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zhgutas

best grab 'n go

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what would u offer as the best (in your opinion) grab and go scope. i mean , relly grab 'n go, not, grab, tuck it in a car and then go. :D

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My ED80 mounted on an AZ-3 mount is pretty portable - I can lift it with one hand and be outside observing within 30 seconds. Also it's cool down time is virtually zero which makes it even more grab and go IMHO.

As it's 80mm obviously there's a limit to how "deep" it can go but it always suprises me what it will show.

John

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A pair of 10x50's on a light photo tripod makes a <1kg grab and go for me. I also have a grunt and go 6SE.

An 80mm APO on a solid phototripod works well for others though

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One of the 66mm SD Apo's would make an ideal 'proper' grab'n'go. Combined with a decent phototripod that will be as grab'n'go as you can get. And the 66 SD's are surprisingly capable performers too.

I wouldn't want to lug my 80ED around for too long. Plus I think it would need the AZ3 mount John suggests.

Russ

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If you mean from the shed to the garden, I think the best Grab & Go is a Dobsonian.

If you want to take it on your hols then that is different and depends on your circumstances. For me, it must be tough enough to bundle in the back of the car with all the usual paraphenalia that accompanies me when going on holiday. Something short, with about 4" aperture that is cheap (so I won't fret over it). Something like the Skywatcher Startravel 102. The posh, sexy APO can wait until I'm rich and the kids have grown up!

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I can understand the need to get things packed easily into a car but for around the house/ garden/ shed, how small does a scope need to be? A 8"Dob can be picked up in one go, my HEQ5/ 150mm refractor is the same. How much time hassle is actually saved by having a alt/ az mounted small refractor? People talk of grab and go setups like they're a member of a special forces rapid response team, where every second is vital, rather than an amateur astronomer. :D

<Sorry, its a bit of a bugbear of mine> :D

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the ST102 is a great OTA too Steve. In tests I prefered it over the ST80. That being said, i've owned a number of ST80's and loved them all. Great little scopes in a light package.

st80grabngo.jpg

Of course, last time I took an ST80 on holiday it was cloudy!

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I've seen pictures of your back garden Gordon, is that the view from the front? :D

Lucky man..... :D

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:D interesting point Gaz. well, i might have not made this clear enough, i addmit. :p i mean the one you can easily carry arround for an hour or two (10kg or sth) if going on a long night walk, or taking with u on a plane as a hand bagadge. so, no dobs i believe :D thus, i think, the Startravel then, ha?

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The ST80s are great little scopes but if you can stretch to an ST102 you'll see a big difference in DSOs. IMHO the two big leaps in performance for small scopes are those inbetween a 6" Newt and an 8" Newt and a 3" refractor and 4" refractor.

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like they're a member of a special forces rapid response team,

no that's what will descend on you if you try taking an 8" dob (8" homemade mortar to Joe public) through airport customs :D

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Gordon,

That wasn't the Bedrythun (SP) steps was it??

As a Grab 'n' Go set up, for me it has to be the ED80 on a EQ3 or the Mini Mak (Borrowed) On the EQ3

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The two that are coming with me to Snowdonia (grab n go) are the Skywatcher Skymax 102 MCT and my new Skywatcher Startravel 120 ST- both capable of being easily mounted in seconds on my Vixen Porta-Mount.

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Currently also using a venerable ST102. This time mounted Alt-Azimuthally on an EQ3-2. I found the fall-back phenomema of many a conventional Alt-Az a bit of a pain. The EQ3 works (Lithium-greased) well, even without counter weights, as a "poor man's EZ-touch"? W/added merits of slow-motions too! Now complete with Al-Az circles / digital level etc. etc. :D

Oft quoted as grab 'n' go, I found e.g. a MAK 127 a bit "heavy" for the above setup. Not so much the "multiple trip problem" (I use a DIY-store "tool cart" for ALL the bits!) but rather w/counterwights (now necessary) the whole thing starts to wobble a bit, esp. at higher magnifications. Cat-wise, I had some success with the MAK 90 (a great scope!) on various mounts. In that case, perhaps a table-top EQ1 (on a garden table) might work well? :D

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I agree with GazOC, well worth setting up a decent aperture scope/mount.

Surprised he can pick up his 150mm ref.. + HEQ5 in one go! :shock:

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