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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: samovu]
      #6285876 - 01/01/14 04:01 PM

Quote:


I'm such a newbie I thought that grab and go meant "grab" your set up and "go" drive somewhere.




John:

I think that can also be part of one's own particular version of "grab and go", I certainly include it in my own, throw it in the car and head out for drive.

My big Dob lives assembled in a garage and I can have it outside and ready to go in less than 5 minutes though if I include moving the ladder it is probably more. But it is far from grab and go.

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: stargazer193857]
      #6285904 - 01/01/14 04:19 PM

Quote:

Is your backyard at least Bortle class orange? Granted I could have taken it some place darker, but that would defeat grab and go.




Actually my backyard is a red zone in the middle of the eighth largest city in the United States and a metropolitan area of over 5 million people when Mexico is included...

I do have a very good 60mm Asahi-Pentax refractor on a solid Alt-AZ mount but I have owned a number of inexpensive 60mm refractors including the Meade Telestar AZ-A which was the basis the basis of an article "First Dollars at Walmart" in Rod Mollise's Skywatch (and reprinted in Amateur Astronomy Magazine.)

It maybe that your GSI refractor was a particularly poor scope but probably part of the difference is that seeing DSOs in a 60mm refractor does have a learning curve so that experience at the eyepiece is very helpful.

Jon


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6286442 - 01/01/14 09:03 PM

There is no definition of a grab and go telescope that will satisfy a majority, much less everyone. My 12.5 inch Portaball is not a grab and go, but I use it like one. It is an extremely portable 12.5 inch telescope. It is so portable that I have never bothered to buy what most would agree is a grab and go telescope such as a two or three inch refractor, or a 6 inch SCT. Everytime I think about buying a telescope of this type, I back off because of my Portaball. I think to myself--why buy a much smaller telescope when for just a little more effort, I can use a telescope with three or four times the light gathering capacity.

However, I am still tempted to buy a grab and go.


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stargazer193857
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/01/13

Loc: Southern Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: GeneT]
      #6286477 - 01/01/14 09:18 PM

If you can get it out before the clouds roll in, without hurting yourself or the scope, go for it. I read that DSO hunting does not require as much cool down.

I like being able to go outside on impulse with my scope, set it down, be aimed in in a minute or less, view for 10 minutes, and then take it back inside because it is too cold for me. I like being able to put something in my car without hurting my back, and not have to recollimate it often.


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stargazer193857
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/01/13

Loc: Southern Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: stargazer193857]
      #6286629 - 01/01/14 10:54 PM

Grab and go makes sense for planetary on your porch, but if you are going to drive to a dark sky site, why not put out the extra effort to bring a larger scope with you? I would not take a back breaker or something that would scratch up the walls, but I think an 8" is very reasonable.

My back did have some trouble with the German equatorial mount and counter weight, but I think if I used an AZ mount, I could handle the 8 inch just fine. Maybe I jumped the gun a bit getting my 4.5", though a good reason to get it was so I could fit M31, M32, and M110 in the same field of view, which I can't do with the 8". I also do not think it is worth my effort to drag that big scope out just to look at Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, or the moon. The 4.5" should be light enough for that.

If you are big and strong, take a 16" with you. Not everyone is the same size or as free of old injuries.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: stargazer193857]
      #6287041 - 01/02/14 08:20 AM

Quote:

Grab and go makes sense for planetary on your porch, but if you are going to drive to a dark sky site, why not put out the extra effort to bring a larger scope with you?






I think that is what most of us do. But such a scope, at least in my book, does not qualify as Grab and Go... It takes some time to load in the car, it takes sometime to set it up and it takes some time for it to cool down.

Some might consider that a 8 or 10 inch Dob qualifies but when all is said and done, getting it loaded in the car is an effort...

Jon


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ensign
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6287460 - 01/02/14 12:15 PM

For me, grab and go means any significant reduction in "fiddle factor." This is particularly important for cold weather observing. The less time fiddling with the gear to get observing the better. It also applies to tear down when you're cold and tired and just want to get home and hit the sack.

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stargazer193857
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/01/13

Loc: Southern Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: ensign]
      #6287547 - 01/02/14 12:50 PM

I don't like fiddle factor either. The SCT I borrowed has little fiddle factor setting up, but the mount is awkward to carry. And the optical sight just is not sufficient for aiming. A Telrad or red dot factor or two post sight would be much better. Optical sights are needed at high power, but don't help me much at lower power to just get in the right area.

The equatorial mount clips are a bit of a pain in the dark too, every time I want to re-aim the scope. I think the mount is only good if you plan to stay on the same object a long time for photography. An AZ mount is superior for just looking around the sky.

It takes me less than 3 minutes to load the 8" into the car, and less than 2 minutes to set it up. By that definition, it is grab and go. I don't consider it as so, though, because the lowest power is 50x, the aiming is hard, and the mount hurt my back once.

I've never moved a 8" dob, but I suspect it could be grab and go.


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stargazer193857
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/01/13

Loc: Southern Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: stargazer193857]
      #6287550 - 01/02/14 12:53 PM

I think there are two kinds of grab and go:

1. Takes little enough effort to set up that you don't mind stepping outside your house with it for a quick peek.

2. Takes little enough effort to set up that you can easily and quickly load it in your car to take with you to a 15 minute away darker site.

Maximum happiness is reached with the effort and time to drive under risk of clouds rolling in is equal to the effort it takes to load up.


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brianb11213
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: stargazer193857]
      #6287726 - 01/02/14 02:13 PM

Quote:

2. Takes little enough effort to set up that you can easily and quickly load it in your car to take with you to a 15 minute away darker site.



That is pointless (as well as being environmentally bad). By the time you've driven 15 miles to a "better" site the clouds will have rolled in there. Most of us would need to drive over 500 miles to find a site with reliably clear skies ... that's an expedition, not an evening.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6287831 - 01/02/14 03:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

2. Takes little enough effort to set up that you can easily and quickly load it in your car to take with you to a 15 minute away darker site.




That is pointless (as well as being environmentally bad). By the time you've driven 15 miles to a "better" site the clouds will have rolled in there.




Speak for yourself. It is impossible to observe near my city home, so I have to travel somewhere. If I'm going to travel anyway, 15 minutes is an acceptable time. That gets me about 5 miles, by the way, not 15 miles. Such is city life.

However, that 5-mile trip gets me to a location with reasonably few ambient lights and skies less than half as bright as the closest city park -- which is already at least a 7-minute trip, though it's well under a mile away.

All things being equal, I always prefer bicycling to driving, but it's impractical to transport my 7-inch Dob by bicycle. So for me, one important category is a "grab and bicycle" scope. It's a snap with my 70-mm refractor and a bit of a stretch with my 100-mm f/6 refractor.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6287911 - 01/02/14 03:35 PM

Quote:

That is pointless (as well as being environmentally bad). By the time you've driven 15 miles to a "better" site the clouds will have rolled in there. Most of us would need to drive over 500 miles to find a site with reliably clear skies ... that's an expedition, not an evening.




I think we all face different challenges, different situations. a 15 minute drive gets me about 15 miles from my house but the conditions are only slightly better. An hours drive takes me up into the mountains where the skies are dark enough that Andromeda is easy naked eye and naked eye glimpses of M-33 are possible.

But my backyard is pretty good, it's a red zone in a temperate climate with typically stable seeing... The Veil can be seen with on O-III filter, doubles and the planets are most often suitable targets.

YMMV...

Jon


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Niels2011
super member


Reged: 06/09/11

Loc: UK
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6288263 - 01/02/14 06:55 PM

Quote:


Even from an urban, light polluted backyard like mine, there a variety of double stars, open clusters, globular clusters as well as number of nebulae and some galaxies that can be seen with a 60mm scope.

Jon



Yes, my grab n go is a 60mm ED spotting scope, and it's very enjoyable from an orange zone. A choice of 17.5mm/24x ep or slightly narrow 21-7mm/20-60x zoom, great rich field views with 3* fov and up to 60x gives some versatility though the aperture does set limits. Brighter messier galaxies are possible, clusters, all the way to low power planetary.
Regards
Niels


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