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Best Light Weight Scope for Back Country

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#26 stevenf

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:49 PM

I've had a couple more outings with my scope since posting last and now feel I have my ideal lightweight back country scope dialed in. It basically consists of:

 

Orion GoScope II - $85

10 and 25mm MA (included with scope)

Upgraded Tripod (slik compact 2) - $35

Celestron Red Dot star finder - $10 on ebay. I have a few of these but the mounting is different on the ST70 - more iike a newtonian finderscope mount. 

2x Barlow - Seben, $10 ebay

GSO correct image 90 degree diagonal - $30

Dwarf Star Mount - $150

Seal Line 10litre Drybag - $30

 

All in total, $350 to get this scope to where I need it to be. You could always just use the travelscope as is. The tripod is terrible but can handle daytime and low mag nighttime viewing. I already had the Dwarf Star mount but that's the piece that makes everything work. Even with the light tripod the Dwarf Star is smooth and stays where you aim it. The Sea Line dry bag was a good addition, holds everything secure and dry. I wrap the scope in some metallic bubble wrap I have to protect it even further (and the bubble wrap makes a great bum pad on a log). 

 

A funny thing, I've noticed, is that despite all the shortcomings of the little travel scope 70, everyone who looked through it at the moon or saturn had the same reaction. WOW! Most of the people I kayak with oddly enough, have never even looked through a scope at the moon and minds get blown every time I haul this scope out. Seeing the tiny little view of saturn and the rings people want to know how to see it bigger and more! And I've been educating all my paddling partners on dobs, refractors, maks, etc etc etc. Couple are planning on buying their own scopes now. So much for the cheap little refractor turning people off astronomy. :)

 

Attached File  IMG_0792.JPG   205.57KB   6 downloads

 

 



#27 bgi

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:01 PM

Edmunds Astroscan is perfect for this kind of use.  They're not available new, but you can find them used.



#28 stevenf

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 05:07 PM

I used to have something similar to an astroscan, a celestron explorascope. Didn't like it at all. Found it nearly impossible to aim, and too bulky to take camping. 



#29 jrbarnett

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 07:51 PM

Hi
My brother has been interested in astronomy from a young age as was I. He works 6 months a year out in Kings Canyon Nation Park building rock walls and stairs on trails. They pack in everything except food which is helicopter dropped. I want to get him a good light weight scope for a moderate price. Given that he will have really good skies what aperture is good enough? He likes the messier's but light weight is more important so I still think refractor is the best choice. Is the celestron travel scope any good? I don't mind spending more then that thing costs.
Thanks
moffss

Celestron C5 OTA.

 

Astrozap flexible dew shade.

 

Universal Astronmics Dwarfstar alt-az head.

 

The biggest photo tripod that meets his portability requirements.

 

Regards,

 

Jim



#30 munchmeister

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 12:29 PM

I've had a couple more outings with my scope since posting last and now feel I have my ideal lightweight back country scope dialed in. It basically consists of:

 

Orion GoScope II - $85

10 and 25mm MA (included with scope)

Upgraded Tripod (slik compact 2) - $35

Celestron Red Dot star finder - $10 on ebay. I have a few of these but the mounting is different on the ST70 - more iike a newtonian finderscope mount. 

2x Barlow - Seben, $10 ebay

GSO correct image 90 degree diagonal - $30

Dwarf Star Mount - $150

Seal Line 10litre Drybag - $30

 

All in total, $350 to get this scope to where I need it to be. You could always just use the travelscope as is. The tripod is terrible but can handle daytime and low mag nighttime viewing. I already had the Dwarf Star mount but that's the piece that makes everything work. Even with the light tripod the Dwarf Star is smooth and stays where you aim it. The Sea Line dry bag was a good addition, holds everything secure and dry. I wrap the scope in some metallic bubble wrap I have to protect it even further (and the bubble wrap makes a great bum pad on a log). 

 

A funny thing, I've noticed, is that despite all the shortcomings of the little travel scope 70, everyone who looked through it at the moon or saturn had the same reaction. WOW! Most of the people I kayak with oddly enough, have never even looked through a scope at the moon and minds get blown every time I haul this scope out. Seeing the tiny little view of saturn and the rings people want to know how to see it bigger and more! And I've been educating all my paddling partners on dobs, refractors, maks, etc etc etc. Couple are planning on buying their own scopes now. So much for the cheap little refractor turning people off astronomy. :)

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0792.JPG

 

That's great and all but... let's see a picture of it set up! Backyard or, preferably, on a kayaking trip !! Remember, we're living vicariously here.  :flowerred:  :like:



#31 jtaylor996

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 04:43 PM

I've gone over 20k miles with this travel scope setup:

 

William Optics 66SD

WO 2" diagonal 

Baader Hyperion Zoom 8-24mm eyepiece

benro travel angel tripod (aluminum) with ball head

+ a couple random EP/barlows I'll throw in

 

It's less than a laptop bag to carry. Fits under an airline seat. 








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