Camping telescope - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-30-2016, 09:44 PM   #15
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Camping telescope

I think I've narrowed it down to two choices. The Celestron 127EQ and the Orion GoScope II Steve suggested. I like the Orion because it's lightweight and comes with a case. It can be also be used for backpacking and bird watching. The Celestron has over a thousand reviews on Amazon , more than any other telescope on Amazon. It also has good ratings, but it doesn't come with a case and it looks big. The case is expensive too.

https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-210...t_sims?ie=UTF8


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Old 10-01-2016, 08:32 AM   #16
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Back in the late '80s I bought a Bausch & Lomb Discoverer telescope, 15x-60x zoom, which could be coupled to my SLR camera as well for a 1000-4000mm lens. It was great for looking at the moon, but not much else IMO. I've never looked through any other telescopes to compare quality.

I'm trying to understand the terminology for these other scopes. The Celestron, for example, says 1000mm but it has two eyepieces (20mm says 50x and 4mm says 250x). Does one add the eyepiece magnification factor to that of the scope, like maybe the 1000mm scope is 15x and add 50x to that? Or is the 50x number the effective magnification when already in conjunction with the telescope?

Two things I did learn from my old telescope... a very rigid tripod is a must-have, and an eyepiece that angles upward sure would be nice on the neck!

Looks like the Okie-Tex Star Party is going on right now this weekend, in the OK Panhandle near Kenton.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:19 AM   #17
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Marky,

My opinion only:

Don't get the Celestron 127EQ.
-- I don't like it's mount, while it kind of looks like a CG-2 mount that you could use either as GEM or alti-az, I see no provisions for helping you to polar align. Obviously it could be done, but why make it harder for yourself?
-- The optical tube has a built in 2x barlow in the focuser to bring it to f/7.87. I wouldn't buy it for this reason alone. Not including eyepiece sizes, the 3x barlow (and it looks cheap) that comes with it would give you a f/ of approx 21. A very narrow field of view and would be impossible to keep your targets within it in with a manual mount.
Link to where I discovered this:
https://www.optcorp.com/celestron-po...ope-21049.html

Re the Orion GoScope II 70mm refractor.
-- While it's tripod would probably work ok collapsed, when fully extended to use when standing, it looks to flimsy to me. However I'm just going by pictures.
-- I'm not a fan of the erect image diagonal for astro. But that can be easily changed.

Here is a suggestion:
-- Celestron Omni XLT 150. Has a relatively good mount (a CG-4), has a provision for a polar alignment scope (which you would have to order separately).
-- It's probably bigger and more than you want to spend though, but you might be happier.
Links:
Scope package:
https://www.optcorp.com/celestron-om...ope-31057.html
Mount info:
https://www.optcorp.com/celestron-om...ial-mount.html
Polar alignment scope:
https://www.optcorp.com/ce-94223-pol...ni-mounts.html

The above is just an example. I only listed it as a possibility for you. I only used the OPT corp links because their only approx 50 miles from me and I never buy astro equipment sight unseen if I can help it, like to see what I'm spending my coins on before buying.

I'm not brand specific for my equipment, as you could tell from my equipment list.

Re my scopes, I usually plan my evenings target list, then bring the scope most appro for the target size and brightness.

I can relate to the keeping your equipment small to fit into your trailer. I have a pickup mounted 8' Skamper popup camper. Clear door width is 22" (don't forget about your door width). I have to take my 14" and 11" out of their carriers to to fit them into the camper. By the time that I've brought everything with me, the camper is packed completely, no room for me until I set up at my site.

Here's a link to my website if your interested:
Home Page | Astronomy and Other Interests | Paul Gaylord

Hope I've been helpful,
Paul
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:48 AM   #18
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I attended a campground star watch in Matagorda, TX. And I've seen other campgrounds offer night presentations. Local groups come and set up large telescopes.
I also highly recommend skymaps.com. Lots of free stuff. If you follow Skymaps on Twitter, they email you a free sky map each month, and alert you to things like eclipses, unusual moon events, and planetary events.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post

I'm trying to understand the terminology for these other scopes. The Celestron, for example, says 1000mm but it has two eyepieces (20mm says 50x and 4mm says 250x). Does one add the eyepiece magnification factor to that of the scope, like maybe the 1000mm scope is 15x and add 50x to that? Or is the 50x number the effective magnification when already in conjunction with the telescope?
The magnification is the focal length of the eye piece divided into the focal length of the main lense or mirror. Both are usually given in millimeters. So 1000mm/20mm yields 50x.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:39 PM   #20
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I see that Raz beat me to it.

Telescope formulas and other TMI links:
Formulas - Telescope Magnification
Telescope Equations

Paul
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:05 PM   #21
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Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Raz View Post
The magnification is the focal length of the eye piece divided into the focal length of the main lense or mirror. Both are usually given in millimeters. So 1000mm/20mm yields 50x.

Thanks Raz, I was wondering the same thing. I'm new to the telescope hobby. We're just looking for something reasonable that we can have fun with. We also want something that's durable. We have to carry it alone with other camping equipment.
We aren't going camping to go stargazing, but stargazing will be part of our camping fun when the sun goes down. Much like hiking, playing horse shoes and corn-hole during the day, then a little stargazing at night.
We understand that without a high quality telescope we won't be able to see most of the detail, but it would be nice to see things better. Some of the binoculars mounted on tripods we looked through, when the SA Astronomical Society was at the park were amazing. Even some of the smaller telescopes were really nice. There were also some huge telescopes with computer control, cameras and monitors for display. It was really beautiful!


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Old 10-04-2016, 03:35 PM   #23
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I own 3 telescopes and my part time job is putting on star parties every week at the JW Marriott in San Antonio. Not saying I'm more qualified than anyone else, just giving my humble opinion.

Apps: The apps we tell folks to install on their phones, tablets, etc,
1- Star Walk available on apple or android, this is the go to app that myself and the other astronomers use. I believe it is $2.99

2- Gas Giants I use for teaching purposes, shows the location of the different gas giant moons at any particular time. Apple or Android

3- Phases of the moon for free. Either on Apple or Android

As far as telescopes goes I am asked about my Orion 10 inch Dob all the time, how much, what can I see etc.

Larger is better when it comes to telescopes, that being said you must remember that it will go up in size and weight as you climb that aperature( inches ) ladder. Me being a woman, I can comfortably lift my 10 inch Dob by my self. It's a solid tube, so no break down of the optical tube. So it's always in my SUV.

I tell the guests not to go below a 8 inch telescope. I decided to buy a Orion 6 inch table top reflector to save on room to take on a trip to Santa Fe. Was so disappointed in the views, I sold it as soon as I got home.

I own a 12.5 inch Obsession that I keep permanently on my property in west Texas. That one breaks down, but I need my husband to help me lift it. The optics and views are spectacular.

Then I have a 8 inch Celestron 8SE. I have only owned reflecting telescopes, so a schmit cassegraine was a learning curve for me with all the electronics etc. I have enjoyed the views very much through the scope, I even bought the star sense camera to go with it. Now I don't have to do anything except hit star align and away it goes. That is a pretty portable scope, views are very good, and I can carry it with ease.
So I hope this helps, I have owned 3 Orion scopes, I have two astronomer friends, they own a Orion 12 inch Dob and a Orion 14 inch Dob. We are very happy with them. I have a friend who owns 2 Meade Dobs and is always having issues with one thing or another.
So that's my 2 cents :
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:43 PM   #24
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If you live close to Sonora, Texas they have the Eldorado Star Party coming up:

http://eldoradostarparty.org
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #25
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The o.p. is a beginner and wants a scope to take camping. I recommended the Edmund Astroscan because it's well regarded, cheap, has decent optics, is easy to find, is very forgiving, sets up in seconds, and most important will give any newbie hours of good viewing. I'm not pushing here, there are of course lots of other simple to use, quick to set up options.

There is so much one needs to know before paying hundreds if not thousands for a large complicated instrument. It doesn't matter how good the instrument is if it sits in the closet. An old, borrowed 3" reflector mounted on an old surveying tripod was enough to get me excited. Just a thought.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:59 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Raz View Post
The o.p. is a beginner and wants a scope to take camping. I recommended the Edmund Astroscan because it's well regarded, cheap, has decent optics, is easy to find, is very forgiving, sets up in seconds, and most important will give any newbie hours of good viewing. I'm not pushing here, there are of course lots of other simple to use, quick to set up options.

There is so much one needs to know before paying hundreds if not thousands for a large complicated instrument. It doesn't matter how good the instrument is if it sits in the closet. An old, borrowed 3" reflector mounted on an old surveying tripod was enough to get me excited. Just a thought.
I have to agree on this one. An Astroscan, or one of the newer small wide field Newtonian reflectors, would be the way to go. The Astroscans permanently aligned optics and the 'optical window' will remove colimation concerns and keep dust and such out of the tube. Large aperture binoculars are a good option as well, just don't go for high magnification.

Anything used for viewing stars and planets is first and foremost a light gathering instrument. It is amazing what you can see at low magnification when you funnel the light gathered by a 75-100mm objective lens(or mirror) through your 8mm pupil.

Also, with most small telescopes, you will be finding objects by star hopping. To do that effectively you need to know the sky. Good sky maps are good for preparing your viewing evening. And then there's the old standby, Rob Walrecht's 'Planisphere for North America'. Google Sky Map on my Android phone helps me to find objects when my sky view is limited by trees, as in some campgrounds.

Oh, one last thing. Go to the drug store and buy an eye patch. Keeps you from holding the off eye shut when viewing. Some wrap around red laser enhancement glasses, as used with laser surveying, can keep your dark adjusted eyes from getting blasted if you have to go into the trailer for something.

Initially, keep it simple. Don't spend a ton of money. As you get drawn in, you will get a better idea of what you need.

Mark, I don't know where you are in Texas, but the Texas Star Party, https://texasstarparty.org, is one of the biggest, as you would expect in Texas.

PS: I just checked and Edmund Scientific will be releasing an updated version of the original Astroscan in 2017, and parts and accessories for the original Astroscan are available.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:09 PM   #27
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Info on Astro Scan, looks to be a 4.5 inch mirror:


Review: Edmund Scientific Astroscan telescope
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:12 PM   #28
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If you do decide to go with a Astro Scan Mark, here is one for sale on Cloudy Nights:

Edmund Scientific astroscan - CN Classifieds - Cloudy Nights
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