Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
DavidCarmichael
super member
*****

Reged: 12/15/10

Orion tabletop telescopes?
      #4314715 - 01/14/11 05:52 PM

I'm thinking of buying a small telescope that I can bring with me on plane trips as carry-on luggage.
I would be using it for Lunar and planetary observing only.
I'm wondering if the Orion tabletop telescopes might be a good cheap choice?

Out of these 3 which might be the best choice?

Orion StarMax 90mm TableTop Mak-Cass Telescope $199.95 (wonder why this one is twice the cost)
Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector $99.95
Orion GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope $99.95


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: DavidCarmichael]
      #4314765 - 01/14/11 06:08 PM

I carry a little Orion SkyScanner 100 mm in the trunk of my car when my wife and I travel (almost every weekend in the summer) it is much better then the little 60 or 70 mm Meade Refractor on a table top alt/azm mount ...for one major reason..
like the scope is 100 times easier to use


Sitting poolside in the evening with a bloody Mary at my side with the refractor I was bent over with my ear on the table to view the moon with the little dob like mount my eye can get to the eyepiece much easier PLUS I do not feel like someone may think I passed out....

It was a major decision between it and the Star Blast 4.5 since it was used primarly for open clusters and the moon size won out...

Bob G


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ArieSirius123
super member


Reged: 12/10/10

Loc: wesley chapel, FL
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: Bob Griffiths]
      #4314811 - 01/14/11 06:36 PM

the 80mm orion tabletop is actually quite solid.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: ArieSirius123]
      #4315096 - 01/14/11 09:36 PM

For lunar and planetary the 90mm Mak is a wonderful little scope. It's a lot of scope in a small package. The higher cost is largely due to the meniscus lens. This is also the cutest scope I own.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: DavidCarmichael]
      #4315571 - 01/15/11 06:26 AM

Quote:

I'm thinking of buying a small telescope that I can bring with me on plane trips as carry-on luggage.
I would be using it for Lunar and planetary observing only.
I'm wondering if the Orion tabletop telescopes might be a good cheap choice?

Out of these 3 which might be the best choice?

Orion StarMax 90mm TableTop Mak-Cass Telescope $199.95 (wonder why this one is twice the cost)
Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector $99.95
Orion GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope $99.95




Joshua Roth and I just reviewed the SkyScanner and GoScope in the March 2011 issue of Sky & Telescope, which is now available in digital form. It should be on the newsstands in a couple of weeks.

We would have loved to review the Mak-Cas too, but didn't have space. It costs twice as much because its optical tube (the basic telescope) costs much more to manufacture. Without a doubt, it offers far better high-power performance than the other scopes. The flip side (aside from cost) is that it can't achieve nearly as wide a field of view at low magnification.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pedalmasher
sage
*****

Reged: 12/16/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: jgraham]
      #4315625 - 01/15/11 07:50 AM

John, that 90mm Orion Mak is one cute little scope - I'm going to consider one as a travel scope.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DavidCarmichael
super member
*****

Reged: 12/15/10

Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #4315626 - 01/15/11 07:52 AM

Hmm, 3 opinions, 1 for each scope. This isn't making my decision any easier. Anybody else want to chime in?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
weezy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/13/04

Loc: East of the sun-west of the mo...
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: DavidCarmichael]
      #4315657 - 01/15/11 08:29 AM

Some makers have backpack telescopes. Meade had a small one advertised for a while.
I used a 50mm MiniBorg which fit in the hard bags of our bike.That can be used on a photo tripod.
Since we now go by car, the 120ST gets packed.
Weezy


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: weezy]
      #4315994 - 01/15/11 11:53 AM

Quote:

Some makers have backpack telescopes ... I used a 50mm MiniBorg which fit in the hard bags of our bike.




The SkyScanner and GoScope are both better than any of the backpack telescopes that I've seen. As for the MiniBorg, it's extremely cute, but 50 mm is way smaller than 80 mm or 100 mm. Plus, the tabletop scopes come complete with an excellent mount -- which, by the way, can thread onto any reasonably robust photo tripod.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
caheaton
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #4316025 - 01/15/11 12:08 PM

Celestron also has their line of Travel Scopes, refractors in 50 & 70mm. They come with a pair of Kellner ep, a light weight photo tripod and a back pack. The 70mm can be had for under $60 and is light enough (and small enough) for the whole thing to fit in a carry on bag. Plus, it's cheap enough that if it gets damaged or lost you won't feel quite so bad!

I haven't looked through one yet, but we did buy one for my cousin and her family this past Christmas. Build quality looks good and it received a favorable review here on CN. Just one more entry to confuse you!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pedalmasher
sage
*****

Reged: 12/16/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: caheaton]
      #4316189 - 01/15/11 01:34 PM

My main concern about getting something like the Mak 90 from Orion is that I wonder how frustrating an experience it will be attempting to track objects with the scope mounted on a photographic tripod?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: pedalmasher]
      #4316325 - 01/15/11 02:41 PM

I have both the ETX-60 and ETX-80 versions of Meade's backpack scopes and they're really nice (I even do a lot of imaging with them). The backpacks are well made and they are even very comfortable to wear. However, for sheer simplicity the Orion tabletop scopes are hard to beat. Using them on a wibbly camera tripod could be challenging as would any telescope with moderate magnification. If'n it were me and I really wanted to squeeze a scope into carry-on I'd get the 90mm Mak and make a little Dob mount that would come apart and lay flat in my carry-on case. Hmmmm, sounds like a fun project.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pedalmasher
sage
*****

Reged: 12/16/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: jgraham]
      #4316389 - 01/15/11 03:11 PM

I was just looking at the SkyQuest XT4.5 which at 17 pounds with a carrying handle is seemingly a very portable possibility with no need for a tripod. Although it's low to the ground, my Starbound chair seems to be reasonably comfortable at the bottom settings. Of course the XT4.5 makes a great grab and go locally used scope, but I'm not sure how convenient it would be to travel with. In the back of my mind, I would love to own a DOB however.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
spaceboy62
sage
*****

Reged: 06/22/10

Loc: far west Texas
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: pedalmasher]
      #4316461 - 01/15/11 03:49 PM

I'd narrow it down between the Orion SkyScanner 3.9" (6.2 lbs) and the StarBlast 4.5" (13 lbs). Both have parabolic mirrors & both are small sized. Both have great reviews too.

I've never tried the SkyScanner before but I have tried the StarBlast 4.5. It's very simple to use, so I'm sure the SkyScanner is too.

Ultimately, if I had to choose a tabletop 'scope, I'd get the StarBlast 6i since I like the IntelleScope so much. But for portability on an airplane & price, I'd lean toward the SkyScanner. Hard to go wrong at only $99!

Whatever you get, I'd also suggest adding a 6mm Orion Expanse eyepiece (or the Agena 6mm clone) for higher mag & wide-field, and a 2x barlow. That'll give you a great view of Saturn.

Edited by spaceboy62 (01/15/11 05:58 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Joe Lalumia
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/24/07

Loc: Quinlan, Texas, USA
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: spaceboy62]
      #4316477 - 01/15/11 03:54 PM

I REALLY like the Heritage 130p -- here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEs_MMcJ7JA


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DavidCarmichael
super member
*****

Reged: 12/15/10

Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: Joe Lalumia]
      #4317215 - 01/15/11 10:18 PM

Hey Joe, I really like the idea of the Heritage 130P which I guess is now being sold in the US by opticplanets as a Bushnell model but I think I'm leaning towards the Skyscanner.
Spaceboy62, I just got a 6mm Agena EWA eyepiece yesterday. Haven't had chance to try it yet - snowing here.
And for those who suggested 4.5" DOB's, I'd like to try one but I don't think they would be good for plane travel.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: pedalmasher]
      #4317546 - 01/16/11 05:48 AM

Quote:

My main concern about getting something like the Mak 90 from Orion is that I wonder how frustrating an experience it will be attempting to track objects with the scope mounted on a photographic tripod?




Not really a problem. You're unlikely to use more than 120X or so with a 90-mm Mak, and it's pretty easy to hand-track at that power.

For what it's worth, the Orion tabletop mount is much smoother and easier to work than any photo-tripod head in the same price and weight range. That's because it keeps the scope in balance, whereas photo-tripod heads are inherently top-heavy.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: spaceboy62]
      #4317548 - 01/16/11 05:56 AM

Quote:

I'd narrow it down between the Orion SkyScanner 3.9" (6.2 lbs) and the StarBlast 4.5" (13 lbs). Both have parabolic mirrors & both are small sized. Both have great reviews too.




See my blog SkyScanner 100 vs. 4.5-inch StarBlast. One thing I didn't mention but maybe should: the SkyScanner threads onto a standard photo tripod, while the StarBlast doesn't. Even if it had the proper thread, it would be far too heavy and big for a standard tripod.

Quote:

But for portability on an airplane & price, I'd lean toward the SkyScanner.




For airplane portability, I'd probably prefer the 80-mm GoScope. The SkyScanner's optical tube is small, but the GoScope is tiny!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pedalmasher
sage
*****

Reged: 12/16/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #4317606 - 01/16/11 07:45 AM

Thanks Tony. I certainly would have considered the TT mount, but then one needs a table and I wanted to really be grab and go portable.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pedalmasher
sage
*****

Reged: 12/16/10

Loc: Florida
Re: Orion tabletop telescopes? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #4317609 - 01/16/11 07:50 AM

Tony, interesting blog! I guess subscribing to S&T doesn't automatically subscribe one to the digital edition, does it? I didn't seem to have access and I am a subscriber to the print version.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
6 registered and 30 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  WOBentley, kkokkolis, Chuck Hards 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 8619

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics