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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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nicknacknock
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/20/12

Loc: In a galaxy far far away...
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6207189 - 11/21/13 09:33 AM

Quote:

Quote:

A good pair of binoculars.




There's one in every crowd...




More than one. Last week I found that my el-cheapo Celestron 15x70 were just the thing to spot ISON without having to take my grab'n'go (Mak 102mm + Manfrotto 055 Xprob).

Sometimes, uber grab'n go is more comvenient than standard grab'n go...


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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6207229 - 11/21/13 10:02 AM

Agree with the others...scope/mount/eyepieces/accessories in one trip out the door! It doesn't mean that it has to cool quickly necessarily, I use a C6 SCT which takes time, but it has to be carried in and out in one trip! Makes for great utilization on worknights, partially cloudy or short sessions when setting up anything would be a hassle! Most of my scopes are g-n-g, it fits my lifestyle. Along the lines of JG Wentworth..."I want my Grab-n-Go and I want it NOW!"

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seawolfe
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: t.r.]
      #6207257 - 11/21/13 10:17 AM Attachment (36 downloads)

My "grab and Go" is my Celestron 20X80 binoculars mounted on a 1st surface mirror mount and a Celestron Astromaster Alt-Az tripod.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6207267 - 11/21/13 10:25 AM

For me, what qualifies as "Grab an Go":

- A scope that I will use when I want to take a quick look (5 minutes) at a particular object, Venus in the sunrise, .. This means out the door in one piece, mount and all, little need to cool down.

- A rig that is easily put in the car and taken somewhere for viewing and is easily setup and ready to go from the get go.

About the only scopes that qualify are small, relatively fast refractors and alt-az mounts. Other small scopes have thermal issues that mean that for a quick look at 170x, there will likely be problems. About the largest scope I consider as G n' G is the NP-101 on the Portamount. The scope is about 28 inches long with the diagonal, it fits through doorways on the tripod with the legs extended and spread. Thermally it will provide very good high power views right off the bat.

Size wise, it's got to be easily moved in one piece, fit in a vehicle without much effort. It's true that I can roll my 25 inch Dob out the garage door and it can be "ready" in less than 10 minutes but it's not a scope I setup unless I have an entire evening to devote to observing. And taking it somewhere for observing, definitely not an easy task. One does not "grab" a large scope, if you try to merely "grab it", it is unyielding and it will not move. It's a serious bit of work and when it is setup, a big scope is not really ready, the views at high magnifications will be disappointing...

10 minutes in the backyard, what rig will I choose.. Going to the top of Mt. Soledad for the sunset, what scope will I choose..

Jon

I can see a 90mm Mak or a small Newtonian as grab and go but both have thermal issues and the Mak's narrow field of view limits it's usefulness..

Jon


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6207270 - 11/21/13 10:26 AM

I think up to now we are all saying the same thing ! Light / quick / great views which is kind of what I thought but I have the feeling others think differently based on a few comments I have read lately ? Where are they with their comments / thoughts ?

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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6207375 - 11/21/13 11:28 AM Attachment (46 downloads)

The configuration of your storage location and viewing location are as enormously important to what will work for "grab n'go" as the actual particulars of the scope itself. GOOD COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE:

At home in Raleigh, I have a spacious, clean garage not used for cars that is immediately adjacent to my side-yard observing site, and I can leave my NP-101 continually set up on its mount and tripod in the garage. Takes 30 seconds to carry it out the door to site and another minute or two to level the tripod, a one-minute second trip to retrieve an eyepiece case + observing seat, and I'm good to go. Tearing back down is equally simple.

OTOH, down at our house at Sunset Beach, NC, my observing spot is a magnificently suitable rooftop deck accessible up a short, but steep flight of stairs directly off the porch outside my upstairs master bedroom, the rooftop deck observing site being only 12-15 feet on a direct line away from my bed! Alas, not that simple - for multiple practical reasons, I have to leave the NP-101 stored in its case down in the bedroom, the tripod folded up etc. It takes several trips up and down those stairs to take everything I need for a session, because it's simply not safely prudent to attempt to take more than one large or two smaller items up or down per trip, and it's unwise to leave the scope constantly set up there even during several days good weather because of the marine environment.

THE LAST TWO NIGHTS ARE A PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF THE DIFFERENCE THIS MAKES. I'm currently down at the beach for three days, and did get a nice session in Monday night, but despite having a two or three hour mostly cloudless window on Tuesday and Wednesday night before clouds moved in, I couldn't summon the mojo to go out in the chilly night and spend the 15+ minutes at both ends trudging first the scope, then the mount, then the chair, then the eyepiece cases up and down the stairs, plus actually setting up the scope. At home, it's a near-certainty I'd have gone out for a nice half-hour grab n'go session both nights. Despite the fact that my rooftop deck "observatory" is by far the superior viewing site to my side-yard/driveway at home in suburban Raleigh, and the distance I have to carry stuff is only a third as long. But what a third it is!

Edited by FirstSight (11/21/13 11:30 AM)


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WesC]
      #6207450 - 11/21/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

A good pair of binoculars.




I agree. My binoculars (up to 12x60) are the only instruments that I literally grab and go -- I'll bring them along on a whim when I'm taking a walk for an entirely different purpose, or use them to observe something for just a couple of minutes.

My 70-mm refractor on a photo tripod comes close -- but it doesn't quite qualify because I need to collect and assemble all the pieces -- locate the eyepieces, remove the scope from its case, put the finder on the scope and the scope on the tripod, extend the tripod legs. I'm sure I can do all of that in five minutes or less, but that's still way more time than it takes to grab my binoculars.

Also, unlike binoculars, the refractor can't be carried fully assembled on my bicycle, which definitely limits its convenience.


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6207684 - 11/21/13 02:32 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

For the Febuary 1998 total solar eclipse I purchased a new TV Ranger. It fit nicely on a medium weight tripod and performed very well from our observing site in Aruba. It became my GnG.

Altho the Ranger was a good performer the CA wasn't suppressed as much as I liked. So when the 66mm APOs came out a few years later I upgraded. I really liked the AT 66 but last year a friend wanted it more for astro photography so I sold it.

Last June I got an 80mm ED f/6 APO and I love it. It is just a little bit heavier than the 66 but that extra light grasp is nice. I am finishing up a mount to connect it to a surveyor's tripod so it will be truly GnG. I'll post a pic in the ATM section soon. BTW, my definition of GnG is simply everything out in one trip.

Here is a pic of my GnG solar rig. Everything outside in one hand.


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chazcheese
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/21/04

Loc: Phoenix, Az
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6207688 - 11/21/13 02:35 PM

Amen to the binoculars. This the G&G I use...oh yeah the toys were curious as to what was going on

pic2
pic3

Edited by chazcheese (11/21/13 09:48 PM)


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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6207734 - 11/21/13 03:12 PM

Quote:

my grab and go, I can pick it up and go, preferably with one hand, all in one trip.

here's my one handed rig. eyepieces in my coat, so it is a one trip grab and go.



Danny,
Tell us more please. How much does that setup weigh? What's the aperture of those scopes? Is that a TV 101? Can you align them both on the same target? What kind of mount and tripod are those.
Thanks!


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6207750 - 11/21/13 03:20 PM

Although my 127Mak-AZ4 combo is pretty grab and go, when I truly want a quick look I use my 15X70 binoculars on a monopod or photo tripod. Now my soon to arrive Oberwerk BT70mm-45 degree binoculars will shortly become my new grab and go setup.

Eric


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6207782 - 11/21/13 03:36 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

130 f5 skywatcher $60 newt and a tv genesis sdf.

never bother to weigh the rig.

I call it a "his and hers rig", I stand with the inexpensive 1/3~ newt and she sits with what used to be expensive >1/10~ frac.

I put a small adm shoe on the one of my dsv-1 and it works very well. they're very close to being aligned.

I just got to keep her from driving, if I'm standing I'm driving.


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: FirstSight]
      #6207851 - 11/21/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

The configuration of your storage location and viewing location are as enormously important to what will work for "grab n'go" as the actual particulars of the scope itself. GOOD COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE:

At home in Raleigh, I have a spacious, clean garage not used for cars that is immediately adjacent to my side-yard observing site, and I can leave my NP-101 continually set up on its mount and tripod in the garage. Takes 30 seconds to carry it out the door to site and another minute or two to level the tripod, a one-minute second trip to retrieve an eyepiece case + observing seat, and I'm good to go. Tearing back down is equally simple.

OTOH, down at our house at Sunset Beach, NC, my observing spot is a magnificently suitable rooftop deck accessible up a short, but steep flight of stairs directly off the porch outside my upstairs master bedroom, the rooftop deck observing site being only 12-15 feet on a direct line away from my bed! Alas, not that simple - for multiple practical reasons, I have to leave the NP-101 stored in its case down in the bedroom, the tripod folded up etc. It takes several trips up and down those stairs to take everything I need for a session, because it's simply not safely prudent to attempt to take more than one large or two smaller items up or down per trip, and it's unwise to leave the scope constantly set up there even during several days good weather because of the marine environment.

THE LAST TWO NIGHTS ARE A PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF THE DIFFERENCE THIS MAKES. I'm currently down at the beach for three days, and did get a nice session in Monday night, but despite having a two or three hour mostly cloudless window on Tuesday and Wednesday night before clouds moved in, I couldn't summon the mojo to go out in the chilly night and spend the 15+ minutes at both ends trudging first the scope, then the mount, then the chair, then the eyepiece cases up and down the stairs, plus actually setting up the scope. At home, it's a near-certainty I'd have gone out for a nice half-hour grab n'go session both nights. Despite the fact that my rooftop deck "observatory" is by far the superior viewing site to my side-yard/driveway at home in suburban Raleigh, and the distance I have to carry stuff is only a third as long. But what a third it is!


Maybe you should think of getting a smaller scope / mount that would be both lighter and transportable in one piece to use / leave at that particular, great location !? I am sure you have already thought of it as it makes sense !

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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #6207860 - 11/21/13 04:22 PM

Quote:

For the Febuary 1998 total solar eclipse I purchased a new TV Ranger. It fit nicely on a medium weight tripod and performed very well from our observing site in Aruba. It became my GnG.

Altho the Ranger was a good performer the CA wasn't suppressed as much as I liked. So when the 66mm APOs came out a few years later I upgraded. I really liked the AT 66 but last year a friend wanted it more for astro photography so I sold it.

Last June I got an 80mm ED f/6 APO and I love it. It is just a little bit heavier than the 66 but that extra light grasp is nice. I am finishing up a mount to connect it to a surveyor's tripod so it will be truly GnG. I'll post a pic in the ATM section soon. BTW, my definition of GnG is simply everything out in one trip.

Here is a pic of my GnG solar rig. Everything outside in one hand.


I hate Aruba !! LOL !

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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6208016 - 11/21/13 05:28 PM

I won't go back to Aruba...unless another total solar eclipse happens in my lifetime. Don't think that will happen, though.

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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #6208073 - 11/21/13 05:56 PM

Quote:

I won't go back to Aruba...unless another total solar eclipse happens in my lifetime. Don't think that will happen, though.


I was only kidding about Aruba as I have never been and don't intend to ever go ! I spend as much of my retired time at my remote cottage on the Ottawa River up here in Northern Ontario where the night skies are Bortle Class 1 on the clear nights ! Been there for 44 years, doesn't get any better than that ! 80 Deg in the summer and - 40 Deg / 4' of snow in the winter !! LOL ! Everything is Grab & Go up here !

Edited by LDW47 (11/21/13 05:59 PM)


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6208288 - 11/21/13 08:09 PM

I used a SW100ED. It's on a Polaris mount. Some cheap eyepieces in the tripod tray mean I can take it out in one piece. I can leave it on the porch next to my dog's kennel if need be. I get at least ten times more use of this setup that any of my very nice and expensive scopes.

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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6208567 - 11/21/13 11:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The configuration of your storage location and viewing location are as enormously important to what will work for "grab n'go" as the actual particulars of the scope itself. GOOD COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE:

At home in Raleigh, I have a spacious, clean garage not used for cars that is immediately adjacent to my side-yard observing site, and I can leave my NP-101 continually set up on its mount and tripod in the garage. Takes 30 seconds to carry it out the door to site and another minute or two to level the tripod, a one-minute second trip to retrieve an eyepiece case + observing seat, and I'm good to go. Tearing back down is equally simple.

OTOH, down at our house at Sunset Beach, NC, my observing spot is a magnificently suitable rooftop deck accessible up a short, but steep flight of stairs directly off the porch outside my upstairs master bedroom, the rooftop deck observing site being only 12-15 feet on a direct line away from my bed! Alas, not that simple - for multiple practical reasons, I have to leave the NP-101 stored in its case down in the bedroom, the tripod folded up etc. It takes several trips up and down those stairs to take everything I need for a session, because it's simply not safely prudent to attempt to take more than one large or two smaller items up or down per trip, and it's unwise to leave the scope constantly set up there even during several days good weather because of the marine environment.

THE LAST TWO NIGHTS ARE A PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF THE DIFFERENCE THIS MAKES. I'm currently down at the beach for three days, and did get a nice session in Monday night, but despite having a two or three hour mostly cloudless window on Tuesday and Wednesday night before clouds moved in, I couldn't summon the mojo to go out in the chilly night and spend the 15+ minutes at both ends trudging first the scope, then the mount, then the chair, then the eyepiece cases up and down the stairs, plus actually setting up the scope. At home, it's a near-certainty I'd have gone out for a nice half-hour grab n'go session both nights. Despite the fact that my rooftop deck "observatory" is by far the superior viewing site to my side-yard/driveway at home in suburban Raleigh, and the distance I have to carry stuff is only a third as long. But what a third it is!


Maybe you should think of getting a smaller scope / mount that would be both lighter and transportable in one piece to use / leave at that particular, great location !? I am sure you have already thought of it as it makes sense !




I actually already have that in a William Optics Megrez 90 doublet which is lighter (7lbs vs 11 lbs for the NP-101) and more compact, including carried in its hardshell case. The problem going up and down those stairs isn't weight, since no essential component is very heavy or cumbersomely large (e.g. only 10 lbs for the tripod!); the bulkiest, heaviest item is my Starbound observing chair. It's that for safe stability going up and down, one hand has to be free to grab onto the handrails, and the stairway is rather narrow, meant for people carrying maybe a beer. Also, there's not only insufficient space in the bedroom to leave the scope set up on its mount and tripod and carry it up in one trip as a unit (as I can at home in my garage), but trying to carry it up those stairs in one assembled piece (even with tripod legs folded in) would be dangerously risky to both body and equipment. So, it's three or four separate short, but mildly arduous trips up and the same number down for each observing session up on the rooftop deck, no matter what the equipment, unless I was limiting myself to binoculars.


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: FirstSight]
      #6208595 - 11/21/13 11:30 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The configuration of your storage location and viewing location are as enormously important to what will work for "grab n'go" as the actual particulars of the scope itself. GOOD COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE:

At home in Raleigh, I have a spacious, clean garage not used for cars that is immediately adjacent to my side-yard observing site, and I can leave my NP-101 continually set up on its mount and tripod in the garage. Takes 30 seconds to carry it out the door to site and another minute or two to level the tripod, a one-minute second trip to retrieve an eyepiece case + observing seat, and I'm good to go. Tearing back down is equally simple.

OTOH, down at our house at Sunset Beach, NC, my observing spot is a magnificently suitable rooftop deck accessible up a short, but steep flight of stairs directly off the porch outside my upstairs master bedroom, the rooftop deck observing site being only 12-15 feet on a direct line away from my bed! Alas, not that simple - for multiple practical reasons, I have to leave the NP-101 stored in its case down in the bedroom, the tripod folded up etc. It takes several trips up and down those stairs to take everything I need for a session, because it's simply not safely prudent to attempt to take more than one large or two smaller items up or down per trip, and it's unwise to leave the scope constantly set up there even during several days good weather because of the marine environment.

THE LAST TWO NIGHTS ARE A PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF THE DIFFERENCE THIS MAKES. I'm currently down at the beach for three days, and did get a nice session in Monday night, but despite having a two or three hour mostly cloudless window on Tuesday and Wednesday night before clouds moved in, I couldn't summon the mojo to go out in the chilly night and spend the 15+ minutes at both ends trudging first the scope, then the mount, then the chair, then the eyepiece cases up and down the stairs, plus actually setting up the scope. At home, it's a near-certainty I'd have gone out for a nice half-hour grab n'go session both nights. Despite the fact that my rooftop deck "observatory" is by far the superior viewing site to my side-yard/driveway at home in suburban Raleigh, and the distance I have to carry stuff is only a third as long. But what a third it is!


Maybe you should think of getting a smaller scope / mount that would be both lighter and transportable in one piece to use / leave at that particular, great location !? I am sure you have already thought of it as it makes sense !




I actually already have that in a William Optics Megrez 90 doublet which is lighter (7lbs vs 11 lbs for the NP-101) and more compact, including carried in its hardshell case. The problem going up and down those stairs isn't weight, since no essential component is very heavy or cumbersomely large (e.g. only 10 lbs for the tripod!); the bulkiest, heaviest item is my Starbound observing chair. It's that for safe stability going up and down, one hand has to be free to grab onto the handrails, and the stairway is rather narrow, meant for people carrying maybe a beer. Also, there's not only insufficient space in the bedroom to leave the scope set up on its mount and tripod and carry it up in one trip as a unit (as I can at home in my garage), but trying to carry it up those stairs in one assembled piece (even with tripod legs folded in) would be dangerously risky to both body and equipment. So, it's three or four separate short, but mildly arduous trips up and the same number down for each observing session up on the rooftop deck, no matter what the equipment, unless I was limiting myself to binoculars.


I think the answer is to get your wife to do it all while you have another beer - eh !? LOL !!

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Allan Wade
sage


Reged: 01/27/13

Loc: Newcastle, Australia
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6208621 - 11/21/13 11:51 PM

What could be considered the largest grab and go refractor. I've not owned anything as large as 5", but for many reasons that size appeals to me as a setup to complement my Dob. I see many people with 4" refractors, and I'm sure that's a very handy size. Is 5" pushing it too much for grab and go.

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