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Small Cat vs Small Newt as Travel Scope?

Catadioptric Cassegrain DSO Equipment Mount Observing Planet Reflector SCT Star Party
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#26 Echolight

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Posted 11 June 2024 - 03:40 PM

I vote for a motorhome.

 

A BIG ONE.

 

Maybe a lightly used tour bus.


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#27 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 11:11 AM

It's a midsized truck with a 5 ft bed. No camper shell, so whatever goes in the bed I have to be okay with getting wet and it needs to be tied down well. Again, it isn't really that I don't have enough space since I have done it, it's just a little harder than I would prefer to get everything packed in. Doable and enjoyable are two different things

 

I understand that we all have a different set of priorities and interests. What's doable may be enjoyable or at least worthwhile for one while just too much effort for another.

 

Personally, if I am going to spend a night or two under dark skies, I'd rather be observing through an 8 inch than s 5 inch.  And if I were thinking of ways to spend money to make the entire experience enjoyable, I would be thinking of a way to better utilize the trucks space rather than buying a smaller telescope.

 

A Tonneau cover might be similar in cost to a small telescope, a camper shell would probably be more expensive but may increase the utility of the truck in other ways as well.

 

Of course it won't satisfy your desire for another nice telescope.. I'm not immune to such things.. 

 

Jon


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#28 Rayje1997

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 02:08 PM

I understand that we all have a different set of priorities and interests. What's doable may be enjoyable or at least worthwhile for one while just too much effort for another.

 

Personally, if I am going to spend a night or two under dark skies, I'd rather be observing through an 8 inch than s 5 inch.  And if I were thinking of ways to spend money to make the entire experience enjoyable, I would be thinking of a way to better utilize the trucks space rather than buying a smaller telescope.

 

A Tonneau cover might be similar in cost to a small telescope, a camper shell would probably be more expensive but may increase the utility of the truck in other ways as well.

 

Of course it won't satisfy your desire for another nice telescope.. I'm not immune to such things.. 

 

Jon

Point taken. I think what I am going to do for the moment is buy a decent alt/az mount and a good tripod for sake of actually using all of my other telescopes since they all came with HORRID mounts so I don't really use them unless I have them on my CG5 goto mount. That way I am getting more utility out of the scopes that I already have, especially for when I just want to grab something quick and take out in the yard. So in the end I have actually ended up making a completely different decision for different reasons!


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#29 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 03:47 PM

A 130 mm F/5 Newt on a decent ALT-AZ is a nice rig..

 

5950502-SpaceProbe 130ST ALT-AZ at the Starpad.JPG
 
Jon

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#30 Rayje1997

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 07:04 PM

 

A 130 mm F/5 Newt on a decent ALT-AZ is a nice rig..

 

 
 
Jon

 

I have been thinking as much. What is that mount you have there?



#31 Echolight

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 07:55 PM

I understand that we all have a different set of priorities and interests. What's doable may be enjoyable or at least worthwhile for one while just too much effort for another.

 

Personally, if I am going to spend a night or two under dark skies, I'd rather be observing through an 8 inch than s 5 inch.  And if I were thinking of ways to spend money to make the entire experience enjoyable, I would be thinking of a way to better utilize the trucks space rather than buying a smaller telescope.

 

A Tonneau cover might be similar in cost to a small telescope, a camper shell would probably be more expensive but may increase the utility of the truck in other ways as well.

 

Of course it won't satisfy your desire for another nice telescope.. I'm not immune to such things.. 

 

Jon

8 inch travel scopes?belushi.gif

coolnod.gif  

 

24 year old C8 don't cost much. Deuced and reduced in this case, for variety and ease of use on a manual alt az.

IMG_20230806_225515727~3.jpg

 

Richfield? A used 8" f4 (on the left) is pretty cool, and again not a lotta coin. And a good bit smaller than an 8" dob.

IMG_20230930_214455999~8.jpg

 

The right mount makes a difference. Unistar on a 2" AVX tripod, which might be the same as a CG5 tripod.


Edited by Echolight, 12 June 2024 - 07:56 PM.

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#32 luxo II

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 08:39 PM

If you're prepared to DIY, you can go bigger, and bigger is much, much better.

 

For example https://www.cloudyni...pact-truss-dob/

The finished scope is at post #176, the size of the closed box is 12" x 11.2" x 4" plus the truss poles and eyepieces.

 

But if you're limiting yourself to commercial products a cat is the obvious answer - for example I've flown with a 4" Meade SCT for eclipses many times, and more recently a  6" mak; whereas there is simply no way I'd fly with a conventional 6" newtonian in a tin tube.


Edited by luxo II, 12 June 2024 - 08:43 PM.

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#33 Wolfwatcher

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 10:17 PM

I've been working on the idea for one scope for most travel (auto/air). Of my scopes, I like the C5SE OTA. One chief advantage is that with a reducer/corrector, I can change the focal length from 1250 down to about 750, and that gives me flexibility for various targets. I mount this on a regular camera tripod with various heads that are easy to carry (including the AZ/GTi, or simply an alt/az ball head with a Vixen saddle in place of the regular camera mounting plate). Also use it for a spotting scope. Here's a pic of the scope ready to travel...fits under an airline seat!

 

 

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#34 Echolight

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 10:26 PM

I've been working on the idea for one scope for most travel (auto/air). Of my scopes, I like the C5SE OTA. One chief advantage is that with a reducer/corrector, I can change the focal length from 1250 down to about 750, and that gives me flexibility for various targets. I mount this on a regular camera tripod with various heads that are easy to carry (including the AZ/GTi, or simply an alt/az ball head with a Vixen saddle in place of the regular camera mounting plate). Also use it for a spotting scope. Here's a pic of the scope ready to travel...fits under an airline seat!

C5 really does pack a lot of punch in a very small package.


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#35 Rayje1997

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Posted 13 June 2024 - 07:19 AM

8 inch travel scopes?belushi.gif

coolnod.gif  

 

24 year old C8 don't cost much. Deuced and reduced in this case, for variety and ease of use on a manual alt az.

attachicon.gif IMG_20230806_225515727~3.jpg

 

Richfield? A used 8" f4 (on the left) is pretty cool, and again not a lotta coin. And a good bit smaller than an 8" dob.

attachicon.gif IMG_20230930_214455999~8.jpg

 

The right mount makes a difference. Unistar on a 2" AVX tripod, which might be the same as a CG5 tripod.

Actually, I would consider an 8" SCT to be more of a travel scope than the 8" dob since it is so much more compact. 


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#36 Rayje1997

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Posted 13 June 2024 - 07:21 AM

If you're prepared to DIY, you can go bigger, and bigger is much, much better.

 

For example https://www.cloudyni...pact-truss-dob/

The finished scope is at post #176, the size of the closed box is 12" x 11.2" x 4" plus the truss poles and eyepieces.

 

But if you're limiting yourself to commercial products a cat is the obvious answer - for example I've flown with a 4" Meade SCT for eclipses many times, and more recently a  6" mak; whereas there is simply no way I'd fly with a conventional 6" newtonian in a tin tube.

Wouldn't mind going DIY, though just getting the mirror would massively blow my budget unless I want to stick with an 8" and rob the mirrors out of my Skywtacher 8" dob... which is definitely an interesting idea.



#37 Rayje1997

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Posted 13 June 2024 - 07:22 AM

I've been working on the idea for one scope for most travel (auto/air). Of my scopes, I like the C5SE OTA. One chief advantage is that with a reducer/corrector, I can change the focal length from 1250 down to about 750, and that gives me flexibility for various targets. I mount this on a regular camera tripod with various heads that are easy to carry (including the AZ/GTi, or simply an alt/az ball head with a Vixen saddle in place of the regular camera mounting plate). Also use it for a spotting scope. Here's a pic of the scope ready to travel...fits under an airline seat!

As far as I can tell the 5" SCT is basically the same tube as the C5SE OTA. Interesting that it works well on a good tripod.


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#38 Wolfwatcher

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Posted 13 June 2024 - 08:09 AM

As far as I can tell the 5" SCT is basically the same tube as the C5SE OTA. Interesting that it works well on a good tripod.

Yes, the two scopes are the same/specs. When I travel, I often leave the go-to mount at home, and take a Celestron TrailSeeker tripod rigged with an iOptron ball head and Vixen saddle. Not perfect, but works pretty smoothly since the C5 is pretty light.

 

P.S. The largest scope I've ever owned is an 8in Dob. Rigged one with rings on a tripod once, but while it worked OK, it was still a bit awkward for me. So, my C5 SE OTA is my biggest "light bucket" these days.

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Edited by Wolfwatcher, 13 June 2024 - 08:31 AM.

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#39 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 June 2024 - 08:57 AM

I have been thinking as much. What is that mount you have there?

 

It was a Meade 500B equatorial mount converted to Alt-Az mode.

 

Jon


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#40 Echolight

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Posted 13 June 2024 - 07:29 PM

Actually, I would consider an 8" SCT to be more of a travel scope than the 8" dob since it is so much more compact. 

Yep. The C8 gets very small. The tripod and mount too. Each piece could go in places that a solid tube dob mount or tube would never fit.


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#41 Rayje1997

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Posted 14 June 2024 - 02:14 PM

Yep. The C8 gets very small. The tripod and mount too. Each piece could go in places that a solid tube dob mount or tube would never fit.

That is definitely an idea that I will be considering. For now I'm going to get a decent alt/az mount and good tripod to use with my current scopes, but maybe I could catch a used C8 for sale on classifieds when I'm ready to buy one


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#42 PJBilotta

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Posted 15 June 2024 - 01:25 AM

I've always enjoyed using a small Newt over a Mak or Frac for a travel scope, just for its greater light gathering power and wider field views. Traveling for most of us means getting outside light polluted areas, so why take a scope that doesn't have enough aperture to take advantage of darker skies (a small refractor) or one that offers narrower field views (a Mak or Cass)?

I'll take a table top 4.5" to 6" f/5 Newt over a 80mm refractor or 5-6" Mak/Cat any day (or, rather, night). My favorite is the Astronomy Without Borders One Sky - a 130 mm f/5 reflector that collapses down to just 14" (mount included), and weighs just 14#. A 5" Newt, scope and mount, smaller than a backpack.

Pretty nifty.

Edited by PJBilotta, 15 June 2024 - 01:28 AM.

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#43 Exnihilo

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Posted 16 June 2024 - 09:46 AM

I really like the portability of a GP or SP mount with a small refractor or SCT.  These are my setups; 6" SCT, Meg 90, Omegon 110.

GPSP_Mounted.jpg


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#44 Rayje1997

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Posted 03 July 2024 - 09:06 AM

So here is what has happened so far. I caught the Explore Scientific iExos 100-2 mount on sale for ONLY $200 so I snagged it. It will have enough payload capacity for me to take my refractors with me, or if I add another counterweight I could take my 130mm newt. It also opens up the possibility of getting a used C5 OTA only, which would save some money and they seem to be everywhere.

 

That being said, I will still probably take the 8" dob most of the time, and I am considering robbing the mirrors out of it and constructing a truss tube dob that I can take apart and store in a much smaller space. I don't really lose anything here other than some time and money since if I don't like the truss tube design, or I can't seem to get it right, I can always just put the mirrors back in their original home. 


Edited by Rayje1997, 03 July 2024 - 09:07 AM.

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#45 luxo II

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Posted 07 July 2024 - 04:51 AM

All done before - and much larger aperture is possible  - see https://www.cloudyni...b-propdob-mega/


Edited by luxo II, 07 July 2024 - 07:56 PM.

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#46 Rayje1997

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Posted 07 July 2024 - 07:55 PM

All done before - and much larger aperture than the above scopes  - see https://www.cloudyni...b-propdob-mega/

Absolutely true, that's a nice thread you linked there. I will have a good look at the design of that 16" if and when I go about building my own collapsible or truss-tube dob. I have been wanting to build a dob for a while, and before I had this 8" I was considering buying some of those cheap 114mm mirror sets just to get a design down, but now that I have this one with a perfectly good mirror and mirror cell all I have to do is build the base and the OTA itself, which will save quite a bit of time and money since I won't be starting completely from scratch. I will probably even use the focuser that came on it. Now the trouble is a lack of a place to work and tools XD I'll get there though!




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