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Thread: Backpacking telescope

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    Wildandliving's Avatar
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    Default Backpacking telescope



    Im looking for something light weight as a second telscope more of a plunk it down and use it for star clusters and planets. Basicly a tabletop scope that works well and not to hard to lug up a mountain there is a pinic table i can place it on so i dont need a tripod. I want simple and easy to point with resonalable views. Not doing photos.

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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    I use 80mm short tube refractor on a photo tripod and 60mm spotting scope before that.
    Scopes: Celestron: 8" SCT F10, Omni 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; ES: 127mm CF F7.5 APO; Meade: ST80 F5. Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, SW SkyTee2, UA MicroStar. Binos: Orion 15x70, 10x50, Nikon 8x40. EPs: TeleVue: Delites, Plossls & barlows; ES: 82os & 68os; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls; Gary Russell: SP 56mm; BST: Flat Field. Filters: Astronomik: UHC; Lumicon: OIII, H-beta, DeepSky; Baader: UHC-S, M&SG, CB; Orion: UltraBlock, SG. DSO tally: 1119 (H400-1: 400, H400-2: 244, H300-3: 84; M110: 110, S110: 73). Doubles: 772, Comets: 11, Asteroids: 59
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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    I use this SV Little Rascal, it fits in my fanny pack: https://optcorp.com/products/stellar...vel-scope-svlr
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    Get an ETX60 backpack model. It's what I use for kayak/canoeing camping trips or hiking to a remote site. It is a small goto scope with it's own backpack and a small lightweight tripod that straps to the pack. It also has a level base that you can sit on a table top if you don't want to take the tripod (but it's real easy to take). Hand control, eyepieces, and everything you need fits right in the pack. The scope is a 60mm f/5 refractor with a very wide field of view and the mount is accurate and tracks well. You can get one pretty cheap on ebay.

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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    I do like the ETX for this kind of work. I've had both the ETX-60 and the ETX-80 and I'd prefer the ETX-80.

    I've also had the ETX-125 which was a very good scope and I currently have the ETX-90 which is fairly compact. But the ETX-90 and ETX-125 aren't really set up for a backpack.

    Do note that you have to feed batteries to the ETX series. The aligning does take a few minutes but really doesn't take very long. I don't like the ETX-60 or ETX-80 for planetary work but they are enjoyable for DSOs. The ETX-125 and ETX-90 are (for their sizes) very good for planetary and are also very good for DSOs but their FOV is relatively narrow.

    I'd also consider the Bresser Comet Edition 102mm: https://explorescientificusa.com/col...ant-2221347844 More aperture but with a focal ratio of 4.5 I'm betting I'd hate it on the planets.

    I would further note that a good spotting scope is typically rugged (and therefore less likely to break) and may even be water resistant. Thus a bit more likely to survive being lugged around. Because the market for spotting scopes is also far larger and far more competitive than is the market for astronomical telescopes - the manufacturers get great optical and mechanical designers who spend time optimizing the product. Net effect is that if a spotting scope will do the job for you - it is likely to be a better value than would be a dedicated astronomical scope.

    I was fortunate enough to find a good used 80mm ED-Doublet spotting scope so it was much less expensive than if I'd gotten it new. Actually, it was cheaper than I should have had to pay for it used. . . You can get a backpack for spotting scopes: https://www.stoneglacier.com/blogs/t...potting-scopes

    The other thing to consider? A good binocular. I'm guessing a binocular is not where you want to go, but they are so compact and useful that I figured I'd just mention it.
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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    Although not ideal for deep sky, the Orion 90mm SkyMax has a surprising amount of versatility.



    Equipping 25mm eyepieces with a focal reducer can give greater exit pupils.



    I recently used a 32mm Plossl with an 0.5x reducer to view M41 at 19.5x. I like the 90mm Mak because it is so portable, although I'm not sure if it fits into a *fanny pack lol. I had to Google 'fanny' pack.


    *Sorry; in British English 'fanny' has a particular slang meaning. Although, geographically, it is near to its US meaning.
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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    I would go with an ETX as well. Or if you wish, one of the small Orion tabletop dobs. The only drawback with the latter is needing to find a flat spot to set up the scope. Probably a picnic table or something like that at a campsite.
    Michael
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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    I would go with an ETX as well. Or if you wish, one of the small Orion tabletop dobs. The only drawback with the latter is needing to find a flat spot to set up the scope. Probably a picnic table or something like that at a campsite.
    Theres flat tables at the top of the hill 360 view and no light pollution just its a 240m climb for 1 km so its more weight then anything. Other spots i can drive to have a hill blocking 1 side but tables to use. I was thinking more plunk it down and use it the celestron 127eq is a heavy 22lbs its to much magnfication at 1000m i find it not wide enough. I just want the best visual views and low weight

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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    As a gentleman brought up in another thread perhaps you may consider the AWB Onesky:

    https://shop.astronomerswithoutborde...ctor-telescope

    Low weight, packs smaller than any tabletop of similar aperture, and money goes to support AWB programs. SkyWatcher offers an identical scope called the Heritage 130

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    Default Re: Backpacking telescope

    Meade makes an ETX-80 "backpack" observatory. It's an ETX-80 that includes it's own backpack and designed for portability. (I see High Point Scientific has it for $280)

    With that said... this is a Meade ETX "go to" scope (with the Autostar controller). I've owned an ETX-90 and ETX-125 ... and while the Mak-Cass design is good for planets, I always felt the fork mount was a bit plasticky (not very durable ... so handle with appropriate care).

    The ETX-80 is not a Mak-Cass -- it's a achromatic refractor. This is a 400mm f/5 scope.

    But... the Orion ST80 is also a 400mm f/5 achromat. This comes in various packing options ... but one option is what they call the "GoScope 80mm Backpack Refractor"

    It looks like an ST80 (I have an ST80 that I use as a guide-scope) but it also comes with what appears to be a photo-tripod and a backpack bag to carry it. At the Orion site they have it listed at $180.
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