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Hi all,

May I ask your advice? I’d really like a refractor, for visual only, that is portable. I recently gave up on a 10 inch Meade LX200 which was just too big for me to move (I live in the Wicklow mountains in Ireland with Bortle 4 skies but really nice dark skies facing south away from Dublin). I’ve been using a 127 Mak and binoculars for the past few years and I love them, but I have refractor-envy and am happy to pay £1000 - £1500 for the scope, and then buy a suitable mount separately. 

I’ve been looking at this: https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-102ed-r-fpl53-refractor-459-p.asp and wonder what your opinion is? Also, mount-wise, there doesn’t seem to be much choice in the way of alt-az, GoTo mounts that can handle this payload but are still portable - is the HEQ5 Synscan a terrible idea given that I only want to use this setup for visual use?

I’ve been looking online and reading reviews for too long now, and hope you might be able to steer me in the right direction. 
 

Thanks in advance!

Nicola

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14 hours ago, johninderby said:

You can however buy the Starwave version here: https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-102ed-r-fpl53-refractor-459-p.asp I just bought one not 10 minutes ago. (which will be a little longer by the time you read this I imagine!) 

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Is 4" the largest you are willing to go?

If visual only, I would say that this scope:

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p10133_TS-Optics-Doublet-SD-APO-125mm-f-7-8---FPL-53---Lanthan-objective.html

could be good option in your budget range.

It will sit nicely on SkyTee II (non tracking) or already mentioned AZEQ5 (tracking / goto).

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Thank you very much for all these suggestions. The AZ-EQ5 would definitely fit the bill. I think I’ll stick with a 4 inch - I learned my lesson with that 10” SCT - really appreciate your input and help. 

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On 18/01/2021 at 20:56, Nicola Fletcher said:

Hi all,

May I ask your advice? I’d really like a refractor, for visual only, that is portable. I recently gave up on a 10 inch Meade LX200 which was just too big for me to move (I live in the Wicklow mountains in Ireland with Bortle 4 skies but really nice dark skies facing south away from Dublin). I’ve been using a 127 Mak and binoculars for the past few years and I love them, but I have refractor-envy and am happy to pay £1000 - £1500 for the scope, and then buy a suitable mount separately. 

I’ve been looking at this: https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-102ed-r-fpl53-refractor-459-p.asp and wonder what your opinion is? Also, mount-wise, there doesn’t seem to be much choice in the way of alt-az, GoTo mounts that can handle this payload but are still portable - is the HEQ5 Synscan a terrible idea given that I only want to use this setup for visual use?

I’ve been looking online and reading reviews for too long now, and hope you might be able to steer me in the right direction. 
 

Thanks in advance!

Nicola

Good scope choice Nicola and it will sit nicely on possibly an EQ5 pro goto and definitely an HEQ5 pro goto 👍

Edited by dweller25
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If you are looking for an AZ opinion it will sit well on an AZ4. I will post some photos when mine arrives this morning (half 11 apparently) 

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Thank you all very much for your help - I just bought the scope and a star diagonal from Altair. Now to wait until mounts are easier to find than hens’ teeth! @Carl Au looking forward to seeing your setup!

Edited by Nicola Fletcher
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13 minutes ago, Nicola Fletcher said:

Thank you all very much for your help - I just bought the scope and a star diagonal from Altair. Now to wait until mounts are easier to find than hens’ teeth! @Carl Au looking forward to seeing your setup!

Good for you. Buying astro gear at the moment really isn't easy. I/we are able to buy the scopes we want. It's a 6 month wait for lots of folks out there. I love an AZ4 for refractor this size. Giro III for anything bigger.

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19 minutes ago, Carl Au said:

Good for you. Buying astro gear at the moment really isn't easy. I/we are able to buy the scopes we want. It's a 6 month wait for lots of folks out there. I love an AZ4 for refractor this size. Giro III for anything bigger.

Thank you - having everyone’s input made it easier to press the button. I might hold out for the AZ-EQ5 - I really like the look of it and I think the scope will look great on it. Enjoy yours!

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The AZ-EQ5 would definitely carry your 4" refractor well. Sometimes though, less is more. It could be that having to carry out and set up a hefty AZ or EQ might stop you from observing as often when you just feel like a quick observing session. One of the beautiful things about a 4" apo is that it makes a fantastic, quick grab and go set-up. I'm not trying to put you off the AZ-EQ5 as it may be exactly what you need. It's just that there can be advantages to a lighter set-up.

Edited by mikeDnight
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I use the AZ-EQ5 in my AP rig with a 70mm Refractor.  It's a great mount and for AP is one of the lighter options out there, I can move it about fine with the scope attached.  With the 100mm refractor option though I'd assume this would need possibly 2 weights instead of the one I need to get balance on my set up.  In this case you'd be looking at a 2 trip option which makes it a bit less grab and go.  On the positive side though, if you do decide to have a go at AP at some point it's a decent option for that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ended up having a ‘pandemic buy’ and getting an EQM-35 Pro. I know it’s equatorial but I did want GoTo and I found one in stock. We will see how it goes. I like the idea of using it to mount a DSLR too in the stripped down mode. We will see how it goes when the mount arrives on Monday!

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