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Horsy

Small cheap telescope to take travelling???

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Hi Every one.

I am looking to buy a small portable telescope

to take with me to Scotland in a campervan ( so nothing to big or costly)

CELESTRON 70MM TRAVEL SCOPE at £50 sounded perfect for my needs.

The only criticism in reviews was the camera tripod and mount being unsteady.

Now I am thinking of the

SKY-WATCHER MERCURY-705 70MM with better tripod and AZ3 mount at £100.

My Question is which should I go for?

Will the extra £50 and size of kit….Be worth it to get a better Telescope Tripod and Mount?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated

Thank you

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Skywatcher heritage 130p ? Should be good under those dark Scottish skies away from light pollution.

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Thanks for your suggestion Allan

The Skywatcher could now be an other option : ) it seems to pack down well.

But do Dobsonian telescopes need calibrating in some way.

Just worried about it getting knocked about in the van.

Would the view of planets and DSO be much better than a 70mm Refractor?

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Those tripods in that price bracket (sub - £150) are all a bit flimsy, but that is part of the trade-off for price and portability. If you pay more for the mount, you will get one that is more stable but will also be heavier, if you go for an Equatorial mount then you will have the counterweights to lug about too (although it is easier to track planets with an Equatorial, or EQ, mount). In my opinion a good mount starts with the EQ3-2 or CG-4 (EQ mounts), or one of the Vixen Porta Mounts, or a Dobsonian. The Celestron Omni XLT range all come on Omni CG-4 mounts, and are all very nice telescopes, but certainly not something you could put in a ruck sack.

The ST80 on EQ1 is not a bad piece of kit, packs down well; the tripod looks like the same flimsy one you will probably get with the AZ3, but the ST80 (what ever mount you choose) should not need any adjustment and will survive knocks and vibrations better than the Newtonian Heritage 130P, although the 130P will give better views and may require more care and attention and occasional collimation (alignment of the optics). In an ST80 many clusters are just grey misty patches, but you may be able to resolve them into some stars through a 130P. I don't know what the ST102 will be like, but I would guess should be close to the 130P.

If you have a larger budget available, the Maksutov SCT scopes are much smaller in size than a refractor or reflector, and will give higher magnification than one of those of the same physical size. The main drawback of the SCT design is it's susceptibility to dew on the main front glass element, so a dew shield is a must. Due to the higher magnification, if you are hoping to view planets then an EQ mount is recommended.

The Skywatcher 150P Dobsonian is probably easily portable in a vehicle and very quick to set up, but you should be prepared to pack the scope tube well to prevent shocks and bumps, and learn the skill of collimation.

Edited by jonathan

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the collimation on a heritage according to many users on here holds up very well

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the collimation on a heritage according to many users on here holds up very well

It does. But you certainly have to check it (or I feel I do) quite a lot. Don't make the mistake of fiddling with the secondary, or you will have to collimate it regularly!

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I think the ST80 would make a lovely little travel scope. It packs away into a small box when not in use or doesn't even take up any room when unmounted from the tripod. The image is also the correct way up so its great for normal viewing as well. You could view the distant countryside as well as the stars.

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If you buy the ST80 on an EQ1 then it doesn't have a corrected image. I think it's only when bought as an OTA that you get the erect image diagonal.

James

Edited by JamesF

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I think I'd be tempted to go for the Heritage 130P personally. Collimation isn't hard and is easy to check and it's fairly small when collapsed. Unless you really want something on a tripod I think it's possibly the best you can get for the money.

James

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Thank you for all the replies.

I have just ordered the CELESTRON 70MM TRAVEL SCOPE

Mainly because I would like to use it as a spotting scope and for star gazing.

So a quick set up for watching wildlife is quite important.

I also ordered Turn left at Orion to see what I can find with this little scope.

Clear skies everybody

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Have you considered the Celestron Travel Scope 70. The supplied tripod is pretty useless unless you use it as a table top mount (ie don't extend the legs). If you already have. 90deg diagonal and a couple of standard eyepieces then you'll be surprised by what 70mm can do. I use mine with a Seben zoom eyepiece and you get decent views - the ring nebula can be seen as a tiny ring. But best for wide field views.

Put it on a more substantial photo tripod and a 6mm eyepiece and The NEB and SEB can easily be seen on Jupiter - some CA but on my scope was not too bad.

The scope is pretty light weight with a plastic focuser but does the job.

Can be found for about £50 inc 45deg diagonal and a couple of eyepieces all in a little rucksack.

HTH

Paul

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Hi

I agree with Paul, as i have a 70mm Celestron travel scope, the supplied tripod is rubbish and i bought a giotto camera tripod on amazon, amore stable. I have had some good results with this scope seeing Jupiter and moons, good views of the Moon too. The optics are quite good for the money. i find the 25mm eyepiece a good choice for observing.

I have also a Celestron Nexstar 102gt refractor, and I have put the travelscope on the Goto mount with good results too. But getting back your point, you cannot beat the Travelscope for portability!

Jim

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I bought something similar and use it as a BIG finder on my C8. So even if you decide to upgrade from your current travel set-up, it will have its uses.

Yes, I'm been watching that ebay for a month or so to see if something in that kind of size comes up at a price I'm willing to pay specifically to use it as a large optical finder. Prices do seem to have become a bit silly of late, probably for the obvious reasons. I'm in no rush though.

James

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