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Explore Scientific AC 102/663 AR + Vixen Porta II


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Dear everyone,

I have been pondering for a while on different options for a lightweight yet capable telescope suitable for travel (airplanes, trains) and also as grab and go (backpack and bicycle). After skimming a lot of options I find myself coming back to this one: Explore Scientific Telescope AC 102/663 AR and a Vixen Porta II altaz mount. I wish to stay on a budget below 1000 EUR and although not drunk with aperture fever, I still prefer something bigger than my 15x70 binocular. I intend the system to be used for visual observing, no AP for now. I have read overwhelmingly good reviews of both the telescope and the mount (nothing is perfect, everything is a sort of compromise anyway). The scope is an achromat, which means that it suffers from CA, but as far as I have read it seems to be perfectly tolerable as long as one stays away from Moon and planets. The mount appears to be a satisfactory build, with fine movements. My primary intended use is for observing variable stars, clusters and some DSOs, so I guess it should be an acceptable combination. I would like to ask you what your opinions about such a system are. Does anyone have this telescope or mount or both? Any hint will be appreciated. Thanks!

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Hiya, I have also read good reviews about both the mount and scope. However, with regard to you "portability" requirement all maybe be fine for your car and maybe even a train but I wouldn't fancy carrying them on a Bicycle or leaving it in the hold of an aeroplane :happy7: I am sure both the mount and scope will perform fantastically for you. As for the CA there are filters you can purchase that will reduce any effect you experience for observing the Moon and planets.

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30 minutes ago, Pig said:

Hiya, I have also read good reviews about both the mount and scope. However, with regard to you "portability" requirement all maybe be fine for your car and maybe even a train but I wouldn't fancy carrying them on a Bicycle or leaving it in the hold of an aeroplane :happy7: I am sure both the mount and scope will perform fantastically for you. As for the CA there are filters you can purchase that will reduce any effect you experience for observing the Moon and planets.

Thanks for your answer. I understand this might not be the most portable thing in the world. I thought that as far as airplanes go, I can carry the scope in the cabin, while the mount can go in the load compartment. Biking on the other hand isn't a problem, telescope in rucksack and mount on the package carrier behind. Thanks again for your thoughts!

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Your most welcome, I always wanted to have a set up to take on my bike with me as it does sound very appealing :happy7: In the end I opted for the image stabilising binoculars purely down to their convenient size and weight (and fantastic views of course)

My work can at times involve quite a bit of traveling and I am not sure if the scope would fit into the cabin luggage. In addition sometimes if the aeroplane is packed the airline have to put passengers cabin luggage into the hold. I would not like to take the risk with my scopes etc....

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1 hour ago, Pig said:

Your most welcome, I always wanted to have a set up to take on my bike with me as it does sound very appealing :happy7: In the end I opted for the image stabilising binoculars purely down to their convenient size and weight (and fantastic views of course)

My work can at times involve quite a bit of traveling and I am not sure if the scope would fit into the cabin luggage. In addition sometimes if the aeroplane is packed the airline have to put passengers cabin luggage into the hold. I would not like to take the risk with my scopes etc....

You are right about the binocular and about the harsh treatment that things get out of the hands of the luggage guys. As far as portability goes, I own a 15x70 with which I am moderately happy for travel and minor bike excursions near home, but I just wish something more capable. I see though that the system in questions is possibly not the solution. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

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