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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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LDW47
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Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Grab and Go
      #6206036 - 11/20/13 04:31 PM

There have been on going back and forth discussions on Grab and Go ! So let's get everyone's thoughts as to the definition / meaning of G & G if one can actually come up with a final that will satisfy everyone's interpretations ! This should be interesting if nothing else !?

Edited by LDW47 (11/20/13 04:33 PM)


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mayidunk
Don't Ask...
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Reged: 02/17/10

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6206085 - 11/20/13 05:09 PM

It's a telescope, mount, and eyepiece(s) that are ready to go at a moment's notice. The scope will either already be equilibrated, or close to it. When assembled, their combined weight and size would make them easy to pickup, and easy to relocate.

For me, I have a C6, and C90 OTA in the trunk of the car, soaking in the ambient temperature. It only takes a few minutes to set up the mount, run and get an OTA, mount it, and start viewing. If I want to move it, I can easily pick it all up as one piece, and move it around without any strain. This may not be "officially" grab 'n go (since the OTA is stored separate from the mount), but it still works for me!

YMMV...



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chazcheese
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Reged: 11/21/04

Loc: Phoenix, Az
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6206105 - 11/20/13 05:22 PM

My definition is a setup that you don't have to either assemble at all and can carry with one hand out the door or you can have both the scope and mount in each hand and get out in one trip. The two hand method requires only one button push to put on or take off the scope.
My Manfrotto 3021 tripod w/Manfrotto 501 mount and ST80 is my heavy G&G. The Manfrotto compact mkc3-h01 mount & tripod with the Stellarvue 50mm finder/mini-telescope is the light G&G. The only time they're not setup and ready to go is when the grandkids are over

Edited by chazcheese (11/20/13 05:39 PM)


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-Starfighter-
super member


Reged: 10/22/13

Loc: Kelowna, Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6206115 - 11/20/13 05:27 PM

2 main things for a grab and go:

1) Mobility
2) Ease of set-up

My version is a short tube refractor with an alt z mount. My set-up is a little large for mobility, best would be a MAK 90 or small comparable refractor with an alt z. If you can hike with it in your back pack that's mobile.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: -Starfighter-]
      #6206120 - 11/20/13 05:31 PM

The only criteria I have for designating a setup as grab-and-go is whether or not I can pick up the entire rig - OTA/mount/tripod - and easily carry it in and out of the house. I leave my C80 mounted up on it's tripod just for this purpose. No set up required. Carry it out back, take the caps off, and observe in less than a few minutes.

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MessiToM
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Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6206122 - 11/20/13 05:33 PM

I miss those days. ^

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rockethead26
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6206139 - 11/20/13 05:39 PM

Quote:

It's a telescope, mount, and eyepiece(s) that are ready to go at a moment's notice






This sounds like a good, simple definition to me.

I just this week put together my first Grab and Go. A C80ED on a Porta II mount and a wooden tripod. My Baader Hyperion Zoom lives in the 2" diagonal. The whole thing can easily be picked up and carried out the front door. It takes about a minute from decision to observing.

If I want to stay out a while I'll need to run in and grab my observing chair. Make that 1 1/2 minutes.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6206184 - 11/20/13 06:03 PM

^ My setup exactly Jim, although I have a Celestron zoom instead of the Baader. The rig is a pleasure to use and the simplicity is a big part of that IMO.

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youngamateur42
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Reged: 11/21/12

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6206234 - 11/20/13 06:34 PM

Like many of the responses, portability, ease of use, etc. my grab and go us my Observer 70. It weighs about 6 and a half pounds and can be set up on a moments notice. I think that one of the best things to have and is a big part of grab and go is a zoom eyepiece. Most of the 8-24's out there are pretty good, and have a large range of magnifications available. I need to get a zoom again

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Kevdog
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6206255 - 11/20/13 06:51 PM

Quote:

It's a telescope, mount, and eyepiece(s) that are ready to go at a moment's notice. The scope will either already be equilibrated, or close to it. When assembled, their combined weight and size would make them easy to pickup, and easy to relocate.

For me, I have a C6, and C90 OTA in the trunk of the car, soaking in the ambient temperature. It only takes a few minutes to set up the mount, run and get an OTA, mount it, and start viewing. If I want to move it, I can easily pick it all up as one piece, and move it around without any strain. This may not be "officially" grab 'n go (since the OTA is stored separate from the mount), but it still works for me!

YMMV...






Everyone has their own idea. For me I tried a 4" Celestron on a mount and it only took a couple minutes to move out. But my 18" Obsession has wheelbarrow wheels on. I keep it in the garage, so I just wheel it out and with the laser collimation it's ready to view in 10 mins or less. It's grab-n-go for me!


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-Starfighter-
super member


Reged: 10/22/13

Loc: Kelowna, Canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Kevdog]
      #6206290 - 11/20/13 07:09 PM

I second the zoom eyepiece...

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Pauls72
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: -Starfighter-]
      #6206373 - 11/20/13 07:49 PM

I can carry everything out in one trip. Just enough so I can go out sit down and enjoy the night sky.
EQ1 style gem with a 102mm MCT or ST80 and one or two eyepieces.


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lagagnon
member


Reged: 05/15/13

Loc: Vancouver Island
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: -Starfighter-]
      #6206381 - 11/20/13 07:53 PM

Grab and go is the "usual" for me. I live on the south edge of a city of 300,000 and have a lot of tall trees in my small back yard and a very bright streetlight in the front. My usual observing location is an official dark sky site 15-20 minutes drive away - although it's not all that dark ;-)

My only scope is a Celestron CR-150HD 6" refractor. I have the tube in scope bag with finder attached, the mount ready and setup on the tripod in my garage and accessories in a plastic storage bin.

I can have all in the back of a Toyota Matrix in 1 minute, setup takes me about 5 minutes, so I'm basically ready to observe in less than half an hour and still waiting for my eyes to dark adapt.

I'm happy with that at the moment. There is a much better dark sky site about 1 hours drive away but have not yet tried that site. Still a newbie and always learning...


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Pinbout
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Reged: 02/22/10

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: lagagnon]
      #6206391 - 11/20/13 07:59 PM Attachment (68 downloads)

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.


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DarkDisplay
super member


Reged: 12/21/10

Loc: Texas
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6206732 - 11/20/13 11:44 PM

Just right for me is my Vanguard Endeavor HD spotting scope and Endeavor ED binocular. A wonderful grab and go combo for day or night viewing. Very light and portable. (See my recent post in the "Binoculars" forum.)

Best wishes,
Frank


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esd726
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/30/04

Loc: Rochester, IN
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6206798 - 11/21/13 12:40 AM

If I can take it outside, use it "right away" and then take right back in. All this with the leasts amount of work.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: esd726]
      #6206852 - 11/21/13 01:56 AM

A good pair of binoculars.

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nicknacknock
professor emeritus
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Reged: 02/20/12

Loc: In a galaxy far far away...
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WesC]
      #6206957 - 11/21/13 05:24 AM

A small Mak and a tripod.

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: nicknacknock]
      #6207070 - 11/21/13 08:19 AM

I had a GrabnGo, then my wife got jealous.....

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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WesC]
      #6207160 - 11/21/13 09:12 AM

Quote:

A good pair of binoculars.




There's one in every crowd...


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nicknacknock
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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.
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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
sage


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 (33 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
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Reged: 06/16/04

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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
professor emeritus


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
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6207375 - 11/21/13 11:28 AM Attachment (44 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
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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
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6207684 - 11/21/13 02:32 PM Attachment (42 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
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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
professor emeritus


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
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6207782 - 11/21/13 03:36 PM Attachment (39 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
professor emeritus


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
professor emeritus


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
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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
professor emeritus


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
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA 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
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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
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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
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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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brianb11213
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Allan Wade]
      #6208766 - 11/22/13 03:36 AM

Quote:

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.



IMHO, yes. I find my WO FLT 110 mounted on a Skytee 2 & HEQ5 tripod reasonably convenient though it needs to be transported in at least 2 pieces ... don't forget that the weight of an OTA of similar design increases with the cube of the aperture & the mounting requirements become considerably more significant.

Recently I attended an outreach event at a location where there was no convenient parking within 400 yards of the event. I took my short focus 80mm refractor and a good quality heavy duty camera tripod. Still two pieces but at least light enough to be carried at the same time (with diagonal, eyepieces etc. in the refractor's carry bag). That's my definition of "grab 'n go": one trip with everything including accessories carried at the same time. Some people may be comfortable doing this with a 4" short focus refractor but I seriously doubt that the bulk & weight of a 5" would allow this, unless you have the bulk & strength of the 1980 model Schwarzenegger.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6208801 - 11/22/13 04:49 AM

Quote:

Some people may be comfortable doing this with a 4" short focus refractor but I seriously doubt that the bulk & weight of a 5" would allow this, unless you have the bulk & strength of the 1980 model Schwarzenegger.




I think it depends on the particular scope. I agree that the typical 5 inch refractor is too heavy and too long but a short focal length achromat like the Orion AstroView 120mm F/5 is under 9 lbs and about 24 inches long. I think that's definitely doable.

I find I can carry my William Optics 80mm Megrez II FD on the Bogen 3040 tripod/mount relatively long distances without the need to break it into two pieces. We use it a spotting scope during the day and carrying it to a scenic overlook or a hidden birding spot is doable.

Jon



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BigC
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: FirstSight]
      #6208820 - 11/22/13 06:27 AM

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 ............., and the distance I have to carry stuff is only a third as long. But what a third it is!



Why not one of those resin deck storage boxes or a permanent wooden deck storage box that doubles as a sating bench ?

Carry everything up the first day of your stay and store in the lockable box between viewing sessions.


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FirstSight
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: BigC]
      #6208850 - 11/22/13 07:30 AM

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 ............., and the distance I have to carry stuff is only a third as long. But what a third it is!



Why not one of those resin deck storage boxes or a permanent wooden deck storage box that doubles as a sating bench ?

Carry everything up the first day of your stay and store in the lockable box between viewing sessions.




It's a marine environment on a barrier island only a little over a thousand feet from the ocean. Salt + wind + high humidity and high heat during day in summer. Even a resin box will only do so much to keep salt-grit out of stuff left outside for an appreciable period.

Edited by FirstSight (11/22/13 07:31 AM)


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Eric63
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Allan Wade]
      #6208861 - 11/22/13 07:45 AM

I think that 5" is getting a bit big for Grab and Go IMHO. At that size aperture, I would look to a 5" SCT or mak; but now it more like grab and wait (to cool) unless you use low power at first. If the weather is clear, I set my Mak outside the back door (in its case) just in case I decide to grab a peak later on. If not, I just take it back in at bedtime.

Eric


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csrlice12
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Allan Wade]
      #6208882 - 11/22/13 08:07 AM

It'd have to be a short tube APO....

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Kon Dealer
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6208909 - 11/22/13 08:36 AM

Kson 1026ED (see) 5.7lb OTA, 21" with dewshield retracted.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6198675/page...

See this thread.


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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6208958 - 11/22/13 09:13 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Some people may be comfortable doing this with a 4" short focus refractor but I seriously doubt that the bulk & weight of a 5" would allow this, unless you have the bulk & strength of the 1980 model Schwarzenegger.




I think it depends on the particular scope. I agree that the typical 5 inch refractor is too heavy and too long but a short focal length achromat like the Orion AstroView 120mm F/5 is under 9 lbs and about 24 inches long. I think that's definitely doable.

I find I can carry my William Optics 80mm Megrez II FD on the Bogen 3040 tripod/mount relatively long distances without the need to break it into two pieces. We use it a spotting scope during the day and carrying it to a scenic overlook or a hidden birding spot is doable.

Jon




An absolutely beautiful pic, I would expect night viewing would be great form a location like this considering the wide openness of the terrain !? As long as you didn't step too far in the wrong direction that is !!

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chazcheese
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6209006 - 11/22/13 09:37 AM

That sorta looks like one of the obs points from the south rim of the Grand Canyon...but I haven't been there in awhile.

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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6209333 - 11/22/13 12:33 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

This is my largest of the small grab and go rigs.
The whole thing fits in my Orion Observers Backpack.. which they sadly no longer offer.
I also bring along an f6.3 focal reducer, so I essentially get two scopes out of one

Edited by mattyfatz (11/22/13 01:22 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6209342 - 11/22/13 12:36 PM

Quote:

That sorta looks like one of the obs points from the south rim of the Grand Canyon...but I haven't been there in awhile.




The photo was taken at Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo reservation. It was the refuge of the Navajos and the location of their holdout when Kit Carson rounded them up for the long walk. After disease took it's toll, they were returned to the area around Canyon de Chelly and from there have grown strong with a reservationof 25,000 square miles.

Jon


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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6209345 - 11/22/13 12:36 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

One more..

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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6209354 - 11/22/13 12:40 PM

That's a UA Dwarfstar mount, on an Orion Paragon tripod. Scope is a C6
All that stuff in the backpack is about 21 lbs. very manageable

Edited by mattyfatz (11/22/13 12:40 PM)


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Starman81
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: chazcheese]
      #6209418 - 11/22/13 01:08 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

I have bigger and badder scopes than last year but no true grab-n-go anymore... Reading this thread has me missing my Observer 70mm! I could have that out and observing in a few minutes. Yes, yes, only 70mm and what with the chromatic aberration, but hey, getting out to observe was a lot easier.

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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Starman81]
      #6209461 - 11/22/13 01:26 PM

I always liked that 70mm Orion scope. I always thought they should get rid of the 60mm scopes and start at 70mm. Much more effective. Especially under city skies.

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WAVT
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6209519 - 11/22/13 02:02 PM Attachment (30 downloads)

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!

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WAVT
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WAVT]
      #6209521 - 11/22/13 02:04 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Here is that ST80 in the case w/ slick tripod

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WAVT
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WAVT]
      #6209525 - 11/22/13 02:06 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

And here is inside the case. This set up has a lot of use and miles on it. It is the definition of a fun little scope.

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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WAVT]
      #6209569 - 11/22/13 02:25 PM

Quote:

And here is inside the case. This set up has a lot of use and miles on it. It is the definition of a fun little scope.


It can't get any better than that ! All fun !!

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csrlice12
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WAVT]
      #6209575 - 11/22/13 02:26 PM

Odd I haven't noticed it before, but your ST80 has the Orion brand on the OTA, mine is on the dew shield......

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Glen A W
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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


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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6212453 - 11/24/13 12:55 AM Attachment (18 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
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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
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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
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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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jag767
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: CelestronDaddy]
      #6212997 - 11/24/13 11:04 AM Attachment (62 downloads)

This my favorite portable rig.

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rnc39560
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: jag767]
      #6213094 - 11/24/13 11:53 AM

I like that.

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penguinx64
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6213871 - 11/24/13 07:11 PM Attachment (24 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Reged: 06/16/12

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Reged: 07/04/08

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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
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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
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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
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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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Eric63
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6216290 - 11/25/13 10:57 PM

Right now my 127mak + az4 is my grab & go set up and it is 30 lbs with the 2" diagonal and 2" 32mm ep. A bit on the heavy side, but still manageable. I think the Aluminum legs will be fine in your case. My old 102 achro was on an az3 and it was fine (a bit shaky at high mags, but it settled quickly). I loved how light that combo was.

Eric


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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6216326 - 11/25/13 11:30 PM

Quote:

Right now my 127mak + az4 is my grab & go set up and it is 30 lbs with the 2" diagonal and 2" 32mm ep. A bit on the heavy side, but still manageable. I think the Aluminum legs will be fine in your case. My old 102 achro was on an az3 and it was fine (a bit shaky at high mags, but it settled quickly). I loved how light that combo was.

Eric


I agree !

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WAVT
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6216395 - 11/26/13 12:41 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Quote:

How do you like the Portamount ?



I like the Porta mount quite alot. The tripod that came with it was a bit too light and shakey and I sent it back and got the Vixen HAL130 for it to sit on. I think they called it the "Star Guy" package for a while. That was a very worthwhile upgrade. Manny Miles also will fab up some pretty slick adaptors for the Porta Mount. Great guy to work with.

My C6 was pretty shakey on the original tripod but is quite acceptable with the HAL130.


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drago
sage


Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Latvia
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: WAVT]
      #6216566 - 11/26/13 06:30 AM

want to share my things and experience.
once, in a long ago, in a galaxy....
ptfu!
yes, long ago i purchased 66mm refractor as a mobile grab and go.
it replaces synta 707az2, my previous, 70 mm grab and go achro.

new refractor, uses, is small, very portable, and in coffer (box) with diagonal, essential 3 eyepieces, 2x barlow, solar filter and so on weights only 5 kilograms, and is a barely compact.

after some time i purchased also synta 100ed - it is noticeably bigger, and in koffer ( box) with the same essential components weight twice - 10 kilograms, and is more than two times taller - objectively noticeably less mobile.
and when i going around, i mostly take 66mm refractor with me - i am a big "mobility" and "grab and go" fanat.
but one time i do a all my telescopes comparision - and there i see, even on moon - 100mm gives a strong, another level view than 66sd. on m13 - the same. and i understand, for me, that difference in result is big enought, for i take with me 100ed instead of 66sd almost in all situations. difference i was so big, than weight and size is not important....


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


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Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: drago]
      #6216591 - 11/26/13 07:17 AM Attachment (47 downloads)

My little Scope. Always ready to go!

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6216597 - 11/26/13 07:26 AM

Quote:

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

Eric




I have an AZ-4 with the steel legs. Unfortunately it's on loan to a friend but I have a hard time believing it weighs 19lbs. I guess I will have to steal it back and weigh it myself.

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (11/26/13 07:35 AM)


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Eric63
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6216612 - 11/26/13 07:56 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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

Eric




I have an AZ-4 with the steel legs. Unfortunately it's on loan to a friend but I have a hard time believing it weighs 19lbs. I guess I will have to steal it back and weigh it myself.

Jon




I was also surprised. According to the Skywatcher manual, it weights 18.5 lbs.

http://www.skywatcher.com/downloads/AZ4%20Altzimuth%20Mount-100412V1.pdf

Eric


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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6216658 - 11/26/13 08:42 AM Attachment (46 downloads)

Few Years ago I like my 100mm f9 refractor for grab and go until now I love my 5 inch f7.5 refractor for grab and go! I put my scope outside for 1 hour while I watch tv then I go outside to look at stars. 5 inch refractor is my biggest grab and go telescope. Here is picture to compare of my two telescope! 3.9" and 5" refractor.

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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6217228 - 11/26/13 01:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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

Eric




I have an AZ-4 with the steel legs. Unfortunately it's on loan to a friend but I have a hard time believing it weighs 19lbs. I guess I will have to steal it back and weigh it myself.

Jon




I was also surprised. According to the Skywatcher manual, it weights 18.5 lbs.

http://www.skywatcher.com/downloads/AZ4%20Altzimuth%20Mount-100412V1.pdf

Eric


So the aluminum is 5.5 lb lighter than the steel !? It's not too late for me to take the mount with the steel legs from my guy rather than the aluminum ! The 102 mm Antares would still be a good G & G, on the high side weight wise, but I would have the heavier mount for the future !! I better think about this a little more, it' s a Xmas gift from me to me !!

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Kraus
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Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6217428 - 11/26/13 03:25 PM


Why such little scopes everyone? Can't see anything.

Get Big!


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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Kraus]
      #6217576 - 11/26/13 04:33 PM

Quote:


Why such little scopes everyone? Can't see anything.

Get Big!


Most of us do but small is a good compliment to big on those nights when you don't want to lug them out / around !! Where have you been ?? That's what G & G is all about !!

Edited by LDW47 (11/26/13 04:38 PM)


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RobertED
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6218176 - 11/26/13 09:42 PM

What about either Celestron Astromaster 90AZ refractor ....OR....the Celestron Cometron 114AZ reflector?????

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Pinbout
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Reged: 02/22/10

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6218199 - 11/26/13 09:51 PM

I could carry this out with one hand...



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gene 4181
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: n.e. ohio
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6218464 - 11/27/13 12:20 AM

illinois has an ed 127 es. on a az 4 with the alum. legs above in picture. gives ya an idea what it'll carry.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: gene 4181]
      #6218633 - 11/27/13 05:27 AM

Quote:

illinois has an ed 127 es. on a az 4 with the alum. legs above in picture. gives ya an idea what it'll carry.




People used to put 8 inch Newtonians on CG-5's with the aluminum legs... In my experience, a stiff tripod is the first step when it comes to achieving a solid mount that is free of vibration.

Jon


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gene 4181
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: n.e. ohio
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6220352 - 11/27/13 09:37 PM

i know john. i was just highlighting the mount that ldw 47 bought for his antares 102. the fact that a 127 ed was used on it. acceptable, not perfect. i've used a 150 orion mct on that mount, i got along with it . but i' m used to pushing tubes.

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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: gene 4181]
      #6220541 - 11/27/13 11:34 PM

Quote:

i know john. i was just highlighting the mount that ldw 47 bought for his antares 102. the fact that a 127 ed was used on it. acceptable, not perfect. i've used a 150 orion mct on that mount, i got along with it . but i' m used to pushing tubes.


That 127 is a lot bigger than my 102 Antares so I think it is safe to assume that the aluminum leg model will be more than enough for my purposes ! But I will do a quick comparison when they come into the shop and before one leaves with me !!

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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6220859 - 11/28/13 08:10 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

I was seriously considering selling this to the point that it is still listed in the classified but I kind of fell in love with the thing and now I want to keep it. It is a beautiful 1982 Meade model 1037. The OTA/mount configuration seems very rare from what I can tell. The mount is solid and sturdy for it's size. It is a 4" F/10 SCT. I just purchased this scope from the original owner who purchased it in 1982. The primary could use a re-coating and I think I am going to make the investment.

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RobertED
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6220922 - 11/28/13 09:01 AM

Quote:

What about either Celestron Astromaster 90AZ refractor ....OR....the Celestron Cometron 114AZ reflector?????




.....gee, NO comments!!! I guess that answers my question!!!


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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6221034 - 11/28/13 10:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:

illinois has an ed 127 es. on a az 4 with the alum. legs above in picture. gives ya an idea what it'll carry.




People used to put 8 inch Newtonians on CG-5's with the aluminum legs... In my experience, a stiff tripod is the first step when it comes to achieving a solid mount that is free of vibration.

Jon




I use a ten inch on one all the time. It's not toooo bad.


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BigC
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Reged: 09/29/10

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6221428 - 11/28/13 01:07 PM

I was shocked to discover how much improvement there is just going from squarish aluminum legs to round steel ones.

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RobertED
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6222092 - 11/28/13 06:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What about either Celestron Astromaster 90AZ refractor ....OR....the Celestron Cometron 114AZ reflector?????




.....gee, NO comments!!! I guess that answers my question!!!




...I guess you need to spend the 'big bucks!!!'.....


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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6222644 - 11/29/13 12:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

What about either Celestron Astromaster 90AZ refractor ....OR....the Celestron Cometron 114AZ reflector?????




.....gee, NO comments!!! I guess that answers my question!!!




...I guess you need to spend the 'big bucks!!!'.....


Right now COSTCO here in Canada has the 114AZ on for $150 but I don't know much about the scope !? It kind of looks like an older kids scope but go online and see how it reviews !

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CelestronDaddy
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 08/22/09

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6223121 - 11/29/13 10:35 AM

Another good grab n go is the ES102 and Twilight 1 ...

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RobertED
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: CelestronDaddy]
      #6223489 - 11/29/13 02:04 PM

Black Friday, here in Rhode Island....I picked up a Celestron Powerseeker 114AZ reflector for 60% off.....paying only $60.00. Not a bad price regardless....I'll have to see the results for myself!!! thank you, LDW47.

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Pinbout
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6224154 - 11/29/13 08:35 PM

Here's another one hand grab and go. I paid $100 and sold the finder that came with it for half that. Of course for little money I couldn't help but tare it apart and rebuild it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FbL8KvbIxs&feature=youtube_gdata_player


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gene 4181
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: n.e. ohio
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6224366 - 11/29/13 11:00 PM

its unfortunate that skywatcher and orion no longer sell the az 4 or versago mount with the tubular legs any more. if i'm not mistaken , only orion sells them with alum. legs now.

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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: gene 4181]
      #6224376 - 11/29/13 11:09 PM

Quote:

its unfortunate that skywatcher and orion no longer sell the az 4 or versago mount with the tubular legs any more. if i'm not mistaken , only orion sells them with alum. legs now.


I know SkyWatcher still sell both as I am in the process of buying one or the other ! I just haven't decided which one !?

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karstenkoch
sage


Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: GMT+9
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6224550 - 11/30/13 02:51 AM

I define grab and go in terms of time rather than weight, size, effort, or distance. If I can be observing in 5 minutes, that's grab and go for me. I see grab and go scopes and travel scopes as having some overlap but not being the same in all respects.

My personal grab and go kit is an AT72ED, DSV-M mount, and heavy duty photo tripod. It sits in my living room. The only decision I typically have to make is which one eyepiece to drop in the focuser before moving it out into the veranda.


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: karstenkoch]
      #6224633 - 11/30/13 05:52 AM

Quote:

I define grab and go in terms of time rather than weight, size, effort, or distance. If I can be observing in 5 minutes, that's grab and go for me. I see grab and go scopes and travel scopes as having some overlap but not being the same in all respects.





That's it exactly.
Big scopes can indeed be grab and go too.
Specifically if stored at ambient temps.


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6224875 - 11/30/13 10:12 AM

When my XT6 is in the shed it's my GnG. I can lift it with one hand, set it anywhere in the yard and I am ready. I grab some ep's and stick them in my vest pockets before heading out.
I'd like to get one of those 70mm back pack refractors as a GnG for the road.


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6224885 - 11/30/13 10:19 AM

Quote:

Black Friday, here in Rhode Island....I picked up a Celestron Powerseeker 114AZ reflector for 60% off.....paying only $60.00. Not a bad price regardless....I'll have to see the results for myself!!! thank you, LDW47.




That's a great deal there. Was surfing the web and saw some nice deals too. Found a Nexstar on the walmart site, but out of stock...figures


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: newtoskies]
      #6225169 - 11/30/13 01:06 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

I like things to be refined, uncomplicated, easy to set up and take down. Until recently my grab and go was a 5" Intes Micro Mak on a Half/Hitch Mount, supported by an ancient Tiltall Tripod; all weighing in at 23 pounds.

My present grab and go is a 3.5" Mak, once again supported by our fifty year old Tiltall #4602 Tripod. The scope, mount, and tripod have a combined weight of just 13 pounds. A wedge isn't required, as it's a simple matter to use the declination circle to establish latitude and by setting a bubble level on the objective cover, and moving the tripod head to center the bubble.

For me, I doubt it can get much better than this.


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rockethead26
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Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Mike E.]
      #6225428 - 11/30/13 03:36 PM

Mike,

I think you've nailed it. Beautifully classic!


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ensign
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6225795 - 11/30/13 07:39 PM

At this time of year, grab and go means setup and teardown is quick and painless (winter in Canada)

I was considering investing in an apo in the 5" range as my travel scope - an Equinox 80 - is a bit aperture-challenged.

Instead I repurposed a scope I already have - 6" F5 Newt and mated it to an Orion Versago III. So far I've been very happy with the results. What's not to like? A 10lb scope with 6 inches of aperture that is apochromatic, costs a little over $300, easy to set up, tear down and gives great views.

The mount/tripod combination weighs 19 lb and is rock solid. Who could ask for more?


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karstenkoch
sage


Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: GMT+9
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Mike E.]
      #6226296 - 12/01/13 01:46 AM

Quote:

I like things to be refined, uncomplicated, easy to set up and take down. Until recently my grab and go was a 5" Intes Micro Mak on a Half/Hitch Mount, supported by an ancient Tiltall Tripod; all weighing in at 23 pounds.

My present grab and go is a 3.5" Mak, once again supported by our fifty year old Tiltall #4602 Tripod. The scope, mount, and tripod have a combined weight of just 13 pounds. A wedge isn't required, as it's a simple matter to use the declination circle to establish latitude and by setting a bubble level on the objective cover, and moving the tripod head to center the bubble.

For me, I doubt it can get much better than this.




If that photo doesn't stir the heart of your inner observer, better check your pulse... Beautiful!


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: karstenkoch]
      #6226366 - 12/01/13 03:39 AM

Quote:

If that photo doesn't stir the heart of your inner observer, better check your pulse... Beautiful!




Thanks Jim & Karsten.

My favorite observing spot, just up the mountain above our home in Wales. Its always green here, with clean air and pure water; a nice place to live, although I do miss the California weather.


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: karstenkoch]
      #6226461 - 12/01/13 06:52 AM

Quote:

I define grab and go in terms of time rather than weight, size, effort, or distance. If I can be observing in 5 minutes, that's grab and go for me.




I think you may have just defined a 16" SCT in a OBS


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: karstenkoch]
      #6226462 - 12/01/13 06:55 AM

Agreed, beautiful merger.

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karstenkoch
sage


Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: GMT+9
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6226548 - 12/01/13 08:56 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I define grab and go in terms of time rather than weight, size, effort, or distance. If I can be observing in 5 minutes, that's grab and go for me.




I think you may have just defined a 16" SCT in a OBS




Actually, when I wrote that, I was thinking that Mt Palomar fit my description, too. The only problem is that Mt Palomar is not 5 minutes from my living room...

On the other hand, if you do have a 16" in a backyard observatory, then that's even better than a grab and go ... there's no grab, you just go.


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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Mike E.]
      #6226693 - 12/01/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

I like things to be refined, uncomplicated, easy to set up and take down. Until recently my grab and go was a 5" Intes Micro Mak on a Half/Hitch Mount, supported by an ancient Tiltall Tripod; all weighing in at 23 pounds.

My present grab and go is a 3.5" Mak, once again supported by our fifty year old Tiltall #4602 Tripod. The scope, mount, and tripod have a combined weight of just 13 pounds. A wedge isn't required, as it's a simple matter to use the declination circle to establish latitude and by setting a bubble level on the objective cover, and moving the tripod head to center the bubble.

For me, I doubt it can get much better than this.




I like how you refer to it as a 3.5" Mak.. as if its some run of the mill Synta product. If I had one of those the post would read
Q U E S T A R !!!


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6227053 - 12/01/13 01:17 PM

Quote:

I like how you refer to it as a 3.5" Mak.. as if its some run of the mill Synta product. If I had one of those the post would read
Q U E S T A R !!!




Sure, I could do that, I could also scream out Questar 7; guess I'm just modest, but my Wife isn't, and agrees with you.


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jca345
member


Reged: 09/06/13

Loc: SE Pennsylvania
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Mike E.]
      #6228577 - 12/02/13 08:38 AM

Quote:

I like things to be refined, uncomplicated, easy to set up and take down. Until recently my grab and go was a 5" Intes Micro Mak on a Half/Hitch Mount, supported by an ancient Tiltall Tripod; all weighing in at 23 pounds.

My present grab and go is a 3.5" Mak, once again supported by our fifty year old Tiltall #4602 Tripod. The scope, mount, and tripod have a combined weight of just 13 pounds. A wedge isn't required, as it's a simple matter to use the declination circle to establish latitude and by setting a bubble level on the objective cover, and moving the tripod head to center the bubble.

For me, I doubt it can get much better than this.




Incredible views! Very nice Questar too, btw.


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
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Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: jca345]
      #6229486 - 12/02/13 03:45 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

AT Voyager critical issue fixed and the grab'n'go is now a 'go' again!

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Eric63
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Starman81]
      #6231995 - 12/03/13 07:10 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Just Came in today ! My new Grab and go set up: Oberwerk BT70-45 Binocular Telescope

Can't wait to try it....but it's been cloudy for a while with no sign of clearing up

Eric

Edited by Eric63 (12/03/13 07:36 PM)


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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6232198 - 12/03/13 09:01 PM

Quote:

Just Came in today ! My new Grab and go set up: Oberwerk BT70-45 Binocular Telescope

Can't wait to try it....but it's been cloudy for a while with no sign of clearing up

Eric


Think some of us aren't a little bit jealous ? Nice set up ( in between clenched teeth ) LOL !

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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6232206 - 12/03/13 09:03 PM

Quote:

Just Came in today ! My new Grab and go set up: Oberwerk BT70-45 Binocular Telescope

Can't wait to try it....but it's been cloudy for a while with no sign of clearing up

Eric


I was in Ottawa last weekend . I thought I saw you trying to take peek - LOL !

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Eric63
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6232306 - 12/03/13 09:57 PM

Thanks Larry, and I won't be getting rid of my SM 15x70

Edited by Eric63 (12/03/13 09:58 PM)


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Eric63]
      #6234657 - 12/05/13 04:15 AM

Quote:

Just Came in today ! My new Grab and go set up: Oberwerk BT70-45 Binocular Telescope

Eric




Very nice.


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Starman81
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Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Mike E.]
      #6238457 - 12/07/13 02:12 AM

Couldn't resist a good deal on this one... The C90 is definitely a grab and go scope albeit it will require a good amount of cool down time.

On AT Voyager:


On Nexstar STL:


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LDW47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/04/12

Loc: north bay,ontario,canada
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Starman81]
      #6238872 - 12/07/13 11:38 AM

Quote:

Couldn't resist a good deal on this one... The C90 is definitely a grab and go scope albeit it will require a good amount of cool down time.

On AT Voyager:


On Nexstar STL:



Nice set up incl.mounts.

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rnc39560
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/23/13

Loc: MS coast
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: RobertED]
      #6239849 - 12/07/13 09:08 PM

Quote:

What about either Celestron Astromaster 90AZ refractor ....OR....the Celestron Cometron 114AZ reflector?????




Actually I think the 90 az is fine, and I even use my Konus 114 (similar to the 114 you mentioned) as a grab and go.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: rnc39560]
      #6246826 - 12/11/13 11:21 AM

an old grab-n-go large light bucket. I got rid of the sct, my dobs cool much faster, but I still miss it.



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contrailmaker
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6246868 - 12/11/13 11:45 AM

I have three great grab and go setups.

An Orion 100ED on an alt/az mount.

Oberwerk 100D binoculars on a VersaGo mount and

Coronado PST on a camera mount.

The PST is by far the scope I use the most.

CM

CM


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penguinx64
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: contrailmaker]
      #6251357 - 12/13/13 05:20 PM

I'm a big fan of short tube Dob mount reflectors. Easy to transport and no setup hassle. The wide field of view makes it easy to find stuff. Also, it helps if your rig weighs less than 15 lbs. To me, Grab and Go means I can set it up anywhere in less than 5 minutes.

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jag767
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6252714 - 12/14/13 01:48 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

My favorite ultra portable g&g:

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jag767
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: jag767]
      #6252716 - 12/14/13 01:48 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

one more:

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Philler
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: dpippel]
      #6253820 - 12/15/13 04:08 AM

My definition of grab 'n go... Can you set up pretty easily at your DSS without disturbing others, and in less than 15 or 20 minutes, and in the dark, and no white light, just a dim red flashlight?
How about a small to medium Dob you can just place on its rocker?
I once saw this fellow struggling to set up something like a 16" Dob. It was taking him so much time and effort dealing with the trusses and everything else,(nice looking scope through, BTW). But it was like he was overhauling a car, it took so much time.

Edited by Philler (12/15/13 04:27 AM)


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daveingu
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Philler]
      #6254591 - 12/15/13 02:25 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

I have the same definition of grab n go after trying some small refractors (they just don't show enough for me). I ended up with a 7" dob. The OTA and cradle is 22lbs and the base is 12lbs.
Dave


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Philler
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: daveingu]
      #6255459 - 12/15/13 11:21 PM

Quote:

I have the same definition of grab n go after trying some small refractors (they just don't show enough for me). I ended up with a 7" dob. The OTA and cradle is 22lbs and the base is 12lbs.
Dave




Nice setup Dave. I would add a small table for charts, and I have a Rubbermaid tool box especially adapt for eyepieces and such I keep near my Dob., and a thermos of coffee and snacks in my car...scoper's heaven. Can't wait to get out again.

Edited by Philler (12/15/13 11:31 PM)


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TheObserver
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Philler]
      #6255538 - 12/16/13 12:23 AM

my SW 80ED and HD Camera Tripod 16LBS out the door in 5mn

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: TheObserver]
      #6255551 - 12/16/13 12:37 AM Attachment (36 downloads)

Quote:

my SW 80ED and HD Camera Tripod 16LBS out the door in 5mn






Big dobs can be out the door and ready to look through in 5-10 minutes but one does not merely grab a big dob, it's a real effort, it takes forethought and physical effort.

Even though the scope in the photo below can be ready to look through in less than 10 minutes, it's not "Grab and Go."

Jon


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TheObserver
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6255562 - 12/16/13 12:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

my SW 80ED and HD Camera Tripod 16LBS out the door in 5mn






Big dobs can be out the door and ready to look through in 5-10 minutes but one does not merely grab a big dob, it's a real effort, it takes forethought and physical effort.

Even though the scope in the photo below can be ready to look through in less than 10 minutes, it's not "Grab and Go."

Jon






i love it. i need me one of those


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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6256047 - 12/16/13 10:55 AM

Quote:

Quote:

my SW 80ED and HD Camera Tripod 16LBS out the door in 5mn






Big dobs can be out the door and ready to look through in 5-10 minutes but one does not merely grab a big dob, it's a real effort, it takes forethought and physical effort.

Even though the scope in the photo below can be ready to look through in less than 10 minutes, it's not "Grab and Go."

Jon


Great scope I would love to have one but my wife can't get her head around it and she is pretty easy going. Seriously though, when you are not observing with it do you shoot people out of it at the circus ? LOL !

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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6256345 - 12/16/13 01:59 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

John,
Is that a 25" Obsession? I've used one, but it housed in an Observatory!


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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6256347 - 12/16/13 02:00 PM Attachment (26 downloads)



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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6256351 - 12/16/13 02:02 PM

I guess in some ways it's a grab and go,,,
It "Grabs" a lot of light.. When I "Go" there to look through it
I know that's terribly cheesy


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jgraham
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6256387 - 12/16/13 02:26 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

What a fun topic! My grab'n go's cover a broad range, for example under some circumstances I've considered my AR-6 and a grab'n go scope (easy to set up and almost no cool-down time) and even my Lightbridge 16 (which I keep outside in a small vertical garden shed). But in the true spirit of grab'n go at a moments notice I have 3 that stand out... my trusty old 60mm Tasco, my Orion 90mm tabletop MCT, and my all-time favorite, my ancient little 40mm CopyScope.

This is my little CopyScope. It is made from a surplus photocopier lens and I used it for many years to observe satellites. Note the sophisticated atl/az scales on the tripod. The 'tube' was made from black foam core art board that was notched, rolled into a tube, joined with hot-melt glue, and water proofed with clear shipping tape.


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TheObserver
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6256465 - 12/16/13 03:05 PM

Quote:

John,
Is that a 25" Obsession? I've used one, but it housed in an Observatory!




that's not a Grab and Go. thats a stand and go to the observatory.

and thats a very nice Bucket you got there


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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: jgraham]
      #6256469 - 12/16/13 03:06 PM

Quote:

What a fun topic! My grab'n go's cover a broad range, for example under some circumstances I've considered my AR-6 and a grab'n go scope (easy to set up and almost no cool-down time) and even my Lightbridge 16 (which I keep outside in a small vertical garden shed). But in the true spirit of grab'n go at a moments notice I have 3 that stand out... my trusty old 60mm Tasco, my Orion 90mm tabletop MCT, and my all-time favorite, my ancient little 40mm CopyScope.

This is my little CopyScope. It is made from a surplus photocopier lens and I used it for many years to observe satellites. Note the sophisticated atl/az scales on the tripod. The 'tube' was made from black foam core art board that was notched, rolled into a tube, joined with hot-melt glue, and water proofed with clear shipping tape.


All this is the fun part of the hobby ! Nice little scope !

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #6256938 - 12/16/13 08:03 PM

Quote:

John,
Is that a 25" Obsession? I've used one, but it housed in an Observatory!




It is a 25 inch Obsession. I consider the great outdoors my observatory..

I posted the photo to show that even one could setup a scope in 5-10 minutes, it is still far from being Grab and Go.. To me, grab and go means I don't have to think, I just grab it and go.

Jon


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Peter D.
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6260955 - 12/18/13 09:32 PM

How about the ETX125? Great sharpness and contrast; works great for both Deep Sky and Planetary. It's got lots of aperture for the small size and weight, and GoTo is a bonus! The stock tripod is pretty shakey at full extension, but it's not bad if you don't extend it: I use a folding chair!

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nicknacknock
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Peter D.]
      #6263704 - 12/20/13 12:57 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

And here's my favorite rig for grab n' go in Double Star hunting mode.

Alternatively, I lose everything and just stick a binoviewer for sneak views of the planets and moon.


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Starman81
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: nicknacknock]
      #6264775 - 12/21/13 02:53 AM

That's pretty cool! I like the dual-finder stalk, how has worked in the field? Any issues with weight distribution? Is it a pain to have to line up 2 finders each time out instead of 1?

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nicknacknock
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Starman81]
      #6264811 - 12/21/13 04:50 AM

It works out great actually. The RDF stays pretty much aligned. It's the finderscope that needs alignment every time due to the way I store it.

No stability issues except that I have to slide the scope forward as all the weight is at the back. However as I use a long dovetail clamp (6") I have room to spare!

I found this the easiest way forward as I need both a RDF and a RACI finder scope. I don't like straight through finder scopes so I need something to get me in the general vicinity (RDF), then something to center the field of view (finder scope) and then look through the eyepiece.

I did not think that this Orion dual stalk would be so well constructed and there is no flex or instability from mounting stuff on it. Obviously some serious thinking was put into this product.


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obin robinson
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Philler]
      #6264862 - 12/21/13 06:42 AM

Quote:

My definition of grab 'n go... Can you set up pretty easily at your DSS without disturbing others, and in less than 15 or 20 minutes, and in the dark, and no white light, just a dim red flashlight?




It's interesting to see what people define as "grab-and-go" because I wouldn't even consider 15 minutes to be on the extreme end of grab-and-go. 20 minutes is what it takes to set up my Starfinder 10", balance, polar align, and start observing. If I told people who were looking for a grab-and-go setup to buy a 10" Newtonian on a GEM then everyone here would think I was crazy.

My definition is if I can pick the scope up and have it outside and observing an object pretty much instantly. 20 minutes? If it took me that long to set up a grab-and-go telescope then the satellite would already have flown over and would be almost 8,000 miles over the horizon. Grab and go would translate into "I would have grabbed the scope and the object would have been long gone."

An ST-80 on a camera tripod is my grab-and-go setup. I grab it with one hand easily and go outside to observe the sky. If it takes you longer than 30 seconds at home or at a dark sky site then that's just way too long for me.

obin


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Heitman
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6264949 - 12/21/13 09:06 AM

Agreed.

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Alfonso
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Heitman]
      #6265260 - 12/21/13 01:10 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

G&G is simply a telescope that one can pick up carry out and set up in no time. Your chair, tables, accessories come later in the next minute and then voila !!! you're ready to go.
Here's my GnG: my first and most favorite telescope, a Stellarvue 80mm f9. In 30 seconds it's out in the backyard and I'm ready to go. G n G !!!

Alfonso


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ggalilei
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Alfonso]
      #6265435 - 12/21/13 02:47 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

I think so too. My wife and I love G & G; we simply take the scope out to the deck and observe right away. Here's the line-up, at 9 lbs, 16, 20, and 29, left to right, complete systems as shown.
Apologies for including the 5" reflector!
Tonino


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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: ggalilei]
      #6265561 - 12/21/13 03:59 PM

Quote:

I think so too. My wife and I love G & G; we simply take the scope out to the deck and observe right away. Here's the line-up, at 9 lbs, 16, 20, and 29, left to right, complete systems as shown.
Apologies for including the 5" reflector!
Tonino


What a nice stable of scopes, lucky you and your wife. It looks like you have a nice wide open viewing area, how is it ?

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Pinbout
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: ggalilei]
      #6265579 - 12/21/13 04:08 PM

Quote:

I think so too. My wife and I love G & G; we simply take the scope out to the deck and observe right away. Here's the line-up, at 9 lbs, 16, 20, and 29, left to right, complete systems as shown.
Apologies for including the 5" reflector!
Tonino






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guangtou
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6265804 - 12/21/13 06:07 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

The simplest definition for me is do I grab and go with it? Nothing fits that definition better, whether I go to my backyard, down the street, or hop a plane to Arizona, than my trusty 15x50IS.

Actually a close second for backyard viewing is the Oberwerk BT100-45, despite its weight. It is by the back door and eps stay in: I open the door, place one hand on the fork mount and one on a tripod leg and can carry it out easily. Got to have a cup of coffee first, though.

Edited by guangtou (12/21/13 06:09 PM)


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ggalilei
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6265925 - 12/21/13 07:40 PM

Thanks, and thanks Danny.
We enjoy a lot our location, it's so convenient to set up right on the deck, plenty of open space above the horizon, and fairly dark skies (a lot of structure visible in the Milky Way). Not ideal for high power, but still quite doable. The only real problem is the humidity, except in Winter.


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Gil V
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6273318 - 12/26/13 09:46 AM

Quote:


For me, I have a C6, and C90 OTA in the trunk of the car




I hope you never get rear-ended...


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spaulmac
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Gil V]
      #6273667 - 12/26/13 01:31 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

As others have said, its up to the individual as to what passes for "grab and go". This is what works for me. I keep it fully loaded and ready to go for any occasion. One load with no boxes to my favorite viewing site 20' away out the front door. It weighs in at 32 lbs. 6 ozs. for night viewing and 37 lbs. for solar (yes, I'm the kind of loser that weighs all my equipment).

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Glen A W
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: spaulmac]
      #6273860 - 12/26/13 03:28 PM

I'm not being jerky at all, but I do not see how it could possibly weigh that much. It looks more like 15-20 pounds! GW

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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: spaulmac]
      #6273862 - 12/26/13 03:30 PM

Quote:

As others have said, its up to the individual as to what passes for "grab and go". This is what works for me. I keep it fully loaded and ready to go for any occasion. One load with no boxes to my favorite viewing site 20' away out the front door. It weighs in at 32 lbs. 6 ozs. for night viewing and 37 lbs. for solar (yes, I'm the kind of loser that weighs all my equipment).


Nothing wrong with knowing what you got . Nice set up it must give great views !

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spaulmac
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6273942 - 12/26/13 04:16 PM

Thanks LDW, I'm enjoying astronomy now more than I have in quite some time.

Nothing jerky about asking at all, Glen. The TV 85 is a pretty stout little scope at just under 6 pounds by itself; add the mount at 3.3 pounds and the tripod at 12.5 and you're already at close to 22 pounds before adding the eyepiece caddies, DSC and tray, diagonal, finder and eyepieces. I have to admit that missing from the photo are two eyepieces that account for nearly 1 1/2 pounds (aren't today's eyepieces getting ridiculous?). That's why I started weighing everything; it's easy to overlook several pounds theses days.


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Glen A W
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: spaulmac]
      #6273947 - 12/26/13 04:17 PM

Ah, the tripod is where the missing weight rests. Well, that is a good place to put it! A very nice rig, very nice.

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aa6ww
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6276083 - 12/27/13 08:39 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Watching a Lunar X with my Grab and Go TV 85 on a bogen mount, from inside my house..

...Ralph


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LDW47
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6277013 - 12/28/13 11:28 AM

Quote:

Watching a Lunar X with my Grab and Go TV 85 on a bogen mount, from inside my house..

...Ralph


Nice setup. I never tried leaving some of mine set up in the house, as many do but I think they make a nice piece of furniture it's trying to convince my wife. LOL !

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mattyfatz
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: LDW47]
      #6277677 - 12/28/13 05:46 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

UA Double Star mount
Skywatcher 6" f5
Astro Telescopes 4" f11

Not exactly light.. But very portable and quick to setup


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Pinbout
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6277688 - 12/28/13 05:51 PM

Quote:

Watching a Lunar X with my Grab and Go TV 85




did I hear someone say Lunar X...




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bhpnbr
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6284650 - 01/01/14 12:15 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

My dear GnG. Orion ED80 on the Orion Versago II. With a Celestron (Vixen) diagonal and the Baader Hyperion Mk 3 zoom. Easy to balance on the Versago with tube rings and a dovetail.

This rig let me go out more times this week than the whole of last year. Gave me my first view of Andromeda and M32 from my heavily light polluted (White zone) DFW skies. Both objects were elliptical fuzzies but easily noticeable. M31 had a slightly brighter core but no other detail. I was surprised I even saw M32 at all, but it was unmistakably there.

My sole purpose of today's observing session was to find andromeda. I did take a quick peek at Jupiter and M42. But I'm liking this idea of going out,searching for one object and wrapping up. And this GnG rig will let me do that . Its easy to transport from my apartment, tno setup other than sliding the dovetail onto the mount, throwing in the eyepiece, and thats it!

For someone who's interested, the Versago II is a nice mount for a widefield scope like the ED80. I used it to look at Jupiter at 170 X mag with the Baader 2.25X barlow. The widefield helps but the mount is quite smooth and stable for tracking at that power.

Here's a low quality pic I took with my cellphone. Happy New Year everyone ! I certainly had one of the best NYE!


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bhpnbr
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: bhpnbr]
      #6284658 - 01/01/14 12:21 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

One more...

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stargazer193857
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Loc: Southern Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: bhpnbr]
      #6284813 - 01/01/14 03:39 AM

For me grab and go means I can take it from inside to outside and focused on my target in 3 minutes without having to put out any effort. The trip out should not be the slightest psychological hurdle, and I should be capable of at least briefly holding the whole set up with one hand and enough control I can extend the legs with the other hand, if it has them. And it needs to have enough aperture that I can see a variety of targets, not just the moon and planets.

My 60mm refractor was very grab and go, except only for the moon and planets. The 8" SCT my club loaned me, on a heavy tripod and mount, is transportable, but a real pain, sometimes literally, and thus is not grab and go.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: stargazer193857]
      #6284889 - 01/01/14 05:47 AM

Quote:

My 60mm refractor was very grab and go, except only for the moon and planets.




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


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stargazer193857
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/01/13

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Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6285410 - 01/01/14 12:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My 60mm refractor was very grab and go, except only for the moon and planets.




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




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


I got my 60mm for $20 including shipping. It was a GSI refractor on a wobbly mount with lose joints.

I did not know how to open the tube to flock it. It was just black plastic in there, no baffles, that let me see the moon coming long before I got to it. Distant trees looked very washed out through it. But I discovered that if I used the 45mm hole in the lens cover, instead of the full aperture without lens cover, the image was a lot less washed out. This made it effectively a 45mm scope.

I could faintly see two main bands on Jupiter, but only with the 45mm aperture and only at 117x.

The lens looked plastic and looked to thin at the edges to be an achromat. The objective lens and eyepieces were not coated. And the eyepiece barrels were shiny aluminum (not blackened) on the inside.

The lowest power eyepieces as 20mm, on a 700mm scope, giving me 35x as my lowest power. The 0.965" barrel size restricted my options here.

I was unable to align the finder to the scope, since the screws simply had their wedged preferred seating position which always slide to back off alignment, making it very difficult to find the Andromeda galaxy.

No doubt a flocked 60mm with a 25mm eyepiece could see some DSO's. Do you still think I could have too with my scope?


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samovu
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Reged: 07/05/13

Loc: So CA
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6285437 - 01/01/14 12:19 PM

I'm such a newbie I thought that grab and go meant "grab" your set up and "go" drive somewhere. The first time I loaded up my SUV to go somewhere with a buddy it took me more than 30 minutes. So according to me grab and go means being able to load up the vehicle in less than 5 minutes and taking off to any darker site than my highly light polluted back yard. If I can load up quickly then it will be almost as quickly set up when I get to the site.

For viewing in my back yard it takes almost the same time to set up a 3 inch refractor on an light duty GEM mount as it does to set up a 5" on a heavy duty one. The latter takes more muscle but I need the exercise anyway.

Cheers and Happy New Year to all,
John


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stargazer193857
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/01/13

Loc: Southern Idaho
Re: Grab and Go new [Re: samovu]
      #6285682 - 01/01/14 02:47 PM

Ah, yes. The grab and go site. I could drive 50 minutes to get to a very dark sky. But I have a site just 8 miles from me that is Bortle green/yellow, with very little glare in the distance. That is where I go for DSO observation. A dark site might be better, or it might have clouds by the time I get there.

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Jon Isaacs
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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
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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
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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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
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Reged: 06/16/04

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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
professor emeritus


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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
scholastic sledgehammer


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
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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
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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
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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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