Author Topic: Simple scope for micro-resort  (Read 436 times)

Woody Boelkens

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 05:23:35 AM »
Martin,

We need some feedback.

Several of us have suggested a simple refractor on a simple altaz mount, like the Meade Infiity. This would be best if you are just leavingthe scope out for people to use on their own. Something under $200.

Some have suggested computerized GoTo scopes that can find things but which require training and perhaps supervision. More of an outreach/demonstration by an knowledgeable person rather than a loaner for anyone to use. astrosky123 suggests a Celestron 8SE, about $1100, and perhaps supervision by a staff member to run the scope or at least to train people how to use it.

And then there are in between ideas.What are your thoughts? Give us some feedback.

Allapproaches are valid but they are based on different assumptions, different investments and different levels of staff commitment. Mine has been based on my discussions with the B&B managers.

Harry Smull

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2018, 10:09:03 PM »
In your price range, you are not going to find something that will last through the years. Yes, you can find some scopes that will show off the moon, and other bright objects, but I doubt that is what you will want in the long run.

For your setup, I would suggest a pier mounted eight inch goto SCT. Yes, I know I just bumped your budget by a couple of thousand dollars. But this is a business investment that will get you a whole lot more bang for your buck.

The SCT gives you more flexibility than you will find in any other scope. You can use it on objects of all sizes. It will give very good views.

The goto gives you the ability to find things quickly. It may allow people to use the scope relatively unassisted.

The permanent pier mounting means no aligning on successive nights, and better overall pointing performance.

Again, I know this means you are spending a whole lot more. But you will not get much if you limit yourself to $200. Those who know what they are doing (and can star-hop) will not be satisfied with the views they can get with that relatively inexpensive scope. Those who do not know what they are doing will be limited to just pointing and scanning the sky. This is a pleasant activity, but unless assisted by somebody who knows how to find objects, will not result in viewing important objects.

When you are mounting it, consider where to mount it if you also have daytime views available. (Distant mountains, lakes,eagle nests.)

The pier mounted SCT will allow your guests to use a system which requires a lot less labor on your part, and labor is much more expensive than the initial investment in the equipment.

Alex

isveheartle

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 11:00:59 AM »
I agree with last post will have to be pier mounted , and then either a MCT , SCT or a refractor , probably refractor of around 120 will be best , robust easy to focus and a simple achromat no need for Apos. The catadioptric scopes can be quite difficult to focus by newbies..
If one looks at viewing areas where one pays for a look that's what they have.
The pier you can make quite easily and then mount it on a Alt/Az mount I do not know prices where you live , but that's what I would do , most people will just look at one thing probably a planet

Deandre Fulce

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2018, 04:04:05 PM »
Considering how "uninitiated" the users will be, you're going to need something pretty darned "idiot-proof", simple and intuitive to use. While it would exceed your suggested budget I'd try a variable magnification spotting scope; it will be a closed tube (think "low maintenance"), short and easy to balance, good for terrestrial viewing, no parts to loose, with a wide field and at 60x will show the rings of Saturn if they can find it. Place this on an Explore Scientific Twilight 1 mount and they will have smooth pointing and fine slow-motion and no need to loosen clutches before pointing (the death of many a mount). It'll work just like any 4-year old would expect; you point it, look into the little end, and if they're smart, twist a few things to focus and zoom-in.

What you spend on the mount you can save by buying a relatively cheap spotting scope.

Paul Cobb

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 07:49:39 AM »
I would go with 70x25 SkyMaster binoculars and your photo tripod. That will allow tabletop, ground, handheld use; familiar, simple, foolproof to use for almost anyone, great immersive non-shaking views even in inexperiencedhands for both celestial and terrestrial targets. Planets will be microscopic, but not totally frustrating. And with yourbudget you can get two!

boysagiskest

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 01:44:04 PM »
Quote
What about installing a pier with inclination angle permanently set for your latitude, plus plain old school setting circles? Then your guests have all the advantages of an equatorial mount without the headaches.


whoa, whoa! With no offense intended, y'all are mostly thinking like astronomers. But imagine the resort situation. Some couple back from a long day of hiking or at the beach, having a glass of wine before dinner is ready, and one of them says "hey look, a telescope!" and they look through the pointy end and move it around a little. If they're really good they'll point it at the moon or at a bright star that might be Jupiter. Otherwise they'll be looking more or less at random into a starry sky. Which is a good thing. But this setup isn't for you all -- if you were there you'd have brought your own anyway!

It does seem we could use some feedback from the OP. But it doesn't sound to me like they are looking to support 200x tracked observations of the planets, or use of setting circles to find Herschel objects!

stalafovkith

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2018, 03:53:35 PM »
Quote
Quote

What about installing a pier with inclination angle permanently set for your latitude, plus plain old school setting circles? Then your guests have all the advantages of an equatorial mount without the headaches.


whoa, whoa! With no offense intended, y'all are mostly thinking like astronomers. But imagine the resort situation. Some couple back from a long day of hiking or at the beach, having a glass of wine before dinner is ready, and one of them says "hey look, a telescope!" and they look through the pointy end and move it around a little. If they're really good they'll point it at the moon or at a bright star that might be Jupiter. Otherwise they'll be looking more or less at random into a starry sky. Which is a good thing. But this setup isn't for you all -- if you were there you'd have brought your own anyway!

It does seem we could use some feedback from the OP. But it doesn't sound to me like they are looking to support 200x tracked observations of the planets, or use of setting circles to find Herschel objects!
The voice of reason! I agree completely.

Ryan Fletcher

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2018, 04:34:54 PM »
If spomebody comes to an astronomer's forum to ask what type of telescope to buy for a mini resort, I have to answer in terms of what kind of telescope to buy for astronomy purposes that might do well. My answer was to go much bigger that $200 can buy, for thelong run good of the resort.

Mysuggestion canwell be disregarded. (I mean many suggestions made on these forums will be disregarded....I don't expect mine is sacrosant, and expect it will be ignored.) But if somebody is asking, I think it fair to tell them.

Alex

writgobetfcoo

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 06:03:50 PM »
First, thank you very much for all your contributions, it is a wealth of friendly information :-)

I think we will go for one of the mentioned refractors, as it was pointed out is is simple and intuitive and is still likely to show a lot of our guests more than they have ever seen directly. The rings of Saturn would be something, I think.

Based on your advise, we will probably only use it for guided sessions (unless it is someone with previous experience). We are needing another pair of binoculars (see next paragraph) and will make sure it is suitable for night use too. Laser pointer was something I had never thought off.

To explain our ambition level a bit better: This summer we offered our guests a small trip (~1h) to a nearby place where they could see Flamingos, Spoonbills and a few other easy to identify birds. I had prepared a printout with pictures of the birds and brought a few pairs of binoculars. It was a huge success, guests who were not birders had a different experience in their holiday.

I am a very casual birder and even if I will learn some I will still be a newbie stargazer, but I think it will still work. If I and our guests get hooked, we might add to the collection ;-)

Thank you once again, let us see if we can get something in time for Christmas.

Best, Martin

PS: Sorry for the delay in answering, we are trying to finish an upgrade to our website before Christmas.

gladinises

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2018, 03:29:14 AM »
Best of luck. Let us know how we can help.

szenawahle

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2018, 07:46:23 PM »
I can't imagine a reflector in this situation. Guests would mess with collimation, drop things into it, whatever. I can't imagine how much they'd mess up an EQ mount either.

I have a feeling if you have multiple eyepieces, they'd get dropped or lost. So a zoom would make sense. Non-astro people would be confused by reversed images.

So something weatherproof, not needing collimation, with an erect image. In other words, a spotting scope. Maybe 20-60 zoom, on an alt-az. They could use it terrestrially, as well as get a taste of astronomy. Something like a Celestron Ultima and a Twilight 1.

Todd Kue

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2018, 10:29:41 PM »
Quote
Guests would ... drop things into it

ha! I didn't even think of that! I wonder how long an uncovered 8" dob mirror would last at a resort with kids around :-)

hutualyli

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Re: Simple scope for micro-resort
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2018, 10:07:17 AM »
Some vocabulary for somebody looking for a scope for a mini-resort.....

"Spotting Scope" is a small refractor, especially good for looking at nature, birds, and all that. More power than the average binocular. Good for use on a tripod. Can be used for some astro work, like the moon, and some star clusters. Relatively inexpensive. This is what you are probably looking for.

Try to get a "Correct Image" version (or a diagonal forthat makes a correct image) that will allow your viewers to see things the same as they would with their eyeballs.(Up is up, down is down, left is left, etc. ) Astronomical scopes usually do not have this feature.

"Tripod" mount on a "ball head"willprobably be sufficient for a small scope. This allows you to point the scope anywhere and, by twisting the lock on the ball head, keep it positioned there. A step up in ease of use is an "alt-az"head on that tripod. Then the scope can move up, down, left and right, and stay in that position as needed.

These are not great astro scopes, but are better than binoculars for many of the purposes you list. They are available from $150 to Thousands.

Good luck.

Alex