Author Topic: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?  (Read 2208 times)

Tsar Daniels

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2018, 08:05:48 AM »
the new Meade Lightbridge minis are cute

https://www.youtube....5aZAJvs&index=5

exjeraca

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2018, 09:01:30 AM »
I recommend the Nexstar Evolution 8". The largest component is the mount and it has a nice ergonomic handle to carry it. The 8" OTA is really lightweight (seems a lot lighter than my old Meade SCT). The tripod is not very heavy either.

Jon

middbankrecra

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2018, 01:45:20 PM »
The 6SE also has goto. As I am sure you know, finding objects can also be stressful on the body. I am a dedicated star hopper myself but finding objects without any hassle sounds like it could boost your enjoyment significantly.

Micheal Luther

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 05:39:33 AM »
I like star hopping, but one thing that prompted my interest in a new scope is that I do find it tiring wrestling with my equatorial mount, especially as I have a torn rotator cuff (ouch) right now, and chronic back pain. I'm really not a complete basket case! But I'd like to spend more time looking at stuff and less time finding it, I think. So I'm ready for a Go To system!

Jon, I'll take a look at the Evolution. Thanks for the suggestion.

nalchsilnighnul

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2018, 08:25:25 AM »
Quote
"`I live in the suburban DC area, so I assume dew prevention would be an issue for me with either model."
`

Yes you would need to use a dew shield similar to this:
http://agenaastro.co...6-c8-94009.html

I have a 127 mak and the shield works very well. You can make one on the cheap with a piece of matting you can get fro Michaels or AC Moore.
In rare cases I have to use a 12v hair dryer when the shield alone isnt enough.

Gary Eldridge

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 08:55:45 AM »
Quote
I like star hopping, but one thing that prompted my interest in a new scope is that I do find it tiring wrestling with my equatorial mount, especially as I have a torn rotator cuff (ouch) right now, and chronic back pain. I'm really not a complete basket case! But I'd like to spend more time looking at stuff and less time finding it, I think. So I'm ready for a Go To system!

Jon, I'll take a look at the Evolution. Thanks for the suggestion.

Looking at another post they broke out the component weights of the 9.25. Heaviest piece is the mount at 15.8 lbs. I'd figure the tripod for the 8" to be at least 30%less weight than the CPC Tripod that comes with the 9.25 and I've heard a C8 OTA is between 12-13 lbs

So essentially the OTA and mount is like lifting a 12 pack of pop or a touch more (or Coke like some folks call every carbonated beverage)

as for the tripod I saw someone employ the Velcro jeep roll bar handle straps to let you carry it like a suitcase. Really cool idea. To keep the legs together a kids belt with a pull through buckle (like a scout uniform belt) would workhttp://www.cloudynig...-and-925-parts/

Sean Meyer

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2018, 06:47:52 PM »
checkout www.dobstuff.com and click on the link "kits & parts". it seems he has replacement (lighter) parts for some of the heavier pieces of a Meade or Orion dobsonian. i am a newb as well and have no experience with him, but i found out about him via other posts here at CN. it would be interesting to find out if he can get a medium dob to be at or under your weight limits.

regarding heavier pieces, such as the mirror cell or the base of a dobsonian, try to visualize a pair of wheels on the front, and handle bars along the sides extending to the rear; thus when you pick up the handle bars you are lifting less than half of the weight. also with a pair of two by eight planks at the rear of your small and low station wagon you can roll the heaviest portion of a dob in and out of your car. for example, the second photo in this post has an example. i am not suggesting that you buy a 25" dob, just providing an example that would allow you to safely exceed by a small amt your weight limits.

I don't know what type of vehicle you have, just letting you know what others have done, you don't have to a huge pickup truck, but having one is nice for amateur astronomy

Philip Price

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 07:22:51 PM »
Thanks for the further replies. More stuff to check out! I'll look at those pages you linked, somebody.

Jon (or anyone else): do either the Evo or the SE series allow you to disable the GoTo figure to star-hop manually? And if so, once you've found an object manually, can you then re-engage the GoTo system to track an object automatically?

obenanus

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2018, 04:27:53 PM »
going back to the handles to lift the base of telescope, i think this how the math/physics will work. Let's use CP Kuiper's 12" dob as an example, he says the base weighs 34 pounds, sounds above your weight limit, maybe maybe not.

Let's assume that the mass of that base is 12 inches back from the front wheels so that is a downward force of 12" times 34 lbs or 34 foot-pounds of downward force. If the handles are three feet long, divide the 34 foot pounds by 3 feet and you are lifting 11 and 1/3 pounds--leverage in action. If the handles are four feet long, divide the 34 foot pounds by 4 feet and you are lifting just 8.5 pounds.

David Kriege and Richard Berry in their book, The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes, discuss this concept on pages 270-276 of their book. It's a good read. Anyhow, they suggest 8" diameter by 2" wide pneumatic wheels attached to the front of the handles. Also that the REMOVABLE handles are mounted to the base so that when the base resting on the ground flat, the wheels are have 2 inches of clearance under them to the ground and about 1/2" between them and the base itself (thus maximizing the length of the handle bars).

Hope this helps.

So the remaining issue for a dobsonian, if it is a solid tube dobsonian, how much does the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) weighs? if it is a truss dobsonian, how much do each of the components (upper ring, lower ring, truss rods) weigh?

Finally, before spending money, find your local astronomy group and go to one of its star parties, view through their scopes and help with assembly and disassembly of an SCT or Dobsonian. Nothing like working with actual heavy objects.

malphandrafsadd

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2018, 06:45:42 PM »
Thanks, somebody. I've done some hanging out with telescope folks, but not enough setting up / breaking down. But I know with my own experience that a real heavy scope will keep me indoors. I've used my 3.5 inch refractor a lot over the last couple years, but there are times when even that 20-something-pound setup makes me not bother. That's what worries me about a Dob. But I'll think about it more.

Speaking of weight: near as I can tell, the Evolution 8 is 40.6 pounds all told, to 33 pounds for the SE 8. But if I got the SE to save weight, would I end up buying a 7 pound Power Tank anyway?

David Williams

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 08:23:33 PM »
The SE works only with its motors, but you do not need a massive power-tank, a small lithium battery can be enough.
If you like slewing manually your telescope could think also at a small alt/az mount: the Porta can carry small OTAs (it has enough clearance for a 6" SCT or a 150/750 Newt, but such configuration is imho a bit too shacky for high-power observations).
The mount is sold for a 5kg payload, and its own weigh is less than 6kg (head+tripod*).
A similar mount is the Skywatcher AZ4, which can be purchased also with the Synta "small" steel tripod (the one sold with eq5, Heq5, etc...roughly 5 kg of "steel")
There are other options, but noticeably more expensive

To make a good estimate of the heaviest telescope you want to manage, think about the simple movements you are expected to perform, e.g. drag (how often, on which kind of ground), lift (how often, how high), lift+carry (distance, ground, frequency)...
Even the shape of objects can be pretty important: to me it is easier to lift and carry a C8 (6kg, but compact and provided by handle) than a 100/1000 refractor (4kg, but long and without any obvious way to handle, except by grabbing the tube)

*much malignated, but imho not so bad; and it is very light

Tumbness Mendez

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2018, 02:15:49 AM »
Quote
checkout www.dobstuff.com and click on the link "kits & parts". it seems he has replacement (lighter) parts for some of the heavier pieces of a Meade or Orion dobsonian. i am a newb as well and have no experience with him, but i found out about him via other posts here at CN. it would be interesting to find out if he can get a medium dob to be at or under your weight limits.

regarding heavier pieces, such as the mirror cell or the base of a dobsonian, try to visualize a pair of wheels on the front, and handle bars along the sides extending to the rear; thus when you pick up the handle bars you are lifting less than half of the weight. also with a pair of two by eight planks at the rear of your small and low station wagon you can roll the heaviest portion of a dob in and out of your car. for example, the second photo in this post has an example. i am not suggesting that you buy a 25" dob, just providing an example that would allow you to safely exceed by a small amt your weight limits.

I don't know what type of vehicle you have, just letting you know what others have done, you don't have to a huge pickup truck, but having one is nice for amateur astronomy

I have a 16 inch Dobstuff, it has been a good scope for me but these are not scopes I recommend for a first time Dob owner, they're complicated to setup and need some customization. As much as I love Dobs, I think the Nexstar 8 SE is easier to deal with in terms of transporting the scope in a car.

I interpret Selek's limits as hard limits, 15 pounds max. But there's also awkwardness that needs to be figured in, in terms of loading the scope in a car, I think Dobs are more awkward. But trying out the different possible choices seems like the right thing.

I will say that I have some trouble getting my head around a 15 pound limit, I am 68 and my back bothers me every so often but I am still strong enough that I just hoist the 70 lb mirror box of my 13.1 inch and carry it out the backdoor to the backyard. I could attach the wheel barrow handles and roll it but that's too much hassle.

Jon

tiostaralzo

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 02:30:05 AM »
I would get a 6"f5 newt on a skywatcher az mounthttps://youtu.be/sWvXu_IuxtQ

And if that's too heavy

https://youtu.be/RJFi-odG2NU

I hate commercial steel tubes, my sonotube is so light...And these oberwerk wood legs are awesome, especially cause I got them as 2nds, meaning inexpensive, and I still can't find why they are 2nd's.

tranardefa

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2018, 08:31:36 AM »
Danny, those are pretty legs!

Jon, I could probably lift 70 pounds if I wanted to, but I've had two hernia operations, one of which went badly (which was galling for a supposedly routine operation). So the docs have cautioned me not to try to lift more than 15-20 pounds by myself.

Hmm, so the 8SE does not allow one to manually slew on its default mount. How about the Evolution 8?

suppsilzuning

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 10:33:48 AM »
Quote
<p class="citation">Quote

Danny, those are pretty legs!

that's how I got my wife...

<p class="citation">Quote

Hmm, so the 8SE does not allow one to manually slew
[/quote]

with any goto, you can disengage the clutches move the scope and still have the goto set correctly. that would just be a tracking mount then. that's how I use my LDX55 mount. I don't use goto but I use it for tracking.[/quote]That works with an equatorial mount because all that is necessary for an Equatorial mount to track for the RA motor to run at a constant speed, which does not vary anywhere on the earth.

But an alt-az mount needs to know where it is located and where it is pointing in the sky because both axes are being driven at rates that depend on exactly where in the sky the scope is pointing. If you release the scope and move it manually, mounts like the Nexstar SE no longer know where in the sky the scope is pointing and cannot track.

Mounts that do allow you to release the scope and manually slew and still track have dual encoders, one for the drives and one that keeps track of the scope's position. I believe the Orion Dobs have two sets of encoders.

Jon