Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Show us your CAT travel scope

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 yagon

yagon

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 11 July 2018 - 05:33 AM

I’m keen to see pics of travel scope setups that are CATs.

 

I’d love to see images of scopes both setup and packed away, ready for travel by car / plane etc.  And I’d like to hear the philosophy behind the setup.

 

Anyone keen to share their CAT travel setup?



#2 Freezout

Freezout

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 358
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2017
  • Loc: North Europe, Bortle 4 zone, altitude 11 meters

Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:12 AM

I showed it recently on other threads but here is my setup fit for travel.

Travel to my “dark site” (a field) that I do by car, but I also travelled with it by plane.

 

Philosophy: I have been purchasing the OTA thinking that I will desire to take it by plane someday and dimensions of the Ota were a key factor when choosing the telescope.
I have to say that I got surprised by the hassle of the EQ mount but said to myself: you will do with what you have.

 

The OTA is a mak 150mm. It goes in the Pelicase IM2600 as carry-on luggage for plane. It is with its prism diagonal, the dew heater battery (not allowed in checked luggage) and the finder.
To note: it exceeds the limit of weight for most of the carry-on but by showing the OTA the employees of the airline company will probably make no issue (it worked for me).

 

All the rest goes in a big Thermodyne trolley. Travel tripod (I believe similar to the Altaz EQ Skywatcher mount tripod), Skyview Pro EQ mount, red dot finder, dew heater + controller, and belt bag for eyepieces. This is very heavy, more than 30kg. If you have to pull it on an uneven surface, it’s tiring.

I carry clothes, water, books and whatever in a backpack if needed.

 

So I would say it is absolutely not a grab and go telescope. For that I would recommend a smaller OTA on an altaz mount. I might go in this direction later.
But it is a travel scope in the sense that a big setup fits in only 2 cases quite well organized: all the components are placed so that they are taken out in the correct order during assembling/unassembling the telescope. No searching in multiple bags/boxes etc.
I have been very satisfied to have a telescope of this class taking the plane without problem. Smaller on altaz might be more reasonable however. With a kid coming I foresee that this setup will be too much.

 

setup-min-min.jpg

case OTA-min.jpg


  • Starman27, eros312 and gfstallin like this

#3 Freezout

Freezout

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 358
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2017
  • Loc: North Europe, Bortle 4 zone, altitude 11 meters

Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:15 AM

Pictures of the rest:

 

First layer of the trolley

case first layer-min.jpg

 

Second layer:

case second layer-min.jpg

 


  • gfstallin likes this

#4 ayryq

ayryq

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 197
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2017
  • Loc: SW Michigan

Posted 12 July 2018 - 09:53 AM

Here's mine. Untested as yet; leaving this weekend for 2 week road trip family vacation to Arizona & Colorado. Had to take minimal room in the minivan (this is not an astronomy-focused trip!). It's a Meade ETX90, "deforked", and a photo tripod that I will also be using for photos.

20180712_101028.jpg

20180712_101040.jpg

20180712_101046.jpg

20180712_101059.jpg

20180712_101233.jpg

 

 


  • Starman27, Hesiod, gfstallin and 1 other like this

#5 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2423
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 12 July 2018 - 02:26 PM

This is my "main" travel setup
Alter M500 and Astrotrac 2
The goals I had in mind when made the purchase was to get the closest performances to my 100/900 DL refractor, but in a more convenient "package", to be ble to travel with the telescope without major hassles.
The black bag contains the optica tube, the TT320, and all the visual/photographic accessories, while inside the Astrotrac cylinder are stored the hard pieces.
The telescope can be set up either in alt/az or EQ configuration, and it is suitable for planetary AP, while the mount can be exploited for deep sky AP with photographic lenses (I am waiting for the focal reducer; the Astrotrac probably could handle the reduced M500, but this would be indeed a much more demanding task I have never tried up to now; previous attempts with a 100/740 refractor showed me that the mount could be aligned through its polarscope to attain 60" to 90" subs).
While it could be theoretically traveled by plane (all the items in the black bag can be flown as hand luggage, and the rugged pier checked), it was not a staple requirement, so the whole telescope is quite heavy, having put more emphasis on sturdiness; still I can carry it in a single trip, and without worrying about the path, a fact which was on the other hand, of a certain interest to me.
In the picture is depicted also a Po-Li battery, which is a nice to have but absolutely not required, since the Astrotrac can feed upon AA batteries.
Alter M500 and Astrotrac 3
Here is how it looks set up; the large and heavy dewshield is the more troublesome piece, since it can not be place inside the bag, and would be left home if we are not using the car (or if have too much stuff).
The autotracking is very enjoyable for high-power or shared observations, while being basically a manual telescopes ensures the greatest realiability; also, the good "redundancy" of the Astrotrac minimize the risk of finding that a critical piece is lacking and the telescope totally unusable.

Edited by Hesiod, 12 July 2018 - 02:28 PM.

  • Starman27 and gfstallin like this

#6 carolinaskies

carolinaskies

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1141
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Greenville SC

Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:02 PM

lx20016mobile parked.jpg

lx20016mobile.jpg

Here's my 'mobile' 16"  project.  

This telescope will be mainly visual use with some outreach.  Mobility is via a heavy duty wheelchair.  Chair has a tilt mechanism to put telescope into EQ mode.

Status currently is - in development. 

General idea is to trailer the telescope to outreach and dark sites and drive the scope into position.  I have used this for solar observing, especially last years eclipse which was beautifully framed in a 56mm eyepiece.  


Modifications planned:

1. 24v-18v-12v buck converters to power the scope off the wheelchair batteries. 
2. Leveling/stabilizer pod braces.  Currently debating between manual crank or electric servo controls also powered by the wheelchair. 
3. Elevation angle gauge for tilt. 

 


  • paulsky, Starman27, eros312 and 1 other like this

#7 Cometeer

Cometeer

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2013
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California or Illinois

Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:45 AM

Airline travel C5 setup. Fits under the seat in front. 13EF5124-C140-491F-B4C5-856CAAEC28C9.jpeg

 

In the case is a C5, 1.25” Dielectric diagonal, Baader Zoom, ES 24mm 68*, Celestron focal reducer, 1.6 Barlow cell, Rigel Finder (swapped for the Telrad mount you see in the pic), three

filters, red flashlight, and a collimation screwdriver. Also will fit in a 4mm Radian in there once I scrounge some end caps for it. 

 

Used to use it with a Stellarvue M1, but have recently decided to purchase the Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi. Not only is it a lighter mount, but it offers tracking which will be very useful for the outreach I do. 


  • Starman27, LauraMS, Axunator and 1 other like this

#8 Axunator

Axunator

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Joined: 23 May 2015
  • Loc: Helsinki, Finland

Posted 13 July 2018 - 01:15 PM

Cometeer, that looks like a very well thought-out visual travel setup! And that white-tube C5 reminds me of the C5+ ads in S&T in my youth - oh, the nostalgy!

How do you find the AZ-GTi, does it work ok with your C5?
  • Cometeer and gfstallin like this

#9 Cometeer

Cometeer

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2013
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California or Illinois

Posted 13 July 2018 - 01:42 PM

 

What's the brand of that stool? I've been looking for one and most I've found look a little too short.



#10 Cometeer

Cometeer

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2013
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California or Illinois

Posted 13 July 2018 - 01:45 PM

Cometeer, that looks like a very well thought-out visual travel setup! And that white-tube C5 reminds me of the C5+ ads in S&T in my youth - oh, the nostalgy!

How do you find the AZ-GTi, does it work ok with your C5?

 

Thank you Aki. It was originally a C5+. Unfortunately, I had to split it away from its fork mount.

 

I haven't actually purchased the AZ-GTi yet. I've been waiting until I go back to school so that I can directly ship the mount there. From my research and by asking others, it seems that AZ-GTI should not have any problem with the C5. 



#11 Axunator

Axunator

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Joined: 23 May 2015
  • Loc: Helsinki, Finland

Posted 13 July 2018 - 02:12 PM

Thank you Aki. It was originally a C5+. Unfortunately, I had to split it away from its fork mount.

I haven't actually purchased the AZ-GTi yet. I've been waiting until I go back to school so that I can directly ship the mount there. From my research and by asking others, it seems that AZ-GTI should not have any problem with the C5.


Let’s hope it’ll be a good combo! What’s the case in the pic? Did you cut the foam yourself or is it a custom job (Casebuilder etc.)?

#12 Cometeer

Cometeer

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2013
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California or Illinois

Posted 13 July 2018 - 02:32 PM

Let’s hope it’ll be a good combo! What’s the case in the pic? Did you cut the foam yourself or is it a custom job (Casebuilder etc.)?

It the official C5 case that comes with the current generation of C5 spotters. Took me a while to get a hold of one. The foam comes with a cutout for the OTA, diagonal, a small eyepiece and a finder. I modified the OTA cutout to accomodate the handle on the C5+ OTA, otherwise it’s a perfect fit. Also enlarged the eyepiece hole in the upper right and made another one in the lower right. Added a hole for filters and the focal reducer. Everything was cut by hand with a box cutter and an xacto knife.

Given the provided cutouts in the foam, one can permanentaly keep a 6x30 optical finder affixed to the scope without needing to remove it when storing the scope in the case. But if paired with a goto mount, there's no need for an optical finder in addition to a red dot. I’m also thinking of my adding a 4mm Radian next to the Rigel Finder, but then I’ll have to move my collimation screw driver somewhere else. Will also add a UHC filter sometime soon.

 

I forgot to mention that I even have a full size bahtinov mask hidden between the corrector cover and corrector. 

Are you considering a similar grab and go setup?


Edited by Cometeer, 13 July 2018 - 02:41 PM.


#13 Axunator

Axunator

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Joined: 23 May 2015
  • Loc: Helsinki, Finland

Posted 13 July 2018 - 03:18 PM

I wasn’t, but seeing yours got me the itch lol.gif  My current ”travel scope” is a 4” SW Mak, but C5 might be just that significant bit brighter and bigger, and especially with FR with quite a bit wider FOV too. I know I could put 0.63x FR into the Mak too (with Scopestuff adapter), but with 19 mm rear baffle I have my doubts how well the tiny Mak would work with the FR and 24/68 eyepiece... 


  • Cometeer likes this

#14 Freezout

Freezout

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 358
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2017
  • Loc: North Europe, Bortle 4 zone, altitude 11 meters

Posted 13 July 2018 - 04:41 PM

What's the brand of that stool? I've been looking for one and most I've found look a little too short.


The brand is Walkstool (no idea if it's available in the USA). One of the best birthday gifts I received !
  • Cometeer likes this

#15 Cometeer

Cometeer

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2013
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California or Illinois

Posted 16 July 2018 - 02:34 AM

Made a small update to my setup. Decided to forgo the 4mm Radian and instead put in 3 plossls (7mm, 12mm, 20mm). Given the amount of outreach I’ll do with this setup, I’d rather not pull out hairs whenever kids touch the glass surface of the eps. With the plossls, I wouldn’t even care if someone decides to try taking a bite out of it. lol.gif

 

So now I’ve got a total of 5 eyepieces in that tiny case along with my C5 and other accessories. I can post an updated picture if anyone wants to see. 



#16 yagon

yagon

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:10 PM

Thanks for sharing your travel setups - some great ideas here that will help me pull yogether my own kit

 

.... and interesting to see that some consider a 16” mobile!  Thats a well thought-out setup.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics