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Travel Set up for the Caribbean

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This last depressing winter encouraged me to book nine nights in Barbados next January. I'd like to take advantage of their dark skies and position on the equator but taking the dob is obviously not practical. Ive been reading various threads to get ideas and have 2 thoughts at the moment.

1.My brother has kindly offered to lend me his ST80. He uses it as a guide scope on his C11, so I'd have to get a mount. I have a fairly cheap jessops tripod that I thought I could use after buying a mini giro to use with it.

2. Buy myself a pair of Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars and a monopod mount. I don't currently have a very good pair of bins and these would get a lot of use at home as well.

The first option is cheaper, but I'd be interested in hearing views on the pros and cons from a visual viewpoint.

Although I like to look at planets I spend most time looking at everything else and I'm hoping to see some things that aren't viewable from here. I'm very conscious that I'm going to have a lot less aperture but I'm hoping that the great skies will compensate for that and my normal light polluted skies.

Thanks in advance

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I cannot comment on the optical quality of the ST80 (guessing lots of false colour on bright objects like the planets - but you can see those even in central London without any trouble so my view is dark skies are for the things that are more challenging) but personally I would go with that the Giro Mini. I use a 105mm APM Apo with a Tele Optic Giro 2 or Ercole mount and a Gitzo Carbon Fibre tripod to keep the weight down.

And you are right about real dark skies. Observing in the desert in Oman last year, my 4" Apo matched what my C11 would show from light polluted Hampshire. If you are interested in reading how I got on travelling with the equipment and observing there, here is the report. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/164163-observing-in-oman-%E2%80%93-a-report/

Clear skies,

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I Would like to offer another suggestion. I use this on my 80mm ts apo it packs small for airline travel is a little lighter than a mini giro http://www.teleskop-...-bis-100mm.html

some pics of it in action http://stargazerslou...b-and-go-mount/

an 80 mm scope really isn't such a bad thing you don't have the apparture but you can take them anywhere and get some pretty good views

Edited by rowan46
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Thanks Mathew, its a great report, I had already seen it. It was something that you'd posted that also put me onto the mini giro.

thanks also Rowan my minds not made up on the mount yet. I'm more interested in deciding on the instrument first.

My thinking is that 2 eyes thought the 15 x 70s would be just as good as the st80 if not better. The bins are better for travelling but I can't alter the magnification. From what I've read their optical quality is probably better as well, and with the monopod mount the whole package is more portable.

Edited by Scooot
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To be honest I would go for the scope you may regret not being able to get that bit better view of a dso. I am also not so sure that 15x 70 would give a better view than an 80 I know there is 2 tubes but it's still less aparture per eye

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I would always take a scope if at all possible. Just being able to view at higher magnifications makes a big difference to what you can see. The ST80 will give lovely widefield views, but also the option to add a little more power to bring out some detail. I wouldn't be worried about high power, you can see planets from the UK just as well.

A small apo scope would enable you to go to higher powers whilst still giving lovely widefield views but perhaps that's out of budget?

Not sure if you've seen my various posts on travel kit, 66mm apo and either a photo tripod or mini giro. The mini giro is definitely preferable if you have the weight spare in your luggage allowance.

Will post some links if you haven't seen the threads



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