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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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coopman
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Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5534334 - 11/22/12 07:04 PM

Grab & go to me means instant and decent observing capability once the tripod legs hit the ground, and a SCT does not allow that on 99% of the nights. Grab & go & come back out in an hour to use the scope doesn't cut it with me. My available time out under the stars is too precious to spend a large chunk of it waiting on the scope. I have a C6 and it even needs about 30 minutes to stabilize (and it's starting out in my non-climate-controlled garage). My refractors, though smaller in aperture, are ready to go when the tripod legs touch down.

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mayidunk
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Reged: 02/17/10

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Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5534392 - 11/22/12 08:09 PM

If you're going after everything else but planets, then for the most part the C6 will still do the job while its equilibrating. However, it's still heavier than the 80mm doublet, still needs collimating from time to time, and still needs the addition of a dew cap if you decide to stay out longer.

My idea of "grab 'n go" is a light, "complete," and uncomplicated scope, not really needing equilibration, already mounted (Alt/Az, manual tracking, no GOTO), sitting in the corner, with the EP case and chair sitting right next to it, all ready to pick up and go at a moment's notice, all in one trip. With that, I can go out, put it all down, view almost anything that happens to be up. Then, when I'm done, I can pick it all back up, and be back in the house before dinner's on the table. (Well, that last part is really more because I'm the only one who'd be putting dinner on the table. But you catch my drift.)

That to me is "grab 'n go."

However, as always, YMMV...

Edited by mayidunk (11/22/12 10:32 PM)


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orion61

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Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: coopman]
      #5534404 - 11/22/12 08:19 PM

I have most all of the scopes listed above, I find I use my 127 mostly because of when I go out for quick views it is usually Planetary or doubles, my Deep sky stuff is planned with my 12" SCT.
I did put a lot heavier tripod on my SLT mound becaues it was nearly unuseable as it came. Unless you want to sit on the ground.
N Iowa is not fun to sit down from late November untill March.
My bounce time went from 7 sec to 2.5 to 3. HUGE improvment.
I can use the 5" on a heavy photo tripod too.
I keep it my Garage for quick cool down. It also does better than most people think on the brighter Deep Sky stuff.
I actually think the contrast is better in the Mak than my NexStar 6se, It is a beautiful scope but I'm about ready to sell it, WELL some day..


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Sorny
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Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: orion61]
      #5534530 - 11/22/12 10:04 PM

My NexStar 5SE is my grab & go scope. It sits in the garage, so it is always within a degree of ambient temperature.

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Moey
super member


Reged: 01/23/08

Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Sorny]
      #5534575 - 11/22/12 10:44 PM

Thanks for all the info guys, lots of good feedback.

I've looked through a 80mm refractor and feel that it doesn't quite suit what I'm looking for. For quick 10-20minutes views I'm happy to just use one of my binoculars.

What I'm mainly looking for is something that is easy to transport around and can give decent views of solar system objects (dso is a bonus not requirement) without requiring a lengthy cool down time. 30minutes is fine.

It seems to be a toss up between the 127Mak and Nexstar 5se/6se from what i've gathered?


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Moey]
      #5534597 - 11/22/12 10:57 PM

Quote:

Thanks for all the info guys, lots of good feedback.

I've looked through a 80mm refractor and feel that it doesn't quite suit what I'm looking for. For quick 10-20minutes views I'm happy to just use one of my binoculars.

What I'm mainly looking for is something that is easy to transport around and can give decent views of solar system objects (dso is a bonus not requirement) without requiring a lengthy cool down time. 30minutes is fine.

It seems to be a toss up between the 127Mak and Nexstar 5se/6se from what i've gathered?




I would still include the C8 in there with either a cat cooler on the standard C8 or active cooling on the C8 Edge.


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: orion61]
      #5534714 - 11/23/12 01:27 AM

orion61,

Quote:

My bounce time went from 7 sec to 2.5 to 3. HUGE improvment.




The bounce time for my 90mm Mak on my 501HDV head and 055XB tripod is ... well, there is no bounce time! It's absolutely rock solid. But then again, it is just a little 90mm Mak. Like I said, I use it mostly for Moon gazing.

Quote:

I can use the 5" on a heavy photo tripod too.I keep it my Garage for quick cool down. It also does better than most people think on the brighter Deep Sky stuff.




I'd like to put my 6" Mak on a photo tripod, but I don't think that's feasible. I really can't even mount my ST80 with Crayford upgrade on a photo tripod. I need to mount anything heavier than my 90mm Mak (and lighter than my 8" Dob) on either a GEM or a Voyager alt-az. I virtually always pick the alt-az.

Mike


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berobertsmd
super member


Reged: 09/28/09

Loc: Brandon, Mississippi
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5534805 - 11/23/12 03:05 AM

If it comes down to 5SE or 6SE, IMO, cool down times for these would be very similar, vs 6SE and 8SE. Also, of course, with the 6SE, you're getting another inch of aperture over the 5SE. The upper unit assembly on the 6SE is different than one used on 4/5SE. The 6SE uses the same one used on the 8SE, which you can see if you compare the images of the upper arm assemblies of 5SE vs 6SE on Celestron webpage. Also on Celestron, under tripods, is NexStar 6SE-8SE tripod, # 91203, for $519.95 The 4SE/5SE tripods do have built-in wedges, which are not on the 6SE/8SE tripods. As I mentioned, you'll need a power supply, 12V, or 110 adaptor. 8 AA's won't last more than a few hours, at best, but keep some AA's in the scope. Thanks for starting this topic. I've seen a lot of good ideas. Good luck finding the G&G that's best for you.

Bruce


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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: berobertsmd]
      #5535166 - 11/23/12 10:05 AM

Grab and go is a very personal term meaning different things to different people at different times. For quick looks of the night sky, I'm very contented with my 15x70 Oberwerk triplet binocs. They aren't designed for planetary, but they work great for the moon and Milky Way objects. They also work great for checking out the locations of Jupiter's moons. I can mount them on my 501 head and 475b tripod or hand hold them for short periods of time, depending on my energy level.

If I want to go deeper, then it's beyond "grab and go" and the cpc1100 is the next easiest scope to setup and use.

Patrick


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markgf
super member


Reged: 10/31/12

Loc: Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Patrick]
      #5541138 - 11/26/12 09:55 PM

I don't mean to butt in, but if Grab and Go is about weight:

6SE: 30 lb
8SE: 33 lb
6" Dob: 35 lb
5" Refractor: Same as 6se if on alt-az mount?
Nexstar 127 SLT (Mak): ~27 lb?
Nexstar 130 SLT (Newt): ~27lb?

The Celestron site doesn't give mount weight for SLTs but the tubes (18 lb) are about 3 lb lighter than 6se tube.

Cool down time, if needed, is less with the reflectors. Lightness is probably with a 4" refractor. Economy is with the Dob. Optics is with 8SE...?

I've been having trouble with this one myself. Am leaning toward making two trips outside, one with an assembled dob, the second with a chair etc.

Good luck...Mark


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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: markgf]
      #5541302 - 11/26/12 11:25 PM

Interesting choices indeed.

The published 30 lb weight for a 6SE is for a complete setup with the tripod. Someone could if they wanted to even split the SE scopes into 3 very manageable pieces of about 10 lbs apiece (ota, fork arm/base, tripod). The 8SE is the same only with a 3 lb heavier ota. The SLT scopes are similar but with a slightly lighter weight fork arm/base and tripod. Most folks will carry these scopes as one piece unless they are going up and down a bunch of stairs.

A 5" achromatic doublet refractor on an alt az mount could indeed be in the same range with a light weight mount/tripod (15lb ota and 13lb mount/tripod for something like an AT Voyager) but it won't be nearly as stable to use as one of the SE/SLT combinations and not something you'd want to carry as one piece (very unwieldy). That heavier ota really should be on a heavier mount/tripod.

The 4" refractor and lighter weight alt az mount is a very attractive and easy to manage combination but still not something you'd want to carry very far as one unit. The longer tube and weight out at the end of the refractor makes it a bit tougher to carry when on a mount than the scopes with shorter tubes (SCT/MCTs).

IMHO the really nice combination is the c6 ota and light weight alt az mount - it's just over 20lbs and very easy to move around (with great light gathering capabilities and optical quality).

It's really important to carefully consider your own specific environment and capabilities. To me "Grab n Go" is an interesting mix of weight, and complexity, and ease of use characteristics that really varies depending on someone's individual requirements.


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coutleef
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Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Québec, Canada
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5543622 - 11/28/12 10:54 AM

i have used my 8se on a ES Twiligth mount and tripod and it was reaaly stable and easy to use.

the trick is to keep the 8se OTA in a shed outside or an unheated garage so that cool down is minimal. if you have to bring outside the 8se then it is not grab and go but grab and wait. in winter my scope go from 70F down to -30F, so even doublet refractors need some cooldown time. But my 8se requires at least two hours to reach equilibrium.

but if you plan in advance a 6se or 8se are nice scopes to have.


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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

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Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5544359 - 11/28/12 06:32 PM

Quote:

IMHO the really nice combination is the c6 ota and light weight alt az mount - it's just over 20lbs and very easy to move around (with great light gathering capabilities and optical quality).




I would agree. Here's what I'm working with:



C6 over an AT Voyager mount.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: desertlens]
      #5545677 - 11/29/12 03:01 PM

NexStar 6 is by FAR the best Grab & Go scope that combines performance and weight. The views through these are amazing
they are built great and have Go-To, what else do you want,
Honorable Mention Meade LS6, superb optics and contrast!
!@& mak, 3rd place but are blown away on DSO's


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dscarpa
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Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Moey]
      #5545826 - 11/29/12 04:44 PM

Once I got the hang of it I found it very easy to carry my C-9.25 on a Unistar-Sokkia tripod for a total weight of around 50 lbs. That said I do some pretty heavy duty weight training. My understanding is that The Hulk is partial to a C-14 as a grab and go. I take my SCT out before sunset and cool down hasn't been an issue. Keep in mind I do live in the land where water remains a liquid. David

Edited by dscarpa (11/29/12 04:47 PM)


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5546376 - 11/29/12 10:30 PM

I wish the C6 would go on sale again. I don't think I could dead lift a C-9.25, much less a C-14.


Mike


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Tim J K
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Reged: 05/19/09

Loc: Iowa
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5546423 - 11/29/12 11:06 PM

HighPoint Scientific still has the C6 for $400. I bought one from them. It's a great scope. Very helpful and friendly customer service too.

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Keith
sage
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: Costa Mesa, CA USA
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Tim J K]
      #5546478 - 11/29/12 11:59 PM

when the price delta is $100 or less between the 5SE and 6SE, I see no reason why anyone who is doing JUST a little bit of research, would choose the 5SE. This is because when celestron lowered the 6 and 8 by $200 initially, and the 4 and 5 by $100 initially, it brought the 6 and 5 within $100. Other than more aperture, the mount for the 6se is the same as the 8se, and the 5se now shares the 4se mount. Unlike the old days where the 8 and 5 were on same mount, the 6 took the 5's place and the 5 got bumped down.

6SE all the way.

FYI, the 127mak and C6SCT are about the same weight, due to the longer tube and heavier corrector on the mak. Cooldown is a HUGE issue, the mak cools slower than the SCT, also due to the corrector. The comments about it (mak) not working with 2" eyepieces are only partially true, with an adapter ring, a 2" SCT diagonal threads right on and gives good views.


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Moey
super member


Reged: 01/23/08

Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Keith]
      #5546500 - 11/30/12 12:15 AM

I think the majority of votes go to the Celestron Nexstar 6se and it's what i'll be purchasing hopefully within the next couple of weeks

Thank you all for the kind help and sound advice.


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t.r.
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Ideal Grab'N'Go SCT? new [Re: Moey]
      #5546820 - 11/30/12 08:57 AM

Good choice and report back with your first light experience. Also, if you have any set-up issues this is the place to get immediate (sometimes within minutes) help.

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