Using the OneSky as a travel scope:
As I mentioned in another thread, I took my Ares (same as OneSky) on a trip to Hawaii. Here is my review:
I went to Maui 2 years ago and was stunned out how much higher in the sky the planets and Milky way objects were located. I decided to bring the scope with me on this trip. I simply placed the tube assembly in our large, checked duffle bag, surrounded by clothes. I use a Vixen Porta II with this scope, and I use an Orion padded scope back to transport the mount. I checked this bag and our duffle bag as checked baggage. I wrapped the head of the Porta in bubble wrap, and everything arrived damage free.
For this travel scope I use a minimal eyepiece kit, comprising of my Meade 24/68, a Nagler 13T6, and a Celestron Ultima barlow (2.2x). On this trip, I decided to also bring my Meade 20/68. Both of these Meades are out of production, but have the exact same optics as the ES 68 deg series. I spent some time comparing the 20 with the 24, and can say they both perform identical except for the power & exit pupil. Both eyepieces are fairly well corrected, showing a little bit of astigmatism in the outer edge of field, compounded by the scope's coma.
The intended use for this setup was to be able to walk out of my condo and quickly view - Not going to a dark site and making a night out of it (perhaps next time I will). The lightweight scope was perfect for this use, and I used it on at least 4 occasions during our week long stay at Sugar Beach in Kihei, Maui. We had days of mixed weather, warm and cloudy or warm and clear. The nights were similar, with several good nights of viewing. Unfortunately, the seeing was pretty bad, but acceptable for low-power viewing. The warm night air was really nice - something I'm not used to in the Pacific NW.
The grassy grounds at our condo were fairly dark, but there are ground lights there and at the back of our condo. One thing I discovered is that even with a light shroud on the truss, the scope leaks a lot of light that at times interfered with my ability to view. The ground lights were leaking into the space directly below the focuser, and at one point also coming in through the bottom of the tube. I plan on rigging up a rear baffle and some sort of light block below the focuser. By moving the scope around, I found I could get reasonably good views without too much light distraction.
My Ares has fairly good optics - not perfect but not bad at all considering its $150 price tag. I decided to check collimation, which I had not done since purchasing the scope several years ago. Using my combo Cheshire and Site tube, along with a collimating cap, I found the scope to be in perfect collimation.
The mount performed flawlessly, and is a perfect mount for a OneSky. I purchased the mount for use with an 80 mm APO that is gone now. I have the Manny's Pan-Handle on this mount, and it was completely unnecessary for use with a OneSky. It's just as easy to grab the lower tube to move the scope. My wife & I enjoyed views of Saturn (Cassini barely visible) Jupiter (down in the muck) and some bright clusters & nebula. Again, not really from a dark site but super comfortable in 75 degree weather.
One of the highlights for me was when I woke up a 4 am, I was able to walk outside with nothing but shorts on. So I took the scope outside and viewed the Orion Nebula, at a very high altitude, in total summer comfort. Where I live, there are winters that go by where I never even get to see it once, due to its low elevation, trees, clouds, etc. And even if I do get to see it, I'll be freezing cold!
The scope and mount made it home in one piece, and everything went perfectly. I plan on bringing it every time I head out to this tropical paradise!
Here is the scope, set up on our lawn ready for viewing:
Edited by SteveG, 23 September 2017 - 05:45 PM.