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emadmoussa

Is Celestron C8 a grab and go?

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I've been thinking about adding a grab and go set to my gear. Was thinking a C8 mounted on a Vixen Porta II could do the job...keep it small, yet powerful. Don't take my word for yet though, I'm not very sure yet :D

Any thoughts?

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I'd say yes! I have the C8 Edge (which is a tad heavier than the C8) and its very portable...

With the mount & the tripod @ 15lbs my guess is you could move them together in one take to your backyard or somewhere close!

I can move my AVX mount with a 12lbs counterweight (without the OTA) ~ 45lbs and I'm not a big guy...

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I would also say yes as I do it.

But I would go with the AZ4 over the Vixen Porta II as it has sturdier legs for a scope with that focal length.

Edited by hobsey
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On thing to bare in mind is the position of the dovetail. As these are really designed to go on to an eq mount the dovetail is in the wrong place for an az mount.

I couldn't be bothered to reposition my dovetail so my focuser is up the top but it doesn't get in my way.

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As above, I'd go with the az4 as it's rock solid. I used to have a c8 and loved how easy it was to handle, very light, about the same as a150p but more compact! You defo need a dew shield though. The only thing that let it down for me was the off axis coma which meant that the stars weren't the sharpest, however, there is the edge HD version which is supposed to much sharper right across plus no vignetting. I've done quite abit of reading about the HD edge version and have pretty much decided to buy the 8 inch edge on the avx mount which works out quite a bit cheaper than buying them separate.

Chris

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On thing to bare in mind is the position of the dovetail. As these are really designed to go on to an eq mount the dovetail is in the wrong place for an az mount.

I couldn't be bothered to reposition my dovetail so my focuser is up the top but it doesn't get in my wa

Can't viisualize what you mean. Any photos please?

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Not at the moment.

I've just got to go and get a new TV as ours packed up this morning then when I get back I will set it up and take a pic for you.

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If your other scope's a half meter Dob, Yes. If your other scope's a TeleVue Pronto, no!

I'd call this perfectly portable though. My concern with an undriven alt-az at longish focal length would be hand tracking. Not a big, big deal but worth a moment's reflection.

Olly

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Well, I think hobsey means that beacause the dovetail is at the bottom, on an equatorial mount the focuser is on your right so you can view & focus at the same time!

If you put it on an Alt-Az mount the dovetail would be on your right and the focuser at the top so you would be bumping your head at the focuser!  :p

PS If you wanna spend the extra money, go for the EdgeHD! I have compared it with an 8" f/6 Newtonian (but not with a C8) and I'm REALLY happy with its performance!

Plus you re future-proofing your setup for AP later on.

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The C8 ... Or edge variant is carryable with one hand , so definitely grab and goable

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Can't you use a flattener with C8 to counter act field curvature? Somehow I feel I've just asked the stupidest question of all... :)

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If your other scope's a half meter Dob, Yes. If your other scope's a TeleVue Pronto, no!

I'd call this perfectly portable though. My concern with an undriven alt-az at longish focal length would be hand tracking. Not a big, big deal but worth a moment's reflection.

Olly

Yep, my main scope is 12 inch. Quick to set up...but after a difficult day at work I'm usually not in the mood to bust my balls with heavy gear.

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Well, I think hobsey means that beacause the dovetail is at the bottom, on an equatorial mount the focuser is on your right so you can view & focus at the same time!

If you put it on an Alt-Az mount the dovetail would be on your right and the focuser at the top so you would be bumping your head at the focuser!  :p

This is exactly what I mean.

If you still need a pic, let me know.

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This is exactly what I mean.

If you still need a pic, let me know.

I guess I know what you mean. I will eventually fit a SCT focuser...

I'm actually struggling with the Telrad dew cap...if you want to calibrate you can't see through. Similar issue..

Edited by emadmoussa

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I've used my Edge 8 on a giro mount with a Vixen Hal 130 tripod (light yet pretty stable and it folds up nicely). I can't remember if I had a little scope to counterbalance it or not.

It worked fine. Slightly more involved than using my ED100 scope on the Giro, with a bit more weight and focal length, but certainly do-able and I intend to take it on hols as my mini light bucket. It needs a bit of cool down time, but 8 inches of aperture under a dark sky with a compact package definitely ticks some boxes for me. And with a binoviewer, it is wonderful on the Moon.

Edited by Luke

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I'd agree it's portable. I mount the C8 on a Skytee 2 on an old CG5 aluminium tripod and it's rock solid. I have attached a handle to the C8 tube and I carry the scope in one hand and the mount and tripod in the other. It's a ten minute walk to a nice dark observing site. There are probably more portable alternatives to the Skytee 2 though, it's pretty heavy. :)

To address Ollie's point, you could always try putting the C8 (with .63 focal reducer) plus various eyepiece combos into your favourite Planetarium software, see how quickly it drifts across the field of view and see if this is acceptable to you.

Rob

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I would recommend a mount that has fine adjustment capability especially with the focal length of the C8 Imad.

My AZ4 HD mount does not have it and it is a bit annoying at times. All the same it is very portable.

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I'd agree it's portable. I mount the C8 on a Skytee 2 on an old CG5 aluminium tripod and it's rock solid. I have attached a handle to the C8 tube and I carry the scope in one hand and the mount and tripod in the other. It's a ten minute walk to a nice dark observing site. There are probably more portable alternatives to the Skytee 2 though, it's pretty heavy. :)

To address Ollie's point, you could always try putting the C8 (with .63 focal reducer) plus various eyepiece combos into your favourite Planetarium software, see how quickly it drifts across the field of view and see if this is acceptable to you.

Rob

Be aware that the field is limited by the baffle tube so that the reducer with a 2 inch widefield EP will reduce the magnification but not widen the field.

Olly

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Good point about the lack of slo mo controls on the AZ4, I use mine with the pst and Vixen binocular telescope which have quite short focal lengths so its no prob but it might be a little jerky at long focal lengths?

As for using a reducer on the standard C8, I think apart from the large amount of vignetting it only goes some way to flattening the field. The big thing for me would be the narrow field of view caused by the baffles as olly mentioned. I think this is partly why Celestron developed the edge HD series, its been designed with wide field EP's and large sensors in mind, I read that it has a near flat plus coma free, fully illuminated area of 42mm, I'm guessing thats good? The pdf I read didn't mention what the standard C8 had?

Anyway, either would be a good choice for a large aperture compact grab and go :) The Vixen mount has slo mo so maybe that would be better.

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I've been thinking about adding a grab and go set to my gear. Was thinking a C8 mounted on a Vixen Porta II could do the job...keep it small, yet powerful. Don't take my word for yet though, I'm not very sure yet :D

Any thoughts?

It depends on what "grab and go" you're thinking about.

Using it in backyard, the whole setup with scope on mount is a grab and go.

Going to a dark site might be a little different.

With car, it's definitely a grab and go, one man's jobb all the way.

By public transport might be an issue, you have at least 4 packages, scope, mount, EP case, box with accessaries(finderscope, diagonal, coffe/water, sandwich, flash, etc). That'll be something to think over.

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If you include cool down time from house temperature it's not really grab and go other than in portability. If you can store the OTA close to outside temperature or just stick to low power for the 1st 30 mins or so then it might make it. For me grab and go is about quick and responsive (to observing opportunities) set up / tear down rather than just pure weight / portability.

Remember that a dew shield is more or less mandatory with SCT's and mak-cass's - that can nearly double the tube length.

Nudging a 2000mm focal length scope is going to be fun :smiley:

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Suppose you are observing the moon or planets.

I will use a lower power eyepiece so I am at the same kind of magnification as if I were using my ED100. The nudging is the same :) And to a lesser degree, galaxies etc.

I do think it works, it's just about fine on my giro, though of course not as wide field as with my 60mm scope, but 8 inches of aperture... Yes please! I have had a C6, Edge 8 and C11 and I think the 8 is a keeper, because it is so compact for its punch. And the C6 is no slouch either, we only sold ours as we got the 8. There is a huge difference in size and weight between the 8 and 11, and a massive price difference between the Edge 8 and 9.25.

The dew shield is of little concern for my travels. Light as anything and reasonably compact, and I will only observe for an hour or two on hols. I'll pop it out to cool or keep it in the car boot before ready to use, so not much of an issue for me, but cool down could be an issue depending on how you use it.

If you include cool down time from house temperature it's not really grab and go other than in portability. If you can store the OTA close to outside temperature or just stick to low power for the 1st 30 mins or so then it might make it. For me grab and go is about quick and responsive (to observing opportunities) set up / tear down rather than just pure weight / portability.

Remember that a dew shield is more or less mandatory with SCT's and mak-cass's - that can nearly double the tube length.

Nudging a 2000mm focal length scope is going to be fun :smiley:

Edited by Luke

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Portable................yes. Grab and Go............not really when you consider the cool down (as John said). I'd also say that the AZ-4 would be a better tripod/mount. The Porta II is really for small refractors.

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A quick thought...I have an AZ4, which is lovely, but if used with a mak or SCT then the finder - which normally sits at top left - sits at bottom left, because the scope is rotated 90 degrees CCW as the dovetail clamp is on the side rather than the bottom. This makes the finder rather difficult to access. If you are super supple it wouldn't be a bother, but I found it to be literally a pain in the neck. Of course if you can re-mount (or replace) the finder then ignore this post. Same applies if your scope sits in tube rings, which my mak did not.

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I should add that the same problem occurs with the Porta too (pun not intended!).

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