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Best portable scope for deep sky


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Hi

After a few years out due to some family problems, I’m wanting to get back into astronomy.

 I’ve had a Dob 250px flex tube (loved it) and a Skymax with EQ5 mount but want something I can transport very easily to some hills near me and be confident I’ll be able to spot planets and DSOs with my son.

Any advice, recommendations very much appreciated. Phil.

 

 

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Would you be taking it in a car? Something like a 4" f/5 refractor could fit your needs - enough aperture for the brighter DSOs and a wide field, and with the right eyepieces, good contrast and magnification on planets. Possibly something like this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/sky-watcher-starquest-102r-f49-achromatic-refractor-telescope.html

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I think a 6" dobsonian, or better still, 6" Newtonian around F6 on an AZ5 would be an ideal scope for both deep sky and planets. The SW 102mm, 120mm, & 150mm F5 rich field refractors are great for wide field and brighter deep sky, but are not good as planetary scopes. One suggestion that will certainly please as a great all round scope is the Starfield 102mm F7 ED apochromat available from FLO.

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+1 for the Flextube 150p. Mine is a very capable scope and makes a great all-rounder - good on the moon, planets, double stars and DSOs (in fact my new 200mm dob hasn't shown me anything the 150 couldn't, yet).

It folds up small and is easy to manage. I'd say setup takes about 30seconds!

The only downsides for some people are the helical focuser, which can be a little irritating, and the fastish f/5 focal length.

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If finding objects quickly is part of your requirements, I suggest a C6 SE or C8 SE GoTo SCT.  The C8 has the aperture to show lots of galaxies and other DSOs from a dark site, and is compact enough to be easily transported by car and light enough to be carried a modest distance.  Not cheap though, at today's prices, unless you can pick up a used one.  I have taken mine down to rural Devon a couple of times.

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5 hours ago, Louis D said:

Budget, transportation, weight limits, setup time, etc. limits please.

Hi Louis D

Budget - up to £350

Transportation - would be in my car then walk to site

Weight - something I can carry for 15/20 mins without giving myself a hernia

Setup Time - up to 20 mins

Many thanks, 

Edited by Philk_80
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If your budget were a bit higher, I'd say the Sky-Watcher SkyMax-127 AZ5 Deluxe for £495.  Fairly compact except for the tripod legs.  I put together a similar setup for my daughter's camping trips.

Next, I would got with a Sky-Watcher Heritage-150P Flextube Dobsonian Telescope for £238 on a photo tripod with a ball head of unknown cost along with a dovetail clamp as pictured below:

IMG_20160625_141232.jpg

Either one would be fairly compact and transportable and yet would show you solar system objects with ease.

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  • 2 months later...

150p flextube. 

Rationale.

7.5kg so not too heavy.

Money left over for a 7-21 zoom eyepiece and a small but sturdy table to plant it on or as mentioned by Louis D, a small photographic tripod. (I used to have a similar ota mounted the same).

Setup time 5 minutes. 

 

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2 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I was going to suggest Skywatcher Heritage 130P. I didn't even know there was a 150 version. The 150 is a lot pricier than the 130. 

The 150 is only $35 more than the 130 here in the US.  Unless the size difference is an issue, I'd go for the 150p.

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26 minutes ago, Louis D said:

The 150 is only $35 more than the 130 here in the US.  Unless the size difference is an issue, I'd go for the 150p.

The 130P was about 100 pounds. The 150 is about 3 times that. I googled it.

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4 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

The 130P was about 100 pounds. The 150 is about 3 times that. I googled it.

Perhaps you got a hit on a Skywatcher 150 Mak, Skywatcher 150PDS, or Skywatcher 150 EvoStar? 🤔

Simply post a link to whatever you got a hit on at 3 times the price of the SW 130P Heritage Flextube which would be about 3*£175 = £525 to clear up this misunderstanding on pricing.

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+1 for a Heritage 150p. I have 10" Stella Lyra dob, plus the 150p. The Stella Lyra is, of course, a much more refined instrument, but there's virtually nothing I've seen with it that I haven't seen with the 150p.

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Another vote for the Heritage 150P. Quick to set up, not too heavy and highly capable for the price. The focuser can be improved with Teflon tape and the (essential) shroud isn't difficult or expensive to make.

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You guys really aren't helping with my desire for a Heritage 150P! I've only just bought my first scope - a 127 Mak.

("But wouldn't the 150P make a nice wide-field companion" say the voices.)

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16 hours ago, Froglord said:

You guys really aren't helping with my desire for a Heritage 150P! I've only just bought my first scope - a 127 Mak.

Go on. You know you want to.....

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