20 or so pounds it tips the scales at. The views are great though, and you wont regret buying it. I've used a mach1 and DM6 with mine and they both are good combos. I have the standard AP case (the original long one I believe) a scopeguard that was meant for a larger scope but I can keep the AP in its rings and dovetail inside the case (not the "case" with the included AP case) and the scopeguard airline one just in "case" I get to travel by air with it. Not likely but it's good to have if/when I travel with it. I wouldn't consider either of my two portable mounts "grab and go" though. Each takes multiple trips to the car to pack/unpack/set up.

#24 gillmj24

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:38 AM

I don't understand the long wait, these come up for sale on Astromart every so often. At least there are 4 listed in the last 90 days, one currently.


Yes, at "flipped" prices. If one has the opportunity and finamces to get a new AP for less than the price of a used AP scope it is a no brainer. True, I joined the hobby too late for a new AP scope so I decided to pay the going used AP rate at the time rather than pay a likely higher used AP rate later.

#25 coz

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:39 AM

I had one and used it with a DM4 on a gitzo tripod for a quick setup. It was great go for it.






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