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Taking your telescope to a dark site without a car

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:16 AM

Taking your telescope to a dark site without a car

By Heinz Radeke

UPDATED 9 Nov 2013

#2 highfnum

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:42 PM

a different take on a problem

#3 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 03:15 PM

Heinz is a braver man than I.

Good luck to him.

#4 Bill Steen

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:48 PM

Even with a car, there may be a bit of a hike to the best spot. Also, I travel by car as part of my work. I like to take a scope along because some of the places I go are relatively dark sites. Taking a scope inside a bag like those shown is good protection at a relatively cheap price for an expensive scope. Thanks for the referral. I had never heard of those. Bill Steen

#5 R.bak

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:54 PM

In the post, the image is not displayed

#6 Gastrol

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:32 AM

I hope some camping gear are part of your luggage in case you miss the last bus to the train station. :)

#7 Ed D

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 11:15 AM

What an ingenious solution to a problem that may be more common than we realize. Thank you, Heinz.

Ed D

#8 TONGKW

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 09:52 PM

I often need to travel to a dark site by public transport and then walk some distance. The C8 is a bit too heavy.
The C6 with a modified Porta AltAz mount on a large photo tripod is ideal.

K W TONG
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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#9 TONGKW

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 09:54 PM

I put my C6, the modified Porta AltAz mount and accessories in a back pack and hand carry the tripod whilst travelling on trains and buses.

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#10 Perigny270

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:12 AM

Thanks for a very useful article.

#11 jrbarnett

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:17 PM

Interesting article. I've been mulling something similar for quite some time. Basically a set-up that can be rolled in to a backpacking only campsite (or, closer to home, local open space preserves after closing time, on the sly) from a public vehicle parking lot. I want at least 6-8" of aperture, which surely means a C6 or C8. I want GOTO, so the Nexstar SE mount seems like a natural choice as well. Battery means a 7AH+ battery, with a solar panel for recharging as a small (7AH) battery will deplete in an single session.

Rolling over rough terrain requires large diameter wheels, so standard luggage type roller-blade wheels are not adequate. I'm looking at this:

http://www.portabrac...850-trunk-style,-off-road-wheels

I would likely fashion an "ox harness" out of aluminum so that I could pull the rolling trunk like a wagon; perhaps harnessing it around my waist. My camping gear would go in a medium backpack and a single small duffel that would be strapped to the rolling trunk. :thinking:

Regards,

Jim

#12 Charlie Hein

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 05:07 PM

In the post, the image is not displayed


Strange problem, all fixed now.

Charlie

#13 Snickersnee

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:58 PM

Good article about a common challenge. Currently I use a wheelie bag for a CGEM, along with duffel bags. Blocks of closed cell foam help protect the head.

I also have a wheelie bag that has integral backpack straps (a Jetpilot brand).

In China in 2009, I carried all stuff for a multiweek trip and eclipse photography in the Jetpilot and an Advent backpack. After the eclipse, 15 lbs of scope and photo gear was left in a hotel lock room in an extra duffel and then shuttled to me at the end of my trip. This lightened the load for the non-eclipse part of the trip.

Also good are small carts, such as the inexpensive Magna brand that can be purchased at Costco for about 25 dollars. Use these with shock cords and straps to schlep stuff to observing sites. I have a heavier Wesco that can hold everything needed for an observing session away from a vehicle.

#14 Snickersnee

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 02:04 PM

Jim, the case is just like those available from Pelican. Great but heavy and costly.

#15 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:05 AM

The Porta Brace cases are a bit lighter weight than the same sized Pelican, but still made in the USA and weather tight. They go on sale approximately twice a year, too. I'm slowly moving all of my eyepieces from cheapie cases to Porta Braces, though I've learned that it's essential to use dessicant inside these cases because any moisture inside when you close the lid stays there unless absorbed.

What about those folding bicycle come-along platforms/carts? It would be nice to have something with large diameter (16" to 20") easily serviceable tires with proper hubs and such.

http://www.mhcanada....o-trailer-1.jpg

With the right kind of hardware, you could bike to the site entrance, lock up, convert the trailer from bike pull to people pull and trundle off to your dark sky Mecca. :thinking:

Hmm, you've got me thinking.

Regards,

Jim

#16 mountain monk

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:43 PM

You might check Cabelas under Game Carts/Totes, etc. Some of them are used to pack out elk--they are big and sturdy. I use a gardener's wheelbarrow to haul my 4"refractor, Planet, DMV-6, and sundry items several hundred yards out Into the sagebrush.

There are fols here who haul out elk with one of those rigs and a mountain bike...

Dark skies.

Jack

#17 Charlie Hein

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:34 AM

This article has been updated by the author.






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