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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6209603 - 11/22/13 02:34 PM

Is that little 80 any good optically? I have an ETX-80 which is never used, because of the poor optics. GW

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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WAVT]
      #6209661 - 11/22/13 03:01 PM

Quote:

I'm pretty fond of the Orion ST80 for it's versatility, ease of set up, and portability. To me, G&G is more like a traveling scope. Not one I would take exclusivly to a dark site, but one I would take if I were going somewhere that had some probability of fun stuff to look at from a distance. That might mean having to carry it on a hike, having it in the trunk when visiting friends, and being available to figure what that bird is across the pond. Most of all it has to be fun!



I agree! That looks like a perfect Grab & Go. Thanks for posting the pics of the case too.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6209677 - 11/22/13 03:08 PM

Quote:

Is that little 80 any good optically? I have an ETX-80 which is never used, because of the poor optics. GW




I have had a few ST-80s. I also had a ETX-70. The ETX-70 did not have good optics, I am not sure I was ever able to split Castor. At 4 arc-seconds, it should have been relatively easy.

ST-80s are much better than that. My current ST-80 splits the double-double though with more difficulty than my 80mm apo.

Jon


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chazcheese
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/21/04

Loc: Phoenix, Az
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6210224 - 11/22/13 08:47 PM

I love the wide field views from my ST-80 and it can go fairly high power up to 125x, I think there are many more good ST-80's out there than bad. For higher powers I use my 102mm Mak which is not any longer or much heavier, trade off for a lot narrower field of view.

Edited by chazcheese (11/22/13 08:49 PM)


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Allan Wade
sage


Reged: 01/27/13

Loc: Newcastle, Australia
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6210629 - 11/23/13 02:24 AM

How would a NP127is fair as a grab and go? It's f/5.2 and weighs 18lbs, which is 30 lbs less than my Dob OTA that I carry outside to start viewing. Mounted on an alt/az I wouldn't have thought it would be too big or heavy to carry in one go. But again having never owned a 5" refractor before I'm not really sure. I only have the size and weight of my Dob setup to compare it to.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Allan Wade]
      #6210728 - 11/23/13 05:10 AM

Quote:

How would a NP127is fair as a grab and go? It's f/5.2 and weighs 18lbs, which is 30 lbs less than my Dob OTA that I carry outside to start viewing. Mounted on an alt/az I wouldn't have thought it would be too big or heavy to carry in one go. But again having never owned a 5" refractor before I'm not really sure. I only have the size and weight of my Dob setup to compare it to.




The NP-127 lists at 14lbs and 33 inches long. That's only part of the story, the mount is the other half. A longer the OTA requires a taller tripod so that the eyepiece position at the zenith is comfortable. If the tripod legs are extended further, it means they are more widely spread. This makes for a more awkward and bulky setup, for me, it would not fit it through the doorway nor under the low branches on my way outside observing.

I could remove the OTA from the mount, collapse the legs of the tripod to make navigation easier but this makes setup a real project and the rig not longer fits my working definition of "Grab and Go."

Jon


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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: Allan Wade]
      #6210732 - 11/23/13 05:18 AM

Quote:

How would a NP127is fair as a grab and go? It's f/5.2 and weighs 18lbs, which is 30 lbs less than my Dob OTA that I carry outside to start viewing.




The rule of thumb is that an adequately stable mount weighs twice as much as the OTA. Dobs bend that toward the light side because they dispense with the tripod. For refractors, the rule needs to be bent toward the heavy side because they require the tallest tripods of any design.


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Allan Wade
sage


Reged: 01/27/13

Loc: Newcastle, Australia
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6210777 - 11/23/13 06:30 AM

Jon, can't you just keep the tripod legs retracted until you get outside and then extend them?

Tony, I like that rule of thumb. So 14lbs for the NP 127 plus 28lbs for a mount is 42lbs, that's less than the OTA of my Dob that I carry outside now with no problem.

I still wonder if a 5" refractor like this could be considered a grab and go. All be it a heavy one that's at the limit.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Allan Wade]
      #6210946 - 11/23/13 09:50 AM

Quote:

Jon, can't you just keep the tripod legs retracted until you get outside and then extend them?

Tony, I like that rule of thumb. So 14lbs for the NP 127 plus 28lbs for a mount is 42lbs, that's less than the OTA of my Dob that I carry outside now with no problem.

I still wonder if a 5" refractor like this could be considered a grab and go. All be it a heavy one that's at the limit.




Allan:

It is possible to retract the legs and then carry the scope outside but then I am faced with the task of extending the legs. This requires holding the scope and mount with one hand while extending each leg, this is definitely very awkward even for someone like myself with long arms. Some legs are easier than others, getting the legs the right height and properly secured so they don't slip adds another level of effort. It's easier to setup my 10 inch Dob..

Also, if the rig is left setup, it is likely that the legs should be left extended since the base triangle of the tripod legs may be too narrow for proper balance and support.

Another option is to remove the spreader but most are not so easily removed so that when all is said and done, the 10 inch Dob is an easier setup..

- As far as Tony's 2x rule, I think it is overly pessimistic for alt-az mounts probably more appropriate for EQ mounts used visually. There a 2.5x rule is probably about right. The simplicity of the alt-az head makes for considerably less weight.

Two examples:

- Vixen Portamount with Hands on Optics Wooden legs. This weighs approximately 14 lbs and it's the mount I use most often with the the NP-101. With the finder and diagonal, the NP-101 weighs in at about 12.5 lbs. It's not ideal, it is not totally free from vibration while tracking or focusing but it's a reasonable compromise.

- The StellarVue MG-2. This mount is no longer available but it weighs 19lbs, again I just weighed it and it handles the NP-101 very nicely, no vibration even when tracking or focusing at 300x. I am quite sure it would handle the NP-127 quite nicely but for me, the NP-101 plus the MG-2 is already at the limit of what is Grab and GO, the NP-127 would be a two trip rig...

But anything can be grab and go.. When I bought my 10 inch GSO Dob, the seller answered the door. When he saw it was me, he grasped the assembled scope by circular ring at the bottom of the rocker box, lifted up the whole thing from the bottom, nudged open the door, carried it down about 20 steps and set it down..

Not everyone can do that.

Jon


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oldstrgzr
member


Reged: 12/17/06

Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6211293 - 11/23/13 12:33 PM

My 2 cents. It seems to me that aperture is a factor here; you need enough to make you want to go! I'm willing to give up single trip portability for more satisfying views. I have Canon 15x50 IS binos, and they're fun, especially in the cold when I don't want to stay out very long anyway. But, I still need something to sit on, and that makes it a two trip, or at least one trip with detour thing. But, when I plan to spend some time under the stars, I want more than those binos give me. I have a Desert Sky DSV-1 and an AT72ED. This is a three trip deal: mount and scope; Eyepiece case and charts; 3 lightweight folding chairs, one for case, one for charts, one for me. But! I want to see more than that shows me. So, now I've got an Orion 120ST for that mount. This makes it a 4 trip deal, since I separate scope and mount (if I were younger, maybe I could keep the scope mounted). Is this grab and go? I don't know, but it gets me out observing, and the views are satisfying enough to make me do the 4 trips. That's what counts. The only upgrade I would dream of is an ED or Apo 125 to 130mm scope. YMMD.
Nicholas


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chazcheese
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/21/04

Loc: Phoenix, Az
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: oldstrgzr]
      #6211404 - 11/23/13 01:31 PM

My idea for G&G is not for extended viewing but for quick looks at whatever is up at the time for the max 1 hour. Also it's fun trying to tease out details with smaller equipment. I usually have to get up ~430am to get ready for work...got to get the looking in quick

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oldstrgzr
member


Reged: 12/17/06

Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6211639 - 11/23/13 03:33 PM

My point was that if you want to see a little more you have to give a little on the grab.
Nicholas


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: oldstrgzr]
      #6211697 - 11/23/13 04:23 PM

Quote:

My point was that if you want to see a little more you have to give a little on the grab.
Nicholas


Or look at getting yourself a smaller, lighter, quick to set up second scope !? A main scope for " see more " extended viewing and one as more of a short viewing time,very portable scope ! That seems to be the general consensus so far on here !?

Edited by LDW47 (11/23/13 04:30 PM)


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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6212076 - 11/23/13 07:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

How would a NP127is fair as a grab and go? It's f/5.2 and weighs 18lbs, which is 30 lbs less than my Dob OTA that I carry outside to start viewing.




The rule of thumb is that an adequately stable mount weighs twice as much as the OTA. Dobs bend that toward the light side because they dispense with the tripod. For refractors, the rule needs to be bent toward the heavy side because they require the tallest tripods of any design.




Actually Tony.. The rule of thumb is that the tripod should weigh twice as much as the the scope and mount. So the NP127 on a Gibraltar should be half as much as the tripod. If your mount head weighed twice as much as your scope and your tripod weighed less than the scope and mount head combined.. you would have a flimsy top heavy system. I think of it like a pyramid. As long as your mass decreases with height, the system should be stable.


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Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6212348 - 11/23/13 11:22 PM

I used to think of grab and go is any scope smaller than what I regularly use. Something I can pick up with one hand and throw on the seat next to me, maybe???

I've come to the realization that there IS no such thing for me. I use a 16-inch f/4.5 for everything. I have neither the desire nor the money to throw into a smaller scope. Plus, whenever I go anywhere with even the remote possibility of doing any observing, it's either my 16-inch in the back of the truck or I'm not going. Period. The thought of spending a bunch of money on smaller aperture just doesn't fit my paradigm.

On the other hand, I already have several 60mm refractors, my grandson as a 3-inch Cometron, I have a 6-inch mirror set as well as an 8-inch mirror set and an 8-inch classical Cassegrain set I COULD put together if I wanted to. Ahem, I just don't want to right now. If I'm going to make the effort to go out at all, it's the 16-inch or nothing.

Just the way I work.

Grab and go doesn't mean a thing to me anymore or, to be more precise, it's exactly the same 16-inch Dob I already use, which already IS grab and go. It's so simple and quick to set up, it might as well be.

There you go.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6212359 - 11/23/13 11:35 PM

my first grab-n-go, still very enjoyable



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WAVT
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Bellingham, WA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6212453 - 11/24/13 12:55 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Quote:

Is that little 80 any good optically? I have an ETX-80 which is never used, because of the poor optics. GW




You know Glen, That little ST80 doesn't have bad optics at all. It could be considered "colorful" on some bright stuff. A V-Block anti-fringe filter works pretty well on the moon and the superior planets, but Mercury and Venus are going to glow for you. That is the nature of an f/5 refractor like this one. It travels w/ a 32mm plossl, a GSO 15mm superview, and a 9mm & 6mm Expanse Which give me 12.5X, 26.7X, 44.4X, & 66.7X I gave up packing the barlow because I really didn't have any fun at the higher powers in this scope. The 15mm lives in it most of the time. It just blows away M45. This is a wide field cruiser for sure. I have a 45° correct image diagonal for day time & terrestrial viewing. This is a great Bird and wildlife viewer. Again the 15mm superview works great. From woodpeckers, to comets, squirrels, mountains, ships, Seven sisters, nebula, and clusters, this scope delivers some fun times. Pretty darn good clarity as long as you don't ask it to do too much.

If I want portability, looking to step up the magnification, and are willing to give up the wide field then I will go with my 90mm Mak. This guy is stunning on moon detail and pretty decent on bright planets. I still end up travelling with and pulling out the ST80 more often.


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WAVT
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Bellingham, WA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6212481 - 11/24/13 01:14 AM

Quote:

My idea for G&G is not for extended viewing but for quick looks at whatever is up at the time for the max 1 hour. Also it's fun trying to tease out details with smaller equipment. I usually have to get up ~430am to get ready for work...got to get the looking in quick




I couldn't agree more. Opportunistic comes to mind. If it's quick and easy, and gives you a little rush of photons when your charge gets low, it's a good thing. What a great way to start the day.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6212660 - 11/24/13 05:55 AM

Quote:

Actually Tony.. The rule of thumb is that the tripod should weigh twice as much as the the scope and mount. So the NP127 on a Gibraltar should be half as much as the tripod. If your mount head weighed twice as much as your scope and your tripod weighed less than the scope and mount head combined.. you would have a flimsy top heavy system. I think of it like a pyramid. As long as your mass decreases with height, the system should be stable.





I have read that several times but I keep seeing that the tripod should weigh twice as much as the mount and telescope combined. That just does not jive with my experience, particular in the context of "Grab and Go."

The above mentioned SV MG-2 with the NP-101, the scope is 12.5 lbs the entire mount is 19 pounds, 9 pounds for the mount, 10 lbs for the tripod. I can manually track or focus at 300x without any jiggle in the image. It can't be any more stable. The tripod weighs about half as much as the scope and mount. The scope and mount weight about 22lbs.. that rule of thumb says a 44 lb tripod would be necessary for adequate stability.

Here's a photo of the NP-101 plus the Portamount on a 22lb tripod.



In my experience people just don't use tripods this big for such a small scope. Astrophotographer and Author Jerry Lodriguss, Catching the Light used that same 22 lb Tripod to mount a 5 inch Astro-Physics refractor for Astrophotography. It was stable enough that the controls were also mounted to the tripod..

Jerry Lodriguss's A-P rig

Other examples.. The A-P 1200GTO mount weighs 95lb, it's rated for 140lbs without counter weights. That means the total weight of the mount less the tripod could be 300bs or even more. Do people use tripods weighing 600lbs?



Jon


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CelestronDaddy
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/22/09

Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6212855 - 11/24/13 09:39 AM

Just got this Celestron/Vixen 60mm. Light weight and excellent optics for an achromat make for a good grab and go ...



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