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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: CelestronDaddy]
      #6212997 - 11/24/13 11:04 AM Attachment (67 downloads)

This my favorite portable rig.

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rnc39560
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/23/13

Loc: MS coast
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: jag767]
      #6213094 - 11/24/13 11:53 AM

I like that.

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penguinx64
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Holland
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6213541 - 11/24/13 03:57 PM

Lots of people call the Starblast 4.5 with a Dob mount a Grab and Go telescope. I got one of these, because I thought it would be small and easy to transport. It's much bigger than I expected, but still manageble. It's good I didn't go with the Starblast 6 that's twice as heavy and bigger!

Other reasons for a Grab and Go telescope? First, I have young children. I have to hide the telescope in the garage so they don't thrash it. I can't just leave it setup in the living room all the time or it will be destroyed. Second, is bad weather in my area. Sometimes I only get a break in the clouds for 1/2 hour in a night. I have to be ready to take out the scope quickly at short notice after the kids go to bed.


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6213617 - 11/24/13 04:57 PM

Quote:

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


Real nice set up ! How do you like the Portamount ? I am in the process of buying the Sky Watcher version of similar design !

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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6213629 - 11/24/13 05:04 PM

Quote:

Lots of people call the Starblast 4.5 with a Dob mount a Grab and Go telescope. I got one of these, because I thought it would be small and easy to transport. It's much bigger than I expected, but still manageble. It's good I didn't go with the Starblast 6 that's twice as heavy and bigger!

Other reasons for a Grab and Go telescope? First, I have young children. I have to hide the telescope in the garage so they don't thrash it. I can't just leave it setup in the living room all the time or it will be destroyed. Second, is bad weather in my area. Sometimes I only get a break in the clouds for 1/2 hour in a night. I have to be ready to take out the scope quickly at short notice after the kids go to bed.


I think your on the right track ! Both hiding from young kids and the quick viewing sessions !! Today hiding from young kids sometimes means 18 yrs of age or less - LOL !?

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6213871 - 11/24/13 07:11 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Quote:

Real nice set up ! How do you like the Portamount ? I am in the process of buying the Sky Watcher version of similar design !




I really like the Portamount, the viewing position is just about perfect. But it's adequate but not ideal in terms of stability with the NP-101 with the standard legs or with the more robust Hands on Optics wooden legs. On the mount in the photo, it's very stable but with the tripod weighing 22lbs, it's no longer grab and go.

The StellarVue MG-2 is what I use most of the time.

Which Skywatcher mount are you getting?

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (11/24/13 07:29 PM)


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6213912 - 11/24/13 07:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Real nice set up ! How do you like the Portamount ? I am in the process of buying the Sky Watcher version of similar design !




I really like the Portamount, the viewing position is just about perfect. But it's adequate but not ideal in terms of stability with the NP-101 with the standard legs or with the more robust Hands on Optics wooden legs. On the mount in the photo, it's very stable but with the tripod weighing 22lbs, it's no longer grab and go.

The StellarVue MG-2 is what I use most of the time.

Which Skywatcher mount are you getting?

Jon


The AZ4 for that 102 mm Antares achro that I just bought ! Right now it's on an AZ3 spare that I have !

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6213983 - 11/24/13 08:20 PM

Quote:

The AZ4 for that 102 mm Antares achro that I just bought ! Right now it's on an AZ3 spare that I have !




That should be a good mount for the Antares 102mm F/6.6 (???) There are two versions of the AZ-4, one with the aluminum legs and one with stainless steel legs. Which one did you spring for?

Jon


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6214080 - 11/24/13 09:16 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The AZ4 for that 102 mm Antares achro that I just bought ! Right now it's on an AZ3 spare that I have !




That should be a good mount for the Antares 102mm F/6.6 (???) There are two versions of the AZ-4, one with the aluminum legs and one with stainless steel legs. Which one did you spring for?

Jon


I went with the aluminum just because of less weight ! It's only $50 more for the steel but I don't remember the weight difference !? Should be OK ?

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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6214109 - 11/24/13 09:32 PM

First chance to use my G-n-G (C80ED on Porta II) tonight.

Went outside, looked at M31, the Pleiades, M36, M37 and M38. After a few minutes, I was freezing as I didn't dress to be out long and it's 18F. Grabbed the scope and came back in. I believe it was my first 15 minute observing session. Never been able to do that before.

I like it!!!!


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6214213 - 11/24/13 10:51 PM

I have the steel leg Az4 and my 127Mak is very solid on it (8 lbs). Little to no vibrations. My 150f5 reflector (12 Lbs) works well on it, but it needs a few seconds of dampening at high magnification. It never flinched when I put my 102f5 achro on it. The steel leg version is heavier though and thus less grab and go.

Eric

Edited by Eric63 (11/24/13 10:53 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6214456 - 11/25/13 04:34 AM

Quote:

The steel leg version is heavier though and thus less grab and go.




The plus side of the steel legs are that they are stiffer so the mount is less likely to suffer from vibration problems. With the 4 inch F/6.6, it probably won't be an issue but it might be.

Jon


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6214549 - 11/25/13 07:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The steel leg version is heavier though and thus less grab and go.




The plus side of the steel legs are that they are stiffer so the mount is less likely to suffer from vibration problems. With the 4 inch F/6.6, it probably won't be an issue but it might be.

Jon


The scope right now is mounted on an AZ3 ( same tripod ) and vibration is really negligible ! The only thing would be if I bought a heavier refractor in the future ? If so I would just buy another suitable mount !

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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6214556 - 11/25/13 07:57 AM

Quote:

I have the steel leg Az4 and my 127Mak is very solid on it (8 lbs). Little to no vibrations. My 150f5 reflector (12 Lbs) works well on it, but it needs a few seconds of dampening at high magnification. It never flinched when I put my 102f5 achro on it. The steel leg version is heavier though and thus less grab and go.

Eric


I can't seem to find the actual weight of the AZ4 with the steel legs ? The SkyWatcher website shows the shipping weight as about 20 kg ( 45 lb ) but I can' believe that is the true weight of the unit !? I have handled one and it sure didn't feel that heavy !? Do you know the true weight or confirm 20 kg ??

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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6214614 - 11/25/13 08:44 AM

I think it's around 16lbs. I'll weigh it when I get home tonight and post the results.

Eric


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6215316 - 11/25/13 02:42 PM

I may have been to hard on the ETX-80. I took it out this morning in exceptionally clear skies and was amazed by the Orion nebula - actually, Orion's whole sword in one view - and also the Double Cluster - I could fit the NGC cluster nearby in with it. I probably just expected too much before. For low power, it's pretty neat.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6215339 - 11/25/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

I may have been to hard on the ETX-80. I took it out this morning in exceptionally clear skies and was amazed by the Orion nebula - actually, Orion's whole sword in one view - and also the Double Cluster - I could fit the NGC cluster nearby in with it. I probably just expected too much before. For low power, it's pretty neat.




For high powers, the ETX-90, for low powers, the ETX-80. For both in an 80mm, an apo...

Jon


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oldstrgzr
member


Reged: 12/17/06

Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6215439 - 11/25/13 03:31 PM

Grab and go? My eyeballs. Other than that, I'd rather wait until there's more time to set up good aperture. There's also a limit to how much wide field observing I'll give up in favor of more aperture. But all this is just me.

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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6215606 - 11/25/13 04:36 PM

Quote:

I think it's around 16lbs. I'll weigh it when I get home tonight and post the results.

Eric




I was close. I got 19 lbs using the bathroom scale.

Eric


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LDW47
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6216251 - 11/25/13 10:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I think it's around 16lbs. I'll weigh it when I get home tonight and post the results.

Eric




I was close. I got 19 lbs using the bathroom scale.

Eric


So with the scope, finder, larger 2" diagonal and EP and the AZ4 with steel legs you are probably looking at 30 lb at least !? That could be at least 9 - 10 lb heavier than with the aluminum legs which is a little more weight than I prefer !

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