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Most Aperture in the Grab and Go Category

Started by Owen Chin, 01/15/2003 03:14AM
Posted 01/15/2003 03:14AM Opening Post
Hi all,

I have a Stellarvue AT1010 on a TV Upswing mount (5.25" clearance inside the cradle) and have been contemplating
more aperture for my grab and go scope. I want to keep it to two bags/cases out the door. I've thought about a TV 85 but it's too close to the aperture of the 1010 (or is it). Consequently, I am looking for the 90-102mm category between $1200-$1800 and I know I'll have to get a sturdier tripod for my upswing. Have considered a SDF, Vixen VX102, Sky 90, Stellarvue and Borg. Any impressions or suggestions?

Thanks, Owen
Posted 01/15/2003 05:33AM #1

I have come to the conclusion that the "throw and go" (one or two trips out the door) type of scope that will cool down quickly, yet provide satisfying views of the planets and deep sky objects...does not exist. My main interest in a throw and go is to give me pleasing views of the Moon and planets, as well as some deep sky. The deep sky isn't so important to me as far as this type of scope is concerned, because if I really want to do deep sky I will haul out the 11" or 18" dobs. No, for me, a "quick look" means nipping out and getting a nice view of Jupiter or Saturn or the Moon.

I have been on the quest for this holy grail for several years now and have had a Short tube 80 (OK on the Moon, lots of purple), a C5 (pleasing views, but loooong cool down time), 4" Vixen achromat (OTA and SP mount were way too much hassle to consider it a throw and go), a TMB w/CNC tube on a Giro(same thing, but add in the problems with balancing the bloody thing) and a Pronto (Wonderful on the Moon and some open clusters, just too darned small for the planets).

I have about concluded that the terms "more aperture" and "throw and go" are mutually exclusive. As Tom Clark, of Tectron Telescopes, used to say; "if it is portable it is too small, and if it is big enough, it isn't portable!" I would, however, love to hear other takes on this.

I do think that you are probably on the right track in thinking of a refractor as a throw and go scope, IF such a beast exists. If for no other reason, surely for the fast cooldown time! OTOH, I have recently been rethinking the C5 in spite of the cooldown.

Other than cooldown, I have just about concluded that my 11" ELT is about as throw and go as I can get...Besides, I am growing weary of beating myself up over this!

Midway, FL
Posted 01/15/2003 07:29AM #2
I too had an AT1010 but wanted an APO with a little more aperature. I was on the wait list for an SV85S when it occurred to me that I could find a Borg 100ED used for much less than a new SV85S. I now have more aperature than either the AT1010 or SV85 in a scope that it is still very transportable and lightweight. I have it mounted on the same TV telepod that I used for my AT1010. It also breaks down easily for airline carry-on. You should easily be able to find a Borg 100ED at the low end of your desired price range here on Astromart.
Posted 01/15/2003 10:11AM #3
I know this isn't a refractor but the most obvious, biggest grab'n'go scope I can think of is an 8" Portaball. It does need assembly out in the field but you only need to make a minimum of three trips back and forth to the car when loading/unloading:

1. Collapsed Portaball - this contains the shroud, upper cage assembly, light shield, finder, eyepieces (if stored in plastic cylinders), barlows, and collimation tools.

2. Chair to sit in.

3. Portaball Base + Truss Rod Carrying Tube.

This can actually be done in two trips for some people. The 10" Portaball could also qualify because it uses the same sphere as the 8". I don't think the larger Portaballs qualify because they really should be moved with the cart due to the heavier weight.

When it comes to refractors, I don't have an Alt-Az mount set-up to give a good recommendation yet.

The 8" Portaball does pop-up used in the price range you are talking about on rare occasions.

Dave Keller