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Startravel 102/120 - Advice please


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Hi,

I currently have a Mak 127 and although it's an excellent scope, I'm looking for a decent grab and go wide field refractor.  The weather in Glasgow changes every second so the less cooldown, the better.  I've been thinking about either of these but not sure which one to get.  I don't have a lot of space and as the Mak is very compact, I'm worried that the 120 will be too large when added to the mount.  I'm using the SLT mount that comes with the Mak.

Will there be any issues with regards to weight on the SLT?

I can appreciate the light gathering abilities between the two but is there that noticeable a difference?

Thanks

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Both will be bigger hten the Mak and I suspect heavier.

You will need tube rings and a dovetail to attach them.

Cannot see them being therefore an easier grab-and-go then what you have.

Wider yes, and easier to find thing yes, but not smaller in any way.

I suspect a better option would be the Rother Valley 90mm 500mm achro, it comes with rings but no diagonal.

Even that is going to be a fair weight - I have a 90mm ED and that is no lightweight.

Really you want 70mm or 80mm. The "old" WO Megrez 72 would be good as would the newer WO ZS 71. Both cost more as they are ED and I do not know of a 70mm achro refractor that appear "reasonable", sort of 70mm and f/7.

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The OTA comes with tube rings and a dovetail so that's not an issue as it will go onto the SLT mount.  When I say "grab and go", I really mean it.  I store it in the dining area which is about 3 meters to the garden where it gets plonked down.  I miss the views from my old ETX80 and the Mak cooldown time is a bit excessive. What's the difference in size between the 102 and 120?  Will it balance okay? (either of them)

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I had the older Helios version of the 120. It's not a large scope at all, and can easily be tucked away behind a sofa or something. I would go for the extra aperture and have the 120 any day. It's a lovely scope for clusters etc.

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There is a good review of the 102 I read, the bigger you go the more CA so the 102 was more of a sweet spot size.

Lens size has no effect on the amount of CA. In the case of single lens scopes, it's down to focal ratio. At F5, which the 120 is ( don't know about the others), there's a fair bit of CA on bright objects like the moon and planets, but a short FL achromatic isn't the scope for these targets anyway. With clusters etc, that F ratio is fine.

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Hi There,

My grab & go scope is the ST`120, goes everywhere, roofbox, back seat or boot. Its impervious to sand, snow and dog slobber!!.. A little ca but that is to be expected but such a good apperture in a small package is unbeatable. If it was an ed or apo scope it just wouldnt be used!!

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CA isn't really an issue as I'll be using it for widefield DSO's if I can.  I have my little Mak for planets, the moon etc.

Ever since my little ETX80 broke I've always missed the views.  I have binoculars but prefer a scope.

Thanks :)

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If you decide on an 80mm and it's within your budget the Equinox 80 is a wonderful scope and does everything really well within the limits of it's aperture range.  It gives wonderful 5.3 degree fields using my 40mm Paragon.   Lunar and planetary views  at  x147  using my 3.5mm Pentax are excellent.  These little gems are often available used from around £300 - £375.  Being smaller than a 100mm or 120mm it's really a take anywhere scope .  O course it's not as good on deep sky but does extremely well. 

I have to admit, I also have a 152mm f5.9 achromat I also use - not really grab an go though as it weiighs around 12Kg !! 

Regarding the CA 'problem' someone mentioned, I think myself this is rather over-egged.  (often by those lucky enough to have rather expensive apos).  I have an Ostara (A what I hear people ask :smiley: ) version of the 152 f5.9) but there is a review of the Altair version by Ade Ashford which pretty much describes the performance of mine.  Here's a link for anyone interested to read it.  Please note there is a link within it to the second part of the review.   http://www.nightskies.net/scopetest/scopes/altair_astro/starwave_152_f5-9.html

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I have the ST102 and to be honest CA isn't really a problem for DSOs especially as you have other equipment for planetry viewing. Yes, you will notice a little amount but it doesn't lessen your views or enjoyment. I've had mine for nearly two years and it's never bothered me.

My gear is set up for quick setup and pack up and with a porta II mount, it really is a great grab'n'go setup.

Like you, space is an issue as I can't leave it assembled so it gets packed away in a 23 inch toolbox! Plus it can be chucked in the back of the car without fear of damage. 102 is a sturdy little thing and takes a surprising amount of abuse!

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