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Large SCTs, how portable

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 10:25 AM

Hi,
I'm new to this (excellent) forum so excuse me for asking a question that I'm sure has been posed before.
I'm contemplating buying a Meade 16" SCT, either with the Meade or the appropriate Losmandy mount. I cannot as yet mount the scope permanently so will be carrying it to and from the garage. To aid this would wheelie bars be a help? It's a hard surface drive with gravel in places; how will the wheels run - I think I've seen the bars with large wheels advertised - has anybody used these, do they help or not.
Sorry if this is simple stuff but I need to ask it anyway.
Steve

#2 Don W

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 10:56 AM

Egads, have you calculated the weight of the individual parts? That 16" is a monster. You'll definitely need something larger than the Losmandy G-11. And no, no one has asked this question before.

#3 bierbelly

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 11:07 AM

Probably the larger and softer the wheels, the better off you'll be. For example, consider a wheel barrow, with a pneumatic tire. It'll go over some pretty rough terrain without much problem, but hard rubber wheels will probably create problems.

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 11:11 AM

Oh, yeah. That OTA goes over 100 pounds; it'd take a heckuva GEM to carry it. With counterweights and all you'd be in the 400 pound weight class - better get some really big wheels! I think the forkmount goes around 275 pounds; still not very portable.

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 11:55 AM

Dooohhhh!
Sorry guys, for sixteen inch, read fourteen inch .....does that make more sense (wishfull thinking or freudian slip I guess)? The rest of the questions stand.
Steve
8" Celestron
SPC mount

#6 jrcrilly

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:19 PM

That sounds a little better! For a GEM I'd recommend the Celestron OTA, as they tend to be lighter than comparable Meade OTA's and you'd be pushing a CGE or G11 pretty hard even with the C14 (especially the G11).

The Meade forkmount is about 120 pounds for the scope/mount and another 50 pounds or so for the tripod. A CGE1400 probably weighs around 200 pounds total. Either way, gravel might be a problem unless the tires are big and soft.

#7 conus

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 01:22 PM

Ditto on the Celestron. My next scope may be a larger SCT, a 14." If so, having read probably ever review and post available, there's no way I'd choose the Meade over the a Celestron OTA. Celestron's OTA weighs 39 lbs, and a lot of people consider the optics slightly superior. There are people who frequent this and other boards who use the G11 with it. They say that for visual use it's sufficient.

#8 jrcrilly

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 01:33 PM

While I'd go with the C14 if I were going to use a GEM, it was a CGE that I pulled out of the observatory when I put in the 14" Meade. I like forkmounts, and the 14" Meade is a heckuva nice piece of gear. The mount is definitely a notch or two better than the smaller LX200GPS models, which all share a common base and drive system.

#9 Rusty

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 08:37 PM

A 14" is BIG no matter how mounted; That said, one of my friends has a CGE1400, and he can set it up in about 20 minutes at an observing site, and he's only about 5'6" (but in superb shape). I'm somewhat bigger, but I'd not even consider humping a 14" on a fork mount.

If you prefer a fork mount, and intend to observe anywhere but home, think seriously about an 11" or 12".

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 06:17 AM

I use a GEM for both my LX200 16" and C-14 (the Losmandy Titan)..picks on my website at http://www.SPACEAHOLIC.com/ (under Astronomy tab)

R/Scott

#11 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 09:16 AM

Hi
I live at a v dark sky area in ireland and am considering buying a meade 14" SCT also. To cut £2000 of the price tag i intend to fly to the US to buy it although i still havn't worked out the logistics of this yet. Really i would like to know if i am going over the top and if a 12" would be just as good. My problem with these things is that you spend a lot of money and then have to upgrade in a few years when you have evolved. I intend to persue astrophotography as a hobbie.
Whats the consensus amoung you guys and do you have a list of other stuff that i might buy while i'm in the states?

PS i am new to this forum also, hope me butting in here isn't treading on any toes! :question:

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 10:48 AM

Very dark skys imply that the extra aperture would be a definite plus. Both scopes are excellent and should do well for astrophotography.

If you have experience with telescopes, then you will best be able to answer your own question. If you are new to astronomy and astrophotography, then there is a lot of justification in starting small, 6"-8" apeture, and working your way up the learning curve. A quality 6" to 8" scope is a financially much better learning experience! Incidentally, I have seen CCD photos taken with an 8" SCT that would knock your socks off. When and if you "outgrow" the smaller scope, you will be able to sell it and apply the proceeds to a larger scope. Keep in mind that a quality CCD camera can set you back more than the cost of a 14" SCT.

By the time you get up to 14", a permanent mount is almost a necessity, especially for astrophotography. You might keep this in mind.

Russ Schnitzer


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