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Celestron Travelscope users, unite ;-)

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#1 viewer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 12:59 AM

I have placed an order for a Celestron Travelscope 70, a deal of about 70 bucks. Want to see for myself what it possibly can do for me. The criterion for getting this is extreme portability and easy setup, the low price is a great bonus. I walk to my observing spot about one kilometer away, and want something in the same weight class as binoculars, but with greater magnification. Hand on the heart, 10x magnification isn't really any good for the moon and planets, this telescope could take you to at least 40x, which is starting to reveal stuff. I'm expecting to get a wobbling mount, but on the other hand binoculars wobble too, so may get used to it, a mount gives some support anyway.

 

Views? There may be a value of also discussing "low-end" refractors, and what possible benefits they can have.


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#2 LDW47

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 01:28 AM

I have placed an order for a Celestron Travelscope 70, a deal of about 70 bucks. Want to see for myself what it possibly can do for me. The criterion for getting this is extreme portability and easy setup, the low price is a great bonus. I walk to my observing spot about one kilometer away, and want something in the same weight class as binoculars, but with greater magnification. Hand on the heart, 10x magnification isn't really any good for the moon and planets, this telescope could take you to at least 40x, which is starting to reveal stuff. I'm expecting to get a wobbling mount, but on the other hand binoculars wobble too, so may get used to it, a mount gives some support anyway.

 

Views? There may be a value of also discussing "low-end" refractors, and what possible benefits they can have.

I love the challenge of making a lower end refrac.work, do its job if you will, even though I have some higher end scopes ! You can give them a great home for a great price, what more could you want ? Its amazing the performance they give on the right nite under dark conditions ! I have a 90mm coming that I just added all for $95 C. + $25 ship. from Prince Edward Island. I am sure you will enjoy that scope, its been around for a while, I have had my eye on one for sometime but some other scope always got in my way, lol !


Edited by LDW47, 12 December 2019 - 01:36 AM.

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#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 02:09 AM

I had a Travelscope 70 for a while.  The weak is the the tripod. I didn't use the original tripod, I used it on a photo tripod.

 

The Focuser was plastic but serviceable. The 20 mm eyepiece was quite good considering the cost of the scope. I measured the effective aperture at 63 mm-65 mm.. I don't remember the diagonal but it's a correct image so for the planets, a star diagonal is preferred.

 

Should be fun.. 

 

Jon

 

It should 



#4 Redbetter

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:47 AM

The focuser on mine is problematic.  I chased my tail for some time trying to figure out whether I had optical problems or alignment/collimation problems.  I even ended up grooving the holes on the OTA where the focuser mounts so I could tweak it, among other things.  The plastic focuser has some skew and slop that changes with focuser travel.  I have come to suspect that a lot of the alignment trouble I had is due to having a tape guide/slide (Teflon?) on only one side, whereas other Synta scopes have two ~90 to 120 degrees apart on the lower focuser body.  I should probably tear it down again and see if I can remedy the tape deficiency...but I don't know what to use for that. 

 

With a simple cheap RDF it is its own finder.

 

I had envisioned this as backpacking trip scope, so I had torn down the tripod such that it was very short and light: suitable for using while I was sitting, or lying on the ground, or for elevating the scope on a boulder, fallen tree, etc.  Wasn't that comfortable to use that way, but it was small enough and light enough that it would fit in my pack along with my tent, sleeping bag, stove, water filter, fishing gear, food/bear canister, additional water bottles, etc.  But I ended up not taking it on any of my trips.  The thing of it was I found I was going to the mountains frequently enough to observe over 8,000 feet in Bortle 1/2 skies, that I didn't see any reason to carry a small scope to 10,000 feet backpacking where it was only slightly darker. 

 

I did wish I had taken it on our last trip to Hawaii though.  We happened to be at the Kilauea caldera when the magma level in the main vent was high enough that it could be seen--which was rare and unpredictable.  With the one bino observing scope they had at the center we could watch it splash and move the darker crust around, but there were a lot of other folks who wanted a look.


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#5 viewer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:24 AM

Nice views! It'll be interesting to see how the 45 degree prism works, will switch it to my 90 especially if the moon happens to be high up. The same spot where I may observe has some birdlife, why not try the scope in daytime? And sitting down without a foldable chair really would be a plus, have a few possible options, the mount will tell the best ones.


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#6 LDW47

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:24 AM

Enjoy the scope for what it is considering what you paid for it. Some so called experts will criticize it as if it was a $7000 scope instead of a $70 scope, some live in dream worlds beyond our planet. Happens all the time ! Envy ?  PS: You be the judge, you aren’t out a lot of $ !


Edited by LDW47, 12 December 2019 - 09:27 AM.


#7 BillP

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:55 AM

...some live in dream worlds beyond our planet.

lol.gif



#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:08 AM

Enjoy the scope for what it is considering what you paid for it. Some so called experts will criticize it as if it was a $7000 scope instead of a $70 scope, some live in dream worlds beyond our planet. Happens all the time ! Envy ?  PS: You be the judge, you aren’t out a lot of $ !

 

So far, no one has criticized the Travelscope 70.  Rather, it's been discussed in an objective manner, it's strengths and weaknesses.

 

Living in a dream world is thinking a $70 telescope will be free of problems. Living in the real world is thinking there will be problems but that those problems can be addressed.

 

This one has potential and can be better than when shipped.

 

Jon


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#9 viewer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:33 AM

Already dug up my 10mm plossl that came with my mak, and the practically unused 2x barlow which was over the top for my 40mm aperture PST. So the question is if I will be able to have a "permanent" 80x magnification or if having to settle for 40x. No swapping, you don't swap anything with binoculars either…



#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:40 AM

Viewer:

 

I think it will do 80x on the Moon, some doubles and probably Saturn and Jupiter... When they show up again.

 

Try Venus with only the small center cap removed (I believe there is one), the chromatic aberration will be gone.. it seems like an apo..

 

Jon



#11 Brollen

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:14 AM

I had purchased this scope awhile back - part of my never ending quest to find a perfect lightweight ED/achro finder scope. I no longer have it.

The backpack was good - still have it - and the optical accessories were ok/marginal and the tripod is just useable with this scope- IMO - and little else unless it is comparable or smaller in size.

The scope itself actually provided decent clear views. But there was too much plastic, the focuser is weak and a very short - maybe 1” in length - vixen rail is attached. As a finder it was good. Aside from the previous gripes the dew shield is woefully short especially when compared to its 50mm sibling.

But enjoy - it might suite your needs well.

Edited by Brollen, 12 December 2019 - 11:15 AM.

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#12 viewer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:36 AM

Encouraging. Think it will be the moon every time it's up and then binoculars when it's not, they really make you see stars in bortle 8 skies. Of course speaking of the couple of nights a month when the clouds permit...


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#13 LDW47

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:50 AM

So far, no one has criticized the Travelscope 70.  Rather, it's been discussed in an objective manner, it's strengths and weaknesses.

 

Living in a dream world is thinking a $70 telescope will be free of problems. Living in the real world is thinking there will be problems but that those problems can be addressed.

 

This one has potential and can be better than when shipped.

 

Jon

Not yet but it will probably come, it most always does ! We all know the scope including the poster, we know its capabilities, its build, its cost some things don’t have to be said, sometimes they are insulting to a person. But there is nothing wrong with discussing a scope no matter which level but some have to use words like junk, trash etc. in their worldly, intellectual knowledge, their contributions ! There are a couple of other similar posts on here right now where these type of remarks show up and it p*sse* those just trying to have some fun while learning something new off ! Maybe its just my little phobia, my quirk but its out there !  Clear Skies !


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#14 viewer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 12:16 PM

Good point. Seeing clearly better scopes than this being called junk...


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#15 LDW47

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 12:31 PM

Good point. Seeing clearly better scopes than this being called junk...

All scopes can be fun, be productive if you let them. Most of us are experienced enough to know what we are getting into vs the $, we don’t need insults from superior beings from some other world ! Some should go back from whence they came, lol !  When you read that drivel enough times it hardens you up, makes you swear under your breath, lol !


Edited by LDW47, 12 December 2019 - 12:31 PM.


#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:31 PM

Not yet but it will probably come, it most always does ! We all know the scope including the poster, we know its capabilities, its build, its cost some things don’t have to be said, sometimes they are insulting to a person. But there is nothing wrong with discussing a scope no matter which level but some have to use words like junk, trash etc. in their worldly, intellectual knowledge, their contributions ! There are a couple of other similar posts on here right now where these type of remarks show up and it p*sse* those just trying to have some fun while learning something new off ! Maybe its just my little phobia, my quirk but its out there !  Clear Skies !

 

So far, you are the only one who has mentioned anything about these scopes potentially being junk or trash.

 

I recommend keeping a positive, cup half full attitude, not only about this scope, but also about the members of Cloudy Nights who post here..  :ubetcha:

 

Jon


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#17 GeneDiG

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:46 PM

I like my Travelscope 70. However, the supplied tripod is truly awful. I broke mine. I use an old 1970s vintage Velbon for a tripod. Most of the time my Travelscope is used as a beach spotter for watching passing ships. I use a SVBony Zoom eyepiece and I find it works well. I like the light weight of the unit.



#18 LDW47

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:07 PM

I call’em like I see’em, its the way I am ! If I hadn’t seen it quite often in the forums before I wouldn’t say it, its the way I am ! I could give you some of the most recent examples from the last few days but I won’t, its the way I am ! No one likes a positive, friendly attitude more than I but when I see fellow members being derided by others because of a lower end, lower priced scope or the scopes that they have either boughten recently or are thinking / intending to buy being called garbage or junk or trash or what have you it irks me and I am sure others, that already own some of this so called trash to no end ! Maybe some of them are what they say they are but most of us have done our research, we know what we are getting into so we don’t need some of those comments shoved in our face, only constructive, friendly criticism is wanted. And if I can’t, as a member, say something about this sarcasm then I don’t want or need to be here so boot me out, its the way I am !  Clear Skies !  PS:  Don’t misquote me about this particular post, I said it hasn’t started YET but there is one post that could be an indication of things to come, we will see or maybe I cut it off at the pass as Gene Autry would say, lol ! 



#19 viewer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:55 PM

Dreading a bit the tripod, will report back. Probably you simply can't design a stable, truly light mount. But will try to manage.



#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 04:26 AM

Dreading a bit the tripod, will report back. Probably you simply can't design a stable, truly light mount. But will try to manage.

 

Lightweight, affordable and reasonably stable photo tripods for a Travelscope 70 are available on the used market. I have another one very similar to this one, three stage tubular aluminum legs, a crankup center column, the head is similar to a fluid head..

 
6179061-Ioptron ST-80 on Fairfax Tripod.jpg
 
Jon

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#21 AndresEsteban

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 01:58 PM

I suppose this Celestron Travelscope 70, like many other brands of short tube 70 mm aperture, focal length 400 mm (f/5.7) or 300 mm (f/4.2) have the same or similar optics. Some have the focuser built all in plastic, some have it in metal. They are excellent scopes for low power, about D[mm]/2 or D[mm]/3, which gives 35x to 23x. The main problem with these scopes is optimization to achive good or excellent images at low power. I have a Toya 70 mm FL=300 mm (f/4.2). It had a inner baffle, reducing the aperture to less than 50mm and inside the focuser another pair of baffles making the effective aperture about 35 mm... yes, you said it: ouch! So the best thing to do is to open it, take way any baffles inside, flock the OTA inner side with your preferred material. After this, check the drawtube, if there's any baffle, take it and flock the inner wall or better, buy a new focuser, best advice: a 2 inches focuser with 1.25" eyepiece adapter. After this modding, check the doublet for chromatic aberration at night with fluorescente tubes or FL lamps. In my case it was necessary to increase the gap between doublet elements to 0.7 mm and forget the orginal circular palstic ring. Now I have a decent low power 70 mm f/4.2 scope that give excellent views at low power. I've tested it against an Orion 80 mm Fl= 400 mm and it easily beated the Orion! So I wouldn't discard these 70 mm aperture 300-400 mm FL as "junk", on the contrary, sometimes what's needed it 's a little tweaking and voilà, you have a fine low power instrument!

 

Clear skies for us all!
Andy


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#22 MartinPond

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 03:03 PM

 

Lightweight, affordable and reasonably stable photo tripods for a Travelscope 70 are available on the used market. I have another one very similar to this one, three stage tubular aluminum legs, a crankup center column, the head is similar to a fluid head..

 
 
 
Jon

 

  Jon's example is typical of 1950s---1970s tripods you

  can clean up.  Very nice.

  The key is the cast metal head.....far less shake than

  a plastic or composite head.  Some shake, but vastly

   better than the flaky tripod that comes with the TravelScopes.

 

I have gotten good all-metal tripods cheap when they were missing

   their camera "shoe".   If you can remove the bolt, drill through,

  and "pull down" the scope with 1/4-20 threads and a wingnut,

  you have an amazing deal. You just need clearance below.

 

I use an 80x400 a lot, but I have a TS-70 on a Sony VCT 20A tripod.

OK for some things at night, but excellent for daytime/coastal/hiking use.

In the daytime, power much over 40x is messed up by the horizontal

 viewing conditions. If you are at 40--60x or less, the focuser is not so bad. 

AS a wide-view "rich field" at low power at night, it's a nice thing to hike with.  


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#23 viewer

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 03:05 PM

I might, just might have a solution for the wobbly mount. My observing spot will probably be on a jetty. I could support the OTA against the jetty rail. So the rail would support the front, and the tripod the rest. Following the moon will not be easy, but on the other hand it wouldn't anyway without fine tuning knobs, could learn to manage. I envision the tripod-rail combination could be even rock stable, we'll see.


Edited by viewer, 13 December 2019 - 03:09 PM.

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#24 LDW47

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 04:23 PM

I suppose this Celestron Travelscope 70, like many other brands of short tube 70 mm aperture, focal length 400 mm (f/5.7) or 300 mm (f/4.2) have the same or similar optics. Some have the focuser built all in plastic, some have it in metal. They are excellent scopes for low power, about D[mm]/2 or D[mm]/3, which gives 35x to 23x. The main problem with these scopes is optimization to achive good or excellent images at low power. I have a Toya 70 mm FL=300 mm (f/4.2). It had a inner baffle, reducing the aperture to less than 50mm and inside the focuser another pair of baffles making the effective aperture about 35 mm... yes, you said it: ouch! So the best thing to do is to open it, take way any baffles inside, flock the OTA inner side with your preferred material. After this, check the drawtube, if there's any baffle, take it and flock the inner wall or better, buy a new focuser, best advice: a 2 inches focuser with 1.25" eyepiece adapter. After this modding, check the doublet for chromatic aberration at night with fluorescente tubes or FL lamps. In my case it was necessary to increase the gap between doublet elements to 0.7 mm and forget the orginal circular palstic ring. Now I have a decent low power 70 mm f/4.2 scope that give excellent views at low power. I've tested it against an Orion 80 mm Fl= 400 mm and it easily beated the Orion! So I wouldn't discard these 70 mm aperture 300-400 mm FL as "junk", on the contrary, sometimes what's needed it 's a little tweaking and voilà, you have a fine low power instrument!

 

Clear skies for us all!
Andy

Before you do any of that use it for a while, focus on different objects under different skies, you might like it the way it is ! You know what you are buying so surely your expectations aren’t out of site you are looking for something different to try, like many of us. Once started its hard to end that hunger, lol !


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#25 viewer

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 05:04 PM

Before you do any of that use it for a while, focus on different objects under different skies, you might like it the way it is ! You know what you are buying so surely your expectations aren’t out of site you are looking for something different to try, like many of us. Once started its hard to end that hunger, lol !

Count on it grin.gif 


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