After a few years try to play with wide field imaging on the cheap by buying hardware on shopgoodwill.com, getting a barn door tracker, and making an OpenAstroTracker, I have decided to invest a little and make myself a proper travel rig.
My job allows me to travel to many random locations (could be a Bortle 9 city, or could be dark skies lost on top of a mountain), and often, jet lag allows me to be awake and contemplate the local night skies and wish I had my OpenAstroTracker with me. However, that thing won't travel well and is a bit difficult to polar align. I think it's time to break my piggy bank on a budget of ~$2,000
I found this post: https://www.cloudyni...hy-rig-and-why/ and quite like what I read.
My rig would have to easily fit on an airplane and not impede too much on my professional travel. Separating the valuables/fragiles between carry-on/checked-in (I don't think most tripod/counterweight would do well on a carry-on).
Based on this, I think:
SkyWatcher - Star Adventurer GTi with tripod 680
Astro-Tech AT70ED 2.8" f/6 ED Refractor OTA 300
ASTRO-TECH 0.8X REDUCER/FIELD FLATTENER 150
ZWO ASIAIR Mini Astronomy WiFi Smart Device 180
SV165 Mini Guider Scope 30mm/120mm F4 38
ASI 120 Guide Cam 135
ASI 585MC Camera 360
ZWO IR Cut Filter 20
Optolong L-Pro 2" 200
Which brings us to a total of $2068.
I'm also considering the Anker Prime Power Bank, 27,650mAh as a versatile battery that is TSA approved. It's 99.5 Wh and I found some USB-C to 12V cables.
My questions are:
- What am I missing? / What are the weak points?
- I see that the Star Adventurer isn't the biggest mount around in terms of payload capacity, however, weight wise, it seems like it would travel well. Agreed?
- Would the AT70ED be a good match for this rig?
- I have never used an ASI Air, would the mini be enough?
- Obviously, the camera is a budget-conscious choice, would this non-cooled option still give me results?
Any insight is appreciated.