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Hi,

We're off to Lanzarote at end of Feb and I'm hoping to take a small frac with me. I'm looking at either the ST80 or 102. The 80 from FLO comes with a table top eq1 which will be brill for hand luggage (although I can't seem to find anywhere that has the total weight - I'm guessing around 6kg in total?).

I have also looked at the 102 - I can afford the larger app but not sure how much this increases in weight from the 80 or if that would still work on a small eq1?

I have also bought a used Canon 1100d which I am hoping I can get some decent 'snaps' with - I'm not saying AP as I don't think I will be diving in too seriously at this point - although I may be on a slippery slope!! [emoji15]

Any advice on the above scopes suitable for air travel greatly appreciated.

Clear skies!

Dazzyt

Skywatcher 150P

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I'm not familiar with the table-top mount you mentioned, but I am with the ST80. These are quite good little achromats, and the price is right also - until someone else comes to try to talk you into a 80mm apochromatic for 6X to 10X the cost. I like my ST80 a great deal, and it makes an ideal 'grab & go' scope. Though I have a few far larger instruments in my arsenal, the ST80 gets the most use these days. Especially in the winter when I can't justify hauling out the major toys to catch pneumonia with! :p

I did, however, just order some 15 X 70mm binoculars.... :evil:

Dave.

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I recently purchased the table top ST80 model that you ask about,Dazzyt.

Originally,I was going to get the OTA only, to fit on my photo-tripod,but as the table top mount was only £3 more,it seemed worth a punt.

I wanted a small 'grab and go' scope to augment my bins,for those quick sessions where you crave a little more magnification than the Bins alone can provide.

I've only managed to use it a couple of times(atop the photo-mount),due to the rubbish weather that we've been experiencing-but it seems to fit the bill.

The Moon shows plenty of detail,as expected.CA is obviously present,but doesn't particularly get in the way of my enjoyment.

I managed to split ''Castor' the other week-something unachievable with binoculars!

The tabletop EQ1 has yet to be used,but can be motorised,so may provide some future interest (for a measly £3,remember).

Chuck in the supplied extras,and a very well designed soft case,and it's quite a bargain,imho.

I did consider the ST102,for it's extra light grasp,but top of my agenda was utmost portability-and the ST80 meets this criteria.

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I used to own an ST102, and currently own an ST80. This is gathering dust for when I eventually use it as a guide scope.

Both are nice little scopes for the money. Really they only look bad when you compare them with with something that has a significantly higher price tag.

After enjoying my ST102 for some time, I decided it gave poor contrast and colour fringing when compared to a 'similar' WO scope at 4x the cost!

The perils of doing a side by side test.

I have used a Canon 1000D on the back of the ST102 with pleasing results.

The biggest problem that I have found on holiday scopes has been the tripod/mount, rather than the scope.

Rigid tripods and decent mounts tend to be heavy.

A table top helps on the tripod. Provided you can find a solid table away from bright lights. Not always easy.

Water bottles filled with sand can help avoid counterweights, and be used to pull down on a wobbly tripod.

Don't forget to pack string, duct tape, etc.

Really it comes down to what you want of the holiday. It is very easy to spend an entire evening setting up and using a scope. Much to the annoyance of 'she who must be obeyed'.

These days I tend to take binos for a general look at the sky. Photography is the Canon 1000D with a wide lens on a (compromise) camera tripod.

Hoping something in there is useful.

David.

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Very important point mentioned in post #4 - the mount can very easily be harder to transport than the optical tube.

The ST80 can manage with a lighter mount.....

All the best with your choice, Ed.

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If you are flying, I should think the ST80 would be a more manageable hand luggage size. You might manage an ST102, but I think you'd have to remove the dew shield (it does come off, but it's a very tight push-fit), also bearing in mind that the lens cap won't fit without the dew shield in place. Another advantage of the ST80 is that I have seen neat carrying cases available specifically for this model, whereas I haven't seen anything similat for the ST102 or larger Startravel scopes.

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I have an 80mm f/6 achromat...

post-47381-0-39029900-1451919423.jpg

An 80mm is pleasantly bright, and manageable.  I carry mine outside with one hand.  I'd go with it, but get the one with the tabletop mount, and for only £6 more, for it also comes with an astronomical 90° mirrored star-diagonal, and ideal for use at night.  The OTA alone comes with an Amici-prism/terrestrial 45° diagonal, for use during the day, but unsuitable for nighttime use.

Edited by Alan64
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They is a member who travels with an ST80 and a video tripod.

You will need a 2 inch long extension tube for focusing straight through with camera. Also you may need to counter weight the weight of a camera on the back on what ever mount you use.

Do take a better high powered eyepiece the 10mm shows lots of CA.

Edited by happy-kat
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The ST102 is a great scope but it has better build quality over the ST80 which in the case of travelling doesn't go in it's favour. You would also struggle using it on anything less than an AZ3 or high quality camera tripod where as the ST80 would sit nicely on something like http://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/horizon-8115-2-way-heavy-duty-tripod.html

If I were going on holiday to get away from this dismal weather then I'd go for the ST80 as you don't want to be stuck at the airport haggling over extra fees on luggage etc. The ST80 would also make a nice grab and go scope for back home.

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Thanks everyone for the replies. The 80 with tabletop eq1 looks to fit the bill nicely for me. The advice, as always, is spot on!

I'm also planning to get the eq1 motor drive with this so hopefully I will get some decent pics too [emoji3]

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I have an 80mm f/6 achromat...

attachicon.gifAntares 805n.jpg

An 80mm is pleasantly bright, and manageable.

Alan - what tripod/mount are you using there?

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ST80, desktop eq1 and ra motor drive just ordered from FLO... [emoji7][emoji108][emoji106]

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ST80, desktop eq1 and ra motor drive just ordered from FLO... [emoji7][emoji108][emoji106]

That'll be the 150P up for sale then :laugh:

1st Dibs please

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I have an ST80 which has travelled with me to France, Spain and Madeira. It has enabled me to see things like the North America Nebula, the Helix Nebula, M74, The Veil Nebula - all of which can't really be seen from London with my 6 inch Dobsonian. It's so small and light that I put it in a camera backpack, along with my DSLR, lenses and I've even got binoculars in there with them before. That then gets checked on the plane, so the baggage handlers don't get a chance to chuck it around!

For a mount I use a video tripod that I bought second hand from a friend. It's not great but no worse that the EQ1; only disadvantage is that it "slips" when I tighten the screws as I home in on objects so I end up aiming slightly above things to find them. That's no big problem though because it's such a widefield scope. The tripod goes into my check-in baggage.

I couldn't comment on the ST102 - I was tempted when I bought the ST80, but I'm not convinced that extra inch of aperture would be worth the extra weight and the extra chance of not being able to take it places.

Hope that helps!

Paul

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Alan - what tripod/mount are you using there?

It's an Astro-Tech Voyager I, and discontinued.  However, this is the exact same mount, and in black, but the extension pier and eyepiece tray have not been available for many years...

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p1753_TS-Alt-Azimuth-Mount-Deluxe-with-worm-gears---up-to-8-kg.html

This is how it actually appears... http://agenaastro.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/p/a/pamt-gs-svaltaz-2s_1.jpg

It would be a very good match for the ST80, both aesthetically and functionally. 

I also use it with two of my other telescopes...

post-47381-0-64712900-1451955277.jpg

Incidentally, it's a Taiwanese clone of the discontinued, Japanese, Takahashi "Teegul"... http://www.scopereviews.com/teegul2.jpg

...and for a third of the price.

Edited by Alan64
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That'll be the 150P up for sale then :laugh:

1st Dibs please

Lol I'm still in love with 'dobbie' so you may have to wait a while yet. Can't wait to get my hands on 'Stacie' (st80 - geddit?? [emoji1]) though...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Ps am looking to get a Mak150 towards the end of the year to complete my collection... For now... [emoji6][emoji106]

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Hi Dazzyt... I don't know about the ST80? But I bought a ST102 before xmas and I love it, it's the best scope I've owned so far, even above me 150/750 Newtonian!!! Sure at high mag it gives colour fringing, but you expect that in these small fracs! But they were designed for low power wide field views, and it's great!!! Hope this helps???

The misses also got me a pair if Celestron 15x70 binos too and they are also fantastic!!!

Andy78

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Hi Dazzyt... I don't know about the ST80? But I bought a ST102 before xmas and I love it, it's the best scope I've owned so far, even above me 150/750 Newtonian!!! Sure at high mag it gives colour fringing, but you expect that in these small fracs! But they were designed for low power wide field views, and it's great!!! Hope this helps???

The misses also got me a pair if Celestron 15x70 binos too and they are also fantastic!!!

Andy78

Helps with my confidence a lot! Have some bins as well so my arsenal is growing. Can't wait for 'Stacey' to arrive... Although through the curse of new gear I may have to wait til the holiday in March before I see a clear sky again!

Clear skies!

Dazzyt

Skywatcher 150P

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'Stacie' arrived today!c1a3fc274bf24a57932483ee92bf3c9b.jpg02c2177cfa023cab9b8916c02b2ddb9a.jpgcddc211ab43c7084c96eb949a3182c2c.jpg

And finally motor drive fitted...

9918ed4b54e14c11d68495c444156b6c.jpg

Unbelievably the skies were clear earlier and I managed to have a quick scout around whilst getting used to the EQ1. Awesome clarity from such a small scope. Very pleased.

The Canon 1100d body I got off eBay for £60 arrived today too (along with a t ring fitting) so I've tried that out too... Early days yet but my first snap of the M45 (one of my faves) may get on here too once I've had a proper look at it on the laptop [emoji3]

Well chuffed!!!

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The 80mm refractor will make for an excellent complement to the 6" f/8 Dobsonain.  Well done.

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You got the useful bag with your one as well.

Great little scopes.

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