Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_dslr_mirrorlesss_winners.thumb.jpg.9deb4a8db27e7485a7bb99d98667c94e.jpg

Recommended Posts

All things being well, my Tak will be accompanying me to the US fairly soon for a family break with some friends who live outside Denver, actually nearish a place called Boulder, Colorado. I believe their village has no streetlights, and even if they have light pollution it is only about 30 mins to get into the mountains for some pretty spectacular skies. Mars should be at around 32 degrees, and Saturn 22, plus the lovely southern treasures will all be that much higher. I may be playing around either side of the full moon, but hopefully with some careful timing I will get at least one chance at a dark sky.

I can’t miss the chance to take my trusty Tak with me, so after some discussion on another thread, I’ve decided to go with a Think Tank Airport Accelerator to maximise  my carry capacity, with minimum weight in the actual case. I do also have a Pelicase 1510 but that is too heavy really with only a 10kg carry on allowance (ok when you can take heavier bags onboard). The dimensions of the Think Tank fit within the 55 x 40 x 23cm limits.

Anyway, after some playing around with the internal dividers, and using one longer one from the Pelicase I have got the Tak squeezed in down the centre, with other accessories down each side. The focusser and dewshield on the Tak are removed, with the Dew shield slid over the scope lined with foam mat to avoid scrapes. The objective and open end of the OTA are covered using LensCoat covers, thank you to John I think it was for the great tip! The rings and dovetail will go in my checked in baggage, otherwise it is too much weight and actually too big to comfortably fit.

After much thought, I have opted to stay simple and take my Giro-WR Mount. I thought about the AZGTi but decided against the need for alignment and batteries, I can find most things I’m interested in easily enough or via SkySafari so all is good.

I had upgraded the WR using a heavier duty and longer steel shaft, plus a second clamp, but this pushed the weight up from 0.96kg to 1.6, so last night I converted it back after digging out the old parts. I am working on a counterweight system which uses drinks cans in order to save weight, more about that later when I’ve made some progress. I have the threaded rod required though, just need some disks of ply with holes cut for the cans. If I have sufficient spare weight allowance I may just take a counterweight and bar in checked baggage.

The Mount will go on my Gitzo GT5542LS tripod, which again will go in checked baggage. Fortunately Lorna (short person ;)) has a full 20kg allowance, plus 10kg carry on so we should be fine.

So, the kit list currently is:

Tak FC-100DC with FT focuser

Baader T2 BBHS diagonal

Giro-WR mount

RDF

ES 30mm 82 degree

APM 20mm 100 degree

24mm Panoptic

18mm BGO

12.5mm BGO

9mm BGO

3 to 6 Nagler Zoom

Lumicon OIII and UHC 2” filters

Lumicon Hb 1.25” filter

Weight is at 9.7kg!

Pictures attached. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan, will update with progress as it happens.

Stu

D3E2BFF6-97DB-496D-865F-1F472F211DD1.jpeg

FA18D22A-4FA8-4E66-9CCA-39CEC3AB6DC9.jpeg

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good Stu. You've certainly crammed a lot in!

Have a great trip.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nicely packed Stu ? I really enjoyed my USA trip.

The title of the thread gave me a worrying thought that  the TAK had taken a tumble..... phew?

Edited by Pig
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Pig said:

The title of the thread gave me a worrying thought that  the TAK had taken a tumble..... phew?

Sorry Shaun, another example of my attention seeking titles ;) :laugh2:

Where did you go and what did you take scope wise?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stu,

Your timing is perfect. My wife has booked us a holiday in that general area next September and I was wondering what I could do about a scope. Never crossed my mind that I could take my FC100.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Saganite said:

Stu,

Your timing is perfect. My wife has booked us a holiday in that general area next September and I was wondering what I could do about a scope. Never crossed my mind that I could take my FC100.

Excellent! That’s just the sort of reason why I posted it up. I’ve not actually managed to take it before but I know that a few others have, I think encouraged by my discovery that it will fit in carry on if you are prepared to remove the focuser and dewshield. The LensCoat covers provide excellent protection for the objective and open end of the OTA so you can make it quite protected. I’ll post a picture of the scope itself in a few minutes.

Having a ‘full’ 4” of decent apo under dark skies is something to be savoured. Best I’ve managed to date was my FC-76DC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be spending 3 nights at a place called Sedona as we travel about because I discovered it has a designated Dark Sky site I believe. Like you I just cannot miss out on those skies. 

Hopefully other people who have already done this can share any/all tips for travelling with what is a good sized scope to have with you.

I shall watch your  thread with great interest Stu. :smiley:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ours arrived to 21.9 La Palma skies without incident...

FC100 DF with Encoder equipped VAMO Traveller, Nexus II and a hatful of ES82* eyepieces and filters made it without even having to be opened for security... 

Hope your trip goes as smoothly...

6A0AF6C1-EAE0-440D-A307-5FE9DB92AD24.thumb.jpeg.667fe572fdebc98f9b7bf5b1493ba0e4.jpeg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Saganite

If you want to pop over and see how we pack the Takahashi for travel when we’re back Steve, just holler...

We’ve flown with scopes 5 or 6 times to the villa here in La Palma and twice to Namibia and Central Africa without issue...

Edited by Stargazer McCabe
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice set up, and a lot of serious eyepiece action packed in too!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all, and Simon for confirming it is possible!! I've taken a variety of scope abroad before, WO SD66mm, TV76 and Tak FC-76DC but never the 100. I think @Highburymark has done it recently too. It think it must be one of the best airline portable scopes around actually, although obvious candidates like the Baader and AP are pretty appealing too although out of my price range.

Pics of the scope done up ready for travel attached.

20181006_173208.jpg

20181006_173226.jpg

20181006_173221.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the little Giro-WR, with the threaded rod which I will use to make the travel counterweight system. To be continued.....

20181006_182227.jpg

20181006_182254.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Stargazer McCabe said:

@Saganite

If you want to pop over and see how we pack the Takahashi for travel when we’re back Steve, just holler...

We’ve flown with scopes 5 or 6 times to the villa here in La Palma and twice to Namibia and Central Africa without issue...

Thanks Simon ,I will do just that.

Sorry Stu, I am not trying to hijack your thread, but this is all good stuff ! :smiley:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the scope Stu but not the tripod or mount for travel.......yet, but I do have 12 months to study how you are doing it !:grin: 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Saganite said:

Thanks Simon ,I will do just that.

Sorry Stu, I am not trying to hijack your thread, but this is all good stuff ! :smiley:

Not hijacking at all Steve, that is exactly what the thread is for. Any helpful info welcomed :)

I did strongly consider the Pelicase 1525 which Simon has, I guess the reasons I didn't are because I already had the 1510, and wanted something more ressembling a rucksack so is perhaps useable for other purposes too.

Just remembered that the SQM-L needs to go in too. 

EDIT just also remembered that the Pelicase 1525 is 8mm over our baggage limit (55cm) so it is always worth checking carefully as not all allowances are the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Saganite said:

I have the scope Stu but not the tripod or mount for travel.......yet, but I do have 12 months to study how you are doing it !:grin: 

Should be a fun 12 months of planning and buying Steve :)

There are a few lightweight mount options. Simon's Vamo Traveller looks excellent, great to have the encoders and Nexus for Skysafari Push to. Out of my price range currently but interesting for the future. The AZGTi is worth considering but I did just think that some of it's quirks, and the need for set up and power put me off. I enjoy low power star hopping of the milky way when at these sites which the Giro does very well.

The Gitzo is a great tripod option, pricey but worth the cash in my book. I'm not sure if I will need a pillar extension yet, will try out with the Skywatcher pillar and without.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be happy with something like a mini Ercol Stu, so long as it is mounted, just simple. Every couple of years we go to Melbourne to visit our Daughter and Granddaughters. I have seen stuff with the naked eye down there which is incredible so a 4" Tak will be heaven ! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Saganite said:

I will be happy with something like a mini Ercol Stu, so long as it is mounted, just simple. Every couple of years we go to Melbourne to visit our Daughter and Granddaughters. I have seen stuff with the naked eye down there which is incredible so a 4" Tak will be heaven ! 

Very good point, the mini ercole is a great option. No need for any sort of pillar with that.

Whilst in some ways I would like encoders, I do enjoy the simplicity of a fully manual alt az. Skysafari makes star hopping pretty trivial anyway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a great trip Stu.

Look forward to your attention grabbing thread title to head up your report!

Something like "Flying Tak Rocks in Boulder, Colorado!" ??:grin::grin:

I'm sure you will leave no stone unturned to think of a suitable title:thumbsup:

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

Have a great trip Stu.

Look forward to your attention grabbing thread title to head up your report!

Something like "Flying Tak Rocks in Boulder, Colorado!" ??:grin::grin:

I'm sure you will leave no stone unturned to think of a suitable title:thumbsup:

Dave

Thanks Dave, funny :)

You've set me a challenge now haven't you ;)

Perhaps I'll think of something even worse than my 'Is this two Takky?' Thread ?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Saganite

Steve, you can have a gander at all the travel set ups when you come over. But this is the latest manifestation. 

All you see in the photo, plus a hatful of eyepieces and binoculars came with us this time...

77C92663-1AB7-4B6D-A641-8E1B296CBBA3.thumb.jpeg.668a8399186f335a4fac7f1c95446cd2.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I’ve enjoyed about the VAMO since having it @Stu is that it’s as gorgeous to use as our Mini Ercole in manual mode, but it has that option to use the Nexus. Best of both worlds and i’d say we’re doing an equal amount of manual and technology enhanced tracking down. Nice to have the options. And my is it buttery smooth and quick to settle on the Gitzo...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stu said:

Sorry Shaun, another example of my attention seeking titles ;) :laugh2:

Where did you go and what did you take scope wise?

LoL .... I was on a work related mission and  to  so no scope, I was nearish to Chicago ? Rock Falls Ohio.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent Stu - you were the original inspiration for me buying the FC-100DC as an aircraft-friendly scope, and I've since taken it abroad three times with great success. And with those very neat Wex socks, yours will be well protected. Have a great trip - and we look forward to hearing all about it.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.