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My grab and go setup, how is yours?

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#1 mike bacanin

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 03:46 PM

Due to moving home about 18 months ago, I have had re-evaluate my observing situation. I now have a small front patio area to use so I decided to go with a very portable grab and go setup. I settled on a new SW 102 mak on the az pronto mount. Despite the slim tripod legs the setup is quite sturdy and certainly ok with the 102 ota and accessories.This mount uses manual geared slow motions and very easy to follow the object.

I use a 6x30 SW ra finder which is comfortable to use and makes locating the object very easy. A revelation quartz 1.25" diagonal and astrozap dewshield are also employed. Naturally the whole setup can be picked up and moved with great ease.

I have just come in from observing the moon and I have to say the little mak performs beautifully. I have an ES 8.8 and 11mm 82 degree, and the views are impressive with excellent contrast and very sharp. However I just acquired a rare Fullerscopes 13mm superwide plossl, which was very likely made in the 80's and from Japan, as it still has the sticker. Sporting an impressive 82 degrees and a very sharp field stop,this eyepiece gave lovely contrasty views. This latest version 102 mak does not have collimation screws but star testing shows collimation to be close to perfect and very similar in and out of focus. It was great seeing peaks illuminated along the dark terminator.

I am very happy with exceptional portability and very good performance of the scope for its size, and it was obvious the scope could easily have taken a lot more magnification, something I will consider.

Do you have a grab and go which is a pleasure to use? please tell us.

Here's a photo from this evening.

 

mak 102 az pronto .jpg


Edited by mike bacanin, 10 April 2019 - 03:47 PM.

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#2 macdonjh

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 04:06 PM

mike macanin, my g-n-g gear is certainly bigger and heavier than yours, but when it's time to go, I don't go far: just thirty feet down my driveway.  I thought I had a photo, but...

 

I use a Losmandy GM-8 and an 8" f/20 classical Cassegrain in my driveway.

 

 


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#3 alvarete

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 04:09 PM

Mine is one AP Traveler 105 mm f/6 triplet apo and one Vixen Porta altaz mount.
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#4 Sam M

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 05:01 PM

Nice! 

 

I've got a C6 and accessories in a backpack.  That includes diagonal, red dot finder, ES 24mm 68, Baader Zoom, ES 6.7mm 82, and a 2x barlow cell that threads onto the bottom of the Baader to give about 1.5x.  Backpack also carries flashlight, filters, and charts.

 

A small duffel carries Vixen Porta II on a Vixen TL130, dew shield, and tupperware eyepiece holder that straps onto the tripod. Slowmo controls have permanently attached knobs.

 

Each bag is 12-13lbs. 

 

Pictured below it's high above Silver Spring, for a quick break at work, and in Florida after an airplane ride.

 

IMG 2788
IMG 2789
urban grab and go 1
IMG 2804
 

Edited by Sam M, 10 April 2019 - 10:56 PM.

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#5 Procyon

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 12:38 PM

Here's my grab and go lol.

 

post-68352-0-73450000-1522809765.jpg


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#6 Luna-tic

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:14 PM

My grab-n-go, a C6 and CG5 mount: takes about 5 minutes to set up in the back yard. I have a rollaround carrier I built to take it into the back yard, or put in the back of my pickup, or load in my cargo trailer. The mount in the picture is actually a CG4, but I donated it to our club and found a second-hand CG5 that looks almost the same, they are both manual mounts.

DSC_0050 (3).JPG


Edited by Luna-tic, 12 April 2019 - 09:15 PM.

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#7 Simon B

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 01:29 AM

Nice 102 mak setup there, I love small maks they're great smile.gif

 

Orion Starmax 90, Vixen Mini-Porta, 1.25" steel tripod legs

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Edited by Simon B, 13 April 2019 - 01:30 AM.

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#8 mike bacanin

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 05:20 AM

The other day I spotted a very nice alt az mount by APM on the UK astrobuysell site. This morning I decided to go for it and I secured it. This will be a great grab n go upgrade as I also have a very nice 127 SW mak with excellent optics also, but the pronto is overstretched

so the APM will be a very sturdy mount for both my ota whilst being very portable. The 102 is going to be mainly for solar white light viewing. The other nice thing is my eyepieces will work well with both maks.

Thanks for your posts, I am enjoying them.

 

Mike


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#9 rcg

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:37 PM

TEC 110FL on a DM4 used in backyard mostly.


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#10 gnowellsct

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:41 PM

TEC 110FL on a DM4 used in backyard mostly.

How the h*ll did you get a TEC 110



#11 gnowellsct

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:47 PM

DM6 + Tpod 110 + CFF 92 mm.  It looks like the oculars will be XW 40, Leica zoom, and Power Mate 4x.  This is my first portable set up and I wanted the tube light and the mount heavy.  So far it's done well on three different outings.  I don't lift the optic *on* the tripod for portage in and out of the house.  Too much possibility of banging something.  The whole thing can be picked up and moved around the yard and even the neighborhood, though, which is a huge change from my Gem days.  (and I still have the GEMs, but they're not good for portable neighborhood viewing.)

 

I have the option to switch out the 92 mm for a 130 mm, which is well within the DM6 capabilities, but I'm holding back till I get more used to the style of observing.  -GN

 

 

dm6 cff tpod.jpg


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#12 Hesiod

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:09 AM

Technically all my telescopes can fall into the "grab and go" category (I chose them exactly for this reason), but since are in the CATs forum, here's my smallest one

gallery_215679_8115_517477.jpg


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#13 rcg

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:24 PM

How the h*ll did you get a TEC 110

Waited a long time, kept placing an add looking for one. Had to leave a poorly represented sample by the wayside … had wanted one for several years ...

 

Plus figured I'd need a finder for the coming 165 grin.gif


Edited by rcg, 17 April 2019 - 07:26 PM.


#14 coopman

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:24 PM

All of mine are G&G too, since I only have to move them 50' or so & plop them down.  I just got the Starsense gadget for my Evo mount and it worked great a few nights ago.  It was in fact my first successful go-to session ever!  I am so excited about that.



#15 Tyson M

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:28 PM

My grab and go cat set up got considerably heavier.  I gave up a super light, easy and portable SW 180 mak cass on an AVX set up that was a dream to use on short notice, in favor of a large heavy EQ6-Mewlon 250S  set up. Grunt and go more like it, but the views are worth it. 

 

Besides, I had grab and go already covered in the 6" range with my Tak 6.1" dob.


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#16 rcg

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:33 PM

I have the option to switch out the 92 mm for a 130 mm, which is well within the DM6 capabilities, but I'm holding back till I get more used to the style of observing.  -GN

 

 

attachicon.gif dm6 cff tpod.jpg

Hah, moving up to a 130 I see, whose?



#17 gnowellsct

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:04 PM

Hah, moving up to a 130 I see, whose?


I had an FS128 for about 8 years and sold it to a friend when my name came up for a GT130. That was around 2012. It's been here ever since. I have been lazy about winter observing and am looking for the alt az refractor rigs to get me out more often.

I also use refractors on SCTs. Now I got the fs128 when I signed up for the 130 because Roland advised: you should buy another refractor. So when I signed up for the Stowaway I reflexively ordered the cff 92mm figuring the Stowaway would take at least as long as the 130. So the CFF is here, it's fantastic. And now I'm evaluating it relative to my other refractors (81 and 102mm) on solar and sct service. I'm also using the 92mm to train me on using the dm6. I may then gradually introduce the 130 to these tasks.

I would say there is a loose coherence to these plans. It's taking time because the weather is uncooperative and I need some hardware changes to make the CFF more secure when top mounted on an SCT.

A gt130 at NEAF was doing fantastic on h alpha solar and I will try that if I ever see the sun again. Solar and lunar are among my priorities to get more observing hours in given the frequency of bad nights for deep sky.

So anyhow it's not "moving up" to the 5" apo so much as using it more. The 3 and 4 inch refractors on the c8 and c14 make for an extremely effective combination that is hard for a five inch to beat. Plus my girlfriend heavily favors the c14. A lady who stays out till 3 a.m. and enjoys it is not likely to happen my way again. So if she wants the c14 that's what she gets.

The gt130 all things considered is likely to see more use now that I have gear that can travel, a mount that goes out the door in less than five minutes, and now that I have finally learned it can be used for solar with UVIR.

The CFF 92mm is a special case because it seems to do everything I want it to do perfectly. It is changing my ideas of how to do astro. It is certainly easier to haul around than the GT130. But all of my triplets have felt heavy regardless of size. This includes the recently sold LOMO 102 f/6.4.
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#18 Baatar

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:50 PM

SW 80ED Apo + AZ5 deluxe

 

 

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#19 rcg

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:17 PM

Hey up till 3am observing with you? Sounds like a good match!

 

Tom from discmounts uses his 130GT on a DM4, I think of that as perhaps the biggest grab and go. For me and the 110: three trips, one mount, two scope, three everything else. I find that acceptable, especially with the discmount quick setup, and I think that would work for the 130GT also.

 

Weather has been so bad here the learning curve on the DM4 navigation is dragging out.

 

I use mine for white light solar (Hershel), with the sunspot cycle at minimum I'm good with that.


Edited by rcg, 17 April 2019 - 11:22 PM.


#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 06:49 AM

SW 80ED Apo + AZ5 deluxe


Very attractive design.

#21 gnowellsct

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 06:56 AM

Hey up till 3am observing with you? Sounds like a good match!

Tom from discmounts uses his 130GT on a DM4, I think of that as perhaps the biggest grab and go. For me and the 110: three trips, one mount, two scope, three everything else. I find that acceptable, especially with the discmount quick setup, and I think that would work for the 130GT also.

Weather has been so bad here the learning curve on the DM4 navigation is dragging out.

I use mine for white light solar (Hershel), with the sunspot cycle at minimum I'm good with that.


I know Tom does that. But when I had my 92mm at 280x yesterday I was glad I had not compromised on stability. I do this a lot. People tell me to get 8 gigs of ram I get 16. I've yet to regret it. I do the same thing with mounts.

#22 Baatar

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 08:35 AM

Very attractive design.

 

Forgot that this was "cats & casses" thread, but anyway.



#23 Eddgie

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:41 AM

My Grab and Go setup:

 

Comet Catcher ($225, used)

Fluid Head Tripod ($130, new)

Micro Monocular with 10160C/AVS-6 image intensifier ($1800, used)

 

Weight all up is about 17.4 lbs.  Fits in almost any nook and cranny.

 

Fantastic views.  I mean absolutely spectacular. My first view ever of so many bucket list objects was with a Comet Catcher and Image Intensifier.    I never regret not having a bigger scope for grab and go.  I have had more excitement using this than my C14 or Astro-Physics refractor.  

 

Orange Comet Catcher.jpg


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#24 Jeff Lee

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:06 PM

Either my C90 (USA rubberized) or the ST80 on an SLT with lithium battery. Alignment, 3 mintues. Even faster is my 20 x 80 binocs on a monopod with feet and fluid head:)



#25 Eric63

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:25 PM

6586060-Mak127.JPG
6231995-BT70.JPG

 

My 127 Mak is very much grab and go on the AZ4, but I also love using my BT70's and bringing along my C90, which uses the same mount.

 

Eric


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