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Refractor newbie looking for a scope that can fly

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 03:45 PM

Hello all, I'm another newbie, having been out of astronomy for some time, looking to get back in. My problem is, in order to get any decent sky, I'll need to travel. And that means flying. I was considering the Synta (Helios/Skywatcher) scopes, but couldn't get any information on weight! A telescope is just about useless for flying, if it and all its bits are over the 20 kg baggage allowance. I've been considering either of the 120 mm scopes, the Startravel or the Evostar. I'd appreciate the advice of anyone who's got these scopes, or any recommendations of what to fly with.


#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 04:47 PM

If you had a good hard case you could check most anything. I'm not sure what the limits are on checked luggage.

Though probably checked luggage is too much hassle and too heavy to be carrying around an airport and where ever else your travels take you.

I don't have any experiance with these scopes. If you want something really light you could get some good binoculars. Handy to take on business trips or whatever. But if you are flying for the sake of astronomy or leisure than yeah you'd want something more powerful.

#3 matt

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:14 PM

I've lugged a few scopes around (the best being Brazil, to take advantage of a business trip to see Omega Centauri - wow!), and I realize that when I'm away on business having a small scope beats watching CNN. You have ways of viewing it:

1 - carry on luggage
That limits it to the small ETXs and NExstars. (the carry case for th 5" models is just at the size limit for carry on luggage, and loaded witht the scope inside it's about 20lbs). Avoid GEM mounted scope (even if the mount is not carried on, favor a fork mount) as there the mount is very heavy compared to the OTA. As for refractors, only the shorter tubes (20" - 22") can be true carry on, unless you know the flight will not be too crowded.

2 - checked luggage: Dobs rule!
(did it once with improper equipment, once with the right one)

step1: go to Golf World. Buy one the bags to carry golf bags inside: they cost about 100€, are padded, and offer an inside volume of about 10x10x50"

step2: buy a Dob that will fit in there (with some extra foam as golf clubs are more resistant than scopes!), you should fit in a 6" or maybe even an 8" (but then you don't have room for extra padding). I did it with my (quite heavy) 6" mak-newt on a homemade Dob mount. The bag was in the 40 lbs. range but I made the trip a few times without extra charge.

Step 3 - the fun part is you pass security, and when the guy asks suspiciously what you are carrying around (he will see it's heavier than a golf bag), act surpised and say "well, it's a telescope, funny you should ask"!

I think that once you made the choice of checking the scope, the Dob is a good choice as you don't have a heavy mount, they are rugged and cheap meaning you don't have to worry much, and the setup is instant wherever you are in the world. Drawback is you are 99% sure you will have to recollimate.

In my case, with the Mak-newtonian, I had bought the OTA alone, and had made two dobsonian mounts - a heavy and stable one for home, and a light one for travel.

Hope this helps, and does not just make you worry some more!

#4 matt

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:36 PM

I just looked at my case (it's a nexstar 5 in an ETX125 case!), it's 9" thick which makes it a little above carry-on guidelines, but I've already carried it on once.

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 04:34 PM

I'm not sure I would want baggage handlers throwing my 8" dob around...it's bad enough to let them handle the golf clubs:shocked:! I'd try to stick with a small 80mm short tube and carry it on or something...or big binocs with a monopod.

#6 Blair

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 06:09 PM

If you can afford one a Borg scope is nice and light weight
http://www.sciencece...ystems/swii.htm
is a scope of interest.
Good luck.

#7 Trever

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 10:50 PM

I know you want a refractor, but how about one of the Orion Maks? They come with a carrying case and are pretty small. You could probably have the tripod as part of the checked in baggage but I would carry the mak myself.

Otherwise, the orion 80mmED would be a sweet one for that.


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