Portable table for table-top scope / First scope questions

The place to discuss telescopes, binoculars, CCDs and other equipment

Moderators: joe, Guy Fennimore, Brian

thenagus
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Contact:

Portable table for table-top scope / First scope questions

Post by thenagus »

Hi guys,

Im looking into getting my first proper scope. Im a uni student, and the car boot already gets fairly full, so I could do with something fairly compact. Also, something ideally that I can carry to an observing site a few minutes walk away in one trip. Budget is up to £150. Im mostly interested in DSO's.

I have my eye on the Skywatcher Heratige 130p collapsible Dob. Mostly because it folds up so small and is so light and easy to carry. (Just over 6kg, I think.) *but* I figure its essentially a table-top scope. I guess you could plausably use it sitting down, but the finder would be very awkward to use.

Anyway, what I mainly want to know is this:
Is it possible to get some sort of light portable table, cheapish (a camping table or something), which is stable enough to put a tabletop scope on. Or will anything portable just be too wobbly?

I note also that on ebay there's a few Skywatcher Explorer 130p AutoTrack's for £150. Im wondering how plausable it would be to transport something like this (or an Explorer 130p on any other mount) in one trip. Im having trouble finding figures on weight, etc.

Thanks
mike a feist
Posts: 3303
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Contact:

Post by mike a feist »

Rather than a table-top mount on a collapsible table, a strong photographic tripod onto which many small telescopes can be fitted
might be a better choice and take up a similar space for transportation. This would limit the type of scope you can use. Have you ever considered a "spotting scope"? Check out "chat" here recently on that subject. They are really portable, fit on std tripods, and are very solid for transportation as mainly bought for bird/nature watching. Just a thought! maf
Jonathon
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:56 pm
Location: Ely
Contact:

Tabletop tripod

Post by Jonathon »

If you were to go for a camera tripod i would suggest a step farther and buy a skywatcher AZ3. I have one , it takes up virtualy no more space and has hand wheels so you can mamualy track objects. Perhaps keep up with them- you cant track properly. Its a lot more stable than a big camera tripod i also have even with a 120 mm refractor, which is about as big as it can take. Also a tabletop tripid euold only take a very small telescope presumably with a narrow field of view. Although there are images or sketches of jupiter on the front page of this site seen through a 60-60 spotting scope. Much lighter than binoculors. Good luck. Jonathon
skywatcher 4 3/4" evostar
skywatcher6"reflector
skywatcher 7"mak
az 3.eq3-2.cg5.
flyingspud,
David Frydman
Posts: 5371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

But will the AZ3 go in a car boot?

Regards, David.
Jonathon
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:56 pm
Location: Ely
Contact:

Tabletop tripod

Post by Jonathon »

It goes in my KA with 8 inches to spare. Its got telescopic legs. Very loght to -aluminium.one thing i didnt notice before. Thd tripod will cost you about £110 without telescope.jonathon
skywatcher 4 3/4" evostar
skywatcher6"reflector
skywatcher 7"mak
az 3.eq3-2.cg5.
flyingspud,
David Frydman
Posts: 5371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

Dear jonathon,
What is the weight of the AZ3? Do you have to remove a central tray to collapse it to go in boot.
If it has a central tray it is not suitable for use in a home as you need to frequently collapse legs inwards.
I used to use an ex WD heavy aluminium tripod with free legs and collapsible legs to mount a 6 inch Maksutov. It would actually support about 50 kgs. I tied a stout link chain to the bottom of the legs to stop it splaying out. A wonderful tripod but probably not available nowadays.

Regards, David.
Jonathon
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:56 pm
Location: Ely
Contact:

Tripod

Post by Jonathon »

David. Just sent a reply it disappeared! Not sure of weight but nothing like yoor ex wd one. I csn lift it with 2fingers.It does have a central tray , useful for eyepieces, i never use it as its used so often. It only takes a minute though. I would send a photo of it but cant uoad into fotums. Cant spell in them either. I ll send measurements later. Jonathon
skywatcher 4 3/4" evostar
skywatcher6"reflector
skywatcher 7"mak
az 3.eq3-2.cg5.
flyingspud,
Jonathon
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:56 pm
Location: Ely
Contact:

Post by Jonathon »

Ps. It has a folding ' leg stop' insde tripod legs so you dont need to usd tray. Jonathon
skywatcher 4 3/4" evostar
skywatcher6"reflector
skywatcher 7"mak
az 3.eq3-2.cg5.
flyingspud,
David Frydman
Posts: 5371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

Jonathon,
Do I understand correctly. Can the AZ3 be collapsed as easily and quickly as a photo tripod?
Do you have an f/5 120mm refractor?
Can the scope and AZ3 fit in the boot together as the original author suggested?
I presume the AZ3 with its head weigh more than the 2.5kg of my Slik 88.
My mobility problems limits the tripod to 3kg.
For a fit person I presume getting it all in the boot is a securityissue.
Regards, David.
Jonathon
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:56 pm
Location: Ely
Contact:

Post by Jonathon »

Sorry David i hadnt realised about mobility problems. It looks like a spotting scope would be far the best but probably a little expensive. Jonathon
skywatcher 4 3/4" evostar
skywatcher6"reflector
skywatcher 7"mak
az 3.eq3-2.cg5.
flyingspud,
David Frydman
Posts: 5371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

thenagus, the original author wants a scope and tripod to fit in his car boot.

I wanted to know if the AZ3 is less than 3kg and collapses as quickly as a photo tripod. We are two different people.
I suspect the AZ3 and head is more than 3kg. I have spotting scopes and photo tripods.

Thanks.
Regards, David.
Jonathon
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:56 pm
Location: Ely
Contact:

Table top

Post by Jonathon »

David. I d like to send photo of it all on boot of car with a tape measure by it and one tripid leg extended. I cant upload anything to internet with iphone If you want to send me your email by pm i ll send it to you direct. the az head is very small and light aluminium, nothing like an eq head. I ll weigh it on monday. I dont have suitable scales.Telescope is f10. Jonathon
skywatcher 4 3/4" evostar
skywatcher6"reflector
skywatcher 7"mak
az 3.eq3-2.cg5.
flyingspud,
David Frydman
Posts: 5371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

Jonathan,
The AZ3 weighs 6kg according to OVL. They don't know weight of new AZ4. Probably similar. So the AZe3 is too heavy for me. The Horizon is 3.5kg to 4kg. again a bit heavy for me. All of these mounts should be considered for others with portable scopes.

Regards, David.
David Frydman
Posts: 5371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Contact:

Post by David Frydman »

Thenagus original enquiry would be met by Skytravel 102mm f/5 or 120mm f/5 on AZ3. Or 102mm f/5 on a photo tripod.

Regards, David.
Naplesnut
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:17 pm
Contact:

Post by Naplesnut »

For portability get a skywatcher 80/90mm refractor on an EQ1 for about £70 on ebay or ukastrobuysell or even here. Brand new only cost about £120. Alternatively you can get a 114mm reflector for about same prices secondhand /new. Forget all this bunkum about spotting scopes and camera tripods.
7x50 bins, 80mm f5 refractor and Coronado PST on AZ3, 127mm MCT on EQ3-2, 150mm f8 refractor on EQ6 with dual axis drives, 300mm f5 reflector on Dobsonian mount. Doing astronomy the old-fashioned way, no Go-To just eyes, charts and time.
Post Reply