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Hi,

I usually observe from a hill in a field not far from my home. Still I have to move my setup some distance - around the cows and the bull and up the hillside.

So far this is no problem with my small Skywatcher Heritage but one may still dream... if I get the chance to upgrade then what is the lightest setup available with the largest apperature?

About mounts and weight - is there a webpage somewhere that compares mounts - their capabilities and total weight of the mount?

Sorry about the english :D

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Your English is great!

To keep weight down you need a mount which does not require a counterweight, so German equatorials are out. A Dob is probably as light as it gets and can still be managed up to reasonable aperture. An 8 inch would be okay. A ten inch would require two people or two trips, one for the tube and one for the base. It would be getting difficult.

Otherwise an altaz mount like the TeleVue Gibraltar or some of the mounts shown on this page. Skywatcher

Alt az mounts like these will handle a 4 inch refractor nicely.

There is also the very attractive iOptron minitower Go-To mount which will carry an 8 inch SCT, I think, but there you would be making two trips in all probability.

Olly

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for your views.

After pulling my daughter around in a cart for hours in the zoo today, it dawned on me.

I just need a cart. I could easily fit a large dobson in one of those things and pull it down to the hills.

It could work.

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I have a 12 inch skywatcher which i have managed to transport on foot 150 meters from the car to my obs point. It takes two trips but basically the dob mount can be carried first along with eyepieces and paraphernalia in a rucksack and the second trip is the ota... Ive looped a piece of rope around the tube in a figure of 8 finished off with the handle grip from a laptop bag - if you loop it round the mounting point the tube is perfectly balanced and easier to transport. Or do like me and find an obs position with car access... it did take a month or two of searching however... i'll try and post pics of the rope and tube configeration later if i can

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I have a 12 inch skywatcher which i have managed to transport on foot 150 meters from the car to my obs point. It takes two trips but basically the dob mount can be carried first along with eyepieces and paraphernalia in a rucksack and the second trip is the ota...

Thanks, that's good to know...:D:)

Edited by Beulah
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I also have a 12" skywatcher (flextube) and have no difficulty carrying the tube and base separately. The collapsible tube is actually more manageable than the bulky base. At my observing site I set up right beside my car, so I've never tried carrying the bits for any great distance. It would certainly be do-able, though making two separate journeys up a hill would be a chore, I think, especially if clouds roll over five minutes after you set up. I can get all my kit back inside the car in five minutes if the weather (or livestock!) get nasty.

I formerly used an 8" Orion SkyQuest (classic) dob, and I could carry the whole thing easily with one hand. In those days my observing site involved a bit more of a walk from the road, and it was no problem. If I always had to walk any distance to my site then I'd go for an 8". I had a fantastic time with that scope, definitely enough aperture for very interesting views at a dark site. But I still wouldn't be crazy on lugging the whole thing up a steep hill, or doing two trips up a hill. In that case I might settle for a 6" dob.

I'm in no hurry to upgrade from the 12" (still plenty of NGCs to see) but whenever I do upgrade I'll probably go for an 18" "ultra compact" such as this:

Obsession Telescopes / Telescopes / 18" UC (Ultra Compact)

Despite the minimalist design this would of course still be a very heavy scope - most of the weight is in the mirror. Orion have a new range of large-aperture scopes with lower weight mirrors due for release soon:

Orion UP18 Premium UltraPortable Truss Dobsonian | Orion Telescopes & Binoculars

This would probably answer your question of largest aperture with lightest weight. But my advice would be to upgrade a step at a time. Increasing your aperture by 50% will let you see about a magnitude fainter (which is a lot) but may also mean doubling the weight.

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Thank you for your views.

After pulling my daughter around in a cart for hours in the zoo today, it dawned on me.

I just need a cart. I could easily fit a large dobson in one of those things and pull it down to the hills.

It could work.

Have you considered a small collapsible sack barrow, I purchased mine from Nettos for I thing about £9, it measures 11.5" wide, 28" closed, 42.5"open and has a fold out 15"X10" metal bottom plate, I have seen similar ones on the market, I also intend to change the 6" wheels to some 8" soft pram types to provide that extra cushioning.

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