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Meade 80MM Infinity Airport Solutions

Astrometry Refractor Tripod Accessories
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#1 cloudydreams

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 05:40 PM

Hi Cloudy Nights! I will be taking a flight to mexico with a luggage and a backpack. I would like to carry my Meade Inifity 80mm, but I am wondering how to find the tube and the tripod.

Other than the telescope I will be carrying a camera, laptop, clothes and a few books. Any ideas on a specialized backpack or ways to fit the scope in this set up would be appreciated.

My budget for a backpack is around $100. Thanks so much!

 



#2 AaronF

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:20 PM

This is over your budget by $50 but I thought I'd mention it in case you can stretch a bit, or find it cheaper in another store: https://www.vanguard...-backpack-green

Here it is with my 80mm telescope inside:

traveltelescopepacked

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#3 cloudydreams

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 07:16 PM

Thanks for the amazing recommendation! while I am looking, would this work? 



#4 Jim1804

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:51 PM

No specific backpack recommendations, but the ST80 scopes ride very well on a decent photo tripod with a ball head turned over sideways into the notch - get the scope balanced, and you can leave the clutches open for a very smooth, “dob-like” experience. Might save you some room over the stock tripod.

#5 cloudydreams

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 11:27 PM

Thanks Jim! @AaronF what is your tripod/mount? my camera tripod is also quite heavy so I need to find a different solution for this :)


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#6 AaronF

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for the amazing recommendation! while I am looking, would this work? 

You're most welcome! That bag looks a bit on the short side to me. Will your telescope fit inside it?

 

Thanks Jim! @AaronF what is your tripod/mount? my camera tripod is also quite heavy so I need to find a different solution for this smile.gif

The tripod is the "3 Legged Thing Punks Billy", and any similar tripod should work just as well.

It's not as good as a Gitzo or Manfrotto tripod, though, but costs half as much.

It's best when only two of the leg segments are extended, the central column is raised only just enough to stop the telescope hitting the legs, and with a weight hanging from the hook under the central column --- all this is to minimise wobbling.

 

The mount is the Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi

 

 

Here's a post in which I went into a bit more detail on the whole setup.



#7 Angeles

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 07:11 AM

cant you just order a $40 or $50 backpack to fit your needs & use a towel or 2 to wrap the ota laptop etc.

If your going on vacation then most people carry towels for beach or pool anyway.

PS iam not talking about a 6 ft towel maybe 3ft etc

 

When i go up north i wrap my shirts & sweaters around my eps diagonal ota etc etc, if iam bringing those items i may as well use it to wrap my stuff too for safety.

maria



#8 Jim1804

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 12:46 AM

Thanks Jim! @AaronF what is your tripod/mount? my camera tripod is also quite heavy so I need to find a different solution for this :)


I use a knock-off Manfrotto from Amazon - it’s a Bonfotto, pretty light, and handles my scope really well. Cost around $75 a few years back. I think there are lots of similar off-brands available that will work really well.

#9 cloudydreams

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 01:50 AM

I use a knock-off Manfrotto from Amazon - it’s a Bonfotto, pretty light, and handles my scope really well. Cost around $75 a few years back. I think there are lots of similar off-brands available that will work really well.

Thank Jim! is there a way to mount the head that is on my Meade infinity tripod onto these other tripods? How would I be able to make slow motion moves during visual astronomy with tripod/tripod heads other than what I have on meade's? Thanks!



#10 Jim1804

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 08:30 AM

Thank Jim! is there a way to mount the head that is on my Meade infinity tripod onto these other tripods? How would I be able to make slow motion moves during visual astronomy with tripod/tripod heads other than what I have on meade's? Thanks!

I have no idea - if so, you’d definitely need some kind of adapter. 
 

But with the sidesaddle ball head method, you keep the clutches open and just nudge the scope, just like you would with a dob. No slo-mo needed, even at high magnification (well, high magnification for a ST80). 

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#11 cloudydreams

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 05:29 PM

I have no idea - if so, you’d definitely need some kind of adapter. 
 

But with the sidesaddle ball head method, you keep the clutches open and just nudge the scope, just like you would with a dob. No slo-mo needed, even at high magnification (well, high magnification for a ST80). 

Thanks so much! Is this what you have? So I can just put the telescope on this, and use the tripod fluid head to move the scope? I've never tried this way and sounds like it would be wobbly/shaky, how has been your experience?



#12 Jim1804

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 07:35 PM

Thanks so much! Is this what you have? So I can just put the telescope on this, and use the tripod fluid head to move the scope? I've never tried this way and sounds like it would be wobbly/shaky, how has been your experience?


Looks similar - maybe an updated model. I think mine is “technically” rated for something like 15lbs. That’s ambitious, but it handles the less than 5 pound ST80 just fine.

The key is to use a ball head, not a fluid head (it looks like this tripod comes with what you need). You attach the scope (assuming the Infinity has a photo tripod screw hole on the dovetail - the AdventureScope version does). Then you tilt the ball head over into the notch. Get it balanced, and then you can loosen the locks for left-right (azimuth) and up down (ie the ball itself - altitude). It’s super smooth and not wobbly at all. Is it as stable as on the Twilight 1 (which is complete overkill for this scope)? Nope - but there’s very little shake or vibration - basically none that I’ve noticed at all. It moves like a dob. Because you’re not locking anything down, it’s very smooth. The only real issue is knocking it over with your foot - it is a little side heavy - but as long as you’re careful it’s hard to beat as a light, easy travel setup.

#13 cloudydreams

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 10:55 PM

Looks similar - maybe an updated model. I think mine is “technically” rated for something like 15lbs. That’s ambitious, but it handles the less than 5 pound ST80 just fine.

The key is to use a ball head, not a fluid head (it looks like this tripod comes with what you need). You attach the scope (assuming the Infinity has a photo tripod screw hole on the dovetail - the AdventureScope version does). Then you tilt the ball head over into the notch. Get it balanced, and then you can loosen the locks for left-right (azimuth) and up down (ie the ball itself - altitude). It’s super smooth and not wobbly at all. Is it as stable as on the Twilight 1 (which is complete overkill for this scope)? Nope - but there’s very little shake or vibration - basically none that I’ve noticed at all. It moves like a dob. Because you’re not locking anything down, it’s very smooth. The only real issue is knocking it over with your foot - it is a little side heavy - but as long as you’re careful it’s hard to beat as a light, easy travel setup.

Thanks a lot! I got that tripod you recommended. By the way, what kind of diagonal do you have ? I would like to update the flimsy one I got with the Infinity 80mm. What would you recommend? 

Thanks!



#14 Jim1804

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 01:02 AM

Thanks a lot! I got that tripod you recommended. By the way, what kind of diagonal do you have ? I would like to update the flimsy one I got with the Infinity 80mm. What would you recommend?
Thanks!


Great - if it’s of similar quality as my model/sample, I think you’ll like it as a folds up small and light travel setup.

I use a GSO mirror diagonal with this scope - nothing fancy, but a huge upgrade over the erecting prism diagonal that came with the AdventureScope version.

I’m not sure what eyepieces come with the Infinity, but if they’re Meade’s famous MAs, you might do better with some Plossls. The MAs are actually OK in slower scopes, but you’ll probably find Plossls to be better at f5.

With the ST80 for travel, I take either a 32mm or 25mm Plossl, and my Meade Zoom. Covers pretty much everything I want to look at (although you could achieve the same thing with 3-4 Plossls - the Zoom is most useful in my C90, which is what I bring out for lunar or planetary (more than quick looks).

#15 cloudydreams

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 10:50 PM

Great - if it’s of similar quality as my model/sample, I think you’ll like it as a folds up small and light travel setup.

I use a GSO mirror diagonal with this scope - nothing fancy, but a huge upgrade over the erecting prism diagonal that came with the AdventureScope version.

I’m not sure what eyepieces come with the Infinity, but if they’re Meade’s famous MAs, you might do better with some Plossls. The MAs are actually OK in slower scopes, but you’ll probably find Plossls to be better at f5.

With the ST80 for travel, I take either a 32mm or 25mm Plossl, and my Meade Zoom. Covers pretty much everything I want to look at (although you could achieve the same thing with 3-4 Plossls - the Zoom is most useful in my C90, which is what I bring out for lunar or planetary (more than quick looks).

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I appreciate it. The tripod arrived but with no base plate! I got this plate to attach it to the telescope/camera.

I got this diagonal, I understand it gives an upside down image, but I couldn't find any other diagonals that would use prism system and not mirror.

For the eyepieces, I got celestron 35mm plossil and Meade's wide field 8.8 mm, and the telescopes stock eyepieces. Please let me know if I need to get another plate for the Meade Infinity 80mm :)



#16 Jim1804

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 01:22 PM

The tripod should have come with a plate - I’d let them know that you didn’t receive one. Assuming that the infinity has a hole on the dovetail that will accept a photo tripod screw, the plate that you ordered should work - but contact the seller/manufacturer also - you paid for a complete tripod setup.

Regarding the diagonal, I don’t know anything about that model - but to clarify you won’t get an upside down image in a refractor - it will be reversed left and right. So the waxing moon as seen with your eye is bright on the right, dark in the left. In a refractor (with a diagonal) it will be backwards - bright on the left and dark in the right. This makes absolutely no difference whatsoever for observing the night sky. You quickly learn to mentally flip things as you starhop - or use an app like SkySafari that will flip the view for you.

Those eyepieces should be a nice start - be sure to post pics of your setup once you have it all together!

#17 Jim1804

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 01:27 PM

Looking at the link for the diagonal, it’s not clear if it’s a mirror or an erecting prism. The description says it’s a “prism optic mirror” - no idea what that means. One question asked on the site suggests it’s an erecting prism (which you don’t need or astronomy, although some people like them for daytime spotting - generally these aren’t as good as a non-erecting model, at least at the lower end cost wise), another answer says it’s a mirror. Either one will be fine - if given the choice, I would choose non-erecting, but that’s personal preference.

I just bought a SVbony diagonal for use in my sun funnel with the ST80 - it’s all metal, and pretty nice for for the price. I think it’s listed as 90% reflective.
https://www.amazon.c...vbony di&sr=8-3

Edited by Jim1804, 16 May 2021 - 01:29 PM.



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