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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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cukleti
super member
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Need advise please new
      #5871071 - 05/19/13 10:25 AM

I have maybe gone through 8 scopes in the last 10 years. I have never been interested in astro photography. Visuall observer here. Whether it was a 90mm mak, cpc, 9.25, lx90, or the ls8 which is what I currently have, have been wonderful instruments for my hobby.

Here is my dilemma; I have never taken any of these scopes to a dark site. Well in a month it's finally going to happen. So I purchased a jmi case, got a tripod bag. Have everything I need. Problem is that I don't have room in my car. With 2 kids, wife, luggage, etc, the jmi case takes ALOT of room. Oh and I have a double stroller.

I want to bring the biggest aperture I can, with ease of use, and portable.

I looked into options of an OTA and separate cgem mount for I.e., but I'm a little scared on the prep time with that vs the ls8.

Do any of you have a simple solution?


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5871277 - 05/19/13 12:29 PM

Cukleti -

The big GEM vs. Fork debate!

One of the claims is the fork is better than a GEM for visual work. I finally have been able to test that out - I have both. Fork beats GEM hands down in my book for the visual stuff.

The LS8 is a good kit - I would stick with that for now. Then again, it is always fun to buy new gear, lol. LX90 is wonderful too for your needs.

I take it you are going camping? Or just a cottage in a remote area? For short or long trips when I am taking lots of things (kids, strollers, telescope, camping stuff, etc) I have either added a car top carrier (Thule) and/or for bigger trips we used a small cargo trailer. I first just rented a little 5x8 Uhaul. Eventually we traveled around so much I just bought a WorkSport at Home Depot. Holds ALL the gear, suitcases, camping stuff, or whatever you want to take.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5871284 - 05/19/13 12:32 PM

Do you have a car,mini van or suv? I would rent a small trailer if I could not get my scope in a vehicle, if going to a dark sky site for the first time.

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Don Taylor
sage


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: South TEXAS
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5871285 - 05/19/13 12:32 PM

Or you might consider renting a larger vehicle - minivan or full size van

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cukleti
super member
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Re: Need advise please new [Re: Don Taylor]
      #5871697 - 05/19/13 03:08 PM

Maybe you guys are right. I thought with a cgem and maybe a new 9.25 I can break everything down to 3 pieces.

But again..I never seen what an 8" looks like in a dark site


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5871806 - 05/19/13 03:51 PM

Wow, 10 years and you have never been to a dark sky site?
You are in for a treat.
You will find that what ever scope you take to a dark sky will perform like a scope of twice the aperture at home.
Like someone else suggested, you should rent a mini van.
Also make sure you have enough red lights for everyone in the family.
Enjoy.

Steve
P.S. Please report back after your trip and let us know your thoughts on your experience.


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Mark9473
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/21/05

Loc: 51N 4E
Re: Need advise please new [Re: stevew]
      #5871977 - 05/19/13 05:04 PM

A really dark sky? Take a pair of binoculars. You will be in awe. Just make sure you go when the Moon isn't out.

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Stelios
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: West Hills, CA
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5872028 - 05/19/13 05:28 PM

When we travel to a dark site:

Telescope (C 9.25) in a Footlocker trunk.
Tripod in a soft case from Orion.
Mount (CG-5) in Pelican hard case.
Eyepieces, filters, diagonals, red flashlight(s) in a Lowe's case.
Counterweights in a small Pelican hard case.
Celestron Power tank.
Observing chair (Televue air-chair).
Folding table for setup.
Folding chairs.
Extra warm clothes.
Bug spray.


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cukleti
super member
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Re: Need advise please new [Re: Stelios]
      #5872646 - 05/19/13 10:00 PM

I would love a 925 Edge HD

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tclehman1969
sage
*****

Reged: 05/18/10

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5872750 - 05/19/13 10:50 PM

Quote:

I have maybe gone through 8 scopes in the last 10 years. I have never been interested in astro photography. Visuall observer here. Whether it was a 90mm mak, cpc, 9.25, lx90, or the ls8 which is what I currently have, have been wonderful instruments for my hobby.

Here is my dilemma; I have never taken any of these scopes to a dark site. Well in a month it's finally going to happen. So I purchased a jmi case, got a tripod bag. Have everything I need. Problem is that I don't have room in my car. With 2 kids, wife, luggage, etc, the jmi case takes ALOT of room. Oh and I have a double stroller.

I want to bring the biggest aperture I can, with ease of use, and portable.

I looked into options of an OTA and separate cgem mount for I.e., but I'm a little scared on the prep time with that vs the ls8.

Do any of you have a simple solution?




First off, you'll love a dark sky! It just can't be beat. I often don't have time to get to a dark site, but when I do, all I can say is WOW!

I used to have a Super C8 Plus in a forked configuration. Between it, the drive base, wedge and tripod, eyepiece case it was pretty bulky. I recently deforked the old scope and replaced the tripod with an Atlas EQ-G, I feel like I am saving room. A bit, anyway, but I could compact it even more. A C8 when deforked is really a pretty small scope. As such, the footlocker it and the forks and drive would go in can be reduced pretty dramatically, maybe by half. I haven't yet replaced the footlocker.

As for scope size, this was a question that posed the greatest consternation when looking at portability. After much thought, I settled on the 8" size sct. Good aperture, good focal length and really the best all-around aperture in my opinion. If you look at the size of the various scopes side by each, it's really dramatic. There is a great pic in Post A Picture Of Your Cat discussion and one of the pics is of, if memory serves, a C5, C8 and a C11. Huge difference in size between them.

You may want to do a little math, too. Take a look at limiting magnitude and abilty to split stars. Is there a difference? Sure, but is the difference significant enough to warrant the extra size of a 9.25 or 11?

Being new to the GEM world, I have to say setup time is not dramatically different than previous with the fork mount.

Anyway, my two cents worth.


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cukleti
super member
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Re: Need advise please new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #5872895 - 05/20/13 12:29 AM



Here is my dilemma; I have never taken any of these scopes to a dark site. Well in a month it's finally going to happen. So I purchased a jmi case, got a tripod bag. Have everything I need. Problem is that I don't have room in my car. With 2 kids, wife, luggage, etc, the jmi case takes ALOT of room. Oh and I have a double stroller.

I want to bring the biggest aperture I can, with ease of use, and portable.

I looked into options of an OTA and separate cgem mount for I.e., but I'm a little scared on the prep time with that vs the ls8.

Do any of you have a simple solution?




First off, you'll love a dark sky! It just can't be beat. I often don't have time to get to a dark site, but when I do, all I can say is WOW!

I used to have a Super C8 Plus in a forked configuration. Between it, the drive base, wedge and tripod, eyepiece case it was pretty bulky. I recently deforked the old scope and replaced the tripod with an Atlas EQ-G, I feel like I am saving room. A bit, anyway, but I could compact it even more. A C8 when deforked is really a pretty small scope. As such, the footlocker it and the forks and drive would go in can be reduced pretty dramatically, maybe by half. I haven't yet replaced the footlocker.

As for scope size, this was a question that posed the greatest consternation when looking at portability. After much thought, I settled on the 8" size sct. Good aperture, good focal length and really the best all-around aperture in my opinion. If you look at the size of the various scopes side by each, it's really dramatic. There is a great pic in Post A Picture Of Your Cat discussion and one of the pics is of, if memory serves, a C5, C8 and a C11. Huge difference in size between them.

You may want to do a little math, too. Take a look at limiting magnitude and abilty to split stars. Is there a difference? Sure, but is the difference significant enough to warrant the extra size of a 9.25 or 11?

Being new to the GEM world, I have to say setup time is not dramatically different than previous with the fork mount.

Anyway, my two cents worth.




You maybe be right. I really got to see my 8" at a dark site.
But an EQ mount is something I was looking into. Now with the star sense auto align accessory, I can manage having an EQ mount. If so, I would go with the cgem or the new vs mount. Of course with a 9.25


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Benson
super member


Reged: 05/22/10

Loc: -6 gmt
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5873071 - 05/20/13 04:07 AM

An 8" SCT is hard to beat for portability and easy setup for great dark sky views.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5873086 - 05/20/13 04:30 AM

Quote:


Do any of you have a simple solution?




Stick with what you have. The difference between your 8 inch and anything you possibly could fit or afford is tiny in comparison to the difference between a light polluted backyard and a site where the skies are dark and clear.

Jon


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bunyon
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: Need advise please new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5873353 - 05/20/13 09:53 AM

I agree with Jon.

Also, cases and bags, etc. take up space of their own. I'm not sure how long a drive you have, but I've travelled all over the US with the C8 simply secured by seatbelt with a blanket over it (no kids, obviously, which might vary your mileage considerably). But if the kids are in car seats, they shouldn't be banging on the scope. I used a C8 as primary scope for 25 years. It's plenty in a dark sky.

The suggestion to rent a larger vehicle isn't a bad one, either, if yours is small.


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cukleti
super member
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Re: Need advise please new [Re: bunyon]
      #5873767 - 05/20/13 01:26 PM

You guys are right. Thank you so much. I need to really drive a little here and there to fully appreciate my scope. . Personally my favorite was the cpc 925 I had. But just to heavy bringing it up and down the stairs. I found the lx90 8 act a wonderful scope as well. But when I found out the ls8 was 39 lb with the tripod, I was super excited. It's not perfect, but what scope is. If only focusing didn't cause so much vibrations (can be fixed with electronic focuser) or the fact it cannot be used manually..but other than that its great.

I'm super excited to view it at a dark site. Planets I've seen, but bright clusters, very faint in my backyard. Mind you I live away from the main city lights. The suburbs are obviously better, but my dream would be in the middle of desert or on top of a mountain.

On another note..just wanted to mention that the ethos 21mm is out of this world. I also had the ES 20mm, and I could see a difference


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Need advise please new [Re: cukleti]
      #5873796 - 05/20/13 01:47 PM

Quote:

I have maybe gone through 8 scopes in the last 10 years. I have never been interested in astro photography. Visuall observer here. Whether it was a 90mm mak, cpc, 9.25, lx90, or the ls8 which is what I currently have, have been wonderful instruments for my hobby.

Here is my dilemma; I have never taken any of these scopes to a dark site. Well in a month it's finally going to happen. So I purchased a jmi case, got a tripod bag. Have everything I need. Problem is that I don't have room in my car. With 2 kids, wife, luggage, etc, the jmi case takes ALOT of room. Oh and I have a double stroller.

I want to bring the biggest aperture I can, with ease of use, and portable.

I looked into options of an OTA and separate cgem mount for I.e., but I'm a little scared on the prep time with that vs the ls8.

Do any of you have a simple solution?




Yep:

Car top carrier for some of your stuff.

Leave the JMI case at home and carry the scope in a padded bag.

Small trailer (rental).

"Honey, this year we are taking separate vactions."

Jine up with the local club and do your observing at their local dark site



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Gary Z
member
*****

Reged: 01/26/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Need advise please [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5874180 - 05/20/13 04:28 PM

You are in for a treat. I would recommend the easiest scope to setup out of all that you listed. I would imagine the LS8 or 9.25" scope. However, as someone suggested, you may just have room and keep the piece with the whole family by bringing a good set of binoculars and a planisphere. Whatever you decide, clear skies and lots of fun to you!

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cukleti
super member
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Re: Need advise please new [Re: Gary Z]
      #5877044 - 05/21/13 10:12 PM

Thank you so much..hope it doesn't rain

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