Travelling: Portable and cheap telescopes.

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Jaq1967
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Travelling: Portable and cheap telescopes.

#1

Post by Jaq1967 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:13 pm

Holiday scope...


I thought of binocular, but the thought they are wide to pack, plus limited, in the sense, you cannot really change the eyepieces.

So... with that in mind, what is a good and cheap set up? I am looking at OTA's as I have a good tripod, but saying that, some come with tripods as standard.

What one would you go for?

I saw:

Celestron Astromaster 102az - http://telescopes-for-sale.co.uk/review ... pe-review/

or...

STARTRAVEL-102 - http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/beginner ... _goto.html

As I say... I am only interested frankly in the OTA's and not so much mounts (like GOTO etc...).

I am going to Scotland so expect clear sky's. I might do some imagining with it in future. Price mark: Cheap and cheerful.

Any ideas? Other ideas welcome. :)

Jaq
Telescopes: Altair Astro Starware 102ED-R, SW P150 reflector, SW SkyMax127 mak, Meade ETX90 mak, SW Startravel 80 Table Top Telescope
Mount: HEQ5-Pro, EQ3-2
Camera: Pentax K-50, Pentax K-70, Altair Hypercam 183C Pro TEC
Accessories: Various


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#2

Post by Lady Fraktor » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:26 pm

The Celestron would be the more compact telescope though both would need better eyepieces and diagonals to get best views from them.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#3

Post by OleCuss » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:42 pm

If you are planning to travel with it, I'd give consideration to a spotting scope. They tend to be more rugged and unlikely to break.
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#4

Post by Bigzmey » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:07 pm

That helps a lot that you already have a good quality mount. Most of 80-100mm fast refractors from major brands (Meade, Celestron, Orion, ES, SW) have descent quality OTAs and would make good travel scopes, but accessories they come with are mostly useless.

I would just look for the best deal on any of those, and supply my own diagonal, EPs, etc.

I have a Meade clone of this scope.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/startr ... 0-az3.html

I like this package because the mount, diagonal and red dot it comes with while basic are actually functional. I used that tripod for a few months before upgrading.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#5

Post by stewe » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:22 pm

How about a smaller Maksutov-Cassegrain? They are really compact scopes, although a bit heavier than fast refractors and, well, they are slow. But if you want a very sharp, aberration-free image, you will like them.
Like this one:
https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/pr ... scope.html
Clear skies!
Steve
----------
telescope: Celestron C9.25
mount: Celestron AVX
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#6

Post by Baurice » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:52 pm

I've travelled a lot and the biggest problem is carrying a mount and tripod without paying for excess baggage. I could fit my 127Mak into my hand luggage but not bring the mount. I usually carried bins but also took am ST80 and a camera tripod. I remember bagging Alpha Centauri from Down Under. In later years I usually brought a camera and bins. I have also brought my Coronado PST and wonder if I was the first person to use one in some countries.

I once made the Munsif Daily in India.
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#7

Post by Bigzmey » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:06 pm

I love my travel set consisting of 80mm APO scope and a good photo tripod. It is compact for carry-on, delivers great views, and pleasure to use. But it is not cheap. :lol:
Onyx travel kit A.jpg
Onyx-Q-turret.jpg
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#8

Post by Markmjm » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:51 am

Bigzmey wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:06 pm
I love my travel set consisting of 80mm APO scope and a good photo tripod. It is compact for carry-on, delivers great views, and pleasure to use. But it is not cheap. :lol:

Onyx travel kit A.jpg
Onyx-Q-turret.jpg

Nice setup!
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#9

Post by Thefatkitty » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:28 am

Andrey, that is so sweet! Price notwithstanding... :lol: I have to ask; is that a solar filter in the bottom right side of your case?

Well done, I want one ;)

All the best,
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#10

Post by Jaq1967 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:41 am

Thanks all for suggestions.

I have a nice amount of eyepieces I could choose from (and barlows). Strong industrial DSLR mount (I want to use for both DSLR wrk and casual holiday scope observations). I have both the Skymax 127 and Skywatcher 150P. Skymax is portable, but slow(ish). I'm kind of drawn towards the refractor type OTA and in two minds to go for either the 80 or 100 in size. Hmmm... What do do.

80 or 100?

:)
Telescopes: Altair Astro Starware 102ED-R, SW P150 reflector, SW SkyMax127 mak, Meade ETX90 mak, SW Startravel 80 Table Top Telescope
Mount: HEQ5-Pro, EQ3-2
Camera: Pentax K-50, Pentax K-70, Altair Hypercam 183C Pro TEC
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#11

Post by Bigzmey » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:19 am

Jaq1967 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:41 am
Thanks all for suggestions.

I have a nice amount of eyepieces I could choose from (and barlows). Strong industrial DSLR mount (I want to use for both DSLR wrk and casual holiday scope observations). I have both the Skymax 127 and Skywatcher 150P. Skymax is portable, but slow(ish). I'm kind of drawn towards the refractor type OTA and in two minds to go for either the 80 or 100 in size. Hmmm... What do do.

80 or 100?

:)
Either would work. If you travel by air 80mm would be easier to fit into carry-on. 100mm would reach deeper and still quite portable.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#12

Post by Bigzmey » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:27 am

Thefatkitty wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:28 am
Andrey, that is so sweet! Price notwithstanding... :lol: I have to ask; is that a solar filter in the bottom right side of your case?

Well done, I want one ;)

All the best,
Thanks Mark! It could be solar, but in this set up it is the filter case which holds 4 x 1.25" filters: Orange #21 for Moon and Mars, Baader Moon and SkyGlow for Jupiter and Saturn, UHC and LP filters for nebulae. The hard case is Pelican 1525 (certified carry-on) and it fits the mount UA DwarfStar, OTA, diagonal, barlow, 5x EPs, red dot finder, EP turret and filters. :D
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#13

Post by Lady Fraktor » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:15 am

Then there is semi-potable and not cheap :lol:
All self contained for extended trips, pan head and tripod go in regular luggage.
Definitely not sized for carry on though.
SV80 Travel case 2.jpg
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#14

Post by pakarinen » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:07 pm

My Meade ST80 clone is my preferred travel scope unless I'm planning on more dedicated observing with my ST120.

The ST80 works well on a Benro ( = very light ) tripod with a pan head, but I usually use it with my Twilight 1 + push-to encoders on a Manfrotto pod. The Manfrotto is relatively light, but the TW 1 head adds maybe 5 pounds.

I am thinking about a small Mak, but then again I think about a lot of random things...
If you don't understand your noise, you cannot reliably extract a meaningful signal.
~ES

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80
Twilight 1 with Astro Devices encoders and Nexus II currently on a Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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#15

Post by Bigzmey » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:05 pm

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:15 am
Then there is semi-potable and not cheap :lol:
All self contained for extended trips, pan head and tripod go in regular luggage.
Definitely not sized for carry on though.

SV80 Travel case 2.jpg
Looking good Gabby!
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#16

Post by DeanD » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:29 am

I like Bigzmey's idea re spotting scopes. If you want (relatively) "cheap and cheerful", how about: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/acuter ... scope.html

There are some very good second-hand sites in the UK for spotting scopes too. You could try: https://www.aceoptics.co.uk/secondhand/spotting-scopes or http://www.birders-store.co.uk/used-equipment.html

The Birders Store have a big range of new spotting scopes too, and their prices seem pretty reasonable (says an Aussie from far far away!). http://www.birders-store.co.uk/spotting_scopes.html

Good luck with those clear Scottish skies! Last my wife and I were in the UK visiting our son (in London) I wanted to visit Scotland, but he suggested Tuscany instead, so I got outvoted instantly! One of these days...

All the best,

Dean
Telescopes: 12" f5 dob, Celestron CPC800, 150mmf5 Celestron achro, Tak TSA102, TV76, ETX125...
Binos: Tak 22x60, Swarovski 8x30 Habicht, FB 25x100, Orion Regulux 15x70...
Eyepieces: way too many (is that possible?), but I do like my TV 32mm plossl, 13mm Nagler T6, 27mm Panoptic and 3-6mm Nagler zoom, plus Fujiyama 18mm and 25mm orthos and Tak 7.5mm LE
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#17

Post by Chich » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:54 am

You could look at a (current model) Celestron C90. They are compact and come in backpack but no tripod. It has very good reviews. The one thing I would recommend is flocking the baffle which can be as simple as inserting blackened sandpaper into it. A search should find some articles on this or send me a note if you can't track them down.

Chich
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#18

Post by OzEclipse » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:45 am

Hi Jaq

I've travelled to a lot of solar eclipses with small to medium scopes.
For the vast majority of my solar eclipse trips, my self imposed luggage limits have been

1 checked bag <22.5kg + hand luggage
must be able to carry everything on my own.

A couple of times I've had 16kg and 20kg limits applied to domestic flights and some of these going to short airstrips in remote places on smaller STAL aircraft meant I couldn't just pay excess baggage. It was a hard limit.

In the days of film, I carried an ED80 (3.5kg, 80mm f7.5, 600mm FL) + mount. When I switched to an APSC DSLR I moved to a William Optic M70(2.5kg, 70mm f6.3, 430mm FL) + mount.
At the last eclipse, I used a Polarie and a 300mm f4 lens.

The ED80 is still available at a range of prices. if you pay a bit more you can buy faster models. The M70 has been replaced by the William Optic Star 71 which is apparently a very good imager.

Both of the OTA's are reasonably priced

You made a couple of statements :
"I am going to Scotland so expect clear sky's."

What are you smokin? Whatever it is, I'll have what he's havin'!


"I might do some imagining"
Well - for this you don't need an OTA :lol:

Finally, if your intention is imaging then yes the fast refractor is probably the way to go. However, fast small refractors are not much good for observing deep sky or planets. You really need aperture, which gives you light gathering power for DSO's and resolution for planets. There are some very clever very portable suitcase dob designs around that might be ideal for this.

Joe
Amateur astronomer since 1978
Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, nightscape photography, solar eclipse chasing
asteroidal occultations, nightscape astrophotography workshops
Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
web site : http://joe-cali.com/
SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
MOUNTS- EM-200, iEQ45, Push dobsonian with Nexus DSC
CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec
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#19

Post by Sky Tinker » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:25 am

"Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy! Andromeda! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.

Alan

Apochromat: Takahashi FS-102 f/8 - Achromats: Meade "Polaris" 90mm f/10(flocked & blackened), Antares(GSO) 805 80mm f/6(flocked & blackened), Celestron(Synta) "AstroMaster" 70mm f/13(flocked & blackened), Sears(Towa) #4-6340 50mm f/12(flocked & blackened) - Newtonians: Orion(Synta) 6" f/5(flocked & blackened), Meade "Polaris" 114mm f/8, Zhumell(GSO) Z100 100mm f/4 - Catadioptrics: Explore Scientific(JOC) 127mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain, Celestron "PowerSeeker" 127mm f/8 "Bird Jones" reflector(modified, flocked, blackened...& collimated!)...and mounts, eyepieces, barlows and diagonals.
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#20

Post by Jaq1967 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:52 am

I bought this:

https://www.tringastro.co.uk/sky-watche ... 3865-p.asp
sky-watcher-startravel-80-tabletop-telescope-3865-p.jpg
sky-watcher-startravel-80-tabletop-telescope-3865-p.jpg (30.35 KiB) Viewed 344 times
Sky-Watcher StarTravel-80 TableTop Telescope
Sky-Watcher Startravel-80 TableTop Telescope
80mm (3.1") f/400 REFRACTOR TELESCOPE on Table Mount

​​​​​​​Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): X16, X32, x40, x80
Objective Lens Diameter: 80mm
Telescope Focal Length: 400mm (f/5)
Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm and 25mm
X2 Barlow Lens
90° Diagonal Mirror 1.25"
Red Dot Finderscope
Table-Top EQ1 Mount
Tripod Bush for Photo-Tripod Mounting
Soft Carrying Bag

...with a bag!!! All for £106.00 (free post). Seems like a bargain.

Now, we mentioned the diagonal was an issue. What would be a good, reasonably priced, upgrade to that supplied?

Jaq :)
Telescopes: Altair Astro Starware 102ED-R, SW P150 reflector, SW SkyMax127 mak, Meade ETX90 mak, SW Startravel 80 Table Top Telescope
Mount: HEQ5-Pro, EQ3-2
Camera: Pentax K-50, Pentax K-70, Altair Hypercam 183C Pro TEC
Accessories: Various


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