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Advice needed for portable scope


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Hi all,

I am probably going on a scientific expedition to the Sinai Desert at Easter (long story), and I have asked and have been allowed to take along some of my astronomical gear, but obviously cant take my 150PL, itd get killed by baggage handlers Im sure!

So my question is, I am ok for camera and eyepieces, but wonder if anyone can recommend a motorised mount and small scope to attach my camera to? I really dont want to miss out on super clear skies and want to take as many DSO shots as possible, anyone got any ideas? Cheers :icon_eek:

Edited by PhoenixRising
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If you have the means an astrotrac setup is the way to go. Or you could buy 2 EQ6s and leave one there. It's that expensive.

Not sure there are any other decent, compact, protable equatorial setups out there. iOptron used to have their mini cube/wedge setup which was reasonably priced, but the reviews on that are conflicting.

If you can derotate the images, something like a synscan alt-az mount would be ideal, but that's a whole different kettle of fish. It's not an easy question at all!

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For a OTA, I notice there is a 80mm Mak for sale on the board which would be ideal! You could take it on as hand luggage (I'm sure the seller will throw in the natty green bag that came with it!), it's a good all rounder, but not so heavy that you end up abandoing it in the desert.

Of course, I'm not related to the seller......oh! Yes I am, it's me! Still, would be a good scope to take and then you could use as a guide scope when you get back?!?

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Someone at my local club goes on regular trips abroad and takes with him a William Optics SD66 and a driven EQ1 tabletop. He uses the EQ1 with the camera only for some spectacular ultra widefield images. And the SD66 with EQ1 for some visuals. I don't think the EQ1 is upto imaging with anything more than 135mm lens.

The main thing is the EQ1 is cheap. And you could buy a Skywatcher 80T (80mm f5 refractor) OTA for cheap as chips.

Edited by russ
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You just need to keep the focal length short. (Sorry but that does for the Mak!!) The Astrotrac is probably the one. No counterweights, simple alignment. I'd be inclined to try a camera lens on it. Big bins instead of a scope? The Revelation 15x70s and clones are good and only cost about £65.

Olly

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Nope you need a long focal length in a short body. Forget the refractors - too long and too expensive. A nice cheap, short, cheap (did I say that?) Mak is the way to go.

Then you could be really kind and donate it to a local school to use.

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What's the budget for this take-away setup?

Astrotrak is all well and good but have you seen the price :):icon_eek::icon_eek::icon_eek:

If the home setup is a 150PL on an EQ3, i just can't see the travel setup budget being 4 times the cost.

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Awe come on, what is the Mak going to be mounted on? Long focal length needs high grade polar alignment and tracking. There are lions just behind you and a crocodile a few metres away disturbing your peace of mind...

Anyway, you can see the planets from central London. The bush invites that which is faint and elusive - and probably quite large. The problem of how to travel in rum places and also astronomize is one I have had some fun trying to resolve. It isn't a problem you CAN resolve but a small long focal length scope would come just behind a 20 inch SCT in my protable scheme of things!

Olly

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