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I'm considering the possibility of getting a grab and go set-up. Something I can throw over my shoulder and nip out the back garden (rather than planning a trip to my dark site with my OOUK 10" F6.3).

I really have no idea other than I don't think binos are the answer. My budget should be around £400 preferred - £600 at an absolute push. This has caught my eye - 

Bresser Messier AR-127S / 635 Refractor OTA

I know nothing of refractors/mak cas/cats so I'm open to any suggestions or advice. 

I'm purely visual btw so that should help. 

TIA

Al

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Depends what you want to see, anything reasonable will need a potentially heavy mount to be grabbed/lugged into the garden. Binoculars can give you a contrast to the bigger scope....

Peter

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23 hours ago, PeterW said:

Depends what you want to see, anything reasonable will need a potentially heavy mount to be grabbed/lugged into the garden. Binoculars can give you a contrast to the bigger scope...

Like I said, I'm open to any other suggestions. 

Mainly it'll be planets and lunar, maybe some double splitting. The lack of aperture limits the DSOs but then that's what the OO dob is for. 

Can you get diagonals for binos ? I would imagine targets anywhere near zenith would be very awkward. 

Thoughts ? 

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On 19/10/2020 at 21:33, Ally8446 said:

I'm considering the possibility of getting a grab and go set-up. Something I can throw over my shoulder and nip out the back garden (rather than planning a trip to my dark site with my OOUK 10" F6.3).

I really have no idea other than I don't think binos are the answer. My budget should be around £400 preferred - £600 at an absolute push. This has caught my eye - 

Bresser Messier AR-127S / 635 Refractor OTA

I know nothing of refractors/mak cas/cats so I'm open to any suggestions or advice. 

I'm purely visual btw so that should help. 

TIA

Al

I knowww how it feels (I own an 8 inch f/5 reflector on an 18kg equatorial mount), but at the same time I have my parents and my sister that help me with my huge telescope. And I live at the edge of a big city.

 

A Maksutov (a system that uses both lens and mirrors) would be amazing (but because of the big f ratio it works best for planets, but some Mak owners would most likely say that with a focal reducer (a lens like a barlow that basically reduces your f ratio, producing a wider field) some DSOs could fit into the field of view.

The refractor (a system that uses lens) would be good as well, but it has chromatic aberration (a blue halo around the object) that could be sometimes annoying.

You could get an apochromat refractor (a refractor that corrects chromatic aberration) but those are expensive, and the ones within your budget have a small diameter (72, 80 mm, APO's are used mostly in astrophotography and you said you're a visual obs).

(SCT/ schimdt-cassegrains are very expensive and I don't have experience with those so I can't say much).

Btw, a tabletop dobson would be nice too (since you already own a dob, it'll be very convenient)

 

So, in my opinion, get either a dob (perhaps the Heritage-130p? Since it has a flex tube design it is very very portable and nice. And with a diameter of 130 you could see some very good things, it has a great price and great optics).

Or a refractor (the one with the biggest diameter that you could afford, but at the same time be careful so it is not very huge and hard to transport. the one you mentioned seemed nice), and perhaps it would be nice to work with a refractor too (not just reflectors).

Or a Maksutov (127mm) (If you plan on observing the DSO's with the huge dob and use the Maksutov for planets).

 

 

Edited by Astrid
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On 19/10/2020 at 19:33, Ally8446 said:

I'm considering the possibility of getting a grab and go set-up. Something I can throw over my shoulder and nip out the back garden (rather than planning a trip to my dark site with my OOUK 10" F6.3).

I really have no idea other than I don't think binos are the answer. My budget should be around £400 preferred - £600 at an absolute push. This has caught my eye - 

Bresser Messier AR-127S / 635 Refractor OTA

I know nothing of refractors/mak cas/cats so I'm open to any suggestions or advice. 

I'm purely visual btw so that should help. 

TIA

Al

The Bresser is quite a lump (7.7kg) and a fast achro so I don’t think it is what you are looking for. I would go for as it will be harder to mount and will show plenty of CA on planets and the Moon.

I would either go for a smaller apo refractor or perhaps a Mak. The refractor will be faster to setup as they need little in the way of cool down, and with a shorter focal length will complement you 10” by providing wider field views too.

Perhaps something like an 80ED on an AZ5 would be worth looking at. This would give you widefield options and good views of the Moon but would be a little limited on planets although still fun. You could also look at the Skywatcher SkyMax 127 or the better Bresser MC-127 Mak which would be great on planets and the Moon, but would not have the widefield potential of the refractor. In similar vein you could also consider the new StellarLyra 6” Classical Cassegrain but mounting that would perhaps be a slight challenge within budget. Not sure an AZ5 would handle it but someone can probably advise.

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Another possibility is one of the Lyra Optics 102mm f11 clines; there is a lovely red one on ABS currently for £300. These are nicely corrected scopes, lacking the widefield potential but great for planets, moon and doubles. Quite long so would need a decent mount, and more importantly tripod.

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But why you want to sacrifice the aperture? You could instead try to outfit your 10" for your grab and go flow if you feel fit to haul it or see a way to roll it there.

I did just that for my Zhumell 12" full OTA and my flow, which involves moving it from the apartment on 10th floor to the elevator to the 15th floor and then out to the 17th floor rooftop (three staircases to traverse). Utilized a yoga mat, two climbing rope rings for handles, flat furniture dolly, and a folding step stool to make that a piece of cake. In fact, for the dark sky trip I have even more elaborate transportation system (Part I,  Part II,  Part III) making it just a bit more time consuming.

E.g. I know folks going out on foot with their OTA and slimline DIY base in the dedicated long backpack. Actually a Dob is much easier to grab and go as the setup is much simpler compared to any refractor but really tiny ones: just plop down the base and then OTA over it. No tripods and mount heads to fiddle around. All what's missing in stock Dobson designs for that are comfortable OTA handles.

Edited by AlexK
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Search out a reasonable 80mm achro, say f/8 area and contemplate the Sktwatcher Az GTi mount with a lithium battery. Would be over the £400, should be under the £600.

I would not put a 102 on one and 102's seem either too fast so show CA or long and the motors may not be up to throwing one around all the time.

A 72mm ED woud sit well but you sacrifice aperture, and people seem averse to that idea. An 80ED would be nice but probably have to be a preowned item. Really G&G and wide would be one of the 60mm ED's around.

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Very grab and go. I have a set of pockets round the ex-camera tripod I use so scope/mount, batteries and eye pieces can be taken in altogether. The azgti does need carefull altitude balancing, as in don’t switch weight of eyepieces. If you unbalance it can have tracking issues.

Peter

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Right guys, I think, possibly, this might be the one. 

Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED or the 80. With budget in mind what tripod and AZ manual mount (from a weight pov) would be required. I'm factoring in the obligatory diagonal, not sure what di-electric means though 🙄. Are there any other must haves that I'd need ? 

Really appreciate all your help/input. 

Cheers

Al

Edited by Ally8446
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Dielectric just means multilayer vapor deposition creating a 99% reflectivity (at 45 degrees) mirror.  They also don't tarnish like an aluminized or silvered first surface mirror.  I like my GSO/Revelation dielectric diagonals quite a bit.  I would skip the quartz substrate option, though.  I've got both and can't detect any difference.  The cheaper diagonals also tend to not be as well made mechanically, I've found.  You get flex with binoviewers or heavy eyepieces.

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18 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Dielectric just means multilayer vapor deposition creating a 99% reflectivity (at 45 degrees) mirror.  They also don't tarnish like an aluminized or silvered first surface mirror.  I like my GSO/Revelation dielectric diagonals quite a bit.  I would skip the quartz substrate option, though.  I've got both and can't detect any difference.  The cheaper diagonals also tend to not be as well made mechanically, I've found.  You get flex with binoviewers or heavy eyepieces.

Well, thanks for answering one of the questions I had, but was too idle to search for , or to get round to asking.

So much to learn ! I love it.

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@Ally8446

I would suggest the SW80ED and as you want to view at highish powers and the SW EQ3-2.

This is a very light setup and as it’s an equatorial mount you only need to turn the RA knob to track and it can be motorised at a later date 🙂

Alternately the SW AZ4 is well suited to the 80ED.

Edited by dweller25
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1 hour ago, dweller25 said:

@Ally8446

I would suggest the SW80ED and as you want to view at highish powers and the SW EQ3-2.

This is a very light setup and as it’s an equatorial mount you only need to turn the RA knob to track and it can be motorised at a later date 🙂

Alternately the SW AZ4 is well suited to the 80ED.

I was hoping someone was going to suggest the AZ4 as it's a little cheaper than the AZ5. Would I need a pier extension at all ? Also, will the ED80 fit straight onto the AZ4 or will I need an adapter etc. Last one, aluminium or steel leg tripod ? 

I really appreciate everyone's help, thank you. 

Al

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44 minutes ago, Ally8446 said:

I was hoping someone was going to suggest the AZ4 as it's a little cheaper than the AZ5. Would I need a pier extension at all ? Also, will the ED80 fit straight onto the AZ4 or will I need an adapter etc. Last one, aluminium or steel leg tripod ? 

I really appreciate everyone's help, thank you. 

Al

A pier extension will help prevent the OTA hitting the mount when observing high objects - if one is available ?

The ED80 has a vixen type dovetail that will fit directly to the AZ4.

Steel is slightly heavier but more stable - better option in my opinion.

Edited by dweller25
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10 minutes ago, dweller25 said:

A pier extension will help prevent the OTA hitting the mount when observing high objects.

The ED80 has a vixen type dovetail that will fit directly to the AZ4.

Steel is slightly heavier but more stable - better option in my opinion

Marvellous. I shall be searching the second hand market in the near future. 

Thanks for your assistance all. 

Al

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The AZ-4 is compatible with EQ3-2 / EQ5 / HEQ5 mount heads and tripods so the extension that fits those will work with the AZ-4.

I used to use my Vixen ED102SS F/6.5 on an AZ-4 and it worked very well. The ED80 will be right at home on one:

 

vixsolaraz401.JPG

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13 minutes ago, John said:

The AZ-4 is compatible with EQ3-2 / EQ5 / HEQ5 mount heads and tripods so the extension that fits those will work with the AZ-4.

I used to use my Vixen ED102SS F/6.5 on an AZ-4 and it worked very well. The ED80 will be right at home on one:

 

vixsolaraz401.JPG

That's great news, thanks.

Is that a Berlebach tripod ? 

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Considered a 100mm - 125mm achromatic refractor of about f7-f10 with a fringe killer or semi-apo filter?

 

Okay, it might not have quite the performance of an apo but it'll be cost effective and still very nice. 

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1 hour ago, Ally8446 said:

That's great news, thanks.

Is that a Berlebach tripod ? 

No, it's an Oberwerk I think. These were also supplied with the big Helios 45 / 90 degree observation binoculars and maybe under other brandings as well. Not quite as good as a Berlebach Uni but tall and stable none the less.

 

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125mm f10... more drag and lug than grab and go. See if you can visualise the size and weight, the easier it is to move around the more you’ll use it. 
 

peter

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