Author Topic: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?  (Read 2219 times)

kentifilitt

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Hi all,

I have a four-inch Orion refractor, and I'm ready to move up to something with a bigger aperture -- SCT or Dob, I figure.  I can spend $1000 or more; my huge constraint is portability.  Even the refractor is a bit of an issue for me unless I take it apart.  I'm 55, I have had two hernia operations, and I don't want another!  So can anybody recommend a particular combo of SCT and wheeled cart, or Dob/cart?  Or a telescope which easily disassembles into parts that weigh no more than 10-15 pounds each?  Thanks in advance.



Pablo Abreu

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 04:39:55 PM »
6" Evolution (The 8" is a bigger but also a liitle more weight).

Mike

Alejandro Taylor

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 01:06:10 AM »
A Dob is exceedingly easy to transport if you can store it at ground level. An old-fashioned handtruck does the job nicely, at minimal cost.

Any telescope on a tripod poses significantly more problems if you want to transport it on wheels. It can be done, but it requires more apparatus.

wordpuzzlesubc

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 11:12:50 AM »
Help us help you! Be specific. What exactly will the transportation be? Will you be moving this telescope from just inside the garage to the front driveway? Will you need to use stairs? Will you be flying with this telescope? What about mountain climbing, sky diving or kayaking?
What are you hoping to see in this telescope? Solar system objects or faint galaxies? Will you ever want to use the telescope for terrestrial spotting? Have you ever considered astrophotography? Would that be a consideration to be considered while considering your transportation considerations? The more detail these folks have, the more they can help.

Micheal Luther

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 04:10:53 PM »
I have 6 fractured disks in my back. I picked up this folding hand truck for the very purpose of transporting my telescope and tripod in and out of the house. This will support 200 lbs and fold up for storage.

http://www.amazon.co...ailpage_o09_s00

Joe Maillet

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 04:16:49 AM »
This is thinking outside the box but if you want to move a telescope a short distance from say a shed or a garage why not do what Clyde Tombaugh did
with one of his homebuilt scopes and put it on an old lawnmower body.

You could also make a wooden dolly out of some scrap lumber and get some cheap wheels from Harbor Freight. They should handle an 8 or 10 inch dobsonian with ease.Attached Thumbnails


Isidro Harrison

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 08:24:47 AM »
The solutions are much different for somebody observing at home than for somebody working out of a car.

Which are you?

A simple Tele-gizmo cover over a huge dob is quite doable from home. But getting that dob in a car could be a challenge.

Alex

longpetdowntown

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:52:36 PM »
Quote
I have 6 fractured disks in my back. I picked up this folding hand truck for the very purpose of transporting my telescope and tripod in and out of the house. This will support 200 lbs and fold up for storage.

http://www.amazon.co...ailpage_o09_s00

I have that same folding hand-truck. It works great on hard surfaces. I live in a 3rd-floor apartment where getting to observing site involves a long hallway, an elevator, a lobby and a parking lot before I even get to my car. THis hand-truck works great for my 10" dob. However, it is useless to transport my dob from my car over 50 yards of dirt/wood-chip path to our observatory plaza, because the wheels are not big enough or wide enough to handle softer and rougher surfaces. I ended up getting a regular hand-truck with balloon tires. A lot heavier and not as compact to load in the car, but works better on non-paved surfaces.

Alex Loftus

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 03:03:39 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I drafted my original question in a rush, and later in the day (when away from my PC), I thought to myself, hmm, I didn't tell them much about what I want in a telescope.

Most nights I'd just wheel the telescope out to my driveway or front yard. But occasionally I'd like to pile it in the car and go to a nearby park or high school, both of which have big empty fields with no trees and lights around. So a cart or wheels might be good for the driveway. I'm not sure about what's best for transporting something a short distance by car, then setting up in a field. I don't plan to fly with it. I live in a light-polluted area, in the suburbs.

Up til now I've been happy looking at the moon, planets, and the solar system. I've never tried photography but I think it would be fun to give it a go! Of course I would also enjoy seeing deep-space stuff, but I don't think that's my top priority. Maybe that would change?

If weight weren't an issue, I think I'd lean toward an SCT, for no coherent reason other than having enjoyed looking through them in the past. But it sounds like transporting them, and their tripods, is more difficult? I need to read more about the Dob vs alternatives.

Ultimately I want to be sure that excessive weight doesn't deter me from using the thing frequently. I do use my refractor, but I curse the heavy weights on its equatorial mount, and I'd like a different telescope experience.

Hope this helps! Thanks in advance for any further advice.

bunkreplterpka

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 05:22:06 AM »
To see DSO's (Deep Sky Objects) as more than just faint fuzzy patches of light requires substantial aperture and dark skies.

Portability in a vehicle is needed to get to dark sites, and aperture adds weight - fast.
The OTA of an 8" solid tube Newtonian is going to weight about 20 lbs.
A Dob base/mount for a 8"or a 6" is going to weight about the same 20 lbs but a 6" Newtonian will be 10 to 12 lbs.

You'll be able to see galaxies in a " Newtonian" just just barely in light polluted skies.

A decent manual Alt/Az mount, the Explore Scientific Twilight 1 weighs 17.6 lbs, 11 lbs for the legs and 6.6 lbs for the head.
An 8" SCT OTA will weigh in around 13 to 15 lbs.

My 12" truss tube dob disassembles for easy portability but the lower tube section and mirror weigh 34 lbs.
The upper tube section is 9.6 lbs and the trusses weigh 5.6 lobs.
Assembled the OTA weighs 49.5 lbs, 1/2 lb less than a solid tube XT12.

At a truly dark site (Bortle 2) with good seeing and looking through my 12" I can see dust lanes, globulars, and nebulas in M31 and M33 that I can't see from a Bortle 4 (urban/rural transition) site.

My base/mount also weighs 34 lbs.

I'm 64 years old.

otdaebreathat

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 06:59:29 AM »
Quote
If weight weren't an issue, I think I'd lean toward an SCT, for no coherent reason other than having enjoyed looking through them in the past. But it sounds like transporting them, and their tripods, is more difficult? I need to read more about the Dob vs alternatives.

Wheeling an SCT around would require complex apparatus. However, an 8-inch SCT on a reasonably lightweight alt-az Go To mount, such as the Celestron 8SE, is so light that you probably wouldn't need to wheel it around. Considerably lighter than a 4-inch refractor on an equatorial mount. The 6SE is lighter yet. If you want a scope that can both be set up easily in your yard and easily transported in a car without straining your back, this is probably the best choice.

Which 4-inch refractor do you own? How long and heavy is it? Have you considered simply getting an alt-az mount for the existing tube? That wouldn't improve your views, but it would help dramatically with portability.

holdfontrosci

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:30:02 AM »
Here's another option for portability. I was thinking of getting this as many do use it to transport equipment in the field.http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B00BUUUIGK

Tyler King

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 01:19:27 AM »
Quote
Hi all,

I own a four-inch Orion refractor, and I'm ready to move up to something with a larger aperture -- SCT or Dob, I guess. I can spend $1000 or more; my big constraint is portability. Even the refractor is a bit of an issue for me unless I take it apart. I'm 55, I've had two hernia operations, and I don't want another! So can anyone recommend a particular combo of SCT and wheeled cart, or Dob/cart? Or a telescope that easily disassembles into parts that weigh no more than 10-15 pounds each? Thanks in advance.


Hi:

The only telescope I can think of that will breakdown into components weighing 10-15 pounds and that offers a significant upgrade in performance is the Celestron Nexstar 8SE.

Dobs can be rolled but getting the scope in the car will require lifting more than 15 pounds.

Jon

John Jankowski

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 12:43:15 AM »
you need a fast dob...

https://www.youtube....h?v=yeFtBBRjuLM

even Jupiter looked pretty amazing, just need more2.5mm & 3mm eyepieces.

or even this 10iin

https://www.youtube....h?v=G3xu8CNBe0k

a 12in with a thin blank would do but not a full size.

https://www.youtube....h?v=ifSMbmCxf1I

just the mirror is heavy

carmiphypart

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Re: Portability is paramount for me: telescope carts? other recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 06:42:23 AM »
Thanks for your further replies. Er, I guess my refractor is more like a 3.5-inch: the 90mm Orion 9024. I can manage it okay if I remove the tube before moving it.

It looks to me like the Celestron Nexstar 8SE breaks down into components (tube, mount, tripod?) that would also be manageable for me. Is it a big pain to take it apart and put it back together? My impression is not. So I'm leaning toward that, or maybe the 6SE. Reading a lot about both now. I live in the suburban DC area, so I assume dew prevention would be an issue for me with either model.

My2Stars: where did you find that nifty-looking cart?